💚 Coconuts + Lemons = Sustainable Materials 🥥🍋

💚 Coconuts + Lemons = Sustainable Materials 🥥🍋

By
Dennis Kamprad

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Stay impactful,

Happy Thursday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • Creating more sustainable materials with wood, citrus peel, and coconuts 🥥🍋
  • Hedgehog sightings have increased after years of decline 🦔
  • The cities stripping out concrete for Earth and plants 🌱
  • And more… 💚

Did you know that the buildings and construction sector is by far the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for a staggering 37% of global emissions?

With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if we used more sustainable building materials… 

…just like coconuts and lemons 😀

Yes, I was surprised about this combination too, so let’s directly get into it!

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🥥🍋  How Coconuts and Lemons Help Create More Sustainable Building Materials

1️⃣ The big picture: Scientists from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed a sustainable building material that doubles as a “thermal energy battery.” This innovative material, made from a combination of sustainably harvested wood, citrus peel, and coconut oil extracts, can change its transparency to store heat during the day and release it at night. This process not only helps regulate indoor temperatures naturally but also promotes natural lighting, potentially revolutionizing energy efficiency in buildings.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: The creation of a building material that can actively contribute to climate control within structures represents a significant advancement in sustainable architecture. By utilizing low-cost, renewable resources such as wood, citrus peel, and coconut oil, this technology offers an eco-friendly alternative to traditional energy-intensive heating and cooling systems. The material’s ability to save approximately 2.5 kilowatt-hours per day in a standard room size underscores its potential to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

3️⃣ What’s next: The next steps for this technology include scaling up the production process and exploring its application in larger construction projects. The researchers believe that by laminating thin layers of this material together, it’s possible to create large panels suitable for scalable applications. As the world seeks more environmentally conscious options in the building industry, this “thermal energy battery” could provide a sustainable solution for reducing the energy sector’s carbon footprint, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change and promote green living spaces.

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📢 More Good News…

🦔 Hedgehog sightings increasing in the UK after years of decline:

  • Rural hedgehog populations have decreased 30% – 75% across different areas of Britain since 2000. However, hedgehog sightings have now increased by 2%.
  • While the increase is small, these reports are a great sign that several home garden owners and environmental organizations are creating safer habitats for hedgehogs.
  • The latest Gardeners’ World survey found that 77% of respondents were taking action to make their gardens better suited to wildlife by reducing plastic pollution and allowing their yards to flourish and grow more eco-friendly habitats.

🌱 The cities stripping out concrete for Earth and plants:

  • Cities and regions across the globe are beginning to adopt the act of depaving as part of their climate adaptation strategies. For instance, UK’s London citizens are encouraged to remove paving from their gardens to allow for more greenery, native plantlife, and to reduce floods. 
  • The French government has made €500m ($540m) available for urban greening, which includes depaving and the installment of green roofs and walls.
  • And in Ontario, Canada, these initiatives must cater to the requirements of all city residents, including those with visual impairments or mobility challenges.
  • Katherine Rose, communications and engagement director in Portland, Oregon has stated that nations will have to fully embrace depaving to make a lasting impact. “It starts with people pushing their government and starting these conversations on a small, local level,”

💼 Four-day workweek: Firms in UK make the move permanent after world’s biggest trial:

  • Most UK companies from the trial of a four-day workweek have adopted it permanently, with 100% of managers and CEOs reporting positive feedback. Scotland has also launched a four-day working week trial for some public services.
  • Furthermore, the UK study found that companies cut down on working hours by an average of 6.6 hours, resulting in a 31.6-hour workweek. Having full days off, rather than staying on call, also proved to be more effective.
  • Results showed that 89% of participating companies continued the four-day workweek a year later. More than half of the companies opted to permanently implement it.
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🍫🚫 Event of the Week: Dechox

👉 Did you know that tomorrow (March 1) marks the first day of Dechox? This month-long event was founded in 2015 to encourage people to give up chocolate for a month and donate money to a worthwhile cause that would have otherwise been spent on chocolate treats. 

1️⃣ The big picture: Dechox was founded by the British Heart Foundation as a novel way to combine health and fundraising with a fun challenge – to give up chocolate. It was originally set up to encourage people to improve their heart health and raise awareness of circulatory and heart disease. Today, people around the world get involved in Dechox to improve their own health and others. Giving up chocolate is also a great way to help our environment and raise awareness of deforestation for cocoa plantations

2️⃣ Why is this important: 75% of the world’s cocoa is produced in West Africa, particularly Ghana and Côte d’lvoire, which have lost at least a third of their forests to make way for cocoa production. The loss of forests around the world has been proven to contribute to climate change as they act as efficient carbon sinks. Furthermore, half a billion people are affected by cardiovascular diseases, which cause a third of all deaths globally. Dechox helps us to tackle both of these issues through a simple challenge and sponsorships. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: The best way to get involved in Dechox is to give up chocolate for a month and encourage family and friends to sponsor you. The money raised can go to a charity of your choice. Or you can officially sign up for the Dechox challenge directly through the British Heart Foundation website. Alternatively, you can host chocolate-free events in your local community to showcase tasty chocolate-free recipes or raise awareness through your social media platforms. 

You can also check out the organizations below that are working to improve heart health and save our forests:

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📜 This Week in History

👩🏽 February 29, 1940: Actress Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award, for best supporting actress in the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind.” Her portrayal challenged African American stereotypes and provided a more nuanced representation of African American women on screen. Towards the end of WWII, Hattie McDaniel organized entertainment for Black troops, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and liberal Black groups. 

🏞️ March 1, 1872: Yellowstone National Park was established by the US Congress as the country’s—and the world’s— first national park. It serves as home to over 1,300 species of flowering plants and hundreds of wildlife.

🇮🇳👩🏽 March 2, 1949: Sarojini Naidu, Indian independence activist and poet, passed away at the age of 70 on March 2, 1949. In her life, she became the first Indian woman to be president of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to be appointed an Indian state governor. She played a key role in the women’s suffrage movement and was often celebrated as the “Nightingale of India” for her eloquent poetry that addressed themes of freedom, patriotism, and social justice.

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💭 Quote of the Week

“We want deeper sincerity of motive, a greater courage in speech and earnestness in action.”

― Sarojini Naidu; Indian activist, poet, and first Indian woman to be president of the Indian National Congress

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society!

Stay impactful 💚

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