Today's global bundle of good news nuggets to brighten up the day.
To combat climate change and to better protect its natural habitats, China has launched large-scale “land-greening” programs. The goal is to plant 36,000 square kilometers (22,400 square miles) of new forest every year and raise the overall forest coverage rate to at least 24 percent by 2025. Over the next five years, China also plans to expand its national parks and create connecting corridors between them. That is so the wildlife can move freely and not be restricted to small fragmented habitats. The steps are part of the country’s environmental efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.
Right to Disconnect
Good news for Belgian civil servants: a new law has come into force that means they are no longer expected to answer calls or emails out of work hours. The ‘right to disconnect’ will impact 65,000 public sector workers. There are now plans to extend the right to workers in the private sector. There is growing interest in this policy in Europe. Indeed, last year the European parliament called on the European Commission to draft an EU-wide law to protect workers who wished to unplug after they clock off.
A record number of people took part in Veganuary this year, organisers have announced. Almost 630,000 people from 228 countries and territories attempted to go vegan in January. Tajikistan and North Korea were the only countries whose citizens didn’t take part. “It's incredibly inspiring to see Veganuary taking hold around the world, especially in countries such as Argentina, Brazil and the US where per capita meat consumption is amongst the highest in the world,” said Veganuary’s Toni Vernelli.
A butterfly that disappeared from England in 1976 has established a stable population in Northamptonshire, the charity Butterfly Conservation has announced. The chequered skipper has been the subject of a furtive reintroduction programme, the location of which was kept secret to avoid enthusiasts descending on the site. However, conservationists have now revealed that the population in Fineshade Wood is now stable enough for the public to visit. It follows extensive habitat management to ensure the woods are suitable for the insects.
Every Colgate product on the market will be entirely recyclable by 2023. If every consumer was diligent in recycling their Colgate toothpaste tube, almost 80 million tubes of toothpaste would be diverted from landfills annually. Colgate has generously made its recyclable design openly available for other toothpaste brands to use so that the entire oral hygiene industry can work together to cut down on plastic waste.
The Biden administration says it is making $1.15 billion available to states to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells as part of a broad effort to reduce U.S. climate warming emissions and improve health and safety in nearby communities. The number of abandoned wells in the United States has grown over the last decade, and many experts believe the number will keep growing as fossil fuels are replaced by cleaner forms of energy.
Quote of the Day
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West.
On this Day
8 February 1926: Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio becomes Walt Disney Studios
Dive in Deeper
Every sunrise, this cute little bird visits a woman for cuddles.