Bonjour 👋 Did you know? Looking at photos of adorable animals not only makes you feel better but can also make you more productive, thanks to "a narrowed attentional focus induced by the cuteness-triggered positive emotion."
- Climate change experts predict that the ozone layer will fully heal within 50 years. Since the Montreal Protocol of 1987 banned CFCs, the layer has recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade. At this rate, the northern hemisphere ozone should fully heal by the 2030s, followed by the southern hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060.
- The government of Alabama, USA, is amending its constitution to remove discriminatory language and the last remnants of the Jim Crow laws, which enforced racial segregation in the Southern states.
- According to research, new generations are more and more generous, and 84% of millennials donate to charitable organizations despite having a lower available income.
- In Australia, the recent bushfires might have yielded significant environmental benefits. Indeed, researchers noticed that a tiny algae plant used the ashes that fell into the ocean to flourish, offsetting the fire’s carbon emissions. They expect these findings to extend beyond Australia and will pursue their study in the hope of finding solutions to climate change.
- After Japan and South Korea, China has pledged to stop building coal-fired power plants abroad. This move could be instrumental in driving carbon emissions down. Indeed, these three nations are responsible for funding 95% of overseas coal-fired power plants.
Sahara Sahel Foods is a social enterprise based in Niger that turns the fruits, seeds and leaves of Sahel’s wild trees into quality foods. They make oils, flours, fruit powders, nuts, biscuits, sauce leaves, spices, jams and more.
The Sahel is home to many little-known native food trees that are well adapted to its climate. For instance, the hanza is a plant that contains more than 20% protein and has the same energy intake as rice. However, these food sources are often overlooked due to their deterrent look and colonial legacy.
Otherwise, most of this food needs processing to remove its bitter taste and make it attractive for locals and export. So, Sahara Sahel Food provides local communities with processing innovations and modern value chains to make this food production financially sustainable as part of Africa’s Great Green Wall project. The goal will then be to replicate, upscale and extend this model to new products and plants.
Why does it matter? Cultivating indigenous species leverages traditional agriculture methods and reduces irrigation costs. Moreover, it provides sustainable jobs for the local communities (mostly women) and increases food security while sequestrating carbon and fighting against desertification.
Sahara Sahel Foods’ model empowers locals to be part of the solution and reduces their reliance on imports or other external help.Favour Oluma is a Nigerian entrepreneur who creates modern ottomans and coffee tables from old tyres through her company Retyredglam.
After losing both of her parents, this self-taught designer decided to start her business to generate income for her family. She first experimented with old tyres she found in a refuse area by painting and decorating them. After posting some pictures on social media, Favour received an extremely positive response, which motivated her to kickstart her business.
On top of being an entrepreneur, Favour is also pursuing an education in soil science and land management at the Federal University of Technology, Minna. By doing so, she wants to fight gender prejudice and encourage other young girls to follow their dreams. Indeed, during her journey, many people tried to convince her to stop because “it was a man’s job.”
Why does it matter? Nigeria has one of the poorest populations in Africa. The country is ranked 142nd out of 180 in terms of GDP per capita in 2021. In the rural state where Favour comes from, the poverty rate climbs to 75% of the population. Moreover, discarded tyres generate significant health issues by hosting insects and disease-transmitting pests.
Favour found a way to overcome her challenges while benefitting her family and community, inspiring the younger generation and lessening pollution in Nigeria. Also, her creations are amazing 😍
In Dublin, city planners hired goats to control weeds on the Howth’s Head peninsula. This creative initiative, which started last year after a fire occurred in the area, goes beyond protecting Ireland’s capital city.
Indeed, the Old Irish Goat is a critically endangered species that used to graze in these hills and handle the upkeep over a century ago. However, cross-breeding with imported species reduced their original population dramatically. As a result, this species only survived thanks to the Old Irish Goat Society, an organization dedicated to conserving these goats and keeping their DNA free from domestic goat genetics.
The organization happily provided 25 of their goats to this firefighting reintroduction project, which will combine traditional herding methods with new technology (e.g. GPS tracking). The goal is to progressively add new males to grow the herd’s headcount to 100.
Why does it matter? Wildfires have become increasingly frequent with the decline of traditional grazing, even in the wet Irish climate. In recent years, global warming has further reinforced this phenomenon. Besides managing fire risk, this project will enhance the biodiversity of the heathland habitat.
The Old Irish Goat can control the accumulation of gorse and feed on harsh environments with low nutritive quality heathlands. Thus, they offer an economical and sustainable solution to managing the landscape.
🌍 Meanwhile, Worldwide …
🚗 London Electric Cars provides services to convert any car into an electric one. Indeed, converting a car is less labour-intensive and more affordable than purchasing a brand new one. Also, it prevents the old vehicle’s parts from ending up in a landfill and lets its owner keep their beloved vintage car 😎
🐠 Marine scientists from the Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS) and architects from the Hong Kong University 3D printed the world’s first clay structures to rescue corals. These tiles mimic natural coral reefs to speed up the restoration of the local coral population.
✈ In the UK, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) creates helium-based aeroplanes that emit 75% less than their kerosene-based counterparts. Although these aeroplanes look like Zeppelins, they use helium instead of hydrogen, leveraging the benefits of lighter-than-air technology without the risk of explosion.
☁ A team of researchers, led by the University of Washington, is currently investigating how to reduce global warming using … artificial clouds! The idea of the Marine Cloud Brightening Project is to generate bright clouds from seawater to reflect the sunlight and reduce the temperature of the sea.
🍊 The Italian company Krill Design produced the first 3D printed lamp from Sicilian orange peels. The goal of this company is to leverage the circular economy to design beautiful pieces of furniture from food waste 😍
That’s a wrap. If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share this post to spread positivity among your friends. For any feedback, reach out and drop a comment here or on LinkedIn :-)
Have an amazing week ahead 💗