A new rule in California requires 100% sales of zero-emissions trucks by 2045, paving a path for a cleaner air and less dependence on fossil fuels.

Each week we summarize three pieces of news that give us hope for a greener, brighter future and inspire us to build Earth-friendly actions into our daily lives.

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New Rule in California Will Require Zero-Emissions Trucks

By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times, June 25, 2020

  • California’s new rule requires increasing sales of zero-emissions trucks from 2024 to 2045. The rule sets goals for 50% zero-emissions sales by 2035 and 100% by 2045.
  • From the article: “Transportation makes up 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, and is a major contributor to smog-causing nitrogen oxides and diesel particulate matter pollution, which are linked to health problems including respiratory conditions. Of those transportation sector emissions, as much as 70 percent of smog-causing pollution and 80 percent of particulate matter are from diesel trucks, even though they make up just 7 percent of the 30 million vehicles registered in California.
  • Research shows that poor air quality disproportionately affects communities of color. As many as 21,500 trucks travel through California’s Inland Empire each day, a community with a large Latinx population.

Germany bans single-use plastic straws, food containers

By The Associated Press, June 24, 2020

  • In line with an European Union directive, Germany is banning single-use plastics such as plastic straws, food containers, cotton buds and more.
  • The country will end sales of such plastics by July 2021. Other items include “single-use cutlery, plates, stirring sticks, and balloon holders, as well as polystyrene cups and boxes.”
  • Single-use plastic makes up nearly 20% of garbage in Germany’s parks and public places. Plastics do not degrade easily and cause harm to life when they do.

Elk Return to Kentucky, Bringing Economic Life

By Oliver Whang, The New York Times, June 30, 2020

  • Kentucky is seeing a resurgence of wildlife — namely elk — and economic opportunities in areas once dominated, damaged, and abandoned by the coal mining industry.
  • The state airlifted 1,500 elk to eastern Kentucky in 1997 as part of a multi million dollar effort with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The animals are thriving by using reclaimed coal mines as grazing grounds. The current population is estimated at 130,000, all within coal country.
  • The elk provide economic opportunities for municipalities abandoned by the coal industry. Hunting and wildlife tours provide about $5 million per year to local economies.

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Feature photo by Rhys Moult on Unsplash.