Benefits of Activism, Gold in a US Trash Heap- Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-08-23

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At one point in July, I typed the words, “It’s been the best summer ever”.

Best. Summer. Ever. Really?

At least for me and my family, it felt like it was. We got to camp and play outside and spent many days in nature and on the water. We visited friends old and new and generally enjoyed the hot lazy days. But all of that came to an end when the fires started, and my home province of BC had towns disappear in smoke and flames. Then in August, IPCC released their 2021 report on climate change. The best summer ever was pretty short in reality and to be honest, it was really so good just because of the company.

No, the state of the climate is not good, folks. But I truly didn’t really think it would be, and in my opinion, a reality check is what we need now more than ever. So thankfully the IPCC gave it to us, and that is why despite a difficult and frightening read, I have hope for the future. You can read about my opinion on why it’s a bad news/good news situation in my blog titled: The Heat of Summer and the IPCC in 2021.

In addition this week we have a guest blog post by Yann Gager, the creator of it’s all about climate. He tells us about all the positives benefits that come with being part of the climate movement. We also have stories about Lululemon’s founder purchasing a Canadian island to conserve ecosystems, how Boston’s Charles River went from polluted to pristine, how the marines struck gold in a trash heap, 5 things you should know about the EU’s ban on single-use plastic, and the call for a global treaty to end the production of “virgin” plastic.

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The Bright Side of Being a Climate Person

Guest post by: Yann Gager, creator of it’s all about climate

The climate crisis is often framed negatively which is one of the reasons why people do not want to talk about it. After two years in the climate movement, I have realised that we need to frame the topic more positively.

In a previous blog post, I was focusing on the challenges about being a climate activist from burn-out to trolling on social media. In this new blog post, in collaboration with Happy Eco News, I wanted to focus on the bright side of being part of the climate movement. Hopefully this blog post will inspire you to join the movement. We need you more than never.

Action
One of the great aspects of being a climate activist is that you can take different types of climate action, some of these include communicating on social, legal action and climate strikes. Taking climate action is one – if not the best – remedy to fight against your negative climate emotions…[read more].

The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5

  1. Lululemon founder buys Canadian islands to conserve ecosystems

The Lululemon founder, Chip Wilson, has purchased one Canadian island, and helped buy another, in order to donate them to a charity. The islands in question are Saturnina and West Ballenas, two tiny undeveloped specks in the Salish Sea off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island. The former yoga apparel magnate also provided major funding to obtain a sizable chunk of a third, Lasqueti Island. All three islands contain rare, coastal Douglas fir ecosystems that can contain trees upwards of 400 years old, and are critical habitat for at-risk species that also rely on those ancient forests. Coastal Douglas fir forests are home to such birds as the western screech owl and the marbled murrelet. The islands also support the at-risk tree species of Garry oaks and shore pines, as well as salal, dull Oregon grape, Oregon beaked moss and electrified cat’s-tail moss. Wilson, a Canadian who was CEO of Lululemon until the mid-2000s, said the impetus stemmed in part from the first time he saw Vancouver’s vast Stanley Park years ago, and he marveled that someone was “brilliant” enough to save it. “And I thought, if myself and my family ever get a chance, we want to be… [read more].

  1. A watershed moment: How Boston’s Charles River went from polluted to pristine

A pair of mute swans nest along the Charles River in the Back Bay of Boston, near a heavily traveled walking and cycling path. Once a national embarrassment for its pollution, the cleaned-up river today teems with wildlife. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan officially announced earlier this month that the Biden administration will reinterpret the Trump administration’s definition of what constitutes “waters of the United States” – waterways that are deserving of federal protection. Trump’s definition was actually a reinterpretation (or rejection) of what the Obama administration delineated as waters worthy of federal oversight. Obama had sought to increase protections under the Clean Water Act, based on EPA science conducted under both his administration and that of his predecessor, George W. Bush. The agency’s researchers had determined that many wetlands and rain-fed intermittent and ephemeral streams were significantly connected to larger bodies of water than met the eye – and thus those tributaries warranted protection. The Trump administration’s own scientific advisors agreed with Obama’s interpretation. No matter, the Donald’s EPA gutted the rule on behalf of industrial and agricultural polluters by removing half of wetlands and a fifth of streams and tributaries from protection. That shift amounted… [read more].

  1. How the Marine Corps Struck Gold in a Trash Heap As Part of the Pentagon’s Fight Against Climate Change

For years, Marines at Air Station Miramar , a busy Marine Corps installation in Southern California, knew they were sitting on something precious: an enormous pile of trash. For more than six decades, the Navy had leased land to the city of San Diego for the Miramar Landfill , which collects nearly a million tons of garbage a year. As organic material in a trash heap breaks down, it produces methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas, and landfills emit substantial amounts of it across the country—the equivalent of tens of millions of cars on the road for a year. But if the Marines could collect and treat that methane, it could be used as a renewable energy source. “We knew back then that that was a resource that could be used to power the… [read more].

  1. 5 things to know about the EU single-use plastics ban

The EU’s plastics ban aims to banish toxic waste from its beaches — including this one near Odessa on the Black Sea The great packaging purge has begun. Ten single-use plastic (SUP) products that for years have blighted Europe’s beaches will be largely banned from July 3 as the EU’s Single-Use Plastics Directive of 2019 comes into force. Plastic cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, balloon sticks and polystyrene drink and food vessels cannot be sold as of Saturday. Also getting binned are oxo-degradable plastic bags that are marketed as biodegradable but which, according to the EU, break down into microplastics that long remain in the environment. These disposable plastics make up around 70% of marine litter in Europe. Cafes and restaurants will now be forced to stock cups and straws made of bamboo, cellulose or other biodegradable materials. But not all has been outlawed as part of the plastics reforms. SUP bags, bottles, beverage and food containers for immediate consumption, packets and wrappers, tobacco filters, sanitary items and wet wipes will still instead be restricted, while producers will have to pay for the clean-up and institute awareness campaigns about their environmental impact. The end goal is an… [read more].

  1. Call for global treaty to end production of ‘virgin’ plastic by 2040

A binding global treaty is needed to phase out the production of “virgin” or new plastic by 2040, scientists have said. The solution to the blight of plastic pollution in the oceans and on land would be a worldwide agreement on limits and controls, they say in a special report in the journal Science . Since the 1950s about 8bn tonnes of plastic has been produced. The effects are everywhere. One of the reports authors, Nils Simon, said: “Plastics are ubiquitously found in increasing amounts worldwide, including in terrestrial environments and even inside the human body.” The authors say the very properties that have made plastic an apparently essential modern material also make it a serious environmental threat. Science senior editor Jesse Smith, writes: “As for much new technology, their development and proliferation occurred with little consideration for their impacts, but now it’s impossible to deny their dark side as we confront a rapidly growing plastic pollution problem. “The time for preventing plastic pollution is long past – the time for changing the future of plastics in our world, however, is now.” The report calls for a new global treaty “to cover the entire lifecycle of plastics, from the… [read more].

 

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