Kids Against Climate Change & Guerilla Gardening  Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-08-30

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I am a huge advocate for reducing food waste. At my house, it is so rare that we throw out uneaten food – the occasional onion here and there but that’s it. Although it is true what they say, your produce ripens a lot quicker when you’re the one buying it! That being said, I’ve found creative ways to eliminate food waste, my go-to is making soups, seriously you can make soup out of any vegetable that is on the brink of going bad! This week (in addition to making three kinds of soups during a heatwave) I made homemade strawberry jam out of Quebec strawberries, which although very delicious, turn very quickly.

If you have any berries lying around that you haven’t gotten around to eating, put them on the stove, add some sugar, a squirt of lemon (some people also add pectin to thicken it) and let it simmer. It might take a while to thicken but you can read our top five stories while you wait! It’ll be worth it, trust me, it’s so simple, so delicious, and an easy way to reduce food waste.

Jamie D’Souza, Content Manager, Happy Eco News.

This week we have a blog post by Kottie Christie-Blick, Climate Change Education Consultant and creator of Kids Against Climate Change . She talks about the website was designed by kids for kids to help them learn about climate change. We also have stories about seafloor microbes that consume methane, a bridge that was created to help insects safely cross the road, how guerilla gardening can change your city, China removing the giant Panda from the endangered species list, and the increase of the solar energy job market.

Happy Reading!

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Kids Against Climate Change: A Website for Kids (and the Adults They Love & Admire)

Guest post by: Kottie Christie-BlickClimate Change Education Consultant and Instructor at University of San Diego, California

Parents and teachers, picture the last few weeks of the school year before summer vacation. Classrooms are hot. Children are restless. Everyone is so DONE. However, a few years back, in 2015, my students were focused and driven in those final weeks of the school year. They had been learning about climate change, understood its implications (in a basic sort of way), and had been talking to their families about reducing their carbon footprint. During a class discussion, several students declared that more kids should know about climate change. They believed strongly that if kids knew about it, they would do two things: take action, and tell others about climate change so they too would begin taking action. The best way to get the word out, they lectured me, was to create our own website. Kids Against Climate Change was born. My students really hustled during the few weeks we had left together. They began brainstorming what should be on the website, created drawings and videos…[read more].

The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5

  1. Seafloor microbes hoover up methane, keeping global warming in check

A new study found that carbonate rock mounds on the ocean floor host communities of microbes that actively consume methane, a greenhouse gas that is particularly potent if released into the atmosphere. The researchers found that rock-inhabiting microbes consumed methane 50 times faster than microbes that live in sediment. These microbes therefore play a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s temperature by consuming methane before it travels up into the water column and into the atmosphere. Jeffrey Marlow says we should be thinking more about microbes — those teensy, tiny organisms that inhabit just about every part of the biosphere but are only visible under the lens of a microscope. “Microbes really matter in the environment,” Marlow, an assistant professor of biology at Boston University, told Mongabay in an interview. “They’re often out of sight, out of mind — but they are the first line of defense often in terms of climate change.” Marlow is the lead author of a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that looks at microbes that live in carbonate rock mounds and their interactions with methane, the chemical compound that naturally seeps out of the seafloor. By collecting… [read more].

  1. The Butterfly Effect creates a bridge for insects to cross the road

According to VenhoevenCS, 85 per cent of the world’s food is dependent on insect pollination. The Butterfly Effect would reduce the disruptive air currents produced by cars and encourage insects to travel across the road and pollinate plants. Made up of hexagonal photovoltaic modules, the web’s design is informed by a bee’s honeycomb and would create a large surface area of solar panels that could convert sunlight into energy. The designers expect that the technology for translucent photovoltaic surfaces will soon be available. “The first generation of these energy-generating surfaces will consist of a thin translucent photovoltaic membrane,” said Gross told Dezeen. “Research has shown that many insects, such as the Alcon Blue butterfly, only dare to cross the motorway when there is a traffic jam and the air is still,” she added… [read more].

  1. How ‘Guerrilla Gardening’ Can Change Your City

A nervous breakdown compelled Paul Dalton, a horticulturalist in Kilkenny, Ireland, to do something he hadn’t done before: Go about town, putting plants in the ground in places he wasn’t supposed to. He and the many others around the world who discreetly garden in places where they don’t have the legal rights to do so are guerrilla gardeners. “Guerrilla gardening allows creativity and expression,” Dalton writes via email, and has become a way to make friends. Like others who modify their community without permission — those who put benches on streets that lack them, for example, or put up informal signs warning others of a street safety hazard — guerrilla gardeners often have some kind of mission in mind. What they create can offer something that formal city planning protocols take much longer to do, says Monica Landgrave-Serrano, a city planner for Tucson. “These kinds of small scale, quick, low cost interventions can really get the ball going,” she says, even though there might be mixed perspectives on whether the project ought to get started. Itching for an Illegal Garden Landgrave-Serrano says there are often two motivators for… [read more].

  1. China removes giant pandas from endangered species list

Giant pandas are no longer endangered, according to an announcement made by the Chinese government. The number of pandas in the wild in China has reached 1,800; this doesn’t include those in captivity or protected shelters. Consequently, the animals are no longer endangered, but are still vulnerable. In 2016, the International Union for Nature Conservation removed giant pandas from the endangered species list, classifying them as vulnerable. China has now followed suit, due to an increase in giant panda numbers in the country. In a statement, Cui Shuhong, head of the Department of Nature and Ecology Conservation in the Ministry of Environment, said the reclassification is due to improved living conditions. He also pointed out that these results come from China’s efforts to restore giant panda habitats. Earlier, experts opposed declaring giant pandas no longer endangered , arguing that such a move would spur complacence. As a result, China maintained the “vulnerable” status for its pandas even after being delisted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Besides giant pandas, the Chinese government has also reported significant improvement in Siberian Tiger , Amur leopard, Asian elephant, and crested ibis numbers. The government says that all these improvements… [read more].

  1. Solar Energy Job Market Heats Up Globally

“I really like my job, I’m excited and I’m learning a lot,” says Fabian Rojas. The 26-year-old Argentinian has been working since last October for a small company near the western German city of Cologne that installs solar panels on roofs. The company’s CEO René Hegel, who’s been selling photovoltaic systems since 2008, hired the Argentine engineer, who was visiting Germany at the time. In this way, the company is able to meet at least part of rapidly increasing demand in the region. “We have many inquiries, I put together at least six offers a week and we already have orders for the next four to five months,” Rojas told DW. “Customers want to generate their own electricity, charge their electric cars and reduce consumption from the grid. This also contributes to climate protection.” Rojas talks to customers, customizes photovoltaic systems and sometimes helps install them on rooftops. “Fabian is a fast learner,” Hegel says. “In the next few months he will gain more practical experience, and then things will get… [read more].

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