What did 2019 do for the environment?
2019 has seen phenomenal progress in the steps to combat climate change. A new wave of young activists has emerged helping to inspire and begin to change the future of the planet for the better. Technologies to tackle the effects already caused by human impact have been invented as well as major advancements in current ones.
Not only has technology changed, legislation has also been passed to help protect the world’s ecosystems. Some countries have even made pledges to help ensure sustainable agriculture and a decrease in deforestation. So, although there is a lot of work still to be done, let’s celebrate 19 positive outcomes from the past year.
In Rome you can pay for Metro Train Tickets with plastic bottles. So far, over 350,000 bottles have been recycled through this sustainable system. You can pay for a €1.50 journey with 30 recycled bottles.
South Korea used to recycle 2% of its food waste. Now it recycles 95% thanks to smart bins and special biodegradable bags.
Thailand supermarkets say no to plastic packaging and wraps its produce in banana leaves!
The UK confirmed a ban on cotton buds, plastic straws and drink stirrers, which will be implemented April 2020.
A new marine bioplastic has been created by University Graduate, Lucy Hughes, which may help to solve the plastic crisis. The bioplastic named MarinaTex is made from organic fish waste and locally sourced red algae. What’s more is that it’s home compostable in 4 to 6 weeks.
Norway decided not to drill for oil (which was worth an estimated $53 billion) in the Lofoten Islands in order to protect its eco-system.
A robot called LarvalBot is delivering coral babies to the great barrier reef to help restore coral reefs to what they used to be.
Sea turtles are making a comeback with the population increasing by 980% thanks to the endangered species act.
The humpback whale population has also made a comeback and moved from close extinction to an increase in numbers of around 25,000.
An Amazonian tribe won a legal battle against oil companies, preventing them from drilling in the amazon rainforest.
Canadian government rolled out new standards which have completely banned industrial activities like oil and gas production, mining and waste dumping.
New York City passed new legislation in April to change what the city is doing to help fight climate change.
Holland covers hundreds of bus stops with plants called ‘Green Roofs’ where bees can take refuge.
Rice farmers around the world are starting to use ducks instead of harmful pesticides! Ducks feed on insects and weeds without touching the plants.
Peru has committed to ending palm oil deforestation by 2021. This is a huge win for wildlife and sustainable agriculture.
The world is literally a greener place than it was 20 years ago NASA satellite found.
The UK has reduced its carbon emissions for the sixth year in a row. The last time the carbon emissions were this low was in 1888.
Renewable energy sources now account for around one-third of all global power capacity.
AFDB’s Solar project in Africa aims to connect 90 million people to electricity for the first time, lifting them out of poverty.
Don’t get it twisted. Although these facts are incredible and we should be celebrating these small victories for the world, there is still a long battle to be fought to finally win the war over climate change. Hopefully 2020 the entering of a new decade can mean, new beginnings to help reverse the damage and strain we have placed on the earth for so many years.