Collecting waste in Sicily: old and new ways

BY FREEK COLOMBIJN Every human settlement has to think of a way to dispose its solid waste, but each place finds its own particular ways to do this. I was once again forced to think about this simple fact on holiday in Sicily. Two peculiarities of Sicily are its rugged terrain, with old fortified towns up in the hills, and the many tourists that visit the island who are perhaps more careless away than they would be at home. How does Sicily deal with these challenges? Castelbuono is a picturesque town with a medieval core, hundred kilometres from Palermo. The …

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Do not waste waste

DOOR FREEK COLOMBIJN It is a truism to state that the amount of solid waste produced daily is enormous. Mount Everest has become a symbol of just how widespread the waste problem has become. Mountaineers have left an estimated 50 tons of waste on its slopes, including bottles, food containers, broken equipment, even over two hundred dead bodies. In 2010 a party of climbers on a cleaning mission collected about 2 tons of solid waste in the area above 8,000 m. and these missions have been repeated regularly since then. Nowadays climbers are obliged by law to bring down 8 …

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The Car Free Day in Surabaya: a pro-environment event?

By Freek Colombijn Every Sunday morning from 6 to 10 a.m. part of the main street of Surabaya is closed for all motorized traffic for an event that is called ‘Car Free Day’ (often abbreviated as CFD, Chay-Ef-Day). Car Free Days are organized in Jakarta and other major cities in Indonesia too, but I know the event best in Surabaya. I first attended the CFD as part of my research on pro-environmental behavior, but as it has turned out, it has little to do with the desire to reduce the use of the car. On the contrary. It attracts many …

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Wind Energy

By Alexander Dunlap    Wind Energy is undoubtedly my favorite of all the energy systems, which retains an immense potential for eco-logical sustainability. This potential, however, can be utopic, dystopic or somewhere in between, which is intimately intertwined with the futures people wish to create. Before moving to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region in Oaxaca, Mexico to investigate the impact of renewable energy on semi-subsistent Indigenous groups (Zapotec and Ikoot), I knew that wind projects triggered, what is known in political ecology as, ecological distribution conflicts. These are conflicts arising from development projects that affirm regional power inequalities, unequal distribution of …

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