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For the past century, planet Earth has been seriously damaged. More and more of us realize that our world is in danger. However, some people are actually doing something about it. People who clean beaches, produce sneakers using the trash they find in the ocean and even build small farms or eco-friendly cities.
Scroll down to read 11 inspiring stories of people from different countries who are trying to save the planet.
Turtles returned to a clean beach in India after twenty years.
A breathtaking beach in Mumbai was covered in trash. Before that, the beach was the birthplace for olive turtles. However, because of the garbage, turtles had to move to other areas, and the situation was only becoming worse. A man named Afroz Shah came to this beach and began cleaning up the trash. Volunteers supported him.
Together, they took away over 5,000 pieces of trash, prompting the United Nations to call their project, “the biggest beach cleaning project.” This Spring, twenty years later, turtles came back to the cleaned beach and laid eggs. Approximately a hundred baby turtles were born! Volunteers protected them on their way to the Arabian Sea.
“Cleanman” can collect 28 bags of trash in 1 hour.
People sometimes talk about piles of trash left in nature. Cleanman from Chelyabinsk prefers taking action rather than talking. Dirty, trash-filled areas in forests and parks were reborn after his visits. His activity got attention when some Dutch people created a video about him. After that, he gained followers. When they asked him about the mask, he said that he wanted to attract attention to the problem of ecology, not to himself.
His motto is powerful and simple: “Cleaning is easy, and there is nothing humiliating about it!”
“Water Wells for Africa” project
In 1994, Kurt Dalin was in Malawi and was surprised when he saw people arguing for every bucket of filthy water and watched girls who had to walk 1/2 of a day to bring huge buckets of water on their heads. He decided to help them: he created a well in the poorest and dryest village. That saved all the inhabitants who were always thirsty and had to drink dirty water.
In the first four years, the project supplied water to 26,000 people. Ten years later, there were 76 wells and the organization Water Wells for Africa was founded. Today, over 300,000 people in Africa have access to pure water.
Fashion brands support eco-friendly clothing.
Famous clothing brands like NIKE, Zara, Levi’s and others have been promoting eco-friendly ideas for many years. H&M, for instance, uses organic cotton instead of natural fur, while M&S opened factories that have equipment which requires less electricity and water. Zara does not only release eco-friendly clothing, but they also keep separate trash containers in their stores.
Levi’s is the first brand to have released eco-denim and jeans with a “Waterless” sign which means the company saves water in different production stages. Adidas created collections of eco-friendly sneakers made of trash collected from the ocean. And NIKE has been promoting the Reuse-A-Shoe project since 1993. Shoes are recycled to create tennis courts and treadmills. Most companies now use bags that are biodegradable within two years.
Deforestation is slowly destroying the planet. Different companies are searching for ways to restore what some call the “lungs of the planet.” The most successful start-ups that promote forest restoration are the ones who use drones. These drones scan the environment to choose the right seeds and then additional drones plant them.
There is a drone named Robin that can plant trees throughout one hectare (107,639 sq ft) in 18 minutes and count 100,000 trees in a day. A British project called BioCarbon Engineering aims to plant 500 billion trees by the year 2050 to combat deforestation.
The “greenest” restaurant in the world
The cafeteria of the MUSE school in California is a reigning champion among all eco-free restaurants. It has the highest scores in different criteria (like their quality of food, the menu, the economy of resources, waste management, and so on) and has four stars. The film director, James Cameron and his wife, Susy presented this restaurant with solar batteries in the shape of turning sunflowers.
The school grows their fruits and vegetables. In 1.5 years they have replaced most of their foods to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Removing the “Eastern Garbage Patch”
There are over 100,000 tons of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. Several scientists suggested ideas on how to clean it, but the best method on how to remove the “Eastern Garbage Patch” was suggested by Boyan Slat six years ago. With his improvements, the project began at the beginning of 2018.
The plan is to remove 50 percent of the trash in five years using huge floating barriers. The collected litter will be used to produce chairs, car parts and other things. Most investors of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation consist of Silicon Valley’s businessmen.
“The Shoe That Grows” project
At one time, volunteer, Kenton Lee saw orphans in Kenya wearing shoes which were too small for them, and many children were running barefoot with injured feet. This was when he came up with an idea for sandals that could grow together with a kid. Using a special tool, you can increase the size by five points which can be useful for five to six years.
He created a website for The Shoe That Grows project where anybody can buy shoes for kids from any place in the world. Many people want to help.
A family grows tons of vegetables to supply surrounding restaurants.
A family that runs Urban Homestead in California manages to grow enough fruits and vegetables for themselves and local restaurants. They have 400 kinds of vegetables, fruits, and even edible flowers. They make three tons of harvest a year. The family also has goats, ducks, chickens, and bees, so they can always supply milk, fresh eggs, and honey.
In the beginning, these parents merely wanted to grow safe food for their kids. The father set solar batteries on the roof and started to power his car with plant waste. To save water and land, the family uses vertical gardens and clay pots. “People thought we were crazy 33 years ago when we started, but it worked out. And now 90 percent of our food comes from the garden which is just $2 per family member,” they explained.
Neapolis Smart Ecocity — a city of the 21st century
In Cyprus near Paphos, there’s an eco-city, Neapolis — an extraordinary place in the Mediterranean. There will be houses to live in, entertainment hubs, malls, hospitals, a green area and a view of the sea. In this smart city, people will be able to work and get an education in the research center, university, and more.
All the supply systems of Neapolis will be equipped with AI which will help to protect the environment. 25 percent of the energy will be produced using natural resources. The new life in Neapolis will start around the year 2023.
People of India planted 50 million trees in one day.
In 2016, volunteers in India worked for 24 hours planting 80 different kinds of trees. They did it along roads, railways, and on public land. India (like many other countries) experienced a massive loss of its forests over the past centuries because people chopped them down for fire and other purposes.
At this moment, this number of trees (49.3 million) planted in one day holds the world record.
Preview photo credit afrozshah1