7 Things You Can Do to Create a Plastic-Free Future
By Jen Fela
We're celebrating a huge moment in the global movement for a plastic-free future: More than one million people around the world have called on big corporations to do their part to end single-use plastics.
Now we're taking the next big step. We're setting an ambitious new goal: A Million Acts of Blue.
What's an Act of Blue?
An Act of Blue is any action that helps to stop single-use plastic from being created in the first place. It's inspired by love for our amazing blue planet and the urgent need to protect our oceans, waterways, landscapes and communities. It aims to hold corporations accountable for the plastic pollution crisis they helped to create.
Our marine life shouldn't have to live in a sea of plastic.
Ways to create change in your community.
We've created a comprehensive guide to creating change in your community with several kinds of actions you can take. These range from learning and sharing your passion for this issue to passing legislation in your city. Get started today to create a plastic-free future!
1. Learn, share and join
The first step towards action is knowledge. Are you a member of a community group that is eager to learn more about how they can protect our oceans and communities? Maybe your child's teacher is looking for ways to teach kids about environmental protection? Our toolkit has powerpoints and tips for giving a presentation—you can even host a movie night!
2. Be heard in the media
If you want to make change in your community, start with local media! Local newspapers, blogs and magazines are a great venue for getting the word out. In the toolkit, we walk you through how to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and how to get it published.
3. Help create plastic-free supermarkets and restaurants
Nowhere is the dominance of single-use plastics and wasteful packaging more obvious than at the local supermarket. Make waves in your community by working to get a local supermarket to reduce their use of single-use plastics.
4. Get restaurants to ditch single-use plastics
Fed up with all the plastic straws and utensils at fast food places and cafes? Join the growing movement urging establishments to get rid of throwaway plastic products.
5. Lobby for local legislation
All over the world, towns, cities and villages are standing up for a plastic-free future by implementing local bans and laws restricting the use of throwaway plastic. Be part of this movement by working with your neighbors to get your local government to do the same.
6. Organize a local cleanup and #BreakFreeFromPlastic brand audit
Everyone loves a cleanup event, so why not take it to the next level? Get your community together to clean up a local beach, park, or riverbank—but don't stop there. Go through the single-use plastics collected and identify which companies produced them. Let's hold corporations responsible for their plastic waste!
7. Start a community group!
You don't have to go it alone. We have a lot of work to do, and we'll get a lot further—and have more fun—together. Get some friends and neighbors together for a plastic-free future!
Greenpeace and MCS (Marine Conservation Society) Mull Beach Clean at Kilninian Beach with pupils from Ulver Primary School, Isle Of Mull. Greenpeace brought its ship the Beluga II on an expedition of scientific research around Scotland, sampling seawater for microplastics and documenting the impact of ocean plastic on some of the UK's most precious marine life.
Excited to get started? Check out the full Million Acts of Blue toolkit to find out more about how you can work in your own community to end single-use plastics.
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- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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