Environmental concernclimate doom, environmental existential dread—as environmental journalists, we see these terms used a lot—and often our own.
While there is much to worry about when it comes to climate and nature crises, we must not lose hope – because despair breeds apathy.
The media plays an important role in combating climate doom. It is our duty to be honest and accurate in our reporting, and not to try to belittle or whitewash the situation. But it is also our duty to prove that it exists Hopes.
In 2022, as part of our ongoing efforts to address environmental concern (both from our readers and ours), we’ve been following up on all the positive environmental news throughout the year – crunching over 100 stories of environmental innovations, green hacks, and climate wins.
If you come across a great, positive story that we haven’t covered here – please reach out to us on Instagram or Twitter to share your thoughts.
Positive environmental stories from January 2023
Wind power capacity in Finland increased by 75 percent last year, according to the Finnish Wind Power Association (FWPA).
As nearly half of Finland’s wind power is locally owned, the renewable energy source provides an important lifeline during the current energy crisis.
Growth in renewables is also helping Finland achieve its ambitious climate goals. The country hopes to be one of the first European nations to reach net zero, setting a target of 2035 – well ahead of the EU’s target of 2050.
Hit UK reality TV show ‘Love Island’ returns January 16th – and the pre-loved fashionistas are set to steal the show once again.
In 2022, the series is shedding its fast-fashion image by partnering with eBay — the first beloved pre-fashion partnership on a TV show. The contestants dressed in clothes from the online eBay second-hand marketplace as they descended on an exotic site to find love.
Searches for “pre-loved clothing” rose 1,600 percent on eBay after the show aired.
Scientists have developed a way to convert plastic waste and greenhouse gases into sustainable fuel using solar energy.
The system, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could tackle plastic pollution and become a “game-changer” in developing a circular economy.
Human emissions of certain chemicals cause a hole in the ozone layer every year over Antarctica. This affects ozone’s ability to protect life on Earth from the sun’s harmful rays.
Now, the 1987 Montreal Protocol, under which 197 countries pledged to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals, is bearing fruit.
A UN-backed panel of experts, presenting at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society yesterday, said ozone will heal by 2066 over the Antarctic, by 2045 over the North Pole, and by 2040 for the rest of the world.
A large solar power plant has been built in Dagbili, on the outskirts of Antalya, Turkey, to provide free energy to local farmers.
Local farmers at the Fruit and Vegetable Growing Center say they once refrained from properly irrigating their crops because of soaring energy prices. About 60,000 people are now benefiting from the subsidy scheme, which gives farmers the means to operate irrigation systems and increase crop production.
Spain has ruled that tobacco companies must pay to clean cigarette butts.
Millions of cigarettes are thrown onto the streets and beaches of Spain by smokers every year.
New environmental regulations also include bans on single-use plastic cutlery and plastic straws. The provisions are part of an EU-wide campaign to reduce waste and promote recycling.
The British government has announced that single-use plastic items, including cutlery and plates, will soon be banned in England.
Each year, the country uses about 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion pieces of cutlery, according to government estimates. Only 10 percent of these materials are recycled.
Now, Environment Secretary Therese Coffey has confirmed that such substances will be banned in England.
A Belgian NGO uses human hair clippings to absorb environmental pollutants.
Confetti is collected from hairdressers across the country and then made into filler squares. They can be used to absorb oil and other hydrocarbons that pollute the environment.
Mats can be placed in drains to absorb contamination in the water before it reaches the river. They can also be used to deal with pollution problems from floods and to clean up oil spills.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as Brazil’s president in January, ushering in a new era for the country’s environmental policies.
Lula’s plans for the government present a stark contrast to former far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro, whose four years in office were marked by a retreat from environmentalism.
The new president says he wants to turn Brazil, one of the world’s largest food producers, into a green superpower.
Our favorite positive environmental story since 2022
In the wild, the two-headed turtle usually cannot survive for long because it cannot retract its head into its shell for protection from predators. But this month, Janus — named after the two-faced Roman god — became the world’s oldest two-headed tortoise at the age of 25.
Lovingly cared for at the Natural History Museum in Geneva, he is treated to a personal care regimen – including daily massages and green tea baths – that keeps him healthy.
For more environmental good news from the past year, check out all of Euronews Green Positive environmental stories From 2022.