Category Archives: Eco News

Good News for Snow Leopards

Good news for Siberian snow leopards! A recent survey by the environmental group, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has found that the population of Altai snow leopards has been holding steady for the past three years.

This wild cat is one of the most endangered animals in the world. WWF’s recent survey identified 65 leopards living in the remote mountains in Siberia.

While 65 animals might not seem like a lot, the population has been slowly growing over the past decade. And with the recent survey confirming that the population has been stable over the past three years, it means that poachers and climate change haven’t significantly impacted the cat.

WWF is teaming up with local residents, including former poachers to protect the Altai snow leopards. They’re using high tech camera “traps to capture stunning images of the cats.

As more and more people see how beautiful these animals are, this will continue to raise awareness and sway public opinion to protect these beautiful felines.

To help support WWF’s conservation efforts, you can adopt a snow leopard on the their website. It’s a unique gift. In addition to “adoption” papers, you’ll also receive a plushie snow leopard as part of WWF’s snow leopard adoption kit.

Tiger Update: The Good, Bad, and How You Can Make a Difference

There’s good news and bad news since I first wrote about grreat news for tigers in 2017. Two years ago, there was cause to celebrate because the wild tiger population was on the rise for the first time in over a hundred years. A 2016 wildlife survey estimated that the wild tiger population had increased by almost 25{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} to 3,890 tigers.

Here’s the good news:

Back in 2010, at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit, nations joined together to work towards a goal to double the tiger population. This was an ambitious goal, and the good news is that there’s already a country on course to meet this goal.

Nepal announced in September 2018, that they were on track to double their wild tiger population. In a 2017/2018 national survey, they counted 235 tigers in the wild, as compared to only 121 tigers in 2009.

The Nepalese government joined forces with non-profit organizations, World Wildlife Fund and the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation, to strengthen anti-poaching patrols, protect core areas for tiger breeding, monitor tiger populations, and restore critical corridors to ensure tigers can travel easily throughout the country.

Unfortunately, here’s the bad news:

A month after Nepal announced their remarkable achievement, China legalized the medical use of tiger bones from captive bred animals. This effectively reversed a ban that had been in effect for 25 years.

But, there’s a silver lining:

There was a worldwide public outcry after China’s announcement to allow the use and trade of tiger bones again. As a result, only a few weeks after the announcement, China changed their stance, stating that they would postpone the legal use of tiger bones until after further study.

Currently, there haven’t been any major updates to the situation. However, you can make a difference by supporting organizations like World Wildlife Fund and the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation in their work to save tigers.

You can also avoid visiting touristy “wildlife parks” that offer the opportunity to bottle-feed cubs or get your picture taken with a lion or tiger. Many of these “attractions” are actually farms for illegally supplying big cat bones to Asia, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.

Share this with friends who are traveling in South Africa or Asia, so that they can avoid big cat tourist traps and instead donate the money to tiger conversation.

Here’s where you can learn more:

9 Green Milestones to Be Grateful For

It can feel quite disheartening to see the state of environmental progress in the United States with respect to the federal government. However, it’s not all bad news for the environment. There are a lot of amazing initiatives and milestones happening all over the world. Here are 11 recent developments to be thankful for:

1. Spain Closing Most of Its Coal Mines by the End of This Year

The Spanish government has been working closely with the coal mining industry to close coal mines. They plan to close almost all of the coal mines in Spain by the end of this year. Yes, that’s 2018.

To ease the transition, plans are in place to help displaced workers. Early retirement is being offered to miners over 48, projects are planned to restore the environment in communities with coal pits, and workers will be retrained to work in green industries.

This gives a roadmap for other countries to follow, where coal mines can be shut down and workers aren’t left with a lump of coal, but instead, they have retirement or a bright future in green technologies to look forward to.

Read more at The Guardian.

2. A Win for the Amazon Rainforest

According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Colombia’s rainforests got a boost in July of this year. The Serrania de Chiribiquete National Park was increased in size from 6.9 million acres to 10.6 million acres, making it the world’s largest tropical rainforest park. The park was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ensuring that future generations will benefit from this protected national (and world) treasure.

Read more and see stunning photos of Serrania de Chiribiquete at World Wildlife Fund.

3. Creating Water Reserves in Mexico

More from WWF: On June 2nd, 2018, Mexico’s President signed a series of presidential decrees to create water reserves throughout the country. Eugene Barrios, who directs WWF-Mexico’s water program, states, “Water reserves focus on water when it’s still in the ecosystem, where it does all sorts of important things—transporting sediments, keeping riverbeds clean, providing water for different plant and animal species, and supporting human activities like fishing and tourism. This is a landmark decision because it’s a proactive approach to water management for both humans and the eco-system.”

For more details, visit World Wildlife Fund’s website.

4. Lego Made from Sustainable Sugarcane

Lego is one step closer to its goal of using sustainable products to create all of its core products. Lego’s plant pieces are now made from plastic derived from sustainable sugarcane as opposed to petroleum-based plastics. Eco-friendly leaves, trees, and bushes began appearing in Lego sets this year. Load-bearing bricks are a bigger challenge, but with an investment of $164 million in a Sustainable Materials Centre, Lego is well on its way to meeting its target of sustainable products for 2030.

Read more at Lego.com

5. Clean Up Begins on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Work has begun to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This mass of plastic debris floating in the ocean is estimated to cover an area the size of Texas, and possibly as large as Russia.

In September of this year, a 2,000 foot boom was deployed to start cleaning plastic waste from the ocean. The clean-up device works like a giant net to trap plastic garbage, which will be removed by supporting vessels every few months.

The project was developed by The Ocean Cleanup, an organization founded by 24-year old Boyan Slat. He had an idea, and he made it happen. It’s amazing how one person can make a huge difference!

Watch the deployment on the local CBS San Francisco website

6. Jamaica Bans Plastic Straws, Styrofoam and Single Use Plastic Bags

Jamaica announced a ban on straws, styrofoam and bags to begin on January 1st of 2019. This is huge when you consider that only a couple of months ago, the Governor of California signed a bill banning restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws. Jamaica, where half of the country’s total foreign exchange earnings and a quarter of jobs are from tourism, made a huge statement by outright banning plastic straws. Jamaica’s comprehensive ban will help keep plastic waste out of our oceans.

7. More Corporations Commit to 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} Renewable Power

RE100 is a global initiative of influential companies working towards the goal of running their operations on 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} renewable energy. They recently welcomed 13 new members, including Capital One, Sony Corporation, McKinsey & Company, Royal Bank of Scotland, WeWork, clothing giant PVH, Decathlon, Lyft, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, Fuyo General Lease Co., and TRIDL, and the first members from Turkey (Gürmen Group) and Latin America (Grupo Bimbo).

Currently, there are 155 companies who have joined the RE100 initiative and are committed to 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} renewable power. Members include the biggest and most recognizable brands in the world, including Apple, Google, IKEA, BMW, Carlsberg, CITI, CocaCola, Goldman Sachs, GM, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, Walmart and more.

So even though some governments may be dragging their heels on renewable energy, this corporate initiative will continue leading the way and building momentum for 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} sustainable energy.

You can check out the entire list of member companies on the RE100 website

8. Sweden Reaches Its Renewables Targets 12 Years Ahead of Schedule

A big round of applause to Sweden for hitting its 2030 renewable energy targets 12 years ahead of schedule. By the end of this year, Sweden will have 3,681 wind turbines installed. This gives the country enough capacity to meet their target of adding 18 terawatt-hours of renewable energy by 2030, only they’ve done it in 2018. It just goes to show that change can happen quickly.

Read more about how Sweden achieved this amazing goal on the Bloomberg website.

9. China Hits Carbon Reduction Goals 12 Years Ahead of Schedule

Speaking of being ahead of schedule with environmental goals, China hit peak carbon levels (as committed to in the Paris climate) 12 years earlier than its original goal of 2020. China has been investing heavily in wind and solar power, reducing coal consumption, and boosting demand for electric vehicles.

You can read all the details on The Daily Beast.

5 Amazing Wins for Mother Earth in 2017:
Good News from Around the World

environment good news, good news earthGood news! It’s not all doom and gloom for planet Earth. Positive changes are happening all around the world in a big way. Governments, citizens and non-profits are working together to protect endangered species and their habitats. Cities and countries are going green by embracing new technologies, reducing their dependency on oil and gas, and banning disposable plastics. The global shift to care for our planet is happening at an accelerated rate, and it’s unstoppable.

Here’s some good news to start off 2017:

1. Grrreat News for Tigers

Since this is a cat blog, let’s start off with some grrreat news for big cats. The wild tiger population is on the rise for the first time in a century. A 2016 survey counted 3,890 tigers, which is an increase from an estimate of 3,200 tigers in 2010. Tiger numbers are up in India, Russia, Nepal, and Bhutan as these countries work to protect tiger habitats and discourage poaching.

Source: National Geographic

2. Pandas Are No Longer Endangered

There’s even more great news for cats. The giant panda was downgraded from endangered to threatened. Why is it good news for cats? Because in Chinese, the literal translation of the Chinese characters for panda is “bear cat.”
Some encouraging numbers:

  • 17{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} increase in the number of giant pandas from 2004 to 2014
  • 1,864 wild pandas living in their natural habitat (not in zoos)
  • 67 panda reserves protect almost two-thirds of the wild panda population

Source: World Wildlife Fund

3. China Announces Ban on Ivory Sales

It’s a landmark year for elephants because the Chinese government is on track to ban commercial processing and ivory sales by March 2017. The ban reflects a dramatic change in public opinion over ivory. A recent study by Save the Elephants found that 71{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of Chinese citizens were opposed to the ivory trade. That’s a huge shift in consciousness because in 2012, less than half of those surveyed were opposed to ivory trading. This big change has resulted in an 85{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} decline in ivory purchases. With less demand, the price of ivory has fallen sharply from $4,600 to $2,400 per pound. Less money = fewer poachers = more elephants in the future.

Source: Good News Network

4. Netherlands’ Electric Trains Now Run on Wind Energy

The Dutch keep leading the world with sustainable transportation. In addition to their extensive network of bicycle paths, every electric train in the country is now powered by wind energy. What’s even more amazing and inspiring is that Dutch railway companies made this pledge in 2015, and reached their goal a full year ahead of schedule. Just goes to show that when cities are committed to making a positive impact, they can change like the wind.

Source: Good News Network

5. Delhi Recently Bans All Disposable Plastics

Delhi is the third largest city in the world, with a population of 18.9 million. This Indian city recently voted for a complete ban on disposable plastics. Because Asian countries are the biggest consumers of these plastics, the ban will significantly help to reduce plastic waste. And the ban is inspiring enterprising businesses to develop new technologies such as edible plastics.

Source: TreeHugger

Be the Change You Want to See

While governments have been instrumental in many of these changes, the initiative for change always begins with citizens at the individual level. People make the difference. Education and raising awareness make a difference.

Will you help be the change you want to see?

Please share this article to inspire others. Thank you.

Good News for the Environment: Big Cat Success, From the President, and a Windy Amazon

Sometimes it seems like all the news about the environment is BAD news. When I worked at World Wildlife Fund, I was amazed at how much good news there was, but it just didn’t get picked up by mainstream media.

Here’s the latest round-up of good stuff happening for our planet:

1) Tiger Populations Are on the Rise in India

Indian_Tiger

WWF International reported some great news for big cats. Seeing as this is a blog for cat lovers, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that tiger populations in Indian have dramatically increased by over 50{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} from 2006 to 2014.

As reported by WWF-International:

India’s tiger population has significantly increased according to the 2014-15 India tiger estimation report released today. Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in numbers– from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,226 in 2014.

The increase in the tiger population can be largely attributed to better management and improved protection within tiger reserves and other tiger bearing protected areas. Poaching remains the greatest threat to wild tigers today with tiger parts in high demand throughout Asia.

Discover what’s helping India’s tiger population bounce back >>

2) President Vows to Take Action on Climate Change

In President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he stated:

“No challenge, no challenge, poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.

This was reported hot off the press on the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) staff blog:

President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to tackling climate change in his State of the Union Address. As the president laid out his plans to revitalize the economy, strengthen security, and expand opportunity, he made it clear that the path to a brighter tomorrow leads straight through climate action.

Find out what the President plans to do to tackle climate change >>

3) Amazon’s Powering Up with Wind Farms

As consumers, we’re often looking at how we can reduce our power consumption by purchasing energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances. However, that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to how much energy is used to power the data centers that are the backbone of the Internet.

Amazon with its cloud services and web services is one of the biggest online players. It’s been a bit slow to switching to sustainable energy, but recently made a commitment to achieve 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} renewable energy usage for their global infrastructure footprint. Their plans include building a 150-megawatt wind farm that will generate approximately 500,000 MWh of energy each year. That’s equivalent to what’s used by 46,000 homes!

Learn which are the most and least eco-friendly Internet companies >>

Latest Good News for the Planet – Whales and Carbon Emissions

When I worked at World Wildlife Fund, I was amazed at how much good stuff was going on for the environment. Prior to working at WWF, it seemed like there was only BAD news. It made me realize that a lot of the positive work to improve the planet doesn’t get reported by mainstream media. That’s why I’ve decided to start posting articles to share some of the great work that’s going on right now.

Here’s what I learned from the Summer 2014 edition of Nature’s Voice, the member’s newsletter published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

A Whale of a Victory for Whales!

In March 2014, the U.N. International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program is illegal. Japan got around whaling bans by claiming that their whale hunting activities were for “scientific research” as opposed to the sale and consumption of whale meat.

photo 1(9)Thankfully, Japan is going to abide by the ruling and halt their whaling activities. Yay for whales! Speaking of which, we had the chance opportunity to see whales last weekend. If you look closely in the water, there is a small white blur above the ocean’s surface. That’s a whale blowing spray up in the air. I also spotted many tails and the occasional fin. I estimate there were about a half dozen different whales. Absolutely magnificent!

Bye Bye Dirty Power

On June 2, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. The new plan includes new national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. Allowable emissions are to be reduced to 30{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} below 2005 levels.

These new regulations will help to eliminate dirty power sources that generate a lot of pollution and shift the emphasis to clean and renewable resources such as wind, sun or hydroelectric.

Of course, there’s a lot of protest from the industry and its supporters. That’s why I like to support the NRDC’s work. They focus on getting legislation passed that helps the environment. If you’d like to support them or learn more about what they do, visit their website at www.nrdc.org.


Green Little Cat is the only blog that's all about eco-friendly ideas for cats and cat lovers. This blog is a labor of love, created by Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys.