Too often headlines are based solely on shocking and terrible stories. It’s easy to lose sight of the kindness and generosity of mankind, as well the efforts to do good for the environment. You’ve likely been following environmental news in 2021. It has highlighted atrocities across the globe, just as every year. There are many stories of policy changes, local cleanup efforts and innovative corporate actions that all aim to decrease carbon, conserve trees, protect wildlife, and so on.
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Throughout the 26th COP26, nations from all corners of the globe focused on the same goals. Seven countries pledged that they would stop oil and natural gas exploration. Seven countries have pledged to stop importing significant amounts of oil from their soils, but the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance provides a platform for other nations and regions to join the effort. Read more at 7 countries pledge to end new oil-and-gas exploration.
Related: Inhabitats Positive News site
The Riverside Park Conservancy has been fighting against invasive species in Riverside Park for fifteen years. Despite the overwhelming volunteer effort to remove the plants, they quickly return the steep hillsides that are difficult to access. They brought in two dozen goats to participate in the Running of the Goats. Five goats stayed for six weeks to eat the English ivy and poison ivy. Toxic weed killers can be avoided by allowing animals to graze. This is both good for the land and for the citizens.
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It is well known that raising livestock can have a negative impact on the land. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is more harmful than carbon dioxide. The soil can be damaged by the land required for production. There is also concern about animal treatment. Lab-grown meat is a key component of reducing animal dependence for food. For example, California’s new facility can produce 50,000 lbs of lab-grown meat annually. The short-term goal is to increase that number to 400,000.
It is the nation’s largest national forest and covers 16 million acres in Southeast Alaska. This area is home of 400 species of wildlife, fish, and indigenous peoples as well as 800-year-old trees. While there were once protections in place, Trump exempted the area from his last few months in office. This allowed for the construction of roads, logging, and other harmful activities. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the reimplementation the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. This is a win-win for the natives and the planet. According to the Alaska Wilderness League Tongass National Forest, it is one of the largest intact temperate forest in the world. It is home to more than 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon and sequesters 10 million additional metric tons annually.
Without policies to protect existing forests, we will be unable to sustain our efforts to maintain quality air, slow global warming, reduce the effects from erosion, landslides, wildfires and slow global warming. COP26 saw 110 leaders from 110 countries sign the pledge to end deforestation by 2030. It will restrict investments in contributing projects and place restrictions on tree removal to make space for animal grazing, and the growing of crops like palm oil.
Replanting trees is essential for the long-term balance of nature. Many businesses have started contributing to reforestation. Non-profits all over the globe are making a tangible contribution. One Tree PlantedOne such organization is the one above. Its mid-year report reports 58,000 mangrove tree plantings in a vulnerable region of Haiti, the plantings of 430,000 native trees Minnesota, 40,000 Mexican native trees, and more that 814,000 trees in California. Forests the size of France were also restored over the past 20 year, proving that even small efforts can make a difference.
Google the Great Pacific Garbage Patch if you’ve never heard of it. It is a large area of the Pacific Ocean that has been a major source of ocean pollution. At just 18 years old, a Dutch inventor set out to solve the problem. Ocean Cleanup was his first attempt to solve the problem. His organization aimed to eliminate 90% of the plastic in the ocean by 2040. Ocean Cleanup collected and removed over 20,000 pounds of trash after two previous attempts that failed. This was in the summer and fall 2021.
Although you may not give this Australian marsupial much thought it is good to know that the bandicoot has been reclassified endangered. This is an improvement on the previous extinct status. Officials claim that it was a 30-year effort by officials to protect the small furry creature that was almost completely eradicated by foxes, lack of suitable habitat, and other factors.
Images via Pexels