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...

Image (c) Imaire Depoli

Happy 90th birthday Virunga National Park!

Last year Richard Branson, Archbishop Tutu and Howard Buffett called for oil exploration to be stopped in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and later UK oil company Soco committed to ending exploration there. Virunga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one quarter of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas. It’s also Africa’s oldest national park – 90 years old this week! It doesn’t quite mean we can rest up though, as WWF explain there’s still much to do to protect this special place.

“I am his hands, he is my eyes”

Beautiful story on the BBC’s Ouch blog about two disabled men in China who by working in partnership have planted 10,000 trees to stop their village from flooding, improve the environment and get an income.

Jia Haixia is blind and Jia Wenqi is a double arm amputee, and Wenqi climbs on Haixia’s shoulders to reach cuttings high up bigger trees. What amazing things we can achieve when we work together!

Shoes that grow with you

When Kenton Lee was working at an orphanage in Kenya he noticed a little girl whose toes were showing through her broken shoes.

Going barefoot means that kids can pick up infections and diseases that can stop them from attending school. So he did what any entrepreneurially minded person does – he saw an opportunity and ended up designing The Shoe That Grows.

The shoes expand and are predicted to last for a minimum of five years. 2,500 children in seven countries are now wearing them.

Shake your power: a musical instrument that creates energy

Sudha Kheterpal is a professional percussionist and was a member of the 90s group Faithless. Twenty years ago she was wondering whether the kinetic energy created by groups of people at concerts could somehow be harnessed.

Now she’s done it – by designing the SPARK, a percussion shaker that charges a battery whilst it’s being played. Check out her Tedx talk.

In other news…

  • Girl who lost her leg in Boston marathon bombing runs part of 2015 race. Rebekah Gregory DiMartino was watching the Boston marathon two years ago when a bomb went off nearby. She ended up having to have her left leg amputated late last year after many operations. She had a hard journey and many dark days, but this week she ran 3.5 miles of the Boston marathon on her new prosthetic leg. On her Instagram feed after the race she quoted from the Bible, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
  • Nut innovation! Ferrero, maker of Ferrero Rocher & Nutella, is experimenting with packaging from waste nut shells; Japanese researchers are trying to make plastic out of cashew nut shells; and in Australia and Turkey they are turning waste nut shells into energy!
  • All of Apple’s US operations are now run on renewable energy. And that’s not all – they’re working on two huge solar power projects in China.
  • Beautiful act of kindness on NY subway. One commuter caught a special scene on the 6 Train between the Bronx and Brooklyn Bridge this week. One young man bought a flower seller’s entire stock of roses and asked her to give them away to those she met. After crying, she asked everyone in the carriage to come and get a rose.
  • US Organic food sales grew in 2014. According to the Organic Trade Association, sales went up by 11 per cent to $35.9 billion last year. It’s a significant spike since they started tracking figures in 1997. Organic food now accounts for 5 per cent of total food sales in the US, and organic fruit and vegetables now account for 12 per cent of all produce sold. Organic is good news because it involves more environmentally and animal friendly farming methods, including relying far less on artificial fertilisers and pesticides.

Have you spotted any good news you want to shout about? Get in touch with us via Twitter or Facebook using #GOODNews, we’d love to include your stories in future editions!

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