Good News: Week 22

Will we soon have solar panels in space? The future is craftsmanship. Summer gardening books and fair food for the all. Second careers, pursuing passions and gluten-free bakeries. New USPS forever stamps encourage environmentalism. Meatless Monday reaches 50% national awareness. A secret oasis for the world’s most endangered turtles. The role of green projects in displaced communities. 

ENERGY & INNOVATION: Solar Panels in Space?
The scientist Peter Glaser first proposed the idea of putting solar panels in space back in the 1960s. It goes like this: You put satellites into orbit with solar panels on them. Sunlight hits the panels, making electric power. That electric power is then turned into microwaves and beamed to large “rectennas” on Earth that convert it back into electricity.
Solar Panels in Space! With the Help of Lasers, It’s Possible, by Andrew Price, GOOD

TRENDS: Craftsmen Communities are taking Center Stage Worldwide
Forget plastics, the future is in craftsmanship. The world over, former clock-watchers and desk jockeys are leaving their traditional 9-to-5 jobs to make functional, artisan quality pieces for the home. Even Popular Mechanics picked up on the trend and gave it a sexy spin by dubbing it a hidden underground of craftsmen communities.
The New Artisans: Craftsmen Communities
, by K. Emily Bond, EcoSalon

GOOD READS: Summer Gardening Books
The garden book jury has returned a verdict. You are either growing vegetables or you have become one. Attitude looms as large as artichokes. Unfortunately, the important book on how exactly to overhaul farms too big to fail has yet to be written — mainly because the standard wisdom is that they are, by definition, beyond hope of sustainability. But with over 300 million people in the United States, and with the global population approaching seven billion, most people will continue to depend for their meals on staggeringly large-scale agriculture. What’s to be done?
Summer Reading: Gardening Books, by Dominique Browning, The New York Times Book Review

GOOD READS: Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All
We live in the midst of broken systems, or so it seems. From our education system to our financial and health care systems, we are confronted with all manner of interconnected problems. As if that isn’t enough, the system we rely on for our very sustenance — the one that delivers our food — is also in a state of disrepair.
Off the Shelf: Fresh Tomatoes for Inner Cities, by Nancy F. Koehn, The New York Times Book Review

PURSUING PASSION: Second Careers and Health Awareness Happily Collide in the Gluten-Free World
If Helene Godin had decided to rethink her life at a different time, a bed and breakfast might have been her chosen fate. Or perhaps a little independent bookstore with a marmalade cat, good coffee and some comfortable armchairs. But this being the second decade of the 21st century, Ms. Godin chose a different course after she quit her job as a Manhattan lawyer, resolved to temper her workaholic ways, and set out on a second career. She opened a gluten-free bakery.
Looking for a Plan B? Make It Gluten-Free, by Hilary Stout, The New York Times

SUSTAINABILITY: New Forever Stamps from the US Post Office Encourage Environmentalism
Somewhere in the boxes of stuff that I have stored in my parents garage in Maryland, I have some stamp collections. I love stamp art. My favorite of all time was a tribute to the American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe. The repeating pattern of her painting of a red poppy, combined with her picture, is like a whole new piece of art. I loved it so much that I framed a set of these stamps. I’m now pleased to see that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has combined my love of stamp art with something else close to my heart: the environment. The USPS has announced that they are continuing their green efforts with a new series of Forever Stamps and eco-friendly mailing materials. Of course, the ultimate greening of the mail system would be to go completely paperless, unfortunately rendering stamps useless, but until then, it’s nice to see these ‘Go Green’ stamps with tips for living a more sustainable life.
Stamp Out Climate Change with the US Postal Service, by Robin Madel, Ecocentric Blog

FOOD & WELLNESS: Meatless Monday Reaches 50% National Awareness
Yes, the news has been good of late, but I think the entire Meatless Monday team was quite shocked when the data came back from FGI Research. Awareness of Meatless Monday in the U.S. is now at 50.22%. That’s up from 30% just 6 months ago. That’s, well, half the nation!
Meatless Monday Reaches 50% National Awareness, by Chris Elam, Meatless Mondays, via Ecocentric Blog

ANIMAL WELFARE: In Ventura County, A Secret Oasis for the World’s Most Endangered Turtles
The Turtle Conservancy, tucked in the foothills of Ventura County, cares for species ravaged by habitat loss, wildfires, hunting and black markets. Its latest project: breeding the rare ploughshare tortoise. When it comes to caring for the world’s rarest cold-blooded animals, few places match the pampering and security provided to hundreds of critically endangered turtles and tortoises at a secret compound in the foothills of Los Padres National Forest.
A secret oasis for the world’s most endangered turtles, by Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times

SUSTAINABILITY & CLIMATE CHANGE: The Role Of Green Projects In Displaced Communities
Lamya Hussain embarked on an interesting research project a couple of years ago when she traveled to the West Bank and Lebanon to study issues of health and health care in refugees camps. In her work, she discovered the resident’s deep interest in greening projects and rooftop gardening in particular for the alleviation it can potentially provide to deteriorating health standards and unemployment.
The Role Of Green Projects In Displaced Communities
, by Aziz Ali, PSFK

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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