Oil drilling stopped in Ecuadorian Amazon, solar energy powers school budgets, surfing as therapy

Photo: Ryk Porras / Unsplash (CC0)

In today’s edition of Squirrel News, we take a look at a successful referendum in Ecuador that halted oil drilling in the Amazon, a US school district’s strategy to boost its budget by adopting solar power, and how the NHS and the US Navy embrace surfing as an effective therapeutic approach.

Ecuador votes to halt oil drilling in Amazonian biodiversity hotspot

58% of Ecuadorians voted to stop oil exploration in Yasuní national park in the Amazon. This protects the precious ecosystem as well as two of the last “uncontacted” tribes in the world.

Source: The Guardian

Solar power boosts school budget in Pennsylvania

Looking to overcome budgetary challenges, a school district in Pennsylvania installed 3500 solar panels that now power multiple schools. The district estimates that it will save $1.6 million in utility bills and will invest that in teachers’ salaries and infrastructure upgrades.

Source: Clean Energy Revolution

Plant diversity in urban green spaces led to sevenfold increase in insect species

To investigate the impact of urban greening on insect diversity, scientists seeded 12 native plant species on a 195 sq m plot of land by a major road in Melbourne, Australia. They found that 94 insect species inhabited the land after 3 years, 7.3 times the initial number.

Source: The Guardian

800.000 student loans forgiven in USA

The Biden administration announced the measure, which will forgive federal student loan debt with a combined value of $39 billion.

Source: CBS News

Hundreds of wheelchair-friendly beaches in Greece

147 beaches in Greece have already been fitted with the innovative Greek-designed Seatrac system, which can be used autonomously by wheelchair users. Officials plan a total of 287 beaches around the country to have it.

Source: Greek Reporter

Native Wētāpunga giant insect returned to New Zealand islands

The enormous insect which outlived the dinosaurs was wiped out from the main islands 200 years ago due to introduced predators. Auckland Zoo has now reintroduced them after a decade of work on breeding and habitat rehabilitation.

Source: RNZ

Philadelphia nonprofit boosts Latino and immigrant entrepreneurship

Greenline Access Capital is a community development financial institution (CFDI) in Philadelphia which specifically caters to the underserved community of Latino and immigrant businessowners.

Source: Next City

Singapore tackles e-waste

The Singaporean government enacted an innovative law in 2019 forcing producers to collect used appliances and electronic products for recycling. There are also non-profit organisations that fix old appliances to foster the circular economy.

Source: Mongabay

Communities on opposite sides of the world fight together against trash

Grassroots organisations in the Philippines and US have collaborated and supported each other in their missions to tackle pollution. In Manila activists collect trash and recycle it, whereas in Detroit they have successfully advocated against a waste incinerator.

Source: Grist

Surfing as therapy

Surfing has been proven to help people with depression, anxiety and trauma. The sport has recently been embraced as an effective therapeutic approach by the UK’s National Health Service and by the US Navy.

Source: Reasons To Be Cheerful

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