Looking on the Bright Side of Environmental News!

All over the world, there are stories of people making a difference in their communities, big or small, to combat climate change. These success stories are so often overshadowed by darker reports of disasters and ahem, crappy political administrations, which can leave you despairing of the future. So, here are 5 positive, recent news stories about sustainability for a little hope and reminder to keep doing your bit for the environment.

1. New device catches plastic in rivers before it reaches oceans
Looking on the bright side of env news 2Dutch inventor Boyan Slat unveiled a floating solar-powered device called ‘The Interceptor’ that scoops plastic out of rivers before it reaches the oceans. Three machines have been installed and put to use in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, and a fourth is soon to be deployed in the Dominican Republic.

Slat said he hopes to clean 1000 rivers that he believes contribute to about 80% of the ocean’s plastic, by the end of 2025.

2. ‘Extinct’ mouse deer species found alive in Vietnam
Looking on the bright side of env news 3This tiny Vietnamese deer-like species that had not been seen in 30 years (!!!) has been photographed by scientists with trap cameras in the wild. This has led to increased calls for quick action to protect the remaining population and raised hopes that other species believed lost to science could be rediscovered.

3. Heineken UK is ditching plastic packaging
Looking on the bright side of env news 4

Heineken UK is replacing single-use plastic rings and shrink wrap from millions of multipack cans with environmentally friendly cardboard. The firm claims this move will lead to 517 tonnes of plastic being removed from its packaging annually.

4. New Zealand passes ‘Zero Carbon’ bill
Looking on the bright side of env news 5 New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 (by sector, in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent).

New Zealand has passed a historic bill with bipartisan support, to reduce emissions to become carbon neutral (balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal) by 2050. The legislation aims to meet New Zealand’s obligations under the 2015 Paris climate agreement to limiting climbing global temperatures, to 1.5°C.

5. People are in the streets, demanding action
Looking on the bright side of env news 6

From 20-27 September 2019, a record 7.6 million people took to the streets to strike for climate action. Thousands marched through downtown Edmonton on October 18th with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg in attendance.

And the strikes aren’t over yet! Fridays for Future announced that more global climate strikes will take place on November 29th (Climate action day) and December 6th (right in the middle of the 25th UN Climate Change conference).

Alisha Crasta
Sustain SU Ambassador

Information sources
Ministry for the Environment, New Zealand
Edmonton Downtown March

Image sources
The Ocean Cleanup
Nature Ecology and Evolution

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