Good News!

7 Positive Environmental
Stories from October 2020

Kaylee Brzezinski | October 30, 2020 | 5 min read

7 Good Environmental News Stories from the Past Month to Make you Smile 

Fall is in the air! Nothing makes you more aware of the wonders of nature than the brilliant colors of fall foliage and orange pumpkins all around! Well this month, we are feeling serious fall vibes. And we're feeling serious positive vibes too. In our favorite monthly rundown, we've selected some of the most uplifting environmental stories from around the world. Make sure to bookmark this one because you might need some good news later next week after the election. But no matter the outcome, there will still be people out there fighting for nature, spreading awareness, and doing their part to create a better future.

So what do you say? Ready for some adorable, inspiring, and record breaking good news? 

quokka

1. It’s Official: Study Finds That Watching Cute Animals is Good for Your Health

Now you can shamelessly scroll through those feeds looking at adorable animals as much as you want because it's good for your health! Researchers at England’s University of Leeds have found that observing "cute" animals decreases stress levels in humans. According to a statement, "19 participants were asked to watch a 30-minute slide show that included images and short video clips of a range of animals, including Australia’s iconic marsupial the quokka". After watching the slideshow, every participants' heart rate dropped!

baby turtle

2. Record Number of Turtles Hatch in Mexico

A record number of endangered turtles hatched in northern Mexico! The cause of this phenomenon? It is believed that the success of this great hatch is the result of reduced human activity during the coronavirus pandemic. The olive ridley sea turtle is considered to be at high risk of extinction. They generally lay their eggs on the beach between May and September. Due to limits in tourism and fishing, the turtles were able to more safely hatch and make it to the ocean. 

downtown denver colorado

3. Denver Wants to Fix a Legacy of Environmental Racism

Historically, trees and city parks in America go to wealthy, white neighborhoods. Now, a program in Colorado’s capital is trying to correct that injustice. By implementing a new environmental tax that has created a larger budget, the city is planning to purchase land for new parks, repair derelict playgrounds, add recreation centers and plant trees in areas where shade is sparse. Trees for everybody!

New York City

4. New York to Finally Enforce Plastic Bag Ban

This may sound familiar, and that is because the ban occurred way back in March where enforcement was to follow a month later. But as you may remember, the world got a little distracted by this thing they call a global pandemic. Luckily, the enforcement of the ban is no longer on delay and is now in full force and effect! According to DEC figures reported by ABC7, "New Yorkers were using around around 23 billion plastic bags a year, but only use each bag for an average of 12 minutes". Way to go New York! This will make a great positive impact. 

Elephant

5. World's Loneliest Elephant Finds New Home  

Kavaan the elephant was dubbed the "World's Loneliest Elephant" by supporters because he was kept in a small enclosure in a zoo for almost 35 years. For some of that time, Kavaan was accompanied by a partner but unfortunately, she passed away in 2012. Since then, he became much more aggressive towards humans, can you blame him?! Well, things are looking up for Kavaan as he is being transferred to a Wildlife Sanctuary where he will have more adequate space, care, and friends. We're so happy for you Kavaan!

Prince William

6. Prince William: Earthshot Prize is About Optimism

Now this is a prize we can get behind! Prince William is launching a prize somewhat like the Nobel Peace Prize but exclusively about driving progress to fight climate change. Prince William hopes that the prize will create momentum and optimism to save the environment, and that it will allow for great ideas to be scaled and supported into success. 

men in boats china

7. China Has Surprised the World With Climate Action Announcement

China's President Xi Jinping shocked the world when he announced that China would reach net-zero emissions by 2060. Prior to the announcement, it was assumed that there were no plans for the country to heavily contribute to the battle towards mitigating climate change as it was seemingly not on the government's radar. This is huge news for us all as China currently accounts for 28% of global carbon emissions. We look forward to seeing more of these plants materialize!

Another day, another month's worth of positive environmental news! We see a little more progress every month and hope to see it continue to build until we truly live on a sustainable planet, everyone breathes clean air, and we ALL have access to beautiful green spaces. Don't forget, your choices matter and you can have an impact. Election Day is quickly approaching so don't forget to vote! If you want to make a greater impact you can plant a tree!

Need a little more good news? Check out more positive environmental stories from the last few months.

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. This project is currently supporting AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Initiative. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Provide jobs to minimize poverty in local communities
  • Improve climate change resilience & mitigation
  • Restore forest cover to improve food security
  • Africa is home to the world's second-largest tropical rainforest. The Congo Basin is home to 60% of the continent's biodiversity. However, unfortunately, Africa is alarmingly at risk due to the current deforestation rate - which is 4 times the global deforestation rate. Not only does this threaten the livelihoods of its local communities, but it also affects the planet as a whole.
    Thanks to AFR100, Africa is on a mission to reverse these trends and restore 100 million hectares of land by 2030. This country-led effort will bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030. This initiative aims to accelerate restoration to enhance food security, increase climate change resilience and mitigation and combat rural poverty. This includes 32 participating countries in Africa, along with local communities, national governments, public and private sector partners, and international development programs.
  • Planting trees in Africa reaps multiple benefits! Notably, reforestation here will help to add nutrients to the soil and control erosion, minimize poverty within local communities through the creation of jobs, and improve food security by feeding impoverished families through the planting of fruit trees. Ultimately, added forest cover in this region will diminish pressure on remaining forests, allowing for biodiversity to flourish and ultimately helping with the global climate crisis.
  • 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.
  • We will plant an array of indigenous tree species throughout Africa, such as Senegalia polyacantha, Faidherbia albida, Albizia adianthifolia, Persea americana, Calliandra calothyrsus, Macadamia spp., shea, and mahogany. Fruit trees will also be planted, which include mango, orange, tangerine, avocado, apple, guava, and Brazil nut.

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