Conscious News Round Up | August

by | Aug 31, 2023 | Uncategorized

Is summer… over? We think we’ve still got a little bit of sun left to enjoy. But even better, some of the most uplifting sustainability stories from the past month. Stay positive.

The Ocean Cleanup removed 25,000 pounds of rubbish from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in one extraction. 

This month the The Ocean Cleanup, achieved a remarkable milestone by extracting a record-breaking 25,000lb of rubbish from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This enormous cleanup effort, undertaken over four weeks, forms part of The Ocean Cleanup’s mission to combat ocean pollution. 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest of the world’s five oceanic garbage patches, posing significant ecological threats. The Ocean Cleanup’s innovative approach, including advanced technology and AI-driven modelling, aims to remove floating plastic and prevent it from further breakdown into microplastics. 

Although plastic and other waste shouldn’t end up in the ocean to begin with, efforts like these are crucial to prevent further ecological damage caused by careless human habits and systems. 

 Source: ABC News

Enhanced harvesting efficiency in novel solar leaf design inspired by nature 

New research at Imperial College London, suggests a new solar energy design that may pave the way for future renewable energy technologies. 

Through a sequence of experiments, it has been proven that a photovoltaic (PV) leaf can produce 10% more electricity compared to traditional solar panels, which lose up to 70% of the incoming solar energy to the environment. The new design holds the potential to also produce over 40 billion cubic metres of freshwater annually. By eliminating the need for pumps, fans and control units, the design can generate additional clean water and thermal energy.  

Can’t wait to see what this looks like in practice! 

Source: Imperial College London

IKEA will be trialling car boot sale events to encourage DIY sustainability 

This weekend, IKEA will be launching its car boot sale trial at its Milton Keynes and Cardiff stores running from 9am to midday. These free-to-attend events are being introduced as an effort of encouraging the public to pass on their used goods as well as shop more second-hand. If the trial is successful, IKEA will be rolling out the initiative across all IKEA UK car parks kicking off in 2024. 

In order to be a key driver towards a more circular economy, retailers need to recognise their responsibility in repurposing goods and generally sell less. Second-hand furniture shopping paired with IKEA (vego) meatballs sounds like a dream come true. Such a great initiative by IKEA! 

Source: Yahoo News 

Google’s new sustainability APIs can estimate solar, pollutant and pollen production

Another advancement in AI this month, with Google has announced a suite of new sustainability APIs aimed at leveraging AI to provide real-time information about solar potential, air quality, and pollen levels. 

These tools are part of Google’s efforts to help reduce carbon emissions by 1 gigaton annually by 2030. The Air Quality API expands on its existing layer and offers real-time air quality data from various sources, while also considering traffic conditions and vehicle volume. 

These APIs have the potential to greatly impact sustainability efforts by providing valuable insights and information to users, industries, and developers, signifying a step forward in utilising technology for environmental awareness and action.

Source: Engadget 

Samba reggae group brought sustainability to forefront at Notting Hill Carnival

In a bid to make sustainability “part of the party”, Samba reggae group, Dende Nation, injected a dose of sustainability into this year’s Notting Hill Carnival, with outfits upcycled from Brazilian Samba schools, breathing new life into discarded garments and highlighting both circularity and creativity.

Embracing recycling, extendending across upcycled drums and repurposed costumes, project manager, Maiana Pinho, stated they joined with Brazilian sates bridged the project with Rio Tur and Comlurb, Rio’s waste management company. “We have been upcycling and customising the outfits to reduce carbon emissions and show you can have costumes, decor and fashion productions combining circular economy with outreach in a sustainable way.”

Source: Independent 

Community pantries used to prevent food waste in Geneva

With the aim of reducing waste, a nonprofit organisation based in Geneva has introduced publicly accessible refrigerators on the streets. These refrigerators serve as a platform for individuals to share and acquire food that might otherwise go to waste.

The initiative began a year ago, originating with a lone refrigerator placed outside a community centre. In its initial year, this pilot refrigerator prevented approximately three metric tonnes of food from being discarded.

Such a wonderful initiative to promote the shared economy whilst reducing food waste! 

Source: Euronews


Pups for the planet! US based non-profit are on a mission to save puppies and the planet!

Imagine taking the incredible skills of dogs in detecting narcotics and cadavers, plus their expertise in search and rescue, and then adding a new twist to it. That’s exactly what Working Dogs for Conservation has done! They’ve harnessed the remarkable power of a dog’s nose to safeguard our precious natural areas. With a team of over 25 dogs, each with their own unique set of specialty scents and tasks, this group is paving the way for a future where our furry friends become the ultimate protectors of wild places

They’re living proof that our best friends are also nature’s best allies.