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  • July 01, 2019 5 min read

    Canada prepares to bid farewell to plastic, climate marches get the job done, a 50 million tree program is saved, and so much more...

    It's becoming increasingly clear that people are starting to care a lot more about climate change, and this month's good environmental news round-up is proof!

    More governments are stepping up to the plate, individuals are taking action, and the significance of nature is being proven time and time again. 

    If you like the planet as much as we do, then you are going to absolutely love the good news stories from June.

    Plastic bottle laying on a beach

    1. Canada Looking to Ban Single-use Plastics by 2021

    In an effort to reduce ocean waste, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in June that Canada will ban harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021.

    Mirroring the legislation passed by the European Parliament in March, the ban is likely to include items like plastic cutlery, straws, and take-out containers.

    Only about 10% of Canada's plastic is recycled and about 3 million tonnes is thrown away every year. As the country with the world's longest coastline, Canada has a major incentive and responsibility to ensure our oceans are clean and plastic free.

    2. Radiohead Supports Climate Action Over Paying Ransom to Hackers

    Earlier in June, the band Radiohead fell victim to hackers who stole unreleased recordings of one of the band's most popular albums, Ok Computer. The hackers demanded that the band pay a $150,000 ransom or else they would release the recordings online.

    Little did the hackers know how much more Radiohead cared about the environment than they did about the recordings. Instead of paying the ransom, the band uploaded the recordings (nearly 20 hours worth) for purchase and redirected all the proceeds to the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion.

    Now that's a lesson on how to flip the script. Way to be, Radiohead!

    Baby orca jumping over mother orca

    3. Free Willy Comes True in Canada

    Back in Canada there is even more good news, this time for cetaceans!

    After more than three years of debate, Canada has finally passed a law that bans keeping and breeding whales, dolphins, and porpoises in captivity. The bill also bans making the animals perform for the purposes of entertainment.

    While it 'grandfathers' those animals already in captivity, the bill essentially ends the inhumane practice of keeping these animals, who would normally enjoy swimming thousands of kilometers, locked up in tiny tanks.

    We support anything that improves the lives of our underwater friends. That's why we're planting trees in the Pacific Northwest! Check it out!

    4. Climate Protests Work

    Have you noticed all the climate protests that have been happening around the world? Well, it turns out that they can actually make a difference!

    The traffic blocking, slogan chanting marches that occupy the streets of so many major cities are not just an annoyance to motorists. While previously believed that mass protests have tended to dissuade people from joining a movement, a new study reveals that climate marches are not only activists endearing themselves to onlookers, but are also encouraging others to think about how they too can help fight climate change.

    What does this all mean? It means get out there and show everyone how much you value the environment, because they might just listen!

    diver cleaning up ocean plastic

    5. Ocean Cleaning World Record Broken

    How many divers does it take to clean up the ocean floor and break a world record? Apparently the answer is 633.

    More than 600 people dashed into the waters around a pier in Deerfield Beach, Florida to break the world record for the highest number of divers participating in a single ocean clean up. The previous record was set at 614 back in 2015.

    The total amount of trash collected by the divers was astonishing, recovering 1,600 pounds of lead fishing weights alone!

    Clearly good things can happen when we get together.

    6. Ireland Proposes Plan to Tackle Climate Change

    2019 appears to be the year that governments are starting to get on board with policies that could help put an end to climate change. The latest member of that club is Ireland!

    This past month Ireland unveiled what has proven to be a very ambitious effort to reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions, charting a course for net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century. 

    Even though the plan is not necessarily binding, it is much bolder than past efforts. The plan hopes to see up to 950,000 electric vehicles on the road and a total ban on the sale of gas powered vehicles by 2030. It also plans to eliminate plastic waste, similar to Canada's ambitions above.

    Most significantly - if we do say so ourselves - Ireland plans to hit its targets by planting more trees and purchasing carbon offsets to get closer to that net-zero emissions goal. 

    Woman leaping into the air near a cliff

    7. Two Hours of Trees Keeps the Doctor at Ease

    We talk a lot about the impact nature can have on our health. There are plenty of studies out there that extol the mental and physical health benefits of spending time in a forest, a park, or by the ocean. However, for the first time, researchers have pinned down a minimum amount of time required to feel Mother Nature's benefits, and 2 hours a week is all it takes.

    The study out of Britain notes that only 14% of people who spent at least 2 hours outside every week felt that their health was poor, compared to 25% of those who spent less than 2 hours in nature.

    Researchers believe the results to be so significant that time spent in nature should be added to the list of recommendations for living a healthy lifestyle, such as eating right, exercising, and getting adequate sleep.

    Now that's the power of trees!

    8. Meanwhile Back in Canada... MORE TREES!

    After the provincial government scrapped a plan to fund the planting of 50 million trees across Ontario, the federal government has stepped up and make sure some of those trees make it into the ground. By ponying up $15 million CAD (about $11.2 USD) the Federal government will ensure the growing and planting of 10 million more trees. 

    The program was intended to plant 50 million trees by 2025. The federal government's support, however, will only bring the total up to 37 million trees - but, hey, that's a lot better than nothing!

    Don't worry though, One Tree Planted has got you covered: we are supporting projects across Ontario as well, so you can help get that total back up to 50,000,000!

    Those are Some Sweet Enviro-Vibes

    Doesn't all that just make you feel good?

    If we all just work together, push for an open dialogue about climate change, and take our planet's best interests into consideration, we can make a big difference for life on Earth.

    Now go outside and get your 2 hours of nature, doctor's orders!

    We plant trees on 4 continents around the world. Want to choose where yours are planted?

    by Joseph Coppolino

    Organic Content Creator & Enviro-fabulist