TGI Friday! Wrapping up the week with a collection of positive news snippets.
The bluebells are here! Good news for Brits: there's no better time for a woodland nature trail than now. Why not get out and explore your local woods this weekend? The opportunity to seek out a carpet of spring bluebells is fleeting. Best seen between mid-April and May, they bloom in the south first, spreading to the north as spring progresses. What sight could be more magical, after the year we’ve all had, than an ethereal blanket of sweet-smelling bluebells?
Bangladeshi woven air: Once worn by Mughal emperors and Europe's aristocracy, the world's most prescious fabric was lost to history. But is now, remarkably, being revived.
Weather warnings have been issued across America amid reports of tornadoes, typhoons and tropical storms that have emerged following the conclusion of the Derek Chauvin trial, which resulted in millions of people simultaneously breathing out a huge sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, Walmart has announced a new effort to improve biodiversity and save pollinator populations, which aids in food production. Walmart says it will source all fresh produce and flowers from suppliers that adopt practices that promote integrated pest management and reduce the use of harmful pesticides by 2025.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is going after companies that 'greenwash', and is making climate related risk a top priority. It's very good news and marks a major shift in policy compared to Trump's administration. And, to help things along globally...
NASA satellite to bust polluters: The space agency will soon be deploying a satellite capable of spotting the worst offenders by examining their emissions from above - and will make all of their findings public.
France has become the first EU member state to begin testing a digital coronavirus travel certificate as part of a Europe-wide scheme that Brussels hopes will allow people to travel more freely within the bloc by the summer.
The French government is also planning to give citizens who want to trade in their old cars a €2,500 ($3,000) grant towards the purchase of an electric bike. The French Federation of Bicycle Users told Reuters that, if adopted, France will become the first country to offer such a trade. The idea is being applauded by green lobbying and cycling groups.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Channel, the standard petrol grade in the UK is set to change from September, with the introduction of a more eco-friendly fuel. Called E10 petrol, it contains 10 percent renewable ethanol, which is added to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help tackle climate change.
Extra sleep for students: The biological changes to sleep cycles during puberty make it difficult for adolescents to fall asleep early, which, when combined with an early start for school, results in students frequently running on a less than adequate amount of sleep. A new study published by Oxford University Press takes an in-depth look at possible solutions and outcomes.
Act of kindness: Jessie Hamilton spent 14 years as a cook for the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house at Louisiana State University. When some of the guys who lived in the house in the 1980s found out she was still working, they came up with an amazing 74th birthday gift. Jessie was presented with a check for $6,675. But they had one more big gift: the brothers had bonded together and pooled their money to pay off the remaining $40,000 on Jessie’s mortgage.
The White House announced yesterday that the US will aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels. Biden said the new US goal will set it on the path to net zero emissions by 2050 and that other countries now needed to also raise their ambition.
Unemployed Vancouver busker totally nails Sultans of Swing. How could anyone walk past that? Guaranteed to brighten your day....