5. Plastic Pollution Solutions: What is the story of Nzambi Matee? What is the upside to her invention and business? What are the potential challenges? Why aren’t more stories like this featured in mainstream press?
Nzambi Matee a 29-year-old entrepreneur and inventor is the founder of a startup that recycles plastic waste into bricks that are stronger than concrete. Genius invention isn’t it? It’s Cheaper, faster, safer (sustainable) concrete. Who wouldn’t want that?
Why is this so important? Plastic waste devastates our planet: More than 8 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced, since its creation.
They also have several significant advantages over conventional bricks — they’re thinner and lighter, have superb heat-insulating properties (5 times more than standard bricks), and are just as strong as their stony counterparts. Each brick helps rid the world of discarded plastic and is cheaper and more fuel-efficient to manufacture than conventional bricks. It’s also less energy-intensive than recycling the plastic into other forms
The challenges would be the unknown- are plastic bricks safe in the long-term? What happens to plastic when it degrades after 500 years?
Plastic over time it breaks down into microparticles, which eventually leech into the soil and water. So what would happen to the building or the footpath made from recycled plastic bricks?
Let's not forget that plastic is flammable, so how would that work?
6. Vanessa Nakate: Who is she? And why is this photograph important?
Vanessa Nakate is a 24-year-old Ugandan climate justice activist. She grew up in Kampala and started her activism in December 2018 after becoming concerned about the unusually high temperatures in her country and around Africa (even though Africa produces just 2% to 3% of the world’s carbon emissions).
The photograph shown above is from the World Economic Conference in Davos, Switzerland. This photograph looks like any other photograph, but in reality, before this photograph was published she was cropped out of it. She said said “various” outlets, including the US’ AP news agency, had removed her from photos.
Nakate told CNN that the incident points to a wider issue of erasure of African voices in climate action conversations. “Africans have truly been erased from the map of climate action,” Nakate said during an interview at her home in Uganda. She added in a video statement: “It was the first time in my life that I understood the definition of the word ‘racism’.”
16. Footprint Calculator: What is Your Carbon Footprint? Use this tool to calculate your own carbon footprint? Provide a review of the tool itself: is it accurate? Is it useful overall? What did you learn from it?
My result 1 showed that my personal Earth Overshoot Day is: 12 May this means by this date, we would have used as much from nature as Earth can renew in the entire year. It also showed that if everyone lived like me we would need 2.8 Earths (I’m shocked and scared). I tried to see the average result participants in India however there was no such data but when I compared it to USA, mine was way less (USA having an average of 5.0 earths) My result 2 showed my ecological footprint to be 4.7, my carbon footprint to be 8.8, and my % of total ecological footprint to be 64.
I think that the tool overall was very useful as it allowed us to range our answers, however, I believe it could have considered other factors like if we own pets (since I have 5 dogs I believe my footprint would change a lot because of that), or our dining out habits.
Honestly, I had never taken such a calculator before nor had I ever paid that much attention to my carbon footprint so using this calculator has really opened up my eyes and definitely made me more conscious and aware of my lifestyle.