GOOD NEWS: Things to Be Hopeful About For Earth Day

Good News! Earth Day: 10 Things to Be Excited About. Change is Possible. Text over image of the world on a blue background

GOOD NEWS: Things to Be Hopeful About For Earth Day

If you Google "plastic pollution," or "climate change" or "environmental justice," the internet paints a bleak picture. And I'm not going to lie- it *is* bleak. 


To assume everything is bleak and hopeless, I find, leads to despair and throwing up hands saying "why bother?" when the truth is: our actions DO matter. The choices we make DO have an impact. 

And if you care about the Earth, you're definitely not alone!

Here are some things you can be excited about on Earth Day:

1. SWAY is creating plastic alternatives from seaweed. These responsibly-sourced seaweed-based plastics would be fully home compostable and 100% biodegradable. Remember, the plastics industry is heavily subsidized. Human beings made that choice- and we can make the choice to subsidize and support other, healthier alternatives. 

2. Blueland is campaigning for a bill in NYC introduced by Council Member James Gennaro that would prohibit the sale of laundry and dishwasher sheets that contain PVA/PVOH, a flexible plastic that breaks down into microplastics. Corporations are not going to kick their plastic packaging without a fight. This is one fight that could lead folks to try lower-waste alternatives, like laundry powder or tablets. 

3. The state of New York is also suing PepsiCo for failing to warn the public about the health and environmental risks of plastic pollution AND misleading consumers about their efforts to combat pollution. More than 17% of plastic trash in the Buffalo River could be traced to specific brands. Lawsuits like these could force more polluters to be accountable for the waste they create. 

4. Non-profit The Ocean Clean Up has removed over 17 million pounds of plastic from the ocean. Removing plastic litter from the ocean makes a difference in the lives of marine animals.

5. Companies like Parcel Health and Cabinet Health offer alternatives to single-use plastic in over-the-counter and prescription medication. In one of the earliest videos I made, I spoke about un-avoidable plastics, specifically around medications, so I am thrilled to see that alternatives exist! 

6. Mexico announced 13 new protected national parks and flora and fauna protection areas across the country, making 200 total federally protected areas for wildlife to exist freely. 

7. The 8th jaguar was photographed in the wild since 1996. The species is largely extinct in the US. Their historic range included large parts of the southeastern US, but were forced out by habitat loss and hunting. We might be seeing the natural comeback of jaguars, thanks in part to conservation efforts in Mexico as well as the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 

8. According to the International Energy Agency, the world added 50% more renewable capacity in 2023 than in the previous year. The largest growth took place in China. While there are obstacles such as a lack of financing, waste caused by the industry, etc., it is exciting to see that we could have more renewable, sustainable energy. Imagine the world if no one nation had to rely on fossil fuels for the bulk of its energy! While many political leaders claim the way to energy and national security is through drilling,  renewables could be a better path. (Also, this speech from Senator Chris Murphy de-bunks these claims.)

9.The Chesapeake Bay's 'dead zone'- an area of low oxygen caused by polluted run-off-  is the smallest since monitoring began in 1985. Conscious efforts to reduce pollution across the bay is allowing marine life like oysters and crabs to flourish. Comebacks like the Bay's shows that we CAN make a difference through political and social actions. 

10. The proliferation of Farmer's Markets, bulk stores, and refill shops give consumers a way to shop locally AND with less or no waste! Find a shop near you or cruise the From Here to Home shop for your essentials. 

Corporations will not give up plastic out of concern for the planet- it is up to *us* to help build a market and path forward for low-waste, plastic-free, and eco-friendly products! 

While we did not create the plastic problem, we can each be a part of the solution. Call your representatives to support bills that hold polluters accountable, make simple plastic-free swaps in your life, and choose to shop local when you can. Your actions make a difference AND you never know who you will inspire along the way!