Bright Side

7 Initiatives That Raise the Bar for a Better World


In recent years, young activists like Greta Thunberg proved to the world that a mere statement for a cause can have a ripple effect. But you don’t have to travel the world speaking in forums and in the news. Rather, you can begin by making positive changes in your own family, community, and country like some of these people we’re sharing with you.

We at Bright Side strive to bring brightness to your future days and years ahead. We support and salute these people who share in our same mission, in the hopes that many more will follow in their footsteps.

1. Italians built vertical forests in the city.

The vertical forests or Bosco Verticale, are a series of high-rise buildings that are completely covered by greenery, designed by the Italian architect and urban planner Stefano Boeri. The buildings were meant to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and provide better air quality throughout the entire city. Each building houses thousands of different plants, which add up to roughly 30,000 square meters of flora.

2. Farmers in Britain returned Christmas trees to the forest.

In the UK, over 160,000 tons of evergreen trees are tossed into landfills once the holidays are over. Companies like Primrose Vale Farm and London Christmas Tree Rental have come up with a solution to this issue by renting out potted Christmas trees. After the holidays, the trees are put back in the field to continue growing for the next Christmas season, rather than being thrown into the garbage.

3. North America featured an exhibition to fight ocean waste.

The Washed Ashore Project is a united effort to spread awareness of the deadly effects of ocean waste. Larger than life sculptures are made from plastics and various waste that are collected from beach clean-ups. These sculptures are then exhibited in various areas throughout North America in the hopes of educating children and helping people understand the importance of conserving natural bodies of water.

4. An indigenous town in Guatemala has banned all plastic products.

The small town of San Pedro La Laguna rests by the Lake Atitlán and is the ancestral home of the Tz’utujil Maya, one of the key groups that make up the local Mayan culture. In order to preserve its heritage and conserve the lake, the local government decided to issue a zero-tolerance ban on all single-use plastics. The residents of the town have since turned back to traditional methods like using wicker baskets for transport, cloth napkins for eating, and banana leaves for packaging.

5. The UK government made a plan to plant 1 million trees by 2022.

The United Kingdom has become the first major economy to decree a move toward net-zero emissions by the year 2050. With less than 3 decades to fulfill this goal, the government has proposed to plant 130,000 trees in its first year, working toward a total of 1 million trees by next year. Due to difficulties in making space for trees in major cities, the plan is to focus on planting in agricultural areas and farmlands throughout the country.

6. A Dutch flower exporter found a way to grow greenery in deserts.

Groasis is a company in Holland founded by Pieter Hoff. Hoff is a lily breeder who traveled across the world importing and exporting flowers, and he noticed the absence of water and flora in many of the locations that he visited. This led him to create the Groasis Waterboxx, which is a “planting device that makes growing crops in the desert possible and resource-efficient.” The Waterboxx requires 90% less water than traditional plants and is made from recycled paper.

7. A mother opened “Special Kneads Bakery” in Illinois to employ her son with cerebral palsy.

Special Kneads Bakery is a bakery founded by parents who wanted to provide a safe working environment for their son with cerebral palsy. “We wanted a place for him and others, where they are accepted and encouraged,” says mom Margaret Cortes. “[We hope] to sweeten the lives of young adults with disabilities, by providing life skills training and vocational opportunities in a warm, safe environment within our community.”

Which of these practices would you like to see happen in your own area? Is there a person or community you know of that is trying to make the world a better place?

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