I’m a total optimist, always have been, but being an optimist and an environmentalist can sometimes be a challenge. It’s hard when there are countless accounts about the dire state of our planet. From climate change, to the health of our oceans, to the number of people that don’t have access to clean drinking water, to the rapid amount of deforestation and species loss, it can be overwhelming. I can easily go down a rabbit hole of doom and gloom but in true optimist fashion, I wanted to share some BIG wins for the environment in 2015. You might have missed some of the good things to happen this year. Maybe you’ll want to do a happy dance with me to celebrate! I wanted to share them with you in a Green Links style post (it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these types of posts around here). This feels like a great reason to bring them back. :)
Each of the headlines below gives me a great deal of hope for the year to come. Share this good news so others can see, that despite all the mountains of work needing to be done there is still good happening.
- The Climate Summit in Paris came to a legally binding agreement to work on climate change, a worldwide issue and 195 counties signed on. This is totally historic and super exciting!
- Shell backs out of drilling in Alaska’s Arctic. They spent over $7 billion on a failed hunt for oil. No sympathy here; just think about all the good that could’ve been done with that money rather than drilling in a pristine habitat where organizations and scientists have been saying for years would never be profitable.
- The United States and China, the top two markets for elephant ivory, promised to enact complete bans on ivory sales.
- This is such an amazing story, a decade in the making and shows what positive impacts can occur when nature is brought back into balance.
- The US government bans microbeads. This summer I went to a local event and learned so much about our waterways, oceans and how much plastic pollution there really is. According to a study done by The Journal of Science and Technology more than 8 trillion microbeads enter the world waterways daily from the United States. Due to the efforts of amazing nonprofits and scientists there was bipartisan support to ban plastic microbeads. If you have any products in your home with microbeads in them please empty them in the trash and recycle the bottle right away. DO NOT continue to use them. I put a video below that list the ingredients to check for in your products. Check your toothpaste and any exfoliating face or body washes you may have to make sure they’re not in your home headed down the drain and into the ocean.
I hope this has given you some hope for the year to come like it has me. If there are any other environmental wins you know about please share them below I’d love to read about them.
Happy New Year!