THE CLIMATE ISSUE APRIL 2021 | ISSUE 4
Q&A WITH ECO CONSCIOUS ACCOUNTS THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH
VEGAN RECIPE: BEAN BURGER WITH SWEET POTATO FRIES
GUCCI’S NATUREPOSITIVE CLIMATE STRATEGY
ECO BRANDS www.theclimateissue.com
ECO TOP TIPS
ECO SWAPS @theclimateissue
"We don’t have time to sit on our hands as our planet burns" ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ
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"I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is." GRETA THUNBERG
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IN THIS ISSUE EDITOR'S NOTE
THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH
GUCCI'S NATUREPOSITIVE CLIMATE STRATEGY
THE FIGHT FOR PHYTOPLANKTON
I proudly present the fourth issue of The Climate Issue! By way of introduction, my name is Sophia-Harri and for the past 5 years I have been writing about the impacts of climate change and opportunities for climate action. From writing for my own blog, a conservation NGO and the UNICEF Youth platform, I am eager to share my views on environmental issues. Greta Thunberg once told us to panic as though our house is on fire and I really liked that analogy. Throughout our lives we are always told not to panic and stay calm in stressful situations; the truth is that there is nothing calm about climate change. Greta is of course right, we should respond to climate change with drive and urgency. After all, our planet is in flames.
CORPORATE TREEPLANTING: THE LATEST GREENWASHING SCAM OR PLANTING A NEW WAY FORWARD?
I believe addressing the climate issue is something every single person has to get on board with. Climate action is not targeted at the rich, the poor, adults, those who like nature, or have a "geography degree". There are no borders or barriers...it is a mutual issue. I stand by the fact that we can somewhat decrease global carbon emissions with multi-lateral cooperation, but also manage the effects through both adaptation and mitigation. The transition to an eco-friendly lifestyle is so simple and effective and is something I want to emphasise in this magazine.
CLIMATE & CORALS
This issue features more content from guest writers. A range of topics are presented, all the way from coral bleaching to plastic pollution and afforestation. The new Q&A series has launched where I have interviewed four amazing eco organisations who have shared their mission statements and opinions on sustainable habits.
new: Q&a SERIES
Eco Top Tips + ECO SWAPS
You will find regular features such as eco top tips and swaps which encapsulate how easy it is to become eco friendly at home. I want my readers to learn something when they finish reading each issue and endeavour to try something new as a result. I really hope you enjoy reading this issue with optimism and inspiration in mind. Please stay safe!
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By Alyssa Nicole Chlebek
What is it? The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest of five plastic accumulation zones in the world’s oceans. It is located halfway between Hawaii and California. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometers, an area twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France. A total of 1.8 trillion plastic pieces were estimated to be floating in the patch– a plastic count that is equivalent to 250 pieces of debris for every human in the world.
Once these plastics enter the spinning gyre, they are unlikely to leave the current until they degrade into smaller microplastics under the effects of the sun, waves, and marine life . 80% of these plastics come from land, and the other 20% come from boats. It is estimated that 1.15 to 2.41 tons of plastic are entering the ocean each year from rivers . As more and more plastics are used and discarded into the environment, microplastic concentration in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will only continue to increase. Dangers Because there is such a large accumulation of plastic debris taking over our oceans and our land, many animals get stuck in it or mistake the plastic for food. Seals and other marine mammals can get entangled in abandoned plastic fishing nets, which are being discarded largely due to illegal fishing and inclement weather. In addition, sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, their favourite food. Albatrosses mistake tiny plastic resin pellets for fish eggs and feed them to chicks, which die of starvation or ruptured organs. Because plastic is designed to defeat natural decay, it never truly decomposes. Plastic breaks apart into tiny microplastics, which can’t always be seen by the naked eye. Although they are small, they are extremely dangerous.
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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
A common misconception is that The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a floating island of trash. However, it is actually much more dangerous. This toxic vortex is more like a smog of micro-plastic particles, billions of them, over a wide area. Within this soup are larger pieces of trash like shoes, plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic netting, etc.
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Microplastics are everywhere from the deepest trenches in the ocean to the highest mountains on Earth. A recent study of microplastics in the deep sea found plastic particles in every single filter feeder that was studied. It would be naïve of us to think that none of the chemicals from our constant plastic use enters our bodies. The Arizona State University scientists developed and tested a new method to identify dozens of plastics in human tissue that could eventually be used to collect global data on microplastic pollution and its impact on people. The researchers found bisphenol A (BPA) in all samples and were also able to detect the chemical used in plastic drink bottles and shopping bags. They also found and analysed polycarbonate (PC) and polyethylene (PE). These particles can end up in human bodies through the air or by consuming wildlife like seafood that has eaten plastic; or by consuming other foods with trace amounts of plastic from packaging.
One of the best ways to help is to spread awareness and educate others. You can educate family, friends, and coworkers to reduce their consumption of plastic by setting a good example. When you do this, the impact of your actions for the good of the planet will increase exponentially. It is important to use your voice, no matter how big or small, to inform others on the climate crisis and what they can do to help. I am a second-grade teacher, and believe it is especially important to educate children about these topics early on. To do so, I wrote a children’s book called Protector of the Ocean to inspire children to make a difference in our world. The story shares important messages about friendship, protecting the environment, helping others, and empowering children to follow their dreams and make a positive impact. You can find more information about my book on my website, Instagram page or Facebook Page (see below!)
According to Environmental Health News, eight out of every ten babies, and nearly all adults, have measurable levels of phthalates, a chemical in many plastic products, in their bodies. Plastic not only has an impact on humans and wildlife, but on the environment as a whole. Plastic can choke the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. Only 10% of the habitat is on land. The ocean makes up 90% of the habitats on Earth. By 2050, scientists believe that the ocean will have as much plastic in it as fish, by weight.
How We Can Help Scientists and explorers agree that limiting or eliminating our use of disposable plastics and increasing our use of biodegradable resources will be the best way to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This can be as simple as reducing your plastic waste in your daily life. You can do things like bring a reusable bag to the store, avoid singleuse plastics such as straws, put your recycling in the correct containers, wear natural fabrics, and more.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON SPRING 2021
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The ocean, and the world itself, is in peril right now. If we don’t start to change the way we package items, entire species can go extinct. Our planet relies on the biodiversity of its species. Biodiversity provides functioning ecosystems that supply clean air and water, pollination of plants, and the fundamental health of all living things on Earth. Without biodiversity, the whole web of life, including humans, will collapse.
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ECO TOP TIPS
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+ ECO SWAPS
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How to Create a non-toxic carpet
ECO SWAPS ELECTRIC CANDLE LIGHTER VS MATCHES
cleaner Simply mix together:
Compared to matches or fuelled lighters, electric lithium lighters are the ecofriendly alternative. Here are 3 reasons why you should make the switch:
Rechargeable Most work on Lithium-ion batteries and reach full charge within 30 minutes. You’ll never need to order a lighter refill as all you need to do is plug the lighter in to charge using a standard USB socket.
2 cups (470 ml) of water
1 cup (235 ml) of white vinegar
2 teaspoons (13 g) of salt
Create your own strain remover Combine in a small bowl:
1 cup (220 g) of baking powder
1 cup (110 g) of corn starch
5 bay leaves, crushed (for smell)
More Eco-friendly Electricity is a cleaner source of fuel than gas. An electric lighter is a one-off purchase. This means no more burnt out matches and, more importantly, no more single use plastic disposable lighters heading to landfill.
Safety Unlike traditional lighters, most electric lighters have safety switches. That means they won’t spark unless you’ve got the safety switch disengaged- this is safer if there are children around and also less of a fire hazard. 06 | THE CLIMATE ISSUE
15 drops of essential oil
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Gucci's naturepositive climate strategy By sophia-harri
“We want to be part of the solution for nature and climate by mainstreaming practices and systems that will transform nature from being a victim of climate to becoming an actor to change climate, which will ultimately determine the future of our planet.” - Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s President and CEO. REDD+ Projects Gucci will offset their remaining greenhouse gas emissions each year through conservation projects- this means that they will be giving back to the environment to counter the emissions they produce. This is why they strive to become carbon neutral. For those who don't know, REDD+ stands for 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.' Gucci has invested in several REDD+ projects globally which protect crucial ecosystems. Gucci's investment in conservation has focussed on 4 projects: Chyulu Hills (Kenya) REDD+ project with Conservation International and the Kariba Southern Cardamom (Cambodia) REDD+ project with Wildlife Alliance Alto Mayo (Peru) REDD+ project with Conservation International Rimba Raya REDD+ project with Infinite Earth
These projects have enabled the protection of around 1,102,000 hectares of forest since 2018 and the conservation of over 1,000 unique and endangered species, including elephants, rhinos and orang-utans. Regenerative agriculture Gucci is advocating agricultural systems that actually replenish and strengthen nature rather than deplete it. Innovative solutions are being identified to exchange traditional techniques for sustainable ones such as Gucci's metal-tree tanning program which eliminates the use of heavy materials in the leather tanning process. Renewable energy The transition to renewable energy is one of Gucci's most important motives in becoming carbon neutral. Although their target is to become 100% renewable in their operations by 2022, they are halfway there having already achieved 83% green energy consumption in their stores, offices and warehouses worldwide from 2019. The two Italian headquarters in Milan and Florence have solar panelling on their rooftops which converts sunlight into usable green energy for their offices. By replacing non-renewable energy with green energy, Gucci has reduced its CO2 footprint year on year, resulting in savings of 45,800 tons of CO2 in 2018 and 59,200 tons in 2019. The figures from 2020 are yet to be released- but we can imagine it has increased further due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. Sustainable leather Leather is no exception when it comes to sustainability. We all know that leather is a controversial subject due to poor animal warfare, its preservation with toxic chemicals and carbon footprint.
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In 2018, Gucci introduced its landmark carbon natural measures which form Gucci's Nature Climate Solutions portfolio. This outlines key global initiatives for protecting forests from deforestation and restoring mangroves, as well as investing in regenerative agriculture and farming practices. The portfolio champions supply chain transformation measures, as well as long-term ecoconscious initiatives envisaged around mitigating climate change. In 2019, Gucci declared that they had became entirely carbon neutral (including their supply chain).
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Gucci challenges these factors and have demonstrated sustainable initiatives for their leather production: Ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare; Promoting the ecological sustainability of livestock production methods; Complying with all applicable laws, conventions and regulations; Achieved 99% traceability of leather up to abattoirs in 2019. Promoting metal or chrome free tanning as an alternative to traditional methods- 100% metal free by 2025 Sustainable fashion shows As of 2019, Gucci measure and mitigate the environmental impact of their fashion shows and optimise ways to become environmentally friendly. This ranges all the way from the LED lighting at the shows, prioritising local catering, avoiding single-use plastic, donating leftover food and eco-friendly transport. As part of its carbon neutral approach, Gucci also takes responsibility for the carbon emissions from the production of each show, including any associated travel by guests and workers. One tree is planted for each participant of the show to offset emissions. New sustainable packaging
A green decorative pattern embossed onto shopping bags and boxes- the cardboard comes from sustainably managed forest sources The paper’s unique green color decreases the use of inks and an uncoated paper ensures it is fully recyclable. The shopping bag handles are black torchon made of 100% recycled polyester and knotted to avoid using glues. Ribbons are 100% organic cotton and hangers are made of recycled polystyrene. Gucci's commitment to address the climate crisis and achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement is commendable. As a global business, they are implementing solutions that will proactively combat environmental challenges; collective corporate action is needed to make a significant difference in the next decade, so we should urge all businesses to create a nature positive climate strategy.
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Gucci is transitioning to more sustainable packaging materials. Like many other organisations, they set a target to eliminate single-use plastics by 2030. They envision all product packaging, whether its being bought online or in the stores, to be plastic-free. Gucci's new packaging debuted in November 2020 and features the following:
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Q&A WITH ECO CONSCIOUS
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I interviewed (virtually of course) 4 inspiring eco-conscious instagram accounts from around the world. They range from personal blogs to youth led organisations. I have been following these accounts for several months and although they are each unique in their own ways, they all share one common theme...continued determination to educate their followers about sustainability and climate change, as well as amplify eco friendly habits.
with Eco-conscious accounts
CLIMATE OPERATION @CLIMATEOPERATION
I wanted to dig deeper and learn more about their missions/objectives, how they believe the climate crisis can be addressed, which sustainable habits they recommend and ways to achieve climate justice.
OUR FASHION GARDEN @OURFASHIONGARDEN
Find out what they had to say as you flip through the next few pages... SHAGUN @UNEARTH.ISH
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Question: Why is sustainable fashion important to you? Answer: Because it's the only way fashion should be done. Sustainable fashion respects people and the environment and it's a win-win for everyone. It's sad to hear that people are taking advantage of vulnerable civilizations to make more money. We want to change that.
Question: How can we encourage people to ditch the fashion industry? Answer: By changing our mindset and understanding that it isn't expensive or a trend. When we support sustainable fashion we are also helping ourselves, because we share the same planet and it's everybody's business if the earth gets destroyed or not. When we ditch fast fashion, we ditch slavery and the deterioration of the planet. In fast fashion nobody's winning, even if we think we are saving money, we are not. Fast fashion makes us buy more, it is disposable and is made under terrible circumstances. It's damaging our home and hurting people. A little empathy is all we need to realize how wrong is it for vulnerable groups.
Question: Why do you think "sustainable clothes are expensive" is a myth? Answer: Because the most sustainable items, are the ones we already own. Wearing what you have and repeating outfits is sustainable. Also, buying second hand, swapping and upcycling is very affordable and all of them are ways to obtain sustainable fashion. Finally, sustainable brands may not be the most affordable, but that doesn't make them expensive. It makes them fair. (The prices are higher because of the sustainable fabrics and the fair wages they pay to their workers)
Question: Do you think people are aware that the fashion industry are one of the biggest polluters? Answer: Some of them are, but others not so much. I think most people are starting to realize how a straw is not good for the planet and yet they aren't realizing the terrible impact their clothes have. Others choose to act blind because they still think sustainable fashion is too expensive.
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OUR FASHION GARDEN
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Question: What are the “Climate Operation’s” objectives? Answer: Climate Operation is a youth led organisation based in Uganda that aims at educating school going children about climate change and involving them in climate related activism in the form of tree planting activities. Since the organisation is led by young people we acknowledge the fact that social media is a powerful tool to our generation and through Climate Operation's storytelling series, we use social media to amplify other young voices in the environmental space.
Question: How do you think we can achieve climate justice around the world? Answer: First we have to acknowledge that the impacts of climate change affect different societies and groups of people differently. It's from this acknowledgement that we can start to find solutions to these problems. Right now the mainstream environmental movements bring out environmentalism as a predominantly white and privileged space forgetting that people of color, indigenous people and those that are less privileged are at the brunt of this crisis. Therefore if these people (BIPOC) are given the opportunity to advocate for climate solutions to the climate change impacts that are directly affecting them and the people that make the big decisions actually listen and do something to solve these problems, I believe that this will be a good start to achieving climate justice around the world.
Question: What do you think the most important sustainable habit is?
Question: How important do you think it is for climate education sessions to be compulsory in schools?
Answer: To me, I believe that when it comes to sustainability an individual should be both spiritually and mentally in touch with the mindset of taking care of not only themselves but of the environment around them. It is only then that they can start to adopt habits that will sustain them as human beings as well as the environment.
Answer: Currently in Uganda climate education is not part of the curriculum and I believe this is the same for many countries. This is largely due to the fact that the climate crisis is only just now at the forefront of policy conversations and therefore certain countries deem it fit to educate children about their environment and how they can contribute to keeping it safe. I think it's very important for climate education sessions to be implemented in schools because the reality of the fact is that the effects of climate change are going to be heavily felt by the younger generations and thus if equipped with the knowledge and practical skills on how to solve this, then their future will be saved.
Often people view sustainability as these strict principles that one needs to stick to and if they don't, then they're not perfectly leading a sustainable life. I completely disagree with this as it does not take into account the intersection between the concept of sustainability and the way this might look to different classes of people.
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Question: What prompted you to start your instagram account ? Answer: Ever since I was 10 years old , I advocated for saving resources. In my later years, I realised that there are so many things and factors to consider if I actually wanted to make an impact. Then the pandemic hit and everything felt hopeless , I knew that this was a way for earth to take a break but I realised the importance of nature in a deeper way. It was in April 2020 that I decided to become active, learn, unlearn and spread awareness through Instagram. Question: What do you think the most important sustainable habit is? Answer: There are two things which I feel are really important ans can be taken up by anyone. First, use what you have , you don’t need to buy fancy glass jars or new face and skin creams as soon as you start. One should use and finish up what they have first when restocking should choose a better , safe and green option ; same applies to your wardrobe , go justice to the clothes you already have even if they are from fast fashion brands , where them at least 50 times and then choose thrifting , swapping and donations. Second , call out corporations on their unsustainable practices. Consumers are the king in today’s world and as the phrase goes “Caveat Venditor” , we as consumers should be aware and take action.
Question: Do you think a sustainable lifestyle is more expensive? and if yes, how can it be made more affordable? Answer: Sustainable living does not have to be expensive, you should use what you have and then make better choices. Sometimes sustainable living can actually save you a lot of money like for example you can find designer pieces for such good costs and also helping the environment at the same time. Question: How do you think we can get young people to take climate change more seriously? Answer: Today’s generation is already aware of what is to come. They know and they have faced airpollution, floods , environmental crisis and glaciers melting. We have news and the media is making everyone aware of what is happening and we can easily find out what is happening in other corners of the world. The younger generation has to be given a platform and they have to be taken seriously so they continue with the work they are already doing.
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Question: What made you want to start “Green Yourself”? Answer: I struggled with different type of pains for years, such as stomach pains, digestion issues, muscle aches, low energy and difficult breathing. To me, these were normal, as I just assumed everyone else felt the same way. Until one day, my body couldn't take it anymore and there I was, having a burnout for a few months. During this period I learned a lot about myself and it was then that I decided to make a serious lifestyle change. I wanted to live a different kind of life with less stress, focus on healthy food and nature and more time for the people and animals that I love. Last year, I decided to create Green Yourself as a way to share my story and provide information about different ways to accomplish a healthy, happier and more fulfilling sustainable lifestyle. Question: What do you think is the most important element of a sustainable lifestyle is? Answer: First of all, I think it is important to take some time for yourself to reflect and be grateful for everything that the planet has given us. Afterwards, you can learn more about a healthier and sustainable lifestyle. Nowadays it is so easy as there are so many resources available. There are so many elements to this type of lifestyle and I believe they are all as important. Finally, take one step at a time to start this new type of lifestyle. You’ll feel better about yourself.
Question: Do you think an eco-friendly lifestyle is expensive? And if so, how can it be more affordable? Answer: I think you can make an eco-friendly lifestyle as expensive as you want. Here are a few examples: Instead of choosing for organic vegetables and fruits, you can grow your own at home, either from food scraps or seeds. Instead of purchasing clothing or apparel from eco-friendly brands, you can also choose to buy second-hand, exchange or repurpose. Instead of purchasing eco-friendly decorations, you can take a walk in nature, pick up some items and be creative at home.
Question: Do you think we can solve the climate issue by changing societal habits? Answer: I believe if we all change our societal habits, together we can make this world a better place. Don’t go out and try changing all of your life habits at once. Just take it one step at a time. And remember, it's the small actions that count!
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The fight for phytoplankton BY ETHICAL VEGAN EATERY (E.V.E)
So far, efforts with more robust outcomes have been on preserving land. As we know, trees are vital to the earth’s ecosystems. Some can live for thousands of years, and we have been reminded of their importance to us as deforestation continues to contribute to the destruction of the planet. ‘Greenhouse gases over the Amazon basin appear to show around 20% of the total area has become a net source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere’, and one of the main causes is deforestation. Trees have expansive trunks and root systems that store carbon dioxide, transport water, and as we are often told, most importantly, they produce oxygen that is released into the atmosphere. Some companies have recently decided to tackle deforestation by planting trees every time they hit a revenue goal. For example, Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees with the profit it makes from advertisements. WeWOOD sells watches from reclaimed or recycled wood, and for every watch you buy, the company will plant one tree in partnership with Trees For The Future.
However, while we have been focused on protecting trees and other flora as main sources for oxygen production, another organism has gone overlooked: phytoplankton. While tiny, they play a large role in the production of oxygen, and controlling climate. ‘Phytoplankton are microscopic plants that live suspended in the water column’. The micororganism’s communities are usually quite diverse, with typically several dozens of species. Each one only lives for one or two days, but can multiply rapidly within that time. Phytoplankton photosynthesise just as land plants do, capturing sunlight and turning it into chemical energy. During this process, carbon dioxide is consumed and oxygen is released. They are responsible for sequestering 20-35% of CO2 emissions. While all phytoplankton photosynthesise, some consume other organisms for additional energy; they are a vital food source and the foundation of the aquatic food web. The importance of these microscopic organisms, however, goes beyond the ocean. Phytoplankton are responsible for the production of 50-80% of the earth’s atmospheric oxygen, but their production of the gas is dependent on water temperature. An increase of global ocean temperatures of between 5-7 degrees celsius could lead to ocean anoxia (an absence of deficiency of oxygen) which will have a knock-on effect on atmospheric oxygen levels, a problem that would affect every creature on earth. Some phytoplankton are bacteria, some are protists, and most are single-celled plants. Like land plants, phytoplankton have chlorophyll to capture sunlight, and they use photosynthesis to turn it into chemical energy. They consume carbon dioxide, and release oxygen.
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In the fight against climate change, we often concentrate our energies on particular areas and solutions that garner mainstream attention. The earth will need our efforts in cutting greenhouse gases to permeate everything we do and use, and protecting our planet needs to be at the fore of every sector. While we know the oceans and marine life are crucial to our survival, little has been implemented to actually reduce overfishing, oil spills, and litter in the sea. There are initiatives but currently, the bad outweighs the good as far as treatment of our oceans goes. ‘We don’t pollute just the air but the oceans, too. Indeed, today’s seas absorb as much as a quarter of all man-made carbon emissions, which changes the pH of surface waters and leads to acidification’.
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All phytoplankton photosynthesize, but some get additional energy by consuming other organisms. Additionally, they are a food source for almost every other marine life. As oceans continue to warm, the issue brings us back to an age-old climate question: what can be done to mitigate earth’s rising temperatures? We must look to conservation with the same concern we have for trees. Hawaii has placed a ban on any sunscreen that can damage marine life, as many bleach coral reefs due to toxic ingredients. This could and should extend to other countries. Overfishing and the use of fossil fuels by companies transporting goods and oil by ship disrupts the ocean’s ecology. Making more sustainable choices in our day to day lives, including looking at our diet, which companies we use and reducing how many single use items we consume can all help. It seems our waste has reached every corner of the ocean as plastic was found in the deepest spot ever to be reached by man: The Mariana Trench. As consumers we can try to stop demand, and hopefully cause a reduction in supply. Biking to places where possible is also an option and beach cleans organised by community members help sea life. New ocean cleaning technology is also being tested, and other approaches such as zoning and planning processes for parameters that house phytoplankton communities could inform new policies to protect them. But a key component in saving our seas, and by default, our planet, is to put pressure on companies which continue to use unsustainable practises. However, the main perpetrators have not yet changed their behaviours.
We will not survive without phytoplankton, yet we have put it at great risk. Studies on the primary organism continue: ‘If we can understand them better, perhaps we can help them help humanity survive as well’. While we might not know everything about phytoplankton, we do already know that we can and must reduce use of fossil fuels and nonrenewable materials.
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Use of fossil fuels is expected to increase despite numerous pieces of legislation and protests to move away from them. Once coronavirus lockdowns are lifted, experts believe energy demand will jump back up, and levels will not have changed by much pre-pandemic (drops in gas generation only fell by about 4% last year, according to Forbes). The energy sector in particular must make the move to clean, renewable energy. The top polluting companies in the world include Saudi Aramco, Chevron Corporation and Gazprom; all of which are oil and gas companies. There have been numerous oil spills within our lifetime, with a large spill in Mauritius last year, and one across the mediterranean this year. While people clamber to clean one, another has happened elsewhere. Some take ‘decades to clean’, said a volunteer who has been working on a beach in Lebanon where this year’s spill has reached.
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FAVES is a brand new candy company that is working to improve the health of people and the planet. They make a yummy candy out of whole, imperfect fruits and vegetables that would have otherwise gone to waste. After a trip to the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, the founders of FAVES were inspired by the variety of fruit and vegetable seeds grown all over the world. Seeing how many healthy foods we could be eating compared to what the average person typically eats came as a shock! Why eat nutrient-poor and unhealthy foods when we could instead reinvent our foods to be healthy and delicious at the same time? Their plan was simple, provide a world of overfed and undernourished individuals with key nutrients provided by the very fruits and vegetables being wasted every day.
So what are FAVES?
Each FAVES piece contains micronutrient fibers from various fruits and vegetables, but all you can taste is a sweet fruity treat! This is stealth nutrition at its finest. How else do you get a pumpkin to taste like a strawberry? Each serving of FAVES offers a full serving of fruits and vegetables. If you or your kids are picky eaters, this may be your new favorite way to sneak some extra nutrients into your diets!
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The first product engineered by PurePlus+ is a healthy hard candy using the most climate impactful, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. This candy provides real nutrients from produce while adding no processed sugars, artificial ingredients, or other junk. The candy is sweetened with monk fruit – giving it an all-natural sweetness with no added calories.
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FAVES are good for you, your taste buds, and most importantly, the planet! The technology used to create FAVES maintains the nutrient properties of the fruits and veggies inside of them. They do this to ensure that every piece of their candy is packed with fruit and vegetable nutrition. By using imperfect produce they are fighting food waste while working hard to fuel people with healthy, nutritious ingredients. As a sustainable business, the FAVES team wants to ensure that their actions help to make the world a healthier and better place for everyone. They know that sustainability is something we must all adopt in our lives, work, and minds. We hope their candy helps pave the way for this mindset to become a reality!
WHICH COUNTRY AM I? Below are five facts about a country in the world. Can you guess which country it is?
I am home to 18 UNESCO world heritage sites
80% of the country is mountainous
I am the third largest producer of olives
I have more than 2,000 islands, of which approximately 170 are populated
ANSWERS WILL BE REVEALED IN THE NEXT ISSUE!
ANSWER TO THE DECEMBER ISSUE IS ARGENTINA WWW.MYFAVESWEETS.COM
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The Olympic Games originated here
APRIL 2021 | ISSUE 4
CORPORATE TREE-PLANTING: THE LATEST GREENWASHING SCAM OR PLANTING A NEW WAY FORWARD? Forests are currently the unrivalled star of voluntary carbon offsetting markets. Today many people are opting to make greener, more responsible choices when it comes to their consumer habits. In a bid to align with personal values, businesses are having to step up their green credentials. This includes carbon offsetting whereby companies compensate their environmental impacts by ‘paying off’ the damage they cause. Whilst for many, trees may just be a pretty feature in their gardens or at their local parks, they do a lot more for us than you may realise. Their roots can help prevent soil eroding, they provide a home for a diverse range of wildlife, their canopies can provide shade in urban areas, tree crops support livelihoods and even entire economies, and more recently, their biggest advantage is being a natural climate solution. Trees are acknowledged by many as one of the ways to mitigate climate change through their ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. As a result, tree-planting schemes are popping up everywhere with many businesses jumping on the bandwagon to start initiatives to plant millions of trees. Unfortunately, this has led to a rife in greenwashing. The issue of misleading marketing is growing bigger as companies try to soothe people’s eco-anxiety. Commonly seen phrases such as “For every product bought we will plant 1 tree”
are popping up everywhere it seems. BrewDog recently launched their “buy one get one tree” scheme promising to plant a tree in one of their forests for every multipack of beer purchased in 2021. Other household names include beauty group Garnier, Eurostar and even Pornhub (yes, that site) are running similar planting campaigns. Not all planting schemes are equal, however. Often ambitious efforts to plant millions of trees on the whole are well-intentioned. Yet, well-intentioned doesn’t equal a good outcome. There are many negative consequences which largely stem from how and where they are planted. Large scale reforestation programs can be problematic when they are composed of one or a few non-native species that have much lower biodiversity than native forests. There is a big difference between restoring natural resources to an ecosystem and growing trees as crops in monoculture plantations. Unfortunately, often uniform stands of species are chosen based on their ability to grow fast and therefore sequester more CO2, allowing them to generate more carbon credits. Thus, tree-planting can cause more harm than good when not done properly. If the goal of tree-planting is to restore nature, it should be done so in a way that accurately mimics what it destroyed. It is important to remember negative consequences never outweigh any good intentions. Without companies taking the time, research and work to ensure a sustainable project, they fall victim to becoming another example of greenwashing.
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BY EMMA JOHNSTONE
APRIL 2021 | ISSUE 4
As carbon-setting is voluntary and therefore unregulated, it can cause issues. Transparency is key to helping you separate businesses who are legitimate vs ones with ‘good intentions’. So how can you tell if a tree-planting project is doing good? The key is to do some research on their website. The more information you can collect is better. Try to find answers to the following: What tree species are being planted? How many different species are being planted? Is there a healthy diversity of natural trees being planted that can properly sustain the previously existing eco systems? How are the species being chosen? Are they being planted somewhere to help rebuild an area impacted by deforestation? Who is planting the trees? Employees of the company or a third-party? Who is caring for the trees once planted? Or are they simply planting saplings in the ground and never returning. Are communities involved in the process? Are they accredited or verified? Aim to see if they are truly helping or simply profiting from trying to make you feel better. Signs of greenwashing include a lack of evidence of what they are doing and vagueness with poorly defined plans. It’s important to say that not all companies are a scam. The ones that are legitimate are transparent about their efforts.
There are many companies who are supporting or managing great treeplanting schemes. Ecosia is an example. When looking at the environmentally conscious internet search engine’s website, you are able to identify what trees are being planted, where/ why they have been chosen to be planted, how native communities are involved and how they are building the necessary infrastructure to involve local communities. So, is tree-planting just another example of corporate greenwashing? Overall, approaches are not black and white, good or bad. We must remember that trees are only one piece of the puzzle. Some say tree-planting is a win-win for the environment however this has been proved to not be the case. Whilst well planned tree-planting projects are important components of mitigating climate change, they become problematic when promoted as the silver bullet solution. Ultimately, capitalism cannot restore what it has taken and the idea that we can save the world by buying more is flawed. This new economy of repair is not a sustainable fix. Companies should place more focus on eliminating deforestation from supply chains before planting new trees and a greater priority on cutting emissions in line with what science says need to be done first. Before this is done, tree-planting schemes are simply another corporate distraction.
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Important aspects include how many tonnes of CO2 are being soaked up over time, how long the trees are expected to live for, and how many decades a tree will take up CO2. Claims are also often misleading. One tree for one product is not that simple. They often do not account for different timescales with trees planted today taking many decades to offset emissions and little consideration is given about if the tree dies in a wildfire or through disease.
APRIL 2021 | ISSUE 4
D I S C O V E R I N G
C O M F O R T
F O O D
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APRIL 2021 | ISSUE 4
BEAN BURGER WITH SWEET POTATO FRIES Makes 4
Patties: Assembling: Burger buns 1 cans black beans Lettuce 1white onion Tomato 30g walnuts Avocado 60g rolled oats Lemon juice 4 cloves garlic Handful coriander 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon cumin powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon paprika 2 teaspoon mixed spice 2 teaspoon sugar 2 teaspoon soy sauce Chips: 2 large sweet potatoes Salt Olive oil 2 teaspoons of cornflour
PREP TIME Prep | 25 mins
Cook | 35-40 minutes
METHOD Drain the black beans and place them in a towel to soak up excess water. Pat them dry. Leave a handful of beans to one side. Put all ingredients for the patties, except for the handful of beans, in a food processor until everything is minced and mixed well. Using a spatula to empty the patty mixture into a bowl and set aside while you prepare the chips. Peel two large sweet potatoes and slide into chip chunks. Place them in a large bowl or container, add about 3tbsps of olive oil until all are covered lightly, add salt and cornflour and shake them in a closed container until they're covered with the seasoning. Place them on a tray to bake at 180 degrees celsius for 35-40 minutes. Cook for longer if necessary. While the chips are cooking, shape the burger mixture into patties, add in the whole beans, then bake them at the same heat with the chips for 30-40 minutes As those cook, smash one avocado with a dash of lemon juice and salt Serve the patties in a bun with each side covered in your sauce of choice (ketchup and vegan mayonnaise work well), layer with lettuce, tomato, the smashed avocado (and a gherkin if you enjoy them) Serve with sweet potato fries on the side. Roasted tomatoes and coleslaw also make a nice addition.
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22| THE CLIMATE ISSUE
APRIL 2021 | ISSUE 4
By Zuzanna W. Founder of Thriving Corals
In 2016, due to the rising temperatures globally, about 51% of corals had been affected by coral bleaching. This resulted in a 50% loss of corals in the Seychelles and 29% in the Great Barrier Reef. In the next year, widespread bleaching events occurred, killing more corals along the way. But how do temperature changes really affect these ecosystems? What can be done to protect them from future mass bleaching events? With 25% of marine species roaming around these habitats, we need to take action now. Coral bleaching, also known as stress, is a phenomenon in which the corals lose their zooxanthellae (algae living within them). These minute algae, which take part in this symbiotic relationship, help corals obtain the food they need to persist using photosynthesis. Zooxanthellae provide up to 90% of the coral's energy. Animals like zooxanthellae are also responsible for the typical green or brown color of corals. NOMADIC
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CLIMATE & CORALS
Climate change is an issue that is prevalent in magazines and newspapers these days. This is not a big surprise - everything is affected by it, and everyone should be talking about it. Not many people however, see what is happening beneath the waves...
APRIL 2020 | ISSUE 4
Stressed corals expel their zooxanthellae, which also causes colour loss and they remain vulnerable, making them more likely to die. Over the years, corals have developed different adaptations to changing water temperatures, which help them survive in more varied conditions. Some adapt by establishing relationships with multiple zooxanthellae types, but this is not a severe bleaching solution. Recovery is usually possible and occurs after natural temperature changes. Nevertheless, the current frequencies of bleaching events are too high, not giving the corals enough time to prepare for future changes. Organisations all around the world have been working on recreating coral reefs through artificial structure building. Some of these innovative solutions include repurposing different items if they are non-toxic and large enough not to be carried away by a storm. These can consist of concrete, cement, glass, or steel structures. Corals may even be planted on old shipwrecks! These artificial reefs provide more habitats and are a space for tourism that does not affect the natural reefs. Not all of us can go SCUBA diving or plant a coral reef, but we can all make more sustainable choices such as living a conscious lifestyle that does not contribute to climate change. Choosing cycling over a car, wearing reef-safe sunscreen, or drinking tap water can help the coral reefs, whether you live near them or not. The importance of coral reefs is undeniable - they help 500 million people by giving them a source of food, income, or shelter and developing the economy (NOAA). Each day, you can choose to save them or contribute to their demise. Learning does not stop here; visit thrivingcorals.com to access our free online courses about science and art.
use reef-safe sunscreen save water at home, reduce the amount of plastic you throw away, if you can, donate to organisations that work to save the reefs, Live an environmentally conscious lifestyle.
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What you can do to help save the reefs: