Would you ever drink beer made from sewage? What if it could reduce our impact on Earth? From “greener” beer to many more corporations going green due to consumer demand, this week has been an interesting one.
Here are 10 interesting things you need to know that’s happening in sustainability around the world over the past week.
1. Power to the people – Mcdonald’s UK heard you
Who said your voice doesn’t count? Mcdonald’s UK made the decision to ditch those nasty plastic suckers (yes we’re talking about straws). In the UK, Mcdonald’s use about 1.8 million straws A DAY – which is totally insane (although not as much as our 2.2 in Singapore!). After a petition by UK citizens, Mcdonald’s has finally heard their rallying cry and is phasing out straws hopefully by 2019.
Your voice is your superpower. Speak up!
2. Zero-Waste Hong Kong: a possibility
Did you know that in the 60s, a generation of Hong Kongers brought their own food and drink containers (routinely, we might add) with them? What has become of the people of today, generating 5.2 million plastic bottles daily. This mini blast to the past tells us that it’s possible for Hong Kong to go plastic-free. Though recycling falls short from ideal, studies have shown that people are getting more conscious and inspired to live greener.
Green is gaining ground in Hong Kong.
3. No more plastic caps and straws in KFC Singapore
World Environment Day‘s theme of #beatplasticpollution is gaining ground. With so many corporations slowly phasing out plastic straws – a great first step – KFC has joined the crew. This isn’t KFC’s first step towards going green. If you’ve visited your neighborhood KFC, you’d see that they have changed to using baskets instead of paper boxes for your dine-in food. KFC certainly has the eye on the prize, a greener KFC.
Colonel Sanders would be happy to know this!
4. Oh beer! Beer made from sewage.
We know this is not from the past week but we love beer. But it’s pretty bad for the environment. A pint of beer uses around 20 gallons of water, hence it is a large consumer of water. PU:REST has developed a solution to meet beer demands all over the world, sewage. In Singapore, we have NEWater. It’s almost the same concept, but it’s even better. It makes beer.
Want to know how? Read on.
5. Volvo lovers, you could be sitting in a car made of some recycled carpet.
With 25% of plastics used in new Volvo cars being from recycled materials, they are racing ahead of the competition. Recycled materials can include fishing nets, old bottles, carpets, etc. Selling over 500,000 cars a year, they are sure to generate and use a lot of plastics. Using recycled materials would thus reduce the amount of plastics ending up in landfills. Even the United Nations love this new move.
Vroom, vroom, hooray.
6. “Made in Singapore” Strawberries
No more flying to Korea or Australia to get that juicy strawberry pickins every April, we can now have it in Singapore. Bizarre? It’s not snowing in Singapore yet. These strawberries are grown with the help of a controlled hydroponics environment, and mimicking natural processes like pollination.
Is technology man’s new best friend?
7. Making death eco-friendly
Death. We don’t like to talk about it, but we got to. Cremations, burials, and tombs, there are many ways people go about handling deaths. As space is slowly running out, it is time we think of ways to handle death. In Cincinnati, there is an increasing number of people going for “green burials”. Some see it as returning to Mother Earth, but not everyone’s a fan.
Are eco-burials the next in thing?
8. The fabulous thing about Prefab homes
Prefab = prefabricated homes. Think modular. Imagine ordering a home, and it arriving – in whole – on a Fedex truck right to your plot of land and plonking it down. With high rates of population growth and urbanization, Asia could benefit a lot from prefabs.
What’s so fab about prefab?
9. Climate change is changing our rice
Who knew climate change could make our rice less nutritious? Research has shown that rising carbon concentrations actually shows some degree of impact on the nutritional value of rice. Asians consume a large amount of rice, and rice is also important in child development.
Are we getting less healthy as the world gets hotter?
10. It is time to pay attention to climate refugees
You’ve probably heard of this issue, but what’s being done? With climate change happening rapidly and extensively, people around the world in the most vulnerable areas are affected. Climate refugees are a sub-group of an ever-growing population of refugees that are often neglected as they lack formal recognition or legal protection in international law.
Find out more about the complexities of the state of climate refugees in the world.