Leftovers and Turkey Takeovers in This Week’s Earth Optimism
These stories celebrate success, uncover a spark of hope, share a new idea, or might just make you feel good about Planet Earth.
While you're still digesting yesterday's feasts, take some time to learn about the incredible comeback the turkey has made in the United States. Once a rare sighting, turkeys are now taking up residence along with students at universities. Their presence might ruffle some feathers for campus residents, but it makes for a pretty humorous story about wildlife coexistence. As Turkeys Take Over Campus, Some Colleges Are More Thankful Than Others from The New York Times has amusing anecdotes from students and staff that are gobbles of fun to read.
Give Scraps a Chance
If you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, chances are you have a few containers of leftovers sitting in your fridge today. Grist reminds us of the shameful food waste problem that comes with this annual holiday, "Americans toss around 200 million pounds of turkey meat in the wake of the holiday each year, along with 48 million pounds of sweet potatoes and 45 million pounds of green beans." But of course, there is a simple solution to this predicament – eat those leftovers! Find some inspiration for turning those scraps into second meals with In Defense of Leftovers.
A Flutter of Hope
After a massive decline in numbers over the past years, a monarch butterfly survey suggests that there is still hope for their recovery. The Xerces Society's annual Thanksgiving monarch count that continues through December 5 is already recording jaw-dropping numbers that hint at a promising new chapter in the conservation of monarchs. Listen to the story from NPR here: The Butterflies Are Back! Annual Migration of Monarchs Shows Highest Numbers in Years.
Research on Resilience
Mongabay covers a study from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on aquatic ecosystems. The study revealed the resilience of natural systems in the face of detrimental human activities such as deforestation and pollution. "This provides hope and helps show a path forward in addressing some of our man-made environmental challenges," says co-author and Smithsonian researcher Kristin Saltonstall. Read more about the Agua Salud study in Young Forests Can Help Heal Tropical Aquatic Ecosystems: Study.