Today's round up of global good news to brighten the day.
Located in St. Adolphe, Canada, "Snow Maze" is recorded in the Guinness World Records as the largest snow maze in the world. It's so large that it takes around 30 minutes to complete and has become a popular family outing. It's good to get out, whatever the weather!
Quitting Social Media
Abandoning social media is hard to do, even when it doesn't cost you anything. So when Mark Constantine, CEO and co-founder of ethical hair and beauty firm Lush, shut its thousands of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok accounts, he knew dropping off millions of customers' screens would damage his business. Its Facebook and Instagram accounts alone had 10.6 million followers and the void will result in an estimated £10 million ($13.3 million) hit to sales, but Constantine felt they had "no choice" after whistleblowers called attention to the negative impact social media sites such as Instagram are having on teenagers' mental health. "I just thought 'That's their own research and they're ignoring it and we are attracting a lot of people to their platform.' We had no choice whatsoever. Lush attracts an awful lot of girls of that age," he said.
Power to the People
In a village in Kenya, a man named John Magiro became tired of waiting for the national electric company to wire his house. So, he took matters into his own hands, building a dynamo using an old car alternator and some other parts. Harnessing the local river, he got the water to drive the generator. The system produces enough power to light up his home, along with 750 local people. Residents like the children of Beatrice Wairimu greatly benefitted from the ingenuity, who previously used hand-held kerosene lamps - that were a health damaging smoke and fire hazard - to study for school. "Magiro power has really benefited me and my family, especially the children," she says.
When Kim Morton shared that she was suffering from depression and anxiety, little did she realize that her whole neighborhood in Baltimore would come to her rescue. It all started with a simple strand of white holiday lights strung by her neighbor Matt Riggs from his house to hers as a sign of connection and goodwill. This connection of brightness and light soon sparked a whole movement, as neighbor after neighbor climbed trees and ladders and began to string out their own combination of twinkly, colored and white lights and cheery messages like 'Love lives here' and 'Believe'. The event has resonated so much with everyone that they have decided to continue it every year. "It really does represent a connection that we are feeling", says Matt Riggs. "This is a very special neighborhood, and this is a physical manifestation of that."
Driven to Help
John Shackleton, from North Yorkshire, England, has been doing charity work for over 30 years and still going strong at the age of 83! He and his team raise money to buy ambulances at auction. After stocking them with medical equipment, they begin their drive of thousands of miles delivering the ambulances to impoverished regions. How do they get back to the UK? They hitchhike, of course, and then start the process again! "When you do something out of genuine love and genuinely wanting to help, it makes all the difference in the world," says Shackleton.
LA Environment Victory
Though better known as the homeland of Hollywood, Los Angeles was built on oil. More than 5,200 oil and gas wells sprawl across the city, making it one of the largest urban oilfields in the country. But the Los Angeles city council has just voted unanimously to phase out drilling in the city, a move environmental justice advocates have been working toward for years, reports The Guardian. The city will now move forward with drafting an ordinance to ban new drilling and evaluate how to shut down operating wells across the city.
Organisations are increasingly having to prioritise environmental compliance, but many don’t know where to start. Handily, Edac is a ready-to-use, cloud-based platform that helps businesses monitor, log and manage their eco-credentials from a customisable dashboard.
As 'partygate' rumbles on, Boris Johnson's troubles don't appear to be going away anytime soon. As you might expect, this picture doing the rounds is one of dozens of a similar ilk. Some bookies are offering odds of 2/1 that the Prime Minister will be ousted by the end of March, as he faces a huge backlash from politicians from all sides for allegedly attending numerous parties at 10 Downing Street during lockdown.
Quote of the Day
“Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet and never before have we had the power to do something about that." Sir David Attenborough
On this Day
29 January 1595: William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet" is thought to have been first performed.
Dive in Deeper
Enjoy a quick flying visit to the Jungfrau region in the Swiss Alps, one of Europe's most spectacular landscapes.