domingo, 25 de diciembre de 2016


These are the three stories which won the Erasmus Story Contest: 

It was the year 500 after MacApple, 500 years since the release of the new iPhone 18, which marked a new era, the era of happiness and technology. However, the beginning of the new era wasn’t as good as people had imagined because the new i-Phone caused a war among our founders (who won it) and those stupid people who didn’t believe in the advances in technology. The founders of this new world were four: Mrs. Instagram, Mrs. WhatsApp, Mr. Twitter and Mr. Facebook. They created a perfect society in the old Toronto, now called Cybercity, where everything worked with Internet, like my home, where I could have a shower or do whatever needed by only pressing a button. What is more, after the war, our founders worked hard to avoid repeating a new situation like that and they created a new human being combining science and technology. We were ordinary humans, except for the i-Phone we had been implanted into our forearm, connected to our blood system. It helped everybody to live a great life with the facilities of the Internet integrated into the body, once we were grown up and it started working.
All of this was what we learned in our History classes at Cyber-school and nobody doubted it because we didn’t know anything about life without technology. A life that was more simple. I had always believed in, until the day of my eighteenth birthday and therefore, the day that my iPhone started working. That day my life changed completely, I finished my education at Cyber-school and I had to start working at Cyber-offices with a lot of delighted people who said that I was going to like my new life as they loved theirs.
The first days at work were really funny, especially the Cyber Hour, when everybody in the office was together in a room charging their iPhones, thanking our founders and meeting new people. Every time I spent in that room was the most exciting in  my life, but after a few times, I understood that such happiness was temporary and it couldn’t complete my life, unlike the rest of the people, who were always happy, especially after the Cyber Hour .So, I realized that everything in our society was unreal: history, happiness, the dependence on technology as a good thing...I reached the conclusion that the iPhone into our forearms and the Cyber Hour were two important things for the government to control the mind and make everybody think positively about technology, and therefore, create a pleased society without any changes.
The government discovered that I thought differently from the other people and, in consequence, I could destabilize the society. So, after telling me the truth about everything, they banished me to the Green Island, where everybody who was a threat to social stability, were sent. There, I disconnected my iPhone and I could live happily with little use of technology.


Looking back, we could have done something, but we were blind, wrecking the Earth as we owned it, everyone knew this was going to happen, but they thought that would be when they were dead and a further generation would have to face the problem. Well, that generation is ours and that moment is now.
It all started at the beginning of the 22nd century, the peak of the technological era, even though we just use technology for our entertainment: TV, mobile phones, electrical appliances...The money ruled the world and controlled the media, who cared If the polar ice caps were melting? That would only mean that the powerful people could have their beloved oil, or that people would have to wear masks because of the pollution. Money was power and it was beyond anyone or anything, even our own life.
It all started as a typical day, my friend Sophie and I were going to school, gossiping about the people in our class, and talking about that new album that she had bought. I remember that I went to my math class with that teacher that I hated because he was always giving us pop quizzes. We were doing one of these exams when we saw the fog, behind the town bridge. There it was, this strange orange smog that was destroying everything that it touched. We all saw the massacre. No one moved in what I thought it was an eternity. Suddenly Robb, who I had not seen so scared in my life said with a trembling voice: "What is that thing!? "Everybody panicked and ran through the door, many people became trapped in the exit. The fog was getting closer and we were running out of time. Suddenly my teacher shouted: “Everybody keep calm! Follow me to the basement and we will be safe”.
When we got there, we had to insulate the room and close all the doors. If we opened them we would be dead. We heard people shouting from the outside to open the door, and we couldn't do anything, I think I will never forget that moment, I felt as If we were dreaming and at the last minute I would wake up from that nightmare, but that is not how reality works.
These extreme events not only happened at my school, actually it affected somehow to the whole world. We were in crisis, in fact, we still are, but we didn't notice how bad the situation was and how much we were damaging the Earth, the place where we lived, should have been a priority. Now we are making a difference: everybody recycles, use less water, do not use cars. The government also realized it was a critical situation, and they invested in the research for eco-friendly technologies. We all know that the  tiniest action could save the world.

Sandra López Sánchez

It was the year 2100, there were only thirty trees in the whole planet, the deforestation had ended with all of the resources. The population needed wood but if they cut these thirty trees, the oxygen would disappear and the people would die. The acid rain damaged the land and we couldn’t cultivate any more.
My name is Melissa. One day in autumn, I woke up, Christmas was coming and we needed wood for the fireplace. I asked Santa Claus to raise temperatures and for more trees. These Christmas we won’t have a real Christmas tree. I was eating while I was watching the news, when I heard that they were going to cut ten trees for this winter. I was devastated. When I heard that, I went to talk to my best friend, Saray. We are against deforestation. Saray said to me that she wanted to do something to stop that. We thought of talking to the woodcutter and make him understand that he mustn’t cut them. But he didn’t listen to us. Saray and I decided to wait until night. When the moon raised, we went to destroy the machines. The following day, the woodcutter couldn’t cut the trees. Saray and I felt satisfied. But it didn’t last because by  the end of the next day they had repaired them. We had time to think and we found a solution. That night, we created artificial wood from garbage, which could replace the real wood. We went to the television network and we showed our new invention. Our artificial wood was spread across the world. Thanks to our invention, we managed to stop the tree cutting, repopulated the Earth, and managed to have a beautiful world.
We still have to be careful because our invention can’t last forever and we have to take care of the environment.
Silvia Gallego Flores

sábado, 17 de diciembre de 2016


Tu navidad más ecológica ‘todos los secretos’

 Por eso Ecologistas en Acción quiere proponer una serie de alternativas para celebrar estas fiestas de un modo más sostenible, sin olvidar que el mensaje principal que la asociación ecologista quiere poner de manifiesto es que es imprescindible una reducción en el consumo si se quiere poner freno al deterioro ambiental y social.

Durante todo el año, y especialmente en fechas señaladas como las fiestas navideñas, los ciudadanos y ciudadanas se lanzan a las calles a comprar, atendiendo a los mensajes lanzados por unas campañas publicitarias que comienzan con más de un mes de antelación del inicio de las fiestas. Pero este consumismo sin sentido promueve un modelo insostenible ambiental y socialmente. Ambientalmente porque si el modelo de consumo de los países del norte se extendiera por todo el mundo, serían necesarios 3 planetas (con sus materias primas, fuentes energéticas...) para atender la demanda. Y socialmente porque sólo un 12% de la gente que vive en Norteamérica y Europa occidental es responsable del 60% de ese consumo, mientras que los que viven en el sudeste asiático o en el África subsahariana representan sólo un 3,2%. Por eso Ecologistas en Acción quiere proponer una serie de alternativas para celebrar estas fiestas de un modo más sostenible, sin olvidar que el mensaje principal que la asociación ecologista quiere poner de manifiesto es que es imprescindible una reducción en el consumo si se quiere poner freno al deterioro ambiental y social.

Consejos antes de comprar un regalo 
Antes de comprar un regalo, reflexiona... 
  • Lo primero que hay que hacer antes de comprar algo es reflexionar sobre si realmente se necesita. 
  • Una vez que se ha decidido adquirir el producto, es muy importante intentar averiguar cómo ha sido fabricado, si en su proceso de producción se ha perjudicado al medio ambiente o a algún ser humano. También hay que pensar cómo repercute su utilización en el medio ambiente. 
  • Es importante tener en cuenta que siempre va a ser más sostenible comprar aquello que hayan sido producido lo más localmente posible

Dónde comprar
A veces pensamos que los únicos lugares donde se puede comprar son las grandes superficies, sin embargo este modelo es muy costoso ambiental y socialmente (para profundizar) Por eso proponemos una serie de alternativas: 
  • Comprar en tiendas del barrio y en los mercados tradicionales. 
  • Comprar productos de agricultura ecológica. Estos productos, además de ser más sanos, son ambientalmente sostenibles, ya que en su producción no se utilizan pesticidas ni fertilizantes artificiales.
  • Comprar en tiendas de comercio justo. En ellas se pueden obtener productos con garantías de que han sido producidos de manera ecológica y que se ha pagado un sueldo digno a los productores. 
  • Formar parte de cooperativas de consumidores. En ellas los consumidores se ponen en contacto directo con los productores, eliminando de este modo los intermediarios. Todo lo que se consume es de agricultura ecológica. 
  • Participar en cooperativas de trueque. Ecologistas en Acción quiere hacer un llamamiento para recuperar la creatividad a la hora de celebrar estas fiestas, una creatividad que nos ayude, en definitiva, a no pasar la navidad persiguiendo los inalcanzables sueños que proponen los anuncios, sino que nos muestre un camino más certero de conseguir nuestros deseos, y que tenga como punto de partida una forma de celebración más justa social y ambientalmente.


jueves, 8 de diciembre de 2016

How to have a 'green' Christmas

During the season of celebration we need to show extra care for the environment.

Buy Less
Some holiday gifts fill a practical need and need to be bought new.
 But many gifts are really gestures of thoughtfulness. You can give
more while spending less.

Buy Smart - think 'green'
• look for locally made gifts
Many gifts in today's marketplace come from halfway around
the world, and the impact of transportation contributes
significantly to greenhouse
 emissions and global warming. Local craft fairs and artisan shops
 area good source for gifts that come without the added costs
of transportation. And gifts made locally often have a story which
 goes with the gift,
since the
artisan and the origin of the gift are known.
• choose gifts made from recycled sources
Many individuals and
small businesses have developed great products using recycled
materials. Supporting these businesses helps reduce the waste
stream whilepromoting the concept of making best use of available
 materials. Here are some examples for you to consider:
• give 'battery-free' gifts
According to the EPA, about 40% of all
battery sales occur during the holiday season. Discarded batteries
are an environmental hazard. Even rechargeable batteries find their
way into the waste stream eventually. Here are a few examples of
gifts that have less of an impact on the environment:
• are some examples:

• 're-gifting' is OK
There's much discussion these days about the
etiquette behind the trend to 're-gift', that is, to pass on a gift you
 received but do not need. What's to discuss? Re-gifting makes
perfect sense. If you receive something you really don't need, look
 for ways you can reuse this gift by passing it on to someone who
 can use it. Of course, re-gifting needs to be done with care so as not
 to offend the original giver,but keeping a gift you don't need is wasteful

Connect with Nature
Christmas is a time for giving, and a time for family. What a great
opportunity to start a family tradition of giving back to the earth
and instilling the values of sustainable living to your children,
friends and community. Start an annual, earth-friendly Christmas
 family tradition! It will also get you outdoors for a few hours to
build an appetite for the big dinner.

Lower the impact of holiday lighting
• Reduce the size of outdoor lighting displays

• Use LED lights for house and Christmas tree lighting

• Outdoor Mini-lights will also save energy

• Turn tree lights and outdoor house decorative lighting off at bedtime

Choose a live tree
Although plastic Christmas trees are reusable from year to year, real trees are the more sustainable choice. Plastic trees are made of petroleum products (PVC), and use up resources in both the manufacture and shipping. While artificial trees theoretically last forever, research shows that they are typically discarded when repeated use makes them less attractive. Discarded artificial trees are then sent to landfills, where their plastic content makes them last forever.

• replant the tree when it becomes too large for your holiday tree

Homemade Cards

Store-bought Christmas cards are rich, elegant and expensive. They also consume a huge amount of natural resources for a throw-away item. The amount of cards sold in the US during the holiday season would fill a football field 10 stories high, and requires the harvesting of nearly 300,000 trees. Homemade cards may not be as professional, but they are more personal and just as appreciated. Making the cards is also a fun activity for the family during the weeks before Christmas.

Making your own cards is easy if you have the material to work with. Try to get in the habit of saving pieces of heavy paper (good one side) to use as the backing for your glued-on pictures. "Card stock" is the ideal weight, and even small pieces are worth saving.

Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

• Use environmentally friendly wrapping paper

• Avoid buying glossy foil or metallic wrapping paper

• Reuse gift wrap where possible

• Use tape sparingly, or not at all

• Choose alternatives to commercial gift wrap