Giving thanks and spreading good news
That's right, good environmental news. It exists and we want to bring more to you.
My wife and I escaped to a remote cabin a few weeks ago. We already live in the remote North and this took us further off grid, into the Wi-Fi-less woods.
Towering hemlocks, a broad tannin-stained river rushing by, cold beer and a warm fire—we felt refreshed. These feelings were amplified by being removed from the deluge of bad news we all see every day: climate change putting our planet in peril, toxics in our food, air and water, and corrupt leaders' apathy.
I'm partially to blame. EHN's Above the Fold morning newsletter, which I put together every day before you wake up, is often rife with bummer news. What can I say … environmental health news is rough these days.
Our staff was recently reminded of this when reader Lara Adler pointed out to us how hard it is "to find the few bits of good news" on EHN. Adler, who educates people on how to prevent everyday toxic exposures, wondered if we could bring back the Good News section or "is there just not enough of it?"
Thanks for the reminder, Lara. On this day of thanks, we want to highlight the positive news—solutions to seemingly intractable problems, beautiful places being protected, resilient people findings ways to protect their health and environment—and help you find them.
We are now gathering stories from around the world on our Good News page, which is updated daily. "Good news" can be subjective—a wind farm, for example, that weans us off fossil fuels but kills birds—but we're going to do our best in gathering stories that we feel are positive and solutions-based.
We're also continuing to put solutions at the heart of our own reporting, looking for both encouraging news as well as ways we can offer to correct injustice and reduce pollution.
It's worth mentioning, we at EHN still fully support, and encourage, you to escape to the woods, the river or the mountains, and shut the phone down.
But now when you power it back up, you have some good news to ease you back in.
So, to avoid the news-blues, bookmark our Good News page, and, to get you started, below are 10 of our favorite good news stories from our newsroom this year.
1. EU Parliament on endocrine-disrupting compounds: Time to act
Europe's parliament overwhelmingly calls for the European Union to "swiftly take all necessary action" to protect human health and the environment against the dangers posed by endocrine-disrupting compounds.
2. Human resilience and ecological resistance in the tear gas capital of the world
In and around Bethlehem, Palestinians are building gardens and doing permaculture in an environment threatened by chemical attacks.
3. As legal cannabis spreads, growers go organic — and beyond
Pot prohibition is gradually lifting, but state and federal growing guidance is lacking. EHN visited West Coast growers committed to nudging the fledgling industry in a chemical-free, Earth-friendly direction.
4. NY becomes the first state requiring ingredient labeling on menstrual products
Months after an EHN report on toxics in menstrual pads and diapers, New York lawmakers pass bill pushing for ingredient disclosure.
5. Denmark to ban PFAS in food packaging
Denmark will ban the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in paper and cardboard used in food packaging within the next year under a proposal from the country's Ministry of Environment and Food.
6. From avocado drinks to repurposed lard: Using creativity and culture change to tackle Philly food waste
Nearly 20 percent of people in Philadelphia are food insecure. We visited the researchers, restaurateurs, and entrepreneurs changing this by rethinking food waste.
7. Global renewable energy has quadrupled over past decade
With solar leading the way, clean energy capacity growth is helping the planet avoid billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
8. Home Depot to phase out some products containing PFAS chemicals
The home improvement company will stop purchasing and selling any carpets or rugs containing the toxics by the end of the year.
9. Paddling 300 miles to protect the waters of Ohi:yo', the 'good river'
One man's journey to highlight the importance of protecting the waterway.
10. Exposed: Toward a BPA-free future
What will it take to rid our store shelves of BPA and its equally hazardous cousins?