Mid-week round up of good news nuggets from across the globe.
As island kingdom just off the Arabian Peninsula, known as the first emirate nation to discover oil in 1932, wants to re-establish itself as the global center for sustainable pearls. Natural pearls are one of the most sustainable and ethical luxury gems, both conflict-free and climate-friendly. With pearl beds bigger than Manhattan, Bahrain is looking to revive its traditional pearl industry - once the backbone of the country's economy.
5-year-old Liam Moore from Ontario, Canada, has no doubt at all about his ability to help the people of Ukraine. When the kindergartener heard about the fundraiser being organized by the students of his school, he told his mother he wanted to help, “because they’re in danger and not in a very safe place like we are.” The little boy donated all $20 in his piggy bank, earned by doing chores around the house, much to the admiration of his seniors. Though he was saving the money to buy himself an action figure, little Liam has no regrets. “I’m actually fine with the toys I have,” he says.
When pandemic supply chain issues dried up the flow of baby formula for orphaned elephants at the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in northern Kenya, they started to feed the elephant babies goat milk from local herds, and the results were beyond encouraging. Not only have survival rates improved for its youngest and most vulnerable elephants, but the community around the sanctuary is prospering, too. All of that money that would leave the area to pay for formula is now going to the "milk mamas" - the local women who own the goat milk. It's no wonder Reteti is such a remarkable place: It's also the first elephant orphanage in Africa to be owned and run by members of the local community.
A Filipino inventor has created resinous panels that harvest solar energy out of recycled vegetables, and it can work even when it's cloudy, rainy, or out of direct sunlight. It turns out that there are extremely sensitive chemicals in vegetables that turn UV light from the sun into visible light which can in turn be used to generate electricity from photovoltaic cells. The innovation won its creator, 29-year-old Carvey Ehren Maigue, the Dyson Foundation Sustainability Award. Designed to be as low-impact as possible, Maigue sought not just vegetable waste, but also crops destroyed in storms and typhoons. The panels come in red, orange, yellow, green and blue.
With President Biden in office, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow states to impose stricter air pollution standards than those of the federal government, according to CleanTechnica. This is a big switch from when Trump was in office and restricted California’s ability to set its own air quality standards. California’s new motor vehicle air pollution standards should lead to improved air quality, not only helping to fight the climate crisis but saving lives in the state too. Hopefully, other states will follow in California’s footsteps. As the fifth-largest economy in the world, California has considerable power to shift the market.
Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain, has eliminated over 1.5 billion pieces of plastic from its packaging since launching its 4R packaging initiative in 2019. The 4Rs stand for Remove, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. “We all have a responsibility to take care of our planet, and removing unnecessary plastic is an important way that Tesco can reduce its environmental impact,” said Sarah Bradbury, the company's quality director.
Quote of the Day
“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” Ron White
On this Day
23 March 1857: American inventor Elisha Otis installed the first commercial elevator, in a department store in New York City.
Dive in Deeper
An unknown pilot traced a route over western Poland to convey a robust view of the Russian leader via flight tracking websites.
Lost Species Returns to London
They have become emblematic of the UK's rewilding movement. Now beavers are roaming riverbanks in London again after an absence of more than four centuries.
Nature Mood Booster
Gorgeous time-lapse film of plants bursting into life.