Staying motivated on your sustainability journey can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, not least because of what often seems like a never-ending tirade of bad news constantly bombarding us. In the current climate, it can be really easy to lose sight of the difference we’re making, and to instead let feelings of hopelessness creep in.
Because of this, we wanted to provide a gentle reminder of all the progress that’s being made in the world. We hope that these positive eco-news stories from the last couple of months will bring both good vibes and added inspiration to keep up the good fight!
1. A large portion of Gen Z are committed to careers in sustainability
Recent surveys have shown that a massive percentage of Gen Z university students are either planning to pursue careers in the sustainability sector, or at the very least with sustainability in mind.
While this fact may not come as a surprise from the working generation who’ll be most affected by climate change, it’s still fantastic to see how mobilised an entire age group is towards looking after our planet and building a better future for us all.
Several universities have reported seeing growth across enrollment in environmental courses, as well as the pursuit of environmental-driven or conscious careers - read more over at The Guardian!
2. Orca, the world’s biggest carbon capture plant, is up and running!
Located in Iceland, Orca uses industrial vacuums to suck C02 out of the air, which is then stored underground and converted into stone – a process that takes roughly two years. Climeworks, a part owner of the project, have stated that the plant could remove over 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide yearly – that’s the equivalent of 870 cars’ worth of emissions!
Carbon capturing technology should of course go hand in hand with the changing of habits and reducing of emissions at their source to limit global warming. This milestone is therefore a great step forward, especially as Climeworks are aiming to build more plants in other locations. Combined with real governmental change, this type of technology could provide the building blocks for managing atmospheric carbon.
Watch the plant’s launch on Climeworks’ YouTube channel.
3. 9 million trees have created a new forest in the Midlands
Over the course of the last 30 years, 9 million planted trees have grown in the Midlands to create the National Forest - the first forest to be created at such a large scale in England for over 1000 years! Now covering 200 square miles in 2021, the forest is spread out across three counties.
The National Forest’s success has been so strong that the UK government’s Department for Food, Economic and Rural Affairs have since vowed to plant 500 hectares of forest across Britain’s northeast - the equivalent to 35 football pitches! Plus, since 2015 €8.2 billion has been earmarked by governments across Europe for reforestation efforts, meaning many more reforestation projects should soon be on the horizon 😁.
4. Carbon offsetting subscription service Ecologi plants 20 million trees in two years
Ecologi, a subscription offsetting service that allows you to offset your daily carbon emissions in exchange for pocket change, has officially planted 20 million trees over the past two years. This is enough to cover 12,904 football pitches, and will - over the trees’ lifetime - absorb the C02 equivalent of 15.5 billion miles driven by the average car!
The impact we can have on the environment at minimal personal spend is really something to behold, and it’s fantastic to see that so many people are funding this initiative.
5. The California Energy Commission votes in favour of solar requirements
And now for a governmental win! Whilst not UK-based, it’s still incredibly exciting to see that the California Energy Commission (CEC) voted unanimously to advance rooftop solar energy requirements for any newly built commercial buildings and high-rise accommodations. This decision really showcases California’s commitment to the growth of solar power, and will enable the state to reach its clean energy goals.
Environment America Go Solar Campaign Director Bronte Payne says that “for some time now, California has been a national leader in the US on rooftop solar. It’s done this through a commitment to smart policies, and this plan from the CEC is one more example of that forward thinking!”.
While there’s still a whole lot of work to be done, and we really need to keep on going everyday with our sustainability swaps and goals if we want to see a more sustainable future, we hope that these tidbits of good news will give you a boost of motivation to continue, and remind you that positive change is happening (even if you don’t see it everyday!).
It’s super important to take a step back and keep stock of the progress that’s being made, and that’s why you’ll be seeing more Positive Eco Vibes on our blog and in your inbox. Until next time!
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