Elephant Crossings and Wildlife Comedy 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.


Caution: Elephant Crossing!

Here's a human-wildlife conflict you probably didn't even know exists: elephants vs. trains. The Hindu reports on a simple solution to prevent collisions with elephants crossing railroad tracks, especially at night. "Loco pilots respond involuntarily to lights," says a local researcher and conservationist, M Ananda Kumar. Learn how a system that alerts train conductors of elephants nearby would be an effective way to avoid future collisions in Technology to the Rescue of Elephants.



Philly's Trees

Something that recently caught my attention and made me pause to think about how I communicate about the outdoors is that telling people to "get out into nature" is a wildly inequitable ask. On the surface, it sounds like an easy way to remind people that nature is for all; however, nature is not always accessible to all, particularly those in urban areas. This story from Next City highlights an inspiring (and replicable!) local movement to reclaim more tree cover and green spaces for urban Philidelphia: find out How Philly Will Become the City of Arborly Love.



Greening Money

Putting your money where your mouth is can be difficult for those of us who want to see a sustainable future for our planet. Grist takes a look at sustainable banking so your personal finances can be in the safekeeping of financial institutions whose investments align with your own intentions. Some good news: "Green banks – financial institutions or facilities dedicated to accelerating the shift to a sustainable economy – drove a record amount of clean energy investment last year." Just a heads up, this is a sponsored article, but it has great information to consider if you're looking to green your wallet and don't know where to start: Sustainable Banking Is an Important Part of Addressing Climate Change.



Wildlife Comedy

This last feature is just here to put a smile on your face. The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards selected their annual winners, and the photographs are fantastic. From a treehugger proboscis monkey to a clumsy elephant – these photos are the perfect way to end your week. My personal favorite photo is the Alex Walker's Serian Creatures on the Land Award winner: Ninja Prairie Dog! from Arthur Trevino (pictured below). I can't help but make the connection to our outstanding youth activists taking on big American fossil fuel industries when I look at this David and Goliath image. 

See more winners and finalists at

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