Look closely. What do you see?
Do you see a dot? A speck of dirt? Or maybe nothing?
“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” - Carl Sagan
As a representative for many incredible environmental and conservation organisations, we are exposed, daily, to the mammoth risk Earth faces. The image above is humbling and also reminds us that there’s only one small dot in the universe we currently call home. We don’t have another. And so we battle tirelessly on behalf of our inspiring partners to help them in their efforts to protect our shared planet.
This Earth Day we want to shift that focus slightly. Away from the threat we face, and instead to celebrate some massive innovations and forward-thinkers who have set out to protect Earth. Here’s 3 you may not have heard of:
Firstly Nikita Rafikov. This American developed a method for embedding green fluorescent protein in windows. You know those jellyfish with the bioluminescence? Basically, embedding some of the proteins that make that possible into windows! The payoff? These windows are able to light a house without the need for electricity. The potential of this technology could eradicate not only the need for fossil fuels but also help nullify the problem of storing electricity. Oh, and did we mention when he dreamt this up, Nikita was just 11 years old! A true inspiration and a story worth following.
Secondly, the Catlin Seaview Survey. By utilising the advancement in camera and GPS technology, Catlin have begun mapping out the seafloor. Essentially Google street viewer, but for dive sites around the globe. Not only tracking the loss of coral, but breaking the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality. Bringing inaccessible reefs to peoples sofas. You can check out their work on their website https://www.catlinseaviewsurvey.com/ or watch the Netflix documentary Chasing Coral to learn more.
Finally the Great Green Wall. This African-led project began in 2007 and aims to create the world’s largest living structure on Earth, right across the middle of the continent. Not only will it provide food and job security to millions of people, but it is also estimated to draw out 250 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere. Many countries including Ethiopia, Senegal and Nigeria have already restored millions of hectares and planted millions of trees. You can check out their work on https://www.greatgreenwall.org/about-great-green-wall
So yes, everyone who has ever lived has done so on that little dot that we celebrate today. But don’t let that make you feel insignificant. We all play a massive role in protecting our home. If every speck of dust came together it would become a mountain. So take some time today to not only remember the challenges, but celebrate the successes.
Happy Earth Day.