Thursday 3 June 2021

Positive Eco News Summer 21

Positive News June 2021
New 'Feel Good Stories' to give us hope for better things!

Butterfly on Flowers by Pixabay at Pexels

1. Big Fish, Small Pond

The UN estimates that 640,000 tonnes of discarded fishing gear are dumped out to sea every year. 

Three American surfers had the idea of turning discarded fishing nets into skateboards and sunshades by starting a company called Bureo in Chile, South America. 

The plastic content of the nets is melted down to make the new products. Ben, David and Kevin have decided to expand their product by also producing surfboard fins made from recycled fishing nets. 

Compared to the production of traditional skateboards, the method reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 70%. The wheels are 30% vegetable oil and have a 100% recycled mechanism. 

Once finalised, the boards come in the shape of a long fish with coloured scales. A great idea to turn a discarded item into something new.

2. Retask the Mask

UK Marine biologists in Cornwall set up a company called Waterhaul, turning discarded fishing nets into eyewear and equipment. 

A recent crowdfunder called Retask the Mark was launched by the group to turn melted down facemasks (sterilised & treated with high heat at the Royal Cornwall Hospital with each block using 6000 masks). 

These are then mould injected to make litter pickers, which are used by beach cleaning groups such as Surfers Against Sewage, Keep Britain Tidy, The Wildlife Trusts and Beach Guardian. 

Those who pledge £15 or more can even receive their own litter pickers..

Fantastic idea!

3. 9th Millionth Tree Planted at National Forest

Following this year’s planting season the National Forest has reached an amazing 9 million trees!

Forestry Minister, Zac Goldsmith, was scheduled to plant the tree, but as the country’s still in lockdown, they had to think of a creative way for the landmark tree to be planted.

Instead, they bought in a new ambassador for the National Forest to plant the milestone tree: Shaun the Sheep!

Minister Goldsmith goes on to say:

“I am pleased to announce an extra £2.26m from the government’s Nature for Climate Fund which will enable the National Forest to double its tree planting aspirations for this year, bringing all the benefits of trees to even more people.”

The National Forest is situated in the heart of England spanning 200 square miles across parts of Derbyshire, Leicester & Staffordshire.

4. Nature for Climate Fund

The Department of Environment has announced in December 2020 a new £12.1 million fund, to plant over 500 hectares of trees in ten Community Forests for this year (2021).

Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest and the Chair of England’s Community Forests, said:

"Our Trees for Climate programme will plant millions more trees around England’s town and cities, targeted at areas where they can make the greatest difference, in particular to local quality of life and levels of health and wellbeing."

A £640 million Nature for Climate fund, will help to increase tree planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025, alongside peatland restoration and nature recovery.

5. Rewilding London

The Wild West End project in London encourages residents to nurture green roofs, flower walls, foliage patches, putting out planters, as well as beehives and boxes for bats, birds and butterflies.

This map shows some of the pockets of green:

A London ornithologist says he is delighted to see the Black Redstart bird sightings are on the rise, one of Britain rarest birds.

🌼Check out our homemade wildflower seedballs🌼

6. Airbnb your Allotment!

Per a Positive News report - The National Allotment Society reported more than 300 per cent increase in applications in some areas. One allotment in Leeds now reportedly has a waiting list of 170 years!

Architect Conor Gallagher had a great idea of creating a platform called Allot Me - anyone wanting a green space can connect with those who can rent out their back gardens or spare plot of land, through the site for around £15 to £30 a month.

More info:

Beaver in Water Photo by Magali Guimarães from Pexels

7. Have a Beaver’s at This

Following successful introduction of beavers to Devon last year (see our good news June 2020 report) the Wildlife Trust have introduced 20 more beavers. 

The Wildlife Trusts are releasing the tree-gnawing, river-damming animals in Derbyshire, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and Montgomeryshire, having already released them in Dorset earlier in the year (2021).

Beavers in the UK became extinct in the 16th century due to hunting for their fur. Beavers can help with wildlife & may even prevent flooding as the water is pooled rather than free flowing, 

After a 13 year research study by Stirling University, Scotland, they concluded that:

'Pools created by dams had 20 times more aquatic plant life, and the number of species in the surrounding habitat was 28% higher.'

8. Waste not Want not - HP Using Ocean Waste in their Products

In 2019 Hewlett Packard released a notebook called Elite Dragonfly using ocean-bound plastic bottles. 

According to their site, ‘To date, HP has sourced more than 35 million plastic bottles or more than 450 metric tonnes – of ocean-bound plastics from Haiti for its products’.

The Elite monitor display contains the equivalent of more than three 16 oz. plastic bottles whilst the Elite Chromebook is made with a top lid of 75% recycled aluminium, a keyboard made from 50% recycled plastics, and speakers with ocean-bound plastics.

Meanwhile, their HP Tango printer is made from 30% post consumer recycled plastic.

Click here to download HP’s’circular economy report:

9. Hollywood Actor Pledges $43 Million for Wildlife Protection

Leonardo DiCaprio has announced he'll be pledging $43 million (£30.2 million) to help protect the Galápagos Islands.

DiCaprio posted on Twitter saying: "More than half of Earth's remaining wild areas could disappear in the next few decades if we don't decisively act."

The project should bring the pink iguana, the Floreana giant tortoise and the Floreana mockingbird back from the brink of extinction, and to ensure the people of the Galapagos thrive with the wild.

10. Feel Good Volunteering Projects

If you're feeling enthused and want to do your part I have added some volunteer projects you can get your teeth into below:

During 2020, TCV worked with 51,000 people, transforming 900 green spaces, planting 50,000 trees and giving 340,000 trees to community groups.

They delivered 31,000 volunteer days with a further 13,000 days of green space connections - through volunteering, training courses, nature engagement and education sessions.

b) For plastic free projects in your local community why not check out: 

c) Fancy joining a Beach Clean? Head over to

Like what you've read so far? See more feel good stories at: 

Blue & Orange Starfish on Beach Photo by Mark Walz from Pexels
You're a Star!