Rather than waiting till the end of the year to highlight positive news stories like we’ve done in the past, we thought we’d celebrate the good stuff more often. And this time, we decided to extend our search beyond Passion Passport so that we could find even more headlines that will make you smile, send your curiosity into overdrive, or simply put a positive spin on things. Why? Because sometimes, we need a reminder that things aren’t as bad as they may seem.

Photo by @matthewkfirpo

The Kingdom of Bhutan Is Taking Action Against Climate Change

A few weeks ago, our own Kacie McGeary chatted with the crew behind “The Kingdom,” a short film documenting the conservation efforts of a forest caretaker in Bhutan. This small South Asian nation is the only carbon-negative country in the world, and the film depicts how one person can make a difference in the face of climate change.

King Tut’s Tomb Was Restored

History buffs will love this one. The project — conducted by the LA-based Getty Conservation Institute — took over a decade to complete, as the tomb’s floors and lighting needed to be repaired and replaced to mitigate damage done by tourists, and a ventilation system had to be installed. Now the tomb is looking better than ever.

Researchers Have Figured Out How to Turn Plastic Waste Into Fuel

We produce an alarming amount of plastic, so this is the kind of headline we need to see. Published by VICE back on February 8, this story highlights a team of chemists from Purdue University who may have found a partial solution to our plastic problem. Keep your eyes peeled for future developments!

Photo by @brentfoster

Nebraska’s New Tourism Campaign Will Make You Laugh

Honestly, it’s not for everyone” is the slogan that Nebraska’s rolling with in 2019, a brutally honest and humorous approach for the Midwestern state that’s known best for college football and cornfields. Take a peek at the tourism board’s website and you’ll see more of their self-deprecating tactics, with references to the state’s lack of activities and “flat, boring landscapes.” It kind of makes you want to go, doesn’t it?

Indie Print Titles Are Changing The Publishing Landscape, In A Good Way

We’ve heard it time and time again: print is dead. But that’s simply not the case. If you think digital has all but won its fight against the “ancient” world of print, think again. Niche publications, fashion mags, and art zines have returned in full force, a comeback that is detailed in an annual report published by Media Moments.

Photo by @disposablemagazine

Canada’s Government Is Expected To Overhaul Salmon Farm Technology

It’s been a long time coming, but the Canadian government is finally planning to improve aquaculture technology in British Columbia. Salmon farms have been a hot topic of late, as farming companies have received backlash from First Nations communities for infringing on unseeded land and selling potentially contaminated products. This plan will hopefully ensure safe products and help mend tensions between government and Indigenous groups.

Photo by Logan Davidson

The U.S. Senate Passed A Big Public Lands Deal

While we wait to see if Congress will pass the Green New Deal, the Senate recently approved “the decade’s biggest public lands package” (bill S. 47). The bill is not only projected to save taxpayers $9 million, but it will protect 1.3 million acres of wilderness, which will create three new national parks and expand eight others.

Muslim Youth Group Helps To Keep Things Tidy

Speaking of national parks, while the country endured a 35-day government shutdown earlier this year, public lands took a beating. To help counter the unfortunate damage, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association spent time tidying up monuments and parks across the country, inspiring people around the world.  

Our Planet Is Actually Getting Greener

It may be hard to believe but, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Sustainability, the Earth is literally getting greener. The report compiled two decade’s worth of data taken from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites and attributes the increase in greenery to tree-planting efforts in both China and India. Pretty cool, huh?

Photo by David Coulson

This Guy Has Been Turning Trash Into Treasure

Everyone loves a win-win story, and we found one down in Brazil. A natural handyman, Amarildo Silva finds discarded tires around his neighborhood and brings them home, where he transforms the trash into stylish sleeping quarters for pets — keeping local streets clean and pocketing some extra cash at the same time. For a world that needs good news, we thank you, Amarildo.

Have an uplifting story you’d like to share? Let us know about it in the comments below — we might just feature it in our next round-up!