So often good news doesn’t make the news, so here are a few good pieces of news to start 2020 with, from Future Crunch (where you’ll find 99 other good pieces of news, divided into categories). One of the founders of Future Crunch, Dr Angus Hervey, says:
If we want to change the story of the human race in the 21st century, we have to change the stories we tell ourselves.
I’ve chosen five good news stories, one from each category in the 99.
CONSERVATION (17 entries): 5. Dolphins are breeding in the Potomac River in Washington for the first time since the 1880s, whale populations are exploding off the shores of New York, and 100 seal pups have been born on the shores of the Thames, 60 years after the river was declared ‘biologically dead.’ Telegraph
GLOBAL HEALTH (21 entries): 19. The Global Burden of Disease Report said that between 1990 and 2017, the number of kids and teenagers dying around the world decreased by more than half, from 13.77 million to 6.64 million. CNN
LIVING STANDARDS (13 entries): 41. Save the Children’s 2019 Global Childhood Report showed that in the last 20 years, children’s lives have improved in 173 out of 176 countries. Compared to 2000, today there are:
– 4.4 million fewer child deaths per year
– 49 million fewer stunted children
– 130 million more children in school
– 94 million fewer child labourers
– 11 million fewer girls forced into marriage or married early
– 3 million fewer teen births per year
– 12,000 fewer child homicides per year
PEACE, SAFETY & HUMAN RIGHTS (24 entries): 52. Democracy is proving far more resilient than the headlines suggest. Since 2000, the number of democracies has risen from 90 to 97, including 11 countries that became democratic for the first time ever, and in 2019, 2 billion people in 50 countries voted, the largest number in history. Al Jazeera
ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY (24 entries): 76. The world’s largest multilateral financial institution, The European Investment Bank, agreed to stop all financing for fossil fuels, and committed to investing half of its entire annual outlay — not just its energy budget — on climate action and sustainability by 2025. Guardian
My One Green Thing this month is all about bottles. When we buy water in bottles, we’ve decided to buy it in glass ones instead of plastic ones because although, according to this article:
We still only recycle about 50% of our used glass in the UK … it takes less energy to recycle glass than it does to make new glass from raw materials.
Despite a ‘War on Plastic’ … [and recycling 45% of it in the UK] … 55% of our plastic waste ends up in landfills, or the ocean.
Drinking water from the tap would clearly be the greenest way (and unrecycled glass is as bad as unrecycled plastic because the former doesn’t decompose and plastic takes aeons to decompose). But when we buy cleaning products in bottles, we buy them from Splosh! I wrote about them in June under the thing I’d like to have invented. I’m recycling what I wrote for this month’s One Green Thing because it’s such a simple way to cut down on plastic-bottle waste: Splosh! supply cleaning products in the most non-plastic-proliferating, single-use plastic way. Here’s what they say:
Plastic waste is messing up our oceans and littering our land. Every plastic bottle you buy in a supermarket makes the problem worse. We have a fix.
Their fix is that you only ever use one plastic bottle per product: Splosh sells refills that fit through your letterbox so you don’t have to be in when they arrive, and they recycle the refill pouches. Read more here.
And here are some beautiful new year lights from a friend of mine to wish you a healthy, joyful and peaceful new year.