We need some good news, and thoughts of what is possible!
After a summer of hot weather, wildfires, and now hurricane season, some positive thinking energy is needed. This a collection of people, businesses and governments working to do good for our Earth. The following good news stories caught my eye:
I am going to start with two stories from France that were surprising.
A theme park has trained crows to pick up trash, especially cigarette butts. France also has a creative idea to put a tax on packaging that can’t be recycled. It would better if it was a tax on materials that don’t biodegrade, but any kind of tax is a great motivator, and a worthwhile education tool!
Also, in the European Union, the Greek Island of Tilos is going to be the first in the Mediterranean to power itself entirely with wind and solar. Read at renewable energy. And in Eastern Europe, Estonia is offering free public transport nationwide.
And good news in the United States, a non-profit in Durham North Carolina has started a program to use reusable containers for take-out. It is inspiring that Anchorage has banned plastic bags and Kroger stores say they are going to start phasing out single-use plastic bags. Like plastic bags, balloons cause litter and harm wildlife. Think twice before you use balloons, and read what is happening at balloons . Also, very good news, a judge has ruled that the Trump administration can’t change an Obama clean water rule
Good news from the Nature Conservancy: Inspiring stories of climate progress across the globe are a sign of what’s possible. http://bit.ly/2w6ozCt
“Too often leaders believe protecting nature … is at the expense of the economy or human well-being. I couldn’t disagree more strongly. We’ve made great progress quantifying what you can achieve by investing in nature.”
A month ago I spent a couple of weeks in Germany, and was I impressed! Other Americans I talked to shared my thoughts of awe with Germany. First they take care of their infrastructure. They maintain their roads, trains, bike lanes, public transport, even restrooms reach a high standard. As I enjoyed riding trains through the countryside, I saw many solar farms and some wind farms. Renewable energy has overtaken coal consumption in Germany.
There is no litter in Germany. A twenty-five cent deposit is charged on plastic bottles. Germany leads the world in recycling. It’s just natural for Germans to be good to the Earth, and it is hopeful that when you do things right it does lead to success. Yahoo, awesome Germany!
More good news stories:
** Oklahoma has changed their mowing along highways to help the monarch butterflies.
** Starbucks and Seattle are ending their consumption of plastic straws, and Penzance, Great Britain has become a plastic-free town.
** California has already made their green energy goals for 2020.
I love the following stories of businesses, people, and governments doing the right thing for our Earth. These stories give me hope, and I hope they inspire you, too. Click on the links to read more of the articles.
** California will require solar on all new homes!
** Fabulous news on the plastic pollution front:
* The Chicago White Socks baseball team ban straws!
This is my occasional series on good news stories, I hope you learn something about the world and communities working together.
** Students of America stand up to their elected officials and the NRA. “We have the right to go to school without fearing for our lives!” Read at future leaders
** Across the Atlantic Ocean some awesome things are happening in regards to eliminating plastic. First, Queen Elizabeth declares war on single-use plastic at the palace and eating establishments that are part of the Monarchy. Also, a British supermarket eliminates plastic
** The marvelous country of Taiwan has set up a plan to eliminate single-use
Can the Super Bowl go zero waste? If they can, so can you! Minneapolis, location of Super Bowl 52, is an incredible place to go waste-free. We have recycle containers everywhere, and we have weekly home compost pick-up. Hennepin County and Minneapolis are committed to less landfill waste.
I think the NFL is sending an important message, “It is important to reduce our waste!” Yes, one big event is important, and we all need to educate ourselves and try to reduce our own waste. Read about the Super Bowl at zero waste.
Most communities don’t make it as easy as Minneapolis, but in tiny steps, we can all do better. Everyday I think about how I can generate less waste, and I know for a zero waste mentality to be successful, it must be EASY!
An easy way to reduce waste is to think REUSE. Before you throw something away, buy something new, or recycle something, ask yourself, “How can I reuse this?” I purchase products in glass jars that I will reuse, and I do reuse them. I believe in real dishes, real silverware, and cloth napkins. My reusable water bottles travel with me, something the NFL doesn’t allow at games! I reuse my plastic produce bags over and over, and take my reusable containers to fill with bulk items weekly. Hennepin County has a good list of how to start reusing, read it here. Remember to start easy, and you will get better, as you learn more ways to reduce and reuse.
I would start with cloth napkins as the easiest. As you get into the reuse mindset you will see many things you can do to reuse and reduce on your own. Good Luck!
Get out those real dishes, glasses and silverware for your Super Bowl party and have fun.
I need a boost of positive energy, and these stories are full of hope and energy. I hope these positive stories get your week started with gratitude and full of positive energy. Enjoy!
** McDonald’s has announced a new commitment to sustainability. The fast-food chain will launch recycling in all of its restaurants and by 2025, 100% of its packaging will be sustainable. I am assuming this means compostable or recyclable? Also Boston will ban plastic bags, and Iceland and Denmark are doing research to create biodegradable plastic bottles.
In November I was fortunate to become one of the few Americans to travel to Iran this past year. We were there for 8 days. After hearing what an awful country Iran is for the past 40 years, I was thrilled to find a vibrant, friendly people. Their friendliness was amazing It was difficult to go for a walk or get anywhere because they stopped us to give us candy, find out where we were from, and they would ask: “Where are you from?” “How do you like the food” How do you like our country?” I think some of it was they are so isolated and we were a window to the world, but they are genuinely a friendly people. One couple came up to me at the historic site Persepolis and told me they loved me because I was so kind. We heard over and over,”We both have bad governments, but we the people, we are friends!”
An interesting article from the Washington Post, five myths people believe about Iran. myths of Iran
This article blames the recent protests on water issues, and they do have a serious drought problem. Read about climate change and a lack of water in Iran at Climate