1. Climate change was a theme at the 2020 ball drop.
Every year, someone new is invited to kick-start the ball drop at New York’s Time Square New Year’s Eve celebration. These special guests usually speak to the cultural moments that defined the past year. (Last year, it was journalists calling for a free press, and the year before it was leaders of the #MeToo movement.) To wrap up 2019, a historic year for climate change, two NYC science teachers and their students were the ones to take on the honor.
“On New Year’s Eve, we look back and reflect on the dominant themes of the past year and seek hope and inspiration as we look forward. You’d have to have your head buried in the Saudi Arabian sand to not be alarmed by all of the environmental catastrophes of 2019, and you’d also have to have a soul of Styrofoam not to be moved by the passion of young people demanding that we do better,” Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said in a news release on the news. The next decade could largely determine our future in a warming world, so here’s hoping this is the first of many moments that climate change will be at the forefront of our cultural celebrations.
2. Italian Vogue‘s next issue will be photography-free.
The publication opted to swap its signature glitzy photos for illustrations in its upcoming January 7 issue. The magazine’s editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti says that the decision is meant to show that Vogue is experimenting with new ways of storytelling that are less environmentally damaging. (Flying models and photographers out to exotic destinations for shoots leads to some hefty emissions, after all.) The money that the magazine saves by going the illustration route will be donated to a local cultural center in Venice that was recently damaged in a flood, according to the New York Times. TBD if this new medium will stick after this month’s issue, but hopefully it furthers the conversation about how high fashion needs to adapt to changing times.
3. Soon, England will break ground on the “world’s greenest football stadium.”
Architecture firm Zaha Hadid Architects just got permission to build the world’s first wooden football stadium in Gloucestershire, England. Wood is reemerging as a climate-friendly construction material since it’s naturally occurring and leads to far fewer carbon emissions than concrete. “Our new stadium will have the lowest carbon content of any stadium in the world,” said a green industry expert behind the project, which will also run on renewable energy sources. It’s fitting that the stadium will be home to the Forest Green Rovers team, the world’s first (and probably only?) vegan soccer team.