Solutions


CLIMATE CHANGE


The earth has a natural carbon cycle. Carbon moves between our oceans, our soils, living organisms, the atmosphere and being stored underground. Since the industrial revolution, we have been rapidly increasing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This has knocked the carbon cycle out of balance. This extra carbon dioxide is trapping heat in our atmosphere and so global temperatures have been increasing and creating strange weather anomolies. At the same time, we've also been cutting down forests and jungles at breakneck speed. Every 60 seconds we fell a football-field-sized plot of the Amazon jungle! This means that we have less trees to do the important job of drawing down carbon from the atmosphere, while at the same time cutting them down and clearing the land emits even more carbon. This combination is bad news for our ecosystems, all the life inside them and us! But as Paul Hawken says: "every problem is just a solution in disguise.”

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MARINE REGENERATION


Our oceans absorb almost all of the excess heat in the atmosphere - about 90% of it - and this means they too are warming rapidly. They are also becoming more acidic because they also absorb excess carbon dioxide. Ocean heating is causing mass coral bleaching and threatening marine ecosystems. Even if we stopped pumping more carbon into the atmosphere, the oceans are already too warm and are in need of an innovative solution. Luckily, there is one incredible organism that can change all of this - seaweed! Growing up to half a meter a day, seaweed removes carbon dioxide from the water, restoring the alkaline balance. It can draw down huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and help restore marine ecosystems (Plus it has so many uses!).

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REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE


Plants use carbon dioxide and energy from the sun to create simple sugars. The plant uses some of these sugars to grow, while the rest are sent into the soil through the roots to feed microbes and other tiny critters. It is this process that enables plants to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and put it into our soils, where it can improve the quality of food, retain precious water and help to reverse climate change. However, intensive, modern farming practices rely on putting chemicals into the soil, which destroy the soil ecosystems. Without healthy soil, we reduce the amount of microbes and in turn the amount of carbon that can be drawn down into the ground. The UN predicts we have around 60 years of top soils left. We need to act now. Just like First Nations people have been doing for millennia, we need to return to regenerative practices for our food, our soils, and our climate.

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RENEWABLE ENERGY


Generating electricity accounts for almost half of all of our global emissions - mostly due to coal, oil and gas. You probably know about renewable energy already - that’s wind, solar and other practices. But, what you might not know is that these technologies not only produce cleaner energy, but are now cheaper too! The renewable energy revolution is already underway, with new models that combine localised generation with the latest in battery storage tech. But, some communities are going even further, with decentralised systems that remove any reliance on the big fossil fuel producers.

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EDUCATING WOMEN AND GIRLS


Every year, we humans consume the amount of resources that the world is able to replenish by August. That means for the rest of the year, our booming global population is taking away from future generations. So how do we reduce the pressure of a booming population on our planet? The evidence is clear that empowering women and girls with education, access to reproductive health services and work opportunities can give them a better quality of life and have an enormous impact on the planet.

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CIRCULAR ECONOMY


According to climate scientists, unless we can reduce our consumption by at least 20%, we are likely to experience some serious climate trouble by 2040. So, how do we reduce our consumption? One way is to become more responsible consumers of products and resources. Whether it's being smarter about how we equip our homes, supporting companies that promote ethical and sustainable sourcing of materials or joining the circular economy movement, there are a plethora of ways we can meaningfully reduce our waste.

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TRANSPORT


By 2040 it's estimated that an extra 1 billion cars will join the 1.2 billion already occupying our roads. The environmental impact, plus the impact of the extra parking space required and the overcrowding in our cities, would be enormous. Researchers and academics can see a potential solution with the convergence of the ride-share and electric vehicle industries with autonomous vehicle technologies. This could see a drastic decrease in the number of cars on our roads and the parking spots required. This would open up our cities for more community spaces and affordable housing, as well as drastically reducing emissions. Crucially, those people forced out of work in the automotive industries would need to be supported through retraining programs.

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