Microcosm of the Macrocosm: 7 Planet-Focused Stories from Around the World

Here’s a roundup of some of the stories that have captured Life & Soul Magazine’s attention this week:

1. Mystery over how a humpback whale ended up in Amazon jungle – A whale carcass has been found in the Amazon jungle, sparking debate among scientists about how it got there, Sky News reports. The humpback, measuring 8m (26ft) long and 6m (19ft) wide, was discovered around 15 metres (49ft) from the Atlantic Ocean on the island of Marajo, near the mouth of the Amazon River on the north east coast of Brazil.

2. Is the fight against ocean plastic distracting us from bigger, deadlier problems? – The ocean is heating up, acidifying, and rising. Fast Company asks, so should we spend our energy on that and not straws–or does any attention on the ocean help spread awareness?

3. Australia federal law could allow one million tonnes of sludge to be dumped on Great Barrier Reef – A recently approved plan will allow 1 million tonnes of sludge to be dumped along parts of the reef over the next decade, with the operation beginning this month, Smithsonian Magazine investigates.

4. Scientist makes bioplastic out of discarded olive pits – A Turkish scientist has found a way to convert discarded olive pits into a biodegradable plastic, Good News Network reports. While it takes 450 years for typical plastics to decompose, the olive-based plastic decomposes within one year, “blending into the earth like fertiliser”.

5. Appalachian coal miners who lost their jobs are being retrained as beekeepers – With the slow decline of the coal industry, West Virginia residents are taking to beekeeping as a new source of income as the recently-formed nonprofit, Appalachian Beekeeping Collective, offers sustainable economic opportunities, NPR reports.

6. As the ice thaws and new technology pervades, an Alaska Native elder finds life quickly changing in his Arctic town Al Jazeera interviews 76-year-old village elder, Ernest Norton.

7. Why the Faroe Islands are closing to tourists for a weekend – The Faroe Islands, a group of autonomous islands located between Iceland and Norway and under the jurisdiction of Denmark, have made the decision to “close” its major tourism sights and attractions during the weekend of April 26-27 as people all over the island archipelago will be working on conservation projects. An official notice on the islands’ national tourism website reads “closed for maintenance, open for voluntourism”, CNN says.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com 

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