How could plastic-eating bacteria help reduce waste? Could we generate all the power we need from the sun and wind? Would building a giant sunshade in space stop the world from overheating? Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers, the Usborne Fact Force are the go-to people to ask for top tips on saving our wonderful planet. The Usborne Fact Force team meticulously researches and discovers all of the very best facts and turns them into books for Usborne. And now they’ve created a bold and colourful book filled with one hundred fascinating and amazing facts about our environment – and what we can do to help save it. Read on for a sneak preview of 100 Things to Know About Saving the Planet,where the Usborne Fact Force team have shared just some of their favourite facts from their book.
Fact 6 chosen by Alex Frith
What bag should you use for shopping? Plastic, paper, cloth? Experts have tried to determine which material is the most environmentally friendly. But they don’t always agree. For example, plastic bags take a long time to rot away, but they take hardly any energy to make. For paper and cloth, it’s the opposite. Instead of worrying about what bag to use, the trick is to stop buying new bags of ANY kind. When you go shopping, take a bag with you – it doesn’t matter what it’s made from as long as you use it again, and again, and again…
Fact 17 chosen by Alice James
A colony of little penguins (also known as blue or fairy penguins) on Phillip Island, Australia, can get poisoned by oil spilled in the sea. But conservation workers there have been helping out by knitting the penguins tiny woollen sweaters. The wool traps any oil floating in the water, which stops it getting stuck in the penguins’ feathers, and keeps them safe.
Fact 36 chosen by Rose Hall
Often people throw clothes away just because they want to mix up their wardrobes. But making clothes uses up lots of water and produces CO2. So it’s better for the planet if fewer items are made, and each one is worn over and over again. At a jeans library, a customer can rent out a pair of jeans. When they’re ready for a change, they bring the jeans back and they are washed, repaired and rented out to someone different. This results in each pair of jeans being worn many more times than if they only had one owner, thus saving water and reducing pollution too.
Fact 63 chosen by Tom Mumbray
The wrapping paper used for birthdays and special occasions produces huge amounts of waste. Traditional Japanese cloths, known as furoshiki, are a great waste-free way to wrap. These beautifully decorated cloths can be used to wrap all sorts of gifts over and over again, saving roll after roll of wrapping paper from the bin. When they’re not being used to wrap presents, furoshiki can be transformed into a planet-friendly alternative to a plastic bag.
Fact 77 chosen by Eddie Reynolds
The Arctic Ocean gets so cold every winter that a layer of sea ice forms on the surface. Over the past few decades, the amount of ice has shrunk because the Arctic is getting warmer. Scientists wanted to learn more so devised an adventurous research mission. They sailed north and waited for the sea to freeze around the ship thus locking them into the ice. Once the ice platform became strong enough, they explored the icy island to set up camps and research bases all around. Their new home floated across the sea – the scientists didn’t know where it would take them.
Fact 98 chosen by Darran Stobbart
In the 1800s in the USA, the sight of the pollution clogging the Ohio’s Cuyahoga river catching fire was seen by many as a sign of the success of American industry. However, by the 1960s, a series of environmental disasters had changed the way the public thought. When the Cuyahoga river caught fire again in 1969 it sparked protests demanding action from the US government. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was founded to regulate how big companies disposed of their waste to protect America’s natural environments.
100 Things to Know About Saving the Planet was published on 3rd September 2020 by Usborne Publishing
Any opinions expressed may not truly reflect those of the FCBG