When it comes to the climate crisis we seem to be bombarded with news on just how bad things are. Whether it’s in a national news programme or all over Twitter, it seems almost inescapable and can lead to eco-anxiety and the feeling that there’s nothing we can do. But there are good new stories that are easily missed, and here are 3 from the last week!
Solar Improving Biodiversity
Sceptics of solar power and large solar power projects in fields have often used the ‘biodiversity damage’ argument when going against the construction of solar power farms, including recent Tory Prime Ministers. The use of fields and farmland for solar power farms is often criticised as having negative impacts, but it turns out that isn’t quite the case…
New studies on UK solar farms and the impact they have on the environment and biodiversity have recently been completed and the results show that biodiversity actually increased in nine of the ten solar farm sites that were studied! The highest increase was a 280% increase but there were other sites that saw an increase of over 100%!
Solar Efficiency Gains
As we transition away from fossil fuels, solar power is going to become increasingly important in our energy supply on a small and large scale. From entire solar farms to rooftop solar, it will all be vital in moving us to a cleaner future and decentralising the national grid. In recent years, the cost of producing and maintaining solar panels has rapidly decreased, bringing down the cost of generating power from solar panels but the efficiency of the panels themselves have long been a limiting factor.
Solar panels have recently reached as high as 29% efficiency but there were challenges in exceeding the 30% milestone. A semiconductor called perovskite is applied to the silicon-based panels helping the panels absorb blue light and increasing its efficiency. The more electricity that can be generated using existing solar panels means there’s less of a need for new large-scale solar projects!
Recycling Sex Toys
It may not be on the minds of many of us what happens to battery-powered or plug-in toys of the more intimate variety once they are broken, but they are electrical items and contain a lot of valuable metals and materials, much in the same way our phones do and should be recycled as such.
The Natural Love Company has implemented a scheme in which used or broken sex toys can be sent back to the company to be broken down to parts and recycled, something they’re calling the ‘second coming’. This is the first return scheme of its kind for these toys and has proved to be very successful!