Happy Earth, Happy Us: 10 environmental good news stories that will lift your spirits
Environmental facts are often associated with gloom-and-doom news with dire predictions for the future. However, if you need a quick mood boost, there is plenty of good news to be found as well! In times of crisis, it helps to focus on the positives and if you’re looking for something to motivate you to continue making eco-friendly choices, here are some pieces of environmental good news that will make you smile.
Harmful emissions have reduced
One of the few positives to emerge from the COVID-induced lockdown is that the country has witnessed a significant drop in air pollution levels. Recent studies have proved a steady decrease in the level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of the major culprits of air pollution in the country. Delhi, one of the most polluted cities, reported a dramatic drop in NO2 with 90 µmol/m2 as opposed to the average levels of 162 µmol/m2 at the start of the year.
Water quality has improved
Given the reduced marine traffic of boats and cruise ships, water quality has also witnessed a major uptick and marine life is thriving. Vembanad, the longest lake in India, reported a significant decrease of 15.9% in suspended particular matter concentration. The good news continues with 27 out of the 36 monitoring units in Ganga river being reported safe for wildlife and fisheries.
The largest oak tree in North America was saved
The fatal Apple Fire in California has claimed a major portion of the land’s green cover. However, some relief emerges from the state as an inmate fire crew was able to prevent the largest oak tree from being burned. Though the fire came in close proximity to the historic 1,000-year-old tree, the fire crew was able to prevent it from succumbing to the blaze.
Kenya has reported a boom in the birth of elephants
Amboseli National Park in Kenya has reported fewer elephant deaths from hydration and starvation as well as a baby boom of elephants this year. As a result of the surplus rains, elephants found greater vegetation for grazing and as a result, 170 calves were born in this year alone.
Britain has introduced legally binding environmental targets
Climate control often requires positive decision-making from governments, and Britain has been leading the way by implementing legally binding targets. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared the need to ‘build back greener’ after the pandemic by setting legally binding environmental targets on air quality, waste reduction, biodiversity and cleaner water. Britain has also become the first G7 country to commit to a zero greenhouse gas emissions target for the year 2050.
Coral reefs are being planted at The Great Barrier Reef
During the COVID-induced lockdown, scuba diving was temporarily suspended and Australian scuba divers used this opportunity to plant coral reefs at the Great Barrier Reef. Fragments of corals that have broken off are clipped back to the coral reef to promote continued biodiversity in the marine world.
Scientists have developed a new super enzyme that eats plastic six times faster
The battle against plastic pollution has received a fresh breakthrough with the development of a new super enzyme that can break down plastic six times faster. Derived from the bacterium, PETase, it can digest the hard surface of plastic bottles and use it as a source for energy.
IKEA has announced its first-ever secondhand store
The Swedish heavyweight has decided to launch a first-of-its-kind secondhand shopping centre in its home country. The new outpost will be dedicated to selling reused, organic and sustainably produced products, as well as damaged inventory that will be repaired and sold at a fraction of the price.
2 million Indians planted 20 million trees along the Ganga river
…all while practising social distancing! The mass tree plantation drive witnessed as many as 2 million Indians gathering along the banks of the river Ganga to plant 20 million trees in a bid to increase the state’s forest cover to 15% of the total land area in next five years.
Thai National Park officials mail trash back to campers
The consequences of littering have taken a dramatic turn at Thailand with the resident environment minister promising to send back trash to the owners. Visitors will be required to register upon arrival at the national park so that authorities can track them and send back any rubbish left behind by mail.
I know we said 10 but there’s more good news! So here is a bonus one…
Captured Beluga whales returned to the sea
After spending multiple years in captivity, two female whales were transported from Changfeng Ocean World to Klettsvik Bay in Iceland in specially designed containers. The move is seen as the first of many for encouraging the rehabilitation of 300 Beluga whales currently in captivity.
The journey towards building a healthier environment can seem like a never-ending one, but we hope these little pieces of good news made you smile — it certainly made us! Let’s keep looking at the bright side and working towards a Happy Earth.