Things That Matter

The United Nations Gave Costa Rica The Highest Award Possible For Their Work Saving The Environment

Costa Rica is a global example of cutting carbon emission and using renewable and sustainable energy to power a nation. The Central American country has been striving to be carbon-zero ahead of the rest of the world. The country recently powered itself using only renewable and clean energy for part of a year showing that it is indeed possible. As such, the United Nation gave the country the highest award for being the environmental example it is.

Costa Rica was recognized by the UN for leading the way to a zero-carbon future.

Credit: visit_costarica / Instagram

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) recognized Costa Rica with its highest environmental honor. The Central American country was celebrated for its role in the protection of nature and its commitment to combat climate change with strong policies. 

“Costa Rica has been a pioneer in the protection of peace and nature and sets an example for the region and for the world,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment program. “Climate change demands urgent and transformative action from all of us. With its ambitious plan to decarbonize the economy, Costa Rica is rising to that challenge,” she added. “Global emissions are reaching record levels and we must act now to move to cleaner, more resilient economies.”

Around 70 percent of all buses and taxis are also expected to be electric by 2030, with full electrification expected by 2050.

Credit: visit_costarica / Instagram

Ninety-eight percent of Costa Rica’s energy is renewable and forest cover stands at more than 50 percent after decades of work to reverse deforestation. In 2017 the entire country ran a record 300 days solely on renewable power. The plan is to run on 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. Costa Rica has plans to switch 70 percent of all carbon-emitting buses and taxis to electric by 2030, with full electrification of vehicles projected for 2050.

“Receiving the Champions of the Earth award on behalf of Costa Rica, its entire population, the past generations who protected the environment, and future generations fills me with pride and emotion for what Costa Rica has achieved and for what we can continue to do because we can achieve even more. I feel very proud to be Costa Rican,” said President Carlos Alvarado Quesada.

“About 50 years ago, the country began to advance a series of innovative environmental policies because the paradigm of sustainable development is very much in Costa Ricans’ DNA. The decarbonization plan consists of maintaining an upward curve in terms of economic employment growth, and at the same time generating a downward curve in the use of fossil fuels in order to stop polluting. How are we going to achieve that? Through clean public transport; smart and resilient cities; sound waste management; sustainable agriculture and improved logistics,” he said. 

Costa Rica revealed its plan of action to abide by the Paris Agreement’s target to achieve zero emissions by 2050.

Credit: visit_costarica / Instagram

Costa Rica’s Decarbonization Plan was unveiled in February and the target of the plan is to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, by reforming transport, energy, waste and land use. This would mean that the country will produce no more emissions than it can offset through actions such as maintaining and growing its forests. 

Already, Costa Rica’s groundbreaking role in promoting clean technologies and sustainability has earned the country of around 5 million people a global emissions rate of only 0.4 percent. China’s global emissions in 2011 were over 10 percent, and the US was emitting over 6 percent

UN Secretary-General urged world leaders to come together to discuss sustainability in New York during the Climate Action Summit.

Credit: visit_costarica / Instagram

The Champions of the Earth is the UN’s flagship global environment award. It recognizes Costa Rica’s sustainability efforts and highlights the urgent need to find solutions against climate change. The need for radical global action on this subject was highlighted by the UN earlier this week at UN’s Secretary-General António Guterres’ Climate Action Summit in New York.

For the summit, the Secretary-General urged world leaders and businesses to come together with concrete ideas on how they intend to cut emissions by 45 percent in the next decade and achieve net-zero emissions globally by 2050 as per the Paris Agreement of 2016. 

The urgency of the problem was highlighted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s emotional speech.

By the end of the day, 65 countries announced efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, several asset fund managers offered to aim to a net-zero portfolio of investments by the same year. Dozens of businesses said they would abide by the Paris Agreement too. The urgency of the problem was highlighted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who chastised world leaders for their approach. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you,” she said, “if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.”

The ‘Champions of the Earth’ award was established to celebrate outstanding figures whose efforts have transformed the environment and the world.

Credit: visit_costarica / Instagram

The award Champions of the Earth, bestowed upon Costa Rica this year, was established by the UNEP (UN Environmental Program) in 2005 to celebrate outstanding figures whose actions have been transformative to this earth and the environment.     From world leaders to environmental activists and technology innovators, the award recognizes trailblazing efforts to protect the planet for generations to come. 

Costa Rica is one of five Champions of the Earth this year. The other categories rewarded are entrepreneurial vision, inspiration and action; and science and innovation. All 2019 champions will be honored today at a gala ceremony in New York during the 74th UN General Assembly. Also honoured at the event will be seven young environmental activists between the ages of 18 and 30, who will take home the ‘Young Champions of the Earth’ prize.

Previous laureates from Latin America include Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile, for her efforts in creating marine protected areas and for boosting renewable energy (2017); former Brazilian environment minister Izabella Teixeira for her leadership and key role in reversing deforestation of the Amazon (2013); and Mexican ecologist José Sarukhán Kermez for a lifetime of leadership and innovation in the conservation of biodiversity in Mexico and the world (2016).

READ: Costa Rica Is Warning Everyone To Stop Drinking Alcohol As 19 People Have Died Due To Tainted Alcohol

Costa Rica Just Became The First Central American Country To Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal

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Costa Rica Just Became The First Central American Country To Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal

@paniaguaenri / Twitter

The country of Costa Rica just got a whole hell of a lot more bright and colorful.

On Tuesday, the Central American country became the first to legally recognize same-sex marriage. In a post to his Twitter account, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada wrote in celebration of the day saying, “Today we celebrate liberty, equality, and our democratic institutions. May empathy and love be the compass that guide us forward and allow us to move forward and build a country that has room for everyone.”

The decision to ensure marriage equality came at the hands of an August 2018 ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court.

The decision ruled that laws preventing same-sex marriage were incongruent with the country’s constitution and therefore unconstitutional. After officially recognizing same-sex marriages, Costa Rican couples celebrated by holding weddings overnight.

“Costa Rica is celebrating today: marriage equality has become a reality in the country – the first one in Central America!” the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World) wrote in a Twitter post. “We rejoice with you: congratulations to all those who worked so hard to make it happen!”

The Human Rights Campaign also celebrated the ruling while highlighting the need to ensure marriage equality around the world.

“Today, Costa Rica has made history, bringing marriage equality to Central America for the first time,” HRC President Alphonso David about the new lin in a statement according to CNN. “Costa Rica’s LGBTQ community has worked tirelessly for years to make today a reality. This victory is theirs, and it inspires the entire global LGBTQ community to continue fighting to move equality forward.”

This ULTA Employee Showed How Returned Products Are Handled And The Whole Thing Is Truly Eye-Opening

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This ULTA Employee Showed How Returned Products Are Handled And The Whole Thing Is Truly Eye-Opening

@biancaann5

No judgment but let’s be real. We’ve all been in the scenario where we’ve let loose at a makeup counter. You know, gone a little overboard with shopping, regretted a few purchases and then decided to take them back. Most stores like ULTA, Sephora, and Nordstrom have pretty great return policies when it comes to buyer’s remorse and so it never seems like too big of a deal when we show up the next day or even a few weeks later with our receipts and the items we no longer want.

But recently, an employee from ULTA revealed what happens after you’ve walked away from the return counter at a beauty supply store. And TBH it ain’t pretty.

Bianca Ann Levinson, who posts under @biancaann5 on TikTok, went viral after revealing how ULTA handles returns.

In the video posted to her TikTok, Levinson shows herself “damaging out” products of palettes and concealer tubes and dumping them into the trash. “This is what we have to do so that people don’t dumpster dive and steal it,” Bianca says in the video.

According to Levinson, her decision to post how the company handles returns wasn’t. mean to shame the company but shed light on returns to buyers.  “I don’t want people to come for Ulta and stop going at all. I want people to know that stores like Sephora, Bath and Body Works, Target, Walmart and many others all have to do the same, too,” Levinson explained to Buzzfeed in an interview.

At first glance, the process of damaging out is clearly extremely wasteful but it all chalks up to hygiene and scams.

As Levine points out in another TikTok, damaging out is done in the name of avoiding cross-contamination. Particularly in this time of the coronavirus pandemic. What’s more, Levine says the practice is done to avoid having dumpster divers try to sell products they find in the trash online. “If someone sells product out of the trash, it opens up the chance of someone getting sick or an infection and possibly suing Ulta,” Levine explained to Buzzfeed. “We can’t donate for the same reason. Most brands don’t allow it either. Ulta cares a lot about their customers and wants to do their best to keep them safe.”

“I wanted people to realize that when they return things, it’s not always put back on the shelf. They should reconsider before returning items they purchased. I understand some people have to return things, but if it’s not necessary, then I don’t believe they should return it,” she continued

Levine’s video has already accumulated over three million views. Clearly she’s taught us all a lesson. Hopefully, everyone does the right thing and puts the new lesson it into practice.