butterfly

Our top 5 good news stories of 2021

It's not all doom and gloom.

As we reflect on the past year, let's remember the good — the people, communities, ideas, and science that are creating a more healthy and sustainable planet.


The environment can be a depressing beat. But here are the top five good news stories from our newsroom over the past year that remind us there is hope.

1. The pesticide ban movement gains momentum

pesticide ban

Cities and counties are increasingly banning toxic pesticides—and some are taking aim at fertilizers.

2. A Listen Into Landscape

good news podcast

A series of audio postcards spotlighting peace, place, and connection to landscape from the perspective of those working in nature.

3. How artificial intelligence can help save us from air pollution

artificial intelligence

Researchers find AI may outperform traditional models, which could give more advance warning of bad air days, and reduce harmful exposures and hospital visits.

4. From butterfly wings to shrimp claws: Mimicking nature on the nanoscale

green chemistry

Innovators look to biomimicry to address sustainability challenges.

5. Planting a million trees in the semi-arid desert to combat climate change

planting trees

Tucson's ambitious tree planting goal aims to improve the health of residents, wildlife, and the watershed.

Have a good news story tip? We want to hear about it, write us at feedback@ehn.org.

Banner photo: Metalmark Butterfly. (Credit: Andreas Kay/flickr)

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From our newsroom

Peter Dykstra: Greenwashing’s medieval age

Old school greenwashers and deniers with staying power.

PFAS: The latest toxic concern for those near fracking

The “forever chemicals” are used by the oil and gas industry, but a lack of transparency and accountability makes it impossible to know how widespread contamination could be.

How Colorado is preventing PFAS contamination from the oil and gas industry

And how other states, including Pennsylvania, could do the same.

Evidence of PFAS in toilet paper (Yes, toilet paper!)

Testing finds fluorine — an indicator of PFAS — in four brands of toilet paper. However, the levels indicate the chemicals are unlikely added on purpose.

Op-Ed: Countries all over the world are banning atrazine. The US just keeps spraying.

Until the EPA untethers itself from the wishes of the pesticide industry, we can never trust that it is following the science and protecting people and wildlife from the most dangerous poisons.