Born out of frustration that mainstream news only promotes the negative, we're bringing you a regular fix of the good news buried underneath the bad. Happy Friday!

Watching mainstream media, you might sometimes feel like human beings are determined to screw up the planet and everyone on it. Yet, all around the world, amazing people – just like you – are coming up with new ways of living, loving and doing business to create a better future for us all. So we’ve decided to dedicate a regular blog to shout out some of the good news we’ve seen each week. Here’s this week’s shout out:

Bhutan celebrates the birth of prince by planting 108,000 trees

Tens of thousands of people turned up to celebrate the birth of Bhutanese Prince Gyalsey last week and planted 108,000 tree saplings. All 82,000 households in Bhutan planted a tree to celebrate King Khesar and Queen Jetson’s first child, with another 26,000 volunteers from various other districts also planting a sapling – bringing the final count of celebratory trees to 108,000.

“Each sapling encapsulates a prayer and a wish from the person who planted it to His Royal Highness the Prince so that just like the bountiful tree, the Prince also grows up healthy, strong, wise and compassionate,” said Tenzin Lekphell, founder of the organisation who coordinated the initiative, Tendrel.

Kanye West, The National, Mumford and Sons join forces for Global Citizen album 

Kanye West, The National, and Mumford and Sons are teaming up for a collaborative 12-track LP, Metamorphoses, to support Global Citizen and its quest to end extreme global poverty.

Mumford and Sons member, Ben Lovett, is the driving force behind the project that will turn words and stories crowd-sourced from music fans and activists into songs. According to Lovett, “The words can be anything, as long as they’re original. All languages are welcome and all subject material too.”

The hope for Metamorphoses is that it will break down preconceptions of the voices of creativity, what different people around the world are thinking and who has the right to be heard. Lyrical submissions are open until March 31, so get writing and get involved!

World’s first solar airport no longer pays electricity bills

Cochin International Airport, the world’s first fully solar powered airport, is generating so much power from its solar array that it no longer pays for electricity – making it the only power-neutral airport on the planet.

Cochin International Airport started its solar journey in 2013 by installing solar panels on the roof of its arrivals terminal. From there the project blossomed into a 12 megawatt solar project – the airport commissioning the build of a new $9.5 million solar plant to be laid out across 45 acres of unused land near the airport’s international cargo terminal. “We wanted to be independent of the electricity utility grid,” said Jose Thomas, the airport’s general manager. The panels generate, on average, slightly more kilowatts of power that the airport uses per day – with the excess energy is sent to the state’s electricity grid.

Venice's gondolas finally become accessible to wheelchair users

Venice doesn’t naturally spring to mind when one thinks of the world's most wheelchair-friendly cities, but a new private gondola project, Gondoalas4all, are working to change that.

Last Friday Gondoalas4all unveiled the first access point for wheelchair users and people with disabilities to board one of Venice's storied black-lacquered gondolas – helping to make accessible tourism a new reality in Venice. Visitors can book a ride at the usual city set tariffs at the Gondolas4all website.

In other news...

  • Obama bans oil drilling along Atlantic seaboard ensuring that Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida will remain off-limits for drilling until 2022.
  • Social enterprise, Stand4 Socks, have figured out how to link everyday products with social causes and charity. Stand4 Socks partner with charities and NGOs that work to tackle the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals and have created unique socks for each of these goals.
  • Girl Guides across the UK will be able to take a new badge in mental well-being and resilience from early April. The "Think Resilient" badge follows research showing nearly half of young women aged 17 to 21 in the UK have needed help with a mental health issue.
  • Italy is set to pass a law that will make supermarkets donate their waste food to charities. It will become the second European country to pass such laws after the French introduced a bill in February which bans supermarket throwing away or spoiling unsold food.
  • Virgin Limited Edition will be switching off the lights at their properties this weekend for this year’s WWF Earth Hour. Join the global Earth Hour celebrations here!

 

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