There are slowly see a shift toward a more sustainable future. In honor of Earth Day, we decided to shed some light on all the good we’ve managed to accomplish in the first 111 days of 2019. Here are the most noteworthy environmental feats worth celebrating.
1. The EU Government took a stand on plastic pollution.
The European Union voted to ban ten common categories of single-use plastics in order to reduce the plastic problem in our oceans. The plastics that will be prohibited are plates, cutlery, straws, etc.—from all member states by 2021. Another exciting initiative the EU is testing is a “polluter pays” model, in which tobacco companies will need to fund cleanup crews to pick up cigarette butts in public areas.
2. More companies went regenerative.
By some estimates, our soil can only handle around 60 more years of conventional farming before it’s completely depleted. Regenerative agriculture mimics processes found in nature to improve soil health and extract carbon from the atmosphere. In 2019, Applegate released its new line of regeneratively made sausages as momentum continues to grow for establishing a regenerative label to mark food grown using these practices.
3. New York banned the bag.
Speaking of eco-friendly bans, New York became the second state, after California, to ban single-use plastic bags, which are nonbiodegradable, this year. Counties will also be given the option to sell paper bags for a 5-cent fee, with proceeds going to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
4. 100 million trees will now be coming our way.
With its newly unveiled Time for Trees campaign, The Arbor Day Foundation has committed to planting 100 million trees in the hopes of removing 578,000 tons of chemical pollution from the air. The organization is getting communities involved by recruiting 5 million tree planters around the world to join them.
5. Park prescriptions went mainstream.
Doctors across the country are continuing to dole out a new sort of medication that doesn’t come in a pill. There’s a growing interest in Park Rx programs that prescribe time outdoors in local parks as an antidote to common ailments of today, such as hypertension, diabetes, and anxiety. As science and medicine continue to confirm that time in nature is great for our health, more emphasis could be put on establishing accessible green spaces.