Trade Shows Go Green and the Growth of America’s Food Forests -Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-06-14

Thanks for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter. This week we have a blog post from Theo Reilly from Quadrant2Design about how the event industry can become more sustainable and green. We also have stories about Sri Lanka’s ban on palm oil imports, the growth of American food forests, the benefits of clean energy using green hydrogen, an energy leader’s roadmap towards reducing emissions, and Los Angeles’ certification as the largest biodiversity haven in the US.

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Is Going Green a Possibility for Trade Shows?

Guest post by: Theo Reilly from Quadrant2Design

A long-overdue change 

Thankfully, rather than being branded a clan of hemp-wearing conspiracy theorists, sustainability activists have grown to acquire a mainstream following. It is estimated 77% of the global population now views environmental damage as a serious concern. Each industry is having to look at its own processes to assess its culpability (some more than others), as the tide of popular opinion turns increasingly eco-centric. What of the exhibition industry? What can be done, what should be done, and what is being done currently to adhere to these new standards? 

Unfortunately, the events industry is not the easiest to turn ‘green’. In 2019, it was reported that the UK events industry emits 1.2bn kg of CO2 per year, partly due to unoptimized diesel generators rendering air quality in green areas worse than in major cities. Events produce a huge amount of waste, with swag bags, single-use banners, single-use booths, flyers, giveaways and many items of paraphernalia designed with the good intention of titillating attendees, that ultimately end up somewhere lodged in a turtle’s airways. However, there are steps that can be taken to cut down on these waste products that are steadily clogging up the planet’s pores


A process that was well underway pre-Covid has been thrust forward at breakneck speed, as reducing paper and material contact is preferable not only for the environment but also for virus transmission...[read more].

Sponsored: NetBet Electronics to Use 100% Recyclable Bulk Packaging

NetBit Electronics (the only major power supply company that has an exclusive focus on customer premises equipment (CPE)) has made a commitment to now only use 100% recyclable bulk packaging from sustainable sources, designed to optimize shipping efficiency and to help their customers reduce C02 emissions.  

NetBit has already introduced a number of eco-measures for bulk packaging such as vegetable-based inks, and non-bleached kraft cardboard and replacing commonly used plastic tapes with paper-based alternatives.  

Moreover, NetBit is also developing new packaging designs for SUP-free transportation to meet international packaging standards. By incorporating innovative paper technologies that are easy to recycle, plastics and harmful materials used in shipping are becoming a thing of the past…[read more]

The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5

  1. Sri Lanka to ban palm oil imports, raze plantations over environmental concerns

Sri Lanka has imposed a ban on palm oil imports and ordered oil palm plantations in the country to be replaced with rubber trees and other crops over the next decade, citing adverse environmental and social impacts. The decision is based on recommendations from a 2018 report by a panel of environmental experts, who linked oil palm plantations to soil erosion and the drying up of water sources. Unlike in other countries where the crop is grown, oil palms aren’t a driver of deforestation in Sri Lanka; instead, they’ve replaced rubber plantations, which host a higher level of biodiversity and provide more jobs for locals. Another concern is that oil palm is becoming an invasive species, occurring in the wild in a forest reserve, with as-yet-unknown impacts on native flora and fauna. COLOMBO — Environmentalists have welcomed the Sri Lankan government’s surprise decision to ban palm oil imports into the country and raze existing plantations, but others say the science justifying the move is unfounded. The government made the announcement in an April 5 gazette, citing recommendations from an expert panel formed by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA). The panel had identified soil erosion and drying of springs… [read more].

2. ‘It’s like a place of healing’: the growth of America’s food forests

There are more than 70 ‘food forests’ in the US as part of a growing movement to tackle food insecurity and promote urban agriculture America’s biggest “food forest” is just a short drive from the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, but there is a relative calm as you wander through the gravel paths that weave through its fertile 7.1 acres (2.8 hectares). When the Guardian visits the Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill there are around a dozen volunteers working on a warm morning. Among them are a mother and son clearing weeds from a secluded area soon to become a yoga and meditation space. “I wanted to help,” Rina Saborio said. “I thought it was a really cool opportunity for the community.” Hundreds of volunteers have come before them in Atlanta, and thousands at similar schemes across the US. Food forests are part of the broader food justice and urban agriculture movement and are distinct from community gardens in various ways. They are typically backed by grants rather than renting plots, usually rely on volunteers and incorporate a land management approach that has a focus on growing perennials. The schemes vary in how they operate in allocating food… [read more].

3. Industrial clusters using green hydrogen can drive clean energy transition in Europe and China

Industrial clusters can be powered by green hydrogen. Hydrogen produced with renewable resources will become cheaper than fossil fuels by 2030 across a range of applications. Green hydrogen will be used to replace fossil fuels in hard-to-abate sectors. Cooperation on hydrogen industrial clusters between China and Europe could help move the clean energy transition agenda forward. After many years of research, development and advocacy, the hydrogen economy is taking shape. This momentum was sparked by expectations that “green” hydrogen, which is produced with renewable resources, will become cheaper than fossil fuels by 2030 across a range of applications. While most research suggests that the majority of fossil molecules in energy applications will be replaced with clean electrons rather than green molecules, it is becoming clear that direct electrification of everything would be technically impractical and economically burdensome. Spearheading efforts to scale-up hydrogen, the EU – as well as individual member states including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain – have already presented their hydrogen strategy documents, with more still under development. Central to EU hydrogen strategy is a massive deployment of electrolysers, as well as the need to import green hydrogen from abroad. To this end, … [read more].

  1. Amid Danger Signs, A Global Energy Leader Finds Reason for Hope

For more than a decade, Fatih Birol has consistently warned that the world is moving far too slowly to wean itself off fossil fuels. Two weeks ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) added its latest admonition: Global CO2 emissions this year are expected to experience their second-largest increase on record. Last week, Birol spoke to President Biden’s climate summit and, after listening to world leaders once again vow to slash emissions, the IEA’s executive director said, “Right now the data does not match the rhetoric — and the gap is getting wider.” Fatih Birol IEA In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Birol leavened his concern over still-rising CO2 emissions with a note of optimism. He talked about the need to begin phasing out coal in three key Asian countries (China, India, and Indonesia) and slashing methane emissions in the U.S., discussed the essential role the Biden administration must play in the climate fight, and explained why policymakers must send an “unmistakable signal” to businesses that investments in clean-energy technologies — not fossil fuels — will be the winners. “[Decarbonization] is not only a drive to… [read more].

  1. Los Angeles is the largest US city to be certified as a biodiversity haven

The city of Los Angeles has been certified as biodiversity haven by the National Wildlife Federation. The certification makes Los Angeles the largest city in the U.S. to have attained this feat. The city registered for the program with the National Wildlife Federation in August last year and started campaigns to get residents to help with the mission to boost the city’s wildlife. To achieve this goal, it took the collective work of city residents, organizations and schools, all of which turned to gardening with native plants, reducing or eliminating pesticide use and designing wildlife-supporting green spaces. Individuals registered 1,078 residential yards to be considered biodiversity havens. Further, 34 schools and 140 common areas were also registered for the program. After application, groups and individuals were required to practice gardening and construction projects with wildlife in mind. In the end, with the implementation of sustainable gardening efforts, individual residents and schools received their own certificates of biodiversity haven status. “This certification celebrates the ongoing work of LA Sanitation and our City Departments, our ecologist in Planning, our City Forest Officer, our Expert Biodiversity Panel, and all our local environmental organizations who labor every day to redirect the trajectory… [read more].

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