For many of us, 2016 has been a bit of a tough year. But with the New Year fast approaching, there surely couldn’t be a better time to look for things to celebrate – and there have, in fact, been many! For all us eco warriors in particular, 2016 has been a step in the right direction in many respects so, here at KiteNest, we’ve taken some time out amidst the New Year’s celebrations to remember some of our favourite good news stories from over the last twelve months.
For starters, giant pandas are no longer endangered! And it’s good news for elephants too; for the first time in its history, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species agreed that national ivory markets should be closed.
For the third year in a row, global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have not grown at all. Instead, renewable solar and wind energy now account for more installed capacity than any other form of electricity in the world – including coal. Plus, this year the UK agreed to phase coal out by 2025. And all this is having a really positive impact on our planet. Research is showing that human pollution of our atmosphere with acid has now almost returned to the level it was before industrialisation in the 1930s. Even more incredibly, a new survey shows that the ozone hole is in fact healing. It has shrunk by more than 3.9 million square kilometres over the last ten years, and scientists reckon it will be fully healed by 2050.
Back on land, more than 800,000 volunteers in India helped to fight climate change by planting 50 million trees in one day. Meanwhile, this year in the USA, every major grocery and fast-food chain pledged to use only cage-free eggs by 2025. Sea World also agreed to stop breeding captive killer whales, and the world’s largest marine reserve was created off Antarctica. It’s more than double the size of Texas and will protect the 16,000 or so species that live in the Ross Sea, including seals, whales and penguins.
Closer to home, the number of plastic bags found on British beaches has almost halved, thanks to the new 5p charge which has cut the number taken from big retailers by 85%. Speaking of plastic, harmful microbeads found in beauty products will be banned by the end of 2017, which is great news for sea creatures. The government has also created 23 new marine conservation zones around England this year. Common cranes have had a record-breaking 48 breading pairs this year, after having been extinct here for the last four centuries. Meanwhile in Scotland, beavers have been officially reintroduced and are being protected as a native animal. And to top it all off, last month we were treated to Planet Earth II, presented by the incredible Sir David Attenborough and showcasing our breath-taking planet ten years later.
Here at KiteNest we are passionate about creating and sharing natural products that are kind to our planet, so all in all we have to admit that 2016 has been a pretty great year in many respects. But it doesn’t stop here. We have lots of exciting things in the pipeline for next year, and will continue to create only 100% natural, cruelty-free cosmetics, so you can pamper yourself happy in the knowledge that you’re not only looking after yourself, but for the environment too. What could be better?