Kaylee Brzezinski | February 25, 2021 | 4 min read

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

Did February even happen? This one went by quick! At 28 days, it was a short month, but that doesn't mean there wasn't plenty of good news to share! Frankly, we feel like the ball is really rolling on the environmental front — and we're pumped about it!

This month we spotted new wildlife, were reminded of the power of friendship, and embraced new innovations that will help change the way we do things to benefit the planet. So without further ado, let's get right into our monthly round up of feel-good environmental stories!  

Here's What Happened for the environment this month

Satellite image

NASA Satellites Help Quantify Forests’ Impacts on Global Carbon Budget

It is an exciting time for reforestation! The world now knows that trees matter and are the best nature-based solution for climate change. One thing that's always evolving is the technology behind environmental initiatives. After all, it's crucial to monitor and collect data to better understand exactly what kind of impact our forests have. And according to NASA, "using ground, airborne, and satellite data, a diverse team of international researchers – including NASA scientists – have created a new method to assess how the changes in forests over the past two decades have impacted carbon concentrations in the atmosphere". 


Gjenge Makers

Kenyan Engineer Recycles Plastic Into Bricks Stronger Than Concrete

Humans have created a plastic world and now we're experiencing the consequences of that. But one engineer from Kenya has figured out a way to turn our plastic problem into a solution! The Nairobi based company "Gjenge Makers" realized that plastic waste pollution had become a severe problem — a study supported by the National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA) found that more than 50% of cattle near urban areas in Kenya had plastic in their stomachs. By creating a plastic brick 7X stronger than concrete out of recycled materials, the company strives to spark hope that there are ways to end this crisis. 

white penguin

Yves Adams/Kennedy News

Yellow Penguin Sighted for ‘First Time ever’ in South Atlantic

A white and yellow penguin was spotted on a South Atlantic island for what is believed to be  the first time ever. The bird was seen living among many other penguins on a beach and just so happened to find itself striking a pose for a wildlife photographer. Yves Adams said: “I’d never seen or heard of a yellow penguin before. There were 120,000 birds on that beach, and this was the only yellow one there". How exciting!

women planting trees

Restoring 1 Million Hectares of andean forests to safeguard the amazon

One Tree Planted is partnering with Global Forest Generation to support Accion Andina, the first multi-country, large-scale, grassroots initiative to restore the high altitude native forests of South America's high Andes. In 2020, together with Accion Andina's indigenous and local communities, we planted 50,000 Polylepis trees in highland Bolivia, and around Mount Chimborazo National Park in highland Ecuador. The overall objective is to restore 1 million hectares of high Andean forests across 6 countries over the next 25 years, so we'll be planting many more!

sea turtles

More Than 3,500 Turtles Are Rescued From Texas Cold

Texas dominated the news in the second half of this month when a historic snow storm shocked the state. While the storm was devastating for many, sea turtles were uniquely challenged — they get stunned and freeze up when the temperature goes below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This of course had local experts concerned, but luckily, over 3,500 sea turtles were rescued and cared for at a local convention center.  It took many volunteers, kiddie pools, and generators to get the job done! 

Prince Charles

Clarence house

Prince Charles Creates Nature Challenge

For many students around the world, February presents a break from school. Knowing this, Prince Charles presented a challenge to help young people connect with nature. Each day of February vacation, a new challenge was released — and every challenge was both eco and pandemic friendly. Tasks included planting seeds, drawing an elephant using leaves, creating a miniature plate garden, and even making a pet rock!

two giraffes

Female Giraffes With Friends Live Longer

Researchers at the University of Zurich in Switzerland posed the question, "Do differences in the socio-ecological environment experienced by individuals influence their survival?" The study observed giraffes in Tanzania over a period of 5 years, and the verdict is clear: females with besties live longer. "Grouping with more females, called gregariousness, is correlated with better survival of female giraffes, even as group membership is frequently changing," according to Monica Bond who led the study. 

rowan tree

Scotland's Survivor Rowan Tree: A Symbol of Resilience and Renewal’

It started with a tree, a bare valley and an audacious dream. 25 years ago, the ‘Survivor Tree’ rowan was one of very few trees remaining in the sheep grazed valley of Carrifran in the Scottish Borders. The dream was that one day this whole valley would be filled with trees to create a Wildwood. Now this aspiration is well under way and more than 700,000 trees surround the lone rowan. This project has now evolved and expanded to include more valleys and upland areas at Talla & Gameshope. Slowly but surely, the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland is being revived!


Yosemite's "Firefall" Is Back

The “Firefall” is back! But don’t worry, it isn't really fire! Every year around February, a light phenomenon occurs in Yosemite Park that makes it look like orange lava is flowing from the 1,575 foot Horsetail Fall! Because, nature. There are no guarantees of seeing this glowing wonder from day to day, but it normally happens around sunset — and there has to be water flowing from the fall. Clear skies are ideal, as even the slightest haze can prevent this natural wonder.

Another month, another chance to look at the bright side. If you're looking for a way to celebrate the month of love, why not give back to mother earth and plant a tree! Need a little more positivity? We've got plenty more good news stories from the past year. And if you're longing for spring, be sure to sign up for our newsletter as we will be announcing volunteer opportunities for Earth Month soon!

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
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. Today, we're raising funds to jumpstart forest fire recovery in British Columbia. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Restore landscapes damaged by a historic season of wildfires
  • Create habitat for iconic biodiversity like the moose and grizzly bear
  • Support old-growth management areas to maintain complex ecosystems
  • This reforestation initiative is helping to restore the landscape in British Columbia after the Hanceville fire burned over 590,000 acres in 2017 and natural regeneration has not occurred. The fire has impacted the forest, soils, riparian ecosystems, wildlife, and water quality. Local indigenous communities have seen their ability to hunt and gather food drastically altered. But your support will go a long way! The goal of planting trees here is to not only re-establish a healthy forest, but also to plant species that will be resilient in the face of climate change. Thank you so much for your support of healthy forests! 🌲
  • Planting trees will catalyze the process of returning the area to a forested state. Newly planted trees will begin the process of sequestering atmospheric carbon, and over time improve the hydrological benefits of the forest. The ecosystems that have been greatly simplified by extreme fire conditions will once again become complex ecosystems, This project will also create habitat for many local wildlife species including mule deer, moose, black and grizzly bear, wolves, sandhill cranes, various raptors, songbirds, and small mammals.
  • 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.
  • B.C.'s rich forest diversity includes more than 40 different species of native trees, with some of Canada’s most interesting and valuable tree species. In this project, we made efforts to maximize species diversity, including the following species: Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, hybrid spruce, ponderosa pine, trembling aspen.


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