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7 Good Environmental News Stories From The Past Month That Will Make You Smile
April might just be our favorite month of the year. Thanks to Earth Day, there's always an excited buzz in the media focusing on eco-friendly initiatives and sustainable swaps, and we can't get enough of it! From single-use plastic bans to clean energy mandates, April 2022 was full of good news. Let's dive in!
LA Bans Single-Use Plastics for Unincorporated Areas
Starting on May 1st, 2023, restaurants, stores and other establishments in unincorporated areas of LA county will be restricted from using single-use plastic. As of now, the county is the largest government entity that has taken action against single use plastic food ware. The thousands of restaurants serving nearly 1 million people have been given a year to comply, and will be subject to fines of up to $1000/year if they don't. This is a major win for marine and human health, and we hope that other counties will follow suit!
Farmers Hopeful Palm Oil Ban Will Restore Land
Palm oil, a ubiquitous ingredient in processed foods around the globe, is also the primary oil used for cooking in Indonesia. In recent months, there has been domestic shortage of this important ingredient, prompting an indefinite ban on its export that began on April 22nd. This ban has elicited mixed reactions, as Indonesia produces 59% of the global palm oil supply, with detractors claiming that it will negatively affect the country's economy and drive prices down, which will hurt all producers. Still, some small farmers are hopeful this ban will reform an industry that's focused primarily on exporting to global markets — and turn its attention back home, where it's responsible for intense deforestation and forest fires in the Asia Pacific.
Block Island Celebrated 5 Years Of Clean Energy
After 89 years of dependence on generators, Rhode Island's iconic Block Island fell silent in May of 2017. In the years since the shut down, the island has shifted to wind power. Due to demand by opponents of windmills, studies were conducted to ensure the safety of marine life. The result? Marine life improved and the turbines were determined not a hazard. After 5 years of clean energy, the community of Block Island is proud of their shift to renewable energy, and the legacy they will leave behind.
Bear Hibernation Sparks Hope For Medical Breakthroughs
Researchers say that someday, humans may be able to recreate the way that bears hibernate, which would be particularly beneficial to humans that are confined to long-term bed rest. If we were able replicate this biological wonder, it could help prevent the worst effects of long-term immobility, which include muscle breakdown and bone thinning. And the health implications don't stop there: in March, a study was proposed to test whether using a drug to induce a hibernation-like state could preserve brain function in stroke patients. Researchers are also hopeful it could help heart attack patients, and those diagnosed with Parkinsons or Alzheimers disease.
World Record is Broken for Most Plants Watered Simultaneously
Over $16 billion Committed to Protecting the Ocean
During the 7th Our Oceans Conference, 410 commitments were made towards bettering the health and protection of our oceans. These commitments, worth over $16 billion are in addition to $108 billion committed during past conferences that have already protected an estimated 5 million square miles of ocean. Discussions focused on tackling plastic pollution, supporting marine protected areas, and ocean-based climate change solutions.
Washington Becomes First State to Mandate Clean Energy
Washington is leading the way towards a greener future by becoming the first state to require new buildings' to be equipped with all-electric space heating and hot water systems. Under this revised energy code, most new commercial and multi-family homes will need to install electric heat pumps. These pumps are an extremely energy-efficient technology that can extract heat from the outside air and pump it inside to provide space heating (even on very cold days). They're also able to run in reverse and provide cooling during the summer. Pretty amazing if you ask us!