Sustainability
Climate Extreme — Outdoor Air Conditioning Keeps Qatar Cool

Climate Extreme — Outdoor Air Conditioning Keeps Qatar Cool

Qatar is one of the hottest places on Earth and its temperature increases are accelerrating.  As a result, The Washington Post explains how Qatar does the unthinkable — air conditions its public outdoor spaces, fueling the “vicious cycle” of burning fossil fuels that lead to greater warming.

Why This Matters:  If the global average temperature rise exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, then Qatar’s average temperature will increase between 4 and 6 degrees, which would make work nearly impossible and the city could be uninhabitable.  Qatar may be able to cool certain areas for now, but it cannot cool the entire country indefinitely.

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Growth of Gas Guzzling SUVs Adding Massive Amount of CO2 Globally

Growth of Gas Guzzling SUVs Adding Massive Amount of CO2 Globally

Second only to electric power globally since 2010, sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales have spiked and they are now contributing hugely to the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  In addition, global fuel economy worsened caused in part by the rising SUV demand even as efficiency improvements in smaller cars saved over 2 million barrels a day and electric cars displaced less than 100,000 barrels a day.

Why This Matters:  This is a big double whammy on efforts to curb CO2 emissions and decrease the demand for fossil fuels for cars.

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One Tip It On Back Thing:  Beer in Paper “Bottles”

One Tip It On Back Thing: Beer in Paper “Bottles”

The Danish brewing company Carlsberg is developing a prototype “paper bottle” that will be “fully recyclable and have an inner barrier to allow the bottles to contain beer.”  The Associated Press reported that the company is planning to collaborate with Coca-Cola, Swedish vodka maker Absolut, and makeup group L’Oreal to develop paper bottles.  Carlsberg is […]

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Hero of the Week: Lilly Satidtanasarn

Hero of the Week: Lilly Satidtanasarn

Called “Thailand’s Greta Thunberg” 12-year-old Lilly Satidtanasarn has been fighting to stop the use of single-use plastics in her home country–which is one of the leading contributors to ocean plastic pollution. As the Jakarta Post reported, “In June, Lilly won her first victory: she persuaded Central, a major supermarket in Bangkok, to stop giving out […]

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Four of Top Five Greenest Cities in U.S. Are In California

Four of Top Five Greenest Cities in U.S. Are In California

The annual ranking of the greenest cities in the U.S., as ranked by the consumer website WalletHub, came out on Tuesday and San Francisco, San Diego and Irvine California were the top three.

Why This Matters: California had 7 of the top 10 cities — only Washington, D.C., Seattle and Portland made the top ten.  Despite the Trump Administration’s claims to the contrary, in an independent evaluation, California came out on top — which shows that it’s strong environmental laws and sustainability programs make a difference.

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Unilever Makes Boldest Promise Yet on Reducing Plastics

Unilever Makes Boldest Promise Yet on Reducing Plastics

British/Dutch consumer products giant Unilever announced on Monday that by 2025 it will “make the blue planet blue again” by:

  • Cutting in half its use of virgin plastic, by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic;
  • Helping to collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells.

Why This Matters:  Unilever is making these moves unilaterally and not because it is forced to by government regulation.

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Ocean Plastic Cleanup Device Up and Running After Previous Setbacks

Ocean Plastic Cleanup Device Up and Running After Previous Setbacks

Twenty-five-year-old entrepreneur Boyan Slat’s ocean clean up device is finally collecting trash after breaking apart late last year.

The Takeaway: This technology likely won’t solve the ocean plastic pollution crisis but the world is finally beginning to think through how we tackle our plastic addiction and that’s a good thing.

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Watch This: Billie Eilish’s Green Cred

Teen pop sensation Billie Eilish (who just performed upside down on the season premiere of SNL, ICYMI) recently announced her world tour and on the Jimmy Fallon Show and explained that the tour would make sustainability a central component. Eilish elaborated that fans are encouraged to bring their own water bottles, no plastic straws will […]

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Corporations Make Climate and Sustainability Commitments at UN

Corporations Make Climate and Sustainability Commitments at UN

The UN General Assembly’s #ClimateWeek may have been dedicated to governments making new commitments to meeting the Paris Accord, but many corporations also announced actions they will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve their sustainability.  According to The Climate Group, an NGO that works with businesses and governments to shift their climate policies,  […]

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What To Do With Wind Turbine Scraps

While some wind turbine parts can be repurposed to be used elsewhere, as NPR reported, researchers estimate the U.S. will have more than 720,000 tons of blade material to dispose of over the next 20 years. As Living Circular explained, the rotor blades, in particular, are a problem although they are only 2% to 3% […]

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Our Mountain of a Plastic Problem

You might have heard the phrases, “we’re drowning in plastic” or “all the plastic we’ve ever made is still with us” and while this may get at the urgency of the plastic pollution crisis, it’s still difficult to visualize what this means. Sure, we’ve seen images of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch but what to […]

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NatGeo Helps ‘Activate’ Viewers

Last Week the six-part series Activate premiered on the National Geographic Channel as a partnership between consumer product giant P&G, Radical Media, Global Citizen, and National Geographic. As Fast & Co. explained, the series “features celebrities such as music producer Pharrell Williams, rapper Common, and actors Darren Criss and Uzo Aduba, and highlights the work […]

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