If like most of us, you regularly search the internet then, wherever you are this World Environment Day, you could be replanting the rain forest along with The Sciencebook Trust (TST) network. Everyone is invited to take part. From June 5th, simply switch to Ecosia as your search engine and watch as the trees get planted. It’s as easy as that. How is this possible, you ask? Ecosia is a search engine that donates 80% of its income to the Nature Conservancy Plant One Billion Trees campaign in Brazil. So be it amusing cats, world news or GCSE revision that begins your internet browsing, you can search to your heart’s content and plant trees for free at the same time. We’re impressed at TST especially because Ecosia is also completely CO2 neutral. In one company we find climate change, sustainability and innovation being addressed by a small group of switched on designers.
“Ecosia lives from its commitment to people, planet and profits. By turning a collection of small, everyday actions into something greater, Ecosia builds on the hope that we might one day live in a world that doesn’t need protecting. This is the change it seeks.” B Lab.
I’m now thinking about the importance of forests on a daily basis. I wonder how much clean water, air filtration, carbon storage, climate regulation or habitats for people and nature I will have helped by the project’s end date of 2025. In the UK, The Forestry Commission, The Woodland Trust, and a host of dedicated organisations are tree planting, while researchers with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences research Council (BBSRC) are working on projects to help address threats to UK forests, woods and trees. However, Just 12% of Britain remains covered by woodland compared to 75% around 6000 years ago. This is largely due to changes in land use, Dr Dan Bebber explained during a tree measuring field trip last year to the Earthwatch temperate forest research project in Oxford. The same is true for other forests across the globe, so The Nature Conservancy Project reminds us. Development along the coast, growing cities, illegal logging and unsustainable agriculture and ranching practices are responsible for 90 per cent of Brazil’s Tropical Atlantic Forest being lost
For Ecosia rainforest restoration is not a gargantuan task. It’s reason to exist. Ecosia, you see, is a B Corporation certified by non profit B Lab. Being a B Corp is something special. Currently there are 1000 B Corps from 33 countries and over 60 industries all providing goods and services in ways which benefit people, the environment and generate profit that’s fair and transparent. These companies are redefining success in business. What I really like is that anyone can ‘Recruit a B Corporation.’
If you know of a profitable and accountable company that really is doing its best for people and for the planet then B Corp status could be just a recommendation away. TST featured innovators are definitely worth considering.
So too are local Oxford businesses Indigo, for clothes shopping with an eco twist http://www.shopindigo.co.uk, and the inspired Osney Lock Hydro http://www.osneylockhydro.co.uk . Equally B Corp worthy, though further afield, are Natures Own Design (NOD) http://www.nodglobal.com and Terracycle http://www.terracycle.com/en-US Here is innovation that really makes a difference.
David VanderDussen (beekeeper and CEO of NOD Apiary Products, Canada ) and Albe Zakes (Director of Public Relations at Terracycle US) are solving real problems and innovating to the benefit of the planet.
At the International Bee Research Association Conference last year, David’s invention ‘Mite Away Quick Strips’, was poised to take up the fight in the UK against one of the honey bees greatest threats, the Varroa Destructor mite. This eight legged, eyeless, bee blood sucking parasite would be the size of a dinner plate on your body, David explained. NOD’s innovation could soon be helping to reverse the decline of honeybee populations across the UK and internationally.
Terracycle’s first product was organic fertiliser made from worm poo and packaged in pre used green soft drinks bottles. The company has gone on to creating a system for otherwise non-recyclable waste to be recycled and up-cycled into new products with the help of 35 million people in 22 countries.
‘Waste only exists in humanity. There is no waste in nature. Everything is reused, everything is recycled and we’re just taking a very natural process and trying to turn it into a business plan.’
Albe Zakes (Director of Public Relations, Terracycle, Trenton New Jersey c/o www.Beyondtheline.org)
So, what B Corporation Company suggestions would you make, I wonder?
This World Environment Day TST’s network of schools, teachers, young people, scientists, researchers and companies are being asked to switch to Ecosia. With your help on Wednesday 5th June, replanting the Brazilian Atlantic Forest while searching the internet really could be a breeze.
Sciencebook Project Director