A one-mile stretch of highway in California is the first one paved in recycled plastic, using over 150,000 plastic bottles.

Gives a whole new meaning to “The Green Mile,” doesn’t it?

Each week we summarize three pieces of news that give us hope for a greener, brighter future. If you’d like to have Hopeful Headlines sent to your email inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter!

This California Highway Has Just Become the First State Road Made From Recycled Plastic in the US

By McKinley Corbley, Good News Network, August 30, 2020

  • California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) and landscaping company TechniSoil teamed up to repave one mile of three-lane highway using more than 150,000 recycled plastic bottles. The one-mile stretch is the first US state road to be paved in plastic.
  • According to CalTrans, the “formula has been shown to be 2-3 times more durable than traditional asphalt pavement.” TechniSoil claims the process uses 90% less greenhouse gases than traditional road paving methods.
  • TechniSoil and CalTrans are already working on additional repaving projects in California. Similar plastic paving projects have been done in Texas, Asia and the Netherlands.

Why it matters: On the surface, this looks like a win-win-win solution for repairing infrastructure, sequestering plastic waste, and reducing fossil fuel dependency. And would you look at that, the public and private sectors can work together on climate solutions!

Wind and solar are 30-50% cheaper than thought, admits UK government

By Simon Evans, Carbon Brief, August 27, 2020

  • Recently published figures from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy “show that renewables are much cheaper than expected in the previous iteration of the report, published in 2016.”
  • From the article: “The previously published version had, in turn, already trimmed the cost of wind and solar by up to 30%. As a result, electricity from onshore wind or solar could be supplied in 2025 at half the cost of gas-fired power, the new estimates suggest.”
  • Wind and solar were found to be the cheapest energy source, “expected to be half as costly as gas in 2025.” The cost of wind and solar could be even lower with bidding over government contracts.

Why it matters: The plummeting price of renewable energy continues to exceed expectations, making it the cleanest, cheapest and, frankly, obvious choice of energy!

Redwoods survive wildfire at California’s oldest state park

By Martha Mendoza, AP News, August 24, 2020

  • Most of the old-growth redwoods — some 2,000+ years old — survived a recent wildfire in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, despite reports that the fire had destroyed the park. A famous redwood known as Mother of the Forest is among the survivors.
  • From the article: “When Big Basin opened in 1902 it marked the genesis of redwood conservation. The park now receives about 250,000 visitors a year from around the world, and millions have walked the Redwood Trail.”
  • Wildlife including Stellar’s jays and woodpeckers are already returning to the fire-scorched forest to search for insects, while humans work on rebuilding structures and making the park safe for visitors again.

Why it matters: While wildfires are a natural and crucial part of the nutrient cycle, they are getting more intense with rising global temperatures. It’s wonderful to see these redwoods will live to, hopefully, inspire many more generations of conservationists!

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Feature photo by Rhys Moult on Unsplash.