A Small Business with a Purpose and Towards a Net Zero Future- Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-07-12

Thanks for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter. Although summer is in full swing, the staff at Happy Eco News show no signs of slowing down. This week, founder Grant Brown was featured on the Biofriendly Podcast where he tells listeners about his fascinating entrepreneurial background and how and why Happy Eco News became what it is today. You may be familiar with Biofriendly because they were featured in our newsletter last week, and trust me, you’ll want to listen to their podcast because Jacob and Noel are a hoot!

As for me, well I’m here in Montreal living my best life reading positive environmental news stories and sharing them with you all! This week we have a blog post by Devon Whalen, the co-founder of Green Whale who tells us about how her company helps parents educate their kids about the environment. We also have stories about how nature can help us achieve a net-zero future, the online payment software Stripe who has invested more money into carbon removal projects, how ending mowing on verges can create wildlife habitats, California and the US government’s agreement to allow offshore wind farms, and the 21st century advancements that are helping to create a greener future. Happy reading!

Jamie D’Souza, Content Manager 

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A Journey to a Small Business with Purpose

Guest post by: Devon Whalen, co-founder of Green Whale

One small family business has been on a slow, steady journey toward the development of a business that promotes sustainability and serves the community. Read on to learn about the twists and turns they’ve taken and the exciting path they’re on now to provide support for parents, teachers, and caregivers who want to raise kids that care about themselves, each other, and the world around them.

Developing a Flexible Route to a Sustainable Destination

Like so many others, the pandemic rocked our world and gave us time to reflect on our situation. I left my job in higher education to keep my children home from daycare, which was the perfect impetus to launch something new. I am not sure my husband and I realized just where this new adventure would take us, though!

Faced with a new opportunity, we set out to start a business that would afford our family the opportunity to meet our needs while living our truth. Together as a family, we’ve been slowly transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle over the last dozen years. As we recognize that we’re in the midst of a climate crisis, we felt called to use our business to take our commitment to sustainability to the next level. Those broad dreams left us wide open to possibility and flexible to change—something much needed in the pandemic world.  And it was a good thing, too!… [read more]

The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5

  1. The race to net-zero is on. This is how we can cross the finish line

Nature underpins our global economy, generating approximately $44 trillion of global economic value. Nature can play a fundamental role in achieving net-zero, with the capacity to deliver one third of cost-effective solutions to climate change. Delivering a sustainable net-zero future for land use will require a coordinated transformation. There needs to be a shift towards nature-positive, net-zero land use, which will require ongoing financial support and investment in Nature-based Solutions. Financial institutions should commit to become ‘nature-positive’ by 2030, including reversing biodiversity loss associated with investment and lending portfolios. The world faces converging environmental crises that are inextricably linked: the accelerating destruction of nature and climate change, driven largely by unsustainable production and consumption. Science warns us that if we deviate from the Paris Agreement target to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the world could quickly find itself at a tipping point. Nature underpins our global economy, generating approximately $44 trillion of global economic value. Nature will also play a fundamental role in achieving net-zero, with the capacity to deliver one third of cost-effective solutions to climate change. Meanwhile, croplands account for 38% of the global land surface , and agricultural practices are a significant driver of… [read more].

  1. Stripe injects cash into 6 more carbon removal projects

The online payment software company Stripe announced on Wednesday that it is spending $2.75 million to support six early-stage carbon removal projects in its second annual round of carbon removal purchases. Carbon removal is a category of climate solutions that are designed to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and keep it out for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Experts say finding ways to do this, in addition to cutting emissions of CO2, will be necessary to limit runaway climate change. But outside of “nature-based” solutions like storage carbon in trees and soils, which are limited by demand for arable land, there really aren’t any carbon removal options available at a meaningful scale yet. In 2019, Stripe decided to try to change that by making a commitment to spend $1 million per year on nascent carbon removal solutions. The company announced the first round of projects it was funding last May. The inaugural winners included Climeworks, a company that makes “direct air capture” machines that pull CO2 out of the air, and Charm Industrial, a company that turns plants into “bio-oil” and stores it underground. Since then, … [read more].

  1. End mowing of road verges to create huge wildlife habitat, says UK study

Road verges cover 1.2% of Great Britain, an area the size of Dorset, and could be used to grow wildflower meadows and create habitat for wildlife, a new study says. In a report outlining the scale of road verges in England, Scotland and Wales, researchers from the University of Exeter used Google Earth and Google Street View to estimate that verges account for about 1,000 sq miles (2,579 sq km) of the UK’s land. According to the report, up to 707 sq km (27.47%) of road verges are short, frequently mown grassland. The rest includes 1,062 sq km (40.87%) of regular grassland, while 480 sq km (18.73%) is woodland, and 272 sq km (10.66%) is scrub. The report states this type of land, defined as the strip of land between the roadside and the fence, presents “significant opportunities” to improve verges as “multifunctional green spaces” in urban areas and densely populated regions, where land scarcity is an issue. Ben Phillips, lead author into the report from University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute , said: “Our key message is that there’s a lot of road verge in Great Britain and we could manage it much better for nature. About… [read more].

  1. California and U.S. Reach Agreement Allowing Big Offshore Wind Farms

California and the U.S. government announced an agreement Tuesday to open up areas off the state’s central and northern coasts to the first commercial wind energy farms on the Pacific Coast . The pact that would float hundreds of turbines off the coast of Morro Bay and Humboldt Bay was touted as a breakthrough to eventually power 1.6 million homes and help the state and federal government reach ambitious climate change goals through clean energy production. “California, as we all know, has a world class offshore wind resource, and it can play a major role in helping to accelerate California’s and the nation’s transition to clean energy,” National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said. The plan includes floating 380 windmills across a nearly 400-square-mile (1,035-square-kilometer) expanse of sea 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Morro Bay. The site could be finalized next month and could be put up for lease next year. The announcement is part of President Joe Biden’s plan to create 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. The new projects — if approved and built — would provide a major expansion of offshore wind power in the U.S. Currently, there are just… [read more].

  1. 21st Century Advancements Contributing to Our Greener Future

As we shift into a greener future to offset the issues of climate change, new technology is paving the way. For over a century, scientists have been warning of the disasters that could befall us. The global warming theory was first presented in 1896 by Arrhenius and proven in 1938 by Callendar.

For almost 70 years nothing has been done and the world’s biggest polluters continue to pump out vast amounts of carbon. The Climate Change Panel’s 2018 report warns that we have 11 years left until the issue becomes irreversible. This has advanced the issue for many nations all over the world. Working with established and innovative tech companies alike, a greener future is becoming possible.… [read more].


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