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!
It can 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 round up...
According to the Washington Post, the average CEO in the US makes 300 times the pay of an average worker, a pattern repeated all over the world. But when Dan Price, the CEO of Seattle-based Gravity Payments, talked to his staff about the realities of living on average wages, he felt he had to do something. So, he’s raised the company’s starting salary from $48,000 to $70,000, and reduced his salary to help pay for it. As he put it, "This is a capitalist solution to a social problem. I think it pays for itself, I really do".
When Ashley Jiron discovered that someone had been rooting through her sandwich shop bins in search of food, she posted a lovely note in the window, inviting the unknown person to return and enjoy a free meal. As the Oklahoma lady put it, "You're a human being and worth more than a meal from a dumpster".
The Canadian city will power 100 per cent of its transportation, electricity, heating and air conditioning by green energy over the next couple of decades. Cities and urban areas are huge carbon emitters, so this is a fantastic and ambitious step and hopefully will show other cities and even entire countries what can be done.
Good news from these Caribbean islands where they’ve instituted a ban on international shark exports. According to Pew, about 100 million sharks are killed each year – this is about twice the rate at which they would naturally reproduce. Sharks are key predators and play an important role in maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems. In the Turks & Caicos, protecting these animals will help keep the islands’ coral reef ecosystems strong and support tourism activities.
In other news...
- Los Angeles publishes sustainability plan. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has big plans for the city. In 20 years’ time, half of all journeys will be made by foot, bike or public transport, 75 per cent of residents will live within half a mile of park or open space, and within half a mile of fresh food. And all within the context of population growth – the city expects half a million new residents in the same period, and they already don’t have enough local water for them all. It’s a tall order, but the first step to big change is having a vision. Good luck to the Angelenos!
- Start-ups & business re-using e-waste. With our constant desire for new phones, tablets and other electronic marvels, we’re producing an awful lot of waste that goes into landfill, some of it toxic. You can find a powerful photo story exploring the scale of the problem here. So it’s good to hear that a number of start-up and businesses are seeing an opportunity and turning our old electronics into something new. One teenager from Wisconsin organised an e-waste drive in his hometown and donated the $1,000 he raised to charity.
- Australian energy company to shut all its coal-fired power stations by 2050. Australia’s coal industry has been under increased scrutiny in recent years, and now one of the country’s biggest energy businesses is getting out of the fossil fuel. The shift was announced by CEO Andy Vesey who’s only been in post for two months. 2050 is too slow for many climate change campaigners, but could this begin a trend?
- Almost one third of UK consumers would pay higher energy bills to fund renewables. A new Ernest & Young survey has found that whilst Bbritish consumers are concerned about the cost of energy, 27 per cent would pay an extra £6 every month to help fund the development of renewables and 22 per cent would pay an extra £5 a month to help tackle climate change.
- Man suffering from cancer receives engagement ring gift. Josh Michaels is suffering from a stage four cancer and because of medical bills, he could not afford an engagement ring for his lovely fiancé who has supported him through his illness. But a mystery lady whose own engagement didn’t work out, found Josh via Facebook and donated her own ring.
- Professor invents world-first solar powered 3D printer. 3D printing has been talked about as a disruptive technology for some time. But if you don’t have access to electricity – like 1.6 billion people around the world, or those who’ve experienced a disaster – you can’t benefit. Now Joshua Pearce, from Michigan Technological University, has created an open source, solar-powered printer.