Let’s give a little extra love to the world today
The Overworld and the World with Rounded Corners (or the real world as some people like to call it) have a lot in common. Trees and plants differ depending on the biome or geographical location, oceans are filled with creatures both inky and playful, and dirt is plentiful. There is one major difference, and for once I am not referring to the terror that is the Phantom but it does also begin with a P.
I bring up pollution today because it’s Earth Day. We shouldn’t limit environmental action to 24 hours, but we can take some extra time today to reflect and learn. As luck would have it, Minecraft makes it possible to do just that in a fun and interactive way. If you head over to the Minecraft Marketplace, you’ll find Sustainability City – a free map where you explore recycling, energy efficiency, sustainable water treatment, and more! It's available for Bedrock and Education Edition. But that’s not all – Mojang Studios is doing one more thing today. We’re also donating $100,000 to The Nature Conservancy, who you might recognize from our amazing Coral Crafters initiative! This Earth Day, TNC is celebrating today’s environmental heroes and encouraging everyone to #SpeakUpForNature. Learn more here about the people making positive change for our environment and how you can make a difference.
A lot of us feel like we can’t make a difference, but I am here to tell you – yes you can! I am just one person and I still have an enormous impact on every single one of the devs’ everyday lives. The nature of this difference is not relevant in this case, but that does remind me that maybe I should supply some confirmed positive examples. I didn’t have to look very far (which is good as my eyesight is comically poor even for a writer) because there are two shining stars right here at Mojang Studios.
Joel and Karim both deal with environmental issues at Mojang Studios in different ways. They gave me some insight into their work out of the kindness of their hearts, not because I threatened to improvise if they refused.
Joel Alveroth: We are constantly aware of our environmental impact and carbon footprint. Being partially based in Sweden, our company has been stricken with Greta-fever and our responsibility – but also our power – in this area is often discussed. Remembering that just as we are accountable for our social impact on the community, we must be role models in how we look after our planet.
Karim Walldén: As a company, we have launched a full audit to measure our total CO2 emissions at Mojang Studios in Stockholm. Our goal is to decrease our carbon footprint and also contribute to Microsoft’s vision to be carbon negative by 2030.
Joel: As we are coming out of a large physical expansion and renovation, we have had the opportunity of remaking not just our office space but many of our office products. We have acknowledged the need for "new things" but remain conservative in the way we shop and constantly look for new materials and suppliers. For one thing, we are getting rid of the main offenders in our office snack assortment.
Hold up, my snacks are in danger?
Joel: Sofia, I know your snack of choice is cooked, whole potatoes so you will not have to make any adjustments.
Phew! Thanks, Joel! You are a star. Do you have any more advice about how one person can make a difference?
Joel: Start by analyzing what you are doing and ask yourself what could be done differently. Thereafter, you assess; sometimes certain smaller issues could be better left alone to keep funds, motivation, and momentum in order to change the things with larger impact. What I am trying to say is, choose your battles and you will have the energy to fight more battles consistently over time.
I tried very hard to poke holes in that, but I came up empty, leaving me with no other choice but to finish this potato and take a look around to see where I can make some changes.
Another company with sustainability goals is our partner, Mattel. They have set 2030 as the deadline for their products to be made of 100% recycled, reusable, or bio-based plastic. Today, 94% of the wood and paper fiber used in Mattel’s toys is made from recycled or FSC-approved material. Together with Minecraft, they have taken another step towards their 100% sustainability goal with the Minecraft Overworld Protector Playset.
The playset features papercraft blocks with a thin coating that allows kids (and adult writers) to fold, stack, and build whatever they want. Like a tower, or a pile that used to be a tower! Just like with Minecraft, the possibilities are endless. The playset comes with Overworld, an exclusive figure themed to look like the Earth we all share, made from a minimum of 35% renewable resources, namely wood pulp, sourced under responsible forest management! You can learn more about it here.
Everyone can, and should, do their part to make our world a cleaner and greener place to live. I hope all of us can learn something valuable today that we will take with us into our everyday lives and if you need some help, just remember the 4 R’s – Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remove-the-Phantom.
Between April 22, 2021 and April 23, 2022, Mojang Studios will contribute $100,000 to The Nature Conservancy. Any purchases made in the Minecraft marketplace will not result in a contribution to TNC. The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the land and waters on which all life depends. More information about TNC is available by mail at 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203, by phone at (800) 628-6860 or at www.nature.org
- Written By
- Sofia Dankis