Episode 38: Holiday Hodge-Podge of sustainable gift ideas, climate change migrants, and guests from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Grosvenor Real Estate, and the Woodrow Wilson Center


This year, the holidays are coming early to Sustainability Defined listeners. Tune into our Holiday Hodge-Podge episode for all kinds of treats, including sustainable gift ideas, an overview of the climate change migrants issue, a summary of Jay's European travels, and exciting podcast updates. Plus, we include not one, but three (!) interviews from sustainability leaders around the world: Lauren Herzer Risi (Project Director of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center), Emily Hamilton (Senior Sustainability Manager at Grosvenor Real Estate), and Andrew Merrie (Communications Officer at Stockholm Resilience Centre). We hope you enjoy this episode and this festive time of year!

Learn more about environmental awareness here!

Episode Intro Notes

What We'll Cover:

  • General updates

  • Holiday gift ideas

  • Summary of Jay’s travels thus far

  • Scott’s description of his panel & Jay’s sampling of interviews


Here’s some cool metrics on our show:

  • More than 70,000 total downloads. Now at more than 6,000 downloads a month when last year at this time, we were at more like 1,500 downloads per month.

  • The last episode on offshore wind was downloaded in 65 countries and all 50 states

You also might’ve caught us on the GreenBiz 350 not too long ago. We joined Joel Makower to discuss the article we wrote for GreenBiz on the state of glass recycling and unique industry coalition called the Glass Recycling Coalition.

An increasing number of you folks are reaching out to us at hosts@sustainabilitydefined.com, which is awesome. Gives us a chance to hit you with bad jokes from two angles.

Last, we’re at 60 iTunes reviews. We need more! Please take the time to rate and review us. It helps people find the show because the more reviews we have, the more we show up when people search for new content. It could be called your holiday gift to us. Plus, if we get some good ones, we’ll read them on the show and give you a shout out. Let’s start with Lil Zeebo’s from July 2018. Titled “‘This is the Lebron James of sustainability podcasts.’ I’m not a nerd or anything but I listened to 15 episodes straight because it’s just that good. Even if you’re not an environmentalist, conservationist, or any other word created by academia to make you feel better about yourself you should listen. Disclaimer I don’t know these guys.” 


  • Marc Skid Underwear

    • Marc Skid is a cheeky, eco-friendly underwear brand with a passion for giving back. Made with the finest cotton, Organic Pima, and with a recycled water bottle in each waistband, Marc Skid underwear is dedicated to the betterment of the world and its people. The mission of the brand is to allow people to Make Their Marc on the World by donating four dollars per pair to 4-Star Charities dedicated to Saving, Feeding, and Curing the World.

  • Elvis & Kresse goods

    • Jay saw these guys at the recent Good Capital Conference in London. When founders Elvis Henrit and Kresse Wesling learned that London's damaged decommissioned fire-hoses were headed to landfill they mounted a rescue mission. Today they use a variety of reclaimed materials to make everything from carrying bags, wallets, belts, and cufflinks.

    • They are transformed through highly skilled craftsmanship into sustainable luxury accessories, and a whopping 50% of the profits are donated to charity such as The Fire Fighters Charity. The designs are zero waste, repaired for life, and timeless. To date they have saved over 180 tonnes of material from going into landfill and donated over £70,000 to charity.

  • Solar Powered Charger

    • Everyone needs a phone charge on the go, it just sucks when you forget to actually charge your external battery. With a $21 waterproof solar powered charger, you’ll never have to worry about that again. Of course, you’ll just have to find some sun, which you can do by leaving it on the outside of your backpack or on the dashboard of your car. The soyond Solar Phone Charger holds up to 8 hours of charge or enough juice to recharge an iPhone 8 three times. Or what about an iPhone 3 8 times? Cost: $21.88 on Amazon.

  • See2Sea Sunglasses

    • All of the frames from this company are made with 100% recycled ocean plastic. These run about $125.

  • Osom Brand Socks

    • Osom recycles discarded clothing and textiles to make its thread, which it then uses to make its socks. Their manufacturing process uses zero water and produces no toxic waste. Also, no chemicals, dyes, or pesticides are used in the manufacturing process. The socks are $16. Scott is sad the socks with the bicycles on them are sold out.

  • Fetzer Wines

    • Fetzer Wines is the largest Certified B Corp winery in the world and was the very first TRUE Zero Waste certified winery. and they have a target of 99.9% waste diversion by 2020. We haven’t yet tried their wines, but their approach to sustainability is truly delicious. Looks like most bottles are under $10 and in most Targets and wine stores.

  • Bee’s Wrap

    • We hate the guilty feeling we get from using single use plastic wrap. Bee’s Wrap to the rescue! Made of organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. They last for a year when used a few times a week. You just wash in cool water in mild soap and air dry to re-use. Plus they come in fun designs. Isn’t food wrap exactly what you have in mind when you create your holiday gift lists? Only $18 on Amazon for a variety pack of different sizes.


Jay connected with listeners in London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Vienna. Was also able to introduce our approach to sustainability at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

A couple weeks ago Jay also attended the Good Capital Conference here in London, which brought together major European financial players like Triodos Asset Management and Hermes Investment Management, as well as the Chairman of the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change.

Being honest here, Jay’s impression coming from the States was that Europe basically already had it all figured out - that it was going to be a matter of absorbing sustainability lessons over here and just bringing them right on back home. Turns out that’s not the case. While governments, organizations, and companies are more open about discussing the topic, it seems to Jay (and to many that he’s connected with and interviewed) that a lot of it is still mostly lip service.


Talking points from Scott’s panel on climate change migration:

  • Climate Change

    • Normally talk about the cost of more natural disasters, the loss of species, the change in where we can grow our food, etc. The displacement of people is not almost always mentioned as an effect when discussing climate change in the US. Maybe because it seems like a far away problem in terms of time and geography.

  • Displacement

    • But since 2008, an average of 24 million people per year have been displaced by catastrophic weather disasters. A March 2018 World Bank report projects that within three of the most vulnerable regions—sub-saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America—143 million people could be displaced by these impacts by 2050.

    • And of course we are already seeing active displacement and preemptive relocation in the U.S. in places like Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Louisiana. Certainly Hurricane Florence and others forced some to leave their homes and they can’t go back since the homes are beyond repair.

  • Climate refugee

    • Right now there is no international agreement on who should qualify as a climate refugee and there is no plan to manage this impending crisis. Under international law, only those who have fled their countries because of war or prosecution are entitled to refugee status.

    • Some of the hold ups include

      • Some are hard to identify since what is displacing them are happening very slowly. Sea level rise and desertification are examples with desertification in Mexico’s drylands forcing 700,000 people to relocate every year. It’s easier when someone is displaced by a Hurricane or something like that.

      • The effects of climate change are not happening in a vacuum. National security and economic trends may also be playing a role in the displacement.

    • Also when you have the world’s super power that has the highest total immigrant migration population not believing in climate change and with a strict immigration policy, it’s hard to get consensus and to re-do the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees in a way that includes climate refugees without weakening it.

Following Scott’s interview on climate migration topics, your ears will be delighted with to additional mini-interviews Jay collected on the European road. The first segment focuses on sustainability in the real estate industry. It features Emily Hamilton, Senior Sustainability Manager at Grosvenor, one of the oldest and most successful private real estate companies in London. The second segment focuses on one of the most creative science communication methods we’ve seen: empirically based science fiction narratives that imagine the future of our oceans. The interview features Andrew Merrie of the Stockholm Resilience Center, the creator of the ambitious and quite successful project.