In times of headlines dominating by diseases and environmental destruction it’s hard to read the news these days. But there is also environmental news from February that are actually quite positive and uplifting!
1. Jeff Bezos announced a $10 Billion Dollar Fund to fight climate change
Jeff Bezos, the infamous billionaire and founder of Amazon, has announced a commitment of $10 billion dollars to address climate change via the Bezos Earth Fund. The company has been under pressure from employees for at least a year to implement more climate goals, and has recently revealed that Amazon's carbon emissions totalled 44.4 million metric tons in 2018. And while the details are just starting to come together – the fund will donate to “any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world" – it's certainly high time for more wealth to go towards environmental causes!
2. Washington State to ban bottled water operations
The state of Washington (USA) passed a bill this month that would not allow new water permits for bottled water companies. This makes Washington the first state in the entire country to put a complete ban on new bottled water operations. The bill is actually set to go in effect for January 1, 2019. No that's not a typo, it will retroactively take place and apply to all permits filed after that date. The bill was created to protect the natural resources, water supply, and public interest of the state. A great move towards reducing plastic waste!
3. Disease sniffing dogs help save the world's citrus
Huanglongbing also known as citrus greening is a bacterial infection that has decreased orange juice production by 70 percent in the last decade. By the time symptoms are noticeable by sight the infection could have been present for months or even years. Which means that the infection could have also been spreading that entire time, until a plant pathologist with the United States Department of Agriculture discovered that dogs could be trained to sniff out the infection MUCH earlier, just weeks from when the infection is contracted. This is a great nature-based solution to protecting trees and healthy citrus foods we love!
4. China announces major phaseout of single-use plastics
The Chinese government has announced new policy measures to phase out single use plastic. As per the policy, plastic bags will be banned in major cities by the end of 2020 and in smaller cities and towns by 2022. Other measures include: a ban on the production and sale of plastic bags less than 0.025 millimetres thick, and a ban on single-use straws in restaurants by the end of 2020.
5. After a devastating wildfire season, all fires in Australia’s New South Wales are now containedWhile parts of Australia are still burning, some much needed rain arrived in mid-February which helped contain the fires in New South Wales where much of the devastation occurred. BBC reported that Sydney received the heaviest rainfall they have experienced in 30 years! While this is certainly good news, it also means that the long road to environmental and social recovery will now begin, and that is a process that will take years – with the participation of OneTreePlanted in regard to reforestation, habitats, and biodiversity.
6. Mexico City is proposing to build one of the world’s largest urban parks
Who doesn't love a good park? Even better, who doesn't love a good park that will fight climate change and restore water systems?! During Aztec times, most freshwater was retrieved from lakes. However, since then many pipes were installed, and today the city is using more water than what is regenerate by rainfall. The proposed green infrastructure will be twice the size of Manhattan (New York City)! The first section of the park is expected to open sometime in 2021.
7. New solar device makes seawater safe to drink
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, have created a device that uses solar energy to convert salt water into clean drinking water, offering hope to millions of coastal communities who lack fresh water and electricity but have access to seawater. The device will need some further investing and development to become affordable by those who need it most, but still this innovative new process creates hope for problem-solving technology of the future.
Want to contribute to making your own positive environmental news? Plant a tree! OneTreePlanted offers a variety of reforestation projects around the world that make many positive environmental, social, and economic impacts. Check out OneTreePlanted to donate a tree!
©This blog was researched, written and published by our partner organisation OneTreePlanted. The content was adopted and translated by NIKIN. The blog may contain some variations from the original. The original blog and more information can be found at www.onetreeplanted.org. Since 2016 we work together with the renown non-profit organisation from the USA – so far, we’ve planted over 466’000 trees all over the world.