Unsung Heroism

Remarkable women developing solutions and guiding us towards a sustainable future.

Eco Amazons brings together for the first time the women leading the charge to create a sustainable future for all life on Earth. Their efforts demonstrate how individual concern gives rise to passion, how passion leads to action, and how action effects meaningful change—efforts that can be emulated by each and every one of us.

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Expanding Our Minds About What’s Natural

Donating retired subway trains to the little-known cause of creating artificial reefs.

A decade ago, in a moment of inspiration, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority stumbled on a way to help the environment and its own bottom line: donating retired subway trains to the little-known cause of creating artificial reefs.

Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

Paper or plastic? Neither, say William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Why settle for the least harmful alternative when we could have something that is better — say, edible grocery bags! In Cradle to Cradle, the authors present a manifesto calling for a new industrial revolution, one that would render both traditional manufacturing and traditional environmentalism obsolete. Recycling, for instance, is actually “downcycling,” creating hybrids of biological and technical “nutrients” which are then unrecoverable and unusable. The authors, an architect and a chemist, want to eliminate the concept of waste altogether, while preserving commerce and allowing for human nature. They offer several compelling examples of corporations that are not just doing less harm — they’re actually doing some good for the environment and their neighborhoods, and making more money in the process.

— Therese Littleton