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Innovative Virtual Sustainability Conference Announced



Next week Cranfield University and Globescan are hosting the Sustainability Innovation Exchange, a virtual online conference for anyone with an interest in sustainability. The conference will explore how policy can channel the innovative power of individuals towards more sustainable ways of living.

The Sustainability Innoation Exchange is a virtual workshop which will be hosted by Globescan on their website. The event is a vital tool for collaborative engagement on a number of key topics related to how public policy can enable this sustainability innovation.

The conference is part of the largest project of its kind commissioned by the EU and will take place in six sessions each with a different policy theme. They are education, networks, funding, scaling-up, impact and open policy making. Globescan and Cranfield University explain them as:

– Education:In this topic we will discuss what we need to do better or do differently so that we are we are teaching and empowering individuals to innovate.  How can we encourage the natural creativity of children so that it grows and develops and comes with them into their future roles in society? How can we direct that creativity in ways that benefits our planet and society? We will be talking about learning about the environment and social issues, but also about learning how to innovate and collaborate with people who are different from in order to solve the sustainability challenges that face us.

– Networks: “In this room we will be talking the ways in which we can provide innovators, or would-be innovators, the emotional and practical support to turn their ideas into reality. How can we help entrepreneurs to make connections they need to access funding, skills and expertise, and to connect with each other so that successes, and failures, can be shared and learnt from?  And importantly, how can networks take good innovations quickly to scale through both growth and replication so that their positive can be maximised?  Throughout the discussion, we will also be considering the role of businesses and universities in these networks.”

– Funding: “Here we will be talking about funding for sustainability innovations. What can be done for those innovating for sustainability to simplify and ease the process of setting up a venture and securing finance? How can we simplify access to the funding that is already available and the process of setting up a new legal entity? How can we facilitate a positive role for business (through corporate venturing or incubators/accelerators) and the public sector in funding for these innovations? And what can be done at a more systemic level to transition from a short term, financially driven system to a longer term social /environmental impact driven system?”

– Scaling up: “In this topic we will be talking about how we encourage the adoption of innovation to optimise environmental/social impact. How can we encourage corporates to work with entrepreneurs to roll out or replicate their innovations, whilst ensuring fair appropriation of returns to these partnerships? Should we incentivise businesses to collaborate with their end users in order to develop sustainable solutions that are more likely to be acceptable and therefore adopted? Do we need to incentivise universities differently so that they are focus on maximising the positive impact of new knowledge rather than the creation of knowledge alone?”

– Impact: “This session is about the metrics we need to evaluate environmental / social impact, and also the system that we need to move towards which prioritises and rewards innovations which have a positive environmental / social impact. We will be discussing how to quantify the potential environmental/social impact of innovation, and the need to make measures understandable and comparable. We will also be discussing the need to change social attitudes so that non-financial impacts are valued (as highly as financial return) and that we embrace experimentation, and failure, as necessary in a society which is innovating its way towards more sustainable ways of living.”

– Open policy making: “This session is about changing the way that policy itself is created so that it is more open to participation from the stakeholders that will ultimately be affected by it. Would this participation result in innovation in the types of policies which would be put in place, and would it help policies to achieve their desired impact? We will be discussing what models of participation might work. What would motivate people to take part? What mechanism would enable this participation to take place?  We will also be considering policymakers – the people.  How could they be better equipped to operate in an environment of openness, perhaps through diversity of background of experience, or through the sharing of best practice across departmental and national boundaries?”

The innovative event will bring together hundreds of entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy makers, thought leaders and citizens with an interest in sustainability, to shape policy recommendations on how best to support innovation for sustainability. These policy recommendations are to be delivered to Brussels by the end of this year.

The first session of the Sustainability Innovation Exchange will run from 10 – 11.30am BST (11 – 12.30pm CEST), and the second session will run from 2 – 3.30pm BST (3pm – 4.30pm CEST). The full schedule is available here.

You can find out more on the Globescan website.


Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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