1. On 1 January 2013, beverage can deposit celebrated its 10th birthday.

  2. European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik has declared 2013 as the Year of Air for EU policies. The plan is to highlight the importance of clean air for all and to focus on actions to improve air quality across the EU.

  3. The French city of Nantes had been named as winners of the European Green Capital award for 2013. Nantes, France's sixth largest city with a population of 285 000, has successfully linked its green and blue urban areas, integrating urban challenges with a location on two major rivers (the Loire and the Erdre), through a sustainable water management programme. Several Natura 2000 and other nature conservation areas border the city, and conservation of the flora and fauna are a key concern for its population. Nantes has a long established integrated and sustainable transport policy with a focus on public transport and cycling and was the first French city to successfully reintroduce electric trams. Its ambitious transport policy has reduced air pollution, and a new climate plan aims to cut CO2 emissions by a quarter by 2020. One novel initiative for citizens' health is an allergy risk evaluation system, in the form of an experimental “pollen watch garden”.

  4. The winners of the German Environmental Award of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umweltstiftung (DBU)2013 have been selected. The 500,000-euro award, is to be shared in 2013 by the founder and managing director of the company Hock (Nördlingen), Carmen Hock-Heyl (58), and the chairwoman of the board of Netzkauf ElektrizitätsWerke Schönau (EWS) e.G., Ursula Sladek (67). Hock-Heyl is receiving the award because she established insulation batts for house building made out of the eco-friendly raw material hemp on the market, and the “electricity rebel” Sladek is being honoured for creating the first green-energy provider in Germany on the basis of a civic action group.

  5. Moss of the year 2013 is the Marchantia polymorpha, sometimes known as the common liverwort or umbrella liverwort.

  6. The year 2013 has been declared "The International Year of the Quinoa" (IYQ). The International Year of the Quinoa was proposed by the government of Bolivia, with support from Argentina, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Georgia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, and FAO, and approved by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011.

  7. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation.

  8. Laboratory Animal of the Year 2013 is the dog. Dogs are a favored species in toxicology studies.

  9. On 22 March 2013, the Global Nature Fund announced, for the third time, the choice of Lake Mindel in Baden Württemberg as Living Lake of the Year 2013.

  10. Dragonfly of the Year 2013 is the Northern Damselfly or Spearhead Bluet (Coenagrion hastulatum).

  11. European spider of the year 2013 is the common purse-web spider (Atypus affinis). The common purse-web spider belongs to the purse-web spider family (Atypidae). These are the only central European representatives of the tarantula-like spiders (Mygalomorphae); a group characterised by their forward-projecting and parallel (i.e. orthognath) mouthparts.

  12. Water plant of the Year 2013 is the lesser water-plantains (Ranunculus aquatilis).

  13. Wild bee of the Year 2013 is the Osmia bicolor.

  14. Cactus of the year 2013 is the silver torch or wooly torch (Cleistocactus strausii).

  15. Since 2011, the Federal Environment Agency has selected a "water body type of the year". Water Body Type of the Year 2013 are watercourses in the southern Alpine foothills. The environmental condition of many of the streams and rivers in the southern Alpine foothills of Germany is ranked 'good'. These water bodies flow in the depositions of the last ice age, in the immediate vicinity of the large lakes in the foothills. They include the tributaries of Lake Ammer, the Attel or the lower reaches of the Loisach, and the Argen and Schussen tributaries to Lake Constance. The majority of the streams and rivers of the southern Alpine foothills – 57 per cent to be exact – are already in what is known as “good ecological status” and thus achieve the objectives of the Water Framework Directive, which only one in every ten watercourses in Germany can claim so far. All water bodies of this type have been certified to have chemically good condition.

  16. Animal of the Year 2013 is the Least weasel (Mustela nivalis).

  17. On the occasion of World Wetlands Day, the Global Nature Fund (GNF) proclaimed Lake Winnipeg as “Threatened Lake of the Year 2013“. Lake Winnipeg is located in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Despite relatively low populations in the Lake Winnipeg watershed – about 7.0 inhabitants per sq. km - nutrients in agricultural run-off and sewage discharges threaten Lake Winnipeg’s future by stimulating large amounts of blue-green algae that imbalance the lake’s food web and can be toxic to humans. The increasing frequency and severity of flooding associated with climate warming, the drainage of wetlands, and the regulation of water levels are having further negative effects on the lake.

  18. The Damask rose (Rosa damascena) has been chosen for the Medicinal Herb of the Year 2013 by the NHV Theophrastus.

  19. Poisonous plant of the year 2013 is the Prunus laurocerasus, also known as cherry laurel or common laurel.

  20. Mollusc of the year 2013 is the Ostrea edulis commonly known as the European flat oyster.

  21. Cave Animal of the Year 2013 is the Speolepta leptogaster.

  22. Endangered livestock breed of the year 2013 is the Leine sheep.

  23. The Solling was chosen as Forest of the Year 2013.

  24. Bird of the Year 2013 is the Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago).

  25. Coronella austriaca commonly known as a smooth snake is Reptile of the year 2013.

  26. Fish of the year 2013 is the trout (Salmo trutta).

  27. Flower of the Year 2013 is the Common hepatica (Hepatica nobilis).

  28. Butterfly of the Year 2013 is the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene).

  29. Orchid of the year 2013 is the Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).

  30. Insect of the Year 2013 is the Rhyacophila.

  31. Algal researchers of the German Botanical Society have chosen Lingulodinium polyedrum as alga of the year 2013.

  32. Soil of the year 2013 is the Plaggic Anthrosol.

  33. Perennial Herb of the Year 2013 is the Euphorbia. Euphorbia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae.

  34. Tree of the Year is the European crab apple (Malus sylvestris).

  35. Fungus of the Year 2013 is the Entoloma incanum.

  36. Lichen of the year 2013 is the Peltigera didactyla.

  37. Medicinal Plant of the Year 2013 is the Tropaeolum commonly known as Nasturtium.

  38. Actinophrys sol is the protozoan of the year 2013.

  39. More than 41 tonnes of elephant ivory have been seized in 2013, the largest quantity in 25-years.

  40. NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record. On 21 January 2014 NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which analyzes global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated report on temperatures around the globe in 2013. The average temperature in 2013 was 14.6 Celsius, which is 0.6 C warmer than the mid-20th century baseline. The average global temperature has risen about 0.8 C since 1880, according to the new analysis. NOAA reports 2013 tied as 4th hottest year on record.