Wednesday 30 September 2020

Positive News for Autumn

Good News Stories Autumn 2020

Positive news helps us with a lift & shows us that good things can happen.

Here’s a few roundup stories to keep us all in good spirits! 

Face Painted Orca Photo by Nicola Seal - Seal Ceramics

1. The Upside of Lockdown?

During Covid Lockdown, folks had to take stock of their lives and make new choices, whether by being more resourceful and making things last longer, or getting fitter by cycling or walking.

The Country Living magazine reported a new study (see link below) by Princes Fish, where they found 27% of people have been cutting back on food waste, while 22% now wash clothes at a lower temperature, to reduce their environmental impact.

Meanwhile 28% have been cooking from scratch and upcycling household items, while a further 29% have been cycling or walking to places rather than driving.

Here’s 20 ways on how householders reduced their waste:

2. On Yer Bike

According to Positive News, the government encouraged people to get on their bikes during lockdown, by giving away thousands of cycle repair vouchers and earmarking £2bn to boost walking and cycling. 

As a result, the UK saw a 146 per cent increase in cycling with a reported 1.3m bikes being sold in the same period. 

Some councils have redesigned their town centres to make them more bike & pedestrian friendly. Many hope this will be the start of a greener way of living.

Cycling UK are looking for volunteers for their ‘Pumped Up’ campaign to keep the momentum going. 

3. Getting Heavy on the Levy

It’s been 5 years this October since the plastic bag levy of 5p was introduced in the UK. 

The Pre-loved web site reports that plastic carrier bag sales have fallen by more than 95%, with charities receiving nearly £180 million since 2015.

The average person in England now buys just four bags a year from the main supermarket retailers. The UK Government are planning to raise the bag levy to 10p from April 2021.

4. Sea Kayaks Made from Marine Waste

The group Clean Ocean Sailing have collected 5 tons of marine waste off the coast of Cornwall. The waste including barrels and hard plastics, was transported by their boat ‘Annette’ to Exeter, where they will be converted into kayaks by the Ocean Recovery Project.

The Ocean Recovery Project has recycled over 20 tonnes of material and achieved an 80% recycling rate.

It’s wonderful to see great minds come together for the greater good and help to reduce marine waste at the same time.

Check out this BBC Report: 

5. Re-purposing Discarded Tents

Remember the shameful sights of discarded tents where festival goers had left them behind?

A resourceful team at 2 Minute Beach Clean got to work collecting them, to turn them into beach cleaning sacks.

In turn these sacks help clean up plastic waste - waste from one venture being used to help clean up another (yes we humans are messy).

Simply a great idea – see this BBC video and report for more: 

Tent in the Countryside Photo by Cliford Mervil from Pexels

6. Is There Wind in Your Wales?

Per a Positive News article, the Crown Estate, which manages the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, has granted two new leases for windfarms in Welsh waters, including one that will float.

Floating windfarms can be useful where the seabed is too deep, which would normally inhibit installation.

Meanwhile, the Gwynt y Mรดr offshore windfarm in North Wales has been granted permission to extend – they are currently the 5th largest offshore windfarm in the world.

7. Free Those Trees (yes please!)

The Woodland Trust are providing free trees to local communities and schools.

‘We want to make sure everybody in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. So we’re giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities.’

All trees supplied are sourced from UK & Ireland - deliveries take place March & November.

For more details go to:

8. Dubliners Go Wild!

In February 2020, Trinity College in Dublin submitted a poll to ask who would like to see a wildflower meadow in their College Green. A whopping 90% of respondents voted a resounding yes!

The wildflowers planted include a mix of annuals and perennials, with as many as possible being of known Irish origin. 

Planting may be supplemented with bulbs and plants such as wood anemones. The main aim will be flowering to extend over as long a period as possible. 

Trinity College is in the centre of Dublin, so tourists as well as students will get to admire the colourful scene. How wonderful!

For more on the story go to:

9. Lego Maybe Bricking It!

After pressure from children, the BBC reported that Lego have agreed to be more environmentally friendly.

They will replace plastic packaging with paper from 2021 and are investing up to $400m (£310m) over three years to improve its sustainability efforts.

In 2015 the Danish firm set a target, to make its products from sustainable materials by 2030. As part of this pledge it will expand the use of bio-bricks, such as those using sugar cane as a component.

2030 seems an awful long way away, so keep up the pressure kids! 

10. Have your Cake & Eat It?

I leave you with news of a zero waste and organic veggie shop newly opened in Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire. With a cheery yellow faรงade, Artichoke Natural Foods stock an amazing array of organic fruit and veg.

Check out their Facebook page for a look at their tasty bakes, fresh bread, gluten free options, dried pasta, re-fillable herbs, spices and pulses, plus plastic free bathroom products.

Artichoke Natural Foods Sowerby Bridge