You Make A Difference: 10 Positive Changes That Happened Because Of You

5 Mins Read

With our planet in turmoil, it’s easy to feel bogged down by the lack of environmental progress and get slammed with a bout of eco-anxiety. However, it’s important to look at the bright side too. No matter how small our daily individual actions might seem, they do add up to drive big changes. Here are 10 positive impactful shifts that happened recently that you might have missed, which has happened all because of you. We must celebrate these examples and use them as motivation to keep fighting to make our world a better, kinder and greener place. 

1. Unilever announces divestment plan

Source: Yahoo Images

Anglo-Dutch multinational corporation Unilever warned shareholders that it will sell off brands that do not positively contribute to the planet and community in a statement by CEO Alan Jope in August 2019, citing changing consumer eco-consciousness as a key reason. Soon after, the company announced that it has switched to using 100% renewable energy, and will become a carbon neutral company by 2030

2. Ocean Park ends dolphin and sea lion show

Source: Ocean Park

After years of pressure from environmental and animal rights activists, Ocean Park has finally ended their cruel dolphin and sea lion show. They will be scrapping the entire Ocean Theatre, the facility that hosts the exploitative show, and replace it with 26 new rides. 

3. Colgate launches (half) biodegradable toothbrush & vegan toothpaste

Source: Ecocado

Dental care giant Colgate launched a new biodegradable toothbrush that is made from sustainably-grown bamboo coated in beeswax (not vegan) in an attempt to reduce its plastic waste after heightened consumer awareness. In their next move, the infamous brand launched 2 new certified-vegan toothpastes that are packaged in recyclable tubes.

4. Hotel groups across the globe ditch single-use plastic

Source: Ovolo Hotels

First, InterContinental Hotel Group announced that they will ditch single-use plastic amenities in all their locations around the world, citing guest pressure as the key reason. Then, this snowballed into a wave of hotel chains taking similar initiatives, including Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marriott Hotels and Ovolo Hotels

5. Second-hand apparel is set to take over fast fashion 

Source: Sewport

Thanks to demand from people looking for more sustainable options to shop, second-hand fashion, from thrift to preloved luxury platforms is exploding all over the world. According to a thredUP market report, the resale market will overtake mainstream by as soon as 2028

6. Dairy companies are going bankrupt because of rise of plant-based

Source: Shutterstock

Motivated by the link between dairy production and fuelling greenhouse gas emissions that drive our climate emergency, people are choosing to ditch dairy for plant-based milks more than ever before. This has led to the downfall of major dairy companies in the United States, and serious difficulties for dairy producers in New Zealand too.

7. Vogue Italia ditched their January cover photoshoot

Source: Vogue Italia

As the fashion industry continues to get exposed for its enormous waste and carbon emissions, Vogue Italia chose to drop photoshoots in their January 2020 issue in a bid for sustainability. It comes after the influential fashion magazine Vogue International created a Global Sustainability Director to lead environmental change.

8. Goldman Sachs stops funding Arctic oil drilling

Source: Sergey Anisimov / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

In a new environmental policy announcement, Goldman Sachs has ruled out any future financing for oil drilling or exploration in the Arctic. It comes after the banking industry has faced fierce criticism for continuing to support the fossil fuel industry despite mounting scientific consensus on the climate crisis.

9. Carbon offsetting is going mainstream

Source: Getty Images

Thanks to the “Greta Thunberg effect” that has garnered millions of youth strikers taking it to the streets to demand global climate action, the past year has seen a major increase in carbon offsetting projects, according to tree planting and forest restoration organisations. 

10. Coca-Cola now makes bottles out of plastic waste

Source: Zero Waste Montenegro

In an attempt to amp up their eco-credentials amid global backlash from reports by environmental organisations, activists claiming greenwashing, and numerous online petitions, beverage giant Coca-Cola has started to make bottles out of recovered low-grade ocean plastic waste

Lead image courtesy of Freepik.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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