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23 things we learned in 2023

23 things we learned in 2023

Illustrations: Cristina Spanó

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Here at Imagine5 we love having our minds blown by new discoveries. A year ago, we didn’t know any of this stuff. Keep following us for more fun facts and top tips in 2024!

What’s the greenest way to listen to music? Depends how many times you listen… Illustration: Ruth Vissing

1.
You have to listen to a vinyl record 20 times to make it more sustainable than streaming. Even though streaming music takes the production of the physical record out of the equation, it uses more energy per play than vinyl.

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2.
Amsterdam’s central train station has the world’s first underwater bike parking garage. The city has so many bikes it had to find more space to store them all.

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Queen of green: Pattie Gonia. Photo: Maxwell Poth

3.
Trees change with the scenes. So do people. And so can a dress! We teamed up with eco drag queen Pattie Gonia on this fabulous outfit, inspired by the changing colours of the leaves.

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4.
The Tour de France has cut its climate impact by 40% over the last 10 years – and wants to go totally climate neutral. It’s one of the lowest-impact major sporting events, with a footprint way smaller than the Olympics or the Football World Cup.

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5.
You can make pasta from old bread. Bread is one of the world’s most wasted foods, so a gropu called Eat Wasted are turning it into delicious pasta and serving it up for free.

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6.
A group of kids and young people from the US state of Montana managed to overturn a law banning officials from taking climate change into account when considering fossil fuel projects. The state’s constitution guarantees a clean environment “for present and future generations”, the kids argued.

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7.
Fans of The Little Mermaid are fighting for Ariel’s real-life home. On sites like Fandom Forward, geeks get together and campaign for good causes, such as ocean conservation.

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As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to love whales. Photo: Kerstin Meyer

8. Whales help fight climate change. Their sheer mass means they store a lot of carbon in their bodies. And when they die, they take it to the bottom of the sea with them.

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9. Footballers and fans are using the game to campaign for the climate. The Beautiful Game has colossal cultural reach, with literally billions of fans.

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10.
People all over the world are learning to see the value in their poop. With a biodigester you can turn “human waste” into fertiliser and fuel.

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Fungi are fantastic. Photo: Eric Cho

11. Mushrooms are even crazier than you thought. As these photos prove.

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12.
Scientists have identified “positive tipping points” that could lead to rapid social change for the good of the climate – including adoption of renewable energy, and changes to social norms around environmental behaviour.

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13. For one weekend a year, the Faroe Islands close to tourists. The only exceptions are volunteers who come to help fix up walls, gates and paths.

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14. Feeding seaweed extract to cows can help make meat production less damaging to the environment, by reducing the amount of methane the animals burp out.

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Close-up portrait of Thor Pedersen lying in the grass, shielding his eyes from the sun with his hand.

Thor Pedersen is a very well-travelled man. Photo: Katrine Noer

15. In July, a man named Thor Pedersen stepped off a ship in Denmark, having visited every country in the world – without flying. “I wanted to do something nobody had done,” he said.

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16.
A team of Hollywood insiders are working on making sure that more climate stories get into scripts and on to our screens.

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17.
Electric cars are more popular in Norway than any other country – and Morten Harket from A-ha played a central role in making it so.

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Ice cream enriched with an ingredient called Solein, grown using sunshine and thin air. Photo courtesy of Solar Foods

18.
In Singapore, you can buy a space age ice cream enriched with protein made from the air.

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19.
Pigeons are more flamboyant than you realised.

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20.
Spending more time in nature can help you recover from illnesses and lead to a happier, longer life.

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“Humans give me hope,” says David Byrne. Photo: Clement Pascal

21.
Musician David Byrne has become a pioneer of positive journalism. And he told Imagine5 all about us in the cover interview for our latest magazine.

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22.
An 8-year-old in England has raised thousands of pounds for nature by running around his home island.

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The majority of people in these countries would trust people they know for information about climate and the environment. It’s a good sign.

23.
Most of us underestimate how much the people around us care about climate change.

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We’re able to tell stories like this because of people like you. Join others from around the world in supporting Imagine5’s mission towards a sustainable future. Become a member, or donate what you can. Find out more here


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