The Little Good News – Nov 01, 2019

Every week we do a major roundup of environmental news across the world. It is really important we all know it and share it, but it can also be pretty disheartening. The bad news is nearly always on a much, much larger scale than the good. The next few years are probably going to look the same as we enter climate feedback loops, profit incentives continue to grow, population increases and we continue to stall on our Paris Agreements.⁠ We’re interested in education, understanding systems, and the levers we can all pull for change.⁠

But during this mammoth effort every week, we also get to see lots of little good news stories pass through our initial filter which we’re posting here. We can use these to inspire us, give us ideas in our own communities and potentially scale them up. Environmental good news can often be fairly greenwashed so we’re not interested in that and won’t consider it good news. If you see a story and decide to implement it where you live, we’d absolutely love to hear about it! Please tag us in or email us and let’s create a world of lots of local change which collectively has big impact.

  1. The Greta effect: this year in Sweden there has been an 8% drop in passenger numbers on domestic flights since January and a 3% dip for international journeys, according to official figures from Swedavia, which runs the country’s major airports. (Huffington Post / Swedavia

  2. Bristol could become the UK’s first city to introduce a ban on diesel vehicles to boost air quality and reduce congestion. Under the proposals, diesel vehicles will be banned from entering a central Clean Air Zone between 7am and 3pm every day. Bristol City Council will consider the proposal at a meeting and, if approved, officials will work with the government’s joint air quality unit to put the plan into effect. (Independent)

  3. A preliminary assessment carried out at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya has discovered a small population of seven critically endangered pancake tortoises. Pancake tortoises are highly valued for international pet trade and  are currently listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (Standard Media)
  4. Waste Management Inc, the largest trash hauler in the US, is no longer shipping discarded plastic to countries outside North America. Waste Management’s statement noted that it sent nearly one-quarter of its plastic recyclables overseas in 2019.  (Huffington Post)
  5. Animal cruelty would become a federal offense with a penalty of up to seven years in prison under a proposed expansion of an animal welfare law that won unanimous approval in the House of Representatives in the USA.(NYT)
  6. Scotland has become the first part of the UK to ban the sale of plastic cotton buds in an effort to combat plastic pollution. The new legislation, which was first presented in Scottish parliament in September, has now come into effect, banning the manufacture and sale of the items. (Independent)
  7. Grassroots campaigners have saved the Ulcinj Salina in Montenegro from development after an 18-year campaign with some clever diplomacy. Winning Nature Park status is far from the end of the story though, and the campaign is set to continue applying pressure and raising awareness until this unique habitat is brought back to full health. (Mongabay)
  8. California Condor birds have gone from extinct in the wild to more than 100. This success has been decades in the making. The condors have hit this important new population milestone thanks in part to efforts to stamp out the threat of lead poisoning. Another key piece in the recovery is the rebound of marine mammals on the California coast. (Mongabay)

Support this writing

We spend a lot of time researching and writing explainers, guides and stories on important environmental topics. We do this without funding, sponsorship or advertising revenue. We would love to continue to expand this work and support experts in their fields to contribute. If you've learned something new here, have joined us on Instagram, or support what we're doing, please consider tipping in a little. Thank you so much.