11 Stories About People Who Gave Our Planet a Second Chance — and Can’t Be Forgotten for What They’ve Done
For the past century, our planet has been seriously damaged. More and more people realize that the planet is in danger. But while some of them are talking, others are actually doing something about it. These proactive people clean beaches, produce sneakers using the trash found in the ocean and even build small farms and eco-friendly cities.
Here at Bright Side, we have collected inspiring stories about people from different countries who do miracles every day trying to save the earth.
1. Turtles returned to a clean beach in India after 20 years.
A magnificent beach in Mumbai was covered in trash. Before this, the beach was the birthplace for olive turtles. But due to the trash, they had to move to other regions and the situation was only getting worse. A man named Afroz Shah came to this beach and started cleaning up the trash. Volunteers supported him.
Together, they took away more than 5,000 pieces of trash, prompting the UN to call their project, “the biggest beach cleaning project”. And this Spring, 20 years later, turtles came back to the cleaned beach and laid eggs. Around 100 turtles were born! Volunteers protected them on their way to the Arabian Sea.
2. “Cleanman” can collect 28 bags of trash in 1 hour.
People often talk about piles of trash left in nature. A person by the name of Cleanman from Chelyabinsk prefers taking action to talking. Dirty, trash-filled areas in forests and parks are reborn after his visits and he leaves a long row of trash bags behind him. His activity got attention when some Dutch people made a video about him. After that, he gained followers. When he was asked about the mask, he said that he wanted to attract attention to the problem of ecology, not to himself.
His motto is simple: “Cleaning is easy and there is nothing humiliating about it!”
3. “Water Wells for Africa” project
In 1994, Kurt Dalin was in Malawi and was amazed when he saw people fighting for every bucket of dirty water and watched girls who had to walk half a day to bring huge buckets of water on their heads. He decided to help them: he created a well in the poorest and dryest village. This saved all the inhabitants who were constantly thirsty and had to drink dirty water.
In the first 4 years, the project supplied water to 26,000 people. 10 years later, there were 76 wells and the organization Water Wells for Africa was founded. Today, more than 300,000 people in Africa have access to pure water.
4. Fashion brands support eco-friendly clothing.
Famous clothing brands like Levi’s, NIKE, Zara and others have been promoting eco-friendly ideas for many years. H&M uses organic cotton and doesn’t use natural fur, and M&S opened factories that have equipment that requires less electricity and water. Zara doesn’t just release eco-friendly clothing but they also keep separate trash containers in their stores.
Levi’s is the first brand that released eco-denim and jeans with a “Waterless” sign that means the company saves water in different production stages. Adidas created collections of eco-friendly sneakers made of trash collected from the ocean. And NIKE has been promoting the Reuse-A-Shoe project since 1993. Shoes are recycled to create tennis courts and treadmills. Most companies now use bags that are biodegradable within 2 years.
5. Forest-healing drones
Deforestation is slowly destroying our planet. Different companies are looking for ways to restore what some call the “lungs of the planet”. And the most successful start-ups that promote forest restoration are the ones that use drones. These drones scan the environment in order to choose the right seeds and then additional drones plant them.
There’s a drone named Robin that can plant trees throughout 1 hectare (107,639 sq ft) in 18 minutes and count 100,000 trees in a day. And a British project called BioCarbon Engineering set a goal to plant 500 billion trees by the year 2050 in order to combat deforestation.
6. The “greenest” restaurant in the world
The cafeteria of the MUSE school in California is a champion among all eco-free restaurants. It has the highest scores in different criteria (like their quality of food, the menu, the economy of resources, waste management, and so on) and has 4 stars. The film director, James Cameron and his wife, Susy presented this restaurant with solar batteries in the shape of turning sunflowers.
The school grows their own fruits and vegetables and in 1.5 years they’ve replaced most of their foods in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
7. Removing the “Eastern Garbage Patch”
There are more than 100,000 tons of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. Many scientists proposed ideas on how to clean it, but the best method on how to remove the “Eastern Garbage Patch” was proposed by Boyan Slat 6 years ago. With his improvements, the project was started at the beginning of 2018.
The plan is to remove 50% of the trash in 5 years using massive floating barriers. The collected trash will be used to produce chairs, car parts and other things. Most investors of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation consist of Silicon Valley’s businessmen.
8. “The Shoe That Grows” project
At one time, volunteer, Kenton Lee saw orphans in Kenya wearing shoes that were too small for them and many kids were just running barefoot with injured feet. That’s when he came up with an idea for sandals that could grow together with a child. Using a special tool, you can increase the size by 5 points which can be good for 5-6 years.
He created a website for The Shoe That Grows project where anyone can buy shoes for children from any place in the world. There are many people who want to help.
9. A family grows tons of vegetables to supply surrounding restaurants.
A family who runs Urban Homestead in California manages to grow enough fruits and vegetables for themselves and local restaurants. They have 400 kinds of vegetables, fruits, and even edible flowers, and they have 3 tons of harvest a year. They also have ducks, chickens, goats, and bees, so they can always supply fresh eggs, milk, and honey.
In the beginning, these parents just wanted to grow safe food for their children. The father set solar batteries on the roof and started to power his car with plant waste. In order to save water and land, the family uses vertical gardens and clay pots. “People thought we were crazy 33 years ago when we started, but it worked out. And now 90% of our food comes from the garden which is just $2 per family member,” they explain.
10. Neapolis Smart Ecocity — a city of the 21st century
In Cyprus near Pathos, there is an eco-city, Neapolis — a unique place in the Mediterranean. There will be houses to live in, entertainment hubs, malls, hospitals, a green area and a view of the sea. In this smart city, you’ll be able to work and get an education in the research center, university, and more.
All the supply systems of Neapolis will be equipped with AI which will help to protect the environment. 25% of the energy will be produced using natural resources. The new life in Neapolis will start around the year 2023.
11. People of India planted 50 million trees in 1 day.
In 2016, volunteers in India worked for 24 hours planting 80 different kinds of trees. They did it along roads, railways, and on public land. India (like many other countries) experienced a huge loss of its forests over the past centuries because people chopped them down for fire and other purposes.
At this moment, this number of trees (49.3 million) planted in 1 day holds the world record.
Which of these ideas would you like to apply in your own city right now? Tell us in the comment section below!