What a year 2022 was.
A lot happened (good & bad) for us, the planet, and, I'm sure, for you.
At Eco Turtle Life HQ, our business started blooming, picking up pace as the year progressed. In April we were featured in the British Platinum Jubilee edition of Vogue after being approached for our closed-loop system, which was an absolute honour.
Another highlight was receiving returned pouches (the start of many) back from people who started using our cleanser in 2021. This massive confidence boost strengthened our belief in what we have created and how it can help reduce waste in the beauty industry.
And, of course, introducing three new products to our refillable skincare program, allowing us to offer a basic but complete skincare routine.
But we are about more than just the profit and being a successful business.
We are passionate about creating awareness and sharing climate news. So we bring you our top picks and month-on-month playback on how it went for the planet in 2022.
The year started with the 6th warmest on the 143-year climate record, with a global land and ocean surface temperature at 1.60 degrees F (0.89 degrees C) above the 20th-century average.
The super music star Rhianna donated $15 million to selected climate action organisations in the #StartSmall campaign founded by Jack Dorsey (Twitter co-founder). The organisations that received the donation will focus on climate justice in the U.S. and the Caribbean. A place close to her heart and who have experienced the brunt of global warming and hurricane frequencies.
A video of Tuvalu's Minister of Justice Simon Kofe went viral after he made a speech while standing knee-deep in seawater. Following indigenous communities in the Arctic and scientists warning that the Earth's permafrost (mainly in Alaska, Canada and Siberia) is melting.
Permafrost is ground below the Earth's surface that has been continuously frozen for at least two consecutive years and, in most cases, for hundreds or thousands of years.
Permafrost Thaw in a Warming World: The Arctic Institute
At the One Ocean Summit, nations in the western Indian Ocean commit to marine conservation (the 'Great Blue Wall' initiative), intending to progress in protecting 30% of the oceans by 2030.
Less than 10% is currently protected, so action must occur today to prevent the coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangroves from collapsing in the next 50 years.
"Corals, mangroves, and seagrasses are vital organs of the ocean. Like a human body, if you don't take care of those organs, the rest of the ocean will not survive," said Thomas Sberna, a regional head for Eastern and Southern Africa at global conservation authority the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The commitment includes protecting marine ecosystems, promoting sustainable fishing, commitments to fight plastic pollution, preserving marine ecosystems for climate mitigation and adaptation and strengthening ocean science and governance.
Activist and President of the women's network Tejedoras de Vida (Weavers of Life) Fatima Muriel, from Colombia, speaks out about the impact on women and children due to disasters as a result of climate change.
Poorer countries impacted by climate change, like Muriel, in 2017, were struck by an extreme flash flood triggered by hefty rains.
Muriel speaks out about how women have less access to fundamental human rights but are 70 per cent of the agricultural workforce in some countries. When disasters strike or their subsistence crops fail, they don't have the means to cope. During times of high uncertainty from these disasters, it results in systematic violence, child marriage, sex trafficking and domestic violence.
Studies undertaken by the UN have shown similar results in countries worldwide. Also includes an increased risk of homelessness, sexual violence and disease.
April is home to World Earth Day, where the theme this year was #InvestInOurPlanet.
This is weird because the winner of a €200 million EuroMillions jackpot uses the entire sum to set up an environmental foundation called Anyama, which will protect forests and boost biodiversity.
Unfortunately, this was also the month following March 2022, when India and Pakistan had the hottest March since 1901. Resulting in extreme heat and more than 90 deaths.
A coexistence agreement was signed between the Nukak and local Campesinos in South America. It aims to return indigenous communities to their territory in the fight against their cultural eradication. 1 million hectares of an Amazonian reserve will benefit from this act.
The world produces the results of people living in internal displacement due to conflicts or natural disasters worldwide, which hits a record of 59.1 million. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, this is up from 55 million annually.
NASA data indicated June 2022 tied for the hottest June on record.
This month we celebrated World Environment Day, the theme was "Only One Earth", and World Oceans Day, called "Revitalisation: collective action for the ocean".
In Australia, we witnessed a sporadic planetary event where five planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) aligned in the sky simultaneously and were visible with the naked eye.
Australia introduces the Climate Change (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2022, "the bill: outlines Australia's greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of a 43% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050; requires the minister to prepare and table an annual climate change statement; requires the Climate Change Authority to give the minister advice in relation to the annual statement and future greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets; and provides for periodic reviews of the operation of the Act." - House of Representatives, Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
The United Nations General Assembly declared that everyone on the planet has a right to a healthy environment. It called on states to step up efforts to ensure their people have access to a "clean, healthy and sustainable environment."
In Australia, Plastic Free July efforts promoted beach clean-ups around the country. Globally, more than 140 million people took place in the cause and war on single-use plastic. Australia is currently #1 in the world for soft plastic units used per person, around 3000 per annum.
The United States enacted its first-ever climate legislation. Injecting $369 billion of public spending and tax credits into the U.S. economy to boost clean energy, clean infrastructure, and climate resilience over the next decade. "This is massive legislation.
In Kentucky, U.S.A, more than 100 bridges were damaged or destroyed, and roads were blocked or washed away due to flash flooding and severe weather conditions.
While in Gironde, France, over 6,200 hectares of land were destroyed by fires and 10,000 homes were impacted.
In South Africa, the courts made a monumental decision to revoke Shell's exploration rights off South Africa's eastern coast. The judge acknowledged the critical role of the ocean in the livelihoods and the spiritual and cultural life of coastal communities.
South Africa’s High Court sided with Indigenous communities citing, in part, their deep cultural connection to the ocean. - hakaimagazine
In California, the U.S.A. passed Senate Bill 1137, banning new oil and gas wells from being built within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, or hospitals. This was pushed after research showed severe health issues in local communities due to fracking and drilling off the coast. California is the seventh-largest oil-producing state in the U.S.
Australia's most prominent soft plastics recycling organisation, REDcycle, closes 'temporarily'. This has left Australian consumers, supermarkets and brands supplying goods in soft plastics at a loss. REDcycle launched 10 years ago, with founder Liz Kasell wanting to do the right thing for the community. During their operation, they diverted 5.4 billion pieces of soft plastic from landfill and the environment. Consumer recycling of soft plastic has grown exponentially in recent years, with a 350% increase in plastic returned since 2019.
In Australia, NSW banned single-use items such as cotton buds with plastic stems, straws and plastic bags.
This month, COP27 took place, the 27th conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). It is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement (keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels). It occurred at Egypt's Sharm m El-Sheikh International Convention Center (SHICC).
Goals of COP27 are to accelerate global climate action through emissions reduction, scaled-up adaptation efforts and enhanced flows of appropriate finance. The world must move from negotiation to implementation and where words are translated into actions. The agreement and outcome are to establish a loss and damage fund is a historic breakthrough, demanded by developing countries for three decades.
The EU announced a commitment to ban single-use miniature toiletries and food containers as part of the European Green Deal, an EU-wide plan to reach net zero by 2050, separate economic growth from resource use, and promote a circular economy.
In Europe, each person generates almost 180 kg of packaging waste annually. Packaging is one of the main culprits, accounting for 40 per cent of plastics and 50 per cent of paper used in the EU.
Sadly the world loses 'the queen of British Fashion', icon and climate activist Vivianne Westwood. Known for speaking out about climate change and sustainability and driving action like the changing EU law to declare environmental destruction a crime.
"The status quo will kill us. People don't realise how quickly we are marching towards a possible mass extinction. Once the global temperature goes up beyond two degrees, you can't stop it. Current predictions are that we will see a rise of more like 4C or 6C, which would mean that everything below Paris would become uninhabitable."
Looking forward to the new year.
We wish you all the best for 2023, and remember that every bit helps to try and save our planet, don't give up on your efforts.
As always, thank you for your support and look forward to many exciting events to come :)
Lots of love: Gav, Tam & Bachi
Is there an alternative to REDcycle?
Other than some local councils trying to tackle/accept the plastics, we found The Curbyit program (operated in NSW councils and expanded nationally in time), which allows you to recycle soft plastics in your yellow bin as long as you are a registered Curby user. Download the Curby app on a smartphone - Register your household for Curbyit - Order the Curby tags to put on your plastic bags via the app or collect them from Wallsend Library - Once you have a whole bag of soft plastics, tie securely and attach your Curbyit sticky tag - Scan the label with the Curby app. You will be able to recycle soft plastics through your yellow bin at home. For more information, please visit: https://www.curbyit.com/