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)

Counterspin: Richard Wiles on fossil fuel lies

The predictable harms of fossil fuels are forever "raising questions" for elite media. What would happen if they were seen as answering them?
Sunrise in the woods

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BP criticised over plan to spend billions more on fossil fuels than green energy

BP has been accused of prioritising fossil fuels over green energy as it plans to spend as much as double the amount on oil and gas projects than on renewable investments next year.

Saudi Arabia determined to protect, preserve its vegetation cover

The Saudi government is determined to curb activities that threaten the environment to protect its vegetation cover, reduce desertification, combat climate change and improve quality of life and protect the planet for future generations.

How climate change impacts hibernation

When winter descends on Indiana, furry, scaly and slimy creatures alike hunker down for hibernation. However, warmer and shorter winters are causing some species to sleep later – or not at all.

3 reasons local climate activism is more powerful than people realize

Why do so few adults participate in actions to encourage governments to do more about climate change? The answer may have to do with "response skepticism"

Biggest climate toll in year of ‘devastating’ disasters revealed

The 10 most expensive storms, floods and droughts in 2022 each cost at least $3bn (£2.5bn) in a “devastating” year on the frontline of the climate crisis, a report shows.

Los Angeles taps contaminated aquifers at Superfund sites to boost drinking water supplies

Los Angeles is nearly finished with a $600 million project in the east San Fernando Valley that will turn contaminated groundwater from Superfund sites into drinking water for as many as 261,000 households annually.

From our Newsroom
Pittsburgh environmental

What I learned reporting on environmental health in Pittsburgh in 2022

For a lot of people, 2022 felt like the first “normal” year since 2020. It didn’t for me.

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.

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