As this year continues to throw a couple curve balls, we thought we would highlight some of the good things that have come out of this crazy year so far.
1. The gene responsible for ALS has been found.
Thanks to the ice bucket challenge the gene responsible for ALS has been found, meaning we are closer to an effective treatment. The Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral in 2014 has funded more than 80 researchers in 11 countries that searched for ALS risk genes in families affected by the disease.
2. India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours.
Volunteers in India set a new wold record by planting 50 million trees in 24 hours. A monster 49.3 million tree saplings were planted on the 11th of July surpassing the previous record of 847,275 trees, set by Pakistan in 2013. A reported 800,000 volunteers from Uttar Pradesh worked for 24 hours planting 80 different species of trees along roads, railways, and on public land.
3. Ozone layer is on the mend.
The ozone layer is repairing itself and all the work we did to get rid of those aerosol chemicals was actually worth it. Scientists witnessed that the September ozone hole has shrunk by more than 4 million square kilometers.
4. The Anglican Church stepped up on same sex marriages.
The Anglican church resolved to solemnize same-sex unions the same as opposite-sex unions which required a super majority of all three orders of the church (lay, clergy, bishop).
5. Portugal runs 100% of the country on renewable energy.
Portugal ran its entire nation solely on renewable energy for four days straight. Electricity consumption in the country was fully covered by solar, wind and hydro power in an extraordinary 107-hour run that lasted from 6.45am on Saturday 7 May until 5.45pm the following Wednesday.
6. Starbucks unsold food to go to those in need.
Starbucks has figured out a way to donate perishable food in a food safe way to the needy. According to Feeding America, 70 billion pounds of food are wasted in the U.S. every year. Starbucks says it aims to donate 100% of what is left over at participating outposts, estimating it will be able to donate almost 5 million meals at the end of its first year.
7. French coal power plants gone by 2023.
French President has announced the closure of all French coal power plants by 2023 in exchange for hydro-electric and thermal alternatives. This is all in a bid to for global carbon neutrality by 2050.
8. Plane goes around the world with zero fuel.
In 2016, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, two Pilots and Founders of Solar Impulse, completed the first circumnavigation of the globe with no fuel. With their solar aircraft, a flying laboratory full of clean technologies, they flew 40,000 km to promote the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency on the ground, for a better quality of life.
9. Study concludes positive news leads to positive feelings.
A study from the University of East London has concluded that consuming positive news can lead to an increased acceptance of others, a feeling of community and motivation to contribute to social change.
If you have any uplifting stories from the year or have come across any, please share!