Tag Archives: sustainable

Trade & Development: let the protectionists in?

Ok this has to be quick. Tons and tons to do and it’s almost 7pm.  In event planning mode like a mad woman.

Anyways, I just got back from a lecture on Trade & Development.

Interesting…

My background is in International Business, concentration in Int’l Trade & Marketing. So, I know a fair amount about GATT, WTO, regional trade agreemements (stumbling blocks or building blocks etc.), trade & development etc. etc. etc. Not always fresh in memory but Bretton Woods is located somewhere back there.

Anyways.. first lecture I’ve ever been to on Trade &Development where the lecturer espoused protectionism….

I was like seriously? This goes against almost every grain of theory I have ever been taught.  But, that just makes it all the more interesting. Especially since this has been one of the (many) ideological issues of which I won’t plant my feet solidly on the ground – I like to see both sides, which gets fairly annoying at times.  Background in international business yet I highly believe in supporting the local economy. I loved “buying Canadian” and I try to buy veggies with the “Suomi” sticker.

Granted, before I continue.. he wasn’t for protectionism per se. He just stated some of the merits of taking care of one’s own during economic hardship – and gave examples of how China, India, Finland and even Great Britain and America did this occasionally. Quickly – States during depression – i have a feeling that didn’t work out quite so well but as for China and India – true true, they cut themselves off of some bits to prepare themselves to join in this global world.  When countries that aren’t developed go straight into the global world they often tend to fail. Structural adjustment programs in the 80’s anyone? Then again, aren’t we supposed to do Trade NOT Aid!

But still – this is a good time to keep open the debate since Obama just ‘diluted’ but will still go with the “Buy American” clause in the US economic package. Right away when I heard about that, I as Canadian  like “Noooo…  This is gonna be bad for Canada”

But then again, working the local economy can be a good thing. Not always economically, but if you look at other measures, it’s pretty interesting. Who knew that little old isolated Cuba would be the only country in the world to have sustainable development.  Look at their health care system.

And Deep Economy (the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future) was one of my favourite books, not espousing protectionism.. but definitely all for the local movement.

Big fundamental questions for a girl in international business working with “global growth venturing” all the while sitting on a fence about the developing and pushing for the local economy. Not to say I am now espousing protectionism. Not at all.  That usually leads to monopolies which leads into collecting monopoly rents (That ones for/from you Jay;)

It begs the question though… how sustainable is this global trade world if the only country that fits the bill is CUBA? Almost makes me laugh.. or cry, not sure yet.

Anyways open for debate. Times running out and need to get back to work!!!

BUT WHAT’S MORE SUSTAINABLE FOR THE FUTURE?

GO THE LOCAL ROUTE ?

GO FOR GLOBAL TRADE?

and more importantly.. how do you do both personally, commercially and politically?

Interesting. Will ponder while I desperately try to get invitations out…

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A post on toilets.

Yep, a full post on the can;)

I was just skimming through my feeds and noticed Guy Kawasaki’s post on the a green building at Stanford. Interesting indeed, until I read this:

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Guy: “Here’s something I’ve never seen before: Depending on what you put in the toilet, you select the power of the flushing action. What will people think of next?”

Ummm… hate to break it to you Guy… but Europe (and I’m sure other countries) have been doing the two flush system for a while now. I’m sure they come to N. America and just gasp at our consume-all behaviour and appliances.

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(This is a normal flusher – although it varies. But always a large button for more water and a little button for less water)

So, since this ‘two flush’ system was such a shocker; even for a guy (no pun intended) who I’m sure has traveled a bit. I thought I’d do some research on the actual water consumption of toilets.

Interesting…

Here’s another cool thing that we COULD be doing yet are too dense to realize the savings…

WE CAN RECYCLE WATER TO FLUSH TOILETS.

Think, why are we using clean drinking water to flush our waste? Duh duh.. I don’t know. Seems ridiculous when you stop and think that people are living through droughts yet still haven’t connected the dots on this one…

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(Well, at least it’s being done in the Stanford Building)

Recycling “greywater” (wastewater from laundry, sinks, bathing etc. that isn’t contaminated with feces/toxic materials, which is called blackwater) is a smart and sustainable idea. This recycled water takes up about 50-80% of residential wastewater. It obviously isn’t for drinking but it can be reused for things like lawn watering (soil acts like a natural filtration system) and aha… FLUSHING TOILETS!

There are obvious obstacles in putting this into practice (first off, need two pipe systems to make sure you don’t mix the two types) but I think it’s most definitely worth trying.

What’s worse?

Wasting a precious resource down the drain, flooding sewage plants and polluting effluents to to the natural environment…

OR

Figuring out a way to do this right.

In the mean time… we can always follow the camp rule (note: when I say “camp” – that would be the Northwestern Ontario way of saying cottage;)

“If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down”

haha.. can’t believe I just added that saying to my blog;)

Anyways, enjoy the bright (at least here) sunny Sunday afternoon!

 

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