Source: Steve Hulford
1. Say Goodbye to 40% of ocean plastics
Plastics Ocean Clean Up
Image: Ocean Clean Up Project
Five trillion pieces of plastic are in the ocean right now, gravitating toward one of five major garbage patches. The Ocean Cleanup Project hopes to remove 40% of that plastic over ten years by emulating a coastline. It has operated autonomously since launching, and runs on power generated from ocean currents. Thirty years from now, ocean plastics may become a footnote in history.
Source: The Ocean Cleanup
2. The US veteran homeless rate declined by 47% in the last 7 years
Image: Public Domain, Wikimedia.org
The Obama administration announced a 50% decline in veteran homelessness since 2010. The homelessness rate dropped by 16% alone from the previous January under a strategic partnership between various government agencies. The results were astounding, and we can expect to see more programs like this in the future.
Source: Good News Network
3. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge funded a medical breakthrough
Ice Bucket Challenge
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t just for kicks—it funded a real study that identified the genetic cause of ALS. This is a major breakthrough that will allow experts to tackle the question of treating, curing, or even preventing ALS in the future. The movement didn’t receive praise from everyone, but this is proof that “slacktivism” can go a long way.
Source: New York Times
4. China put a ban on certain coal mines
China Coal Mines
China announced that it would shut down 1,000 small coal mines, and then refrain from approving any new coal mines for three years. While this is a small step for a country so vast, it’s a good symbolic step toward renewable energy—which Greenpeace notes has covered China’s base energy needs since 2011. This also followed a natural decline in fossil fuel energy consumption for the last few years, indicating a lasting change in the energy sector is imminent.
Source: Scientific American
5. World hunger hit a 25-year low
Happy african kids
Where once there were 821 million malnourished people in the world in 2010, there are now 795 million. That number is still too high, but think about the difference: 26 million people are no longer starving. That’s the population of a modest country being fed regularly in just six years.
Source: New York Times
6. India planted 50 M trees in 24 hours
Indian women planting trees
Anyone who has planted trees can tell you it’s back-breaking work. Imagine planting 50,000,000 trees in a single day! India accomplished this on July 11 with 800,000 volunteers over a 24-hour period. Pakistan formed the previous record of planting 847,275 trees in a single day in 2013, but India blew it out of the water. Can we set a global record in 2017?
Source: National Geographic
Starting on January 1st, all electric trains in the Netherlands are powered 100% by clean, renewable wind energy.