Sustainability Momentum Sdn Bhd

Most Polluted Cities in the World in Asia

According to the UN Agency World Health Organisation (WHO), the world’s most polluted cities are found in Asia. Ulan Baatar in Mongolia is the most polluted city on earth with its air quality at a concentration of 279 micrograms per cubic meter of air (ug/m3). This is a staggering number compared to Canberra (Asia Pacific’s least polluted city), which measures at 10 ug/m3. In Malaysia, amongst the most polluted cities are Klang Valley (65 ug/m3), Shah Alam (54 ug/m3) and Johor Bahru (52 ug/m3).


Date and Source: January 17, 2013, Travel Daily News

Storks Flock to Malaysia

A rare number of storks have been sighted recently at Kuala Gula near Taiping, Penanti in Penang and the Batang Tiga paddy fields in Malacca. The Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans) has never before stopped in the southern tip of peninsula Malaysia during their migratory journeys. The species is beneficial to farmers as it feeds mainly on large molluscs and snails, which are considered to be annoying pests that destroy paddy crops.


Date and Source: January 17, 2013, Malaysian Nature Society Media

Greenest Street in America

The first phase of the Blue Island/ Cermak Sustainable Streetscape project which opened in October 2012 has been given the title of “Greenest Street in America” by the Chicago Department of Transport (CDOT). The two mile stretch streetscape includes natural landscaping, bicycle lanes, wind powered lighting, storm water diversion for irrigation, drought-resistant native plants and innovative “smog-eating” concrete.

Rethinking Biofuel Production

Fighting climate change by producing more biofuels could actually worsen a little-known type of air pollution and cause almost 1,400 premature deaths a year in Europe by 2020, according to a new study. The report said trees grown to produce biofuel - seen as a cleaner alternative to oil and coal - release a chemical into the air that, when mixed with other pollutants, could also reduce farmers' crop yields.

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Date and Source: January 7, 2013, Guardian Environment UK

Food Safety in Nature

Humans aren’t alone in practicing food safety. A new study reveals that the parasitic emerald cockroach wasp (Ampulex compressa) has developed its own food hygiene technique, cleansing its cockroach victim using a cocktail of antimicrobial liquids.

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Date and Source: January 7, 2013, National Geographic News

Farming, Rooftop-Style

Rooftops on buildings have long been seen as prime real estate for…farming. Yet, rooftop farming has not shown as much growth as we perceive it should. Recent concerns pertaining to food safety may change this as people become more aware of where our food comes from and whether or not it is safe. This is especially the case in Beijing and Hong Kong as interest in rooftop farming picks up in the recent years.  

Flesh-Eating Flies for Monitoring

Flesh and carrion flies are now used as part of research in tracking the status of endangered populations. When these flies feast on dead mammals, they are in fact sampling DNA which can be used by scientists to undertake DNA sequencing and thus provide species inventory of the area.

Date and Source: January 6, 2013, Smart Planet

Top ten most ethical tourist destinations

A non-profit group, the Ethical Traveller has come up with the top 10 most ethical tourist destinations in the world. The ethical vacation locations are based on categories such as “environmental protection, social welfare and also human rights” while creating a sustainable and community based tourism industry. Check out the list – have you travelled to any of the 10 most ethical tourist destinations?

BYOB: Bring Your Own Bottle

What do you do with the empty detergent bottles in your home once you’ve used up all the contents? Do you throw them away? Rinse out the empty bottles of detergent and place them in the recycle bin for plastics? Ever thought of reusing the bottles to buy more detergent? No? Well, now you can. BYOB (which stands for Bring Your Own Bottle) has seven outlets scattered across Malaysia. Customers walk in with clean empty bottles, make a request and the staff will refill their bottles with the detergent they want.

Date and Source: January 5, 2013, Malaysian Environment Sustainability Youth Movement (MESYM)

Time for Sports to Think Green

When you think of ‘sports’, you think of ‘good health’ and ‘athletes in peak physical form’. But ironically, even as sports promote health, they can also degrade the environment upon which good health depends on. Whether played or watched, athletic endeavours have the potential to produce huge environmental “footprints” in terms of their use and abuse of natural resources.