A Look Back at How Far We’ve Come

As 2018 draws to a close it’s important to make plans to improve for next year but it’s just as important to look back at the good things that we’ve done and how far we’ve travelled. Now whilst there has been some alarming news in regards to the state of the environment this year there have also been tremendous leaps made to protect it this year.

Whist 2018 has had it’s downs and in some ways has felt like one of the longest years i’ve ever had there are plenty of things to be proud of. I’ve gathered together some of the uplifting and impressive discoveries, movements and good deeds that have happened this year as motivations and a pick me up for the year to come.

Wildlife and the Environment

  • The hole in the Ozone layer is the smallest it has been since 1988, and it is estimated that it will be fully repaired by 2060.
  • Colombia increased the size of its Serrania de Chiribiquete national park to 17,000 square miles, making it the largest tropical rainforest national park in the world.
  • The EU voted for a total ban on the use of bee-harming insecticides
  • The Belize Great Barrier Reef was removed from the UNESCO list of threatened world heritage sites
  • Pakistan has pledged to plant 10 billion trees over the next 5 years
  • In the UK half of the cheapest energy companies are ‘green tariffs’ generated by renewable sources
  • 70% of the worlds population are reducing their meat consumption which will go a long way in reducing the carbon emissions created by animal agriculture
  • The population of the critically endangered mountain gorilla has risen by 25%
  • The UK has launched the plastic-free ‘trust mark’ to help shoppers more easily find products packaged without plastic
  • The worlds first electrified road opened in Stockholm, Sweden. This road charges electric car and truck batteries as they drive along it
  • Commercial fishing has been banned in the Arctic, this was passed by an international agreement signed in Greenland
  • London fashion week has become the first major global fashion week to prohibit the use of animal fur in its shows
  • Carbon emissions in the UK are at their lowest levels since 1894, and on April 21st the country didn’t burn any coal for the first time in 140 years

In Other News

  • India has decriminalised homosexuality
  • The US midterm elections contained several historic firsts – with Native American, Muslim and LGBT candidates being elected in numerous states.
  • The UK supermarket chain Sainsburys has started labelling foods most requested by food banks which has led to a dramatic rise in donations of said products
  • For the first time in history half of all people on the planet with HIV are receiving treatment and deaths by AIDs have also been halved since 2005
  • Toronto hosted its first ever Indigenous Fashion Week
  • Laverne Cox became the first transgender woman to appear on Cosmo’s front cover
  • Ireland ended its ban on abortion
  • The ban on female drivers in Saudi Arabia was repealed
  • Jordan Peele became the first black screenwriter to win the Oscar for ‘Best original screenplay’ for his movie ‘Get Out’

And there are plenty more that i’m sure i’ve forgotten to mention, including whatever steps you guys have made as individuals to help make the world a better place.

A Peak Inside The Christmas Bee Saver Kit

In my last post ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Wastemas’ I mentioned some charity presents that you could gift to your loved ones and help the world at the same time. One of those gifts is the Friends of the Earth Christmas Bee Saver Kit. I bought myself a kit as an early Christmas present and thought that it would be a good idea to show you guys what you can expect to get if you choose to donate.

A Bee Themed Christmas

When I first opened the pack I was met with a small blank Christmas card that I could send to a friend or family member as well as a matching sheet of bee-themed christmas wrapping paper. Both the wrapping paper and card were beautifully patterned but due to the fact that neither had a shine or glitter they are both fully recyclable and biodegradable.

Protecting the Bees

The main part of the bee saver kit was obviously the tools to help make your garden more bee friendly. The first was a small pack of wildflower seeds, come springtime these are a great way to add some colour to your garden and attract not just bees but butterflies as well. Next we have the handy bee saver guide which contains useful tips and tricks on how to actively help the bees, from building your own bee hotel to which flowers are the best for bees. And finally, one of my favourite parts of the kit was the bee identification poster, most people are unaware of just how many species of bee are actually out there and this is a great visual representation of what to look out for.

Friends of the Earth

Much like Greenpeace I feel like Friends of the Earth are one of those environmental charities that most people have heard of. However I also feel as though most people don’t know exactly what they do or how they can help Friends of the Earth to do what they do. Friends of the Earth are the main reason why the UK now has widespread doorstop recycling, they also have a focus on educating the public about environmental issues. As well as their Bee Saver kit Friends of the Earth also have a shop which include books, clothes and other kits the profits of which go towards helping run their worldwide campaigns.