The world is going through a lot. Instead of focusing on bad news, we’ve rounded up the most encouraging environmental stories that made headlines this month

The fight against climate change cannot be underestimated. But, especially with Earth Day being April 22, this month was filled with good environmental news, including many companies and governments making commitments for the betterment of the planet. While the climate crisis requires all hands on deck and there is still much to be done, it’s important to acknowledge those who are making strides towards a more sustainable future.

So lets celebrate these environmental wins that happened in April and stay motivated to protect the planet...

1. Climate Neutral certifies 230 brands for Earth Day

Climate Neutral mountainsPhoto by Andy Li on UnsplashNon-profit organization Climate Neutral has certified 230 new brands for Earth Day 2021. All companies have measured their 2020 carbon footprint, offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credit, and made a plan to reduce future emissions. In total, they have offset more than 700,000 tons of carbon. Happy Earth Day, indeed!

2. L’Oréal Paris to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2030

L'OrealL’Oréal Beauty brand L’Oréal Paris has announced a new program with ambitious goals including reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent and contributing 10 million euros to environmental projects whose beneficiaries are communities of women around the world. Using the slogan “L’Oréal for the Future, Because our Planet is Worth it”, L’Oréal promises to change, "the way [they] produce, act and innovate to drastically reduce [their] environmental footprint and to empower [their] consumers to achieve responsible consumption."

3. Australia commits to phasing out single-use plastics by 2025 in new national plan

AustraliaPhoto by Antoine Beauvillain on UnsplashIn our eco-friendly roundup last month, we shared that Queensland had introduced a ban on single-use plastics. But the entire country of Australia is stepping it up a notch, as federal, state and territory leaders across the entire country have agreed to a comprehensive National Waste Policy Action Plan to phase out single-use plastics by 2025. The Land Down Under is about to get a lot greener!

4. France is giving people money if they trade in their vehicle to buy an electric bike instead

electric bikePhoto by Okai Vehicles on UnsplashLawmakers in France have passed a measure to allow car owners to trade in their gas-guzzling vehicles for a 2,500-euro grant to buy an electric bicycle instead. The first-of-its-kind offer is part of France’s aim to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent in 2030 from 1990 levels, as reported by Reuters.

5. EU commits to cutting carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030

german factoryPhoto by Brina Blum on UnsplashThe EU parliament and member states have announced an ambitious new target in the form of a new law that will cut carbon emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. "Our political commitment to becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050 is now also a legal one," said EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, as reported on BBC.

While we still have a lot of work to do to protect and preserve the planet, we hope these pieces of good news will encourage you to think positively as we work towards a better future!