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:

 

As teams from across the world compete in the Rugby World Cup, the workers behind the scenes have been locked in an ongoing scrum to make the World Cup 'the greenest yet'. 

From constructing arenas with 70 per cent recycled materials, to reducing water consumption by 50 per cent, to the AMEX stadium in Brighton becoming the first building of its kind in the UK to achieve BREEAM rating – this year’s World Cup is setting all types of impressive records.

To read more of the green #goodnews from the Rugby World Cup check out these impressive eco-friendly facts.

All of Medicine Hat’s 60,000 residents are sleeping with a roof over their heads. The Canadian city’s new policy ensures housing for anyone who has spent 10 days in a shelter or on the streets.

Medicine Hat is the first city in Canada to officially end homelessness through the ‘Housing First’ plan – giving homeless people a place to live and then tackling the underlying causes of their homelessness. 

The city started building new homes for the homeless in 2009 and has moved nearly 900 people off the streets since then. It costs the city about $20,000 a year to house a homeless person — but $100,000 a year if they are living on the streets.

Image by Eduardo Sorenson of The Pew Charitable Trusts

Chile announced on Monday that it will create two new marine conservation parks in its Pacific waters. President Michelle Bachelet announced the new reserves, which are rich in marine life, at the opening of an international conference on the protection of the oceans.

One park will include Easter Island, 3,800 km off Chile's coast – the second will be created around the Juan Fernandez archipelago, to help rebuild depleted fish stocks. Together they will cover more than a million sq km where commercial fishing will be banned.

The news was greeted warmly by environmentalists and the Rapa Nui, the indigenous inhabitants of Easter Island. Joshua S. Reichert, who leads environment initiatives at the Pew Charitable Trusts, called it "an important step toward establishing the world's first generation of great parks in the sea".

Read Richard Branon’s blog celebrating the momentous Easter Island marine park.

Paris’s ‘day without cars’ last week led to such a dramatic drop in both air and noise pollution that the mayor’s office is now planning more vehicle-free days in the French capital.

Airparif, which measures city pollution levels, said levels of nitrogen dioxide dropped by up to 40 per cent in parts of the city on Sunday September 27th. There was almost one-third less nitrogen dioxide pollution on the busy Champs Elyées than on a similar Sunday!

City mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has made reducing Paris’s worryingly high pollution levels a top priority, said she hoped to introduce a regular citywide vehicle ban. “We might envisage days without cars more often … perhaps even once a month,” she wrote on Twitter.

In other news...

  • Refugees to receive free education from online university – A new online university preparing to launch later this month plans to help refugees continue their education and work toward a brighter future  – for free. The Berlin-based Kiron University has partnered with more than 20 universities throughout the world in order to offer a free, three-year program that will grant students an internationally accredited degree.
  • Memphis teacher walks students home from school – Carl Schneider and four other teachers from Memphis, Tennessee, voluntarily walk their elementary school students home after school everyday – making sure that the 200 students who live within a two-mile radius of the school get home safely.
  • Wales recycling rates are on the up – The rising recycling rates in Wales have prompted calls for the rest of the UK to follow suit and develop clearer, more coherent national waste management strategies in order to reach EU targets. New annual figures released by the Welsh Government this week reveal that the country’s household recycling rate hit 56.2 per cent in 2014/15, a 1.9 per cent year-on-year increase.
  • It’s Social Saturday on October 10  –  A day to raise awareness of just how easy it is to support social enterprises and use your spending power to make a positive difference to the world we live in. To get involved visit the social directory and choose what project to support with your purchase.
  • Best-selling authors donate book profits to Syrian refugee relief – Dozens of notable authors are getting on the same page to support the Syrian refugee relief. Beginning on Thursday, UK book retailer Waterstones is giving 100 per cent of sales from select titles to Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal. 

Comment