Outstanding Sustainability News 3rd April 2023

Outstanding Sustainability News For You

Looking for the latest sustainability news? Look no further than our outstanding sustainability news roundup! In this week’s edition, we highlight three stories that showcase innovative efforts towards a more sustainable future.

From a European country smashing renewable energy records to using kelp to reduce climate change. Not only that but plastic-eating mushrooms. These stories demonstrate the growing innovation in sustainability across various sectors.

Reading these stories can inspire individuals and businesses alike to take action. Action such as reducing their carbon footprint and contributing to a greener future. Stay up to date with the latest sustainability news and join the movement towards a more sustainable world!

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Outstanding Sustainability News from Sweden

Sweden has set a new record for wind power generation, with over a quarter of the country’s electricity coming from wind for two consecutive months. According to energy think tank Ember, Sweden generated a record-breaking 27% of its electricity from wind power in February. This narrowly beat a 26% record set in January. This is the highest-ever share of wind power generation in the country.

Sweden has been investing heavily in renewables in recent years to achieve ambitious clean energy targets.

Furthermore, the target is to reach 100% renewable electricity production by 2040 and no net greenhouse emissions by 2045. The country has doubled its wind capacity since 2018 and now boasts nearly 5,000 turbines.

Nicolas Fulghum, Energy and Climate Data Analyst at Ember, says that the investment in renewables is “paying off,”. Not only that but it is making Sweden’s grid more resilient against droughts and protecting consumers from high costs.

Wind power is a good option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is because it produces just 0.02% of the CO2 emissions per unit of energy compared to coal. As global energy prices continue to rise, building clean energy capacity is increasingly urgent. However, many European countries are lagging.

Outstanding Sustainability news - Sweden has broken records for wind power generation two months running
Sweden has broken records for wind power generation two months running

Let’s hope this outstanding sustainability news generated by the forward-thinking Swedish government is a nudge in the right direction for the countries yet to invest.

Well done to the Swedish Government!

Outstanding Sustainability News from Australia

The Victorian government is funding a trial that could see oyster mushrooms consuming up to 1.2 million cigarette butts. In Australia, the World Wide Fund for Nature estimates that 9 billion plastic cigarette butts are discarded each year. These leach harmful microplastics and chemicals such as arsenic into waterways and soil. The program, led by Fungi Solutions, diverts butts from landfill to a laboratory. Once there, fungi consume the plastic and chemicals. The by-product may be transformed into a polystyrene replacement.

The program is also led by the environmental group No More Butts, which hopes to expand the scheme if successful.

Fungi Solutions has trained mushrooms to consume cigarette butts over several years, mimicking a process that occurs naturally in the wild. Chief executive and head of research Amanda Morgan said mushrooms have “an incredibly adaptive digestive system and they use a lot of different things for food sources”. Most butts were consumed within seven days, Morgan added. On top of that, mushrooms can be quickly cultivated to consume large amounts of plastic if required. Cigarette butts can take 15 years to break down in a landfill.

The trial is a “really interesting conversation about how to recycle our materials responsibly and establish a circular economy”, Morgan said. 

Outstanding Sustainability News - The humble oyster mushroom could solve the cigarette butt problem
The humble oyster mushroom could solve Australia's cigarette butt problem

“We think it’s the start of a really interesting conversation about how to recycle our materials responsibly and establish a circular economy,” she added.

Truly outstanding sustainability news and innovation which to be honest are mind-blowing. Plastic-eating mushrooms – who would have thought!

Well done to the government of Victoria and to Fungi Solutions!

Outstanding Sustainability News from North America

Kelp, a type of seaweed, is being grown in the polluted waters of New York City as part of an experiment. This experiment aims to determine how it could help fight climate change and offer local environmental benefits. In particular, researchers are studying how kelp could improve water quality. As well as this it could restore marine ecosystems by absorbing carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus from runoff and raw sewage.

These elements can cause “harmful algal blooms” (HABs) and stifle marine life. Kelp can also absorb heavy metals and other toxins in the marine environment. Additionally, kelp can lower ocean acidity and enhance shellfish growth.

Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill in 2021 for Suffolk County to lease underwater lands for commercial kelp farming as a way to boost the fishing economy and promote marine restoration. Now, Volunteers with the Newtown Creek Alliance and the RETI Centre are growing kelp in the East River and Gowanus Bay. They are testing the seaweed’s ability to grow in varying depths of water. As well as in an area where tides often knock the kelp lines out of place.

Outstanding Sustainability News - Kelp is showing promising signs of being a solution to clean up waterways
Kelp is showing promising signs of being a solution to clean up waterways

The early results are extremely promising. Kelp looks like it could well be a nature-based solution for cleaning up and protecting polluted waterways.

That’s another piece of outstanding sustainability news and innovation giving us all hope that the future will be green.

That’s It for This Week

That’s everything for this week’s outstanding sustainability news highlights the progress being made towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

From record-breaking wind energy to cigarette butt-eating mushrooms, there is a lot of innovation going on globally!

If you’re passionate about sustainability and want to stay up to date with the latest news and trends, we recommend signing up for Play It Green’s subscription service.

With access to a wealth of information and resources, you’ll be empowered to make informed choices and take meaningful action towards a greener future.

By supporting Play It Green, you’ll also be contributing to a more sustainable and equitable world for future generations.

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