Progress in protecting our planet is being made everywhere, from the Lone Star State to the Galápagos Islands and even in our city streets.
Companies, governments, and people here on Earth are constantly working toward — and succeeding in — creating a cooler future for us all.
Here are three huge wins to celebrate:
The world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood is powered by solar energy
Outside of Austin, a community of 100 homes was 3D-printed on site for the first time ever by humongous machinery, hinting that the future of home construction might be very different. These three- and four-bedroom homes, which will be for sale next year, will be powered by rooftop solar panels, helping to cut down utility bills. Not only will each owners’ electricity bills be cheaper because of the clean energy, but the homes themselves will be less expensive than traditional houses of similar sizes.
Electric bikes and scooters are having their moment
2021 was the year of the two-wheeled electric vehicle. More than 275 million e-scooters, bikes, and motorcycles are driving the transition away from gas-burning vehicles and toward cleaner electric vehicles. According to BloombergNEF, use of these smaller electric vehicles (EVs) is largely responsible for the decreased burning of 1.5 million barrels of oil every single day. And beyond just helping improve air quality and keeping our planet cool, two- and three-wheeled EVs have been shown to seriously reduce traffic congestion.
Galápagos penguins might be having a comeback
The Galápagos penguins have been endangered since the year 2000, but there’s finally some good news for this tiny species. As reported by National Geographic, conservationists are creating man-made nests for the penguins to live in, and the birds seem to be taking up residence. Now, more than two-thirds of these makeshift nests house Galápagos penguins, many of which are juveniles — a good sign for the vulnerable species.