Our Top Three Sustainability News Stories for October 17th

COP27 is around the corner

COP27 is less than a month away now and the event will look back on a turbulent year that has not seen a lot of positive action from world governments.

With that being said, if you shift your focus to people and businesses, there has been an incredible amount of positive action.

Positive sustainable change starts with individual action and those actions create positive ripples that reach across society.

Here are three of our favourite positive news stories about people and businesses that are doing fantastic things for the future of all of us.

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Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard gives away $3BN company

Sometimes, people do things that are simply incredible and at the end of September, the founder of sustainable American outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia, did just that.

Founded 50 years ago as an experiment in responsible business by Yvon Chouinard the company is now one of the world’s best-known brands and is valued at $3BN.

In an incredible move, the Chouinard family transferred all ownership to two new entities: Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective.

Most significantly, every dollar that is not reinvested back into Patagonia will be distributed as dividends to protect the planet.

The Patagonia Purpose Trust now owns all the voting stock of the company (two per cent of the total stock) and exists to create a more permanent legal structure to enshrine Patagonia’s purpose and values.

It will help ensure that there is never deviation from the intent of the founder and facilitate what the company continues to do best: demonstrate as a for-profit business that capitalism can work for the planet.

The Holdfast Collective owns all the nonvoting stock (98 per cent of the total stock), and it will use every dollar received from Patagonia to protect nature and biodiversity, support thriving communities and fight the environmental crisis.

Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard

Each year, profits that are not reinvested back into the business will be distributed by Patagonia as a dividend to the Holdfast Collective to help fight the climate crisis.

The company projects that it will pay out an annual dividend of roughly $100 million, depending on the health of the business.

How incredible is this news? It’s not very often people give away $3BN for the greater good of the planet.

“Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people,” Mr Chouinard, 83, said. “We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.”

Simply amazing!

Hyundai trial world’s first car powered Bed and Breakfast

The first bed-and-breakfast powered entirely by cars has opened to the public, offering guests a truly off-grid experience.

Situated outside of London in Essex, England, the luxurious stay is free for whoever is chosen at random as the winner of a special prize draw run by Hyundai.

Visitors can experience a regional menu and cocktails designed by mixologists using fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients in a forest-surrounded outdoor bar and eating area.

To introduce their new electric vehicle, the automaker along with presenter Grace Dent unveiled the novel Hotel Hyundai concept.

An off-grid staycation powered by your car

The Hyundai IONIQ 5’s V2L technology, which uses the car’s electricity to power other appliances through an adaptor, will provide power for the entire experience.

The three-week pop-up hotel offer follows a recent poll that found 44% of respondents would prefer to have more short staycations as opposed to extended journeys.

There is a growing taste for sustainability, supporting local businesses, and stress-free travel when it comes to holidays and staycations are growing massively in popularity.

Grace Dent, who curated the hotel concept said:

“We’re looking for unique, memorable stays now, more than ever, and this is a delicious blend of innovation, luxury, and comfort that gets you thinking.”

Half of the respondents to a OnePoll survey agreed that nothing beats a vacation in the wonderful British countryside, and 53% said they would prefer to invest their vacation money in local UK economies rather than abroad.

“The whole experience demonstrates the practicality of this pioneering technology, and we hope the concept inspires more people to go off-grid,” said Ashley Andrew from Hyundai UK.

Staycations are a far more sustainable way of holidaying and having an ‘off grid’ staycation whilst being a ‘concept’ at the moment, could have a huge impact on the footprint of our holidays in the future.

Zero Waste family puts their bins out for first time this year

Thanks to their zero-waste lifestyle, a mother with a family of four have recently placed their black bin out for the first time in 2022.

Ten years ago, Warminster, Wiltshire resident Jen Gale, 44, and her family started their zero-waste journey in an effort to save the environment.

Gale, a podcaster and author who focuses on sustainability, stated that despite having a four-person family and pets, it took them around nine months to fill their black waste bin.

The family, which consists of husband Ben, 46, and boys Will, 13, and Sam, 11, was able to do this by buying at stores that don’t use packaging and at second-hand shops.

They also compost food waste in their garden, which according to Gale has helped them produce “at least 25%” less waste overall.

The sustainability expert said:

“We just thought that if we wanted to reduce our waste, we’d start chipping away at it over time. Now 10 years on, it took us months to fill our black bin. The only things that really go in it are plastic that can’t be recycled, although we don’t have much because we buy a lot of things packaging-free.”

As zero-waste retailers and fresh vegetable boxes typically cost more, going zero-waste can be more expensive than shopping at supermarkets.

Jen Gale, sustainability expert, author and podcaster

Gale said that the family saves money by purchasing other products second-hand.

“Once you have established new habits, it doesn’t really take a lot of effort to maintain them. It eventually becomes your new normal,” she said.

“Last year we put our black bin out for the first time in April and we wanted to beat that this year – which we did!”

Gale added that even though it now takes the family nine months to fill their black bin, it still took them ten years to get to this point in their zero-waste journey.

This just goes to show that sustainability is a journey of consciousness change and behaviour change.

These changes don’t happen overnight, but rather are the culmination of all the small steps you as an individual, family and community member take.

If Jen and her family can do it we all can too!




That’s it for this week – three awesome stories of positive behaviour and change that are reasons to be cheerful and will almost certainly lead to a better future!

We salute the changemakers and positive people helping our planet be better and we hope our readers can join them in making what change they can.

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