The connection between youth health outcomes and the environment has been well documented. Studies, including one outlined this summer in the peer-reviewed journal, PLOS Medicine, show that children and teenagers are more vulnerable to environmental toxins, including industrial emissions and motor vehicle emissions. What we have also discovered is that youth can be an incredible inspiration for the work we are doing at Sparta, not only because they are vulnerable and we want to help protect their futures but because they are taking innovative steps themselves to ensure sustainability.
Better Blue is a global network designed for divers and diving centers around the world. It focuses on the concept of an eco-evaluation system to empower divers to practice marine conservation. Today, there are communities of divers in over 10 cities taking part in Better Blue, which happens to be the brainchild of Chinese university student Miao Wang. This university student is not alone in her determination to create a cleaner world. Delaney Reynolds is 17 now but when the Florida native was in middle school she conceived a solar power charging station for her school to allow students to charge their digital devices. Today, the teen is the author of children’s books focusing on the environment and is the founder of an educational advocacy group called “The Sink or Swim Project”. The initiative encourages people to get involved in saving our planet.
There is another Florida teen; just 16 years old, who is taking a strong stand when it comes to the environment. Hannah Herbst created an ocean energy probe called BEACON. The BEACON or Bringing Electricity Access to Countries through Ocean Energy converts the kinetic movement of current energy from a moving body of water into a source of useable electricity to be used in areas of the world where people are living without energy. The BEACON is made from 90 percent recycled materials and costs just $12 to produce.
These three people are just a few of the many young minds working hard to build a more sustainable environment. As we learn about more youth applying their creativity and time to climate change solutions, we can’t help but think it is our duty to demonstrate that we too are doing our best to secure a sustainable life for them. At Sparta, we love what we do not only because it can put money in the pockets of our clients and supporters but also because it can make a difference in the lives of future generations.
Every day we are seeing something in the news about waste plastics and the harmful impact it has on our environment, particularly marine life. Up until now, finding solutions to this waste issue has been more talk than action in jurisdictions around the world. It has always been a goal of Sparta’s to be part of the solution but beyond experimentation with various potential technologies, on a prototype scale, the company needed to find just the right partner to make it happen on an industrial scale. We were so pleased to announce recently that our ReECO Tech™ division signed a non-binding Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Pi ECO Canada Ltd., to convert waste plastics into synthetic diesel fuel. We feel this will be a good first step in removing plastics from the waste stream to give it a new life and new value. While the joint venture remains subject to various conditions, including regulatory approval, Sparta management and staff are eager and hopeful that before long, work can begin on a facility in the Toronto area to redirect thousands of tons of waste plastic from landfills and transform it into eco-friendly fuel. About 50 percent of plastics gets used just once and then is thrown away. According to leading environmental news provider, EcoWatch, enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.