Recent Good News

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

Hotel in Taiwan

plastic from their country.  Read here

** A group is planning to plant over a billion trees in Trump’s Forest to counteract the negative environmental damage being done in the United States. Read at Trump Forest

** Below is from  about the positive things that have happened in renewable energy during 2017

  • The cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70 percent since 2010 in the U.S.
  • With no fuel cost and lower operating and maintenance costs, solar and especially wind are outcompeting even the most efficient new gas plants in states like Texas.
  • Renewable energy is creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy in the U.S.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, solar installer is the fastest-growing occupation in the U.S., with wind technician coming in at a close second.

Other good news stories:



Super Bowl of Recycling

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.

Cloth napkins are the best!

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!

You don’t need  plastic bottles!

Get out those real dishes, glasses and silverware for your Super Bowl party and have fun.





Our World Is Moving in the Right Direction!

 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.

** Recent victories for our oceans.

Car of the future!

** 52% of Norway’s new cars are electric

**  Clean energy investments throughout the world reach 333.5 billion in 2017.

** France will shutter all coals plants by 2021. Read at France and Macron 

** Reasons to be hopeful for our earth! From EcoWatch  

** And from Climate Reality local climate action reasons to be hopeful.

** Unique gym class in suburban high school is what we need during divisive times. Read at diversity

Other Good News:

Citizen Diplomacy and Iran

We are friends!

Ancient Persepolis

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!”

These soldiers wanted me to take their picture.

An interesting article from the Washington Post, five myths people believe about Iran. myths of Iran

A dry river bed in the heart of Tehran

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  

Exciting Good News

This is my occasional series on Good News.  I love the leadership from Costa Rica, Seattle, Australia, Kenya and South Miami, places that are taking us into a sustainable future.

** Amazing Costa Rica will be the first country to ban all single-use plastics. They are working with businesses to create and use biodegradable plastic products.  By 2021 Costa Rica hopes be using plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, containers and plastic cutlery that will break down in water.  Read about it at Costa Rica 

** Also amazing, in 2018 the city of Seattle is banning straws and plastic utensils in restaurants! Read about it here.

Car of the future!

** Australia going to build the world’s longest electric vehicle highway. They will build a 1,118 mile highway with free and fast electric charging stations. Read about it at EVhighway 

** A new local law will require all new homes built in South Miami to install solar panels. The idea was pushed by a teenage climate activist, and will began this September. Read more about it at South Miami.

These bags will dissolve in a few months. We should all be using them!

** Yay, Kenya is enforcing a tough plastic bag-ban. Read at Kenya. 

Currently these biodegradable products are available in the USA, and can be purchased at food-coops and some grocery stores.

Ready for Good News!

This is my occasional series of good news stories. It’s a look into what the future will be. These stories deal with some of my favorite topics: Clean water, renewable energy, banning plastic bags, and opportunities for girls.

I love New York!

First. whales are coming into New York City for dinner! After working hard to get the Hudson River clean, there is good news. Whales have returned to the New York Harbor for the first time in a century.  Read about it from NPR 

Second, Even though the United States has pulled out of the Paris Agreement, many U.S. Mayors Endorse 100% Renewable Energy Goals, Read it here.

Car of the future!

Third, Electric cars:  Volvo Cars announced all of its new models will be electric or hybrid by 2019. France intends to end sales of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040.  Norway and India will go to all electric cars in the next decade. General Motors is rolling out the Bolt, and Tesla is building a more affordable electric car.  Hopefully, charging stations will catch up to the demand!  Read more at electric.

Fourth, the historical land of windmills is leading the charge in wind energy development. As of January 2017, Holland, the land of windmills, has powered all public transport trains by wind power.  Read about it at Future. 

Fifth, The island country of Australia knows the damage plastic is doing to our oceans. The two biggest supermarket giants, Woolworth and Coles, both announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags over the next twelve months.
Woolworths stated that from July 1 next year, its customers will need to bring their own bags when they go shopping, or purchase re-usable ones in-store. Shoppers in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia will be affected by the ban.
South Australian, Northern Territory and Tasmanian governments have already implemented state-wide plastic bag bans, and a ban in Queensland will come into effect next year. Read at plastic bags

Finally, a very happy story, the girls robotics team from Afghanistan was allowed to come into the United States to compete in robotics. Read at Afghan girls.