A main topic in this eco-friendly news issue: A textile material weaving machine referencing the development of protein based eco-friendly textile.
May 27, 2024
weekly eco news

A New Sustainable Material Could Replace Polyester and The Protection of Western Arctic Lands Broadens - 27th Issue

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A Pioneering Protein-Based Material That Could Replace Polyester

A textile material weaving machine referencing the development of protein based eco-friendly textile.

Innovative textile recycling startup Bloom Labs, bags the Inaugural Global Fashion Agenda’s Trailblazer Award. This award has been created to recognize companies developing innovative solutions for sustainability in the fashion industry and offers financial and operational support for scaling. 

This win recognizes Bloom Labs’s efforts to create new textiles using recycled protein-based materials like wool and silk to make polyester-like fabric. 

Polyester is a petroleum-based synthetic material that accounts for 70% of materials used in the fashion industry. This fabric is commonly used in the clothing industry because it is cheap and can produce durable clothing . However, polyester is non-biodegradable, and its production has raised concerns about poor labor practices and significant carbon dioxide emissions. It is also fashion’s biggest contributor to micro-plastic pollution.

Consequently, investing in companies that are not only pioneering alternative sustainable materials to replace polyester but also promoting circular fiber-to-fiber recycling will bring us closer to a greener planet and sustainable fashion. 

Prepare for a Warmer-Than-Average Summer

A melted ice cream cone on hot asphalt floor referencing the approaching heatwave.

Summer is here, and scientists caution that this year will be warmer. So, we all need to brace ourselves. The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released a report on the USA's seasonal temperature and precipitation outlook, classifying regions that will experience above-normal, near-normal, and below-normal temperatures and precipitation. 

A majority of the lower 48 will have above-average temperatures. However, Montana, Minnesota, and Dakota might have a chance of experiencing Above-normal, Near-normal, or Below-normal temperatures. Precipitation will equally be above average in the Lower 48.

The West is likely to experience warmer summer temperatures. The precipitation forecast also points to drier conditions, meaning drought is expected. A combination of these conditions creates the ideal conditions that to lead to severe wildfires. 

The Colorado State University also warns that rising global and ocean temperatures and growing La Nina conditions will lead to hurricanes in the Caribbean and the US coastline.

These predictions not only help government agencies plan for any emerging situations but also help you make informed travel and vacation decisions. 

Minnesota Passes Packaging Waste and Cost Reduction Act

A pile of plastic packaging from various conventional widely used products.

In a big win for environmental protection and sustainable plastic waste management in Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz has signed the Packaging Waste and Cost Reduction Act into law. 

This new law ensures extended producer responsibility (EPR) and means that producers will bear more responsibility for plastic and packaging materials’ waste management. By 2032, all packaging must be recyclable, compostable, reusable, or collected using an authorized alternative collection mechanism.

Over 40% of Minnesota's waste comes from packaging. Requiring producers to manage waste sustainably relieves Minnesotans' financial and environmental burden and builds on existing recycling infrastructure while providing economic incentives for innovating sustainable packaging alternatives.   

Minnesota now joins states like California and Colorado in promoting planet-conscious production. 

13 Million Acres of Arctic Land, Water, Wildlife Now Protected

Western Alaskan waters and mountain range protected from oil and gas drilling
Western Alaskan landscape and waters.

More than 13 million acres of Alaska’s Western Arctic designated as “Special Areas” are now under protection from oil and gas drilling, due to regulations released by President Joe Biden’s administration recently. 

These regulations will ensure that the Special Areas are off-limits to lease for new oil and gas development projects. 

Why are these regulations necessary? Fossil fuel extraction significantly contributes to environmental pollution and global climate change. In the Arctic, oil and gas exploration has transformed the landscape, hurting the existing wildlife like polar bears, migrating caribou birds, and indigenous inhabitants. 

Protecting these Special Areas recognizes the intrinsic value of untouched natural landscapes. It sends a strong message about prioritizing conservation, sustainability, and the health of our planet over short-term economic gains from fossil fuels.

Tree-Planting Web Browser Launched on Earth Day

A group of volunteers planting trees along the coastline.

Ecosia, a pioneering German company famed for its search engine that plants trees, has launched an eco-friendly tree-planting web browser.

How does a search engine plant trees? Ecosia is a non-profit that uses its revenues to fund reforestation programs that increase the earth’s forest cover by one tree at a time. As if this is not exciting enough, they have developed an innovative tree-planting web browser allowing eco-conscious users to contribute to positive climate action while browsing. 

This new service promises that its smooth, smart browser is green and faster than conventional browsers. With its built-in ad blocker that reduces wasteful energy consumption, Ecosia is pulling all the stops to be eco-friendly.