Sustainability stories that kept the front page in 2019
People feel more and more determined to go green because they are aware it's their role to change the world, they're living in. Pollution and climate change triggered some extreme, tragic events that destroyed both life and nature. From record heat in Europe to floods in the USA and fires in Australia, they are all consequences of human actions. It's shocking to find out that a small choice you make in your everyday life can trigger a chain of reactions and lead the planet a step closer to collapse.
The environmental issues the world is experiencing will always be a hot subject due to their ever-changing characteristics. But during the last years, there was registered a shift that showed people are ready to take responsibility for their actions and make changes. 2019 was about sustainability stories that inspired everyone to get involved in a movement they supported in silence until now. Without further introduction, here are some of the most exciting sustainability stories we witnessed in 2019.
Greta Thunberg made the climate protest movement explode
Before Greta, climate change protesters made a buzz around the idea, but they never managed to draw global attention. When Time Magazine named the young activist their Person of the Year, she was the youngest to get this title, but also one of the most controversial figures. Greta first introduced herself to the public in 2018, and she quickly started a global movement because she was not afraid to speak truth to power and engage her followers in diverse subjects.
She used social media as a tool to draw attention to the problems the planet is facing and educate young people in becoming the leaders of the green movement. Her influence is so strong she convinced tens of thousands of Belgian teens to march weekly to the EU headquarters in Brussels. On 15 March 2019, she encouraged people to march in various locations worldwide, and over 15 million participants joined the movement.
In September she also drew attention towards the bad choices, world leaders make when she decided to travel by boat to the UN climate meeting and shame the ones who opted for flight solutions.
Greta proves that Gen Z young people are more than ready to lead the way in environmental actions and come up with strategies to lower the level of pollution and destruction.
Activists pointed out the seriousness of the climate crisis through distressed messages
For many years, environmentalists didn't show the accurate results the climate crisis has on the planet because they were afraid the public would find them too depressing. But as the problem evolved and people refused to understand its extent, they had to go with the gloom and doom. When David Wallace Wells published the book The Unhabitable Earth, he made sure the facts he presented will panic the readers and show what really happens if the planet is warming more than it already did.
The scientific community weighed in the ups and downs of sharing with the public how harmful the effects of pollution and climate change are. Still, they concluded that it's best people to know the threats that endanger their existence, than living with the misconception Earth will remain a safe planet no matter what their actions are. The Unhabitable Earth showed that the future could bring some apocalyptic scenarios. If humans continue to change the planet's land to adapt to their ever-growing demands without considering the long-term effects, they will threaten global food security and the planet's ability to capture carbon. If they don't lower the amount of trash, they dispose they will endanger ocean life and bring extinction to plants and animals. The only solution to avoid this outcome is to cut emissions.
People and companies have started to take notice of their effect on the planet. They are slowly integrating green practices and use social media and the Internet to point how significant change is. Companies use video content to share their measures and inspire the public to follow their example. They use videos to describe the effects specific actions have and recommend solutions. They try to educate their clients through example.
Governments joined the green movement
Two significant measures marked 2019, the USA created the Green New Deal's legal environment, and the EU's Green Deal listed its circular economy principles. Some people state that these measures are still not enough to improve the environmental landscape, and they are right, but they put the base for other changes that will support change.
The new regulations support brands worldwide to adopt green practices. We will list some examples to show that the world is facing towards sustainability.
CleanO2 created a device named CARBiNX that traps CO2 emissions and transforms them into potash to make detergents and soap. Lush Cosmetics is another company that uses technology to lower CO2 emissions in their manufacturing processes.
Lyft has joined the Green Cities Initiative that encourages companies to switch to electric cars. Companies like Lyft have a significant impact on the environment because they run fleets worldwide and generate emissions higher than other brands. Lyft has started to replace its old cars with eco-friendly alternatives and allows clients to request a green vehicle using the Green Mode feature.
IKEA is another worldwide famous brand that adopted the green initiative. They created a project named A Sustainable Everyday that aims to replace single-use plastic items with disposables made from recyclable materials. Considering that plastic is one of the greatest problems the planet is dealing with, any initiative that promotes plastic cut is more than welcomed.
The above names prove that government regulations enabled them to adopt bolder decisions and switch to sustainable leadership.
It's expected in 2020 that companies can use their political influence and have a more aggressive role in climate policy. Magazines like Vogue already announced they would use their power to reach companies and individuals and lower the footprint of apparel by educating their audiences.