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April: A Month of Sustainable Celebrations

grassy field with blossoming tree
April 16, 2020

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we’re sharing some good news in sustainability from this past month.

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is coming up next week (but everyday is Earth Day, right?), on April 22. To celebrate Earth’s big day, we’re sharing some good news in sustainability from this past month. 

It can be hard to find positive stories in our current situation, but we promise that they’re there. Take the kākāpō. This critically endangered parrot has just had a record-breaking breeding season in it’s home country of New Zealand.

A little closer to home, the UMN system is creating sustainable change on individual levels with the Earth Day Ecochallenge. The challenge invites team members to commit to sustainable actions and report on their progress. So far, we’ve composted up to 3 pounds of waste, saved up to 157 pounds of CO2, spent up to 4,481 minutes outdoors and much, much more. And, we’re currently ranked #1 in Minnesota! You can help create change here

Other positive sustainability stories around the world include: 

  • A new scientific report suggests that the oceans could be restored within 30 years.
  • The nation of Niue, in the South Pacific Ocean, is the first country to be designated as a “dark sky” location. It joins more than 100 other “dark sky” places around the world, which produce so little light pollution that the night’s sky can be clearly seen.
  • NASA has requested help from gamers and social scientists to help virtually identify and classify corals using the program NeMO-Net, or the Neural Multi-Modal Observation and Training Network. 
  • A new solar design for clean houses has been created using solar-paneled driveways that are made from plastic bottles.
  • The city of Utrecht in Belgium has recently converted more than 300 of its bus stops into bee shelters to support the local pollinator population.
  • Canada has created new regulations to ban industrial activities (like oil production) in protected areas around Canada’s coasts. 

Wherever you are in the world right now, we hope you will join our office in celebrating Earth Day. If you’d like to participate in the UMN system-wide Ecochallenge, you can join our team here