At Emeraldology, we’re motivated by the innovations and actions pulling humanity toward sustainability. Each week we summarize three articles that give us hope for a brighter, greener future. This week brought us news of carbon-negative burger with beef grown and sold in the Pacific Northwest. That’s right, real beef (from cows) that actually puts carbon back into the ground. Amazing!

Note: You’ll have to head down to Vancouver, WA or Portland to try it.

Oddly enough, we just took a shot at the beef industry with “6 Things More Efficient Than Getting Protein From Cows.” If anything, our top headline shows that sustainable beef is possible, making the wastefulness of rest of the industry that much more frustrating.

This ‘Carbon-Negative’ Burger Is Fighting Climate Change

By Hannah Wallace, Reasons to be Cheerful, April 10, 2020

  • PNW fast-food chain Burgerville’s No. 6 Burger is a carbon-negative burger. The beef is raised locally via “regenerative agriculture, a holistic land management practice that reverses climate change by rebuilding soil’s organic matter and restoring its biodiversity.”
  • All of the burger’s ingredients are produced locally, including beef from Carman Ranch in Wallowa County, Oregon.
  • By many accounts, the No. 6 Burger is more sustainable than the increasingly popular Impossible Burger sold and many nationwide fast food chains. Both are valuable alternatives to cheap feedlot beef that dominates and wastes resources.

New Enzyme Breaks Down Plastic In Hours And Enables High-Quality Recycling

By Scott Snowden, Forbes, April 11, 2020

  • Scientists are using a bacterial enzyme found compost pile to break down plastic bottles in mere hours. The byproduct is “simple chemical elements that can be efficiently reprocessed into new, food-grade plastic.”
  • French company Carbios is hoping to scale the enzyme for industrial use within the next five years. The likely focus is polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water and soft drink bottles. Major plastic polluters Nestle, Pepsi and L’Oreal are partnering to advance research and development.
  • Professor Alain Marty from the Université de Toulouse and Science Director at Carbios told Forbes: “After two years of the work of 20 scientists, we obtained this incredible enzyme able to deconstruct 90 percent of PET in less than 10 hours.”

The silver lining to coronavirus lockdowns: Air quality is improving

By Andrew Freedman and Lauren Tierney, Washington Post, April 9, 2020

  • Coronavirus lockdown measures are leading to improved air quality are giving scientists and unprecedented look at the impact of human emissions.
  • The Los Angeles region, known for its smog and poor quality, the Air Quality Index improved 20 percent since stay-at-home orders went into effect on March 16. The region also saw it’s “longest stretch of “good” air quality in March seen since at least 1995.”
  • Per the report: “In addition to cuts in NO2 emissions, the coronavirus lockdowns have caused the relentless climb in carbon dioxide emissions to have a temporary hiccup, and the cancellations of tens of thousands of flights also could have consequences for our planet by reducing planet-warming emissions and high-altitude cirrus cloud formations.

Which story gives you hope for a greener future? Let us know in the comment section and share that good feeling using the social media icons below!