5 Sustainable stories to start your week
As a new working week kicks-off we wanted to share some positive, sustainable, news stories from across the globe. Ones which, hopefully will give you an extra boost to start your week. We hope you enjoy and these bring a little smile to your day.
Costa Rica vows Carbon Neutrality
Saturday 22nd August marked a globally tragic day, World Overshoot Day, whereby for every day until the end of the year we are living in a resource deficit. In order for this date to move closer to the end of the year will take action from every corner of society. Step in Costa Rica, dutifully picking up where his carbon neutrality-aspiring predecessor left off, newly elected Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado made quite the pledge at his inauguration ceremony last year: by 2021 — the year of Costa Rica’s bicentennial — the perpetually buoyant and happy Central American nation will have completely weaned itself off the use of fossil fuels. Almost a year later, Alvarado signed a decree in February 2019 to fully decarbonise by the year 2050 with no mention of his previous, lofty goal of being carbon neutral by 2021. Nonetheless, the goal is still admirable, and if accomplished will be the first in the world.
While there may be a degree of politicising in this message, the world should be looking at how Costa Rica embraces green economics and is building a society which puts the preservation of the world’s finite resource. We will be following the Costa Rican model very closely!
Human settlement, agriculture, and logging have not been kind to the world’s trees, and in turn, have been nothing short of disastrous for the animals that call those trees home. Reforestation efforts seem like a natural fix – planting trees is good for the climate and good for wildlife – but it’s also a slippery slope into green colonialism when done in developing nations. Yet there are ways to approach reforestation with respect for local communities and in which everyone wins; and the newly launched “Wildlife Habitat & Corridor Restoration Project” in western Uganda appears to be just such an effort. Announced on World Chimpanzee Day, the project is a partnership between the Jane Goodall Institute and reforestation non-profit One Tree Planted . The plan is to plant more than 3 million trees, supporting long-term and large-scale restoration of the Albertine Rift Forests. The area is an important habitat for endangered chimpanzees, as well as more than 50% of birds, 39% of mammals, 19% of amphibians, and 14% of reptiles and plants of mainland Africa. By joining forces, the two groups intend to not only restore and manage the important ecosystems, but also support local communities too.
You will be shocked to read, that as a Food Waste prevention business, we have some amazing food news stories from the Food Waste sector.
Firstly, let’s start with a bit of basic advice which should become common knowledge…best before dates are not expiry dates! The David Suzuki centre has produced the following advice this week. Yogurt with a best before date of today is still good (and safe) to eat for seven to 10 days whether open or unopened. Reading best before dates as expiry dates probably contributes to food waste and every year a staggering amount of the world’s food is wasted after it has been harvested. That’s wasted fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, cereals, dairy products and meat. Let’s change that. Best before dates have to do with food quality — freshness, texture, flavour and nutritional value — not safety. They are not expiry dates. Not confusing “best before” with “expired” will lead to these three things: You’ll waste less food. You’ll save money. You’ll avoid sending food waste to the landfill, which contributes to increasing methane emissions.
Kiwi's finding uses for kiwifruit
Lovely story here from New Zealand, a researcher has found an exceptionally resourceful way to repurpose kiwifruit peel. Although it is possible to consume kiwifruit peel, the vast majority of us discard this as compost or even worse throw into the rubbish. Dr. Nathan, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, has found a way to use kiwifruit peel to help purify water, especially from metallic contamination. Dr. Nathan hopes that this bio-technology can be used to purify drinking water in some of the poorest regions of her native India.
From stale bread to tasty treat
Do you have some best-before bread in your cupboard? Maybe it could make some amazing croutons or a fantastic, autumnal bread pudding…or what about turning it an Indian dessert. That is exactly what enterprising students from the University of Nottingham, UK have done. The group of students, who also run the foodprint.io store, came up with a novel method to turn ‘best before date’ bread into a sweet treat based on the traditional Indian dessert Gulab Jamun and it recently won the annual Ecotrophelia UK competition, a national competition for the creation of eco-innovative food products organised jointly by the Institute of Food Science & Technology and Campden BRI.
This outside the box, cross cultural way to use up and repurpose existing products is exactly the type of thinking needed to help us as a global society ensure that ‘World Overshoot Day’ becomes a date we no longer mark!
We hope that these short snap shots from the week give you the impetus to have a productive week. If you have any stories. To share with us – please do get in touch!
Have a great week, from all at Team Whywaste