National Earth Day: heading in the right direction?

It’s difficult to escape it. Every day we hear about another natural disaster that could have been averted, animals that have been washed up on shore with their mouths full of plastic bags and straw, and an unnerving amount of waste littered in once beautiful parks and beaches.

Rising temperatures, sea-levels, stress levels around the world and rising numbers of people in poverty. It’s no surprise that the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that there are over 300 million people across the globe that have depression.

It’s difficult to see a silver lining when we hear so much negativity, but The Book of Everyone has been looking into some of the ways that people are trying to encourage change in the way we treat Mother Earth.

So don’t lose hope in humanity, there is some amazing things going on.

1. Patagonia

Patagonia is a clothing brand owned by Yvon Chouinard, which makes versatile, sturdy jackets and hiking gear that can withstand almost anything. Hipsters, skaters, hikers and general fashionistas all over will have heard the five syllable brand uttered at some point or another. But it’s not just keeping up with trends that has gained them so much credibility. Their mission is to help the environment and they’re always looking for new ways to do so.

Patagonia is one of the only clothing brands to actively encourage recycling clothes, whilst also using plastic bottles and non-recyclable waste in their garments over and over again, converting them into polyester fibers to be used in production. All of these materials could easily end up in the oceans or amongst our wildlife, but end up on our very own backs.

In an era where humans are buying more than ever before, we’re also discarding more than ever, usually with a disregard as to where this waste goes. The way that Patagonia uses recycled polyester helps to lessen the dependence of petroleum as a source of raw material.

Oh, and if you weren’t impressed already, it also reduces toxic emissions which occur from burning plastics and also helps to prolong landfill life.

Nice work guys.

2. The Ocean Clean-Up Foundation

You may have heard about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It’s had a lot of media coverage over the last couple of years, not for good reasons. It stretches across 617,000 square miles in the northern Pacific Ocean, with plastics making up 99.9 percent of the rubbish in the patch.

This is where the Ocean Clean-Up Foundation comes in. Boyan Slatt, the founder of the mission, plans to remove the floating island with cost effective and environmentally friendly methods within the next 5 years.

How you may ask? He wants to install a 600 metre floater which sits atop of the water, with a 3 metre deep skirt to catch the troublesome bits of rubbish. The floater is carried by the sea current and winds, meaning it doesn’t use electricity, but Earth’s very own natural forces.  

These cause the apparatus to move more quickly than the rubbish, surrounding it and keeping it locked in one place. It then ‘captures’ the rubbish using the ‘u’ shaped floater. Once the rubbish collected in one place, a sort of ‘rubbish taxi service boat’ will come and collect it. This will happen once every few months until all of the rubbish has been collected, cleared and recycled.

It looks like Nemo, Jaws and The Little Mermaid have hope after all.

3. Viral vanity for good

Viral challenges are difficult to miss these days. It seems that whatever idea you have, someone will emulate it and it’ll become an internet sensation. In fact, I’m currently making my very own ‘eat your own shoe’ challenge, if anyone fancies joining.

It’s not all in vain, though. In fact, some viral challenges can be highly beneficial and serve as a positive purpose. Remember the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’? That wasn’t just to get your own back on a loved one, it was to fight ALS or “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.” The outcome? The viral challenge managed to make enough money to fund scientific investigation, which found a gene that was associated with ALS. A massive step in finding a cure.

So, we know the virality factor can be used for good and this has been proved once again with the #trashtag challenge. This particular challenge started appearing on our newsfeeds in March 2019. It encouraged people taking part to find a place absolutely covered in litter. Then, participants would have to take a picture of the dastardly scene beforehand, clean up the whole place and finally take a picture with the rubbish that they had collected in plastic bags.

Viral fashions can be pretty tedious, but this one was particularly impressive.

4. Animal conservationalists around the world

I don’t remember a time where the news hasn’t mentioned animals being endangered, or worse going completely extinct. In fact, it’s said that due to changes in climate as well as poaching, deforestation and other human activities, extinction is estimated to be happening to around 100 to 1,000 species per million per year. 

That is a depressing statistic. I don’t know about you, but I would have liked to see a Western Black Rhinoceros, a Barbary Lion or a Pinta Island Tortoise (all now extinct in the wild).

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as slowly but surely things are starting to change and the hard work of conservationists and environmentalists is having an effect. Many beloved animals are increasing in numbers which means they are no longer on the ‘endangered’ list.

Here’s a list of animals that are no longer endangered thanks to these efforts: Panda Bear, Yellowstone Grizzly Bear, Gray Wolf, Gray Whale and The Snow Leopard. Utterly amazing news. Oww-oww-owwwwwww.

With all of the craziness going on around the world and all of the bad news we hear on a daily basis, it’s often difficult to realise that there’s actually a lot of positivity to be recognised too. From environmentally friendly fashion brands, to the heroes of the oceans going out of their way to solve the mounting rubbish crisis. Things are going in the right direction.

At The Book of Everyone, we believe in helping the environment too. Our main printers, Pureprint, prides itself on sustainability. They’ve created an environmental education program for their staff, implemented an environmental management system and they were the first carbon neutral printers in the world. We’re proud to be part of that.

So, let’s do all we can to make sure we’re doing everything we can to look after this beautiful rock we call home.

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