7 Positive Environmental Stories from August 2021
Kaylee Brzezinski | September 1, 2021 | 5 min read
7 Good Environmental News Stories from the Past Month that will Make You Smile
Wow! Can you believe we're already closing out the summer? Any day now we will be pulling out the comfy-cozy sweaters, heading out to go leaf peeping, and we know some of you have already started indulging in your pumpkin spice lattes! Environmental wise, this has been one of the most eye opening summers when it comes to climate change. The NOAA declared July 2021 as Earth's hottest month on record and of course we are all aware of the wildfires surging across the west coast and other areas of the world. But this is not the news you came here for. Despite all that's going on there is still plenty to celebrate and plenty that will give you hope to push you through into the next month.
So get ready to smile and fill up your cup with some positivi-TREE because it is time for some GOOD NEWS!
Reforestation is so much more than just trees! Earth's forests are a huge part of the planet's connectivity. They even have their hand in the water cycle! At this point, most of you have already heard of the incredible ability trees have when it comes to sequestering climate change causing carbon. But a new study conducted shows that forests produce clouds that also protect the planet from the sun’s rays. The research also unveiled that many climate models do not take this into consideration when it could be yet another natural solution that trees can provide in mitigating rising temperatures.
The UK's most rare bird as successfully bred for the first time in 200 years! Bittern chicks have been noticed preparing to emerge from their nest at Lunt Meadows Wetland Nature Reserve. Not only is it one of the rarest UK birds, it is also known as the loudest too. The bird was known to be extinct in the 1990s due to loss of habitat. Another great reminder of how important restoring ecosystems and habitats is!
Another month has flown by and you know what that means: another Reforestation Update that's chock-full of project stories, fun facts and tree-riffic puns to brighten your day! From New Brunswick and Australia to Thailand and Uganda, tune in for a fresh-from-the-field update courtesy of our awesome forest ambassadors Kyleigh and Nicole!
It hardly matters that Randall Plunkett has an interest in death metal when you hear what he's done with a 650-hectare (1,600-acre) estate in the middle of Ireland. In fact, P,lunkett's efforts to restore the landscape and biodiversity on this property just might be Ireland’s most ambitious attempt at rewilding on private land. The once carnivore turned vegan received criticism on how he was managing the land, particularly those involved in agriculture. However, before the estate had just three types of grass, now it has 23 and insects and other wildlife are now flourishing.
During 2020, many of us sought refuge in nature but one cameraman hit the jack pot in the New Forest located in Hampshire. Prior to the pandemic, James Aldred was commissioned to film the lives of a family of goshwaks but when the pandemic hit, New Forest was closed to the public. Aldred was given permission to continue filming in the forest. He described the experience as magical and added, “I can’t imagine ever getting to experience anything like that again. It was like going back in time 1,000 years”. He kept a journal on a daily basis which has now turned into a book. I think there's a few of us who would have traded our tiny apartments and family pestering us every day for a forest all to themselves!
One of the largest seeds in the world in addition to 100 other seeds and fruits were specially selected from the Royal Botanic Garden's herbarium by photographer Levon Biss to be photographed for an exhibition in which the photographs look like artwork. Bliss used a special technique called "stacking". "I set my camera up on a rail, and then I can automate that rail to move forward in increments. The camera will take a picture, move by maybe one millimeter, take another picture. That provides me with a big stack of images, each with a tiny piece of focus in it. Then I squash those together, and that's how I can achieve all the detail," says Biss.
St. James Parish Activists Win 'Important Victory for Environmental Justice' vs. Petrochemical Plant
A win comes in for the environmental justice sector! Announced this month, a petrochemical plant in St. James Parish, Louisiana, must complete a thorough environmental impact statement if it is to obtain a key permit, according to the Army Corps of Engineers an. This will delay the major construction of a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex, indefinitely. "Nobody took it upon themselves to speak for St. James Parish until we started working to stop Formosa Plastics," Lavigne said in a statement. "Now the world is watching this important victory for environmental justice", said Sharon Lavigne, who founded the group Rise St. James to fight the plant and was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her efforts.
How are you feeling now eco-warrior? Revived? Inspired? Ready to spread more positivity and hope into the new month? If you're not quite there check out more good news from recent months to really ramp up the positivity! And if you are ready to take action, join us in most major cities this month and next at one of our Plant a Tree Day tree planting events!