We faced some challenges over the years in our fight to save the planet – probably the most notable was the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement. Despite those obstacles we are making progress, in large to the people demanding more from the government, organizations, and each other. So, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the best, most-encouraging news stories of 2019 in respect to the environment.
More than ever before people are aware of the problems regarding the planet, our impact on the environment and the future – which is great! We are demanding more from the companies we buy from, we are taking responsibly for our person contribution to preserving the planet, and we are asking hard questions about what and why we use certain products.
I believe 2019 has been a launching off point for the next decade, and the following stories are just a small example of why I think so.
The Fernandina Giant Tortoise has not been seen in over a 100 years and was believed to be extinct. That is until February 2019 when a crew spotted the a female. This was an exciting discovery, but what’s even more encouraging is that investigators believe there are more than just the one due to tracks and faeces found.
This year Morgan Freeman added Beekeeper to his resume when he converted his 124-Acre ranch into a bee sanctuary. Freeman started advocating for bees in 2014 when he talked about beekeeping and Jimmy Fallon and stressed the importance of saving wild bees in order to maintain a healthy environment.
New York uses an estimated 23 billion plastic bags each year, and at least half of those are polluting the streets, waterways and ending up in landfills. That’s why it was imperative that New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, sign a bill into law banning the use of single-use plastic bags states wide, which he did in April 2019.
Beyond Meat goes public and values at $9.6 billion. This is all fantastic news for the 7.3 Million Americans who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, and this number continues to grow. In fact, the Economist called 2019 the “Year of the Vegan.” Read about the plant-based meat war here.
Zappos teamed up with Cotton Inc to keep denim waste out of landfills. Zappos will now take your used, unwanted denim and will recycle it into insulation, which will be used as building insulation. Find out how to donate your denim here.
Acclaimed photographer Sebastiao Salgado and his wife planted 4 million saplings over 20 years in an effort to restore destroyed forests. Best part of this story is that even some of the animals have returned.
Delaware becomes the first no-kill state for shelter animals. This was made possible by the animal-loving community of Delaware, shelters like Brandywine Valley SPCA, and Best Friend’s Animal Society, whose mission is to have all 52 states achieve no-kill status by 2025. Millions of dogs and cats are killed each year in the United States, according to the ASPCA. Read entire story here.
Natural and man-made disasters of the 1980 and ’90’s has forced Jamaica to lose 80% of its coral reefs. Thanks to dedicated coral gardeners the corals are coming back and bringing with them the tropical fish that once called Jamaica ocean home.
In October, California made history by becoming the first U.S. city to ban all sales of fur. The new law applies to new clothing, handbags, and accessories made with fur. Violators will be subject to a fine. Not included in the law, however, is leather, cowhide and shearling, aka wool. Native American tribes are also exempt, as well as, vintage and taxidermy fur. Fur acquired through a hunting licenses will also be exempt. Read more here.
In November Ikea announced they will be replacing all their Styrofoam with compostable mushroom-foam, which is as cheap as Styrofoam, requires zero fossil fuel, and creates no plastic pollution.
This is one of many eco-conscious changes the huge retailer is making. It has embraced solar energy, recycled wood materials and all of their cotton comes from sustainable resources. Read more here.
Sixteen year old, Greta Thunberg, was named Time’s Person of the Year for being a voice for change and standing up to politicians and policies that need to be changed in order to save the planet. Earlier this year, actor and activist, Leonardo DiCaprio, also recognized the teen for her fight for climate change. Read what honorable title he gave her here.
Happy New Year!