When I was in my early 20s, I was an eternal optimist and thought it would be amazing if EVERYONE was into positive thinking. A few decades later, I now know that positive thinking alone isn’t enough. We need positive action too. Real, constructive, and concrete steps lead to change.
2021 has been relentless. We’ve watched the negative effects of climate change and COVID on our communities but despite this, there’s also been so much good news out there too. I thought I’d share a few feel good snippets so we can step into 2022 with some positivity.
- This year marked an all-time high for new renewable energy production with solar installations, wind farms, and other technologies contributing 290 gigawatts of renewable power to the grid. (By comparison, that’s two times as much as Canada’s total electricity generating capacity of about 145 gigawatts.)
- As a direct result of activism and political will, the ozone layer is healing at a rate of one to three percent every 10 years. The layer protects the planet from harmful UV rays. According to scientists, policy changes that regulated 100 man made chemicals in the late 1980s will spare 443 million Americans from skin cancer through the end of this century.
- According to the UN Environment Programme, leaded gasoline is no longer being produced anywhere in the world. The fuel was linked to cognitive issues and permanent nerve damage. The last leaded gasoline refinery in the world, in Algeria, exhausted its stocks last summer.
- A large divestment movement gained momentum as many investors sold their financial assets connected to oil, gas, and coal companies. The moves were estimated to be worth $14 trillion.
- The scientific community boldly surpassed ambitious expectations and rolled out vaccines at a record pace. More than 8 billion doses of the vaccines have been administered and we’re thankfully seeing their effectiveness in preventing serious illness and death.
About that last point. While the scientific community is still debating whether or not the Omicron is evidence of a weakening COVID virus, the fact is we’re not out of the woods yet. This particular virus is highly transmissible. Getting vaccinated and wearing masks to keep our communities safe is a reality we need to embrace for now.
I’m OK with that.
What I’m not willing to accept, however, is that 129 billion disposable masks are used every month around the world. Masks made out of plastic, elastic, and metal that end up in our landfills and waterways.
I think there’s a perfectly acceptable compromise that balances both human and planetary health: cloth masks with effective filters. (BTW, washed PM2.5 filters that are ironed create a static charge that trap viral particles.)
Click here to check ours out if you'd like:)