Hello everyone! I am well aware of the fact that reading about the environment these days can be especially disheartening, even more so as time goes on. However, there's always a good side to everything. That’s why today, I wanted to bring you a list of 5 good pieces of environmental news, in no particular order, to brighten up your day. Keep reading to find out what they are!
1. AirSeed Technology, an Australian start-up, is fighting deforestation with their drones! Their highly advanced fleet of drones have specially-designed seed pods that can be fired into the ground from high altitudes. According to Andrew Walker, the CEO and co-founder of the startup, each drone flies autonomously (meaning they are not directly controlled by a person) and plants 400 seeds per day, which is 25 times faster than traditional methods while still being 80% cheaper. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me!
Even more impressive is the use of biotechnology in the seed pods themselves. Not only are they carefully selected for each type of habitat the drones fly over, but are also made using waste biomass. This forms a carbon-rich coating that “protects the seed from different types of wildlife, but also supports the seed once it germinates and really helps deliver all of those nutrients and mineral sources that it needs, along with some probiotics to really boost early-stage growth," Walker says.
While in flight, the drones travel across fixed paths, recording the coordinates of each pod, which allows AirSeed to monitor the health of their trees. Even though they’ve already planted 50K trees, AirSeed aims to plant 100 million by 2024.
2. Marine researchers have discovered one of the largest coral reefs off of the coastline of Tahiti, and even better, it appears to be completely unharmed due to human activity! This is truly amazing news, as coral reefs are an absolute necessity to marine ecosystems. Not only do they provide a home to about 25% of all marine life, but are also a source of food for marine life and protect coastlines from severe weather, along with countless other benefits. Unfortunately, rising water temperatures from global warming have caused a widespread phenomenon called coral bleaching, in which the symbiotic algae in the reefs turn white, essentially killing them and thus depriving the surrounding ecosystems of their benefits. The fact that this new reef shows signs of no bleaching makes it all the more great!
3. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is paving the way in the race for sustainable living, implementing a number of drastic changes that earned it the title of the European Green Capital of 2023 from the European Commission. Among these changes include an increase in green space (parks now make up 19.5% of the city!), encouraging said green space to remain "wild” in order to promote insect pollination, and providing clean, free public transportation to its citizens.
The real kicker here is that the city hasn’t always been like this. Tallinn used to be home to countless industries that significantly contributed to environmental issues, such as minerals and paper. Their complete “rebranding” proves that realistic environmental change is possible. Krista Kampus, the city’s head of development, puts it perfectly when she says that “In the short term, we have to make investments and we have to spend some money, but if the result is a better, greener, more liveable city for everyone, then I think this is money worth spending." I hope that other cities follow Tallinn’s lead soon!
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