Net Your Problem – Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-05-17

Thanks for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter. This week we have a blog post by Nicole Baker Loke who talks about her company Net Your Problem, a sustainable solution to disposing of fishing gear. We also have stories about a car that will clean pollution as it drives, Google’s new climate change timelapse, the US and China’s commitment to cooperating on climate change, a youth-led movement that puts the planet first, and an island’s path to 100% renewables.

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Net Your Problem 

Guest post by Nicole Baker Loke, founder of Net Your Problem 

Hello to the Happy Eco News community! It’s nice to meet you all and to be a new member of this community celebrating solutions and “nuggets of positivity” as Grant says on his “about” page. I first met Grant when we were both accepted into the Maritime Blue Accelerator program run by the Port of Seattle and WeWork in January of 2020 for our work in increasing sustainability in the marine sector. I’m really happy to share with you the story of my business, how I believe we contribute to the positive news feed Grant is trying to create and to provide you with ways to get involved and help support our solution.

My journey to sustainable business owner l started back in 2015 when I was working on fishing vessels in Alaska. I had graduated university with a masters degree in marine biology and was working as a scientist collecting data about what types of fish fishermen were catching, what the size, age, and sex of those fish was, and providing that data to the National Marine Fisheries Service in the US to help them determine how much fish could be caught sustainably. This work results in consumers knowing that there are well managed, sustainable fisheries and that they can feel good about supporting these fisheries when buying fish at the market. I spent five years doing that job, and spent time in various fishing ports in Alaska like Dutch Harbor (where the TV show Deadliest Catch is located), Akutan and Kodiak. In each of these ports, I observed many piles of nets that were obviously not being used anymore, some with trees growing in them!

I had identified a problem, and in business, finding an unsolved problem is usually how you get started.  I built my business, Net Your Problem LLC, around offering a solution to this problem. Before we came around, commercial fishermen had no really good options when it came to disposing of their gear when they were done using it… [read more].

Net your problem is currently a finalist in an environmental solutions startup contest. You can vote for them by clicking here.

Sponsored: New Report Reveals Cox Enterprises Has Invested Nearly $1 Billion in Sustainability and Cleantech 

Collective Impact Report details investments in COVID-19 relief grants, accelerated sustainability goals and commitments to social justice and human rights

Cox Enterprises released Making Our Mark, its collective impact report, which details the company’s investment of nearly $1 billion in sustainable businesses and technologies, and more than $191 million donated to or invested in communities.

The report also highlights how the James M. Cox Foundation’s quick response to provide support, relief and $13.8 million in grants and donations during the pandemic positively impacted hospitals, individuals and families throughout its communities.

“We will continue to uphold our tradition of doing the right thing, taking care of our employees, serving our customers and improving the lives of everyone we touch,” said Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy.

Making Our Mark is a 2019 and 2020 snapshot of Cox’s long-standing commitment to responsible corporate stewardship through conservation, employee volunteerism, community support, philanthropy and investment in sustainable businesses. Highlights include:

  • More than 100,000 employee volunteer hours logged since January 2019, including virtual volunteering during COVID-19… [read more].

The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5

  1. Heatherwick Studio reveals Airo car that will clean pollution as it drives

London-based Heatherwick Studio has unveiled its concept for the Airo electric car for IM Motors that will “vacuum up pollutants from other cars”. Revealed today at the Shanghai Motor Show , the vehicle for newly formed Chinese car brand IM Motors was designed by Heatherwick Studio as its first car. Named Airo, the electric car will be fitted with a HEPA – high-efficiency particulate air – filtering system that will actively clean pollution. It will have both autonomous and driver-controlled modes. “Airo isn’t simply another electric car that doesn’t pollute the air,” said Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio. “Instead, using the latest HEPA-filter technology, it goes further by also vacuuming up pollutants from other cars as it drives along.” The car has been designed with a flexible interior with rotating seats so that it can be reconfigured into a “multi-functional room”. With the seats facing each other a four-leaf table can be unfolded to create a dining space or a screen extended to watch films or play games. The car’s interior can also be turned into a bedroom as the contoured seats fully recline to create a double bed. In this mode, the glass roof can be made… [read more].

  1. Google’s New Timelapse Shows 37 Years of Climate Change Anywhere on Earth, Including Your Neighborhood

Google Earth’s latest feature allows you to watch the climate change in four dimensions. The new feature, called Timelapse, is the biggest update to Google Earth since 2017. It is also, as far as its developers know, the largest video taken of Earth on Earth. The feature compiles 24 million satellite photos taken between 1984 and 2020 to show how human activity has transformed the planet over the past 37 years. “Visual evidence can cut to the core of the debate in a way that words cannot and communicate complex issues to everyone,” Google Earth Director Rebecca Moore wrote in a blog post Thursday. Moore herself has been directly impacted by the climate crisis. She was one of many Californians evacuated because of wildfires last year. However, the new feature allows people to witness more remote changes, such as the melting of ice caps. “With Timelapse in Google Earth, we have a clearer picture of our changing planet right at our fingertips — one that shows not just problems but also solutions, as well as mesmerizingly beautiful natural phenomena that unfold over decades,” she wrote. Some climate impacts that viewers can witness include the melting of 12 … [read more].

  1. US and China commit to cooperating on climate crisis

The US and China have “committed to cooperating” on the pressing issue of climate change, the two sides said in a joint statement on Saturday, following a visit to Shanghai by US climate envoy John Kerry. “The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” said the statement from Kerry and China’s special envoy for climate change, Xie Zhenhua. Kerry, the former US secretary of state, was the first official from president Joe Biden’s administration to visit China, signalling hopes the two sides could work together on the global challenge despite sky-high tensions on multiple other fronts. It comes as world leaders prepare for a virtual summit on climate change this week as Joe Biden leads a new push to cut emissions. The US president has invited 40 leaders, including Chinese president Xi Jinping, to take part in the two-day summit starting on Friday 22 April , Earth Day, to galvanise efforts by major economies to combat climate change ahead of key UN talks hosted by the UK this year. The statement said both countries… [read more].

4. A new generation of young people is putting the planet first. Here’s everything you need to know

A Polylepis seedling taking root in the soil of the Peruvian Andes. A new generation of young people and ecopreneurs known as Generation Restoration are putting the planet’s health first. This youth-led movement shows the power of an environmentally savvy generation to bring about real, concrete change towards a healthy planet. To support their efforts, the World Economic Forum is launching the #GenerationRestoration Youth Challenge to support young ecopreneurs. We are witnessing monumental changes to the balance of the natural world and how the human world, responsible for these changes, is responding. The impact from climate change is coinciding with the coming of age of a generation of young ecopreneurs – Generation Restoration – who are choosing to build their lives around restoring the planet and our relationship to it. At the heart of their motivation and energy lies a powerful shift in mindset. They have grown up as the warnings about climate change and the depletion of Earth’s wonders have become increasingly dire. The consequences of unrestrained growth on the environment, wildlife, and ourselves are propelling increasing numbers of young people around the world to come up with creative, hopeful, transformative solutions that are built upon the principles… [read more].

  1. An Island’s Path to 100% Renewables

The grid of the future lies 850 miles off the coast of Portugal, on an island in the Azores called Graciosa. The island has always been dependent on fossil fuels. But in 2018, that changed. That’s when a group of developers kicked off a hybrid wind-solar-battery storage power plant to slash diesel consumption. The plant consists of 1 megawatt of solar, 4.5 megawatts of wind, and a 6 megawatt/3.2 megawatt-hour energy storage system. The power plant has changed Graciosa’s energy mix. In 2020, there were 128 days when the island was entirely powered by renewable energy. And Graciosa is now saving 190,000 liters of diesel fuel per month. One of the reasons: a piece of control software installed by Wärtsilä, called GEMS. It uses machine learning to balance the renewables and storage on Graciosa’s grid with inputs from meters, heating and cooling systems, and weather forecasts. And GEMS is helping grids across the world balance high amounts of variable renewables with energy storage. In this episode, produced in collaboration with Wärtsilä, we’ll talk with Duarte Silva, the engineer who oversees the island’s power system. We’ll also talk with Luke Witmer, a data scientist who manages R&D for Wärtsilä’s… [read more].

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