INSPIRING STORIES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/greta-thunberg-climate-crisis-cover-965949/ How one Swedish teenager armed with a homemade sign ignited a crusade and became the leader of a movement

THE UNLIKELY BENEFICIARY OF CORONOVIRUS https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/16/asia/china-pollution-coronavirus-hnk-intl/index.html “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” says Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “I am not surprised because many cities nationwide have taken measures to minimize the spread of the virus.”

 

ENSURING BATTERY POWER IS SUSTAINABLE IS A CRITICAL ISSUE THAT NEW LEGISLATION ADDRESSES https://www.king.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/with-energy-package-on-senate-floor-king-introduces-groundbreaking-battery-recycling-legislation “Critical minerals like lithium and cobalt are vital to developing clean energy technology – and the good news here is that we have these materials on hand already, from old phone and computer batteries in the desk drawers of American homes and offices,” said Senator King. “Why pay the economic and environmental cost of importing these minerals from countries like China, when we could meet a large portion of our need by simply encouraging the American people to turn-in their old batteries to be recycled back into the industry. This act is a key step towards reducing waste, developing clean energy technology, and revolutionizing the way we produce and utilize critical minerals.”

MEDIA: “HAHA…WE WERE JOKING ABOUT ALL OF THAT. HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD REALLY EAT NOW THAT WE’RE IN A PANDEMIC.” https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/staying-home-due-coronavirus-here-s-what-stock-your-fridge-ncna1155791 Who would’ve thought that what your grandpa told you to eat in ’93 would come true in 2020? ‘Vegetables, kid.’ Turns out, the diet suggested is pretty much exactly what we’re talking about! BUY IT IN BULK!

ROLLING STONE: PLANET PLASTIC https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/plastic-problem-recycling-myth-big-oil-950957/ Every human on Earth is ingesting nearly 2,000 particles of plastic a week. These tiny pieces enter our unwitting bodies from tap water, food, and even the air, according to an alarming academic study sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, dosing us with five grams of plastics, many cut with chemicals linked to cancers, hormone disruption, and developmental delays. Since the paper’s publication last year, Sen. Tom Udall, a plain-spoken New Mexico Democrat with a fondness for white cowboy hats and turquoise bolo ties, has been trumpeting the risk: “We are consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic each week,” Udall says. At events with constituents, he will brandish a Visa from his wallet and declare, “You’re eating this, folks!”

IS CLIMATE CHANGE PLAYING A ROLE IN THE DECISION TO HAVE CHILDREN? OF COURSE https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/climate-change-calling-question-whether-have-kids-129777 I’m a marine scientist, and research the effects of climate change on coral reefs. Aside from bushfires, coral bleaching is one of the most severe manifestations of climate change in Australia. Watching corals turn white and die is just another daily reminder of the disasters our children will be up against. Until now, my partner and I have both wanted to be parents one day. Now I’m not so sure. Here are the things I’m weighing

Reinventing Industry And Technology To Regenerate Nature https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/climate-change-calling-question-whether-have-kids-129777 There are precious few people who can inspire a mindset shift amidst the climate crisis, articulating a practical new paradigm for society and industry. Tom Chi is among them. A former tech executive who co-founded Google X, backing efforts like Glass, self-driving cars and Project Loon, may seem an unlikely champion for nature. Yet he is a source of deep wisdom and nuanced inspiration, offering practical pathways to reprioritize our focus, redesign incentives and reengineer unit economics toward regeneration. As Chi says, we’re the last generation that will have the opportunity


Millions Dead? What If There Is No Possible Plan to Stop Climate Change?
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/millions-dead-what-if-there-no-possible-plan-stop-climate-change-130042 There is growing evidence that Earth’s systems are heading towards climate “tipping points” beyond which change becomes abrupt and unstoppable. But another tipping point is already being crossed – humanity’s capacity to adapt to a warmer world.

THE ENERGY AGENCY THAT COULD THWART THE DEMS’ CLIMATE PLANS https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/28/energy-agency-democrats-climate-plans-089892 Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have endorsed a call to reshape FERC as a climate regulator, but is it necessary for a Green New Deal?

TEXAS SIZED HEAT MASS OFF THE COAST OF NEW ZEALAND, 5 DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/27/world/new-zealand-hot-ocean-water-trnd/index.html In the South Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand, satellite imagery shows a massive area of ocean water at well-above-average temperatures. The hot blob on the Pacific surface is detectable from space and is the largest area of above-average water temperature on Earth right now. The patch of sea is about a million square kilometers (400,000 square miles), covering an area of ocean larger than the size of Texas. “The ocean surface doesn’t vary that wildly,” Renwick said. “One degree (Celsius) is big. So, five degrees is huge.”

OUR OBSESSION WITH ONLINE ORDERING CAUSES ROOT ISSUES https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/delivery-dilemma-americans-are-ordering-more-u-s-can-only-n1106426 There’s only so many boxes that can be delivered in a day. Warehouse space is nearly full, with vacancy near an all-time low. Streets are crammed with delivery vans blocking traffic. City curbs are increasingly a turf war between delivery drivers and everyone else. Even grocery store aisles can feel crowded — at least, when staff for delivery services are scouring the shelves.

LOOP LURES BIG FISH INTO SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING IDEA: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/loops-launch-brings-reusable-packaging-worlds-biggest-brands A new initiative by a small company has compelled more than two dozen of the world’s biggest brands to begin testing reusable packaging.

PLANETARY HEALTH DIET: GREAT IDEA BUT FALLS SHORT OF GOALS  https://www.greenbiz.com/article/inconvenient-truths-behind-planetary-health-diet The importance, complexity and scale of this task cannot be overstated. More than 800 million people on the planet do not have enough to eat. Meanwhile, the diets of many of the other 7 billion citizens are driving a pandemic of “western” diseases. Diet-driven chronic diseases have been rising at alarming rates for several decades.


MICHELIN MOVES TOWARDS AIRLESS TIRE: WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR EARTH
https://www.greenbiz.com/article/michelin-letting-air-out-its-tires-why-matters-sustainable-mobility One simple thing any automobile or truck driver can do to improve fuel economy is ensure that the tires on their vehicle are inflated to the proper pressure. It also turns out that letting the air out of them entirely may be one of the next big things in advancing the cause of sustainable mobility

25 BAD-ASS WOMEN WHO ARE DOING WHAT IT TAKES https://www.greenbiz.com/article/25-badass-women-shaking-corporate-climate-movement “For me, badass is determined, a little bit feisty — but not too much — but tenacious,” said Sally Uren, CEO of Forum for the Future, a nonprofit focused on inspiring the business model and systemic change need to accelerate the clean economy. 

A CASE FOR COWS https://www.greenbiz.com/article/how-regenerative-land-and-livestock-management-practices-can-sequester-carbon With livestock as one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, it might seem that if we only eliminated animals in food production — cows, in particular — we’d save the planet.

30 PEOPLE IN THEIR 20’S WHO ARE MAKING A HUGE IMPACT https://www.greenbiz.com/article/2019-greenbiz-30-under-30 They work in the worlds of technology and tires, finance and forestry, retail and recovery operations. They hail from Tokyo and Toronto, London and Lima, Mexico and Manhattan. They toil in data centers and diversity, conservation and conservative politics — and generally making the world greener and more just. Together, they represent all that makes us hopeful about sustainability during these uncertain times.

OIL POWERS ARE NOT THE CLIMATE CHAMPIONS THEY CRACK THEMSELVES UP TO BE https://www.greenbiz.com/article/tracking-relationship-between-oil-supermajors-and-climate-change Indeed, a new report from InfluenceMap shows the supermajors have invested millions to brand themselves as climate champions. Which begs the question: Where does the talk stop and the action start?

14 SUSTAINABILITY PODCASTS FOR YOUR WINDSHIELD TIME https://www.greenbiz.com/article/pods-green-earth-14-sustainability-podcasts-you-need-know It’s been a few years since GreenBiz’s last podcast roundups (here and here), but that doesn’t mean that new green shows haven’t been consistently sprouting up.

MEET LINDSAY BAKER: GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY LEADER https://www.greenbiz.com/article/meet-lindsay-baker-weworks-first-global-sustainability-leader Eventually I started asking why they didn’t have a full time sustainability person and they said, “Sustainability is kind of everyone’s job.”

IS A SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS WITHIN THE REALM? https://www.newsweek.com/can-we-get-sustainable-christmas-2020-opinion-1479370 The new spirit of being green has even cracked that hardest of nuts – Christmas. Despite its religious roots, the festive period has become the time of year when we consume most unapologetically and perhaps even unthinkingly. Unsurprisingly, Christmas is the worst time of the year for the environment, with a third more waste than usual being produced, much of which is non-recyclable and sometimes even harmful.

TRUMP ATTACKS TOILETS, SETS UP ENVIRONMENTAL SHOWDOWN WITH DEMS https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-attacks-on-wind-turbines-low-flow-toilets-and-led-lightbulbs-set-up-key-campaign-clash-with-democrats/2019/12/23/1077f64a-25a3-11ea-ad73-2fd294520e97_story.html Trump attacks on wind turbines, low-flow toilets and LED lightbulbs set up key campaign clash with Democrats

JAPAN’S MIRACLE CITY LEADS THE RACE TO ZERO WASTE https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/waste/ten-zero-waste-cities-kamikatsu-japan-s-zero-waste-miracle-town-68577 Kamikatsu, a small town situated approximately 40 kilometres from Tokushima city in the mountains of Shikoku island in Japan, is fast moving towards becoming the country’s first fully zero-waste habitation by next year.


FRANCE VOWS TO TRANSITION FROM DISPOSABLE TO REUSABLE
https://www.plasticstoday.com/packaging/france-charts-course-zero-waste-society/190772706162110 You may have read about France’s decision to end the use of straws, glasses, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, take-out cups and lids as well as food boxes made of EPS that will take effect in January. France wants to take that a step further, by going from a “disposable” society to a “reusable” one in the country’s drive for Zero Waste 2040 by banning all plastic packaging.

GARDEN CITY, IDAHO ADDS ZERO WASTE MARKET https://www.kivitv.com/made-in-idaho-new-garden-city-market-prioritizes-eco-friendly-practices-strives-for-zero-waste “We don’t take on single-use plastics,” Roots Zero Waste Market co-owner Lea Rainey said. “That’s why you’ll see broccoli but you won’t see cauliflower right now; cauliflower is out of season in Oregon and that’s where we mostly get out cauliflower from – or from Global Gardens – and now it’s coming packaged in plastic, so we have to just say, ‘okay, then we can’t have that in the market right now.'”

YOUR COSTLY HOTEL HABITS https://www.cntraveler.com/story/why-intercontinental-hotel-group-is-getting-rid-of-mini-toiletries By the end of 2021, every bathroom at an IHG hotel—a group that includes brands like Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants—will be stocked with large, refillable bathroom amenities. The announcement, which makes IHG the first global hotel company to commit all of its brands to removing miniature toiletries, follows their 2018 decree that all plastic straws would be banned from their properties by the end of 2019.

MICRO PLASTICS FOUND IN PYRENEES AIR STREAM  https://www.npr.org/2019/04/15/713561484/microplastic-found-even-in-the-air-in-frances-pyrenees-mountains Surprisingly high amounts of microplastic are raining down on a remote and seemingly pristine part of France’s Pyrenees mountains, according to scientists who say such particles could potentially be floating everywhere.


BABY DUGONG DIES OF SHOCK WITH STOMACH FULL OF PLASTIC
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rescued-baby-dugong-marium-dies-of-shock-with-a-stomach-full-of-plastic-thailand-2019-08-17/?ftag=CNM-00-10aac3a A beloved dugong that went viral in Thailand has died with a stomach full of plastic waste.

REGROW YOUR FOOD SCRAPS, HERE’S HOW https://www.frugalforless.com/35-foods-you-can-regrow-from-scraps-inside-your-own-home-part-3/ This is part 3 of our three-part series on 35 foods that you can regrow from scraps. Stop spending so much money on groceries when you can eat freshly-grown food right out of your kitchen