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

The climate crisis is a dire problem, and collective efforts from around the globe are urgently needed to protect and preserve the planet. There's a lot to tackle—and it’s easy to get discouraged when you're doomscrolling—but luckily, there are plenty of Earth-lovers who are pushing for a more sustainable future. It’s refreshing and important to take a look at these accomplishments and give these champions the credit they deserve.

So let's celebrate these environmental wins that happened in May and stay motivated to protect our planet...

1. IKEA will begin selling solar panels this fallIKEA solar panelIKEA

We’re getting another step closer to simplifying renewable energy in the home. IKEA is partnering with SunPower, a provider of residential solar technology and energy services, to make solar energy easier to access by selling home solar solutions. Solar panels will become available to members of the IKEA Family customer loyalty program and will launch in select California markets in fall 2022.

2. Twelve tonnes of trash cleaned from Lake Tahoe by team of diversLake TahoePhoto by Jeremy Banks on Unsplash

Marine trash is never good news, but the heroes who clean it up deserve recognition! Organized by non-profit Clean Up The Lake, a SCUBA dive team has recovered more than 12 tonnes (and over 24,000 pieces) of submerged trash from Lake Tahoe. The items recovered range from film cameras to engagement rings to wallets and more.

3. Once almost extinct, greater one-horned rhino population hits record highGreat One-horned RhinoInternational Rhino Foundation

Assam, a province in India, has completed its biannual rhino census, revealing some positive news for conservation. While the greater one-horned rhino population was once extremely close to extinction at less than 100 rhinos, the population has now hit a new record of 4,014 individuals! This accomplishment has been made possible by the governments of India and Nepal, by anti-poaching efforts and providing the rhinos with more space to breed.

4. EU launches €300-billion plan to phase out Russian energy imports

Russia factoryPhoto by Alexander Popov on UnsplashPrompted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union has announced a plan to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuels. In a plan called “REPowerEU”, the European Union strives to mobilize up to €300 billion to become independent of Russian energy imports by importing more non-Russian gas, adopting renewable energy, and implementing greater energy-saving efforts.

5. Three-pound clean energy wind turbine charges your devices

Shine wind rubineKickstarterA new, renewable way to charge your electronics is on the market. Launched first on Kickstarter, Shine is an ultra-compact, highly efficient, portable 40W wind turbine that is lightweight (at only three pounds!), can be folded up to fit in your backpack, and takes only two minutes to set up. It’s a great eco-friendly way to keep your devices charged while exploring the outdoors.

We hope these pieces of good news will encourage you to think positively and motivate you to play your part as we work towards a more sustainable future!