Image for 10 things we learned while making the new issue of Positive News magazine

10 things we learned while making the new issue of Positive News magazine

Did you know that Indigenous people are using GPS to tackle deforestation, Michelin-starred chefs make mash in the microwave and solving homelessness is easier than you think? Neither did we until we made the new issue

Did you know that Indigenous people are using GPS to tackle deforestation, Michelin-starred chefs make mash in the microwave and solving homelessness is easier than you think? Neither did we until we made the new issue

1. Michelin-starred chefs make mash in the microwave

Forget boiling your tatties for hours on the hob, wasting precious gas and time. The best way is to zap them in the microwave. Double Michelin-starred chef David Chang (pictured) shares his outrageously good mashed potato recipe (which involves an entire pint of cream), in our feature about why the microwave is having a revival during the cost of living crisis.

Image: Horatio Baltz

2. Actor Mark Rylance has had a transformative decade of therapy 

Our cover star Mark Rylance opened up about how a decade of Jungian therapy helped him “to change my life”. The long-time Positive News subscriber may be an Oscar-winner and widely regarded as the best actor of his generation, but he admits that despite his success he’s “a very sensitive person”, who began his therapeutic journey because he wanted “to not be so destructive with my life”.

Image: Pål Hansen

3. A GPS mapping tool saved half a million acres of rainforest from oil drilling

How does someone from one of the world’s most recently contacted peoples – the hunter gatherer Waorani tribe in Ecuador – fight back against global oil companies drilling in ancestral territory? Nemonte Nenquimo (main image), the young woman who successfully protected 500,000 acres of primary rainforest using GPS technology, can tell you. She’s one of the Indigenous people winning huge victories for the planet who we profiled in the new issue.

Image: Vlad Hilitanu 

4. Lily Cole dreams of becoming a florist

The supermodel turned Cambridge graduate turned activist, writer, filmmaker and tech entrepreneur isn’t done yet. She’s had more career changes than you’ve had hot dinners, and there’s more still to come. As she describes what life has taught her so far in our Life Lessons column – from silencing her inner critic to learning to love being a “magical” redhead – she admits that what she dreams of becoming now is a flower grower and florist.

Image: Patricia Imbarus

5. How to buy a vast moorland from a duke 

Gather a group of passionate Scots, add an ambitious dream of rewilding at scale, and stir in a generous dollop of cash raised at the last minute from environmental organisations including the RSPB. We get the behind-the-scenes story on the birth of Scotland’s new Tarras Valley Nature Reserve – an exciting example of what one small community can do, given the chance.

Image: Martin Wright 

6. Solving homelessness could be simpler than we think

It’s long been considered an inevitable tragedy of urban life, but cities across the world are using a simple policy to drastically slash the number of people sleeping rough. Now the quietly revolutionary approach is being piloted in cities across Britain – we spoke to those who finally have a bed to call their own.

Illustration: Nathalie Lees

7. The private wealth industry has a disruptive new startup

Establishing a wealth cap, giving away chunks of cash and renouncing your ISA isn’t the sort of advice you’ll find most financial advisors dishing out. We heard from Stephanie Brobbey (pictured), founder of a radical new wealth advisory firm that is supporting the superrich to redistribute their loot, aiming to create a more equitable future for all.

Image: Samer Moukarze

8. How to embrace your inner crone

Far from being a time to melt quietly into the background, the years post-menopause should be when women are able to live in a manner “more aligned with our passions and longings”, according to ecofeminist author Sharon Blackie (pictured). She describes the beauty and power of the menopause in an interview with nature writer Lucy Jones about her new book celebrating the second half of life.

Image: Mark Griffths

9. Iraqis are adopting palm trees

Iraq once led the world in date production, but it lost 30m trees to war – with Iran in the 1980s, and the US-led invasion in 2003.  We hear from the man whose ‘adopt-a-date’ initiative is nurturing abandoned palms across the country, returning them once again to abundant harvests, with sponsors receiving a share of the profits.

Image: Nakhla 

10. Britain’s wildest ponies live 3,000ft up a Welsh mountain

Wales’ Carneddau plateau, the highest contiguous area of ground in England and Wales with seven peaks about 3,000ft, has been home to a 220-strong herd of ponies since the Iron Age. Left entirely to their own devices over the centuries, they’re now of scientific interest due to their status as a genetically distinct ancient breed. We spoke to the farmer whose family has been protecting them for centuries.

Image: Jim Tan
Main image: Goldman Environmental Prize

Help us continue to break the bad news bias

Positive News is helping more people than ever to get a balanced view of the world – one that supports their wellbeing and empowers them to make a difference towards a better future. And as our audience and impact grows, we’re showing the rest of the media that good news matters.

But the UK’s cost of living crisis is hitting us hard, with fewer people able to commit to a magazine subscription – which has traditionally been our main source of funding. Plus, paper and printing costs keep rising.

We don’t want to put a paywall on our website, because we believe everyone should have the chance to benefit from good news. But we won’t be able to continue funding our online reporting without your help.

If you value what we do and can afford to, please consider making a small, regular contribution as a Positive News supporter. We need 1,000 readers to contribute just £3 per month to get us through this challenging time.

And remember, as a not-for-profit, we work only in service to you, and all funds go towards our journalism.


Related articles