Since March, every week we’ve been sharing positive and inspiring news stories with you to lift your (and our) spirits. We did some super-scientific analysis and can now present to you your favourites from the last year. Turns out penguins are a win!
Should nature, like humans, be given protective rights?
Yes, of course! The WEF ran this story and we couldn’t agree more. It’s already happened in some places, for example the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India, Whanganui river in New Zealand.
When David Attenborough became a teacher
Back in April, when UK schools were forced shut, David Attenborough and a few other celebrities volunteered to produce some online learning materials for pupils at home. Favourite teacher ever?
140-year-old tortoise wearing her baby as a hat
We’re a sucker for cute animals, and so are you it seems! These tiny baby tortoises taking a ride on momma were just what we needed back in May.
Some seals singing Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’
A lot of people suddenly had a lot of time on their hands back in May and this will go down as classic 2020 material. Utterly hilarious.
Lots of baby turtles
A silver lining of lockdown is that nature got something of a respite from human activities. As a result, record numbers of baby turtles hatched on a beach in India.
Nature reclaiming land vacated by humans
These beautiful shots of abandoned towns and buildings being reclaimed by nature are a reminder of our precarious and temporary presence on this Earth.
Britain goes coal free
A huge success story of recent years is the rise in renewable energy sources. As such, back in June, the UK went two full months without coal power, unthinkable even a decade ago.
No waste Japanese village
This small village in Japan is a world leader in recycling, separating waste into no fewer than 45 categories. They recycle 81% of waste, 61% above the national average.
Making sneakers from coffee
Turns out there might be some hypebeasts amongst you, much like this sneaker-obsessed pair of entrepreneurs based in Helsinki who are turning coffee grounds into sneakers.
Scandalous antics of penguins in Japanese aquarium
Who knew penguins were such promiscuous animals? The staff of an aquarium in Japan released a chart outlining their tangled love lives and it’s quite the soap opera.
The creatures of the night sea
The sea at night is an active place full of bizarre, jittery creatures that come up from the depths to feed. These amazing shots showcase this weird cast in all their technicolour glory, the juvenile cowfish being a personal favourite.
Huge new penguin colony spotted from space
Antarctica is famously big, and white, so a large brown stain can only mean one thing—a penguin colony! In this case, the hardy emperors.
Penguin reunites with his best human friend
More penguins! One of our favourite feel-good stories of the year, and yours, was the story of a penguin called Dindim who, every year, returns to visit the man who rescued him after an oil spill.
Outrageous dance moves of birds
Birds are known for their arial acrobatics but turns out they’re good dancers as well. Some fire moves from albatrosses, grouses and, of course, birds of paradise.
A teenage wombat nightmare
This adorable little wombat hits puberty and turns into a (still adorable) little Tazmanian devil.
Tiny Miyawaki forests to fight climate change
These awesome little urban forests, the size of tennis courts, are powerful carbon sinks and provide much needed natural relief amidst the urban sprawl.
Prefabricated zero-carbon house in Costa Rica
Stunning, low impact architecture made you all a bit envious back in September.
Duckling in a flower hat
Our hearts, and yours, were melted by this little duckling wearing a flower hat. SO CUTE.
Europe’s largest marine protected area
2020 was actually a pretty good year for marine protection, with Scotland protecting 100,000 sq km of the north-east Atlantic.
A green baby puppy
If there was ever an emotive headline. A proud dog owner in Italy welcomed an extremely rare green puppy into the world. Name: Pistachio, of course.
Greta Thunberg’s ‘recycled takedown’ of Trump
Don’t mess with Greta. The teenage environmentalist sensation makes Trump look the fool he is with this delicious takedown turning his own words against him.
Norway’s funky passport designs
Norway has a close connection with nature and their new passport designs featuring the Northern Lights capture it perfectly.
Biden’s $2 trillion climate action plan
Since becoming president-elect Biden has been making all the right noises regarding climate, particularly with this $2 trillion(!) plan combining climate action with economic recovery.
Kenyan president saves ancient fig tree
Nature needs all the help we can give it and it took the president of Kenya to step in and save this century-old fig tree from being cut down to make room for a highway.
24-hour plant timelapse
Plants move quite a bit during the day but we don’t notice it. This cool timelapse shows just how much they do.
Germany’s reuse department store
Berlin is making shopping sustainable by opening the first reuse department store! Damaged items like clothes, furniture and electronics are repaired and sold again to promote a circular economy that greatly reduces waste.
Student making solar panels from food waste
Turns out it’s not just sneakers that can be made from food waste. These bright students from Mapua university in the Philippines have figured out a way of making super efficient solar panels from fruits and veg.
UK to end overseas fossil fuel projects
As part of something of an environmental flurry that has bookended the tail end of 2020, in which we’ve seen ambitious emissions pledges from the likes the the US, Europes, China, Japan and Korea, the UK has announced it will no longer help to fund international fossil fuel projects.
Bonus: The woman in Limerick who opened a bat hospital in her back garden
Nature is great for our physical and mental wellbeing. When Susan Kerwin was recovering from cancer she spent a lot of time in her garden watching bats and became fascinated with them. This compelled her to open a dedicated hospital in her garden to care for injured bats. Feels.
Thanks for spending the last year or so with #agoodcommunity. We'll be back in the new year with more interviews, editorials and news. If you have anything you'd like to share, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy holidays!