Newsletter April 2022

Earthday 2022

On this year’s Earthday I really need this positive reports in this newsletter. Hearing about the wonderful achievements our global cousins are delivering is the perfect antidote to the news that Ireland’s overshoot day hasn’t changed, yet again.

April 21st is the day that the citizens in Ireland use more resource than the earth can replenish in a year. We are now officially in the red, ecologically speaking! I had hoped that we were starting to push it back to May, but alas no. 

I don’t get it. Living more sustainably can be easier, less expensive and healthier than living unsustainably. In fact, studies have found that being greener makes you happier

So why aren’t people making the switch? I’m flummoxed. Do you know the answer?

Why we ponder this conundrum, here’s some positive planetary news to keep you inspired!

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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those affect by the Ukrainian invasion

Not only is global wind and solar growth on track to meet climate targets, but up to 75% of the electricity flowing into the Irish grid can now come from variable renewable sources, making ours the first national power system in the world to reach this level. Yah!!!!!

Are you a seller of recycled or upcycled goods, or products made from locally sourced materials? Richmond Barracks in Dublin 8 are hosting a summer fair and looking for eco vendors

Getting married this year? Here’s my guide to Planning a Sustainable Ethical Wedding

Plastic particles found in human blood for first time. Not surprising seeing as 7kgs of microplastics from our cosmetics are flushed into the environment every minutes in Europe. Sign this petition and let the European Commission know you don’t want plastic in your products

Another way to reduce plastic pollution is to fit a filter on your washing machine, so we welcome the new that Electrolux has launched a microplastic filter for theirs

Landmark legislation in Western Australia will end native logging and secure 400,000 hectares of one of the most diverse native forests on earth.

Some simple tips on how to save energy at home

Novatek and Gazprom, Russia’s two biggest fossil gas companies, have been crippled by recent EU sanctions, thus halting their Arctic operations.

Instead of a wall between them, the sister towns of Laredo in Texas and Nuevo Laredo in Mexico are building a binational river park that will span approximately 10 km and focus on the conservation of the Rio Grande River.

For those knee-deep in spring cleaning, I’ve recently updated my guide to Sustainable Ethical Cleaning

Australia has just created a 744,000 km2 marine park around Christmas Island and the Cocos-Keeling atoll, south of Indonesia. Bigger than Texas, and over twice the size of the Great Barrier Reef marine park, it joins a network of 60 others around the country, spanning more than four million km2 — a staggering 45% of Australia’s waters.

Scotland’s forests are expanding at breakneck speed: the share of the country that is forested has increased from just under 6% at the beginning of the 20th century, to around 18% today. Scotland now has nearly as much forest as it did 1,000 years ago, and the government has set a target for 21% by 2032.

The state of Victoria in Australia is restoring an area five times the size of Melbourne.

Starbucks has joined a growing global movement to eliminate PFAS, a group of chemicals widely used in everyday products, and linked to a range of health problems, from cancer to thyroid and immune issues. The coffee giant will remove all PFAS in its packaging by the end of 2023. Burger King, McDonalds and Taco Bell have also committed to ending PFAS packaging by 2025.

The US non-profit Rainforest Trust has protected over one million acres of habitat across Belize, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bangladesh, and Myanmar in 2022 alone.

Mothers That Can is a UK based peer support group with a mission to help mothers drive climate action

Climate X have launched their second Dublin Community Challenge, supported by Microsoft, offering €55,000 to support local community groups, schools, and organisations to kickstart 1 of 13 proven initiatives.

Trying to eat more sustainably. Here’s a list of Fish to Avoid from the Marine Conservation Society

Our next fishy story is a positive one. Sustainable fishing practices in Abu Dhabi have surged from 8.9 % in 2018 to 62.3% in 2021, putting the Emirates on track to recover 70% of stocks by 2030.

The revised leaving cert in Ireland is to include a module on sustainability and climate change

A review of the e-bike conversion kit Swytch, which is now available for pre-orders.

The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership will conserve 3.1 million hectares of forests, farms, and wildlife habitat around the Eglin Airforce Base in northwest Florida in the US.

Did you know that you get 50% – 75% off toll charges in an EV with e-flow?

Climate groups say a change in coding can reduce bitcoin energy consumption by 99%

US based start-up releases bee-free honey!

Ryanair announced their plans to be carbon neutral by 2050 – with some actual details on how that will work.

Help biodiversity study in Ireland with a 10-minute Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT Count)

Interesting in buying a sustainable laptop? Now you can with a modular laptop from the Germany company Framework

India bans single use plastic, with the production, sale, and purchase of single-use plastic products will be completely banned by the 1st of July 2022.

COP15: Key outcomes for nature loss and climate change from UN talks in Geneva

Check out the Ethical Consumer Youtube channel for some high-quality videos on sustainability and ethics

A rewilding project in Argentina has returned jaguars to the Iberá wetlands for the first time in 70 years and the macaw for the first time since the 1800s.

I don’t agree with how the Ethical Consumer rates company ethics but it is interesting to read who owns which ethical brands in this article

Belfast City Council is giving free municipal compost to schools, charities and community groups in the city.

A beautifully presented and inspiring article on the future of resilient farming

Relocating global croplands could produce the same food on half the land with 70% less emissions

In almost all countries the 60+ group, which is growing, had the largest per-capita greenhouse gas footprint. I’m looking at you Grandparents!

Oregon lawmakers in the US just passed legislation to conserve 33,000 hectares of the Elliott State Forest for research, protecting it against logging and future threats.

Belgium has officially ended its fur trade, closing all 17 remaining fur farms a year ahead of its 2023 deadline. It now joins Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia, and the UK who have also ended the practice.

Austria has set the goal of completely converting its electricity generation to renewables by 2030.

Germany to support action to end sales of ICE vehicles within the next 13 years.

General Electric, which just announced the successful production of its first 100% recyclable wind turbine blade.

China has just announced the building of an 8,000 km2, 50GW offshore wind farm off the coast of Zhangzhou. To put this into context, the entire wind energy capacity of the United States is around 120GW.

Standard Bank, Africa’s largest lender, has ruled out financing new coal plants or expanding existing coal plants.

HSBC is phasing down its financing of the fossil fuel industry. Among European banks, only Barclays has assisted in underwriting more debt for fossil fuels since 2015.

In Assam, India, more than 400 poachers were offered salaries to become wildlife rangers, and as a result the population of the one-horned rhinoceros and endangered mountain gorilla have risen.

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

5 thoughts on “Newsletter April 2022

  1. Thank you for this, Elaine 🥰 I just watched a youtube video called, How do you cross the Sad Gap? and I have to say you’re doing it. I’ve learnt so much from your research. I think for some making the switch requires thought and modern life can overwhelm to the point that doing anything differently takes more energy than people have. Shame can be paralysing also. Your blog is a perfect antidote to all that. You’ve put the work in and people can just try to copy. In some cases, sustainability can be the opposite of convenience, in others -like letting part of your garden become an ‘ark’ and watching all the creatures find a new home -it is wonderful not to interfere. Anyway, thank you. xx

    1. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Love to hear from you. I must check out that video. Think I could do with a pick me up. I’m glad you think my writing is helping. Sometimes I do wonder if I’m just preaching to the converted. It’s tough to watch so many people act like there’s nothing happening. Logically I do know things are changing, but it’s painfully slow.

  2. Trust me, the converted need to hear it still! 😊 You’re not preaching -you’re teaching! And are one of those leading the way. And everyone you teach, touches others in their circle.. and so it spreads. xx

  3. Thanks for that link about happiness and green lifestyles – most helpful!
    BoJo’s quote in that article is horrendous – how can he even pretend to support climate change mitigation and then turn around and say this?!

    1. I think Boris Johnson will say anything for attention. I don’t think he actually believes half the things he says. It seems nowadays having integrity isn’t necessary in politics.

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