Friday 22 April 2022

Positive Earth Day News

Positive News for Earth Day 2022

Butterfly on Flowers by Pixabay at Pexels

Welcome to Earth Day!

First held on April 22, 1970, provides a wide range of events coordinated globally. 1 billion people in more than 193 countries get involved.

Folks can grab an Earth Day Action Toolkit 2022 here.

To celebrate Earth Day, I have pulled together a snapshot of some good news.

1. 90,000 Trees Planted at National Trust Property

A tree planting project backed by the UK Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund is underway at Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire. 39 native apple species will be planted in corridors connecting woodland areas, helping to attract pollinating insects, birds & bats into the area. 

Wimpole estate have planted 14 different species of native trees including oak, hornbeam, wild cherry, field maple and birch, and 10 species of shrubs including hawthorn, hazel and spindle.

“The variety of trees is really important to help build resilience into the landscape, in the face of a growing number to tree diseases, and to attract different birds and animals," noted Project manager Jason Sellars.

UK retailer Boots has vowed to stop selling all wet wipes that contain plastic fibres by the end of the year.

After selling more than 800 million wet wipes last year, it now plans to replace plastic-based wipes with plant-based biodegradable alternatives.

3. Rihanna Backs Climate Change Projects with a $15m Donation

Bajan singer Rihanna has donated $15 million to grassroots climate justice groups through the Clara Lionel Foundation. The 18 groups funded included Climate Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Movement for Black Lives. 

She noted that disparity is the reason for her foundation, which is named after her grandparents, prioritizes both climate resilience and climate justice work.

Be Kind to the Planet by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels

4. Kites Are Flying High!

In the 1980s Red Kites were a globally threatened species facing near extinction. Following a reintroduction of breeding pairs 30 years ago numbers have steadily increased.

The Nature Conservancy Council collaborated with the RSPB, Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Zoological Society London and British Airways to release the birds 30 years ago in an area on the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire border.

By 1996, at least 37 pairs had bred in southern England and today red kites can be seen regularly in most English counties with an estimated 1,800 pairs breeding across the UK.

5. Natural History GCSE Being Introduced

In three years time, students between the ages of 14-16 in the UK will be able to sit down and officially study natural history as a dedicated subject.

It is the result of a decade-long campaign by naturalist Mary Colwell, who garnered support from many people and organisations, including Chris Packham, Baroness Floella Benjamin, The Wildlife Trust and the Natural History Museum.

Mary says, 'Everyone will have the opportunity to be nature-literate, to learn about British wildlife and how it relates to the rest of the world, which is essential for a sustainable, green future.'

The qualification is being developed by the examinations board OCR and will be ready for students to take by 2025.

Planet Earth First Photo by Lauris Rozentฤls on Pexels

6. Ocean Plastic Loving Barbie!

Mattel have introduced a new Barbie range called Barbie Loves the Ocean - the 3 dolls and accessories are made using 90% recycled ocean bound plastic.

The company's goal is to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic material use across all its products and packaging by 2030.

7. EU Calls for Recycled Clothing

BBC article states that globally, an estimated 92 million tonnes of textiles waste is created each year and the equivalent to a rubbish truck full of clothes ends up on landfill sites every second. 

The European Union are now calling for cloth manufacturers to improve the recycled content of their products by 2030.

There are some wonderful companies finding ways to recycle materials into new fibres, including Carol Lin, a chemical engineer at the City University of Hong Kong, who developed a technique for recycling fabrics made from cotton and polyester blends by feeding them to fungi!

8. Plastic Free Flip Flops Made From Algae

This video looks at how micro bloom algae mixed with sugar cane can be used to make eco friendly foam soles for flip flops. 

Flip flops are often discarded on beaches but the PVC & polymer contained within them can prevent them from being broken down. These eco shoes can be interchanged into mules and sandals - what a great idea!

The video below explains this great innovation.

9. Coffee Grounds For Your Shoes

Entrepreneurs Jesse Tran and Son Chu had the ingenious idea of mixing waste coffee grounds with plastic pellets (made from recycled water bottles) and turning them into a coffee polyester yarn.

The yarn has been used to make upper material for sneakers and hoodies too.

They've been able to recycle over 750,000 cups of coffee and more than 250,000 post-consumption plastic bottles, with sneakers being sold across 100 countries worldwide.

Each hoodie meanwhile is made from 43 cups of coffee grounds and 12.5 post-consumption plastic bottles plus 40% of bamboo viscose.

10. UK's Plastic Tax Takes Effect

The Plastic Packaging Tax introduced by the UK Government will take effect from 1st April 2022. The tax will apply to plastic packaging produced in (or imported into) the UK that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.

The tax will provide an incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the content of plastic packaging, which will create greater demand for this material. 

It is hoped this will stimulate levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.

More than 220 new animal and plant species have been discovered in the Greater Mekong.

A total of 155 plants, 16 fish species, 17 amphibians, 35 reptiles, and one mammal have been found in the Greater Mekong region of southeast Asia, conservation charity WWF has said.

More than 3,000 species have been spotted in the area in the past 24 years.

12. Queen's Jubilee Blooming Display!

To honour the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen there will be a colourful, vibrant field of flowers at the Tower of London.

In spring 2022, over 20 million seeds will be sown in the Tower's moat from carefully designed seed mixes. The flower display will erupt into new colours and patterns creating a dramatic and engaging experience throughout the summer.

On arrival, visitors can grab a mat and slide down into the moat on their Superbloom slide! 

Some Useful Links:

๐ŸŒŽ Check out this list of 14 ways to lower your carbon footprint.

๐ŸŒŽ Niantic has partnered up with Ecosia (the tree planting web browser) to provide tree donations for players using Pokemon Go at community events.

๐ŸŒŽ And finally - a splash of optimism to nourish the soul!