Positively Newsworthy is one of our favourite sections of the magazine. Here, we aim to highlight stories of hope, optimistic perspectives and joyous developments in our world. We hope you enjoy this extract from our Spring 2020 issue, and that you are staying safe and well at this time.
Food scraps become fuel
by Alison McEvoy
Rubbish goes by the name of ‘trash’ in Toronto, and soon trash in Toronto will be known by a new name – biofuel. Specifically, food trash is about to go through a major transformation in the Canadian capital.
By March of this year, a large chunk of the city of Toronto’s fleet of garbage trucks will be fuelled by the very food waste which they collect. An ingenious plan is underway to send all the compostable waste collected by the garbage fleet to a newly constructed waste management facility. There, anaerobic digestors will capture all the biogas produced by the waste and turn it into renewable natural gas.
Food waste itself is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so this re-imagination of the power and potential of food scraps creates a double saving for the environment. No longer will the food waste be burnt off, as is standard industry practice, releasing its emissions into the atmosphere, and no longer will the trucks that carry it be burning diesel.
This is imagination, intelligence and love of planet combined. This love-for-planet-in-action is what the smart minds and hearts of every city who love this world can take heed and hope from. Protesting could be replaced then by plans of action proposed to the powers that be. Offering ways forward instead of simply shouting that things are not as they should be, could be a much more productive way of aiding change. So, here’s one for the books about what can be done. If there, why not here?
Hope for Australia
Saving animals, one life at a time
by Aisling Cronin
Many of us in the Northern Hemisphere have been shocked by the Australian bushfire crisis, helpless to do anything other than donate what we can to the rescue efforts and raise awareness of what is happening, wherever possible. However, there is hope to be found in tiny glimmers of nature’s resilience that are now being seen in certain areas. Plants are slowly begin to return to some scorched tracts of land. Human kindness and offerings of support have also brought comfort to many people who have lost their homes.
One positive story has come from an amazing wild animal rescue and rehabilitation organisation called WIRES. Over the last five years, WIRES has worked with the World Wildlife Fund, Humane Society International, The Wilderness Society, the Nature Conservation Council, Birdlife, RSPCA, Animal Welfare League and many others, furthering their ongoing contribution to the wildlife rehabilitation sector.
WIRES’ presence has mostly been concentrated in New South Wales – where we are responding to more than 90,000 rescues each year – and they also receive around 170,000 calls to our 1300 WIRES line annually. In the face of untold devastation, the organisation is now playing a vital role in saving Australia’s native species, one life at a time.
Speaking of one of their recent kangaroo rescues on social media, WIRES said, ‘Each life saved is special, and although this joey is orphaned, she is now safely in care.’