7 POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTAL STORIES FROM MAY 2021
Kaylee Brzezinski | May 29, 2021 | 5 min read
7 Good Environmental News Stories from the Past Month that will Make You Smile
April showers bring May flowers! And boy are we pumped for spring to be in full bloom. This month has been full of amazing forest updates, massive conservation pledges (even man's best friend is getting in on saving the planet), and more! It feels like ever since 2021 started, there has been a powerful push to go full-steam ahead for the environment. We're personally very excited for the month ahead, as World Environment Day on June 5th officially kicks off the UN's Decade on Ecosystem Restoration! And as you probably already know, planting trees is a critical component for ecosystem restoration.
So what do you say? Ready for some good news?!
He's the king of the world! At the very least, Leonardo DiCaprio is an incredible hero for the environment. This month, Leo pledged $43 MILLION towards conservation of the Galápagos Islands. DiCaprio said, "Around the world, the wild is declining. We have degraded three-quarters of the wild places and pushed more than 1 million species to the brink of extinction. More than half of Earth’s remaining wild areas could disappear in the next few decades if we don’t decisively act". We're on board with this effort, Leo!
In 2017, Chile experienced some of their worst forest fires to date, with over 1.4 million acres of land damaged, 1,500 homes destroyed and at least 11 people dead. After any disaster, it's time to rebuild and restore, and here an unlikely crew banded together to help replant the forests. Hint: they are very furry and have four legs! Border collies Das, Summer and Olivia were equipped with vests that release seeds as they run through the burnt forest in the hopes that these seeds will root and grow into new trees!
Another month, another reforestation update! We take you to our Old Growth Management Areas project in British Columbia, where our partners on the ground are reforesting a legislatively protected Old Growth area that has been burned by the 2017 Plateau fire, the largest in British Columbia's history. Next, we update you on a unique regenerative agroforestry project in the Milano region of Italy, where local communities are reforesting lands lost to agricultural expansion. Back in the USA, we partnered with Living Lands & Waters to participate in their million trees program. As part of this program, we are helping distribute trees to local communities across the Midwest. Finally, Nicole takes you along on her Earth Month journey across California & the west coast of the United States, where she met with partners, participated in volunteer planting events, hunted for sugar pine cones and much more!
In forest news, nearly 59 million hectares of forest has regrown since 2000, proving that natural generation efforts are paying off! This two year study collected data via satellite imaging and on-ground surveys throughout several countries. These forests have the potential to soak up and store 5.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide. While this is great news, it's also a clear reminder of how important it is to halt deforestation and restore our forests so they can help mitigate climate change.
After experiencing devastating natural disasters like typhoons, Vietnam is planning to utilize a nature-based solution to avoid this devastation in the future: planting trees! The billion-tree program is now an official government policy which will aim to plant trees to restore ecosystems, beautify green spaces, boost the economy, and prevent flooding, soil erosion, and landslides. We're thrilled to be seeing countries committed to planting trees and are honored to have a project in Vietnam that will contribute to this massive effort!
We're excited to announce that we've received a grant from RBC Foundation USA to expand our reforestation and monitoring programs by developing a drone training program with a focus on forest restoration. We've long been interested in deploying drone technology to further our reforestation efforts, and have been researching ways to scale our global impact by making it accessible to our global planting network!
A study has shown that if the UK were to move towards a four-day work week by 2025 it would reduce carbon emissions more than 20%. There's more than just environmental benefits for this move. A four-day work week could also improve overall mental and physical health, improve family life, and strengthen communities. Seems like a solid case to us!
Are you feeling moved to help out our planet? Surprise! We've been adding new volunteer events around the world in celebration of World Environment Day. Check out our tree planting events page to see if we will be in a city near you.
Can't make it out to an event? That's okay! Plant a tree from home. We will do the dirty work for you!