6 min read

no. 99: Butterflies want you to be lazy

This week's good news includes a study that found letting your grass grow longer can help butterfly populations by up to 93%!
A butterfly landing on a plant
Photo by Gary Bendig / Unsplash

Hey friend,

Happy first Friday of April!

I moved this week to an awesome new spot in Brooklyn and let me tell you, it was exhausting. I still managed to find all sorts of great uplifting news stories, but I won't ramble in today's intro and will just let you get right to it (while I go take a nap).

Enjoy your weekly sprinkle of positivity and have a great weekend!

Enjoy these good stories? I (Jacob) research, fact-check, write, record, and post everything by myself. Consider subscribing as a supporter and/or sharing this newsletter to help Climativity continue to exist! Thank you in advance for helping the world be a little more positive, I couldn't do it without you 🌎🌏🌍💚.

The good from Friday, April 26

yellow and black bee on yellow and black honeycomb surface
Photo by Meggyn Pomerleau / Unsplash

🐝 Bee hotels are coming to New York City that sorta look like bird houses surrounded by vegetation to provide nutrition to native bees like the “tickle bee” that literally tickles instead of stings and other pollinators a safe shelter to lay eggs. (Gothamist)

✌️ Dirty coal power will soon be a thing of the past as new US EPA regulations are forcing coal power plants to slash their emissions by 90% or shut down alongside limits for other dangerous pollutants like mercury and toxic ash. (NYT)

⚡️ There’s a growing number of electric coaches trained by Rewiring America helping homeowners navigate the transition to clean energy solutions like heat pumps, solar, and EVs to maximize rebates and get the right equipment for their situation. (Canary Media)

🛠️ A nonprofit tool library in Buffalo is hosting repair cafes and lending out tools to individuals and small businesses to help fix broken household items instead of throwing them away through accessible communal resource-sharing. (Reasons to be Cheerful)

The good from Monday, April 29

human brain
Photo by Milad Fakurian / Unsplash

🧠 Animals have more consciousness than we thought, according to a group of biologists and philosophers who declared a “realistic possibility” that insects, octopuses, crustaceans, and fish have complex cognitive behaviors signifying an awareness of what it feels like to be you. (Quanta Magazine)

🇮🇩 Indonesia is leading a “Green Islam” movement where leaders in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country are retrofitting mosques with solar panels and water recycling while encouraging environmentalism to protect their land, air, and waters. (NYT)

🛰️ NASA announced 6 new airborne missions to collect data and further understand Earth’s systems on a global and local scale to inform solutions for the Arctic, wildfires, air pollution, weather patterns, glaciers, and agriculture. (Space)

🏅 With the Paris 2024 olympics a few months away, organizers are committed to generating less than half of the emissions from previous olympics by reusing venues, encouraging better transportation like trains, and using clean power sources. (Washington Post)

A good story from Tuesday, April 30

orange and black butterfly perched on yellow flower
Photo by Alfred Schrock / Unsplash

🦋 Just letting your grass grow longer can help boost butterflies by up to 93% according to a 6-year study in the UK that was just published which proves that longer grass attracts more butterflies into your yard and helps reverse the decline of these beautiful critters.

Because wildflower nectar found in wild grasses helps feed butterflies while longer grasses provide a better place to breed and grow.

And it’s a win-win for people as we get to be lazier and do less work by letting an area grow more and get rewarded with biodiversity via all sorts of butterflies and caterpillars and other insects like grasshoppers, beetles, and ants.

The study was published in the Science of the Total Environment journal alongside an initiative to make 100,000 UK areas wilder, but really wild spaces can be made anywhere around the world by letting friendlier areas go a little wild on patios, gardens, and communal places like parks and schools.

Butterfly Conservation scientists co-authored the study to try and reverse the substantial population decline and say simply letting it grow will enable people to combat these decreases and benefit the butterflies and honestly, a longer garden full of more life sounds pretty optimal to me. (Ecowatch & Butterfly Conservation).

The good from Wednesday, May 1

gaming room with arcade machines
Photo by Carl Raw / Unsplash

🕹️ Minecraft, Angry Birds, Settlers of Catan and dozens of other companies are adding nature conservation and climate action elements into their games, making it mainstream to care about the environment and motivating gamers to take action. (Inside Climate News)

🪸 Investing in nature is profitable, which is kinda wild (pun intended), but the Global Fund for Coral Reefs raised $250 million with an expected 20% return on investment by backing initiatives that protect and restore reefs by reducing overfishing, pollution, and coastal development. (Bloomberg)

🧑‍🏫 The Smart Pantry is combating food insecurity at Hunter College, a public New York City university by letting students scan and fill out a survey to discreetly access free, nutrient-dense, and culturally appropriate food sourced from local minority and women-owned businesses. (Food Tank)

🌱 A new political movement that prioritizes the natural world over establishment and industrialization is forming around the UK and really the world led by organizations like Muslim Hikers, Right to Roam, and Black Girls Hike by reclaiming green spaces and reconnecting to nature. (The Guardian)

The good from Thursday, May 2

a bunch of flowers that are in the grass
Photo by Ries Bosch / Unsplash

🌺 The world’s most comprehensive map of flowering plants was just published in a study of over 9,500 species which is publicly available and aims to uncover how flowering plants exploded to make up 90% of all plant life, and how we can protect that biodiversity. (Mongabay)

✈️ The European Union is taking action against 20 airlines for greenwashing or misleading the public into thinking they’re more environmentally friendly than they really are, signifying a requirement for more accountability and honest marketing. (Al Jazeera)

💰 The world is now meeting to figure out logistics for the UN Climate Reparations Fund giving hundreds of millions of dollars to developing nations in need, which will be hashed out in the next 6 months hopefully with substantially more money on the way. (Grist)

🌳 A new global analysis of 186 studies shows that conservation actions targeted at species and ecosystems really are highly effective and successful at increasing biodiversity, and should be scaled up dramatically to meet the world’s targets. (Science)

Bonus stories

NYC gardeners push ‘year of the milkweed’ to save monarch butterflies from extinction
Development and herbicide have decimated the monarch’s main food source, nest and nursery.
Orca calf successfully returned to open water after bold rescue in Canada
Two-year-old calf one step closer to reuniting with family group after tragic accident that left her stranded in remote lagoon
Bhutan and the Tiger Conservation Coalition Commit to Catalysing US$1 Billion for Tigers
Paro, Bhutan, April 23, 2024 – The Sustainable Finance for Tiger Landscapes Conference concluded today on a high note, marking a historic moment for global conservation efforts. The conference was opened yesterday by Her Majesty The Queen of Bhutan, under whose patronage this effort to mobilis

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