Green Elephant Show
Green Elephant Show
Sustainability News 18th September

The latest sustainability news, fun, facts and reviews from the Green Elephant for 18th September 2020.

Top stories:

Wildfires have burned 2.3M acres across California this year
Mass deaths of migratory birds reported in New Mexico
How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Last year, 212 environmental activists around the world were killed
Microsoft’s underwater data centre resurfaces after two years


Watch BBC documentary – Extinction – the facts 

Company News:

Google Becomes First Major Company to Claim a Carbon Footprint of Zero
Facebook boosts its climate commitments with pledge to cut greenhouse gases
Iceland challenges supermarket rivals to publish ‘plastic footprint’
Lego to Invest up to $400 Million over 3 Years to Accelerate Sustainability Efforts
Tesco asks shoppers to weigh their food bins to help cut waste
T-Mobile details its plan to give free internet to 10 million students at home

Sustainable Technology News:

Meet Phade, the biodegradable, bioplastic eco-straw
Israeli food-tech startup Phytolon closes $4.1 million in funding for its fermentation-based technology for the production of plant-based food colors
SeaChange uses plasma arc technology to save the oceans from plastic waste

Environmental Sustainability News:

UN report shows global warming could pass 1.5°C limit before 2030
Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf
Disposable masks ‘causing enormous plastic waste’
Several African countries hit by devastating floods

Action Alley:

If you are thinking of or need to replace your car then choose an electric vehicle.
Some Tips:
  • The maintenance and running costs are very low on an electric vehicle (EV).
  • A lot of governments offer tax credits to reduce the price even further.
  • EVs typically maintain a good resale value.
  • Think about your driving habits (how far, how often) when finding the best vehicle to meet your needs.
  • Good used electric cars are available at very affordable prices.
  • Fast charging networks are making long trips are easier.
  • Many apps and websites have details on public charging stations .

The negative environmental impacts of mining for battery components do exist, but climate change will cause far more devastation worldwide than the mining will. Massive research is being done on improving the efficiency of EV batteries, which will reduce the need to mine. Plus EV cars have a long, long life, so there is less mining required for the steel (and plastic) and other components in order to replace the car in the future.

Listener Feedback:

@alex_lovelock22 asks: Is there a difference between the methane produced by a cow and that from a car? 

The answer seems to be that on balanace that cows are slightly worse but there are a lot of factors in the calculation. See this link for more detail.


@matt.ajwvefu asks: Can you suggest where to donate to help elephants?

There are a lot of organisations out there helping elephant. This article from the Guardian newspaper has a good selection for you to choose from.


Fact or Fake?

  1. The phrase “dead as the dodo” was first recorded in 1904, but the Dodo actually went extinct in the 1600s?
  2. The last passenger pigeon died in 1914. She was named Martha, after George Washington’s wife.
  3. The Cordoba Fighting dog was an aggressive breed, it preferred to fight rather than mate, leading to its extinction.
  4. There is a type of Australian beetle which is threatened with extinction because the male beetles try to have sex with beer bottles instead of females

And finally:

Hong Kong’s waters see more pink dolphins since coronavirus

Thanks for listening to this weeks sustainability news.

If you have any stories we should be discussing get in touch @greenelepod or