sustainability

Aliases: 
sustained, Nachhaltigkeit, sustainable development

"Apples and Experts: Evolving Notions of Sustainable Agriculture"

Using the Central Coast of California as a case study, this article argues that a nexus of ambitious growers and a growing state agricultural bureaucracy worked to create a “brand name” and teach cultivation approaches with increased production and expanded markets. But these same actors also made efforts to keep the long-term health of the industry and the community in mind.

Why Wait for the Future? There Could Be a Present without Waste

Taking on the big players in media technology, whose business choices are dictating the changes and transitions in our society and environment, Köpnick questions the economics and ethics behind mobile phone production. He envisions a situation where company strategies are turned around to reduce waste and wastage, and thereby begin to benefit the environment, consumer and company alike.

Cuba's Special Period

"World Water Day 2012. 'Water and Food Security: The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungry'"

The article reflects on how to feed a growing world population in a context of natural resource scarcity and considers the 2012 World Water Day as a means to open an international debate in order to identify strategic choices capable of combining, globally and locally, the objective of food security with that of water resource protection.

A Future without Waste? Zero Waste in Theory and Practice

About this issue

Is a world without waste truly achievable? The essays in this volume of RCC Perspectives discuss zero waste as a vision, as a historical concept, and as an international practice. Going beyond the motto of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” they reflect on the feasibility of creating closed material cycles and explore real-world examples of challenges and successes on the way to zero waste.

Content

Working for Zero Waste in Germany: A Discussion across Disciplines

The participants in a roundtable discussion that took place in May 2013 at LMU’s Center for Advanced Studies draw on their collective experience in engineering, anthropology, environmental justice, and city politics, in order to explore the impact of waste, and the strategies we should, and currently do, employ as we work towards zero waste in the world.

An Impossible Ideal: The Use and Misuse of Zero Waste

Though a desirable environmental prospect, many wonder if zero waste is a realistic goal or merely a pipe dream. Starting from an analysis of the laws of thermodynamics, this article argues that it is an impossible ideal; however, along with the principles of the circular economy and reform of modern economic systems, the idea of zero waste can provide valuable insights into how we can establish a future ecological civilization.

Learning to Celebrate Our Human Footprint

Society’s approach to environmental protection has so far relied on certain prevailing, but perhaps specious, beliefs—that we cannot impact the environment positively, or that environmental protection is incompatible with economic growth. Braungart explores how, rather than making ineffective changes to an already broken system, it would be more beneficial to rethink that system entirely.