Neel Oza: The Ocean Cleanup
A group called The Ocean Cleanup is a Netherlands-based non-profit, environmental organization dedicated to the cleaning and removal of plastic from the world’s bodies of water. They are focusing most of their efforts on The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP); the largest accumulation of single-use plastic in the world. It is located between California and Hawaii, is roughly 1.6 million square kilometres, an area twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France and contains up to 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. The system consists of a long floater at the surface of the water; which provides buoyancy and a skirt sitting at the bottom; preventing the plastic from escaping and leads it to the area where it can be collected. The system also relies on the wind and ocean currents to collect the plastic and uses an anchor to aid in this process. The Ocean Cleanup estimates that after using multiple systems they can remove 90% of ocean plastic by 2040.
Raeya Arora: Dirty Labs
A new company named Dirty Labs is a laundry detergent brand that is non-toxic and uses bio-based enzymes that quickly biodegrade once washed down the drain. A normal laundry detergent has chemicals that can be very harmful to the environment. These chemicals are not easy to remove and are not always removed by filters. These chemicals can also make it into our groundwater sources. Dirty Labs has ensured that its products are safe and sustainable. They have eliminated all California Proposition 65 chemicals of concern and EU fragrance allergens by creating a ‘truly clean ingredient list’ which are biodegradable.
Riya Mehta: Ikea Buys an 11,000-acre forest in Georgia
An 11,000-acre forest in Georgia was at risk of being split up and developed, but a conservation organization, Ikeas’s parent company, Ingka Group bought it under a contract that will continue to protect the local ecosystem. This is one of Ikea’s next steps to become “climate positive” by 2030. This means that this company is planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than it emits through its value chain. Ikea is also reducing emissions by using renewable energy, shifting to electric delivery vehicles, rethinking materials, and implementing new business models such as taking back old furniture and repairing it for resale.
Riya Mehta: One Tree Planted Releases 2020 Impact Report
The organization, One Tree Plant, has released their 2020 impact report and have announced that they planted over 10 million trees in 2020! Those 10 million trees were planted through 113 projects spanning 15 million hectares in 28 countries on 6 continents. To continue their amazing journey, they already have commitments to plant 13.5 million more in 2021!
Riya Mehta: UN Launches The Decade On Ecosystem Restoration
January 1, 2021 has marked the beginning of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which is going to run from 2021-2030. The Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a program developed to prevent catastrophic climate change. It is a chance to halt the degradation of ecosystems, restore previously degraded areas, and step into a new reality. The UN will be doing this through actions that include new mangroves, grass or other plantings, natural or assisted regeneration, agroforestry, soil enhancement measures, or improved and sustainable management to accommodate a mosaic of land, aquatic, or marine uses.
Dia Arora: Ford Plans to Make All Cars Sold in Europe Electric by 2030
Ford, one of the world’s largest auto-vehicle manufacturing companies, has decided to ensure that all of their cars sold in Europe will be electric by 2030. The company plans to invest about $1 billion to build its first facility in Cologne, Germany, and Ford will also invest $22 billion into “electrification”. The first of these electric cars are estimated to be produced by 2023 and the goal is to have all passenger cars become electric by 2026. Ford wants to ensure that no gases are emitted into the environment to limit pollution as much as possible. The head of Ford’s European operations, Stuart Rowley, aims to work towards an “all-electric future” for the betterment of our environment.