10 positive things to put a smile on your face

Everyone needs a reason to smile and with so much negativity dominating the national news headlines all the time, sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of the good things that are going on in the world. With this in mind, we’ve brought together 10 amazing facts from around the globe that will hopefully inject a little positivity into your week. 

1. The cancer survival rate has doubled since the 1970s meaning that 50% of people now survive cancer.

More people than ever before are surviving cancer, as treatments are becoming more targeted and therefore, more effective. This means that more people are starting to think about life after cancer, rather than simply preparing for the worst – and families are staying together longer.

This dramatic improvement in survival rates has brought hope to people across the globe, and with continued research, this hope is only getting stronger.

2. The population of mountain gorillas is finally growing, and the young have even learned to dismantle poachers traps.

Over the last 30 years, the mountain gorilla’s status has gone from “critically endangered” (only 600 in the wild) to “endangered” (over 1000 in the wild). Whilst this is just the start of a long journey to increase numbers, it shows what can be achieved with the right focus and energy. The increase can largely be attributed to conservation efforts, however a group of young mountain gorillas were also spotted dismantling snares in Rwanda in 2012. The speed and confidence with which they dismantled the traps, led the researchers who spotted them to believe that they do this regularly – amazing!

3. Fashion is becoming biodegradable.

The circular economy is finally starting to arrive. With big name manufacturers like Adidas revealing plans to produce 11 million pairs of biodegradable Futurecraft Loop running shoes; made from plastic that has been collected from beaches, coastal communities and remote islands. The idea that once you’ve worn them out, you can return them to Adidas who will send them away to be washed, ground down and made into a new pair of shoes to go back on the shelf.

4. Before the 1960s, 7 in 10 people would die as a result of a heart attack, but today 7 out of every 10 people survive.

Since the 1970s, there have been a number of revolutionary breakthroughs in heart attack research and people are now living longer as a result. As well as discovering what causes heart attacks and how to treat them, scientists have also improved diagnosis for women (as it’s often harder to detect heart attacks in women) – meaning that the survival rates for men and women are becoming more balanced.

5. Sea otters hold hands whilst they sleep to stop them drifting apart. They also have a special pocket where they keep their favourite rock.

Joe Robertson from Austin, Texas, USA. [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Staying together is really important to these furry little creatures. If a baby sea otter (known as a “pup” is too small to hold hands then it lies on top of it’s mum – and if she has to go off on a hunt, she wraps her pups up in seaweed to stop them drifting away!

6. Bhutan uses "gross national happiness" as an important national measurement.

This small, remote kingdom is nestled in the Himalayas, between India and China and is often described as “The World’s Happiest Country.” Bhutan first used the term ‘gross national happiness’ in 1972 when the fourth King of Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, declared, “Gross National Happiness (GNH) is more important than Gross Domestic Product.” The kingdom measures GNH by interviewing it’s habitants to find out how satisfied they are in nine different areas of their lives including living standards, time use, and health.

7. Squirrels plant thousands of new trees every year when they forget where they leave their seeds.

Forgetful squirrels are doing wonders for the planet. Squirrels often bury nuts and seeds to keep them safe for later, but they regularly forget where they’ve put them! This means that they’re supporting the reproduction of several tree species by unintentionally planting thousands of new trees every year.

8. Scientists are working on "printing" 3D organs that will save the lives of people everywhere.

Scientists can now “print” functioning 3D organs. The hope is that eventually this printing technique will create organs for transplant patients – but the tricky part is making sure that the organ’s cells stay alive and functioning. Advancements are being made all the time and scientists are edging ever closer to a solution.

9. There are vending machines in Istanbul that dispense food and water for stray dogs.

Istanbul have come up with a vending machine system that helps with recycling while allowing stray dogs to fill their tummies at the same time. In order to provide a dog with a helping of food and water, these solar-panelled machines must be activated by someone dropping in a recyclable glass or plastic bottle (which are later collected and recycled). This incredible invention is saving the planet and it’s stray dogs, one day at a time.

10. Every year Paris holds the world's largest chocolate event.

The Salon du Chocolat is a five day event which attracts chocolate lovers from around the world. The biggest names in chocolate and pastry come together to showcase a range of chocolate delights. The event includes everything from a chocolate fashion show, where all the clothes are made and/or inspired by chocolate, to live cooking demos with some of the world’s top chefs. Chocolate enthusiasts will be in heaven…

Want to share  your own positive news and inspiration? Email us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!

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