Here are our highlights – tell us yours and we’ll showcase them in next week’s Christmas newsletter
How’s it been for you? Annus horribilis or golden year? We’d love to hear from Upside fans about their 2019: what was the best thing that happened? The funniest thing you witnessed? The very best joke? The most promising dab of progress that you came across? Anything that made it good to feel alive?
Email us at the usual address (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll showcase a sample in next week’s festive edition, the last newsletter of the year. The best email wins a hole punch.
Biochar can be a wonderful component to a climate change mitigation program. However, it does not make sense, as some would suggest, to grow, kill and then char trees. So, we ask, what other sources could be pyrolysed and charred? The answer just might be at our fingertips and within reach all over the impoverished world.
Throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, stagnant or semi-stagnant lakes, lagoons, canals and reservoirs have become home to massive and persistent infestations of the beautiful violet flowering plant the floating water hyacinth. Why does it reproduce at such great velocity? Because nature assigned it a double role: to suction every type of contaminant in its midst and to absorb all the carbon dioxide it possibly can. Essentially, its purpose in this world is to decontaminate waterways and decarbonise the atmosphere. Not bad for such a maligned “pest”!
I have an idea for what should be covered: The short lifespan of smartphones and laptops that invariably end up in a tip because manufacturers make it hard, or very expensive, to change batteries and carry out repairs, in the expectation that consumers will throw them away and upgrade to the latest offering.
Case in point: I have a five-year-old MacBook that was reborn when Apple fitted a new (and expensive) battery. I am pretty sure that in a few years when I have to change the battery again, I will not be able to find a replacement anywhere and a perfectly good machine will end up in a council dump, a huge and unnecessary waste of materials and resources.
Hello Upside Santa,
What I would like from you this year is to free up a few elves to start a project that gives low- or no-cost loans and knowhow to people in working-class neighbourhoods like mine for little solar projects. We have so much sun out here in the western US! And here in my neighbourhood are plenty of people who have the skills to build a solar car port to charge an electric car, or install a few solar panels to heat a garage/workshop in the winter, or put in an a solar-powered attic exhaust fan.
I just read your article Good company: the capitalists putting purpose ahead of profit. Maybe you also might want to cover, if you haven’t done yet, the economy of the common good (Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie), which is a concept worthwhile to consider as an ethical and sustainable business.