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Exiting the Anthropocene and entering the Symbiocene, a plan for a zero carbon cement industry in Australia, L.A. paying homeowners to build granny flats, and Germany turns the table on a Nazi march

Glenn Aalbrecht argues that it's time to start exiting the Anthropocene and entering a new era, the Symbiocene - the

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Australian gun amnesty, open defecation ends in Bangladesh, and Family Independence Initiative helps families lift themselves out of poverty

Social change on a massive scale is possible! Australians have turned in 12,500 guns in the first weeks of a national amnesty and are now more likely

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Aldi rolls out natural refrigerants, 'Zero Waste Revolutionaries' in Indonesia, grizzly bear trophy hunting banned in British Columbia and 'Quiet Hour' shopping introduced in Victoria

There are so many ways people are working on 'The Big Fix'! Aldi has rolled out natural refrigerants across all its UK

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Louisville, the 'compassionate city', Seattle banning criminal background checks for renters, and outdoor sleeping policy at childcare centre

In 2011 Mayor Greg Fischer pledged to make Louisville a "compassionate city" and he's subsequently been including compassion into every aspect of the city's design; 

Legal support to prevent eviction, Virginia Governor tells white supremacists to go home, and world's biggest solar thermal plant for South Australia

New York City is now providing legal representation to any low-income resident facing eviction; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has told white

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The Eden Project coming to China, Australia and New Zealand; Sydney's underwater seaweed forests are being successfully restored; as is the Scottish native forest of Carrifran

The Eden Project is coming to China, Australia and New Zealand; Sydney's underwater seaweed forests are being successfully restored; and after 15 years, and the planting of

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Hobart to phase out plastic takeaway containers, England fitting slaughterhouses with closed circuit TV, and Indian villages pushing back against desertification

As we 'Change the Story' to inspire, engage and empower everyone to grow a collaborative, solutions-focused culture, perhaps we need to look at George Monbiot's comments

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Declining child mortality, UK supermarket group offers 'bag for life' and BlaBlaCar revolutionizing carpooling

Child mortality around the world is declining very rapidly; the UK's largest supermarket group is replacing all of its 5p single-use carrier bags with a new 10p 'bag for life'; and BlaBlaCar is revolutionizing the way carpooling works

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Lismore transforms waste glass into 'sand', Costa Rica aims to become first country to eliminate single-use plastic, and India trains barefoot lawyers

Lismore in northern NSW has a solution to the glass recycling crisis - an innovative recycling system that crushes glass into a sand-like construction material that helps counter the shortage of sand for building;

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Australia's first 2-for-1 tree planting initiative, UN negotiating treaty for marine protection in international waters, and Prince of Wales calls for harmony in food and farming

Greening Australia and Officeworks have partnered to launch Australia's first 2-for-1 tree planting initiative; the United Nations has begun to negotiate a treaty that would create marine protected

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Seattle taxing high incomes, Pacific Islands tackling plastic bag pollution, and Tim Flannery on farming seaweed

Seattle is attempting to tackle income inequality and structural unfairness in the system by imposing a tax on high-incomes; Vanuatu and the Northern Marianas are joining American Samoa, the Marshall Islands

Canada becomes an education 'superpower', litter collecting campaigns, and UK's nationwide autism friendly 'quiet hour' in supermarkets

Canada's strong sense of fairness, which has led to it providing equal access for migrant children, has helped it to become an education 'superpower'; campaigns, like Litterati

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Public ownership making a comeback, approval of Springvale mine extension overturned, and farmers recycling millions of pounds of plastic

Public ownership is making a comeback with at least 835 examples of (re)municipalisation of public services worldwide in recent years, involving more than 1,600

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Deradicalising children in Indonesia, supporting young undocumented immigrants in New York, and cars that avoid hitting animals

A groundbreaking Indonesian school is helping deradicalise the children of terrorists; some New Yorkers are becoming legal guardians for young undocumented immigrants, 

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More New Yorkers opting to cycle, Mexico City eliminating parking minimums and Royal Dutch Shell moving away from oil

In case you hadn't noticed the extraordinary rate of change currently underway ....  on one of New York's busier commuter streets, bicycles now outnumber cars; Mexico City has

Recycling paint cans, reverse vending machines for bottles and cans, and court rules to stop seismic blasting in the Canadian Arctic

A new national recycling scheme in Australia, Paintback, is repurposing paint cans and harnessing energy from paint. It has now been set up in more than 50 locations around the country; 

Cities respond creatively to influx of refugees, protection of the Danum Valley in Borneo, and expansion of indigenous reserves in Columbia

Athens, Amman and numerous other cities have devised creative strategies to deal with the influx of thousands of refugees, even with tight budgets ... from Paris's CALM initiative to Barcelona's

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Cook Islands create large ocean preserve, North Dakota replicates Oslo's humane prison, and China refuses to take more 'foreign garbage'

The Cook Islands have created one of the world's largest ocean preserves; North Dakota has replicated the world's most humane prison in Oslo

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Britain to ban sale of fossil fuel cars from 2040, UK anti-slavery program and Australians design coffee husk coffee cup 

Britain will ban the sale of all diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040, and in some cities in the developing world, the car is already in decline; a UK hotel group has launched an anti-slavery program

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Tasmanian Hep C Buyers' Club, I CAN NETWORK for teens on autism spectrum, and transformation of once-disintegrating Kansas neighbourhood

The power of collaboration! An innovative Australian has taken a cue from early AIDS fighters to distribute generic new drugs for hepatitis C with the Tasmanian Hep C

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First Australian council to go 100% renewable, doctors prescribing nature in the U.S., and Jack Johnson's sustainable concerts

The Sunshine Coast is the first local government in Australia with 100% of its electricity consumption from renewable energy; doctors in the U.S. are prescribing one free day at a national or state park to

Australian Indigenous land management, Al Gore talks to Bernie Sanders, and the bicycle bus for schoolchildren in The Netherlands

Australia's world-leading Indigenous land management and carbon farming programs are spreading to Canada; U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders talks to former Vice President Al Gore

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Naomi Klein & Jeremy Corbyn, tree protection in Uganda, 100 companies committing to 100% renewable, and drop in UK heart disease deaths

According to Tibetan Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chodron, bravery is not the absence of fear, but intimacy with fear, and coming to terms with the fact that things repeatedly fall apart. In the face of

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UK to ban microbeads this year, Community Fridge Network and Mexico's pioneering scheme to insure its coral reef

The UK Environment Secretary announced yesterday that microbeads will be banned this year and that since the introduction of a 5p carrier bag charge in 2015, nine billion fewer carrier bags were

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Paris cleans & opens canals for swimming, Delhi providing free healthcare clinics for poor, and Tasmania to open dementia village

Paris has managed to clean up its canals and open them for public swimming again; Delhi's local government is giving the city's poor better access to health care

Vietnam agrees to end bile farming, Australian local councils commit to tackling climate change; and a sustainable economy in Massachusetts 

The Vietnamese government has agreed on a plan to end bile farming in the country; Australian local councils are leading the way in tackling climate change

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Aquariums banning single-use plastic, Newarks' hire-local initiative, and escaping Big Pharma with patent free drugs 

Canadian and U.S. aquariums are banning single-use plastic; Newark laid the groundwork for a hire-local initiative in 2000, when it passed an ordinance requiring that at least 40 percent of jobs

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Recycling dental waste, growth of fact-checking organisations, and increased gender parity in Australian public service

A growing number of dentists are now collecting dental waste (toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, dental picks, packaging) and getting it turned into playground equipment by Terracycle; 

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Solar powered train launches in India, therapeutic vaccine for HIV, and research on the gut/brain relationship

Indian Railways have just launched their first solar powered train; scientists have developed a therapeutic vaccine for HIV which has the potential to create a functional cure for the disease;

Centennial Coal fined and censured, Cleveland works to eradicate sex trafficking and Hawaiian communities reclaiming water rights

Centennial Coal has been fined and censured for polluting the World Heritage Area with a 200 tonne coal spill in the Wollongambe River; Cleveland has become a leader in trying to eradicate human sex

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Coles, Woolworths & Harris Farm markets to phase out single-use plastic bags, India commits to ending child slavery, tuna company commits to sustainable practices and worker protection, and leprosy nearly eradicated 

Contrary to what much of mainstream media might have you believe, millions of people

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India's sweeping commitment to solar, a Chairless Chair exoskeleton, and NY City aiming to halve its incarcerated population

India is emerging as a front runner in the global fight against climate change with its sweeping commitment to solar power, innovative solutions and energy efficiency;

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Gene-altering leukemia treatment, plummeting shark fin sales and solar honey

Gene-altering leukemia treatment has been recommended for approval, shark fin sales are plummeting, and low-growing pollinator friendly plants are helping turn solar farms into commercial bee-keeping zones. 

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Giving cash to the poor in Kenya, communities printing their own money, and dentists prescribing fewer opioids to teenagers

A radical cash experiment in Kenya is challenging our deep-rooted notions of charity - and may hold the seeds of a revolution in social welfare; more communities have started to print their own money;

Australia wins against 'big tobacco', campaigns against 'big soda' are winning, and the idea of Emergency Mug Walls are taking off!

People are winning against big corporations: Tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris will be forced to pay millions of dollars in legal fees to Australia after its failed case against plain packaging laws

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Desjardins freezes oil pipeline funding, French government to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, and Queensland government to reform retirement village fees

Quebec-based credit union Desjardins has just announced a freeze on funding for ALL oil pipelines; the French government has announced it will end sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040

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Pine Ridge reservation develops regenerative community, otter numbers increasing, and California lists glyphosate herbicide as cancer causing

At South Dakota's Pine Ridge reservation, a new organisation is upending entrenched poverty and developing a regenerative community that builds homes, creates jobs and produces all its own energy, clean water and food; 

Swiss Re switches to ethical investments, Europe makes stand against planned obsolescence, and South Australia to get world's largest lithium ion battery

Swiss Re, the world's second-largest reinsurer, is switching its entire $130 billion portfolio to ethical investments; the European Parliament is making a stand against planned obsolescence;

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Vancouver pilots reusable container program for takeaways, global treatments for Club Foot expanding, and China building a 'forest city'

The City of Vancouver is launching a pilot where restaurants and retailers can fill orders in reusable containers bought by customers; the Global Clubfoot initiative is working to raise the number of

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Bristol refill-reuse bottle campaign, Volvo making no new model internal combustion engines from 2019, and France reviving the wool industry

The Bristol refill-reuse bottle campaign is spreading across Europe; Volvo is going electric and will make no new model internal combustion engines from 2019; and initiatives in France are reviving the wool industry to encourage local development and the use of natural fibres rather than synthetics.

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Indian volunteers plant 66 million trees in 12 hours, France to stop granting fossil fuel exploration licences, and Chinese province runs for a week on renewable energy

Around 1.5 million volunteers in India planted more than 66 million trees in just 12 hours in a record-breaking environmental drive; France is to stop granting licences for oil and gas exploration

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Norway to ban fossil fuel heating, Center for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and People's Food Policy in UK

Norway will ban the use of oil and paraffin to heat buildings by 2020; a new Center for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is working to develop vaccines to prevent pandemics before they start; and the UK has launched a People's Food Policy supported by 80 food and farming organisations.

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Humpback whales return to NYC, Sweden to be carbon neutral by 2045, ending land clearing in Australia could cut a year's worth of greenhouse emissions

Large numbers of humpback whales have returned to NYC for the first time in a century thanks to years of environmental clean-up efforts; Sweden has passed a law to be completely carbon neutral by 2045;

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The art of planting fruit, machine that kills weed seeds by crushing them, and Charleston's Strawless Summer Challenge

It's time to be subversive, and support nature's creativity, by planting more food ... and artists, like Fallen Fruit, are showing us how to do it! Meanwhile, an Australian farmer is making it easier to grow food without herbicides by inventing a machine that kills 95% of viable weed seeds

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Standing Rock court victory, rewilding Japan's forests, and Australian Government to pay compensation to Manus Island detainees

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe scored their first major legal victory in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The court ruled that the Trump administration violated the law by not adequately

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Bicycles made for three, local currency in Spain, fishing firms sign up to protect oceans

Bicycles made for three are allowing older people to enjoy the outdoors; Santa Coloma de Gramanet in Spain has launched a local currency to keep wealth circulating within the city; and nine of the world's biggest fishing firms have signed up to protect oceans.

Philippines campaign to free child workers, NSW to phase out sugary drinks in health facilities, and Right to Repair movement influencing Apple

The Philippines government has launched a campaign to free one million child workers by 2025; NSW is the first state in Australia to phase out sugary drinks in health facilities; and the Right to Repair Movement is having a real impact on

Start Where You Are
Six decades of 'the pill', reducing antibiotics, saving giant insects, saving lives in cholera outbreaks, the film 'Albatross', and produce bags

The Big Fix is happening. There are so many complex problems, but also so many of us to tackle them in so many different ways. There is a global upswelling of action, from shareholders and activists pressuring restaurants to stop purchasing meat raised with

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#PlasticFreeProduce campaign, Perth Cafe succeeds without disposable cups, and religious left return to U.S. politics

The #PlasticFreeProduce campaign is working to persuade consumers en masse to tell supermarkets that their excessive use of plastic is unacceptable; Antz Inya Pantz HQ in Perth has stopped using disposable cups and is thriving; and the religious left want to

Our Childrens Trust Lawsuit
Kids' climate lawsuit proceeds to trial, Daintree National Park expands, and Orange Sky Laundry launches its 15th van on the Central Coast of NSW

The kids taking the U.S. government to court for inaction on climate change have overcome their latest hurdle. Their lawsuit is heading to trial after a judge denied the Trump administration's appeal; the generous supporters of the Rainforest Trust have increased

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Wooden skyscrapers, plant-based meat, electric cars, and the slow return of the Aral Sea

Dystopian visions of the future are told as cautionary tales, but it's not impossible that the future will be better than we're lead to believe. Wooden skyscrapers, now being approved in the U.S., would reduce global CO2 emissions by at least 14%; plant-based 'meat' is gaining popularity and even being served in steakhouses; electric car sales are

Granny flats to help solve housing crisis, flooding fields to recharge groundwater and Sydney market's war on waste

A number of companies are starting to produce much cheaper pre-fab homes that can set up as 'granny flats' to help solve the housing crisis; a California grower is deliberately flooding his fields to recharge groundwater depleted by years of overuse and drought; and Sydney Market

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Cafe in A.C.T. bans disposable coffee cups, Australia to ban cosmetic testing on animals, and U.S. judge overturns Montana mine

Frankies at Forde in the A.C.T. will ban disposable coffee cups from July 1, 2017; Australia is proposing a bill to ban cosmetic testing on animals; and a federal judge in the U.S. has overturned the approval for the proposed Montanore Mine on the doorstep of public wilderness lands in northwest Montana.

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Netherlands closes another five prisons, Reclaim Appalachia provides alternative economy for coalmining community, and solar-powered hospital opens in Syria

There is another way of looking at things. The Netherlands is closing another five prisons; Reclaim Appalachia is training and employing young people and unemployed miners to deconstruct rather than demolish buildings.

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The Karma Tribe gift economy in Costa Rica, Right to Repair legislation in New Jersey, and recycling entrepreneurs in Ethiopia

Karma Tribe is creating a gift economy in Costa Rica, New Jersey just became the 12th U.S. state to introduce #RightToRepair legislation and two social entrepreneurs in Ethiopia are using waste


Right to Repair, using servers to heat households, and older women's co-housing

The Supreme Court sided with consumers over corporations and affirmed the right to repair stuff; Dutch households will use servers to heat their showers for free; and last week was the official opening of New Ground in north London


Make Our Planet Great Again

Emmanuel Macron has called on us all to "make our planet great again"; Michael Bloomberg has offered to make up the $15 million in funding that the United Nations stands to lose because of Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement; and India is set to become the first country in the world to use green energy to power its domestic ports.


Shareholder rebellion against ExxonMobil climate change policies, Melbourne institutions bulk-buy clean energy, and 160 Stop Adani groups

Financial firms are leading a shareholder rebellion against ExxonMobil climate change policies; thirteen of Melbourne's biggest institutions have come together to bulk-buy clean energy - they want to buy the equivalent of 250,000 solar panels;

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Goa to ban plastic bags, peregrine falcons back from near extinction, and American cities committed to Paris Climate Accord

The government of Goa, India, is going to introduce serious fines for making, carrying, and selling of plastic bags or littering public spaces with plastic. They aim to eradicate plastic bags from the state, with the law effective from July 2017; 

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FBI investigator rediscovering lost apple varieties, activist developers in Montreal, and discounts to people who bring their own takeaway food containers!

WOW! I knew a lot of apple varieties had disappeared, but 13,000 in the U.S. alone!!!!! Now a retired FBI investigator is digging into records and rediscovering some of the 13,000 lost apple varieties in North America; 

Melbourne resident buys houses for the homeless, Perth opens largest recycling plant in southern hemisphere, and Swiss pay to throw out trash 

Jessica Pearce was so moved by the sight of Melbourne's homeless people that she started buying houses for them; the largest recycling plant in the southern hemisphere has opened in Perth and it can recycle 97% of what is collected by Councils;

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Three-day weekends, ditching plastic straws, the #5minutecleanup, going pesticide-free and the benefits of cooperation

This is how hard it would be to make dramatic positive changes for the future: shift to a three-day weekend (yay!); persuade local businesses to ditch plastic straws and do a daily #5minutecleanup in your area; go pesticide-free and work more cooperatively #SnuggleForSurvival 

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#BYOcoffee cup and the Responsible Cafe movement, trash skimmers and reusable produce bags

The War on Waste is growing. 430 cafes across Australia now offer a discount if you #BYOcoffeecup; Eric Dieters is drawing attention to the fact that waterways now need rubbish collection as much as streets do, so he's created a trash skimmer to catch trash floating in his bay before it floats out to the ocean; and reusable produce bags are now available

08 Earth GEN

Australian's First Nations people call for a treaty; China making clean air a political priority; and Afghan Peace Volunteers say #Enough!

The First Nations people have written the Uluru Statement of the Heart and are calling for a treaty to be established to constitutionally enshrine a permanent place for First Australians in Parliament; air quality is now a political priority for the Chinese Communist Party, on par with economic growth and corruption.

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CWA votes to ban Coal Seam Gas, 118 regional pubs and clubs go pokie-free, and court overturns Trumps travel ban

The Country Women's Association has passed a motion calling for a halt to any further "unconventional gas exploration" in NSW - a ban on Coal Seam Gas; regional NSW pubs and clubs are leading the way in the fight against problem gambling, with 118 now going pokie-free;


The 'Big Green Bang', energy management and the Ecological Land Co-operative

Something bigger than Mr Trump is taking place in the global energy system ... the 'Big Green Bang' in renewable energy; better energy management could reduce peak demand by the equivalent of two Hazelwood power stations; and The Ecological Land Co-operative in the UK is offering affordable residential small land holdings for ecological land users.

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Grant Township fighting for the rights of communities, people & nature, cool pavements in LA, and Turtle Rescues 

Grant Township, Pennsylvania has become the front line of a radical new environmental movement, fighting for the rights of communities, people and nature; Los Angeles is creating "cool pavements" with a reflective paint-like seal to counter the urban heat island effect;

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Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, China and India exceeding climate targets, and Doughnut Economics

The Citizen's Climate Lobby has created the first bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. and been instrumental in introducing the Republican Climate Resolution; China and India are exceeding the targets they set in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement;

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Swiss ban nuclear, Bonn climate talks confirm international commitment to climate action, and hedges better than trees in cities

Swiss voters have voted to ban nuclear and are backing the Government's plan to provide billions of dollars in subsidies for renewable energy; climate negotiations just concluded in Bonn demonstrate that international climate action will not be deterred

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The Covenant of Mayors and the transformation of Cserdi in Hungary by its mayor

Real change is coming from the bottom up ... from local government more than national! There is a global Covenant of Mayors sharing their experiences to accelerate action on climate change; and the mayor of Cserdi, in Hungary, has transformed his village from being notorious for its crime rate

Macron appoints female scientists and an environmentalist, Norwegians to build ship to suck up ocean plastic, and an anti-smog bike

Emmanuel Macron has appointed two female scientists and a "militant environmentalist" to his new government; a Norwegian business man is collaborating with Norway's World Wildlife Fund and building the world's largest marine research vessel

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Hydrogen transport boost, developers building 3,500 co-living units in U.S., and rescued farm animal sanctuary

Hydrogen transport is being given a massive boost in Europe and Japan with the building of refuelling stations and over 40,000 hydro-cars planned in the next three years;

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Protecting vulnerable coastal communities, "Living with Wildlife" and disrupting mainstream business thinking with conceptual art

The government of the Bahamas is creating a model island, using new land and ocean management strategies to protect vulnerable coastal communities; "Living with Wildlife" is a stunning new film

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Lawyers protecting climate science, the Commons Transition & P2P movements, and South Korea closing down coal power

A network of lawyers and climate scientists is growing to protect research and threats to science in government and academia; a new system for reducing inequality and protecting the environment is emerging

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Ecological repair, dingoes, indigenous cultural burning and soldier fly larvae as protein source

"Ecological repair can happen faster and to a greater extent than many might appreciate." Dingoes are helping to control kangaroo and feral goat populations; indigenous cultural burning and traditional land management techniques are maintaining populations of threatened species;

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Cities networking to tackle climate change and the Fixing Revolution

The cities of the world are networking to become a global force to tackle climate change, and the city of Seoul, in South Korea, is one of the main leaders; and individuals around the world are leading the Fixing Revolution, from micro soldering mums to young people setting up technology repair businesses, cooperatives and makers spaces.

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Solar prices tumbling in India, the rise of women farmers in the U.S., and Quebec's alternative to market-oriented development

The tumbling price of solar in India increases the likelihood that India will meet - and by its own predictions, exceed - the renewable energy targets it set at the Paris climate accords in December 2015; women are fighting Big Ag and taking control of their food systems

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Public Banks, Seneca Lake community defeats Gas Storage Project, and U.S. states forge ahead with renewables

In response to community protests, Philadelphia City Council has divested from Wells Fargo and is one of numerous U.S. cities moving forward and considering setting up public banks; the community has prevented the building of a Gas Storage Project at Seneca Lake;

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A repairable tablet, a law to only use native vegetation in New Jersey, and an informed citizenry in Australia protects climate science

HP has actually made a tablet that's easy to repair and comes with a repair manual; New Jersey has made it law to only use native vegetation along its highways; and, according to the NY Times, 

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Chicago posts deleted scientific research on its website, universal basic income pilots in Europe, and 27 U.S. cities pledging to go 100% renewable

The City of Chicago has posted all the scientific research on climate change that the Trump administration deleted from the EPA's website and declared "we know climate change is real." They're calling on other mayors to do the same; 

Cut carbon now

California to revolutionize climate policy, Barcelona cracking down on tourism rentals, and detoxing marine environments

California is about to revolutionize climate policy with a system that's been described as a Hegelian synthesis of every proposal in carbon-pricing history; Barcelona is cracking down on short-term tourist rentals to keep housing affordable;

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Regenerating outback Australia, restoring contaminated wetlands and setting up medical clinics on Indian stations

A young couple are slowly returning historic outback Wooleen Station in WA to its ancient splendour by removing cattle and introducing dingoes; Urunga's wetlands in northern NSW, poisoned by heavy metals a generation ago,

Eradicating neglected tropical diseases, Australia's plain packaging laws, and protecting the aerosphere

Enormous progress has been made towards eradicating neglected tropical diseases like Guinea worm; according to a leaked draft of a World Trade Organisation dispute panel ruling, Australia's tobacco plain packaging laws are a legitimate public health measure;


Restoring farmland naturally, Indigenous land management and success of Romanian anti-corruption protests

Last weekend we took a permaculture class to Rosnay organic vineyard in Canowindra. There is nothing like eating grapes straight off the vine, knowing that you are not ingesting chemicals! Fortunately, researchers are now educating farmers about the folly of pursuing ever-greater crop yields using fertilizers and other chemicals

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Removing plastic debris at Cape York, recycling coffee cups in London, and Stop 'N' Swap events in New York

One Australian couple has motivated volunteers to remove more than 3.1 tonnes of marine debris from six kilometres of coastline at Chilli Beach in Cape York; London's Square Mile Challenge is on course to recycle 500,000 coffee cups; and Stop 'N' Swap events have taken off in New York as part of the city's Zero Waste Program.

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World Press Freedom Day, science ahead of politics in Tucson, India aiming for all-electric cars by 2030, and reducing food waste in the U.S.

To celebrate World Press Freedom Day today, join The Big Fix in sharing stories about inspiring solutions around the world ... like the way local government in Tucson put science ahead of politics and developed an aggressive and ambitious conservation plan that put an end to its growth wars;


Yackandandah supermarket bans plastic bags, investors moving to plant-based proteins, and successful prison-release program

Yackandandah's only supermarket has banned plastic bags in support of a nationwide push; one of the world's largest traders in ground beef is selling off its feedlots and investing in plant-based proteins; and two federal judges in the U.S. have started a program to help newly released prisons find a sense of community and stablility.

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The Dull Men's Club, indigenous water systems in India and Mexico eliminates trachoma

The Dull Men's Club has grown, hilariously, in reaction to "keeping up with the Jones's" and is celebrating the ordinary in life; highly evolved and networked 600 year-old indigenous water systems in Bidar, India, are being restored and are helping to fight the drought; and Mexico has become the first country in the Americas to eliminate trachoma, an infectious disease which is the world's leading cause of blindness.

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Australian hospitals removing sugary drinks, U.S. law helping to reduce homelessness and Australia's first "rescued food" market

So lucky to harvest salads like this out of my garden before the first frost ... the sort of clean healthy food everyone should have access to. Reducing homelessness and increasing food availability and quality are essential goals for a humane society. Fortunately, even without government regulations, hospitals in Australia have started to remove sugary drinks; 

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Donors paying water bills of people in need, ban on wild animals for entertainment in LA, and first wild bison for 140 years born in Banff National Park

It's inhumane to expect anyone to try to live without water, so the nonprofit organization The Human Utility has created a website to help donors pay water bills for people in need. Since its inception in 2014, they've paid the water bills of more than 1,000 families near Baltimore and Detroit.

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India rescuing bonded labourers and working to end open defecation; and Wikitribune to combat fake news

The Indian government is planning to rescue more than 18 million bonded labourers by 2030 and is increasing compensation fivefold in their attempt to end modern slavery; they're also winning in their war against open defecation, with a dramatic increase in the percentage of residents now able to access proper sanitation;

The "Optimist" toaster, heat-resilient roofs for slums in India, and "impact giving" raising funds to mentor girls in Sydney's refuges

Designers have begun attacking planned obsolescence and are working to make people fall in love with things that last, like the "Optimist" toaster; a women-led NGO in Ahmedabad has taken up the initiative of installing heat-resilient roofs atop slum homes and even rickshaws;

The Restoration Revolution

There is a Restoration Revolution happening as degraded land is being used for agricultural expansion, revegetation projects are bringing nature back to degraded farm holdings, Hawaii takes on the unprecedented task of moving from "big Ag" to regenerative agriculture, and the repair cafe movement takes off around the world.


Project Gigatron, saving the River Murray's turtles and Blackheath Community Farm permablitz

Imagine having three hands! On the one hand, the world's largest retailer recently announced Project Gigatron - a commitment to remove a gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions from it's global supply chain by 2030 ... arguably one of the most ambitious efforts to reduce climate pollution by any U.S. corporation;

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Darebin's Solar Saver program, Indianapolis police delivering food to needy, and aquaponics in Indonesia

Darebin city council has introduced a Solar Saver program to help pensioners and low-income families access solar panels; police in the city of Indianapolis are working with Foodbanks to deliver food to needy families while on patrol, at the same time as building better community relationships; and aquaponics is a form of conservation agriculture in Indonesia which is helping to create resilience in the face of global warming.

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Ancient Aboriginal aquaculture, Hawai'i's Waimea River flows restored, and Nature Needs Half campaign

The world's first engineering project, preceding Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, has had its traditional name restored, to acknowledge and recognise history of Aboriginal agricultural development and aquaculture; 


Mathematicians tackling gerrymandering, open-source seed breeders, and adopting open-source, copyright-free textbooks

Let's keep fixing things! Mathematicians are joining forces to combat gerrymandering ... the partisan bias in the drawing of voting districts; open-source breeders are working to preserve a handful of important seed varieties for the farms of the future; and initiatives in Maryland and New York are attempting to curb rising education costs by adopting open-source, copyright-free textbooks.

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Friendship benches in Zimbabwe, the First Nation Homelessness Project and making parking free

Friendship benches are a brilliant strategy in Zimbabwe to value the elderly, and create a model to help underserved communities cope with mental health problems: countries around the world are looking at following their lead; the First Nations Homelessness Project has created an army of volunteers who run working bees to help prevent people being evicted from public housing and ending up on the streets;


Coworking replacing colleges, solar cheapest energy in almost 60 countries, and manatee population rebounds

Coworking has begun to replace colleges; solar power is now the cheapest form of energy in almost 60 countries; and after 40 years of manatee conservation efforts, numbers have increased from 1,000 in the wild to 6,600.

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Oslo's city centre becoming car-free, 'social impact' bonds in Columbia, and Berlin's co-housing culture

Oslo is moving towards creating a car-free city-centre, with all street parking being eliminated by the end of 2017; Colombian cities are leading on 'social impact' bonds to lift vulnerable populations out of poverty; and Berlin's co-housing culture is demonstrating a model for creative and affordable housing.

Solar surge in Australia, and the shift to a knowledge-based rather than material-based economy 

Rooftop solar is now Queensland's biggest power station, and Australia-wide there's been a big surge in solar panel installation; Broken Hill is shifting from mining the ground to mining the sun; andthe author of "Sapiens" agrees with Steven Pinker, that we now live in the most peaceful era in history, partly because the economy has changed from being a material-based economy (with people fighting over resources like oil and gas) to a knowledge-based economy.

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Reducing inequality, family newspaper takes down polluting farm corporations, and doughnut economics

The city of Portland, Oregon is fighting inequality by raising the business tax on companies with CEOs who earn more than 100 times the median pay of their workers; a small town, family run newspaper took down big polluting farm corporations - and won a Pulitzer for it; and doughnut economics provide an alternative model that isn't growth at all costs.


Transformative Repair and Regenerative Culture

Repair and Regeneration will be the drivers of the future as we create new aesthetics and new cultural narratives: "I am repaired and that's good" ...  Japanese culture is inspiring a new aesthetic that values "transformative repair"; and a new cultural narrative is emerging that is focused on creating a truly regenerative human culture.

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SA reaches 2025 renewable energy target, affordable housing in Sydney and life after coal in Kentucky

South Australia has already reached its 2025 renewable energy target; Sydney has introduced a levy on new housing developments to pay for 1,300 subsidised apartments to create affordable housing for key workers in the city; and towns in impoverished eastern Kentucky are finding life after coal.

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Melbourne to open world's largest vegan supermarket, science helping to catch illegal wood traders, and vitamin C to boost success of cancer treatments 

Melbourne is earning a reputation as a vegan hotspot: 12 percent of Melbourne's population eats "little to no meat" and the world's largest vegan supermarket is about to open there; advances in everything from chemistry to computing are helping authorities identify illegal timber and arrest its traders;

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Restoring reefs for native oysters in Victoria, Google's new "Fact Check" tool, and combating crown-of-thorns starfish

A reef restoration project has commenced in Victoria to restore the once-abundant populations of native oysters in Port Philip Bay; Google has rolled out a new 'Fact Check' tool worldwide to combat fake news; and new research has found a breakthrough to combat the devastating crown-of-thorns starfish.

Planting trees in Kabul, tackling loneliness in Vancouver and new world solar efficiency record

Afghan Peace Volunteers planted 300 trees in schools in Kabul; Vancouver has launched an array of initiatives to tackle a growing sense of loneliness; and Australian researchers at ANU have hit a new world solar efficiency record.

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Deradicalising terrorists, advice for young women and innovative library spaces in Australia

Female psychologists are working successfully to de-radicalise potential terrorists in Pakistan by demonstrating empathy; writer Caitlin Moran's gives perceptive advice to struggling young women; and young people are flocking to innovative new library spaces in Australia, like Adelaide's "Library in the Clouds."

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Fighting back against planned obsolescence, decentralizing the web, and Google street view cars detecting gas leaks

Consumers are fighting back against planned obsolescence by demanding products that can be fixed, and can last a lifetime; the inventor of the web is working to decentralize it and improve global stewardship; and Google street view cars are being used as gas leak detectors.

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Art in Stockholm's metro, Sydney hotel housing homeless youth, and Michigan resolving Flint lead crisis

Stockholm has created the longest underground art gallery in its metro system - to make public transport more attractive and to showcase the work of over 100 different artists; an empty Sydney hotel is becoming a haven for homeless youth

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El Salvador bans mining, bin shelves for homeless, Scottish Island survives without national grid

El Salvador showed exemplary foresight last Wednesday when they banned mining for gold and other metals to protect the environment for everyone; Michael Olsen in Denmark has designed shelves on bins for empty cans and bottles,

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Nuclear flounders, Cape Town helps shanty-town dwellers, and alternative to antibiotics 

Westinghouse has filed for bankruptcy as the nuclear industry flounders; Cape Town offers important lessons on how to provide poorer, more transient citizens greater stability and financial access; and a lung probe that diagnoses bacterial infections could prevent unnecessary use of antibiotics in intensive care units.


Medication-free psychiatry in Norway, green beer and first marathon in Tehran

Norway is trialling a medication-free unit for psychiatric treatment; the world's largest beer manufacturer has vowed to completely shift from fossil fuels by 2025, including investing in their own renewable energy sources;

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Taking away kids' toys, Conservatives switching sides on global warming, and Mercedes-Benz going electric

Kindergartens in Europe have started taking away children's toys to strengthen their resilience to addiction by forcing them to learn to cope with boredom and frustration; there is a small but growing number of Conservatives in the U.S. who are switching sides on global warming

Befriending and supporting the homeless and indigenous healthcare

One woman chose to befriend and help a homeless person after seeing him on the same corner for 3 years straight; a volunteer dentist and the Exodus Foundation are helping homeless people with critical dental work; and the worst hospital for indigenous health has become one of the best.

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Permaculture flower shop, India's 'seed guardians' and slowing the melting of the permafrost

Denmark has opened what appears to be the world's first permaculture-inspired sustainable flower shop; India's female 'seed guardians' are dismantling the GMO empire in India and creating a new, organic future; and two scientists in Arctic Siberia are rewilding the grassland ecosytem of the steppe in an attempt to slow the melting of the permafrost.

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Edible Bus Routes, world's first recycled mall, and California votes in strict methane regulations

The Edible Bus Route scheme is making public transport more attractive by getting communities involved in reimagining the land around bus stops: growing food in creative ways and creating pollination corridors; Sweden has opened the first mall for recycled goods;

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Disused mines converted to battery storage, Europe considering pesticide ban, and Action Book Clubs

Germany is turning a disused coal mine into a pumped-hydro-storage station - creating jobs and becoming giant battery storage for renewable energy; Europe is poised for a total ban on bee-harming pesticides; and the Little Free Library launches 'Action Book Clubs' to inspire community service.

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Galapagos tortoise comeback, women plumbers franchise, and personhood for Ganges 

Extraordinary conservation efforts have led to Galapagos tortoises making a comeback; Stopcocks is the first women's franchise for plumbers; and India's Ganges River is now being granted the same legal rights as people.

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Meatless meat burgers, Peshawar School for Peace, and New York triples solar

A startup says it can now produce enough for four million meatless meat burgers a month; Francis Ventura, a 22-year-old from Melbourne, has founded the Peshawar School for Peace in Pakistan; and New York has tripled its solar installations since 2014.


China approves massive national park, California sea otter protected, and Kenya bans plastic bags

China has approved a massive national park, 60% larger than Yellowstone National Park, to protect its last big cats, the Amur leopard and the Siberian tiger; a court victory has secured critical California sea otter habitat; and Kenya has just banned plastic bags.


Crime-free village in India, letters of love to Syrian refugee children, and ending deforestation in global cocoa supply chain

A village exists in India where homes are owned by women, residents have almost all taken pledges to be organ donors, smoking and drinking have been banned, and there hasn't been a single crime case lodged with police in the past 15 years;

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Berkeley divests of companies involved in Trump's wall, "sanctuary in the streets" movement, and refrigerant management

The city of Berkeley, in California, unanimously voted to cut off business with any company that involves itself with Trump's wall ... from designing, to finance or contracting in any way;

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Sales tax to help end homelessness, 1 million acres donated for national parks, British police undercovering as cyclists

Los Angeles voted to raise sales tax by a quarter-cent to help end homelessness; the former CEO of outdoor retailer Patagonia has just made the largest private land donation to a state in history, over one million acres, to help expand national parks in Chile;

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Australian recycling, Foodbank donations from supermarkets in Quebec, and new revolutionary waste digester in UK

In Australia, it is now possible to divert more than 95% of household waste from landfill as long as people don't put anything in their yellow bin that will contaminate it, don't wrap recyclables in plastic bags, and do remove lids and wash containers; 


Trials on effectiveness of mindfulness to reduce stress in young people, microgrid in Brooklyn, and Womadelaide diverts 98% of waste

The British government will fund randomized control trials in more than 200 schools to see whether mindfulness effectively reduces stress and promotes wellbeing among eight to 12 year olds; 

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Yarra City Council writes Gambling Policy, Cities set ambitious climate change goals, and Maryland bans fracking

Yarra City Council is taking a stand against gambling with a specific Gambling Policy which outlines the ways in which Council will work to minimise the social and economic harms caused by gambling; cities from Oslo to Sydney are setting goals to curb climate change that exceed national targets;


Redirecting police funding to social services, the University of the People, and equal pay for all in Iceland

For the first time, a grassroots group in Seattle has drawn attention to the racially disproportionate effects of police spending and persuaded city officials to change course - making headway into redirecting funding towards services like affordable housing, education and health care;