30 Sep Positive sustainability news from September: Your eco-warrior morale boost
In our current climate, it can be easy to become pessimistic about the future of our planet. Wildfires across the globe from the US to Siberia. Trump contradicting scientific consensus, claiming that the earth “will get cooler” even if we continue down our current path. The Artic’s largest remaining ice shelf losing a huge chunk of itself.
And that was just in September!
We understand that with news like this, it’s not difficult to get downtrodden. However, we also think that seeing the rays of hope amid the bad (trust us, they’re out there) is a hugely important part of keeping your morale up as a sustainability activist. It’s crucial to recognise the moments where work to preserve the environment pays off. It truly can be the push we need to keep on going.
That’s why we’re excited to bring you the first instalment of this new series, where we share all of the positive sustainability news from the past month. So get your compostable confetti, reusable straws and beverage of choice at the ready, and let’s celebrate eco-style!
Lego goes eco
First up, we have a promise from Lego that could set a new standard for sustainability in the toy industry.
The manufacturer has vowed to switch the plastic bags in their sets for paper ones, as part of their $400 million sustainability effort. Plus, they are aiming to expand their use of bio-bricks and want to help teach children about being more environmentally friendly through play.
A happy ending for Tahlequah the orca
Remember Tahlequah, the orca that carried her dead calf over 1,000 miles in mourning and broke the world’s heart? She has now given birth to a “robust and lively” calf, giving hope for this endangered species and providing us with the happy ending to her story that we were all hoping for.
Prince Charles calls for a “sustainable and inclusive future”
People in power raising awareness of climate change and pushing for a more sustainable world is always a win in our books. That’s why we were so happy to hear Prince Charles’ speech, recorded for the virtual opening of Climate Week.
He said that Covid-19, amid the destruction it has caused, has given us a “window of opportunity” to create a more “sustainable and inclusive future”. He urged the public not to ignore the wakeup call the pandemic has provided.
We couldn’t agree more.
The EU commits to green investment
One of the fastest ways to move sustainable efforts forward is to make changes at a governmental level. And well, the EU made a pretty big commitment in September!
Their most powerful senior official unveiled a plan to kickstart Europe’s economy through a “green new deal”. Alongside wanting to invest in green business, Ursula von der Leyen suggested the EU tighten its emissions-cutting target, taking it from 40% to at least 55% by 2030.
Unilever to reduce its use of fossil fuels
Unilever is a huge company and an equally huge polluter.
However, whilst we certainly wouldn’t recommend supporting them, we’re pleased to see them planning to reduce their environmental impact. They revealed that they will spend nearly $1.2 billion over 10 years to replace chemicals made from fossil fuel feedstocks with more eco-friendly alternatives in their cleaning products.
Renewable energy is on the up!
In a huge step towards limiting global warming, it’s brilliant to hear that, over the last five years, wind and solar energy has doubled its share in the global power mix. Hopefully, this will only grow!
New species found in the Galapagos
Amid the almost constant news of animals nearing extinction, the Galapagos has provided us with a much-needed ray of sunshine. 30 new species have been identified. These include 10 bamboo corals, 11 sponges and 4 squat lobsters.
EU ships will pay for their pollution
Until now, ships have been excluded from the “carbon market” in the EU. That essentially means that they don’t have to pay for the pollution that they create, whilst other areas of the transport sector do. However, on September 15th The European Parliament voted to change this, meaning that from 2022, carbon emissions from the maritime sector will be included in the carbon market.
Paris to make its streets more cycle-friendly
Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has fast-tracked a plan to build a massive 650 kilometres of cycleways to help avoid gridlock once lockdown has eased. This will hopefully have the added benefit of lowering the city’s emissions!
See, it’s not all bad, is it?
Do you have a positive eco news story that we’ve missed? Be sure to send it to us over on Instagram so that we can share it with our community and keep the motivation flowing!