Recyclable Homes, Yung Gravy, & Trans Santa - Good News This Week: December 3rd 2022

A photo collage of a recyclable home, the Trans Santa Instagram profile, a wildlife crossing, a group of people, and Yung Gravy on stage

Every day the Good Good Good team collects the best good news in the world and shares it with our community. Here are the highlights for this week!

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The Best Positive News We're Celebrating This Week —

Researchers in Maine 3D-printed the first recyclable home made entirely of bio-based materials

With a historic housing shortage and affordability crisis happening all over the U.S., researchers are looking for new ways to construct and provide housing for more people.

Researchers at the University of Maryland used one of the world’s largest 3D printers to create the first home made entirely of sustainable wood fibers and bio-resins. The 600-square-foot prototype house is fully recyclable and can be constructed in days, rather than months.

→ Read more

In 2021, a record $2.7 billion was donated on Giving Tuesday

A 9% increase over 2020, last year donors around the U.S. donated a record $9.7 billion on Giving Tuesday — continuing an upward trend of generosity on the largest fundraising day of the year.

According to Giving Tuesday, 35 million people participated in the annual day of generosity in some way: through giving money, donating goods, volunteering, and more. Compared to the year before volunteering levels increased by 11%, and food and other goods donations increased by 8%.

Giving Tuesday launched in 2012 as a way to encourage generosity and giving back in the midst of the holiday shopping season — supporting organizations and people that do important work in our communities and around the world all year long.

We’re hopeful that this upward trend of generosity will only grow larger and stronger in 2022.

→ 25 meaningful ways to celebrate Giving Tuesday

With an “adopt-a-family” approach, Trans Santa safely and anonymously provides gifts for transgender youth in need

In 2022 alone, state legislatures across the U.S. have introduced over 130 anti-trans bills, and transgender youth are increasingly the target of these legislative attacks. This holiday season, the mutual aid social media campaign Trans Santa is helping give them the love they deserve.

Trans Santa takes the “adopt a family” approach and provides gifts to transgender youth in need  — safely and anonymously.

The goal is to support trans and non-binary youth who are houseless, in foster care, or otherwise without vital support by giving them the gifts they want and the affirmation they need from anonymous and safe donors all over the world.

→ Read more

A network of wildlife crossings built on a Montana highway with Indigenous knowledge is dramatically reducing collisions

Collaborating with the Montana Department of Transportation, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes recently designed and built one of the largest networks of wildlife highway crossings in the U.S.

Highway 93 in Montana had long been known as one of the state’s most dangerous roads. Now, it includes 42 wildlife crossings built based on Indigenous knowledge and values.

And they’re working: According to a 2015 study, animal collisions have declined by 71%. Now more than 22,000 animals use the crossings annually, protecting both drivers and wildlife to migrate safely.

On the final day of Native American Heritage Month, we’re celebrating with the state of Montana for rightfully leaning on Indigenous knowledge in creating these passageways.

→ Read more

Dressember has raised millions of dollars to fight human trafficking around the world

In 2005, Dressember founder Blythe Hill first learned about human trafficking, a multimillion dollar criminal industry generating about $150 billion yearly worldwide. More than 40 million people are affected, one in four of whom is a child.

What started out as a fun style challenge for the month of December, Dressember officially became an anti-trafficking fundraiser in 2013. That first year, 1,000 people participated and raised $167,000 — and it grew each year.

In the nonprofit’s first seven years, they raised more than $10 million benefiting anti-trafficking organizations. Now Dressember is an international community of anti-slavery advocates working to end human trafficking.

→ Read more

Rapper Yung Gravy is collecting the bras thrown on stage by fans and transforming them into an act of good

Yung Gravy, a 26-year-old rapper known for his viral TikToks and satire-filled beats, is taking a time-honored concert and fan tradition and using it for good.

At a recent concert in Minneapolis, Yung Gravy collected 159 bras that fans threw on stage — bringing his total number of bras collected to 678 across the U.S.

At the end of his tour, as a part of his “Save The Nip” campaign, he plans to donate them all to women’s shelters, and he’ll match the value of the donated bras with a donation to a breast cancer charity.

→ Read more

Through the power of storytelling, filmmaker Billie Melissa is working to abolish the death penalty

As of 2022, there are 2,414 imprisoned individuals on death row in the United States, of which 41% are Black people. Many have critiqued the serious physical and psychological impact of long-term confinement and isolation that is generated by death row, but many of us know very little about the lived realities of those on death row.

After seeing “Just Mercy” at a film festival in 2019 and posting her reaction online, filmmaker Billie Melissa connected with a real-life client of the film’s protagonist on the power of storytelling to change hearts and minds. That’s when her work connecting film and death penalty abolition began.

She helped with a variety of projects until she met Billie Allen, who has been on death row for 25 years with a case of innocence. Now, the two are working on a documentary about his life and story.

“For us, what was really important was remembering that we’ve connected to him because of the person that he is and that’s what is going to connect with an audience is people saying, ‘Oh, he’s just like me, and this could have happened to me,’” Melissa said.

→ Read more

→ Plus, read quotes about the death penalty

More good news of the week —

The “library of things" movement in the U.S. is reshaping public libraries and how they serve patrons in the digital age. More than half of America’s 9,000 public library districts now lend nontraditional objects and have revamped their event calendars.

South Korea recycles almost 100% of its food waste annually, sending none no a landfill. In response to a growing food waste crisis in the 1990s, the country’s government implemented a number of policy changes to get them to this point.

One hundred companies in the U.K. signed up for a permanent four-day work week with no loss in pay. One employer said it was “one of the most transformative initiatives we’ve seen in the history of the company.”

Lizzo sent her 2019 AMAs dress to an Atlanta-based writer who couldn’t find a red carpet-worthy plus-sized dress. Aurielle Marie was being honored by Out Magazine at its Out100 gala honoring 100 queer writers and publishing stars of the year.

Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are working together to stop deforestation. The three countries are home to the largest area of rainforests in the world.

A Toronto-run long-term care home is piloting a project aimed at improving its operations and empowering residents. Lakeshore Lodge is shifting away from a traditional model of long-term care homes focused on task-based care and efficiency.

The U.S. Senate just passed a bill protecting same-sex and interracial marriage. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are celebrating the passage, while acknowledging the bill is an imperfect, but important step forward.

A new piece of technology could reduce shark bycatch in commercial fishing by 90%. The SharkGuard emits a pulse to repel sharks and stingrays from fishing gear and prevent them from being accidentally caught.

The European Space Agency just named the world’s first disabled astronaut. A major step towards including people with physical disabilities in working and living in space, John McFall is the first “parastronaut.”

A life-saving global AIDS relief initiative that began in 2003 was reauthorized and will continue through at least 2023. When the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program first began only 50,000 people in Africa had access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) — it now supports up to 14 million people.

Chicago recently reported the lowest number of new HIV and AIDS cases since the 1980s. A total of 627 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2020 — the lowest number since 1987, and a 29% decrease compared to 2016.

Thanks to advocacy, better treatments, earlier diagnoses and more, HIV/AIDS deaths are decreasing worldwide. Deaths have declined by 60 percent since their peak in 2003.

For the first time in U.S. history, the top House leaders of one party will include no white men. House Democrats voted Hakeem Jeffries as House Democratic leader, Katherine Clark as whip, and Pete Aguilar as caucus chair.

A leading scientist says a universal flu vaccine may be available within two years. The vaccine is based off the same mRNA technology used to create the COVID-19 vaccines.

The U.S. is giving millions of dollars to three Indigenous tribes threatened by climate change. Two tribes in Alaska and one in Washington will each receive $25 million to retreat to higher ground.

Article Details

December 3, 2022 5:00 AM
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