I remember in High School when Snapchat first came out and I didn't get the point. Why have an app dedicated to sending photos to your friends when you can already just text them?
It took me a while, but I eventually downloaded it and quickly found myself sending tens of thousands of snaps over countless hours to my friends. Over time, I started to use it less and momentarily stopped entirely when I consolidated my apps.
But I'm back on it! And I'm a verified Snap Star, using the platform to create and share more good stories and connect with a whole new audience.
If you use Snapchat (which yes, may be a bit of a long shot) or want to try it out, you can follow me here.
I'm also currently being trained by a news organization in fact-checking and best principles in journalism. So expect even better content to be coming your way in these emails :)
Anyways, enough about me. Here's all the good news from this week!
The good from Friday, July 21
👑 Homes in Iran are reducing temperatures by up to an astonishing 12 degrees Celsius or 21.6 degrees Fahrenheit through electricity-free wind catchers in their architecture, which are essentially tall chimneys that catch the breeze and channel it down into the house, using designs that could date back to Egypt 3,000 years ago.
A $100 million dollar gas pipeline project in Florida’s gulf shore has been canceled after a year of fighting and a lawsuit, while the company conducted a review and is officially canceling “due to market conditions”.
A farmer in Karnataka, India, found an exhausted leopard in the corner of his field, mustered up the courage to help, and drove the big cat to his village on his motorbike where she received veterinary attention for dehydration.
After nearly a century of energy dominance, coal was outperformed in the first 6 months of this year by wind and solar, meaning the two renewable energy sources generated more power in the US than coal, and are expected to continue to grow exponentially as coal phases out.
The good from Monday, July 24
A 661-pound female stingray was found in the Mekong River by Cambodia and is the largest freshwater fish ever recorded, despite the species being endangered, which may help the area become a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For the first time in 100 years, the US is raising the price to drill on Federal lands by up to 15 times what costs have been, likely saving taxpayers money and making mass polluters pay more for any environmental damage they create.
70 homes in the UK will be full “Zero Bills” homes, meaning they’ll be outfitted with green energy tech like solar panels, heat pumps, and home batteries, guaranteeing no energy bills for at least 5 years, with a goal of providing this to 10,000 homes by 2025.
👑 The Menominee tribe in Wisconsin has been harvesting trees for the past 170 years in a sustainable way that has left them with more trees today than when they started, providing a blueprint for how the rest of the forestry world can make decisions based on what’s best for the forest.
The good from Tuesday, July 25
A 13-foot sawfish was discovered and tagged in a habitat in Florida where they used to live but haven’t been back to in 30 years, a sign of recovering population numbers for these critically endangered yet incredibly unique animals.
Doctors, nurses, and staff are making hospitals more sustainable by donating unused supplies and increasing renewable energy with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center even opening a center for sustainability that creates teams at 40 hospitals to educate and take climate action.
A major study from Oxford University of over 55,000 people, 38,000 farms, and 119 countries found that regardless of location or methods, just by switching to a plant-based diet, you create about 75% fewer emissions.
👑 A farm in Germany is growing hops for beer underneath solar panels to generate extra clean energy and shield the hops from blistering heat which means more clean energy and beer using less land and water.
The good from Wednesday, July 26
Fully electric flying taxis may actually be here by 2026 thanks to a Brazilian factory near Sao Paulo that will focus on these emissions-free vehicles that can transport 6 people with the average trip estimated to be between $50 to $100 dollars per person.
A real scientific study investigated a hypothesis that the Loch Ness monster could actually just be a giant eel and concluded that the odds of this are essentially zero, keeping the mystery alive, which I just love.
👑 California is piloting placing solar panels over canals to reduce water evaporation and generate clean energy, and if successful could expand to the 8,000 miles of federally owned canals with 25 gigawatts of renewable energy potential which could power nearly 20 million homes.
Just a few months after the Mendocino fires which affected almost 500,000 acres, smaller animals like gray foxes, coyotes, black-tailed jackrabbits, and other “fire-resistant” species have returned to the forest and are using it as their home again just as they did before the fires broke out.
The good from Thursday, July 27
👑 The world’s last wild horses are helping to fight wildfires in Spain by eating grass and leaves from shrubby trees thus reducing combustible vegetation which will slow wildfires.
US President Biden is set to announce steps to help communities deal with extreme heat like improving weather forecasts, so maybe our phones will finally stop lying about the rain, and increasing water storage and infrastructure.
Paris is making their famous Seine River swimmable again in time for the Olympics next year a century after it was deemed unsafe from high levels of toxic wastewater and trash.
A new law in the EU will require fast chargers for electric vehicles to be installed every 60 kilometers or 37 miles along main highways by 2025.
Bonus actions: three sustainable brands I use and you should too ;)
- *Gift your feet a pair of Allbirds, the world's most comfortable and sustainable shoes. They're honestly like walking on a cloud, are made ethically, and they print the CO2 emissions from each shoe right on the sole. (If you use my link, add a pair of socks to your cart alongside your shoes and the socks will be free!)
- *Switch to Atmos Bank to stop funding fossil fuel projects with your savings. Atmos invests your money into renewable energy projects, and tracks your impact (you can see mine in the photo above). Plus with my link, you'll get $10 and donate $10 to 1% For The Planet.
- *Ditch the toothpaste tubes and use solid toothpaste bits from Bite instead. I've been using these for about two years for a few reasons: they don't take up any liquid allowance when I travel, they don't come in a plastic tube that ends up in the dumpster, and they can be stored in a glass jar that gets refilled over and over again. Bite has a few other sustainable products, but their toothpaste is my favorite.
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See you again soon,
P.S. some important info:
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EDIT: on 7/28 at 1:12 pm, an adjustment was made (thanks to a reader correction) to the change in temperature from 53 degrees Fahrenheit to 21.6 degrees Fahrenheit.