9 Positive Environmental
Stories from November 2020
Kaylee Brzezinski | December 03, 2020 | 6 min read
9 Good Environmental News Stories from the Past Month that will Make You Smile
Seasons greetings! Can you believe the holidays are back again? This month, while we all stayed home and tried to teach our aunts and uncles how to use zoom over Thanksgiving dinner, nature did not waver. From renewable energy innovations, to the return of wildlife and Cher saving an elephant, there were still incredible stories reported around the world!
While the month known for giving thanks felt a bit strained this year due to the pandemic, there was still plenty to be grateful for! Let's take a look at these incredible environmental stories.
1. Famous Panda Finally Receives Name
About three months ago, the Smithsonian Zoo welcomed a new member to their Giant Panda crew! They held an online vote for nature lovers to help name this little bundle of joy. Supporters selected Xiao Qi Ji, which translates to “little miracle" in Mandarin Chinese. A very fitting name for the newest member of a species that has been struggling to increase its population size. Welcome to the world little guy!
2. The Indian School Where Students Pay for Lessons with Plastic Waste
Every morning on their way to school, you will find the children of the village Assam’s Pamohi carrying plastic waste with them. A couple in the village identified a serious problem. The village was burning waste and creating hazardous environmental conditions that were causing respiratory distress to children in the village. The school, founded by this same couple, wanted to get children out of the workforce and give them an education. As an alternative payment, they decided to accept a pledge from parents agreeing to no longer burn plastic, and the children began collecting plastic waste to be recycled into "eco-bricks" for construction.
3. 1 Million Fruit Trees Planted in India to Fight Hunger
That's right! With the help of our extraordinary on the ground reforestation partners, we were able to plant 1 million fruit trees in India this year! These trees will be crucial in helping to fight hunger in the regions where they were planted. But we're not done with India yet! Our work in India is primarily focused on planting fruit trees and restoring mangroves, and our partners are working with local communities across twelve Indian states to plant fruit trees to fight hunger, improve local economies and combat climate change.
4. Owl Rescued from Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
It's sort of a funny thing to say that an owl was rescued from a TREE. As if to say, what the heck was an owl doing in their natural habitat to begin with?! But this story is a good lesson in what the heck you should do if you are doing human things and you encounter wildlife. While setting up the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree, workers discovered an owl among the branches. Instead of trying to care for the animal themselves, they contacted local wildlife professionals. Always leave this in the hands of the experts!
5. The European Parliament Takes Bold Stance on Deforestation
The European Parliament made their stance against imported deforestation quite clear by adopting MEP Delara Burckhardt’s report, ‘An EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation’, in plenary. Burckhardt’s report calls on the Commission to mandate that companies conduct due diligence on deforestation and human rights before they can sell their goods on the EU market.
6. A ‘World First’ Project to Heat Homes Using Renewable Hydrogen gets the Green Light
More and more, tech is entering our homes, and so is a constant awareness that we need to alter our behavior to mitigate climate change. And heating with hydrogen seems to be the next big move for home heating! According to CNBC, "the U.K.’s energy regulator announced that it would provide as much as £18 million ($24.12 million) in funding for a Scotland-based scheme centered around using hydrogen to heat homes".
Photo credit: Utah Department of Public Safety
7. Mysterious Metal Monolith in Utah Desert Disappears Just Days After It Was Found
As mysteriously as it was discovered, it disappeared. In case you missed it, an unexplained metal monolith was discovered in the desert of Utah and people scratched their heads over the purpose of it and how it arrived. Shortly after the buzz hit major headlines, the monolith was mysteriously removed. And now, another one has appeared in Romania! Some people speculate that this is the work of aliens. What do you think?
8. Wildflower Meadows to Line England's New Roads in Boost for Biodiversity
What a beautiful conservation initiative — literally! Highways England announced that all new large-scale highway projects will be accompanied by native wildflower meadows. This will help increase and restore biodiversity in hundreds of miles of rare habitats after decades of loss. Imagine if all highways had glorious wildflowers?!
9. Cher — yes, Cher — Helps a Captive Elephant Find a New Home in Cambodia
Last month, we reported on Kavaan, who was dubbed the "World's Loneliest Elephant" because he was kept in a small enclosure in a zoo for almost 35 years. Kavaan is being transferred to a Wildlife Sanctuary where he will have more adequate space, care, and friends. What we didn't previously know is that CHER had something to do with it! The legendary singer had a huge hand in securing Kavaan's release from the lonely zoo where he resided. According to the L.A. Times, "she has called his freedom one of the “greatest moments” of her life, and in October tweeted that she “can’t wait to sing to him on his way to Cambodia".
Well, there we have it. Another month gone but another month where we can show gratitude for nature and the people who protect it. We have one more month of 2020 to go, and there's still plenty of time to make a personal impact. Plus, it's officially Treecember, so there's no better time to gift a tree to someone you love!