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Belgium elects Congolese immigrant mayor; Thailand to ban imports of foreign plastic waste; and founder of Little Free Library dies, leaving legacy of 75,000-plus registered neighbourhood book exchanges

Belgium has elected its first black mayor, a Congolese immigrant, in what he says indicates significant progress

Afforest4Future tackling global desertification; an exhibition pairing Indigenous are and microscopic scientific images; and tackling depression by training grandmothers

Afforest4Future is a nongovernmental organization that’s tackling desertification all over the world. It uses existing dredging companies to haul sediment in

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Indigenous 'breadbasket' in Canadian Northwest Territories declared off limits to resource development; Dunkirk offering free public transport to all; and black-footed ferret populations restored

A vast region of the Northwest Territories [in Canada] that local

Portugal launches first 
national participatory budget; Bathurst commits to protecting flying foxes; and lighting streets without electricity

Portugal has launched the world's first national participatory budget; Bathurst Regional Council has made a commitment to NOT

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Malaysia abolishing the death penalty for all crimes; biomethane helping gas become renewable; and Blackheath's Local Food Project

Malaysia's new government says it will abolish the death penalty for all crimes and halt all pending executions, a rare move against

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Unilever calls for global ban on animal testing; preventing the advance of the desert in Africa; and one of the world's largest ecological restoration projects

Unilever is calling for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics as part of a collaboration with animal protection group Humane Society International

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Ecovative mainstreams mycelium (mushrooms) as a plastic alternative; new study shows how we can feed 10 billion people and protect the Earth; and rare koala sighting in Blackheath

The inspiring company Ecovative started producing packaging with mycelium

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Dutch appeals court orders the Netherlands to increase emissions cuts; organic matter in soils increases
 nutrients in wheat; and restaurants in Austin, Texas no longer allowed to throw out food waste

A Dutch appeals court has upheld a landmark climate change ruling,

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Commercial fishing banned across much of the Arctic; Spanish royal decree introduces urgent green energy measures; researchers develop air-conditioning that relies on water not chemical refrigerants; and Shetlands GPs prescribe nature

Commercial fishing will be banned

New Taipei City's strategies for improving care for the elderly; Australia axes the tampon tax; and workers rejoice as Amazon raises minimum wage

New Taipei City is improving care for the elderly by encouraging old people to rent their vacant rooms (to ensure they have company in their homes) and by

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Tim Berners-Lee to launch Inrupt this week in order to decentralize the web; child activists reforesting the planet; and successful tidal energy turbine in Scotland

This week, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, will launch Inrupt, a startup with the mission to turbocharge a broader movement to decentralize the web

A rechargeable battery operating on zinc and air that's cheaper than lithium-ion batteries; historic agreement to protect environmental rights in Latin America; and how Cubans live as long as Americans for a tenth of the cost

An energy company headed by the California billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong

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France no longer trading with countries outside Paris Climate Agreement; poverty rate in India nearly halved over ten years; and Shenzhen becomes a quieter city

France will no longer accept trade deals with countries outside the Paris Climate Agreement and the French president is calling on other countries to join him;

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Judge rules grizzly bear hunting in Yellowstone illegal; Chartered bank rules out new coal power plants; and court shuts down offshore industrial aquaculture in Gulf of Mexico

A judge has ruled that the Trump administration's decision to allow trophy hunts of Yellowstone's grizzly bears was illegal; Standard Chartered bank,

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Nepal's tiger population nearly doubles; supermarket in UK to ban black plastic; and Swiss pay farmers for providing communal and environmental services

Nepal has nearly doubled its tiger population, raising hopes for global recovery of endangered big cats; the Lidl supermarket chain in the UK will stop

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Indonesian president signs 3-year freeze on palm oil licences; tiny clip reduces deaths from severe heart failure; and France aiming to triple number of cyclists

The Indonesian president has signed a 3-year freeze on new palm oil licences; in a large clinical trial doctors have found that a tiny clip used to repair a heart valve

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Maori language Renaissance, virtual reality experience that 'Indiginizes' a city, and the return of the wolf bringing back the shepherding community

Maori language is having a Renaissance in New Zealand with the government wanting more than 20 percent of the country to speak basic Maori by 2040,

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Jamaican single-use plastic ban from January 2019; refillable beer bottling system in Oregon; and restoring marine forests to turn atmospheric CO2 to blue carbon

Jamaica announced it will ban styrofoam, single-use plastic bags, and single-use plastic straws staring Jan.1, 2019;


Saving species globally, from caribou to coral to indigenous Indian cotton

Today's Solutions Digest is a bumper issue because over the last few days we've been away in Victoria presenting at the 2018 Sustainable Communities National Summit, where we've been encouraging communities to join forces to grow

Alberghi diffusi preserving Italy's ghost towns; soldier fly trial to make aquaculture more viable; and cutting-edg bio-art

There are now 40 officially recognised 'alberghi diffusi' in Italy, creating jobs for local communities and preserving some of Italy's ghost towns

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Peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea uniting families after 20 years; seedbombing 400ha of Aboriginal land to restore country; and philanthropists double support for indigenous forest dwellers

The formal declaration of peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea has opened up trade

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Florence fining anyone eating outdoors in some streets; UK supermarket to stop selling bananas in plastic packaging; and endangered northern bald ibis numbers growing

Anyone caught eating food outdoors in Florence during peak hours in four central streets

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Dangermonds purchase 10,000 hectares of coastline and donate it to Nature Conservancy; reimagining police stations as social hubs; and developing perennial grains

Jack and Laura Dangermond purchased 10,000 hectares of coastal wilderness in Southern California

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Mow to Own in St Louis; The Empowerment Plan making coats for the homeless to create employment for homeless mothers; and 'inclusive justice'

The Mow to Own strategy in St Louis is giving people vacant lots if they've tended to or mowed them for two years; 

Ancient Roman concrete that lasts for millenia; Bathurst midwives volunteering in Vanuatu to save lives; and weeds being celebrated by florists and chefs

Ancient Romans created concrete that has lasted millenia, while ours crumbles, and now researchers know why;

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Bees increasing by 45% in Amsterdam; Iceland planting 3 million trees annually and aiming for 10% afforestation; and UNESCO recognising major Biosphere Reserve in central Ecuador

The diversity of wild bee and honeybee species in Amsterdam has increased by 45 percent since 2000; 

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400,000 kilos of waste collected from Himalayas in four years; Carlsberg's using glue to stick cans together instead of packaging; and US Court rules it is not a crime to sleep on public streets

Pradeep Sangwan and volunteers with his Healing Himalays Foundation have

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European science funders banning grantees from publishing in paywalled journals; school cafeterias in US reducing carbon pollution and water usage; and solar replacing kerosene across Africa

European science funders are banning grantees from publishing in paywalled

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Ultra-low emissions zones in London; halogen light bulbs banned in the EU; and California Senate approves net neutrality protections

Petrol, diesel and older hybrid cars have been banned from nine London streets in a 'pioneering' scheme to create 'ultra-low emissions zones'; halogen light bulbs are now banned in European Union countries;

Planting a Northern Forest of 50 million trees in the UK; urban beekeeping in Paris; and Walt Disney agreeing to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021

A Northern Forest of 50 million trees is to be planted between Liverpool and Hull to improve the environment and help prevent 190,000 homes from flooding;

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Almost 80 million household toilets installed in India in 4 years; 'And Beauty For All' campaign in the U.S.; and England and South Korea cracking down on caffeine for kids

India is rapidly increasing sanitation with almost 80 million household toilets estimated to have been built since 2014;

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Treating violence as a contagious health issue; California's zero-emissions goal; and the app making cinema accessible for blind Indians

Epidemiologist Gary Slutkin, who helped stem the spread of cholera and AIDS in Africa, has a new – and succesful – strategy to stop the contagion of violence:

Breast cancer detection without radiation; City of Vincent allowing residents to decide how they use their street verges; and native 'meadows' for public spaces trialled in Melbourne

Mihir Shah, a computer engineer, has developed a way to detect breast cancer without radiation, that is also cheap

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Marrickville trialling reusable cups; Swedish island purifying ocean water for tourists; and study suggests every additional tree species in plantations increases carbon storage by 6%

The Council is trialling giving everyone in Marrickville, across the whole suburb, reusable cups that can be returned dirty

Scotland to provide free sanitary products for students; the growth of co-housing communities; and New Zealand's Prime Minister banning single-use plastic shopping bags

Every school, college and university in Scotland is to provide free sanitary products under a new £5.2m Scottish government scheme;

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Baltimore bars water privatization; women carpenters building tiny homes for women; and U.N. backing proposal for 
U.N. Decade for Ecosystem Restoration

Baltimore is poised to become the first major American city to amend its charter to bar privatization of the public water system; 

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Europe's first solar panel recycling plant; creating new habitat for ten native animals that have been extinct in NSW for more than a century; and exhibiting signs created by homeless people

French water and waste group Veolia has opened what it says is Europe’s first recycling plant for solar panels

New Caledonia voted to establish 28,000 sq km of marine protected areas; India scrapped tax on sanitary products; and London planting 40,000 trees to become a 'national park city'

The government of New Caledonia voted on Tuesday to establish marine protected areas across 28,000 square kilometres of waters

Millet and sorghum as mainstream staples; Nairobi to demolish 4000 buildings to protect riparian zone; and successful home-sharing programs

Australian researcher Joanna Kaneo-Potaka, deputy director general of international crop research centre ICRISAT, believes millet and sorghum

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Indian schoolgirls return food wrappers to manufacturers; Bite creates toothpaste tablets; France to ban stores from throwing away unsold clothing; and aged care residents prepare meals for the homeless

A group of Indian school girls, prompted by city council, collected

Mountains Expo to encourage building of 'granny flats' to reduce homelessness; UK approves cannabis-derived medicinal products; and Toronto food court reduces garbage by 117 bags a day

Wentworth Community Housing will be holding an Expo on November 10 to encourage Mountains homeowners to

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France legislates to encourage plastic recycling; Australian farmer plants over 70,000 trees; and South Australia opens its first inclusive playground

France plans to make bottles produced with recycled plastic cheaper than bottles made from virgin plastic and will further tighten regulation on plastics use, as well as increasing taxes on landfill

The Which Plant Where Project; seed banks in Brisbane, Llandilo and Mid Blue Mountains; and France's 'green and blue belt network'

The Which Plant Where Project has tested more than 13,000 individual plants and over 500 popularly planted tree and plant species to see how they'll perform in the years 2030, 2050 and 2070 to help guide

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Judge rules Monsanto product causes cancer; WA primary schools ditching homework; and native tribes to help manage fires in US

Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289 million in the world's first trial claiming that the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, cause cancer; 

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New Zealand to ban single-use plastic bags; homelessness falls in Japan; and Scottish village creates supportive working community for people with learning disabilities

New Zealand has announced that it will ban single-use plastic bags; the number of homeless people in Japan has fallen to its lowest level in 15 years,

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Coffee cups made from coffee grounds; Portland courts rule against harmful fossil fuel infrastructure; and AskIzzy powercards help homeless charge phones to seek help

Kaffeeform is making long-lasting, reusable and biodegradable cups from used coffee grounds; the courts have affirmed that Portland

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The new era of fixing, restoration, repair, regeneration and sensitivity!

A fertile newspaper in Japan, a One Planet Development Policy in Wales, permaculture harvesting hope in India, giving prisoners degrees and voting rights, sensory-friendly film screenings, volunteers helping a WA

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Singapore hotel combines sustainability with delight; Chile bans use of plastic bags; and quolls bred to dislike the taste of cane toads

A new hotel in Singapore combines sustainability with delight; Chile made history on Friday when it became the first country in Latin America to ban the commercial use of plastic bags;

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Dengue virus wiped out in Townsville; Colombia bans mercury in industry; and Pope declared death penalty wrong in all cases

Our Solutions Digest today is a BUMPER issue. It includes stories from the Dengue virus effectively being wiped out in Townsville, Australia; to Colombia banning the use of mercury in mineral extraction

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Penrith's 'Green Bridge'; first carbon-neutral football club in the world; and 'regenerative' public spaces

Penrith's 'Green Bridge' will be opening by Sep/Oct this year. It will be for pedestrians and cyclists only (NOT cars). It is part of a vision for the future of Penrith

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Egypt planting 1 million fruit trees in public spaces; floating plastic parks in Rotterdam; and Hannah Gadsby reaching higher with comedy

Egypt is planting 1 million fruit trees in public spaces to tackle food security and climate change; the Recycled Foundation in Rotterdam is using

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Community Greening's social housing gardens; London's traffic signals designed to making walking as convenient as possible; and media collaboration to tackle poverty

Community Greening has established 627 community gardens linked to social housing and new research confirms

Free haircuts for the homeless; elderly Irish volunteers teach English to migrants; and Indian physicist helps prevent water crisis in Chennai

As part of #DoSomethingDay, Sustainable Salons organised to give free haircuts to the homeless in Newtown while the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre provided them with free soup

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New Zealand company commits to shorter working week; an affordable and desirable dementia village; and the regeneration of Gorongosa National Park and its surrounding community in Mozambique

After spending two months testing a 20% shorter week, a New Zealand company found its employees happier, more

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WSU's Solar Car Team first non-American team to win American Solar Car Challenge; Michelin to create 100% renewable tires using wood waste and 3D printing; and study reveals that greening vacant urban land reduces depression

Western Sydney University's Solar Car Team has become the first non-American

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Chinese artist exhibits dirty "spring water" and gets results; Mallee emu wren making a comeback; and recycling hairdressing foils in Sustainable Salons

After Chinese artist Brother Nut displayed 9,000 bottles of dirty "spring water", officials tested contaminated drinking supplies and promised a new water

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Aussies helping refugees; AI experts sign pledge to bar killer robots; and 20K initiative working to make home ownership less expensive

Aussies are helping Manus and Nauru refugees resettle in America; thousands of artificial intelligence (AI) experts and developers have signed a pledge vowing to "neither participate in nor

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Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage; converting mobile home parks to Resident-Owned Communities; and Stories of the Streets giving cameras to the homeless

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Northeastern Missouri is a living experiment to discover how to live more sustainably and cooperatively; at least 220 mobile home

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Adidas to use only recycled plastics by 2024; 1,600 Repair Cafes across the globe; and Adam Markham repairs bikes to give away

Adidas is planning to use only recycled plastics by 2024; there are now nearly 1,600 Repair Cafes across the globe, as well as a range of other community initiatives encouraging repair

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Taronga Zoo helping species back from the brink; China deploying 60,000 soldiers to plant trees; and Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mt Tomah aiming to be world's first carbon neutral Botanic Gardens

Taronga Zoo is helping species back from the brink including the yellow spotted bell frogs, thought to have been extinct

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People save Finger Lakes Region from gas storage project; artificial tree hollows for wildlife proving successful; and tiny fern, azolla, helped cool the earth 50 million years ago

The people of the Finger Lakes Region have halted a controversial gas storage project; arborists are working harder to

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Turning urban water drainage systems into 'living streams'; green roof and wall policies being adopted globally; and OK Motels transforming overlooked roadside motels into popular venues

New research is looking at how to turn urban water drainage systems into integrated networks of 'living streams';

Ireland becomes worlds first country to divest from fossil fuels
Ireland to divest from fossil fuels; Eritrea and Ethiopia sign historic peace agreement; and most krill fishing companies pledge to stop harvesting from vast areas of the Antarctic Peninsula

Ireland will become the first country in the world to fully divest from fossil fuels after politicians voted to withdraw

Eradicating rats to protect coral reefs; GoGet car sharing to roll out in regional New South Wales; and businesses refilling water bottles

New research suggests that eradicating rats from tropical islands could be an easy way of bolstering the health of coral reefs; Sydney-based car-sharing service GoGet

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China works to stabilize soils to slow desertification; tourist operators on the Great Barrier Reef oppose Adani's "mega coal mine"; and Hawaii officially bans chemical-laden sunscreens to protect reefs

China has been exploring a range of soil stabilization strategies to slow rates of desertification and sequester carbon; 

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Citizens in Delhi halt the cutting down of more than 16,000 trees; 15 baby quolls born in rewilding program; and UK supermarkets encouraging customers to bring their own containers

A citizen-led movement in Delhi has successfully halted the cutting down of

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Chile's Constitutional Court ratified a bill that bans plastic bags across the country; 
underwater 'hotels' are bringing seahorse populations back to life; and Sleep in Heavenly Peace's motto is "No kid sleeps on the floor in our town"

Chile's Constitutional Court ratified a bill

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French Farmer Cedric Herrou not guilty because he acted under 'principle of fraternity'; biofilters turning cow manure into clean water; and world's first self-cleaning solar eToilets in India

In a landmark decision, the Constitutional Council said that French Farmer Cedric Herrou was not guilty of a crime when he

Indigenous water management
Victorian government working with aboriginal communities to manage water; making church land in the U.S. more accessible to farmers; and Nairobi to go car-free for two days a week

The Victorian government's Aboriginal Water Grants Program is increasing the input of traditional knowledge from

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World’s largest tropical rainforest national park declared in Colombia; 82,000 acres of land permanently protected from drilling in Wyoming; and first pay-as-you-feel supermarket in Melbourne

Colombia’s Serrania del Chiribiquete has been declared the world’s largest

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Universities beginning to discourage flying; Randwick City Council bans single-use plastic in its operations and events; and Local Investing Opportunities Network in East Jefferson County

Universities are beginning to develop policies to discourage academics from flying; Randwick City Council

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Shawn Huckins' exhbition "Erasure"; Seattle's ban on plastic straws, utensils and cocktail picks; and Australia on track for one third renewable energy by 2020

Classically trained painter Shawn Huckins in the U.S. is making powerful protest art. His exhibition "Erasure" underlines how we’re collectively blotting

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World's first red light zone for bats in the Netherlands; Blackheath connects Yulefest and Plastic-Free July; and New York's suicide prevention program 

Dutch scientists have created the world's first red light zone for bats in Zuidhoek-Nieuwkoop; Blackheath, in Australia's Blue Mountains,

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New investment site to avoid funding war; farming programs to help vets transition to civilian life; and 'true cost accounting' and policies to support growth of agroecological food systems

A new investment site helps people avoid funding gun manufacturers and military contractors;

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Ethiopia's new prime minister preaching "love and forgiveness wins"; countries beginning to address public health crisis of loneliness; and Pakistan's 'Billion Tree Tsunami'

Ethiopia's new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, is pushing for a peace deal with regional arch-enemy Eritrea, and preaching "love wins" to a country in need

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Temporary injunction to stop separation of families at U.S. border; Martin Luther King's Poor People's Campaign re-energised; rare microevolution saves starfish from wasting disease

A federal judge in California has issued a nationwide injunction temporarily stopping the Trump administration from

ban on plastic

Mumbai to fine and jail residents using single-use plastics; Morrisons supermarket chain in the UK reviving paper bags; and researchers in Taiwan building machine to retrieve reusable materials from diapers

Mumbai has become the largest Indian city to ban single-use plastics with residents caught using them to face

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Health of Chesapeake Bay improves; students create a toilet out of mushrooms; and Animal Kindness Clubs in Liberia

For the first time in the 33 years that U.S. scientists have assessed the health of the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary showed improvement in every region;

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The Compassionate Neighbours Project; reducing poaching by employing poachers; and 
a £20m research fund to find alternatives to 'devastating' plastic

The Compassionate Neighbours Project aims to bring people together for a minimum of one hour per week to combat the problems of loneliness

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entirely Indigenous-run police station in Western Australia; City of London to achieve 100% renewable energy in its 'square mile' by October; and African King of Condoms preventing new HIV infections

The first entirely Indigenous-run police station in Western Australia is using

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Rare animals emerging in China's reforested areas; Libraries After Dark providing gambling alternative; and McDonalds replacing plastic straws in the UK and Ireland

Rare animals are emerging after 20 years of reforestation in NW China; four Melbourne libraries, in a program called Libraries After Dark,

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A grassroots movement to create marine protected areas; "Be My Eyes" connecting blind users with sighted volunteers via an 'app'; and the Indigenous Land Corporation growing the "Indigenous Estate"

Pierre-Yves Cousteau is leading a grassroots movement to create marine protected areas; Manuel Solano, a blind

Reclaim Appalachia converting former mines to farms; giving young farmers access to land with Australia's first organic farming alliance; and reviving green turtle populations

Reclaim Appalachia is working to convert former mine land into low cost useable farmland as part of building a new

Coral IVF; the Burrito Project to feed the poor; and the 'Living Nature' exhibit at Milan Design Week

A coral fertility treatment, being called 'coral IVF', is helping to increase numbers of baby coral on reefs at Heron Island and One Tree Island; a grassroots project to feed the poor in the United States is growing, burrito by burrito;

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Ikea to phase out single-use plastic products by 2020; Burger King to roll out compostable straws by September; and Australia starts work on world's most sustainable shopping centre

Ikea is to phase out all single-use plastic products from its stores and restaurants by 2020; Burger King

Impact investing doubled in the last year; Plastic Free July kicks off with Transition Bondi film screening; and #WaronWasteAU screening again in July

The movements to 'fix' the problems of the world are growing .... the amount of money being invested in "world changing causes" or impact investing, doubled in the last

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Share the Dignity 'paddy van', vending machines and 3,500 volunteers; Nesterly pairing older homeowners with young renters; and Single O reduces single-use cup waste by 47%

Share the Dignity now has a 'paddy van', 40 vending machines around Australia, and 3,500 volunteers who are providing

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Nine US communities have reached 'functional zero' for homelessness; campaign to plant ten-billion trees to create Trump Forest; and revolutionary 'Alzheimer's village'

Nine communities in the United States have reached a rigorous standard known as 'functional zero' for either veteran or chronic homelessness;

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Tourism and wildlife flourish in Sikkim after pesticide and plastic ware bans; India pledges to eliminate all single-use plastic; and Blak Box pavilion in Sydney celebrates dreaming and deep listening

After the state of Sikkim banned pesticides and plastic ware, tourism and wildlife began to flourish,

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New fridges without harmful refrigerants; personalised immunotherapy defeating terminal cancers; and Miss America ending its swimsuit competition

New thermoelectric fridges are being built that don't use climate-harming refrigerants; personalised immunotherapy is having dramatic results in tackling

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Hawaii has passed a law to go carbon neutral by 2045; Apple is making it harder to track activity on iPhones; and Woolworths will stop selling plastic straws by the end of 2018

Hawaii just passed a law to make the state carbon neutral by 2045; Apple is making it harder for companies to track activity on iPhones;

personalised medicine

New study reveals chemo not needed in many early breast cancers; oyster reef restoration in South Australia; and Chile to ban plastic bags

According to a major international study, many women with early-stage breast cancer who would receive chemotherapy under current standards do not actually need it;

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Vinyl records pressed from recycled marine plastic; US company removing plastic straws from 1,000 locations; and hardware stores removing deadly paint strippers

Sydney Water has created the world's first vinyl record pressed from recycled marine plastic; a major American food-service company is going to ban

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London's Rubbish Cafe; All Vegan Tours; and Nature Conservancy chosen to protect Murrumbidgee floodplain

The Rubbish Cafe, a pop-up in Convent Garden, London, let their customers exchange their plastic waste for food from a zero-waste menu; Intrepid Travel has just launched All Vegan Tours

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Scottish government gives vote to refugees; Green Building Council of Australia focuses on biodiversity and ecology; and Iraqi students salvaging culture to bring city back to life

The Scottish government is giving the right to vote to refugees and asylum seekers; the Green Building Council of Australia wants the building

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Monsanto is being sued for hiding cancer-causing dangers of Roundup; EU is being sued for not acting on climate change; and musicians are celebrating intergenerational communities

An individual, De Wayne Johnson, will be the first person to take Monsanto to trial on allegations that it has spent decades hiding the cancer-causing

Bhungroo, a 'straw for the earth'; otters recolonizing Singapore; and Australian architects focus on endangered Victorian grass plants at Venice Architecture Biennale

Two social entrepreneurs in India have invented Bhungroo, a 'straw for the earth', which is collecting water in floods so that it's available to use in

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#HomeToVote campaign's success; dramatic new shipping fuel standards that could sink tar sands/oil expansion; and musicians supporting farmers

#HomeToVote has motivated Irish women from around the world to board planes and return to Ireland to successfully repeal the 8th; new shipping fuel standards

Rodent eradication saves world's southernmost songbird; first major fossil fuels producer stops seeking growth and reduces reserves; and premature birth rates drop after closure of coal and oil plants

A massive rodent eradication effort on South Georgia Island has saved the South Georgia pipit,

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Strips of wildflowers to reduce need for pesticides; Tasmanian local governments providing housing support for older people; and 
waterproof reusable packaging for online retailers

To reduce the need for pesticides, trials are being run with strips of wildflowers planted through fields in Switzerland

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Social Bite Cafe Chain builds homes for the homeless in Scotland; Rip Curl offers Wetsuit Recycling Program; and EU's top court backs ban on bee-harming insecticides 

Social Bite, a cafe chain that employs homeless people and runs a scheme to provide free food to rough sleepers, has gone a step further,

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New TV show about conversing respectfully; study comparing natural regeneration and treeplanting; and research demonstrating that cold washing quadruples longevity of clothes

Andrew Denton is modelling how to converse respectfully with people you don't agree with in his new TV show;

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Vancouver to ban straws and foam containers by 2019; India's solar station; Germany 100% renewable on May Day; and retailers withdraw yabby nets to protect wildlife

The City of Vancouver will ban straws and foam containers by 2019 as part of a strategic plan to reach zerowaste by 2040; India now has

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Estonia to provide free public transport; launch of Plastic Free Trust Mark; and New Zealand pledges to measure success by wellbeing, not just GDP

On July 1, the entire country of Estonia will create the largest 24/7 free public transit zone in the world, one that will stretch across its entire territory;

India rules seeds can't be patented; Senate upholds Net Neutrality; and Delaware becomes first US state to ban child marriage

India's top court has upheld a decision that seeds can't be patented; the Senate voted 52 to 47 to reverse the Federal Communications Commission decision in December to repeal landmark 2015 net

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Seattle City Council taxes Amazon and largest companies to fund affordable housing; Odisha hands out land rights to slum dwellers; and "Grassroots: A Documentary"

Seattle City Council will tax Amazon and the city's largest companies to fund more affordable housing and reduce homelessness; Odisha, one of India's

Homeless given sanctuary in St Boniface church; Paul Quinn College turned football field into an organic urban work farm; and two African women stopped government's secret nuclear deal

The non-denominational Gubbio Project was founded to provide sanctuary, a place to rest, and support, to an average of 225

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Costa Rica to become the first fully decarbonised country in the world; Dubai project to farm the desert; and logging ban extended to protect Victoria's Leadbeater's possums

Costa Rica's new president has announced a plan to ban fossil fuels and become the first fully decarbonised country in the world; a pilot project

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'Love Tunnel' for Mountain Pygmy Possums; dilapidated dingo farm transformed; and lesser long-nosed bat first U.S. bat to recover from imminent threat of extinction

Zoos Victoria, Mt Hotham Resort and DELWP have built a specially designed 'love tunnel' to link male and female critically endangered Mountain Pygmy

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Wales to become world's 'first refill nation'; Sweden introduces world's 'first mental health ambulance'; and Norway creating world's 'first zero emissions zone at sea'

A lot of 'world firsts' happening! Wales is collaborating with water companies, businesses and charities to become the world's first 'refill nation',

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Kerala commited to 100% organic by 2020; Vancouver land trust to build more than 1,000 apartments for low-income residents; and specialized environmental courts growing globally

High cancer rates motivated the Kerala government in India to commit to making its agriculture 100 percent organic by 2020

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Art & Science work to create perfect chicken for African farmers; improving conditions for the world's poorest shoemakers; and a virtual microgrid in the Latrobe Valley

Art and science are working together as researchers in Ethiopia embark on a quest to create the perfect chicken for African farmers

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Muhammad Yunus and social impact; NZ government promises homes for homeless before winter; and public banking in U.S.

Muhammad Yunus encourages us to see the world not through the lens of profit, but of social impact, and has written a new book: "A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment

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Humpback whale comeback; Hawaii bans the pesticide chlorpyrifos; and Queensland passes the strongest land-clearing laws in its history

Humpback whales in the southern oceans near Antarctica appear to be making a comeback, with females in recent years having a high pregnancy rate

Facial recognition in India helps reunite 3,000 missing children with their parents; draconian plastic bag ban cleaning up Kenya; and grassroots victory against industrial pig farming

Indian police found 3,000 missing children within four days of launching a new facial recognition system - it compared  photos of

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KSCA artist/farmer/scientist project; States sue Trump over rollback of fuel economy standards; and New Hampshire mobile home parks become resident-owned cooperatives

The Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation is now working on a multi-partner project in regional NSW which is bringing together artists, farmers

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Community Land Trusts; hospitality training for the homeless, refugees and young people with additional needs; and cultural reforms sweeping Saudi Arabia

Growing Community Land Trusts to create affordable housing; Farming Hope, Four Brave Women and Moon Rabbit: cafes providing employment

Hope for future of biodiversity conservation; India's forest cover grows over 6,700 sq km in two years; Pakistan sets world record planting over one million mangroves; and Indonesias pressured by Asian Games to reduce annual fire haze

A landmark paper finds that the enormous trends toward population

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Europe bans bee-killing pesticides; Netherlands cleans their chlorine-free water by dune filtration; and world's first e-waste microfactory launched in Sydney

European regulators on Friday approved a "groundbreaking" and "historic" ban on neonicotinoids - the bee-killing pesticides; water companies

Preston in the UK is reversing a failing system; Europe's largest bank to stop funding fossil fuels; and Penrith council installs water refill stations

Preston in the UK is proving that failing systems can be improved to become fairer for all. The “Preston Model” is helping inspire a new conversation

Hollows Foundation helping 500 blind Rohingya refugees a week to see again; zero-waste grocery store opens in Singapore; and Michael Bloomberg to pay for US commitment to Paris Agreement

The Hollows Foundation is supporting doctors to fix the eyes of 500 people a week in a Rohingya refugee camp in

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Rewilding farmland in West Sussex; returning bison to the wilds of Siberia; and closing the southern part of Central Park to cars

A pioneering project to 'rewild' farmland in West Sussex is attracting more and more endangered species and producing a wealth of information

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Corridor planting for red squirrels in Wales; Rotary planting mangroves in the Bahamas; and carbon-farming to tackle climate change in the U.S.

100,000 trees and 75 miles (120km) of hedges will be planted in four corners of Wales to help connect woodlands and create safe habitat corridors

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Dance parties for the elderly; 16,359 electric buses in Shenzhen; and trialling nature-based coastal defences in Port Phillip Bay

Dance parties are being held in Amsterdam to help elderly people feel less lonely. They get people together on the dance floor for what one organizer calls legitimized "knuffelen" — hugging;

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Germany to massively restrict weed-killer glyphosate; 60 British music festivals to ban single-use plastic; and Flemish government to ban new urban development from 2040 unless an equivalent area of land is returned to nature

Germany is finalizing a draft regulation to end use of the weed-killer glyphosate in household gardens,

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UK to ban plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds; Indonesia to expand rehabilitation centres instead of prisons; and researchers discover moss that can clear arsenic from water

The UK has announced their plan to ban all plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds

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Quiet concrete to reduce noise pollution; the Girl Club taking over a village in India; and permaculture compulsory in schools in Timor-Leste

Noise has been described as the new secondhand smoke, and cities are now introducing strategies to reduce it ... like quiet concrete; Girl Clubs are springing up in remote villages across India,

Bruce Pascoe on the Great Forgetting; Mariam Issa and RAW; and new global pact on biodiversity

Bruce Pascoe, author of Dark Emu, spoke today at the Australasian Permaculture Convergence about 'The Great Forgetting', and drew attention to the absence in our histories of information about Aboriginal culture