Reducing plastic bag usage was just one of the things people around the world pledged as their Ocean Promise last World Oceans Day, and is part of addressing a larger need to prevent excessive environmental waste. It is one of the easier and simpler actions each of us can take to help reduce our individual impact.
My name is Shaker. I am also known as Sawad Al-Madany because I was born in the Holy City of Medina. Please can you remember these names for me, because I hardly can anymore. Here, they call me 239. In fact, I call myself 239. It feels so strange to witness my name slipping away from me. I can't do anything about it. I wonder how long it is going to take for all of us here in Guantánamo to slip away from the world's memory?
Virunga is the continent's oldest national park, with more mammals, reptiles and birds than any other protected area in Africa. As well as being the home to such a diverse range of wildlife, Virunga's natural systems sustain local communities - providing food and fresh water, energy and raw materials, plus employment opportunities, such as fishing and ecotourism.
In 2012, almost 8,000 Syrians arrived in Greece by irregular means, compared to 1,709 in the first four months of this year, according to data from the Greek police. Most migrants and refugees used to head for the land border between Turkey and Greece at Evros, in the north, but in the summer of 2012 the Greek authorities built a wall and deployed a 2,000-strong security force to stop the influx of new arrivals.
Thousands of migrants and refugees from all over the world have made their homes in Istanbul. Many have escaped conflict-ridden countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Democratic Republic of Congo. The latest country to join this list is Syria. Most of those who have escaped from Syria's bombs live in refugee camps along the Turkish-Syrian border, but a growing number are making their way to Istanbul.
For the last few weeks the Parliamentary Human Rights Group has been sending reports to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Extrajudicial Executions and Religious Freedom on the incessant massacres and targeted assassinations of Shia Muslims in Pakistan, in the hope that the UN will take action about what can only be described as an incipient genocide.
More than 380,000 Syrians have taken refuge in Turkey. The majority - some 350,000 - are registered, giving them the right to live in the refugee camps run by the Turkish Red Crescent. The remaining 30,000 are either waiting for registration, or have decided not to register so as to have the freedom to move on to other parts of Turkey.
The sight of white men in suits applauding and gushing at Malala Yusufzai's speech at the United Nations, the media frenzy and vociferous support on social media was nauseating for me. Not because I deny Malala the right to campaign for what she does. It was more due to the sickening double-standards at play.
Alia Mosa lies on a bed in a hospital in northern Syria. Her feet are wrapped in bandages. She is angry and despairing, and desperate to tell her story. "It was 5am," she says. "They launched missiles and my house was totally destroyed. Four of my children were killed and I was injured. One of my daughters and my husband survived."
Abdul said they had lost loved ones from three generations of their family, and showed us a framed picture of his late wife, daughter, son and four grandchildren - all casualties of this brutal war. I was almost speechless. What words of comfort can you offer to a bereaved elderly man like Abdul Karim breaking down with grief.
The new 100-strong musicians' letter on behalf of the still-jailed Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is a wholly good thing. And it is. It's not about whether I'd listen to music from this enormous body of artists (though I would in a few cases), but ... well, you know what I'm saying. It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.
India is supposed to be the exotic land of love, yet for some reason love seems to now be a second hand emotion. This is despite the multi-million dollar Bollywood industry based on selling love, passion and perhaps a bit of sex. Both sexes are becoming practical- choosing their partners based on bank balances, job security, baby carrying capacity, suitability/compatibilities to families, similar castes and good genetics.
Set on a hillside on the south dast coast of Samui with stunning views over Lamai bay, Banyan Tree is the epitome of an idyllic get-away retreat. On arrival, flower garland in hand, sipping fresh, ice cold coconut water and looking out on to the sapphire waters of the Gulf of Thailand, I can't help but feel peace and serenity take over.
I love America; I have many American friends; and I value America's leadership in the world. You could not find a more pro-American Brit than me. And yet - there I was, sitting peacefully and quietly by a pool in San Diego, reading, when 'Boom' - the drone-strike hit. A gaggle of loud Americans descended and the peace was shattered.