Summary of 8 positive environmental stories from 2021

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Too often, headlines are constructed strictly from terrible and shocking stories. It is easy to lose sight of the kindness and generosity of humanity, as well as the efforts to do good for the planet. If you have been following environmental news in 2021, like every year, has shed light on atrocities around the world. Yet there are countless stories of policy changes, local clean-up efforts, impactful corporate actions, and innovations all aimed at reducing carbon, conserving trees, protecting wildlife and more. again.

Read on below

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This year’s COP26 saw nations from all corners of the globe focusing on the same goals. With the environment at the forefront, seven countries have pledged to end oil and gas exploration. None of the seven countries source significant oil from their own soil, but the resulting Alliance Beyond Oil and Gas provides a platform for other nations and regions to join the effort. You can read more about 7 countries pledging to end new oil and gas exploration.

Related: Inhabitat positive news page

The Riverside Park Conservancy has been fighting invasive species in the park for fifteen years. Although they saw a wave of volunteer efforts to clean up the plants, they quickly returned to the steep hill which is difficult to access. So they brought two dozen goats to an event dubbed “Running of the Goats”. The goats chewed throughout the day, and five stayed for six weeks to gleefully gnaw at the problem of porcelain berries, English ivy, mugwort, multi-flowered rose, and poison ivy. Allowing animals to graze eliminates the need for toxic weedkillers, which are harmful to the earth and citizens.

A bowl filled with chicken and cereal

It is fairly well established at this point that raising livestock has a negative impact on the land. There is the problem of the release of methane, a greenhouse gas more harmful than carbon dioxide. In addition, land requirements for production damage the soil. Then there is the concern about the treatment of animals. Meat grown in the laboratory is leading the way in reducing animals’ dependence on food. Take, for example, this new facility in California that is capable of producing 50,000 pounds of lab-grown meat per year and has a short-term goal of increasing that number to 400,000 pounds.

It is our country’s largest national forest, covering 16 million acres in Southeast Alaska. This area is home to 800-year-old trees, indigenous peoples, and 400 species of wildlife and fish. While there were previously protections in place, former President Trump exempted the area during his final months in office, which opened the door to road building, logging and d ‘other harmful activities. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the reimplementation of the road-free zone conservation rule, a victory for the natives and the planet. According to the Alaska Wilderness League, the Tongass National Forest is one of the largest intact temperate forests in the world. It stores over 1.5 billion metric tonnes of carbon and sequesters an additional 10 million metric tonnes per year.

A pine forest

Without policies to protect existing trees, we will be rudderless in our efforts to maintain air quality, slow global warming, and mitigate the effects of erosion, landslides and forest fires. Another outcome of COP26, leaders of 110 countries signed the Anti-Deforestation Pledge, pledging to eliminate deforestation by 2030. This will limit investments in contribution projects and implement restrictions against logging. trees to make room for animal grazing and the cultivation of crops such as palm oil.

In addition to protecting existing trees, their replanting is essential for the long-term balance of nature. Fortunately, a myriad of companies have started to help reforestation. In addition, nonprofits around the world are making a measurable contribution. One Tree Planted is one of those organizations. Its mid-year update reports 58,000 mangrove trees planted in a sensitive region of Haiti, the planting of 430,000 native trees in Minnesota, 40,000 native trees in Mexico and more than 814,000 trees in California. Plus, forests the size of France have been restored over the past 20 years, showing how small efforts turn into notable achievements.

If you’ve never heard of it, search for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on Google. In short, it is a large area of ​​the Pacific Ocean that has become a collection point for ocean pollution. A Dutch inventor decided to tackle the problem when he was only 18 years old. He started making a device to tackle the problem and launched Ocean Cleanup, his organization aiming to eliminate 90% of the plastic floating in the ocean by 2040. After two previous launches that were unsuccessful, During the summer and fall of 2021, Ocean Cleanup collected and removed 20,000 pounds of trash, which was brought ashore and recycled.

You probably don’t think much of this Australian marsupial, but with the countless plants and animals that go extinct each year, it’s good news that the bandicoot has been reclassified as endangered, which is an upgrade from the previous classification of “extinct in the wild.” Officials say it was a 30-year effort to protect the small furry animal that has been almost completely wiped out by foxes and lack of suitable habitat.

Via Inhabitat, Eco Watch, NY Times and BBC

Images via Pexels

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