Let’s face it, it hasn’t been the greatest news year, but it hasn’t been all bad. In the spirit of the festive season, we decided to bring you 17 of the most inspirational, heartwarming and happy news stories of 2017.
1) A glimmer of hope for the Great Barrier Reef
Scientists have found a way to breed baby coral on the Great Barrier Reef. The project has the ability to restore damaged Coral populations.
2) Amazon’s new HQ will house 200 homeless people
The tech giant said it would donate more than 47,000 square feet of space within its newest Seattle headquarters building as a permanent location to house homeless people.
3) Snow leopards taken off endangered species list
For the first time in 45 years, snow leopards are no longer considered an endangered species. The decline of the species may have slowed down due to a series of conservation efforts.
4) An Argentinian shoe company makes shoes from discarded tire scraps and employs single mothers
Xinca’s main objective is to empower women who don’t have access to education by providing them the training they need to work.
5) Young guy travels 1000 miles to meet old lady after competing in over 324 games of crossword puzzle
Their story went viral across the internet. Below is the guy’s tweet with some some amazing and pure photos.
so last summer i randomly met this 80 y/o woman on words with friends. we played 300+ games together and she actually ended up becoming a good friend of mine. today i got to go to florida and meet her in person💜 pic.twitter.com/VXDbNS4eUo
— High Class Filth (@Filth800) December 1, 2017
6) New Zealand government to plant 100 million trees yearly
New Zealand’s next prime minister Jacinda Ardern has set ambitious environmental policies to confront a warming planet.
7) Pandas get giant park in China
China is planning to create a giant panda reserve three times the size of Yellowstone national park in the US, as part of efforts to boost the wild population of the long-endangered animal. [The Guardian]
8) US Carbon Dioxide emissions drop to their lowest level since 1991
Carbon Dioxide emissions from energy sources hit a 25-year low in 2017 as the power sector burns less carbon-intensive coal and more low-cost natural gas. [Reuters]
9) A Museum of Happiness is coming to London
Though the Museum of Happiness has been a non-profit organisation for the last two years, they haven’t actually had a permanent location. The volunteer team has simply organised pop-up events, classes, and workshops for drop-in participation.
After successfully raising for the $36,000 in one month, however, the organisation is set to open up their physical museum at Arlington House – the UK’s biggest homeless hostel in Camden, London. [Good News Network]
10) Hairdress gives free haircuts to the homeless
Joshua Coombes, who works at Jeff Goodwin’s salon in Exeter, has queues for his services every night when he sets up shop in the city’s streets. He can cut up to 7 people’s hair in a night.
‘For me, it is about giving something back and raising awareness of the homeless and by doing it on the street, it breaks the generalisation and so far it has been a good response,’ Josh said. [Metro]
Before and After of Darak. I enjoy talking to this guy so much. After seeing him around the city and getting to know him more it was great to finally get the chance to cut his hair. It nearly happened once in the past but he let others in need of a haircut go first. His generous nature and huge heart makes it harder when I see him going through a rough patch. Always a smile any time any place, massive respect for you brother ✌🏻️ 📷 by @mattspracklen #dosomethingfornothing #exeter #hair #hairdressing #menshair #malegrooming #haircut #barbering #street #homeless #expressandecho #vscocam #fujifilm
11) China bans ivory trade
China has the biggest ivory market in the world – some estimates suggest 70% of the world’s trade ends up there.
Since the ban, the wholesale price of raw legal ivory has dropped by almost two thirds. [The Guardian]
12) Manatee removed from endangered list
Manatee, also known as a ‘sea cow’, has been reclassified from endangered to threatened as habitat improves and population expands – existing protections remain in place. [FWS]
13) ALDI to donate fresh food on Christmas Eve
The supermarket plans to give all its unsold fresh food away to charities and good causes when its store closes on Christmas Eve.
The supermarket chain issued an appeal on social media urging organisations across the country to collect items left over after its branches have shut up shop for the festive period. [Independent]
14) 16 year-old gets into Harvard – class celebrates like crazy
Aryton Little, a 16 year old from Louisiana, tweeted out the exact moment he found out he was accepted into Harvard, surrounded by close friends and family.
— Tha Little Man (@AyrtonLittle) December 13, 2017
15) Nearly 200 nations promise to stop ocean plastic waste
Eight million tonnes of plastic – bottles, packaging and other waste – are dumped into the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain.
Nearly 200 countries signed a U.N. resolution in Nairobi to eliminate plastic pollution in the sea, a move some delegates hoped would pave the way to a legally binding treaty. [Reuters]
16) Electric-powered black cabs debut in London
Electric black taxis have hit London’s roads under plans to improve air quality.
More than 9,000 such taxis, roughly half the current black cab fleet, are expected on London’s roads by 2021. [BBC]
17) Single mum works overtime for homeless man
Charles Reynolds, 60, was seen on surveillance video chasing a man who stole his $500 right after he had cashed a check in Walmart.
Kari Diaz, who works at the Walmart, worked all weekend and 10 hours each day to earn enough money to give Charles his $500 back.