Newsletter March 2022

earth hour 2022

Are you participating in Earth Hour this Saturday? We are.

Earth Hour is a global grassroots movement to raise awareness of the climate crisis. It was started in 2007 by WWF and partners as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney. To participate all you need to do is to turn off  all the lights in your house from 8:30 – 9:30pm. Simple as that! But if you’d like something more involved there are a few events being held online and in person, including a Tree Planting challenge and a Stargazing Storytelling audio session. Check out the events page of the Earth Hour website for more info.

You may consider the whole idea of switching lights off for one hour trivial given the enormity of the climate crisis, and maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing all the same.

In our house we use the time to collectively reflect on what more we can do to reduce our environmental impact. We also find it moving to know that we’re doing it with millions of like-minded individuals around the world. Even if it doesn’t move the needle of climate action, it makes the frustration of living in an un-sustainable society just a bit more bearable.

And another way to make like more bearable is to read lots of planet positive news!

Nothing mentioned in this article has been sponsored. It’s all just my own personal opinion. If you like your sources to remain independent then please;
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instead of supporting me with a donation this month
please consider supporting charities helping
those affect by the Ukrainian invasion

What to look out for when buying sustainable ethical jeans!

Retro-inspired electric VW van to be launched this month by Volkswagen

How some cities are going green

Gokind is an app that tracks your purchases and rewards you when you buy from sustainable companies

Bill to reduce derelict buildings in Ireland could deliver 11,000 homes a year

Fall in love with weeds with TV gardener Alys Fowler! 

The world’s first renewable energy-powered vessel has finally landed on Singapore’s shores

Citizens have primary influence over 25-27% of the emissions savings needed by 2030 to avoid  ‘ecological meltdown’

Simple recipe for no-churn mint choc chip vegan ice cream

A UK magazine on preloved interiors and homeware has just been launched

And for something completely random, here is a website that animates kids drawings 

A really interesting article about veganism and masculinity

The average British male produces 40% more carbon emissions than that of females

How to build a small wildlife pond

Tips on cleaning with my favourite chemical; Bicarbonate of Soda

Tips for travelling Europe by train

Basking sharks are now a ‘protected wild animal’ in Ireland thanks to new regulations to prevent hunting or interference with its breeding or resting places.

How solar farms in China are helping to green deserts 

Inspiring stories nicely presented in this BBC article on community gardening, urban farming and edible cities.

Chile is creating a new national park, covering 75,000 hectares of the Andes, to protect 386 glaciers that are melting due to climate change.

EU official castigate the Irish Government over environmental court costs 

A new study by thinktank Chain Reaction Research shows that deforestation from palm oil in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea has hit its lowest levels since 2017.

Humpback whales will be removed from Australia’s threatened-species list, after an independent scientific panel decided they’d recovered enough from the near extinction rates of the 1980s.

This month 175 nations came together to endorsed an end to plastic pollution, with a legally binding pact to address the full life cycle of plastics and a financing model to support lower-income countries. This is being billed “the most significant environmental multilateral deal since the Paris accord”.

Nordea, the biggest bank in the Nordic region, has announced it will cease all lending to offshore oil and gas (it currently has a €1 billion portfolio of assets in the sector).

British bank Natwest cut lending to oil and gas clients by 21% last year, and just announced it will ditch coal companies that don’t have credible decarbonisation plans. French insurer CNP Assurances will no longer finance new oil and gas, and Dutch pension fund PFZW will disinvest from any fossil fuel company that doesn’t have a ‘convincing and verifiable’ strategy to meet the Paris agreement.

New Greener Home programme comes to Virgin Media

China has announced a plan to build 450 GW of solar, wind and hydro in the Gobi and other desert regions. To put that in perspective: the entire world collectively added 290 GW of renewables in 2021.

South Korea have just installed giant floating solar flowers on some reservoirs.

Volunteer to monitor bumblebees by walking 1km once a month

New campaign to make schools bee friendly is supported by Supervalu

Some great tips on how to support bees

The biggest risk to wild bees is beekeepers! 

In an effort to reduce food waste a new ‘waste less’ chip portion being trialled by Just Eat

Scientists think flame retardants in our homes might be causing an epidemic of hypothyroidism in cats 

Climate movies to watch after don’t look up

Can you survive on just 10 pieces of clothing for a month? 

Some great examples of furniture upcycling happening in Ireland

A guide to borrowing items instead of buying

Indonesia rejected a controversial proposal put forward by the country’s leading forestry institute to reclassify palm oil plantations as forest

Raising the living standards of more than 1 billion people who currently live on less than US$1.90 per day would cause only a negligible increase in global carbon emissions, according to a new analysis

Arnotts in Dublin city centre launches circular fix programme as does it’s sister store Brown Thomas in Dundrum

Innocent Drinks TV advert banned in UK over ‘greenwashing’

Global survey suggests three in four people want single-use plastics ‘banned’

Tesco removes one and a half billion pieces of plastic 

Rekindle is a two day intergenerational Irish festival, focusing on rekindling and celebrating traditional skills of the past.

Did you know that idling your car on public roads is an offence in the UK?

Why it’s time to call an end to drive-throughs

Pop-up hydroponic farm surfaces in London’s Covent Garden

New York’s state pension fund is selling $238 million of stocks it holds across 21 shale oil and gas companies, saying they’re not moving fast enough to a low-emissions economy. In Denmark, one of the country’s biggest pension funds is ditching $300 million of oil and gas bonds bonds by December, after concluding the assets pose a growing risk to returns.

US insurance giant Travelers will no longer underwrite companies that generate more than 30% of their revenue from coal or have more than 30% of their reserves in tar sands.

Skerries, Co Dublin opens its first open public orchard 

Convex, a global reinsurance company, announced it won’t be going anywhere coal or coal-related infrastructure.

After four decades of controversy and legal battles, Korea will ban all bear farming from 2026.

Sinaloa has become the fifth state in Mexico to ban bullfighting.

Indonesia has recorded significant progress in its program to restore its tropical peatlands. In 2021 it rehabilitated 300,000 ha, representing 25% of its four year target.

Hawaii has become the first US state to ban shark fishing with new legislation making it illegal to “knowingly capture, entangle, or kill any species of shark.”

Iceland will officially end all commercial whaling in 2024.

Cuba has established a new marine protected area spanning 728 km2 of mangrove forests, seagrass beds and coral reefs.

This isn’t eco news but I felt this post on the positive benefits of habit stacking was worth sharing

Good material for arguments with those who say there’s no point in climate action

Australia’s biggest coal-fired power plant to shut years ahead of schedule

Till next month. In the meantime find me on Facebook or Instagram and if you want to read previous newsletters, just click the link.

Elaine

Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

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