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.
** 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.
** 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.
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.
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.
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.
To make the world a better and safer place we must generate positive energy. This is another round of amazing news stories that tell us in what direction the future is moving. I congratulate these countries and communities for their sustainable goals and effort. This is my occasional series on great news stories. Renewable energy, managing trash and gender equality are some of the positive energy stories of the past week!
1. In September Kenya is going to ban plastic bags. Read about Kenya here.
2. Georgetown, Texas, a conservative town in oil country is fueled by wind. Wind power saves them money over oil energy. Read about it at Georgetown
3 Iceland will be the first country in the world to make employers prove they offer equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality, the Nordic nation’s government said on International Women’s Day. Read about it at Iceland
4. The United States installed a record-smashing 14,762 Megawatts (MW) of solar power in 2016 — a 97 percent jump over 2015, according to data just released. For the first time ever, solar was the number one source of new generating capacity, beating out wind and gas. Read about it at solar power.
5. A water wheel is cleaning up Baltimore’s harbor picking up plastic and other trash. Read at Baltimore
6. Sweden is on target to be powered entirely by renewable energy by 2040. An amazing goal for this dark northern country. Read about at Sweden.
What sustainable exciting things are happening in your community?
Today I’m starting an occasional series on good-news events. Three stories have made me happy this past week, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. *First, this is amazing. New Delhi, India, banned plastic bags and single use plastic. It will make a difference for our oceans, and Delhi’s air quality. A plastic ban will not be easy to implement, and I wish them luck. Read about it from Independent News, and from Ecowatch. ** Second, Solar energy added 73,615 new jobs to the U.S. economy over the past year while wind added a further 24,650. According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy, solar power employed 43 percent of the Electric Power Generation sector’s workforce in 2016, while fossil fuels combined accounted for just 22 percent. Read about it from Forbes
*** Third, PBS did a marvelous story of an American woman making great efforts to educate girls in Liberia. Watch on PBS
We are one day passed global earth hour sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. Even if you could not participate, I hope you will think of ways to reduce the electricity you use. Working together to cut our use of fossil fuels(Most of our electricity comes from coal) can make a difference!
Like it or not the paradigm is changing. Some news from the week:
My letter published in the Minneapolis, Star Tribune August 7.
Where are our monarch butterflies? The droughts, alternating with heavy rains and pesticide use, have destroyed a lot of their habitat.
In response to the Aug. 6 commentary, “We’re free-market Republicans, but action on climate is urgent,” yes, climate change is real. We can all see it. To expect this Congress to act is hopeless, but luckily with the leadership of former State Sen. Ellen Anderson and Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota is on its way to national leadership in renewable energy.
Most important, we can all make a difference by reducing our carbon output by driving less, turning off lights and electronics when not in use, and reducing the chemicals we use. Our monarchs and children are depending on us.