The world’s loneliest elephant rescued; Patagonia’s Black Friday message turns things upside down; New Zealand commits to a carbon-neutral government by 2025

Earth News|Collected: Your weekly round-up of positive news for the planet

WATCH: The world’s loneliest elephant not so lonely any more, makes first friend in almost a decade

After his partner died, Asian elephant Kaavan was dubbed the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’, having spent eight years alone in Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Last week, after lobbying from several animal rights activist groups, as well as pop superstar Cher, Kaavan was airlifted to his new home at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kaavan, who had been diagnosed as overweight and malnourished by veterinarians before his rescue, has not been properly socialised with other elephants yet, having spent his 35 years of life in Marghazar Zoo.

In Cambodia he will live in a wildlife sanctuary and roam in open space with a large herd of other elephants, who he will be introduced to slowly. Video released this week shows him interacting with his new neighbours through a barrier, touching trunks for the first time in nearly a decade. You can watch the heart-warming moment below.

Sources: Metro, bbc.

Patagonia’s Black Friday message turns things upside down

2020 isn’t the first year Patagonia has opted out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. This year, the B-Corp certified company instead released a series of stories and clips, to highlight the impact of mass consumption on the planet, asking its community to really consider what they need to buy during this period.

The responsible brand extended this message by placing strategic ads in Australian papers The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, which read:

Patagonia publishes ads in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald that say "“We’re all screwed So don’t tell us that we can imagine a healthy future Because the reality is it’s too late to fix the climate crisis And we don’t trust anyone who says We need to demand a livable planet Because we don’t have a choice (Now read this bottom up).”
Source: Patagonia

In a statement, Dane O’Shanassy, Director Patagonia Australia & New Zealand, said: “We’re in business to save our home planet; we want to use business as a tool to tackle problems and find solutions. There are many initiatives we’d rather be drawing attention to – the drawing down of carbon, limiting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste, addressing microfibre pollution.. – instead of encouraging rampant consumption.”

A reminder of the questions to ask yourself when shopping, on Black Friday or anytime…

  • Do I really need it?
  • Where and how was it made?
  • Who made it? How were they treated and paid?
  • What materials is it made with? Are they kind to the planet?
  • Is the product itself kind to the planet?
  • How many times will I use/wear it?
  • What will I do with it at the end of its life?
  • Could I buy this item from a local or small business, rather than putting more money in a billionaire’s pocket?

Sources: Sarah Wilson, B and T, Australian Surf Business Magazine, Earth Collective.

New Zealand commits to a carbon-neutral government by 2025

New Zealand is the latest country to formally acknowledge the global climate crisis by declaring a climate emergency, joining 32 other nations which have already done the same thing, including Canada, Japan, France and the United Kingdom.

Speaking in parliament after its introduction on Wednesday, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has called the climate crisis “one of the greatest challenges of our time”, said the country must “act with urgency” and that “this declaration is an acknowledgement of the next generation. An acknowledgement of the burden that they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now.”

The motion was passed in parliament by 76 votes to 43, and will be backed by a NZ $200 million fund to help purchase electric or hybrid vehicles and replace the coal-fired boilers used in the public service’s buildings.

New Zealand contributes just 0.17% of global emissions, but that is high for its size, placing it 17th out of 32 OECD countries. Its net emissions have risen by 60% in the past two decades. The nation’s biggest source of CO2 emissions is road transport, but most of its greenhouse gases stem from agriculture.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Guardian.

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Charli Ferrand Higgins

After a decade working for global and boutique PR and Marketing agencies in Sydney, with clients that included some of the biggest consumer brands in the world, Charli returned to her homeland of the UK in 2017 and decided the time had come to use her professional skills and experience for good. She has since split her time between supporting passionate, purpose-driven small and medium-sized businesses to grow through conscious content marketing, managing and editing the planet-positive content hub Earth Collective (weareearthcollective.com), and hosting the podcast Easy Being Green? Lessons in sustainable business for SMEs.

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