Culture Planet

Girlfriend Collective Releases “The Wash Bag” to Keep Microfibers Out of Oceans

Girlfriend Collective, the trendy and relatively sustainable activewear brand known for making its matching workout sets from recycled plastic, has just introduced a new product to help lower fashion’s impact. In an email to subscribers on Wednesday morning, Jan. 15, Girlfriend Collective unveiled the Wash Bag, a portable mesh washing bag that traps microfibers your clothing releases in the washing machine, and keeps the synthetic particles from entering waterways.

The Wash Bag is made from monofilament similar to fishing line, so the bag itself will not shed in the washing machine, and it won’t let any microfibers escape — instead, it will only let soap and water in and out. The bag is notably similar to the Guppyfriend bag, which was previously the only (or at least the primary) microfiber washing bag on the market.

But while the Guppyfriend bag retails for between $29.75 and $42, Girlfriend Collective’s Wash Bag retails for $18. The lower price is reflective of the product’s size (the Wash Bag is 15″ tall and 12 1/4″ wide, while the Guppyfriend is 27 9/16” tall and 19 11/16” wide), as well as Girlfriend Collective’s direct-to-consumer business model (Guppyfriend is sold by a variety of retailers, including Patagonia, Reformation, and Package Free Shop).

To use the Wash Bag, fill it up with synthetic fabrics no more than three-quarters of the way full, zip it closed, and throw the entire bag into the washing machine alongside your natural-fiber clothes. (You can also use the bag to hand wash synthetic clothing in the sink.) After washing, hang the Wash Bag to dry, and scrape out microfibers into the trash. This is obviously not ideal, but better in the landfill than in rivers or oceans. To ensure that the fibers remain contained, you can scrape them into a bottle or container, and once full, putting the bottle itself into the trash.

Interestingly, the Wash Bag is Girlfriend Collective’s second product designed to help consumers keep microfibers out of the ocean. The company also sells the Microfiber Filter, a $45 microfiber filter that can be installed on your washing machine. For people who do their laundry in a shared washing machine, installing a filter is not an option — so something portable like the Wash Bag (or the Guppyfriend or the Cora Ball, which retails for $37.99) may be more accessible.

How Do Microfibers Shed?

When fabric rolls around in the washing machine, it sheds microfibers, which are are teeny-tiny fibers (less than 5 millimeters in diameter). This is only a concern when washing fabric made from synthetic materials (think polyester, nylon, spandex, rayon), which will not break down (unlike fibers from natural materials such as cotton or bamboo, which will break down in the water).

Why Are Microfibers Bad?

Microfibers are also a kind of microplastic — so when these tiny fibers shed in the machine, they enter the water pipes, and flow to waterways like oceans and rivers; once there, they become plastic pollution, and are often consumed by fish and other sea animals. An estimated 100,000 synthetic microfibers are shed during every wash cycle, according to Wired.

How to Keep Laundry From Shedding Microfibers

There are a variety of ways to lower the amount of microfibers your laundry cycles release, even if you don’t have the Wash Bag or a similar product. According to Plastic Pollution Coalition, you can: run loads as full as possible (full loads cause less friction and less microfibers to shed); wash with cold water, which encourages less microfibers to release and uses less energy; wash your clothing less often; and wear clothing made from natural materials instead of synthetics.

Original article by Sophie Hirsh –  Source Green Matters

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

To find out more about Plastic Pollution Coalition and ways to get involved, go to their website.


Queen’s Brian May Embarks on ‘Veganuary’ to Protect Animals and the Planet

Queen guitarist Brian May is giving up animal products for the first month of 2020 as part of a New Year’s resolution known as “Veganuary.”

The rock star is documenting his dietary journey on social media and is calling on other people to join him if they feel inspired. He said he felt moved to pursue Veganuary after watching friends embrace a vegan diet and learning about the moral and environmental consequences of animal products.

“My reasons?” he wrote on Instagram. “(1) To lessen the suffering of animals. (2) To lessen the load on our groaning planet. (3) For my health. And… as an animal campaigner, it has been bothering me for a while that I still eat animal-derived food, that has caused indignity and pain to a non-human animal. So I will try to move along the line.”

The first couple of days went “Ok,” May wrote. He’s learning what he can and can’t eat, relying on the support of accommodating restaurants and his family, and craves some of his favorite animal products like eggs and prawns.

Still, May is enjoying his plant-based meals.

“There are SO many great vegetables in the world — artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, roasted parsnips, new potatoes, and a rocket and tomato salad, perked up with olive oil and balsamic vinegar from dear old Luciano Pavarotti’s home town,” he wrote in one post.

Veganuary is more than a stunt — it’s a full-fledged advocacy organization. Founded in 2014, Veganuary encourages people to try a plant-based diet and reduce their consumption of animal products.

More than 250,000 people took the Veganuary pledge in 2019, the organization notes, and hundreds of restaurants, stores, and brands supported the cause.

In recent years, the vegan diet has become more accessible and mainstream. Brands such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have allowed meat lovers to find convincing alternatives to beef and chicken. Celebrities such as Beyoncé and Leonardo DiCaprio have championed plant-based diets, and documentaries such as The Game Changers and What the Health have made compelling cases for abandoning animal products.

The plant-based movement is driven by environmental, animal welfare, and health concerns.

Animal agriculture is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. It also causes deforestation, habitat destruction, desertification, and pollution. Scientists have urged people to adopt a “planetary health diet” that reduces meat consumption as a way to protect the planet and limit the threat of climate change.

Animals raised in factory farm conditions, meanwhile, essentially live in a constant state of physical and mental pain. Many people are beginning to question why animals such as cows, chickens, and pigs aren’t afforded the same basic dignity as dogs and cats.

Finally, animal products, particularly those raised with hormones and antibiotics, have been linked to a range of health problems, such as different kinds of cancer and heart disease.

For May, the celebrated rock icon, these reasons were enough to try out Veganuary. He’s not pressuring his fans to join the quest, but he would love support.

“I will be looking at your comments to see how your [Veganuary] went, those of you good folks who are joining me,” he wrote on Instagram. “If you’re not, don’t worry. We all have our paths to tread. I wasn’t ready to do this last year, but was so impressed by the success of almost all my SAVE-ME team that I determined to try it out this year.”

Original article by Joe McCarthy –  Source Global Citizen

Photo by Rustic Vegan on Unsplash

To find out more about Veganuary and ways to get involved, go to their website.


Brighton Dolphin Project

Brighton is one of the most popular tourist spots in the UK. Around 11 million people visit every year, and for many it’s the draw of the sea which makes it so popular.

But it can be difficult to relate to a vast blue ocean as something to respect and protect when you can see very little of the marine wildlife who live under the waves.

The Brighton Dolphin Project are trying to change that, by encouraging people in Brighton and the surrounding areas to build a deeper connection with the ocean and the wildlife which lives there.

Simon McPherson, a manager at the Brighton Dolphin Project, explained: “We aim to engage, inspire, and excite everyone in the community about the incredible marine life that can be found right off our coastline, and what can be done to protect it.

“We were set up as we realised many businesses and individuals feel a close connection to the sea – for many of us it’s a big part of why we live here. But few are aware of the diversity of marine wildlife that can be found under the waves, or the threats to its existence.”

Since the project was set up two years ago, they have welcomed thousands of visitors to their Dolphin Discovery Centre on Brighton seafront and run a series of wildlife watching boat tours around the Sussex coastline to help visitors connect directly with ocean wildlife.

Volunteers have also held workshops about local marine life in schools, organised beach clean ups and launched a unique initiative to record and log the different species of dolphins and other sea creatures who live off the coast.

Since 2017 visitors and residents have reported more than 100 sightings of marine life, including three different species of dolphin, one species of porpoise and two species of seal.

Simon said: “We cannot hope to better understand these remarkable animals, as well as how to protect them, without reliable and regular data.

“This has led to a disengagement of people who want to take action as they may see their ocean as a big blue space devoid of wildlife, as so little is seen above the surface of the water. It is challenging to inspire pride and wish to protect something you cannot see.

“We want to inspire our community to act now to collect data on marine mammals and unite to become a community of ocean champions.”

The Brighton Dolphin Project need more wildlife sightings to continue their research. If you live in the area, or are visiting, and spot a dolphin or other marine animal then please send in the information, along with any video or photos.

The project also need volunteers to train as wildlife guides who will educate visitors on boat trips about the marine life to be found in the area.

If you think you can help visit to find out more, or find them on social:

Twitter: @BriDolpProject

Instagram: @brighton_dolphin_project



By Jenna Sloan


National Trust to plant 20 million trees in UK over next decade

The National Trust is planning to plant 20 million trees over the next decade as part of efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

The organisation made the announcement, which it says will cost £90m-100m, on Thursday to mark its 125th anniversary.

By the end of the decade, it says the new trees and natural regeneration of woods will cover more than 18,000 hectares (44,000 acres), an area one and a half times the size of Manchester. It will mean that 17% of the land the National Trust looks after will be wooded, up from 10%.

The focus will be on planting on farmland – including in upland areas – that the trust owns, rather than in country estates, but the director general, Hilary McGrady, said the National Trust would be working with farmers to deliver the targets.

The charity says a similar level of tree cover is needed nationwide to meet government targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Other initiatives announced by the trust include maintaining peat bogs, investing in more renewable energy and cutting its carbon footprint.

Efforts will focus on the National Trust’s own pollution, but McGrady acknowledged the impact of visitors, many of whom travel by car to the organisation’s properties.

She said the trust was measuring the impact of visitor emissions and suggesting ways to encourage more sustainable transport.

The charity, which was founded in the 19th century to protect and care for natural and historic places, plans to work with other organisations to create “green corridors” that connect people in urban areas to nature.

“As Europe’s biggest conservation charity, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight climate change, which poses the biggest threat to the places, nature and collections we care for,” McGrady said.

“People need nature now more than ever. If they connect with it then they look after it. And working together is the only way we can reverse the decline in wildlife and the challenges we face due to climate change.”


Original article by PA Media –  Source The Guardian

Photo by Matthew Smith on Unsplash

To find out more about the National Trust and ways to get involved, go to their website.


Mexico City’s Ban on Plastic Bags Officially Takes Effect

Mexico City has joined a growing list of cities in banning single-use plastic bags after a law targeting the shopping staple went into effect on Jan. 1, according to the Associated Press.

Under this new law, businesses that continue to give out plastic bags will be fined, and companies that make plastic bags will be banned from selling them to businesses in Mexico City.

Another ban on other single-use plastics, such as straws and plastic dishes, is set to go into effect in 2021.

Mexico City has had problems with excessive amounts of trash for years now. Plastic only recently became recyclable in the city, which means the vast majority of discarded plastic has potentially ended up in landfills or has contaminated the environment.

Plastic pollution is a global problem, especially in marine environments. Marine animals like whales and turtles have died after mistaking plastic for food, and 50 trillion microplastics pervade the ocean.

Plastic bags, in particular, are one of the most common forms of marine pollution. Only 5% of single-use plastic bags gets recycled.

About 8 million tons of plastic waste makes its way into the oceans every year, which has impacted almost 700 species, according to National Geographic.

As the scale of plastic pollution becomes more apparent, local, state, and national governments are beginning to restrict plastic production.

Hundreds of municipalities around the world have instituted plastic bag bans, including Mexican cities such as Querétaro and Tijuana, according to Mexico News Daily.

Plastic bag bans have been shown to significantly reduce the number of plastic debris found in marine environments.

Critics argue that plastic bag bans can have unintended consequences, and don’t address the deeper problem of plastic packaging. One common concern is that plastic bag bans will simply lead consumers to use single-use paper bags instead. The most important thing, proponents of the ban say, is to incentivize consumers to not just ditch plastic, but to shop with reusable bags instead.

“That’s why any good plastic bag ban attempts to avoid a surge in paper bag use by also implementing a paper bag fee, ideally nudging shoppers to bring bags from home instead,” Jennifer Sass, a scientist from the Natural Resource Defense Council, explained in an NRDC Q&A.

In the case of Mexico City, that grocery stores will be offering reusable shopping bags for around 75 cents.


Original article by Erica Sanchez  and  Brandon Wiggins –  Source Global Citizen

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

To find out more about the Natural Resource Defense Council and ways to get involved, go to their website.



7 Caribbean Countries Are Banning Single-Use Plastic Starting Jan. 1

Slowly but surely, more and more cities, states, and countries are enacting bans on single-use plastic and polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) all around the world. And beginning Jan. 1, 2020, there will be a ban on the use and import of single-use plastic and polystyrene in seven Caribbean countries: the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, the Yucatan Times reported.

Each of those countries are coastal, located all around the Caribbean sea. Ocean plastic is a mounting issue, negatively impacting marine life, underwater ecosystems, the climate, and more — so these nations reducing single-use plastic could make a significant difference on ocean pollution.

“January 1 represents an important date in the fight against plastic pollution that affects not only Jamaica, but the entire world,” said Daryl Vaz, head of Jamaica for Economy and Employment, as reported by Spain’s News. Vaz often uses his Twitter to discuss environmental protection, and he recently represented Jamaica along with Prime Minister Andrew Holness at September’s UN Climate Action Summit.

The new law is part of the Bahamas Environmental Protection Act 2019, according to the Yucatan Times. It’s unclear exactly what forms of single-use plastic will be included as part of the ban, since most bans have exemptions on a variety of kinds of single-use plastic, such as food packaging, dry cleaning bags, trash bags, and plastic needed in the medical industry. What’s typically covered by these bans is single-use plastic or polystyrene takeout containers, plastic shopping bags, straws, cups, and water bottles. Hopefully more details about these bans will be made public in the new year.

The Caribbean is one of the world’s greatest plastic polluters — of the 30 countries that produce the most plastic pollution per capita, 10 are from the Caribbean region, as reported by Forbes via the Journal of Science. The 10 countries are Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Barbados, St. Lucia, Bahamas, Grenada, Anguilla, and Aruba.

As explained by Forbes, one reason so many Caribbean countries are producing so much plastic is because of disposal and collection issues. 22 percent of households in a sample of Caribbean countries discard waste either on waterways or on land with a risk of it getting into waterways, according to Forbes via data from World Bank. That adds up to an estimated 322,745 tonnes of plastic going uncollected every year.

But the residents of these islands are not necessarily to blame — as Key Caribe pointed out, tourism accounts for a substantial amount of the trash produced in the Caribbean. Single-use plastic bottles, cups, straws, utensils, and more are commonplace even at the fanciest resorts and beaches, where they can easily be blown into the ocean.

It will certainly be interesting to see how bans on single-use plastic in the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago affects the operation of resorts and other tourist destinations. But it will be even more interesting to see how this ban affects plastic pollution in the Caribbean Sea over the coming decade.

Original article by Sophie Hirsh – Source Green Matters

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash


To find out more about UN Climate Action and ways to get involved, go to their website.

Culture Planet

Green Climate Fund to Step Up Support for Projects That Tackle ‘Loss and Damage’

MADRID, Dec 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — As pressure grows on rich countries to help vulnerable nations cope with worsening weather disasters and rising seas, the Green Climate Fund expects to expand its backing for projects that can tackle such “loss and damage,” said its executive director.

“We are, in a lot of regards, already helping countries to take steps in that direction,” Yannick Glemarec said in an interview on the sidelines of the United Nations climate talks in Madrid.

He said countries can apply to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for finance to put in place early warning systems, weather insurance, or infrastructure resilient to climate stresses, for example — and funding of such projects would likely increase in the coming years.

The question of where the money will come from to cover the growing costs of economic and other losses linked to global warming is a hot topic at the UN Summit, with wealthy countries reluctant to agree to any new forms of funding for it.

The GCF, created at UN negotiations in 2010, is the biggest global climate fund, and has a mandate to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate shifts — but dealing with loss and damage is not specified as part of its mission.

UN work on loss and damage only began in earnest after a mechanism to tackle it was set up in 2013.

But developing states and aid agencies have complained in Madrid that the mechanism has achieved little in terms of offering real help and will struggle to do so without dedicated finance.

Omar Figueroa, Belize’s minister of state for environment, said loss and damage from climate change was an “existential issue” for low-lying island nations hit by bigger, more frequent storms and rising seas.

Damage from those was costing decades of development gains, he said.

“It is time to make this [UN] mechanism deliver,” he told journalists at the talks.

Ideally, many developing states would like to see a new fund set up specifically to help them address loss and damage.

But with that looking politically impossible, a proposal was tabled in Madrid for the GCF to provide assistance with some aspects of the problem.

Those include longer-term pressures, such as rising seas, forcing coastal dwellers to relocate.

Glemarec said the GCF’s mandate could only be changed by UN negotiators, but he emphasised it had already begun work to help vulnerable nations deal with problems, such as land loss.

In the low-lying Pacific country of Tuvalu, for example, it is giving a $36 million grant to protect the atoll nation’s coastlines from intensifying cyclones and encroaching oceans through measures such as rebuilding beaches and putting in place sea walls and barriers to prevent erosion.

Glemarec, a former senior UN official, said he hoped the GCF could start its first regional program for the Pacific in mid-2020 to help island states make their infrastructure and economies better able to withstand climate change impacts.

“It is one of our greatest ambitions to make sure we can play a supportive role,” he added.

Prevention Lags

Another gripe of some of the poorest countries is that accessing money from the GCF is a lengthy and convoluted process — one that is often beyond the limited resources and skills of their government teams.

“We are hearing it a lot — and it’s fair,” said Glemarec.

The young fund — which has only been operating for about five years — will simplify and speed up its project submission and approval procedures next year, he added, and offer new tools, including a manual on how to prepare proposals.

However, even though the GCF plans to step up its activities to combat loss and damage, it has only a limited amount of money to spend — and that will not be enough, Glemarec warned.

In October, it raised $9.8 billion in fresh funds from rich countries for the next four years. Glemarec said that total would soon reach $10 billion with expected new contributions.

Mami Mizutori, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said international funding to help countries cope with rising climate risks was sorely lacking. She encouraged the GCF to step in as its mandate and resources allowed.

Data compiled by her agency, which tracks human and economic losses from disasters, showed that, as of October, only eight wealthy countries had reported using foreign aid to help poorer nations cut disaster risks, to the tune of $1 billion in total.

In comparison, “We know that hundreds of billions of dollars worth of loss and damage is happening,” Mizutori told the Thomson Reuters Foundation at the Madrid talks.

As the gap between what is needed to recover from disasters and what is being pledged widens, she urged governments to invest far more in preventing extreme weather from hitting people hard.

“The politicians and decision-makers have to have a longer vision of things, not only thinking about the next election cycle,” she said.

Original article by Megan Rowling from Thomson Reuters Foundation – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Li An Lim on Unsplash

To find out more about the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and ways to get involved, go to their website.


Indigenous Communities and Green Groups Unite to Protect Forests in Latin America

MADRID, Dec 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Central American countries are teaming up to conserve the region’s five great forests as part of a regional climate action plan released at United Nations climate talks in Madrid this week, the alliance behind the effort said.

The coalition of governments, Indigenous people, green groups, and others announced a plan to protect 10 million hectares of forests and degraded land inside those forests — an area roughly the size of Guatemala — by 2030.

In the last 15 years, three of the forests have been reduced by almost one-quarter in size, with illegal cattle ranching responsible for more than 90% of recent deforestation, it said.

Measures planned to safeguard the forests include bolstering agencies that look after protected areas, tracing beef to verify it has been legally produced, cracking down on cross-border cattle trafficking, helping ranchers find other ways to earn a living, and reforesting land where trees have been cut down.

Jeremy Radachowsky, regional director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, a partner in the project, said financing would come from multiple sources, including Central American countries, donor governments, and a dedicated fund that will be created for Indigenous and community forests.

The five forests, spanning from Mexico to Colombia, are key to curbing climate change as they sequester carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels that would otherwise heat up the planet.

“Nearly 50% of the carbon in Mesoamerica is stored in the five great forests,” said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Costa Rica’s environment minister, adding he hoped they would not be fragmented by deforestation.

The forests also provide habitat for wildlife, such as the jaguar and scarlet macaw, the alliance said. The initiative aims to ensure no species go extinct.

The forests include the Maya Forest in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize; the Moskitia in Nicaragua and Honduras; the Indio Maíz-Tortuguero in Nicaragua and Costa Rica; the Talamanca region in Costa Rica and Panama; and the Darien in Panama and Colombia.

They provide water, clean air, food security, and other natural resources to 5 million people, the alliance said, noting that Indigenous and local communities manage nearly half of the forest area.

Cándido Mezúa of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests, said it was sad to see the forests of the Amazon burning — and the impact that was having on Indigenous people.

“In Mesoamerica, we have our five forests. They still exist. We can still protect them, and even expand them,” she said in a statement.

Amazon Summit

Amazon Indigenous leaders, meanwhile, said this week they would host a world summit in Ecuador next August aimed at protecting the Amazon rainforest and other ecosystems in “response to the environmental crisis in the basin and abroad.”

Leaders representing 20 Indigenous groups from Ecuador and Peru also called for global support to stop oil drilling and mining in the Amazon “Sacred Headwaters” region, an ecosystem rich in biodiversity that spans 30 million hectares in the two countries.

Deforestation in Brazil’s huge tract of Amazon rainforest rose to its highest level in over a decade this year, government data showed in November.

The data confirmed a sharp increase in deforestation under right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, which is considering permitting commercial agriculture and mining on native reserves.

Risks to Brazil’s forests drew global concern in August when fires raged through the Amazon.

Scientists link the fires to deforestation, with people and companies cutting down the forest for timber and then setting fire to the remains to clear the land for ranching or farming.

Gregorio Mirabal, general coordinator of COICA, the biggest Indigenous federation in the Amazon, said new ways were needed of dealing with threats to the Amazon, including the “devastating effects” of climate change.

At the UN climate conference, states “are making decisions for companies and not for the people,” he said.

“The inability of our governments to solve this [climate] crisis is calling us to do this ourselves, hand in hand with the youth and any others in goodwill who want to join,” he added.

Many Indigenous groups are opposed to credits for forest protection being included in carbon trading markets, arguing it would damage their sacred lands and livelihoods, as governments haggle over new rules for those markets at the Madrid talks.

“We do not allow the commodification of nature or that it has a price. For us nature is of value as itself. It is our Mother Earth,” Mirabal said.

According to the Washington-based Rights and Resources Initiative, which works on forest issues, up to 65% of the world’s land is communally held by Indigenous peoples and local communities and contains 80% of the world’s biodiversity.

But only 10% of those groups’ land rights have been legally recognized, it said.

“The local cultures and indigenous peoples are the ones that have best preserved nature, and we do not believe that solutions can exist without us,” said Mirabal.

Indigenous groups — officially represented at the UN conference for the first time — have pushed for language on protecting their rights to be included in the text on carbon market rules that is under negotiation in Madrid.

But it is not in the latest draft as the talks near an end.

Indonesian Indigenous activist Ghazali Ohorella said the rules should ensure safeguards for forest people’s land and rights, as well as a complaints mechanism and opportunities for them to participate in decisions on carbon offsetting schemes.

“If not, it will create so much trouble further down the line,” he told journalists at the talks.


Original article by Megan Rowling – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Stiven Gaviria on Unsplash

To find out more about the Wildlife Conservation Society and ways to get involved, go to their website.

To find out more about COICA – Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica and ways to get involved, go to their website.



Jane Goodall On the Power of “Reaching People’s Hearts” as Climate Activism

Jane Goodall is a legend in the science community thanks to decades of her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees. But in recent years, the famous primatologist has shifted her focus to environmental activism. And in her time advocating for the planet, she discovered a pretty powerful yet simple technique for reaching people’s hearts and making real progress.

“I’m traveling around the world now, no longer studying chimpanzees, and trying to tell people what’s happening in the world, the mess that we’ve made and the fact that unless we all get together to help the environment we all share, then it may be too late,” Goodall told author KK Ottesen in her new book Activist: Portraits of Courage, per an excerpt published by The Washington Post. “The window of time is closing. And it’s not enough just to wave placards and say, ‘Climate change!’ The point is to take actual action. To do your bit.”

She then shared an anecdote about a seven-year-old African boy she met when speaking at a school in Burundi. “He came up to me afterwards, and he said, ‘If I pick up a piece of litter every day, I’ll make a difference, won’t I?’ I said, ‘Yes. You’ll make a huge difference,'” she recalled. “And I said, ‘Well, suppose you persuade 10 of your friends to do the same?’ He said, ‘Wow. That would really make a difference.’ And I said, ‘Then each of your 10 friends could choose 10 friends.’ He said, ‘Hoo. We’d change everything.'”

Did that story tug at your heartstrings? It certainly tugged on mine — and that’s no accident. As Goodall let slip later in the interview, she has found that the trick to helping people understand that we can all make a difference is pretty simple: telling stories.

“Being angry and pointing fingers, you won’t get anywhere. You just have to reach people’s hearts. And the best way I know is to tell stories,” Goodall said. “My job now is to try and help people understand every one of us makes a difference. And cumulatively, wise choices in how we act each day can begin to change the world.”

Along with telling stories, Goodall has noticed that really listening to those who hold opposing opinions — and not just waiting for them to finish talking so you can make your point — is key to making progress.

“If you go out there being aggressive and pointing a finger, you don’t get anywhere. If you watch two people begin talking from opposing sides, and then one gets a little bit finger-pointy, you can then see the eyes of the other one turning in as he or she tries to refute what’s being said,” Goodall said. “And in the end, neither listens to the other. And they get more and more aggressive, and nothing’s accomplished at all. Except possibly to make it worse.”

Goodall then did what she does best: She told a short personal story to highlight that point. “I got lots of opposition from animal rights people for even talking to the people in the labs,” she said. “But if you don’t talk to people, how can you ever expect they’ll change?” A longtime opponent of experiments on animals, Goodall has become a leading activist in the anti-vivisection community.

There are certainly merits to challenging those with differing viewpoints — but for Jane Goodall, being patient, understanding, and attentive toward her opponents has brought her great success in making a difference in the world.


Original article by Sophie Hirsh – Source Green Matters

Photo by Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash

To find out more about Jane Goodall Institute and ways to get involved, go to their website.


This 11-Year-Old Extinction Rebellion Activist Is Driving Climate Action in South Africa

What are you doing for the earth in this time of crisis? Our planet is facing an environmental emergency which authorities are doing little to halt.

Many of these disasters, such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels, are the result of processes generated by major corporations.

They’re issues that can be dealt with.

Yet the situation gets worse every day. Eleven-year-old Othembele Dyantyi is raising her voice to encourage a union of action against this unprecedented climate injustice.

Dyantyi is part of Extinction Rebellion, a global socio-political movement to drive government action to prevent the planet’s breakdown.

“I want to take the responsibility to stand up for something that can risk my future,” she says.

At the forefront of the South African resistance, Dyantyi and her army of youth activists are spreading awareness about the causes and severity of the climate crisis.

Together, they’re calling for the protection of endangered ecological systems and challenging the government to invest in renewable energy.

With unabated determination, Dyantyi is fighting to preserve the earth for future generations. “I’m passionate about this issue because climate change affects everyone,” she says.

If we are to save ourselves and our impaired planet, it’s going to take everything we’ve got, and it needs to start now.

Original article by Beautiful News – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash


To find out more about Extinction Rebellion and ways to get involved, go to their website.