butterfly

Our top 5 good news stories of 2021

It's not all doom and gloom.

As we reflect on the past year, let's remember the good — the people, communities, ideas, and science that are creating a more healthy and sustainable planet.


The environment can be a depressing beat. But here are the top five good news stories from our newsroom over the past year that remind us there is hope.

1. The pesticide ban movement gains momentum

pesticide ban

Cities and counties are increasingly banning toxic pesticides—and some are taking aim at fertilizers.

2. A Listen Into Landscape

good news podcast

A series of audio postcards spotlighting peace, place, and connection to landscape from the perspective of those working in nature.

3. How artificial intelligence can help save us from air pollution

artificial intelligence

Researchers find AI may outperform traditional models, which could give more advance warning of bad air days, and reduce harmful exposures and hospital visits.

4. From butterfly wings to shrimp claws: Mimicking nature on the nanoscale

green chemistry

Innovators look to biomimicry to address sustainability challenges.

5. Planting a million trees in the semi-arid desert to combat climate change

planting trees

Tucson's ambitious tree planting goal aims to improve the health of residents, wildlife, and the watershed.

Have a good news story tip? We want to hear about it, write us at feedback@ehn.org.

Banner photo: Metalmark Butterfly. (Credit: Andreas Kay/flickr)

Great Bear Lake Indigenous protected area
Opus Penguin/Flickr

Great Bear Lake on track to become protected area

The Sahtu ́K’aowe Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area is set to move ahead and conserve the world’s eighth largest lake, after an announcement at COP15 biodiversity conference.

Sunrise in the woods

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When climate change threatens cemeteries, how do communities cope?

How do you protect the dead when graveyards are at risk in a changing Arctic? Northern Canada's communities are confronting a sensitive question.
Electrification to cut LNG CO2 emissions
Bruno Jargot/Flickr

Electrification will cut CO2 emissions to zero at Hammerfest LNG

Petroleum company Equinor and partners on Tuesday submitted a billions-worth investment plan to upgrade production and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions at Europe's northernmost production plant for liquid natural gas (LNG).

‘It was a set-up, we were fooled’: The coal mine that ate an Indian village

In a pristine forest in central India, the multibillion-dollar mining giant Adani has razed trees – and homes – to dig more coal. How does this kind of destruction get the go-ahead?

N.Y. adopts cap and trade as a pillar of climate action

Sales of gasoline powered cars would be banned in 2035, natural gas hookups in new homes would be prohibited starting in 2025 and a statewide cap and trade program would be implemented by the end of the decade under the recommendations approved by a New York climate committee Monday.

The flight of the spoonbills holds lessons for a changing Everglades—and World
Pete Myers

The flight of the spoonbills holds lessons for a changing Everglades—and World

As sea-level rise transforms South Florida’s fringe of wetlands into open ocean, Roseate Spoonbills are moving north. Land managers are following their lead, restoring the ecosystem with an eye for resilience, too.

One farmer set off a solar energy boom in rural Minnesota; 10 years later, here’s how it worked out

Local concerns about solar’s impact on property values, the environment and health so far have been unfounded, but residents are still divided on whether the panels are ideal neighbors, or eyesores.

From our Newsroom
renewable energy at schools

Western Pennsylvania can meet its climate goals — if the region stops subsidizing natural gas

A new proposed plan would lead to a 97% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and create 15,353 new jobs by 2050.

fracking pennsylvania

Revealed: Nearly 100 potential PFAS-polluted sites in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia from fracking waste

A new map reveals at least 97 new locations that could have been contaminated by the industry’s use of “forever chemicals”

young scientists

Op-ed: Why academic journals need to embrace youth

We’re tired of hearing leaders say we need creative solutions to climate issues, and then ignoring the creative solutions youth present.

Europe forest

EU’s new climate change plan will cause biodiversity loss and deforestation: Analysis

In a plan full of sustainable efforts, the incentivizing of biomass burning has climate experts concerned.

United Nations climate change

Op-ed: It’s time to re-think the United Nations’ COP climate negotiations

Instead of focusing on negotiations, let the main event be information sharing, financing and partnerships that produce faster technological change.

population environmental

Op-ed: What the media gets wrong about the new world population numbers

The last time that we lived within the productivity limits of our planet was about 50 years ago — that is a problem.

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