Today The LEGO Group announced an increased commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, pledging to spend $400 million USD over the next three years to fast-track a variety of green initiatives and social programs. The most visible difference to fans will be the introduction of paper bags in LEGO packaging, which are set to replace the clear plastic bags that hold each step’s pieces in LEGO sets. The company plans to trial run the new paper bags next year, with the goal of making all its packaging sustainable by 2025. Tim Brooks, Vice President of Environmental Responsibility at The LEGO Group, said, “We have received many letters from children about the environment asking us to remove single-use plastic packaging. We have been exploring alternatives for some time and the passion and ideas from children inspired us to begin to make the change.”
The LEGO Friends Summer 2020 sets featuring the National Geographic partnership are now available in the U.S. and Canada. The LEGO Friends sub-theme focuses on jungle conservation with sets that feature rescuing baby elephants, pandas, sloths, llamas, and tigers. The sets also feature behind-the-scenes interviews with real-life people who rescue animals and are meant to inspire kids to be more environmentally conscious.
The sets have been available in the UK for a month and were announced they would go on sale elsewhere on August 1st, but it appears LEGO has made them available earlier than intended. The sets feature the National Geographic Explorers logo, and LEGO announced it is also donating to the National Geographic Society to fund grants in species conservation.
Take a look at each LEGO Friends set now available after the jump.
LEGO and National Geographic have announced they are partnering on a new line of LEGO City and Friends sets meant to inspire kids to be more environmentally conscious. The new sets (which have been available in most countries since June 1st–available in the Americas starting August 1st) feature ocean exploration and animal rescue themes. The sets include a menagerie of new LEGO animals including a hammerhead shark, anglerfish, manta ray, baby pandas, sloths, alpacas, and multiple elephants.
The sets feature the National Geographic Explorers logo, and LEGO announced it is also donating to the National Geographic Society to fund grants in ocean exploration and species conservation. As part of the campaign, LEGO has also launched an “Explore the World” website and video series to help kids develop creative ideas to address real-life environmental issues.
Across the world’s oceans, tiny changes in the water temperature have massive effects on the organisms living there, especially the tiniest. Coral reefs, in particular, show in spectacularly tragic fashion the impact of rising ocean temperatures. When the water gets too warm, the algae that live symbiotically within the cells of coral polyps get expelled violently from the little animals. Though the coral polyps are still alive, they are no longer colorful and bright; they are left a cold, dull white, deprived of the photosynthesis-derived energy from the algae and fully dependent on catching little bits of passing debris in their tentacles. Slowly but surely, the vibrant and rich ecosystem that once thrived around the rocky haven of the coral reef dies away, leaving nothing but coral skeletons. Builder Emil Lidé brings this oceanic phenomenon to life in LEGO form beautifully yet tragically.
Emil presents to us the reef on the one hand in full splendor, with diverse forms of coral and plant life along with little fish hiding in the crevices, wandering crustaceans, and starfish; and on the other hand, the reef bleached white, with skeleton arms appropriately front and center, with no animals or plants still living there. This build will be spending the next year at the LEGO House in Billund, if you can make the trip.
It might seem odd to describe a LEGO model displaying an environmental catastrophe as cute, but it feels like a fitting tag for Koala Yummies‘ microscale oil rig. The oil spill effect is suitably sinister, with thick black crude oozing out over the water, but it’s the rig itself which catches the eye. This model is packed with detail — don’t miss the helipad, the crane, the dangling orange lifeboats, and my favourite touch, the use of 1×2 grille tiles for the tiny windows in the accommodation block.
Even better, there’s a supply tender ship to go with the teeny-tiny oil rig. It too is perfectly proportioned, and nicely detailed for its diminutive size…