PDF Sustainable Development (Routledge Introductions to Environment)

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It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain, or enhance ecological harmony. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people. In addition, organic farming prohibits or strictly limits the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators such as hormones , livestock antibiotics , food additives and genetically modified organisms. See organic certification for more information. In addition to local, small-scale farms, there has been a recent emergence in urban agriculture expanding from community gardens to private home gardens.

With this trend, both farmers and ordinary people are becoming involved in food production. A network of urban farming systems helps to further ensure regional food security and encourages self-sufficiency and cooperative interdependence within communities. For instance, vegetables and fruits raised within small-scale gardens and farms are not grown with tremendous applications of nitrogen fertilizer required for industrial agricultural operations. The nitrogen fertilizers cause toxic chemical leaching and runoff that enters our water tables.

Nitrogen fertilizer also produces nitrous oxide , a more damaging greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Local, community-grown food also requires no imported, long-distance transport which further depletes our fossil fuel reserves. Communities can work together in changing zoning limitations in order for public and private gardens to be permissible. Such sustainable, organic farming techniques include: composting , biological pest control , crop rotation , mulching , drip irrigation , nutrient cycling and permaculture.

Preserving and storing foods reduces reliance on long-distance transported food and the market industry. Home-grown foods can be preserved and stored outside of their growing season and continually consumed throughout the year, enhancing self-sufficiency and independence from the supermarket.

Routledge Introductions to Environment: Environment and Society Texts

Food can be preserved and saved by dehydration , freezing , vacuum packing , canning , bottling , pickling and jellying. With rising peak oil concerns, climate warming exacerbated by carbon emissions and high energy prices, the conventional automobile industry is becoming less and less feasible to the conversation of sustainability. Revisions of urban transport systems that foster mobility, low-cost transportation and healthier urban environments are needed.

Such urban transport systems should consist of a combination of rail transport , bus transport , bicycle pathways and pedestrian walkways. Public transport systems such as underground rail systems and bus transit systems shift huge numbers of people away from reliance on car mobilization and dramatically reduce the rate of carbon emissions caused by automobile transport. In comparison to automobiles, bicycles are a paragon of energy efficient personal transportation with the bicycle roughly 50 times more energy efficient than driving.

Most importantly, they do not emit climate-disturbing carbon dioxide. A recent boom has occurred in electric bikes especially in China and other Asian countries. Electric bikes are similar to plug-in hybrid vehicles in that they are battery powered and can be plugged into the provincial electric grid for recharging as needed.

In contrast to plug-in hybrid cars, electric bikes do not directly use any fossil fuels. Adequate sustainable urban transportation is dependent upon proper city infrastructure and planning that incorporates efficient public transit along with bicycle and pedestrian-friendly pathways. A major factor of sustainable living involves that which no human can live without, water. Unsustainable water use has far reaching implications for humankind.

Currently, humans use one-fourth of the Earth's total fresh water in natural circulation, and over half the accessible runoff. Thus, it is necessary to use available water more efficiently. In sustainable living, one can use water more sustainably through a series of simple, everyday measures. These measures involve considering indoor home appliance efficiency, outdoor water use, and daily water use awareness. Housing and commercial buildings account for 12 percent of America's freshwater withdrawals. To improve the current toilet, one possible method is to put weighted plastic bottles in the toilet tank.

Also, there are inexpensive tank banks or float booster available for purchase. A tank bank is a plastic bag to be filled with water and hung in the toilet tank. A float booster attaches underneath the float ball of pre three and a half gallon capacity toilets. It allows these toilets to operate at the same valve and float setting but significantly reduces their water level, saving between one and one and a third gallons of water per flush. A major waste of water in existing toilets is leaks.


A slow toilet leak is undetectable to the eye, but can waste hundreds of gallons each month. One way to check this is to put food dye in the tank, and to see if the water in the toilet bowl turns the same color. In the event of a leaky flapper, one can replace it with an adjustable toilet flapper, which allows self-adjustment of the amount of water per flush.

In installing a new toilet there are a number of options to obtain the most water efficient model. A low flush toilet uses one to two gallons per flush. Traditionally, toilets use three to five gallons per flush. A composting toilet treats human waste through composting and dehydration , producing a valuable soil additive. The urine can be collected or sold as fertilizer. The feces can be dried and bagged or composted. These toilets cost scarcely more than regularly installed toilets and do not require a sewer hookup. In addition to providing valuable fertilizer, these toilets are highly sustainable because they save sewage collection and treatment, as well as lessen agricultural costs and improve topsoil.

Additionally, one can reduce toilet water sustainability by limiting total toilet flushing. For instance, instead of flushing small wastes, such as tissues, one can dispose of these items in the trash or compost. These showerheads use only 1. An alternative to replacing the showerhead is to install a converter. This device arrests a running shower upon reaching the desired temperature. Solar water heaters can be used to obtain optimal water temperature, and are more sustainable because they reduce dependence on fossil fuels. To lessen excess water use, water pipes can be insulated with pre-slit foam pipe insulation.

This insulation decreases hot water generation time.

A simple, straightforward method to conserve water when showering is to take shorter showers. One method to accomplish this is to turn off the water when it is not necessary such as while lathering and resuming the shower when water is necessary. This can be facilitated when the plumbing or showerhead allow turning off the water without disrupting the desired temperature setting common in the UK but not the United States.

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Available for purchase is a screw-on aerator. This device works by combining water with air thus generating a frothy substance with greater perceived volume, reducing water use by half. Additionally, there is a flip-valve available that allows flow to be turned off and back on at the previously reached temperature.

Finally, a laminar flow device creates a 1. In addition to buying the above devices, one can live more sustainably by checking sinks for leaks, and fixing these links if they exist. According to the EPA, "A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day, while larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons". Some have a "low flow" setting to use less water per wash cycle.

Sustainable Development Routledge Introductions Environment by Susan Baker

Enzymatic detergents clean dishes more efficiently and more successfully with a smaller amount of water at a lower temperature. A typical washing machine has a vertical-axis design, in which clothes are agitated in a tubful of water. Horizontal-axis machines, in contrast, put less water into the bottom of the rub and rotate clothes through it.

These machines are more efficient in terms of soap use and clothing stability. There are a number of ways one can incorporate a personal yard , roof , and garden in more sustainable living.


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While conserving water is a major element of sustainability, so is sequestering water. In planning a yard and garden space, it is most sustainable to consider the plants, soil, and available water. Drought resistant shrubs, plants, and grasses require a smaller amount of water in comparison to more traditional species. Additionally, native plants as opposed to herbaceous perennials will use a smaller supply of water and have a heightened resistance to plant diseases of the area.

Xeriscaping is a technique that selects drought-tolerant plants and accounts for endemic features such as slope , soil type , and native plant range. Plants on slopes help reduce runoff by slowing and absorbing accumulated rainfall.

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Grouping plants by watering needs further reduces water waste. After planting, placing a circumference of mulch surrounding plants functions to lessen evaporation. To do this, firmly press two to four inches of organic matter along the plant's dripline.

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This prevents water runoff. When watering, consider the range of sprinklers; watering paved areas is unnecessary. Additionally, to conserve the maximum amount of water, watering should be carried out during early mornings on non-windy days to reduce water loss to evaporation. Drip-irrigation systems and soaker hoses are a more sustainable alternative to the traditional sprinkler system. Drip-irrigation systems employ small gaps at standard distances in a hose, leading to the slow trickle of water droplets which percolate the soil over a protracted period. A layer of organic material added to the soil helps to increase its absorption and water retention; previously planted areas can be covered with compost.

In caring for a lawn, there are a number of measures that can increase the sustainability of lawn maintenance techniques. A primary aspect of lawn care is watering. To conserve water, it is important to only water when necessary, and to deep soak when watering. Additionally, a lawn may be left to go dormant, renewing after a dry spell to its original vitality.

A common method of water sequestrations is rainwater harvesting , which incorporates the collection and storage of rain.

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Primarily, the rain is obtained from a roof, and stored on the ground in catchment tanks. Water sequestration varies based on extent, cost, and complexity. A simple method involves a single barrel at the bottom of a downspout, while a more complex method involves multiple tanks.

It is highly sustainable to use stored water in place of purified water for activities such as irrigation and flushing toilets. Additionally, using stored rainwater reduces the amount of runoff pollution , picked up from roofs and pavements that would normally enter streams through storm drains.

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The following equation can be used to estimate annual water supply:. Note, however, this calculation does not account for losses such as evaporation or leakage. Greywater systems function in sequestering used indoor water, such as laundry, bath and sink water, and filtering it for reuse. Greywater can be reused in irrigation and toilet flushing.

More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Routledge. Seller Inventory NEW Language: English. Brand new Book. Seller Inventory AA Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory n. Book Description Taylor and Francis , London, Seller Inventory New Book. Shipped from UK. Established seller since Seller Inventory BB Not Signed; Environmental management is a wide, expanding, and rapidly evolving field, affecting everyone from individual citizens to businesses; governments to international agencies.

This comprehensively updated second edition exp. Book Description Routledge , Home Study guide Study materials Exercises Course team. Relationships in sustainable development — environmental, social and economic concerns. Module 1: Environmental good governance 1. Sustainable development 1. Common environmental concepts 1. Environmental governance tools Exercise 1.