New eco-friendly protein source in a bowl on a wooden surface which is one of the main topics covered in this week's Eco-friendly News Series.
Mar 26, 2024
weekly eco news

The Introduction of New Eco-Friendly Protein Source While Sugar Derived Concrete Alternative Unveiled- 18th Issue

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Climate change supercharged likelihood of February’s West African heatwave

The map of Africa displayed on a red and yellow canvas signifying the exposure of this region to heat waves.

A recent heatwave in the southern region of West Africa smashed temperature records last month. While countries including Ghana and Nigeria tend to be relatively cool and comfortable in the early months of the year, the mercury rose above 40 degrees Celsius (or 122 degrees Fahrenheit) on several days in February. As well as posing an immediate health danger to the old and vulnerable, extreme heat is especially dangerous in parts of the region where people have limited access to water, sanitation, and energy.

According to scientific analysis, climate change made this event at least ten times more likely, demonstrating the need for immediate and effective adaptation in West Africa. With this in mind, we’ll be keeping an eye on other heatwaves and extreme weather events as the year progresses.

Biden funnels $6 billion toward emissions-cutting projects

The conveyor belt system of an industrial steel mill with smoke and water being emitted from the process.
Hot rolled rebar moves through the conveyor of a steel mill.

President Joe Biden has pledged an impressive $6 billion for projects designed to slash carbon emissions produced by industrial facilities. Affecting steel mills, cement plants, and factories, the funding represents the most significant attempt to curb industrial emissions in US history.

As well as helping corporations live up to their social responsibilities, this development is great news for eco-conscious consumers. While many of us depend on cheap and convenient food products, existing production methods often take a significant toll on the planet, contributing almost a third of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Biden’s investment will help to resolve such issues while benefiting the government’s reindustrialization strategy.

New legal theory could limit fossil fuel companies’ destructive powers

A wooden gavel, scales and book of law sit on a judges wooden desk pointing the new legal approach to fossil fuel industries.

A new legal proposal could help bring fossil fuel companies to justice for their role in the climate crisis. First proposed in an academic paper last year, state and federal prosecutors are coming around to the idea that fossil fuel companies can and should be prosecuted for homicide. While it’s impossible to establish how many unintended deaths fossil fuels have caused over the past few decades, many legal experts agree that the industry has successfully engaged in a campaign to hide evidence about the dangers of rising CO2 emissions.

Of course, corporate interests and significant resources mean fossil fuels are tough opponents for legal teams. However, the popularity of the proposal signals a sea change in the legal landscape and an exciting moment in the history of climate justice movements.

Scientists develop sustainable concrete alternative

The eco-friendly concrete alternative known as Sugarcrete®️ by University of East London.
Sugarcrete®️: The eco-friendly sugarcane derived concrete alternative. Image by University of East London

Despite being one of the most versatile and robust building materials, concrete leaves a significant carbon footprint. Fortunately, researchers at the University of East London (UEL) have made significant progress toward producing a much more sustainable alternative. Known as Sugarcrete, the material consists of sugarcane by-products and mineral binders that are compressed into bricks.

Early tests of Sugarcrete’s integrity and producibility are highly promising, with many pilot projects already established in Costa Rica, India, and Tanzania. So, why is there so much buzz around the material? As well as requiring around six times less carbon to produce than a standard brick, a Sugarcrete brick has the potential to absorb carbon – potentially making it a carbon-negative material. While the building industry's future remains uncertain, Sugarcrete’s inventors are working hard to ensure it makes a global impact in years to come.

A new eco-friendly protein source In Creation

Pink colored rice in bowl on wooden surface demonstrating what the new eco-friendly protein source would look like.

Many of us know that reducing or eliminating meat from our diets is one of the most effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint. However, giving up burgers, steaks, and other delicious foods is easier said than done. Fortunately, scientists in Korea have taken steps to help meat lovers enjoy eco-friendly foods, announcing the creation of “meaty rice” containing muscle and fat cells grown from beef.  

Known as “microbeef”, the hybrid grain is reportedly delicious and highly nutritious. Plus, it takes much less carbon to produce compared to beef and rice combined. The most significant challenge now lies in persuading the public of the benefits of lab-grown products. Plant-based eaters who avoid animal products entirely may also stay away from products containing beef cells. Despite these issues, the story represents a breakthrough for scientists looking to reduce the climate burden of the food industry.