Good News!

9 Positive Environmental
Stories from April 2021

Kaylee Brzezinski | April 30, 2021 | 6 min read

9 Good Environmental News Stories from the Past Month that will Make You Smile 

WWe're happy to share that April 2021 was our best Earth Month ever! Despite still navigating a global pandemic, we were still able to take lots of action for Earth Month — and based on all of the positive environmental news we're seeing, we weren't the only ones! This month was full of community action, new wildlife discoveries, robots saving the environment, and historical policy changes that will give you lots of hope for the future. Even though Earth Month is coming to a close, let's stay Earth focused for a little while longer with some positive environmental news that will help us celebrate Earth Day every day for the rest of 2021 and beyond!

man carrying shovel and saplings

Humans Sustainably Managed Much of Earth’s Lands for Thousands of Years, Study Affirms

Most of us in the conservation realm have already made the connection that Indigenous People are the best defenders and caretakers of our forests. And a recently released study only confirms that Indigenous People are the most skilled at caring for biodiversity. Scientists looked at maps of human habitation over the last 12,000 years and found that during that time, almost 3/4 of Earth's land surface was sustainably cared for by Indigenous societies. The study concludes that human presence in a landscape doesn't guarantee environmental destruction.

robot in grass

Killer Farm Robot Dispatches Weeds with Electric Bolts

Killer robots that could be used for sustainable agriculture? Sounds fun! It's not what you think: THIS robot kills weeds! Using artificial intelligence, it operates with a black electrode that descends on pesky interlopers and delivers an 8,000-volt blast and then POOF! Weeds be gone! The robot is part of an initiative to cut back on pesticides with hopes of offering a more sustainable future for farming — especially as farms are being pushed to produce more food at a faster rate. 

tree nursery

Planting 1 Million Trees in Brazil to Create South America's Largest Biodiversity Corridor 

For this initiative, One Tree Planted has partnered with the Black Jaguar Foundation to support an ambitious plan to create South America’s largest biodiversity corridor. Following propagation of seedlings in nurseries and extensive planning with farmers and technical experts, the first large-scale planting is kicking off this year with the establishment of 950,000 indigenous trees across the Brazilian states of Tocantins and Pará.

Cow eating grass

A Seaweed Diet Could Reduce Cattle’s CO2 Emissions

Cow burps are a significant contributor to climate change. This is due to the methane produced in their stomaches from eating grass. According to the United Nations, cow burps are responsible for 14.5% of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. To address this, researchers have spent the last 2 years studying how adding algae to cow's feed could potentially decrease methane in beef production. The verdict? It appears that methane was consistently reduced by 20% across the board. Happy burping!

People planting trees with shovels

Planting Trees with Congressman Panetta in Support of the REPLANT Act

We were thrilled to plant coast live oaks in Toro park with congressman Panetta! Why? He's a co-sponsor of the REPLANT Act, which will help the U.S. Forest Service plant 1.2 billion trees and create nearly 49,000 jobs over the next ten years to address the growing backlog of nearly two million acres of national forestland in need of reforestation. This is an issue that is compounded by climate change and is expected to only increase as droughts, diseases, forest fires and more continue to degrade United States National Forests. We were also joined by SPCA Monterey County, who rescued over 1,400 animals from the wildfire that burned near this planting site. 

orange toad

Biologists Discover New Species of Glowing Pumpkin Toadlet

Can you think of any cuter name than Pumpkin Toadlet?! Not to mention, it describes this little guy pretty well. This species is only 1/2 inch long and can be found inside the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil! Researchers are working to preserve Amazon amphibians but the process of identifying species isn't as simple as you might think. Often researchers find themselves disagreeing over what is a valid species identification. Oh, the drama! This is because there is often only a slight variance in genetic makeup between species. Regardless of where this little guy falls, we think he belongs in the ADORABLE category!

People sitting in truck bed in forest

Reforestation Update: The April 2021 Edition

It's Earth Month 2021, and while there are plenty of ways you can celebrate, we happen to think the best way is to plant trees! That said, we have some fantastic projects to cover this month, and we're so excited to share them with you. From Iceland and Texas to Uganda and Barbados, tune in for some fresh-from-the-field updates courtesy of Kyleigh and Nicole. We hope we leave you feeling extra excited about Earth Month and reforestation!

Field in Poland

Poland Clinches 'Historic' Deal to Phase Out Coal by 2049

Good news out of Poland! Earlier this week, Poland's government and unions signed an agreement with the coal mining industry to phase out coal production by 2049. In the agreement, Industry representatives agreed to close all coal mines by the target date which, will also include severance payments for workers in the Silesia coal basin. This is a huge step towards Poland's sustainability goals because 70% of the country currently uses coal for for its energy needs. We hope to see big moves like this from other countries soon!

tree nursery

Earth Day 2021: Community Action and Global Partnerships

We're thrilled to share that despite the continued challenges of COVID-19, this was our best Earth Month ever! Throughout the month, 2,204 volunteers got their hands into the dirt and planted 8,450 trees to restore 68 acres at over 43 events to celebrate Earth Day and Earth Month! In addition to local action, significant global partnerships were announced throughout the month that will significantly help us scale reforestation around the world!

Keep the spirit of Earth Month alive! If you didn't make it to a tree planting event, don't worry! You can be a tree planter right at home with our new Instagram filter! If that didn't feel like enough, we've got plenty more good news stories from the past year. And if you're feeling really optimistic, consider planting a tree today

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. For Treecember, we're planting trees that support a global forest fire recovery fund. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Reforest lands damaged by record-setting fires
  • Support healthy habitat for iconic biodiversity
  • Plant tree species that will help reduce future fire impact
  • This holiday season, we’re planting trees in areas around the world that have been severely affected by forest fires and aren't able to recover a healthy ecosystem on their own. The most common naturally-caused wildfires occur during droughts or dry weather, and under these circumstances, trees and other vegetation are converted to flammable fuel. Human-caused forest fires can be a result of various activities like unregulated slash and burn agriculture, equipment failure or engine sparks, and discarded cigarettes.

    After wildfires, reforestation is essential in areas where the fire intensity burned off available seed supply within the soil, and/or where there are not enough healthy trees still growing and producing new seeds nearby. Reforestation starts once professional assessments have been made to determine where human intervention would be the most ecologically beneficial. Help restore these vital ecosystems by planting a tree. 🌿
  • Every year, forest fires are increasing in size and severity, damaging vital ecosystems and creating a need for millions of trees. Some major consequences of forest fires include significant loss of wildlife, loss of vegetation, soil erosion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

    With so much fire damage, reforestation is essential to catalyze the environmental recovery process. The trees are carefully planted to prevent invasive species from colonizing burn scars and restore quality habitat for native biodiversity. One Tree Planted is connecting with on-the-ground partners to establish viable reforestation projects when the recently affected regions are ready for planting. This fund will contribute to planting projects in British Columbia, Idaho, Ghana, Portugal, and beyond. Let's get to work! 🌲
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • To maximize the impact of your donation, our partners on the ground will determine the most appropriate species of tree and shrubs. We only plant native tree species that will restore the local ecosystem, re-establish wildlife habitat, and reduce the likelihood of future fires.

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