5 Spectacular Stories about Supporting a Sustainable Environment
If you’re attuned to it, every day you can find inspiring tales about individuals who are doing incredible things. Some are beating the odds to survive and thrive in challenging personal circumstances. Others are leading projects that are focused on making life better for their fellow citizens.
Not only does reading these spectacular stories bring a little happiness to our day, but the kindness and innovation behind them can really restore our faith in humanity. Nowhere are these inventions more impactful than when they’re designed to protect the planet we love. Here are five examples of amazing endeavors that support a sustainable environment.
It’s the bee’s knees
You may have heard environmentalists say that the world’s population of pollinators has been starting to die off. The transferring of pollen from one plant to another is necessary for plants to reproduce and make seeds. Bees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other creatures play a critical role in this process.
Without enough plant reproduction, food sources relied upon by people and animals alike would be severely reduced. Recognizing that Earth’s pollinators needed help, the National Pollinator Garden Network was launched in 2015 with the aim to encourage gardeners around the globe to create backyard pollinator habitats.
Astoundingly, this small-scale initiative has attracted over 1 million gardeners across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Mexico. In total, this means 5 million acres of pollinator habitat.
Pulling plastic from the Pacific
Plastic in the world’s waterways is a growing problem. In fact, when the location of accumulated waste has been given a name, just as you would name any place on a map, you know the problem has reached epidemic proportions. Such is the case for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
In the 1990s, this massive island composed entirely of debris was spotted floating in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California. The current vortex in the area kept more than a trillion pieces of trash together, taking up an area that rivaled the size of Texas.
At the time, scientists predicted cleaning this up would take thousands of years.
However, an organization called Ocean Cleanup stepped in and launched a ship with a special system to passively pick up the waste. The System 001/B vessel showed some encouraging success, and the next generation, the System 002/B, is being developed to continue cleanup efforts.
Creative canoes for fish catchers
People have found many ways to repurpose garbage, cutting down on landfill use and freeing up waterways. One young man in Cameroon collects discarded plastic drinking bottles to build what he calls “EcoBoats.” These small sea-worthy boats are currently used by local fishermen and are sought after by ecotourism operators in the area. To meet ongoing demand and further environmental cleanup efforts, the entrepreneur started the nonprofit Madiba & Nature, which launched EcoBins, the country’s first-ever system for collecting, sorting, and recycling waste products.
A way back for whales
If you’ve read anything about ocean life, you may be aware that many creatures that call the sea home are seeing their species numbers dwindle. Some of these beings are poised to become extinct unless something is done. The humpback whale is especially in need of assistance.
The population of these mammals, traditionally found in the western part of the South Atlantic Ocean, has been threatened by the whaling industry. In the early 1900s, the numbers of this magnificent ocean specimen dropped from 25,000 to just 450 due to hunting.
During the 1960s and 1980s, protections were put in place for the whales. The good news is that a recent study shows that the species again numbers around 25,000.
Designed to desalinate water
Having an adequate supply of clean drinking water is a serious issue for many people around the world. While in some locations there may be an abundant amount of water nearby, it is not drinkable because it’s salt water. Many communities along the coastline of Chile face this dilemma. They also have an issue with unreliable electricity.
Enter a designer from New Zealand who has come up with a method for using the area’s solar energy to power a device that will desalinate water for the local population. At the same time, it provides inhabitants in the region with a reliable light source. The invention is a solar-powered light fixture — a sort of solar desalination skylight that employs evaporation and condensation.
The device purifies close to 15 ounces of water per day, while the leftover brine solution drips into copper and zinc batteries. These in turn power an LED strip that is illuminated at night.