Betty White’s 100th birthday would have been on January 17th, and animal lovers decided to honor her with a wildly successful fundraiser! A whopping 12.7 million dollars was raised by the #BettyWhiteChallenge to support animal shelters and rescues. Betty was a passionate animal lover, so it’s wonderful to see her memory honored in such a wonderful way! Check out the whole story here.
Good news! On October 11, The Ocean Cleanup project finished their final test run of System 002, designed to clear plastic garbage out of the ocean. The test run cleaned 20,000 pounds of garbage out of the water!
Their goal is to clean most of the Pacific Garbage Patch by 2040. Much of this trash consists of fishing nets and other commercial fishing debris, while the rest is consumer plastic that ends up in the water system. While there’s still a big path ahead, it’s wonderful to hear that the test run was successful, and we could be on the way to a cleaner ocean very soon!
According to the news, the world is going to hell in a handbasket, getting worse and worse every day. But that’s rarely the truth — the news wants us to be stressed and worried, because they think we’ll tune in more and buy more from their advertisers.
In reality, good things happen every day! In a lot of ways, 2018 was a rough year, but it was also a year when we made a lot of progress in multiple areas.
A couple of years ago, 13-year-old Jaequan Faulkner started a hot dog stand selling hot dogs, chips, and soda to the locals. Most everyone loved it, but one person didn’t – and they reported him to the city for lack of a food vendor permit.
But instead of shutting him down, Minneapolis Health Director Dan Huff took a more positive route and helped Jaequan qualify as a real business! The health department paid his permit fee, equipped him with a thermometer and a hand-washing station, and trained him in food safety regulations. They even set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to buy him a mobile hot dog stand.
Jaequan originally started the business to help him work through depression and raise funds to buy clothes. It’s so nice to see that city officials have a heart and are working with him to make his small business a success!
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In recent years we’ve been learning about the negative effects that waste plastic has on our oceans and on marine life. A regular plastic water bottle takes an average of 450 years to decompose, and in the meantime it chokes wildlife and clogs up delicate ecosystems.
One startup has a special water bottle in development – one that completely biodegrades in 3 weeks. This bottle, developed by 27-year-old James Longcroft and his company “Choose Water”, is made completely of paper, with a steel cap. All of the materials used in the bottles break down into non-toxic substances that don’t harm the environment or hurt wildlife.
Even better, the company has pledged to donate profits to Water for Africa, a charity that helps rural communities get clean water.
Choose Water had an Indiegogo campaign earlier this year that met 144% of the funding goals, so hopefully we should be seeing these cool new bottles on store shelves soon!