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)

pipeline protest
Protesters rallying in opposition to the PennEast pipeline. (Credit: Delaware Riverkeeper Network)

Protesting oil and gas line development harms mental health and creates distrust in government: Study

“The number of stress-activated health conditions people reported was quite staggering."

PITTSBURGH — Engaging in public participation during permitting for oil and gas pipelines often harms mental health and creates distrust in government, according to a new study.

Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less

Gulf Coast sees petrochemical surge, raising environmental and economic concerns

A new report highlights the rapid expansion of petrochemical facilities along the Gulf Coast, drawing billions in tax breaks despite pollution concerns.

Dylan Baddour reports for Inside Climate News.

Keep reading...Show less
petrochemicals Texas
Cristina Lazo starts the daily routine of washing her daughter Alina’s hands, changing clothes and rubbing an ointment on her irritated eyes after coming home from the outside. (Credit: Danielle Villasana for The Texas Tribune)

Toxic air lingers in Texas Latino community, revealing failures in state’s air monitoring system

This project was created through the Altavoz Lab Environmental Fellowship in partnership with Environmental Health Sciences and received additional funding from the Pulitzer Center. It was co-published by The Texas Tribune, Environmental Health News and palabra.

Keep reading...Show less

Maryland hesitates on cutting subsidies for trash incineration, sparking debates

In Maryland, discussions intensify over ending subsidies for trash incineration, with advocates urging action before a legislative deadline.

Aman Azhar reports for Inside Climate News.

Keep reading...Show less

GOP's climate change stance remains largely symbolic

As the climate crisis commands global attention, a narrative surfaces every so often about Republicans' purported shift toward environmental action. Yet, despite the creation of entities like the Conservative Climate Caucus, substantial action remains elusive, signaling more of a strategic rebranding than a genuine pivot.

Kate Aronoff reports for The New Republic.

Keep reading...Show less

Rethinking Pennsylvania's hydrogen hub and its public backlash

In a sharp rebuke to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro's support for a federally-funded "hydrogen hub," activists, led by Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum, demand more community engagement, raising concerns over environmental and health impacts.

Kiley Bense reports for Inside Climate News.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
petrochemicals Texas

El aire tóxico en una comunidad latina de Texas revela los fallos del sistema estatal de control de calidad del aire

Los datos públicos de una red de monitores estatales del aire alrededor del Canal de Navegación de Houston son difíciles de interpretar y a menudo son insuficientes, dejando a vecindarios de mayoría latina, como Cloverleaf, sin saber si el aire que respiran es seguro.

Global Plastic Treaty

This will be a big year in shaping the future of chemical recycling

The controversial practice looms large in state environmental laws, federal regulation and global plastic treaty negotiations.

plastic chemical recycling

What is chemical recycling?

While industry claims it could be part of a circular plastics economy, experts say that chemical recycling is extremely damaging to the environment and provides no real benefits.

algoma steel sault pollution

Cleaner steelmaking can’t come fast enough for this Northern Ontario city

Algoma Steel continues to exceed Canada’s standard air pollution limits for cancer-causing compounds and struggles with spills as it pushes toward a “green” makeover.

petrochemical shell pennsylvania plastic

Tracking petrochemical accidents across the US

A new database monitors fires, flares, spills and other accidents at petrochemical plants.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.