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. Here’s this week’s shout out:

The collapsible water bottle

A freelance product designer has created a collapsible water bottle that is the epitome of convenience. Hydaway is an eco-friendly bottle that can be squished down and tucked away in your pocket/bag once you’ve finished your drink.

Not only is it perfect for the hustle and bustle of modern life, but it also has the potential to dramatically cut the number of disposables in land fill sites.

All you have to do is remember to pack it in your bag!

Reforestation in Ecuador

45,000 volunteers from Ecuador recently took part in the world’s largest single-day reforestation project. They planted over 640,000 trees and 220 species of plants on 5,000 acres of land and managed to set a new Guinness World Record.

It is hoped that the reforestation project will go on to help Ecuador’s national plan to conserve and restore more land than is deforested.  

Rebuilding Nepal

It’s been over a month since the first of two destructive earthquakes ripped through Nepal killing and injuring thousands. As the country begins to rebuild itself, one architect is paving the way by building houses from earthquake proof materials.

Nripal Adhikary does so by using natural materials, such as stone and clay to reinforce walls and beams of bamboo to fortify roofs. Nripal believes that part of the solution is to modernise and perfect ancient building techniques to create homes that are better prepared for future earthquakes. 

Goodbye bullies

Standing up to bullies is one of the hardest things that a child can do. Imagine what happened when an elementary school teacher from Washington, USA did?

After seeing one of her pupils, Matthew, get bullied by an older student for his new hair cut, Tori Nelson decided to make a promise to him. She asked Matthew to personally shave off her hair in front of his class and said: "Now if anyone makes fun of you, they're also making fun of me."

Somebody give Miss Nelson a gold star!

In other news:

  • Two agriculture consultants from Boston, USA, have created an innovative plug-and-play-farm system which looks set to revolutionise the way that we produce food in urban areas. Freight Farms offers insulated shipping containers that can grow over an acre’s worth of food, while using 90 per cent less water than conventional farming methods. Each container is kitted out with LED growing lights, hydroponic systems, heating and cooling systems which are controlled by an external mobile software system.
  • Wind turbine farms have a bad reputation for being too noisy, taking up too much space and being an eyesore. Spanish start-up, Vortex Bladeless, has decided to redesign the humble wind turbine and create bladeless ones. The bladeless turbines generate energy by wobbling and are 70 per cent more efficient in comparison to propeller-powered turbines.
  • The French government has voted unanimously to ban food waste in big supermarkets. The legislation is due to be passed on May 28th and will outlaw the destruction of unsold food products. The decision comes following shocking statistics that estimated $13 - $22 million worth of food is thrown away every year in France. All large sized supermarkets will now be required to donate unsold, edible food to charities, be used as animal feed or converted into compost.
  • A co-operative in northern Haiti has revamped its coffee cultivation method to help create more jobs and conserve local biodiversity. The Dondon co-operative achieves this by shunning chemicals and pesticides in favour of manure and compost. This then helps producers to reforest land efficiently and improve their living conditions while producing high quality coffee. Since its creation in 1976, the co-operative has grown from having 34 producers to over 600 members and 300 part-time employees.
  • Between 1990 and 2005, Guatemala has lost 17 per cent of its forest cover and an additional 130,000 hectares of land due to agricultural conversion. In an attempt to save Guatemala’s remaining forests, The Rainforest Alliance has teamed up with local non-government organisations to strengthen community forest management. To date, the partnership has successfully projected sales of US$130K, produces 1m-board feet of timber every year and proved that communities can thrive within a healthy landscape.
  • Check out what Professor Engelberg, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, did when one of his student’s babies started crying in his lecture. 
  • Meet the two entrepreneurs who are travelling and helping small businesses across the UK get off the ground from a converted London bus. Rishi Chowdhury and co-founder George Johnston are the brains behind IncuBus London – a start-up which aims to help aspiring entrepreneurs raise the profile of their companies and generate investment.