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:

Morocco is building a complex of four linked solar mega-plants that, alongside hydro and wind, will help provide nearly half of Morocco’s electricity from renewables by 2020. When the entire project is finished, it will be the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant in the world.

The project is a massive undertaking and is part of Morocco’s efforts to become a ‘global solar superpower’. The complex in Ouarzazate will take up the same amount of space as Morocco’s capital, Rabat, and will generate 580 megawatts of electricity.

The project, according to Science Alert, will employ mirrors to “reflect sunlight onto a small area, allowing the sun’s energy to heat up a solution that can later on be mixed with water – even hours after sunset – to create steam that turns energy-generating turbines.”

A simple gesture is having a huge charitable impact, causing more people to sign up to give blood in Stockholm, Sweden.

Every time a donor’s blood has saved a life, they get a thank you text. Blodcentralen, the Swedish blood service in Stockholm, started sending the messages to remind donors how important their contributions are. Donors get their first 'thank you' when they give blood, and later, they receive a follow-up text telling them when their blood has been used.

Blodcentralen also updates donors when blood supplies are running low so they can donate more. “It’s a great feeling to know you made such a big difference and maybe even saved someone else’s life,” Karolina Blom Wiberg, a spokesperson for Blodcentralen, said.

A former uber-capitalist hedge manager who gouged the price of an AIDS drug because he could is about to have his own business gouged, courtesy of the free market. Reviled Turing Pharmaceutical CEO, Martin Shkreli, bought the pharmaceutical last month only to spike its price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

Now a drug compounding company called Imprimis announced this week that it will sell a much cheaper alternative to the pharmaceutical. The competing drug, which contains the same active ingredients as Turing's Daraprim, will cost $99 for a 100-capsule bottle – just under $1 per pill. Daraprim is a prescription drug used to treat a rare parasitic infection in people with weakened immune systems, most notably those who have AIDS.

Virgin Trains has been announced as the newest member of British Cycling’s #ChooseCycling network joining almost 40 other major businesses, representing over 250,000 employees in pledging its support for the campaign, which is a key part of British Cycling’s aim to turn Britain into a true cycling nation.

The network, formed in March 2015, works to promote cycling as an everyday transport option; highlighting the role cycling can play in helping business thrive, encouraging people to live healthier lives and making Britain a more pleasant place to live.

"Virgin Trains are really pleased to be part of the #ChooseCycling Network. We love cycling and we are always looking at ways to make it part of the experience for our customers on the West Coast Mainline, whether you are commuting to work or discovering a new city on a weekend away, " Steve Tennant, executive director of customer experience at Virgin Trains, said.

In other news...

  • Lost Ocean is the stunning new colouring book from the creator of the worldwide multi-million copy bestsellers Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, Johanna Basford. The book, published by Virgin Books this week, invites you to discover an enchanting underwater world hidden beneath the waves by losing yourself on an artistic, imaginative journey.
  • Bronx planting caps off a drive to add a million trees – New York has planted its one millionth tree this week, capping a campaign reflecting the city’s determination to be in the vanguard of fighting climate change. The Million Trees NYC campaign in New York was supposed to take 10 years, but the initiative finished two years ahead of schedule.
  • IKEA Transforms kids' drawings into cuddly toys that raise money for charity  IKEA has produced a special line of 10 plush toys, all designed by children around the world. The limited-edition items are part of the Swedish company’s Soft Toys for Education Campaign, in which a portion of the sales from the super soft toys are given to UNICEF and Save the Children to support children’s education projects.

  • Palau creates world's sixth largest marine sanctuary – The Pacific island nation of Palau has become home to the sixth largest marine sanctuary in the world. The Micronesian reserve, now the largest in the Pacific, will not permit fishing or mining. 

  • United Biscuits crunches emissions with waste cooking oil-fuelled fleet – McVitie's biscuits, Jaffa Cakes and Twiglets are taking greener journeys to retail partners thanks to the extension of a biofuel project from manufacturer United Biscuits, which sees its delivery trucks powered by used cooking oil. The London-based biscuit and cake manufacturer has ramped up its successful green transport scheme, with 16 of its trucks now operating on duel-fuel systems, which generate carbon savings of 97 per cent compared to traditional diesel engines. 

  • Real Lives. Real Runners. – Watch this inspiring video from the Footlocker & Asics campaign, sharing stories of 'real runners' with 'real lives.' Jonathan Jordan was in jail when he started running and it helped him 'escape' the realities of his daily living. Jordan was released in May 2014 and he is running strong – every morning. 

What GOODnews stories have you come across this week? We'd love to hear them so please share in the comments box below or via social media using #GOODnews

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