Good News This Week: September 2, 2023 - Yard Sales, Fundraisers, & Legos

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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 —

To help reduce waste, a university hosted a yard sale for incoming students filled with donated household items from “move-out day”

After seeing the number of home goods that were ending up in campus dumpsters every year, Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin came up with a solution to both reduce waste during move-out week and make home furnishing more accessible for incoming students.

As part of its Markept sustainability program, the university created a “yard sale” called Iggy's Market. On move-out week, employees collect student-donated items to be stored in shipping containers for incoming students to take what they need to furnish their homes.

On just the first day of the yard sale, over 60 graduate and international students shopped the market’s secondhand items.

Why is this good news? Not only does offering secondhand items to students help reduce the amount of perfectly good, usable housewares that end up in a landfill, it’s also financially beneficial. Furnishing your home can be logistically and financially challenging for many college students, especially for international students.

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John and Hank Green just launched a new shop where 100% of the profits from anything you buy go to charity

Authors, content creators, and entrepreneurs John and Hank Green have been engaged in charitable endeavors for years, including their annual Project For Awesome and Pizzamas digital fundraisers, as well as their work in partnership with Partners in Health to build the Maternal Center of Excellence.

To support this work, the brothers Green have launched a number of product lines for simple items that most of us use every single day: socks, coffee, and soap. And when you buy them, 100% of profits go to reducing maternal and childhood mortality in Sierra Leone.

And now, all three of these endeavors are housed under one roof: Good.Store. The new Good.Store offers all of the products through one-time purchase or subscribe-and-save models. This allows shoppers to combine brands in one purchase or subscription, reducing shipping costs and emissions — all while still doing good.

Why is this good news? Aside from the convenient of a one-stop-shopping experience, because profits go to charity, purchases from the Good.Store will quite literally directly improve health outcomes for maternal and childhood health in Sierra Leone, which has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world.

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Investment in renewable energy hit a record-breaking $358 billion globally in the first half of 2023

A critical part of decarbonization and the fight against climate change is in switching to renewable energy sources — and according to new data, the world continues to make record-breaking investments in that switch.

In just the first six months of 2023, global new investment in renewable energy grew to $358 billion, representing a 22% rise compared to the same period last year, and an all-time high for any six-month period.

The vast majority of investments were in solar energy, with a total of $239 billion invested, which was a 43% rise compared to the same time period last year. China and the U.S. are leading the way in investments, which is also encouraging — since wealthier countries have contributed the most to climate change.

It’s important to note that while this progress is incredible, hopeful, and worth celebrating — experts say even more is needed to put us on track to reach net-zero targets and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis that come with two degrees Celsius of warming.

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Starting in September, Lego will start selling braille bricks to help vision-impaired children learn to read

Since 2020, Lego has been providing bricks coded with braille letters and numbers for free to schools and services for vision-impaired children. The bricks had been tested and developed in partnership with blind organizations all around the world.

Now, starting next month, consumers will be able to purchase packs of the braille bricks. The packs they’re producing will include educational game ideas and more to help families and siblings learn and play together, too.

While there are certainly alternative technologies to using braille for those who are visually impaired, blind adults still report they like the freedom of being able to read with their fingers, too.

Why is this good news? In addition to providing more independence, according to the European Blind Union, knowing braille leads to improved spelling, reading, and writing skills in those who are vision impaired, which in turn can lead to higher education levels and more employment opportunities.

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A group of Philadelphians raised over $17,000 to eliminate $1.6 million in medical debt for 1,700 of their neighbors

After hearing about churches forgiving medical debt, aorganizer and nurse in Philadelphia decided they wanted to gather their “mostly-queer, dirtbag” friends to do the same — and now their neighbors are $1.6 million less in debt.

Thanks to donations from 55 people alongside a $5,00o donor match, Claire Hirschberg and Lou Garner helped raise over $17,000 to purchase and forgive more than $1.6 million in medical debt through RIP Medical Debt.

Starting mid-September, 1,700 of the group’s neighbors in Philly will get letters saying their medical debt has been cleared. The group celebrated with a “debt burning” at the city’s Chicken Pier — where they symbolically burned a giant medical billing statement.

Why is this good news? For so many people in the U.S., an unexpected medical event can spell financial disaster. While fundraisers and debt-clearing campaigns like this group from Philly organized shouldn’t be a thing in the first place — it’s a good reminder that everyday, “ordinary” people really can see a problem, take action, and make a huge difference.

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The viral “If I Were A Fish” TikTok song is now being turned into a playful picture book for all ages

Indie singer Corook (also known as Corinne Savage) and their partner Olivia Barton took the world by storm this spring when they debuted their song “If I Were A Fish” on TikTok.

The catchy, uplifting song came from a place of healing, as Corook wrote the catchy, uplifting song from a place of healing after having “a very emotional day, feeling insecure and out of place.” They wrote the song to “remember the joy in being different.”

TikTok users across the globe sang, danced, and reposted the song and its delightful lyrics. And now, the whimsical song is being turned into a picture book — and fans and followers of the duo are just as delighted by the news as when the song first debuted.

Why is this good news? The book’s description reads, “This inspiring song about surrounding yourself with the people that make you the happiest is a timely reminder that it’s always best to be yourself.” The song filled our fyp's with good — and it'll do the same for our bookshelves!

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More good news of the week —

Doctors are using stem cells to restore vision to people who have had devastating eye injuries. Eye surgeons have been working to fix a serious and specific eye problem that can cause pain and permanent vision loss called limbal stem cell deficiency.

The FDA just approved the first RSV vaccine for pregnant mothers to protect babies. RSV can be particularly dangerous in infants, and this vaccine transfers protective antibodies from mother to infant before birth.

Pennsylvania’s Solar for Schools program is creating jobs, cutting taxes, improving teacher pay, and increasing educational programming. One school distric recently installed 3,500 panels and anticipates saving $1.6 million over 20 years, allocated towards teacher salaries and facility upgrades.

Eight states across the U.S. will be providing free meals for all kids in school this school year. Joining California and Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Colorado, Vermont, Michigan, and Massachusetts are making meals permanently free starting this year.

A new Arizona law will give all 911 operators in the state unlimited access to mental health services. In signing the bill, the governor said that operators “can experience extremely traumatic situations that they take home with them” and need the support.

New research found that coral reefs in one part of the Pacific Ocean have shown a historic increase in climate resistance. The reefs’ adjustment to higher ocean temperatures could reduce future bleaching impacts of climate change.

Camera trap images of critically endangered eastern lowland gorillas just confirmed the presence of healthy family groups in the DRC. There are only 6,800 left of the subspecies, which is threatened by hunting, deforestation and mining activities,

A new program in Massachusetts will provide free community college for older adults. The state will invest $20 million in the first year of MassReconnect, which will make community college free for residents over age 25.

Scientists have developed a new power plant condenser coating that could cut 460 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. Weaning the world off fossil fuels will take some time, so finding ways to make energy generation more efficient is important.

To help lower healthcare costs, the Biden administration announced the first 10 medicines up for price negotiations. The medications treat diabetes, cancer and other conditions, are taken by millions of older Americans, and cost Medicare billions of dollars annually.

An “unloved, unutilized” flood meadow in England has been reconnected to a river to become a wildlife haven. The meadow was disconnected from the river in the late 1800s for a railroad line, and will now become a vibrant and open habitat for wildlife and the public.

Thanks to reintroduction efforts, a pair of ospreys has successfully bred in Ireland for the first time in 200 years. The birds produced at least two—possibly three—chicks at a confidential location in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

The U.S. has a new federal bureau focused on global health and pandemic prevention. The newly established Bureau of Global Health, Security and Diplomacy will coordinate U.S. foreign assistance and foster international cooperation.

The Nebraska women’s volleyball team just broke the women’s sports attendance world record with 92,003 fans. The previous women's sport world attendance record was 91,648, set in 2022 during a UEFA Women's Champions League soccer semifinal in Barcelona.

The UN just issued a formal statement saying governments must respond to youth demands for climate action. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child concludes that the climate emergency, the collapse of biodiversity and pervasive pollution – “is an urgent and systemic threat to children’s rights globally”.

Article Details

September 2, 2023 5:00 AM
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