Let’s keep the good times rolling with this month's positive news update. We round up the best news for the planet in February 2022. You’ll be surprised how much great news there is.
We introduce you to two British species who are making a comeback, reflect on a record-breaking Veganuary, introduce you to One Planet Plate, let you know why AI is helping our wildlife and ecosystems, and celebrate the end of whaling in Iceland.
Let’s get started!
British species that are bouncing back
This week, two native British species were announced to be bouncing back, the UK’s tallest bird, and a butterfly.
Let’s start with the UK’s tallest bird, the crane. Cranes were actually wiped out in the UK, four centuries ago but reintroduced themselves to Norfolk (clearly they missed us!) in the 1970s.
This month it was announced that 40 chicks fledged in 2021, putting the crane population in the UK at around 200.
Meanwhile, the chequered skipper butterfly which disappeared from the UK in 1976 now has a stable population in Northamptonshire which means visitors are now able to visit the butterflies’ new home in a Northamptonshire woodland.
These rewilding efforts show that we are rebuilding the biodiversity in the UK and will have lots more native species to enjoy for many years to come.
A record number of people took part in Veganuary in 2022
We were thrilled to learn that things were looking good for Veganuary. We’re even more excited to confirm that that was indeed the case.
This year the team behind Veganuary supported 629,000 people in 228 different countries and territories to try a month-long plant-based diet.
Here in the UK, we saw 682 new vegan products launch in supermarkets and on restaurant menus.
With the adoption of a plant-based diet reducing your carbon footprint by around 50% compared to eating meat, it’s great to see so many people in nearly every country or territory in the world taking part in the challenge.
Feeling inspired? You don’t necessarily need to just reduce the animal products you consume in January - why not try another month, week, or just a day every week to reduce your carbon footprint? There are loads of great recipes online!
One Planet Plate launches
Speaking of food, a worldwide restaurant campaign has launched to address issues with our food systems.
With the food we eat directly, or indirectly, being one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, One Planet Plate brings together some of the world’s top chefs to accelerate us towards a more sustainable hospitality sector. You’ll be able to find restaurants to eat in and recipes to cook at home for a delicious and environmentally conscious meal.
We’re going to be keeping our eyes on this, and probably indulging in a few dinners out!
AI could help save wildlife and the environment
AI has been found to be one of the top emerging technologies in conservation. From helping to protect species like humpback whales and koalas to stopping poaching, and tracking water levels, AI is here to look after our planet.
In Brazil, the country has lost 15% of its surface water in the last 30 years. The scale of this wasn’t even known until AI helped to analyse over 150,000 images. Without AI, scientists would have no idea what the scale of the problem is, but now they do, they can work to prevent further surface level water losses and protect Brazil’s biodiversity.
Iceland cancels all new whaling permits
Great news for Whales. Iceland is no longer issuing whaling permits which means that commercial whaling in Iceland’s waters will come to an end by the end of next year. This means that the number of countries that participate in whaling will decrease from 3 to 2.
Whaling practices are of course controversial and can also damage other sea life, and sea habitats. So we’re really glad that this is coming to an end!
So, what have we learnt? We learnt that the UK’s tallest bird is the crane and that a new butterfly has been successfully introduced here in the UK. We also found out that in nearly every country and territory in the world, someone took part in Veganuary, and that there’s a pretty cool new food enterprise that’s been launched to help us eat more sustainably. Plus we’ve covered how AI is helping us look after the planet by making the lives of climate scientists easier. And there’s some super positive news for whales too!
Have we missed any big positive news stories for February? Or do you have some great news to share for March? Then let us know in the comments below. We’re always looking for inspiration and positive eco news stories!