Reasons to be cheerful about the planet
It might seem easy to sink into doom and gloom about the state of the environment, but there are glimmers of hope out there. Here are five things that are making us feel optimistic right now
Seeds from the sky
Could an army of seed-firing drones be the answer to the planet's biodiversity loss? This Australian start-up certainly thinks so. AirSeed Technology is on a mission to plant 100 million trees by 2024 using drones that fire specially designed seed pods from the sky. Each drone can plant over 40,000 seed pods a day and flies autonomously, making them 25 times faster and 80% cheaper than traditional methods.
Zero waste for the win
Supermarkets aren't exactly known for their work to cut down single-use plastics, but that's starting to change. Consumers in the UK will soon have access to refillable groceries, with Waitrose, Ocado, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons all pledging to roll out unpackaged options for items such as grains, nuts and cereals in their shops and during home deliveries by the end of the year.
Deep sea delights
Scientists diving in the South Pacific have discovered a vast, pristine coral reef, which appears to be completely untouched by human activity. Located in the waters off Tahiti's coastline, the reef network stretches for three kilometres and features beautiful (and extremely rare) rose-shaped corals.
Green goes sky-high
China has just created its first ever “Vertical Forest City” which will be home to 500 people and over 5,000 trees and shrubs. Designed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri and built in the city of Huanggang, the five-tower blocks will absorb around 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and emit 10 tonnes of oxygen.
Small but mighty
You've probably never heard of it, but that shouldn't stop you from rejoicing at the news that the Mexican tequila fish has been saved from extinction. The tiny freshwater species disappeared from the wild in 2003, but thanks to a conservation collaboration between Chester Zoo and the Michoacana University of Mexico, over 1,500 of the tiny splitfins have now been successfully released into the Teuchitlán River.
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