Eco-Thrive's mission is to reduce the methane emissions produced and released by ruminant livestock around the world, specifically focusing on cows to begin with. We aim to achieve this impact through introducing a food supplement into the diet of the cattle, which will eliminate the enzymes that produce methane in their stomach. Our research is ongoing into the make-up of this supplement, as we plan to run our own trails to see how effective this reduction can be; with some research finding the use of Asparagopsis Taxiformis (red seaweed) being able to reduce methane emissions by up to 99%.
Our team are passionate about this issue as we understand the drastic effects a rising temperature will have on humanity. Scientists have predicted that the critical tipping point for the Earth is an average increase of 1.5°C in the global temperature - which with current forecasts, could be met by 2050. With methane accounting for 20% of the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’, and cattle contributing 37% towards global emissions, we believe this is a major step in the right direction.
Long-term goals include the running of educational programmes in schools and working with dairy farms to produce low-carbon products, alongside shifting consumer mindsets to a low-carbon diet. Shorter-term goals include the raising of finances to help fund the project, through the creation of a carbon calculator and a ‘Sponsor-A-Cow’ initiative.
Two representatives of the Eco-Thrive team recently visited the Sutton Bonington Farm, along with Enactus UK, where Dr. Matthew Bell generously provided us with a very informative tour. During this visit we discovered the sophistications of a technology driven farm, with innovations in place such as an automatic milking machine. One significant feature of the farm is that they have a machine that measures the methane emissions released by the cows throughout the day. The Sutton Bonington farm is one consideration for the supplement trials later this year.
The Sustainable Development Goals which Eco-Thrive tackle are quality education, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.