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Phytoplankton are the biggest producers of oxygen on earth

Did you know that more than half of the oxygen on earth is produced by these tiny one-celled plants in the surface of the ocean called phytoplankton?

As we often speak about the oxygen produced by trees and plants, we often forget that phytoplankton are the biggest oxygen producer on earth.

These tiny microscopic plants just float in the ocean surface, and go with the flow!

They grow through photosynthesis, meaning they convert CO2 using the sun energy, and release oxygen. They also need nutrients from the bottom of the ocean itself like iron, nitrogen or phosphate.

Not only do they provide oxygen for all of us on earth, but phytoplankton are also at the bottom of the food chain in the ocean. Small fish eat them and are in turn eaten by bigger fishes.

Unfortunately, phytoplankton are in danger due to climate change. ?

Phytoplankton prefer cooler water, and as the oceans are getting warmer, their population is decreasing. Migration of phytoplankton to cooler waters could impact marine life that could starve.

In conclusion, it is important to protect our oceans!

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Why bees are so important?

Why bees are so important? 

Big parts of our ecosystem and biodiversity depend on bees. The bees need the flowers for food, and the flowers need the bees to reproduce.

Bees are the most important pollinators. They help plants to grow, breed and produce food by transferring pollen.

Most fruits, vegetables, nuts and plants like sunflowers, cocoa beans, coffee and tea, as well as cotton need bees to increase their yield and quality.

Bees are also key to maintain biodiversity by pollinating plants that grow seeds, fruits and berries that will be eaten by other animals, and maintain the food chain.

Unfortunately, bees population is a strong decline.

This is due to climate change, pesticides and habitat loss. This will put at risk the balance in our ecosystem, and could trigger food shortages.

What can we do to help the bees?

✅ Don’t use chemicals and pesticides to treat your garden.

✅ Keep a small basin of fresh water outside your home because the bees are thirsty.

✅ Buy local, organic food. Organic food fields contain less pesticides and toxic chemicals.

✅ Remember: bees are not here to sting you! Just let them do their job ?

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Sweden sends less than 1% waste to landfill

Sweden sends less than 1% waste to landfill. But what happens to the other 99%?

Sweden sends 1% waste to landfill, recycles 49% of waste and incinerates the remaining 50% to generate energy to heat homes. Waste supplies heat for nearly 1.25 million apartments and 680 thousand homes, during winter.

Is this better than conventional fossil fuel power plants?

The main difference is that waste plants use 90% of the energy produced, whereas the conventional fossil fuel plants lose about 60% heat through large cooling towers.

Unfortunately, burning waste generates as much CO2 as burning fossil fuels. A lot of “fake news” claim that Sweden recycles 99% of its waste, which is not true.

There are however some positive aspects about it, as this system reduces the amount of waste going to landfill, which generates methane (CH4), much more potent than CO2.

What can we do?

One way to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill is to compost our organic waste.

Because of the lack of oxygen, organic waste trapped in landfills generates methane (CH4) by breaking down, which is a greenhouse gas much more harmful to the environment than CO2.

By composting your organic waste, you will create fertiliser for your garden and your plants.

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Germany is quitting coal

Germany has announced that it would quit coal by 2038.

The country will spend $44 billion to compensate works and companies in the sector.

Coal Power plants are used to generate energy, but are extremely polluting and generate huge amounts greenhouse gas.

Germany is the largest industrial country in Europe and is home to some of the largest coal power stations in Europe, among the most polluting companies in the continent.

The use is coal is decreasing in the world, bust a few exceptions remain, like in China or India where the demand for coal is increasing, having a terrible impact on climate, with more than 2.5 billion population in these 2 countries alone.

What can you do?

Switch to a renewable energy provider, it’s not necessarily more expensive!

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It is almost impossible to recycle these items

It is almost impossible to recycle the following items:

Toothpaste tubes, sunscreen and other squeezable tubes are difficult to recycle because they often contain a thin layer of aluminium and various types of plastic – making it challenging for recycling plants to separate and process them.

Paper straws contain recyclable material. However, paper straws are almost never recycled because they would need to be collected separately in large quantities before being able to recycle them.

Paper receipts are often printed on shiny, thermal paper, which is not recyclable because they are coated with a substance called bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S (BPS). Many stores now send you an email receipt, or give you the choice of whether to take a printed receipt.

Pringles boxes are very difficult to recycle because they combine five different materials including a metal base, tear-off foil top, a plastic lid, silver foil lining inside and a cardboard outer sleeve.

Crisps packets can’t be recycled because of the grease and crisp residue that clings to them. Try the scrunch test: if the item springs back into shape after you have scrunched it up, then it shouldn’t be recycled.

Cotton pads are often blended with synthetic materials, such as polyester, so are impossible to recycle. If 100% cotton, they can be composted but only if they have not been used to remove make-up or with chemicals such as disinfectants.

Sticky notes cannot be recycled in most cases because the glue on the adhesive strip can’t always be removed during the recycling process, so many centres refuse to accept them.

For all these products, always remember: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse! ? Easy!

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Ben & Jerry’s will stop offering plastic straws and spoons in stores worldwide

Ben & Jerry’s will stop offering plastic straws and spoons in more than 600 stores worldwide.

It estimates the change could eliminate 30 million spoons and 2.5 million straws annually.

The company expects to fully transition to paper straws and wooden spoons by April 9, 2019.

By the end of 2020, Ben & Jerry’s hopes to shift away from clear plastic cups, plastic-lined cups and plastic lids as well.

Its process already includes using cage-free eggs along with fair trade and non-GMO ingredients. The brand also launched the “dairy-free” ice cream line.

And remember, there is an even easier way to enjoy a good zero-waste ice-cream wherever you are, just chose to have your ice cream on a cone!

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It takes up to 10 000 liters of water to make a pair of jeans

Did you know?

It takes an incredible amount of water (up to 10, 000L / 2600 gallons) to produce a single pair of blue jeans.

That includes growing the cotton and the manufacturing, but it doesn’t include the water that you’ll use to wash your jeans over time.

Blue jeans are not the only clothes that have such an impact. The entire textile industry is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture.

Cotton is not the only problem. Polyester is the most popular fabric used for fashion. But when washed in domestic washing machines, polyester clothes shed microfibres that end up in our oceans.

Fast fashion encourages people to buy more and more, and produces 92 million tons of solid waste dumped in landfills each year.

What can we do?

Slow down! Choose better quality clothes, keep them longer, mend them when needed, and recycle or upcycle them. Visit second hand shops first and have a look at their collection: it is easy to find cool stuff, often cheaper!

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These big hotel groups ban single-use plastic toiletries

Did you know?

Two of the largest hotel groups in the world have banned single-use plastic toiletries like shampoo and liquid soap bottles.

Marriot group is the world’s largest group with around 7 thousand hotels worldwide and brands like the Ritz, Sheraton or Westin. They use 500 million single-use plastic toiletries each year.

The IHG group has more than 5 thousand hotels worldwide, with brands like Crown Plaza, Holiday Inn and Intercontinental.

This ban is expected to reduce the plastic waste in hotels chains. Hopefully, other hotels chains will follow!

What can you do to reduce your plastic waste when travelling in a hotel that still offers plastic toiletries?

Bring your own toiletries. No need to use the ones they give you.

Choose soap, deodorant and shampoo solid bars instead of plastic bottles. Remember, 80% of the content of a shampoo bottle or a liquid soap is water anyway! 

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Shares in the vegan company Beyond Meat soared on their Wall Street debut

Did you know?

Shares of vegan company  Beyond Meat soared on their Wall Street debut.

Shares went up +163% on their first day, valuing the California company at close to $3.8bn.

This shows that investors are betting on the success of plant-based foods.

Beyond Meat creates substitutes for meat by using ingredients that mimic the composition of animal-based meat, like proteins from peas, fava beans and soy.

This comes as more and more people are concerned by the huge environmental impact of the meat and diary industries which are among the biggest polluting industries the world.

They use the vast majority of farmland available, consume huge amounts of water, and produce more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector.

So why not giving it a try? Try your first vegan burger and reduce your environmental footprint!

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Some companies offer climate perks for employees

Did you know?

Some firms give more time off to those who choose low-carbon transport options for their holidays.

More and more companies are signing-up to climate perks schemes, where employees are rewarded for choosing to travel by bus, train, carpool, instead of flying by plane.

Because travel by train or bus generally takes longer than flying, firms are awarding employees free additional days off.

We think this is a great scheme, why not talking to your company about it?

If you really have to travel by plane and no other option is available, why not offsetting your carbon footprint?

How does it work: when you book a flight somewhere, the airline calculates the amount of fuel used and emissions released. You pay an extra fee, and that money is used for projects that stop other emissions going into the atmosphere. This can involve funding renewable or forestry projects, planting new trees, or donations to environmental associations.

Remember that aviation emissions are rising, and the problem is growing because flying is getting cheaper. Consider low-carbon alternatives when possible!