💚 Plants That Fight Microplastics 🌱

💚 Plants That Fight Microplastics 🌱

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Happy Thursday 👋

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

  • Plants that offer a solution to fight microplastic pollution 🌱
  • England’s new biodiversity rules force builders to compensate for loss of nature 🏫🌳 
  • Employers could face criminal penalties for contacting employees out of hours after right-to-disconnect laws pass 🙅🏻‍♀️🚫 
  • And more… 💚

Did you know that microplastics need many hundreds to thousands of years to decompose? And that they wreak havoc on the environment in the meantime?

But don’t worry, I’m not reiterating this known issue for no reason…

I shared it with you because of new ways of how we could use the environment to fight back against microplastic pollution!

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🌱 How Plants Offer a Solution to Microplastic Pollution in Water

1️⃣ The big picture: Researchers at Tarleton State University have discovered that extracts from plants like okra, cactus, and aloe can efficiently remove microplastics from water. By utilizing the natural polysaccharides within these plants, the team has developed a method that can seamlessly integrate into existing water treatment processes, offering a sustainable way to tackle the pervasive issue of microplastic pollution.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: This breakthrough presents a non-toxic and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional water treatment methods, which often rely on harmful chemicals. The plant-based approach not only effectively cleans water of microplastics but also does so in a way that could be easily adopted by current water treatment facilities without the need for significant infrastructure changes.

3️⃣ What’s next: The next steps involve optimizing these plant extracts for various types of water sources and potentially commercializing the technology. This could lead to widespread adoption in water treatment plants around the world, significantly reducing the presence of microplastics in our drinking water and environment, and providing a greener, more sustainable method of water purification.

Related: You can already help people tor fight (micro)plastic pollution by supporting one of the 9 Best Charities That Fight to End Plastic Pollution.

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📢 More Good News…

🌲🌲 $15 million land purchase to protect 8,000 acres of America’s Amazon in south Alabama:

  • The Nature Conservancy in Alabama has closed a $15 million+ deal to buy 7,990 acres of what’s often called America’s Amazon for its remarkable biodiversity and wildlife, which will now be preserved forever.
  • The area being purchased is called the Land Between the Rivers or Land Between the Lakes, and holds some of the most biodiverse places on earth with their numerous different wetlands and ecosystems.
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has not finalized details on how the land would be used. However, it’s planned to keep the area open to the public as much as possible not just for the people of Alabama, but to the general public.

🏫🌳 England brings in biodiversity rules to force builders to compensate for loss of nature:

  • England has launched a new government strategy called the Biodiversity net gain (BNG), which is a way of creating and improving natural habitats.
  • New roads and building projects in England must now deliver at least a 10% net gain in biodiversity or habitat. This means developments will result in more or better quality natural habitats than there were before development. 
  • The requirement became law under the Town and Country Planning Act on 12 February for larger sites, and on 2 April 2024 for smaller sites. “In theory, it could restore lots of habitats,”  said Natalie Duffus, a biology and geographer researcher from the University of Oxford.

🙅🏻‍♀️🚫 Employers could face criminal penalties for contacting employees out of hours after right-to-disconnect laws pass:

  • Australian senators have approved a bill granting Australians the right to disconnect and freely ignore contacts from their employers outside of their working hours.
  • As a result, Australia will now be joining Spain and France among the list of nations that reinforce the “right to disconnect” for better employee rights.
  • In addition, the new bill includes other provisions to improve the rights of employees, including minimum standards for gig workers and truck drivers. 
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📚 Event of the Week: International Book Giving Day

👉 Did you know that yesterday (February 14) was International Book Giving Day? This event was founded in 2012 to spread the love of reading by donating books and encouraging people to share their favorite stories with others. 

1️⃣ The big picture: Most people know February 14 as Valentine’s Day. However, Amy Broadmoore and her son had a different idea after they noticed a lack of books available for children in underfunded areas across the UK. The aim was to get as many books into the hands of children around the world as possible, whilst also promoting literacy. Today, 44 countries around the world participate in International Book Giving Day including Ukraine, the US, and Nigeria, setting up libraries, launching book fairs, and organizing book collections for shelters. 

2️⃣ Why is this important: For many of us, our fondest memories involve reading our favorite books. Yet, it’s estimated that 1 in 5 children between the ages of 5 and 8 years old do not have books to read at home. Even more worryingly, 250 million children around the world lack basic literacy skills, especially across poorer regions in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Just 6 extra minutes of reading a day has been shown to increase the reading performance of children, giving them greater job opportunities in the future, as well as boosting their imaginations and confidence. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: International Book Giving Day is a time to donate books to those less fortunate and share your love of reading with others. You can get involved in this event in many ways such as donating unwanted books to children in need, volunteering at your local library, or organizing a book drive. You can even leave books in public places, such as doctors’ surgeries, for others to find and enjoy. Consider leaving a note inside the book encouraging others to pass it on or leave it behind for someone else to read. 

You can also check out the organizations below that are working to promote reading and literacy around the globe:

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📜 This Week in History

👩🏻 February 15, 1820: Susan B. Anthony, a pioneer crusader for the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, was born in Adams, Massachusetts.

🌎 February 16, 2005: The Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty aimed at reducing the emission of gasses that contribute to global warming, went into effect. Although it was adopted on December 11, 1997, in Japan, it officially entered into force on February 16, 2005. The protocol set targets to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

👨🏽 February 16, 2016: Egyptian scholar and statesman Boutros Boutros-Ghali—who, as UN secretary-general (1992–96), vigorously supported UN mediation in post-Cold War strife and oversaw lengthy and difficult peacekeeping operations in several war-torn countries—passed away at age 93.

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💭 Quote of the Week

“Forget conventionalisms; forget what the world thinks of you stepping out of your place; think your best thoughts, speak your best words, work your best works, looking to your own conscience for approval.”

― Susan B. Anthony; American suffragist, abolitionist, author, and co-founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association

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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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