The Overlooked Climate Solution and Saving the Monarchs- Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-07-19

Thanks for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter. This week, Grant Brown and the team at Happy Eco News has put together something very special for all of our subscribers. Eco-anxiety is a term we’ve been hearing about lately where we consciously or unconsciously worry about the future of the planet. It’s a perfectly normal feeling, and for many of you it’s why you subscribe to our website; you can ease the worry by reading about positive environmental news. There are other ways to reduce eco-anxiety and we’ve come up with a free PDF called 5 Tips to Reduce Eco-Anxiety. We hope you will download the PDF and find some helpful ways that you can find some comfort and a little more hope for the future.

Our guest blog post this week is by Concordia University student Alex Di Pardo who tells us about the impact one environmental class had on her whole perspective on the environment and taught her how to live more sustainably. We also have great stories about a climate activist who now sits on the board at Exxon, how restoring degrading lands can help us mitigate climate change, a giant offshore wind project in the USA, how we can protect and restore the Amazon, and California’s plan to save the monarch butterfly.

This week we also have a post by Grant Brown, Founder of Happy Eco News, where he shares a personal story of how spending time in nature with purpose can help heal some pretty big emotional wounds. In his post, he describes the strong benefits he and his son get from going to the forest to think, heal, and find serenity. In their week-long escape from a manic existence in the city, they find the value in just being in nature as a part of it.

Happy reading!

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Awareness: The Overlooked Climate Solution

Guest post by: Alex Di Pardo, Environmental Geography student at Concordia University, Montreal

Until about four years ago, I was a totally different person. Not just in appearance or with day-to-day activities, but with my core values. I was materialistic and frivolous. I prioritized my outward appearance… a type of female character archetype I struggle to give a name. To give you an idea, my favorite movies and TV shows included Gossip Girl, Confessions of a Shopaholic, 13 Going on 30, and Legally Blonde (all of which I still love, just for different reasons).

I dreamed of having a closet like that of Cher Horowitz of Clueless or Hannah Montana. The mall was my favorite hangout spot, and I remember walking into stores like Forever 21, wishing I owned every piece of their merchandise (yikes!). In CEGEP (a sort of pre-university in Quebec), it became a joke between my friends and I for me to go on a shopping spree the day(s) leading up to an important exam—while they were studying, I was sending them Snapchats of the outfits I was buying. Most of the time, I’d only wear them once or twice before storing them at the back of my closet.

Today, my friends wouldn’t describe me like that at all. In fact, they don’t! A few months ago, I asked them how they’d describe me, and the top three adjectives I got were artistic, smart, and environmentally conscious…[read more].

Forest Bathing, Forest Healing

By Grant Brown, Founder, Happy Eco News

It’s not until we drive off the ferry that my jaw unclenches.

I didn’t even know my teeth had been clenched. I wonder how long they had been that way. Was it hours? Days? Weeks? I feel the tension slowly drain from my face, then my shoulders, and my hands. I am driving a vintage VW van built in 1987, but the steering wheel seems somehow light and responsive.

The windows are down on this hot July morning and traffic is moving easily, the drivers finding their lanes without aggression. Much unlike the side that I just came from. There are only a few of those drivers here to be sure, there is one in every crowd they say, but here they really are fewer. The ones that push and speed are probably from the mainland, and haven’t felt the pace slow down yet. Maybe they are wound up so tight that they never will.

We are on island time now and I feel the tension melt away.

My life is good. I truly can’t complain, but at the moment it’s in turmoil; some of the people I love the most are hurting and I feel their pain. I’m taking this trip with my son who soon turns 20. He is now a man, but unlike previous generations… [read more]

Sponsored: NetBit’s 7 Key Eco Focus Areas in the Lifecycle of a PSU

When designing a power supply unit, it is important to examine the keys areas within a PSU lifecycle from design to disposal.  

At NetBit, our eco-design philosophy addresses 7 focus areas, including: 

1/ Design  

Design optimization is vital to eco-design and holds the potential to have the biggest positive effect on the environment. By matching the power output and increasing efficiency you can save a huge quantity of wasted power, thus cutting down CO2 emissions over the total product lifetime. Moreover, there are further positive impacts for optimizing power and using lower nominal output, including: smaller size, fewer materials, higher shipping efficiency, to name a few.  

2/ Raw Materials  

At NetBit we’re starting to replace virgin plastics with PCR (post-consumer recycled ) materials, thereby reducing our carbon footprint. We have successfully implemented 50% PCR materials for the case of the power supply without impacting robustness and fully in line with applicable safety standards. In the mid-term, our goal is to increase the PCR content to 80%…[read more]

The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5

  1. Climate Activists Get Renewed Victory After Third Member Elected to Exxon’s Board

Climate activists won yet another victory against Exxon Mobil on Wednesday after a third member was elected to the oil giant’s board, raising the stakes for the company amid criticism it has done little to address the growing threat of climate change. Exxon said Alexander Karsner , a strategist who works at Google ’s parent company, Alphabet, and who has experience in renewable energy fields, secured enough votes to sit on the board. He served as the assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the Department of Energy under President George W. Bush and has worked for companies that helped build large solar plants, bringing deep environmental credentials to the fossil fuel producer, The New York Times reported. Karsner joins two other board members pushed by a small, activist hedge fund called Engine No. 1 that rallied some of Exxon’s biggest investors into calling for the oil giant to shift its business model to better address climate change and ultimately invest in renewable energy sources. Gregory Goff and Kaisa Hietala were also elected last month, both of whom have experience in the energy industry. A fourth nominee touted by Engine No. 1 was defeated. Exxon had… [read more].

  1. Restoring degrading lands can help us mitigate climate change

The Great Green Wall Initiative, which was launched by the AU in 2007, is aiming to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land across the Sahel in an 8,000 km-long strip, sequester 250 million tons of carbon, and create 10 million jobs in rural areas by 2030 [greatgreenwall.org] Humanity faces a herculean task to reverse climate change and protect the natural world that supports us. We must retool human society to live in harmony with nature – all while leaving space for people in developing nations to prosper and grow. We want this to happen immediately. But we must be realistic. Even if everyone starts immediately to turn their promises on climate change and nature loss into action – as they should and must – we are looking at decades of work. To buy time to complete these transformations, particularly the transition to zero-carbon economies, we need fast-acting and simple solutions. Solutions that slow climate change, restore nature and biodiversity, protect us against pandemics, allow us to produce more food, create jobs, reduce inequalities, build peace. Restoring degrading land can do all of that quickly, at relatively low cost, and with modest technological solutions. We must pull out all… [read more].

  1. A giant new offshore wind project is set to power 10 million US homes

Plans for renewable energy must be accelerated to reach the global net-zero-by-2050 goals. The international offshore wind market is booming, says the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), from 2.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2016 to 6.1GW in 2020. This is due, it explains in its Global Wind Report 2021, to new installations and developments in China and the US. Although it has been slow to adopt wind power, the US is now playing catch-up. By 2030, around 10 million American homes could be getting their power from a series of colossal offshore wind farms along the country’s Atlantic coast. The first of which would be located off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in the eastern state of Massachusetts. Known as Vineyard Wind, the development took an important step forward when an environmental review of the project was completed by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on 8 May 2021. Under the previous US administration, it had been delayed repeatedly, according to a report in the New York Times. It is expected to be completed by 2023 and will comprise 84 wind turbines generating 800 megawatts of electricity. In total, 13 offshore wind farms are being considered along… [read more].

  1. This Challenge Aims to Protect and Restore the Amazon

Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, Brazil. The Amazon is home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem. However, deforestation threatens the very survival of the Amazon ecosystems. Promising eco-enterprises are emerging to connect remote areas of the Amazon to sustainable markets. Ecopreneurship models that preserve the forest and restore landscapes represent innovative solutions to slow down and reverse deforestation. As part of these efforts, Uplink and 1t.org are launching the Trillion Trees: Amazon Bioeconomy Challenge with an alliance of the major actors to strengthen the ecopreneurship ecosystem. The Amazon basin has become a main feature of daily news, with increasing deforestation, wildfires, business and political agendas confronting the efforts to conserve the rainforest. The basin is home to the largest rainforest on Earth, accounting for 54% of the world’s primary forest cover. Roughly the size of the US, the basin includes parts of eight South American countries and is home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet including 40,000 plant species and 16,000 tree species. Deforestation of the Amazon basin has taken on dire… [read more].

  1. Monarch butterflies are nearly extinct. California has a plan to save them

In one of the biggest mobilizations of resources and talent ever organized to save an insect, the state of California is teaming with conservation groups, biologists and scores of citizen scientists to rescue the western monarch butterfly from the brink of extinction. To do this, they are placing their hopes on an unassuming, poisonous plant called milkweed. Monarch butterflies, known for their distinctive orange and black pattern, once flocked to California in the millions, spending the winter clumped on trees as they migrated to and from the state’s central coast. But the population has sharply declined from 4.5 million in the 1980s, dropping to nearly 200,000 in recent decades before taking a precipitous dive in 2018. That year, the population fell to nearly 30,000, and when volunteers counted again in November, it had dropped to fewer than 2,000 – representing a 99% collapse in the last three decades. “It was really grim,” says Angela Laws, an endangered species conservation biologist with the Xerces Society, which conducts the November population counts using an army of volunteer naturalists. “It’s alarming that the numbers are so low. But we still have time to save these butterflies.” Western monarch caterpillars depend on a.… [read more].

 

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