Global Recycling Day! Women of Vanuatu Fighting Climate Change, Green New Purpose for Old Coal Mines

by | Mar 18, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

It’s Global Recycling Day! Women of Vanuatu fighting climate change, plus a green new purpose for old coal mines, and the fashion industry adopts solar panels.



Happy Global Recycling Day!!!  Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognize, and celebrate, the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources and securing the future of our planet. It is a day for the world to come together and put the planet first.

Think about this:  Humans have consumed more resources in the last 50 years than in all previous history. That’s why the mission of Global Recycling Day, as set out by the Global Recycling Foundation, is twofold:

  1. To tell world leaders that recycling is simply too important not to be a global issue, and that a common, joined up approach to recycling is urgently needed.
  2. To ask people across the planet to think resource, not waste, when it comes to the goods around us – until this happens, we simply won’t award recycled goods the true value and repurpose they deserve.

Recycling is an integral part of the climate change cycle and helps in promoting and protecting global sustainability.  Recycling is projected to save over a billion tons of CO2 emissions by 2030. That’s the equivalent of removing almost 798 million cars from the road annually.

This year the global recycling foundation is hosting global recycling competition. Ranjit Baxi, Founding President of the Global Recycling Foundation said, “We want to recognize Recycling Heroes for their outstanding contributions during these unprecedented times.” Competition entries closed on March 8th (If we’d known, we’d a told ya sooner, but alas…)

Ten winners will be chosen from across the globe and each one will be awarded a prize of US $1000 and will also feature on all our social media channels.

DEEPER DIVE: Global Recycling Day, Global Recycling Foundation, Awareness Days



A South Korean clothing manufacturer called Hansoll received a $5.6 million investment in late 2021 to install solar panels on rooftops of two of its factories in southern Vietnam. Berkeley Energy Commercial Industrial Solutions, a private renewable energy company, footed the entire bill. In exchange, it asked Hansoll to agree to purchase the electricity generated from the solar panels for the next 15 years.

Hansoll is not just doing this to be in line with the Paris climate agreement and the 2050 goals. It’s also going solar to help counter emissions from the fashion industry, which are increasing each year despite ambitious pledges by brands and retailers to reduce them.Additionally, Hansoll is now planning additional solar “power purchase agreements” at four of its other factories in Indonesia.

Why does this deal matter to us? When complete, Hansoll’s project is expected to decrease the company’s emissions by the equivalent of removing about 700 automobiles off the road annually. 

DEEPER DIVE: Inside Climate News



Island Reach, a local environmental organization on the island of Vanuatu, empowers community members to become environmental leaders and mentors since 2014. These environmental leaders and mentors serve as “resource monitors” collaborating with local chiefs and community stakeholders to build community resilience, and to safeguard natural resources of the island and measure the impact of climate change.

In 2017, Island Reach received a grant from the Global Greengrants Fund (Greengrants) to increase the number of women resource monitors on the island. Greengrants started in 2013 and is one of the leading organizations in the world supporting grassroots-led efforts to protect the planet and the rights of people.

The Greengrant in Vanuatu and the training of women has already shown to benefit the community through better resource harvests and management. Why does Vanuatu’s story matter to us? The role of women in addressing climate change in recent years has received significant attention. According to the UN, during extreme weather, women tend to work more to secure household livelihoods. Inaccessibility to resources and decision-making processes and limited mobility, women are disproportionately affected by climate change. 

DEEPER DIVE: Green Grants, Island Reach, One Earth, UN 



Coal mines have played a major part in creating our current climate crisis.  Now, given a second life, they may actually redeem themselves. Adam Black, a renewable energy enthusiast, was asked in 2019 by Lancaster Wines, a British wine company, to look into the use of geothermal energy for its warehouse from a water-filled abandoned mine below it.

With the help of some geothermal experts from Iceland, Black sank a borehole into abandoned mines in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England. The water pumped back to the surface was 15degreesC (59F). So, using an electric heat pump, the company began pumping the water, and the warehouse, with millions of wine bottles, was kept at the ideal temperature.

It’s estimated that up to 25% of homes in Britain sit above abandoned coal mines flooded with water. Researchers suggest that this makes abandoned coal mine water one of the UK’s largest underutilized, potential clean energy sources. Black’s efforts at the three abandoned mines demonstrate the potential. He says of the company’s current efforts, “Nowadays we’re heating a couple of warehouses, a distribution depot, a local bakery, and soon a nearby car showroom too.”

Why do abandoned coal mines matter to us? Cuz this is big news!! There are around one million abandoned mines worldwide. And some estimates put abandoned coal mine’s water heating potential at around 2.2 million GWh. England’s Coal Authority is exploring the feasibility of some 70 mine water heating projects across the UK.