Positive Eco News May: Paper Ketchup, Glow Worms And A Vegan America!

Spring has officially sprung here in the UK. And with a patriotic buzz filling the streets in preparation for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, there’s more than one thing to feel excited about.

That excitement doesn’t have to stop in the world of sustainability, either.

May had plenty to offer us in terms of innovation and conservation, showing us yet again that whilst it may all feel like eco doom and gloom, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Or even a glow worm…

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The night skies are set to glow again in the UK

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away (AKA right here in the United Kingdom), glow worms filled the night skies. Peaking in June and July, their presence gave summer evenings that extra shimmer.

Even Shakespeare himself had something to say about these fascinating creatures: “The glow-worm shows the matin to be near/ And gins to pale his uneffectual fire.”

Unfortunately though, recent years have seen populations seriously decline. This is in part down to the push for tidier countryside (trimmed hedges, mowed lawns and less wildflowers!) and in part down to a rise in light pollution. Ecologist Derek Gow has made it his mission to help the species to thrive again.

Bred in captivity, more than 500 larvae have been set free in Hampshire and Cornwall, in areas where nature-friendly spaces thrive. Throughout the 4-year project, hundreds more will be released in the hopes of bringing a glow back to Britain.

America is going…vegan?

Well, not quite.

However, the standard American diet has seen a big shift in the past 25 years. In fact, diet-related greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by a whopping 35%!

This is mainly due to a reduction in beef consumption, but data shows that Americans are also eating less dairy, eggs, chicken and pork. There’s no denying that how we eat can have a pretty huge impact on climate change, so these figures reassure us that we might be heading in the right direction.

The country’s emissions are still far beyond the national limit outlined within the Paris Agreement to keep global temperatures at safe levels. But, hey, one step at a time!

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63 billion gallons of water could be saved in California

Droughts are a common feature of California living, with the state being one of the most variable climates in America.

However, a study by Popular Science has revealed one clever way that they could save water and produce renewable energy while they’re at it.

The state has around 4,000 miles of canals and the report suggests that solar panels could be built above the canals. The benefits of this are twofold: Firstly, it could help to provide the area with renewable energy, meaning less strain on our dwindling natural resources. Secondly, by providing shade over the waterways, evaporation would be hugely reduced, saving upwards of 63 billion (!) gallons of water each year.

Science wins again!

Hydrogen is going green

It’s well known that hydrogen is one of the cleanest sources of energy out there. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that the vast majority of hydrogen we produce still comes from fossil fuels. Up to 95% of the stuff in the US!

In an effort to reduce these climate-damaging processes, scientists at the University of Strathclyde have been looking into how we can produce hydrogen in a sustainable way.

According to their research, solar energy can be used for large-scale hydrogen energy production. Buckle up, because here’s the explanation: Apparently storable hydrogen can be produced at scale by performing photocatalysis of water in the presence of sunlight. By splitting water under the influence of the sun, hydrogen is born.

We’re not totally sure we understand…We do support it though!

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Ketchup goes plastic-free

It has to be Heinz.

Well, actually, it doesn’t. BUT it is exciting to see that the brand, owned by Kraft, is taking steps to make their packaging more eco-conscious. That might just make us more likely to reach for them on supermarket shelves.

The company has partnered with Pulpex, to launch the world’s first ever ketchup in a totally recyclable bottle. Most intriguing, the bottle will be made from sustainably sourced wood!

Heinz’s CEO, Migeul Patricio said, “This new Heinz bottle is one example of how we are applying creativity and innovation to explore new ways to provide consumers with the products they know and love while also thinking sustainably”.

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