Feeling Good Already!
2020 was a tough year for all of us, no matter where we are in the word. Nevertheless, we believe this year is one full of hope and a renewed sense of what is important. Both locally and globally.
With a reinvigorated urgency to help our wonderful planet avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Here are a few good news stories that should give us all a little hope for the year ahead!
Renewable Energy > Fossil Fuels:
Europe used more renewable energy in 2020 than fossil fuels!
That’s right, while most countries were in lockdown Europe generated more electricity from renewable energy sources than from the use of fossil fuels according to a recent article.
This is a landmark moment for the continent and the world.
There has been accelerated growth in both wind and solar energy sectors across the continent forcing the decline in coal. There is hope for cutting down the use of gas and nuclear power even more in the next 10 years. All while meeting the increased demand for electricity with the rising popularity in all-electric cars.
South Australia Runs Off Of 100% SOLAR:
But, all the energy needs for South Australia were met by solar power alone in a world first. This happened while providing the lowest-cost electricity in the whole of Australia.
This is a really important first step towards full green energy in the country. The state hopes to produce enough solar and wind energy by 2050 to export it to neighbouring states and even overseas.
Taking Sustainable Living To The Skies:
A team at the University of Oxford have come up with a cost-effective way to create jet fuel from carbon dioxide.
According to a recent article, the researchers at Oxford Chemistry believe their method could produce a competitively priced fuel that would eradicate the carbon footprint, and the guilt, associated with air travel.
The travel industry is looking a little brighter after a year of drastically reduced sales. Of course, this was due to the pandemic and consequent restrictions placed on entry to most countries. Along with as an increase in demand for climate and ecological awareness!
Young scientist finds low-tech way to recycle water
Shreya Ramachandran, a Californian high school student, has spent most of her teenage years working to reduce water use and research safe ways to recycle water. Or, what is known as ‘grey water’ – after witnessing people struggling with extreme water shortages in California’s Central Valley.
Her research has led her to set up the non-profit organisation The Grey Water Project. In this organisation, they share information on how we can recycle what is deemed as greywater.
This includes the water from our showers, sinks and washing machines. The project looks at ways we can make this safe to use for irrigation if we use the right natural detergents.
This could save around 70 litres of water per person per day, which really adds up when you factor in a full household over a year!
In the last year, The Grey Water Project has become a part of the curriculum in local Californian schools and Ramachandran hopes to role out this education to other schools in the US and globally during 2021.
Simply Shopping Sustainably:
Having launched in 2020 and already bringing a whole lot of joy to us all – My Green Pod is something we want to shout about!
My Green Pod is an ethical marketplace that allows you to shop for all of your favourite items in one easy place. They also have competitions, positive news and a magazine you can check out right on their website.
They have left us yearning to see what they have in store for 2021!
BLUE WHALES ARE BACK!
For almost 50 years the waters around South Georgia, in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, have been devoid of the planet’s biggest living creature, the blue whale. This can be linked back to extensive whaling that began there in 1904.
Twenty years of dedicated surveillance between 1998 and 2018 produced only one sighting of the elusive creature in the area. But, in a remarkable shift, a 2020 expedition registered 58 blue whale sightings.
Such a huge upswing in sightings gives researchers and conservationists high hopes that the critically endangered species are making a long-awaited resurgence in the waters around South Georgia! Prior to industrial whaling, were home to tens of thousands of whales. With other recent research showing humpback whales are also returning to the area too.
This is a really positive sign for the future conservation of the marine habitat in the Antarctic!
Cutting Carbon In China:
One of the biggest climate announcements came towards the end of last year when China stated that they aim to go completely carbon neutral by 2060.
This is, of course, an enormous undertaking given that China is responsible for around 28% of global carbon emissions!
If this commitment will change the world in incredible ways.
China is not alone in pledging to cut emissions with the European Union. The UK, South Korea and Japan among more than 110 countries to have set net-zero carbon emissions targets for the middle of the century. These countries represent almost 70% of the global economy!
The USA Joins The Paris Climate Agreement
Joe Biden restored the United States pledge to the international effort to reduce the heating of our planet. He did this within hours of being sworn in as president
The US is the second-largest single contributor to carbon emissions. It is vital that they are on board when it comes the curbing the effects of climate change.
It can’t be underestimated how important the commitment will be to the global goal of limiting the overall temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures.
Biden has done more than just join the Paris Climate Agreement. He has also cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline that was set to bring oil from Canada to the US for refining. This shows that his administration is committed to tackling climate change.
Ocean Plastic Into Glasses:
A Dutch company called the Ocean Cleanup have just launched sunglasses made of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a floating island of predominantly plastic waste. It was brought together from all over the world by ocean currents.
Although there are a few organisations working to clear the waste, the Ocean Cleanup is one of the few that don’t simply ship the plastic back to shore to end up in a landfill.
The sunglasses being made from the recycled plastic are being sold to funding the continued clean up efforts. Each pair is reportedly supporting the clearing of an area comparable to 24 football pitches.
These are just a handful of the positive ecological stories from the last few months. With the rest of 2021 still to go we can be sure of many more.
You can start your own positive eco story today!
Browse our range of reusable travel cups and cutlery. You can help stop plastic waste from entering landfill, the sea, or even the food chain as microplastics!
Our products are made from natural waste, rice husk. This means they are both non-toxic and biodegradable at the end of their life.