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 —
Farmers and agriculture experts founded an “open source” seed initiative to combat global seed monopolies and improve biodiversity
Most farmers don’t own the seeds they sow on their fields — they rent them. A few companies have a monopoly on the global seed trade, and breed “cash crops” like corn and soy — with profits as the priority, not biodiversity, world hunger, or small farmers.
To combat that destructive model, in 2012 a handful of agriculture experts founded the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) as an alternative to the monopolies. The model is similar to open source software — someone develops the seeds, and offers the resource for everybody to share.
Ababout 50 seed breeders have already signed on with OSSI in the US to offer nearly 500 seed varieties, and other open source seed organizations are popping up in Europe, Argentina, India and more.
A bison herd reintroduced to a Canadian national park in 2017 is now thriving
In 2017, a herd of 16 bison was brought from Canada’s Elk Island National Park and reintroduced to Banff National Park. Their numbers have increased to 80 thriving animals in the last five years.
The bison have roamed free with supervision from Parks Canada along with the Stoney Nakoda Nationa, which calls the park area Mînî Rhpa Mâkoche. They watched how the animals adapted to the new environment, and how the larger ecosystem responded to their return.
Researchers project if their growth continues at the current pace, there will be more than 200 bison in the next eight years in the park. And that's in line with a similar trend happening with bison populations in the U.S. too.
Similar to how dangerous climate tipping points lead to catastrophe — triggering positive tipping points could lead to rapid progress
A recent study found that four dangerous planetary tipping points are likely if global warming reaches more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures. Scientists have warned that limit could be passed within a decade.
Tipping points happen when a small change — such as an incremental increase in global temperature — sparks a rapid and often irreversible transformation.
But they may not all be bad. "Positive" tipping points for the climate are also possible, as solar and wind power grows cheaper than fossil fuels, electric vehicles take off, meat substitutes become tastier and social norms shift.
Studies show that practicing gratitude has both mental and physical health benefits
However you’re spending your holiday today, here’s a fun fact: Gratitude may be more beneficial than we commonly suppose. A recent study asked subjects to write a note of thanks to someone and then estimate how surprised and happy the recipient would feel. Participants consistently underestimated the impact of their note.
Another study assessed the health benefits of writing thank you notes. The researchers found that writing as few as three weekly thank you notes over the course of three weeks improved life satisfaction, increased happy feelings, and reduced symptoms of depression.
These are just a couple of examples of the mounting evidence that counting our blessings is one of the best habits we can develop to promote mental and physical health.
A potential alternative to fast fashion, more small and large brands are making compostable clothing
The fashion industry accounts for up to 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions, more than global shipping and air travel combined. Most of those clothes — about 84% — end up in landfills or incinerators.
In the United States alone, more than 11 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills in 2018 — much of it caused by fast fashion, which is especially and notoriously wasteful and harmful to both the planet and people.
But a growing number of clothing brands are making and marketing biodegradable clothing that they say can be disposed of in a compost bin.
More good news of the week —
Thanks to vaccine development, experts say this could be the last bad RSV season. Every year, hundreds of children die of RSV, and tens of thousands more are hospitalized.
In a revolutionary clinical trial, lab-grown blood was given to people for the first time ever. The blood could revolutionize care for people who need regular blood transfusions.
Malawi scientists are working to eliminate one of the world’s biggest killers: tuberculosis. The disease kills more than a million people a year and in 2020, it took 1.5 million lives as the second deadliest infectious disease behind Covid-19.
The Biden administration is providing $13 billion in assistance to help cut energy costs this winter. Energy costs are projected to be the highest in over a decade this winter.
Colgate University is returning 1,500 artifacts to Oneida Indian Nation. The collection of culturally significant artifacts were buried with ancestral remains and include pendants, pots, and more dating back hundreds of years.
A recent poll found that Americans overwhelmingly support the protesters in Iran. Especially in times where it feels like we’re divided with our neighbors on most things, polls like this remind us we agree on more than we might think.
India saved $4.2 billion in fuel costs in just the first half of 2022 thanks to solar power. A new report also found solar power prevented the burning of 19.4 million tonnes of coal.
Best Buy started charging for plastic shopping bags — and customers stopped using them. In July, Best Buy implemented a 10-cent charge for plastic bags at all of its stores, and use dropped by 80% in September compared to last year.
Wales is building one of the largest electric vehicle charging stations in the U.K. It will be the largest charging station in Wales, offering drivers 36 charging ports.
A former powerlifting champion opened a free gym exclusively for people with dementia and disabilities. Javeno McLean is currently training 15 disabled children and more than 30 elderly people.
Neighbors are coming together to get cheaper rooftop solar by bundling customers. The nonprofit Solar United Neighbors is also helping demystify the solar panel buying process and becoming a force for solar advocacy.
Some parks in the U.S. are now offering all-terrain wheelchairs to improve accessibility. Parks in Georgia, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan have free adaptive equipment for wheelchair users to explore off-road trails. National parks next, please!
The Federal Trade Commission recently announced plans to crack down on corporate price gouging and “predatory pricing.” The move is intended to help prioritize working families and small businesses.
REI made their Black Friday “Opt Outside” campaign permanent. Starting in 2015, the outdoor retailer closed all of its retail stores on Black Friday, gave employees a paid day off, and encouraged customers to spend time outside instead.
Literally putting planet over profit, Patagonia’s founder gave the company away to fight climate change and advance conservation. The groundbreaking arrangement by Yvon Chouinard is an inspiring, significant example of corporate social responsibility.