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Green Elephant
Sustainability News Review of 2020
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We’ve covered a lot of sustainability news, fun, facts and reviews during 2020. In this episode we look back over some of the highlights.

01:03  stories from the year:

January – WHO declares a public health emergency with the emergence of a deadly coronavirus. (hidden story?) Worst outbreak of locusts to hit Africa in 70 years

February – Australian wildfires which devastated the south of the country (over 33 people and 1 billions animals dead) are finally doused with rain

March – Global recession triggered by the first lock down

April – (missed in the mess?) Unusually dry weather (+arsonist) led to forest fires around and into the exclusion zone of Chernobyl, potentially spreading radiation. Socially distanced citizens took to the streets of Israel protesting against Prime Minister Netanyahu and government corruption.

May – George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis bolstering the Black Lives Matter social movement and leading to demonstrations.

June – US withdraws from the 2015 Paris Agreement because “it will undermine the US economy” – Making America Grate

July – Green Elephant Podcast launched! Captain (Hon Col) Tom Moore got a Knight Bachelor for raising £32.8m (£39m with rebates) – now has the Captain Tom Foundation!

August – Whilst we celebrated becoming a B Corp, here’s is a list of some of the worst disasters:

  • Floods and Land slides in India
  • Hurricanes hit US in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, then Iowa, then storms in the Caribbean and and Southern states
  • State of disaster in California due to wildfires
  • Flash flooding in Afghanistan

September – China pledges to become carbon neutral by 2060. COVID-19 crosses the 1 million deaths mark, worldwide

October – A nest of Murder Hornets found in the US which contained about 500 live specimens, including about 200 queens.

November – Joe Biden becomes US President Elect and pledges $2trillion to tackle Climate Change, whilst Storm Gati dumps a year of rain on Somalia in 24 hours and Russia rules out cutting fossil fuel usage

December – Worldwide second lockdowns set to ruin family plans. Big retail and hospitality companies call in the administrators

13:19 Prize winning review

Congratulations to Geraldine for leaving the review that we considered the “best”. Amongst her review she said:

The Green Elephant podcast is the chats I wish I could have with my mates at the pub.

A selection of Eco-prizes will be on their way to her shortly.

Keep listening for more competitions in 20201!

14:45 Challenge checkup

We set some challenges for our listeners and ourselves over the past 3 months – let’s recap what we discovered

  • October – Mental Health Awareness – #DoOneThing (Mental Health)
  • November – Vevember and World Vegan month
  • December – Sustainable Seasonal Shopping

Next weeks show will hint at future challenges as we look forward to 2021

18:45 Recommendations Recap

We provided a stack of recommendations this year, let’s have a quick look back at four very different books:

  • SDG Goals
  • How bad are Banana’s – The Carbon footprint of everything by Mike Berners-Lee
  • David Attenborough Documentary – Extinction the facts
  • Rob Woolfs – The Man who planted trees by Jean Giono (french it up)

Look back through previous show pages for more recommendations.

24:15 Best Advice Chart rundown

Welcome to the Green Elephant Best Sustainability advice of the year, 2020 and in at…

15. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but not everyone thinks of changing themselves
14. Washing your car with bucket and sponge will save up to 200 litres of water per wash
13. Waste isn’t waste, until we waste it
12. Just discussing sustainability with someone else is the simplest form of activism
11. Use the ECOSIA search engine and plant trees as you browse the internet
10. Being an imperfect vegan is still better than doing nothing at all
9. If you’re going vegan, don’t think about food replacement but new recipes
8. Glass is permanently recyclable… if you recycle it of course
7. Volunteers have a 27% better chance of getting employed
6. Reduce your carbon footprint by unsubscribing from email lists
5. Shop locally, find ethical products, avoid packaging and only buy what you need
4. Simply Reduce what you Use, then Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle
3. Grow your own food and get healthier in the process
2. Take time for yourself, in nature, away from tech, doing nothing
1. Ask not what your planet can do for you, ask what you can do for your planet

27:43 Fact or Fake?

Christmas themed.

  1. 27,000 miles of wrapping paper is used each year in the UK alone
  2. Only 5% of consumer goods are still in use 6 months later
  3. One billion Christmas cards enf up in the bin each year
  4. The equivalent of 1 million turkeys end up in the bin each year
  5. One in 10 unwanted Christmas presents ends up in landfill

35:45 And finally, let’s end the year on a positive note:

  • Carbon emissions
    • Lockdown reduced carbon emissions by 17% worldwide
    • Sales of Eco-friendly cars overtook diesel for the first time
  • Shopping
    • Lab grown meat now on sale
    • There are shops leading the way on pricing based on carbon footprint
    • There are new packaging solutions made out of sugar cane
  • National commitment
    • China has introduced a new law on single use plastic reporting for companies and have pledged to go carbon neutral (as above)
    • US are rejoining the Paris agreement and looking to spend $2trillon on climate change
  • Businesses
    • The B Corporation certifications are growing worldwide with 3600 companies in 75 countries – all working as a force for good
    • Prestige launched plant based pans – reducing the use of metals
    • Bentley motors are going for all electric lineup by 2030
    • Briv launched an air filter which uses renewables to clean indoor air
    • Ikea will be buying back our old furniture
    • Asos is launching a circular fashion collection
    • Brew dog are the first carbon Negative beer brand in the world
  • Animals
    • 30% rise in Pink dolphins
    • 30 new marine species found in the Galapogos
    • The highly endangered Orange bellied parrot is growing in population
    • Lost Chameleon found after 100 years, in Madagascar
    • Tazmanian Devils released into Australian mainland after 3000 years!
    • Pigmy Possum found on Kangaroo Island (Oz) having been fear wiped out by bushfires

Thanks for listening to this years sustainability news.

If you have any stories we should be discussing get in touch @greenelepod or studio@greenelephant.show