Wednesday's Good News

Updated: Oct 27

Smorgasbord of bite sized chunks of positive news to help perk up the day.


Actor Russell Crowe
Surprise Donation

The owner of an independent bookshop was astonished by an "insane" £5,000 ($5,475) donation from actor Russell Crowe. Leanne Fridd, who lives in Norwich, south east England, launched a crowdfunder to try and raise £15,000 to help her Bookbugs And Dragon Tales bookshop. Just a few hours later she received a third of her funding target from the Gladiator actor. She said it would give the shop "time to breathe and explore and do things that we really believe in", including giving books to children who would not otherwise have access and run outreach sessions in rural communities.


Montreal skyline at night
Zero Waste Montreal

As of now, plastic shopping bags are not allowed in Montreal, a city of over 4 million people. The regulations apply to all retail businesses and restaurants, the first of a series of moves designed to make Canada's second largest city zero waste by 2030. Next thing to go is single use plastic in restaurants, starting in March 2023.

 

Recycled Chopsticks Making Sustainable Furniture: While eating at a sushi restaurant in Vancouver five years ago, Felix Böck remembers venting to his wife about the disparity between living a circular economy versus just talking about it. "Felix, sometimes you have to start very small," she said. As he watched a waiter toss used chopsticks in the trash, an idea surfaced: "What if I start "really" small, with chopsticks?" Read on...

 
Leaf in the shape of that on the Canada flag
Sovereign Declarations

Also in Canada: Multiple Indigenous nations are declaring protected areas based on their own sovereignty. The idea took off in 2018, following the publication of a report showing Indigenous-led conservation could help Canada reach its commitments on climate change and conservation. Half a million square kilometres of protected areas across the country have now been proposed.

 
Encomium

A speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly.

 
River Seine in Paris at night

Guerre aux Voitures

Paris is winning its war on cars. Since 1990, the proportion of car journeys has dropped by 45 percent, public transport use has risen by 30 percent, and cycling has increased tenfold. Next up: a new citywide speed limit of 30 km/h (20 mph), car-free zones outside schools, and 'peaceful zones,' that make it illegal to drive through the city centre without stopping.


Note pad with 'Pay Debt' scribbled on it
RIP Medical Debt

For 13 years, Georgia high school teacher Terri Logan was weighed down by bills from her daughter's premature birth. But now she is pursuing an old dream of singing on stage - all because her debts were erased by a nonprofit group. RIP Medical Debt, launched in 2014 by former debt collectors Craig Antico and Jerry Ashton, boomed during the pandemic, freeing patients from medical debt, thousands of people at a time. To date, RIP has bought $6.7 billion in unpaid debt and relieved 3.6 million people of their worries. Retiring $100 in debt costs an average of $1, they say. A recent surge in donations has enabled RIP to hire staff and identify targeted debt faster, and it can now buy loans directly from hospitals. RIP is also helping hospitals better identify people eligible for 'charity care' and thus prevent people from incurring debt in the first place.

 
Quote of the Day

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."

Robert Louis Stevenson

 
On this Day

12 October 1901: President Theodore Roosevelt officially changed the name of the president's residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from Executive Mansion to the White House.

 
World's First Burp Tax

New Zealand farmers may soon be paying for greenhouse gas emissions from their animals. Read on...


Remarkable Achievement

Chris Nikic has become the first person with Down Syndrome to finish the Ironman World Championship triathlon. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Montage of fall colors across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.