A little bit of good news goes a long way in cutting through less encouraging headlines and lifting our spirits. Here, we round-up six good things that have happened this week (from Monday 18th October), to make you smile, laugh and feel hopeful...
Sainsbury's bans fireworks for pet safety
British supermarket Sainsbury's will not be selling fireworks for Bonfire Night 2021 following concerns for pet safety. Affecting all UK stores, Sainsbury's said: "We regularly review our ranges and this is based on a range of factors. Customers can continue to choose from a range of seasonal products."
The news has been welcomed by the Dogs Trust, with one spokesperson saying: "Although they can look beautiful, fireworks can be very distressing for dogs when let off unexpectedly, and because they are so easily accessible all year-round, dog owners are on tenterhooks as to when their beloved pooch will next be frightened."
Vets are now calling for a complete ban on firework sales in supermarkets such as Asda, Lidl, Aldi, Tesco and Morrisons.
Rare red baby squirrels born on Brownsea Island
Typically born in springtime, the birth of the three baby squirrels is one of the latest recorded by volunteers since the Trust took over the care of the island in 1962. The staff at Brownsea Island were checking the nesting boxes for anything that needs repairing, but found a wonderful surprise instead.
"We don't usually come across kittens so late in the season, and as soon as we realised they were there, made sure they were all safe and carefully closed the box," Brian Whitlock, National Trust volunteer at Brownsea Island, says. "The kitten's mother stayed above us in the tree throughout and returned to her young as soon as we had finished. We always take great care not to disturb anything we find in the boxes during these checks. The boxes are there to support species which need a safe and secure home."
Tree recycling scheme launches in time for Christmas
The festive season is right around the corner. With many of us looking to make more sustainable choices, one recycling service from new company Eco Elf is here to help. The brilliant new venture gives people the chance to choose their own real Christmas tree, have it delivered to their front door and then collected again in January — where it will be repotted at a farm and kept healthy for next year.
"I love having a big Christmas tree with all the decorations and lights, but it always seems like a bit of a waste," says Callum O’Driscoll, who came up with the idea after seeing the queues of trees waiting to be destroyed after Christmas in 2020. "If you buy an artificial tree it’s largely made from plastic and not good for the environment, and if you buy a real tree it’s only enjoyed for a few weeks before the whole thing is chipped up. I knew there had to be a better way of having the joy of a Christmas tree without the environmental impact, and from there Eco Elf was born."
Brilliantly, too, Callum has also worked hard to partner with experienced tree farmers to ensure every aspect of the trees' journey is as sustainable as possible, right down to the biodegradable netting used to protect the tree during transportation.
Scientists discover the best thing for a good night's sleep
Are you struggling to sleep? According to new research, the best thing for a well-rested night is having a glass of warm milk before bed. In fact, the naturally-sourced peptides in milk (a short chains of amino acids) suppress nerve signals, slow brain activity and cause the effect of drowsiness.
As well as making sleep more pleasant for the night, milk can also help to alleviate tension and foster calm. If you feel like you're constantly yawning or relying on coffee to get through the day, it could be time to reach for a mug of milk.
Rescue dog finally takes a treat from volunteers after 600 days at rescue centre
Betty taking a treat 🥰 She’s sat & watched other dogs do this thousands of times. Love, kindness, time & patience pay off in the end. This was on her 601st day at our rescue. All in your own time beautiful girl. There’s no clock ticking on how long you can stay here #nokill pic.twitter.com/nxHaRR3n9W
— Dogs 4 Rescue (@Dogs4Rescue) October 16, 2021
One dog described as "the most broken" pup that a shelter has seen, has finally taken a treat from a volunteer's hand for the first time. Despite spending over 600 days at Dogs4Rescue in Worsley, Betty has just learnt to trust those looking after her.
Posting on Twitter, Dogs4Rescue said: "Betty taking a treat from our hands. This moment has been 600 days in the making. Probably the most broken rehab dog we have taken, her transformation whilst slow is incredible. Moments like this are golden. We are so proud of you Betty.
"This was on her 601st day at our rescue. All in your own time, beautiful girl. There's no clock ticking on how long you can stay here."
Let's hope Betty finds a new home soon.
The Hunter's Moon lit up the sky
October's full Hunter's Moon lit up the sky on Wednesday 20th October, providing stargazers with a real lunar treat. Also known as the Travel Moon and the Dying Moon, the name 'Hunter's Moon' relates to the moon's light during the autumnal month.
At this point in the year, sunset and moonrise are closer together than normal and it's this light that traditionally made October the best time to hunt, hence the name. If you missed this moon, the Frost Moon and Cold Moon will follow in November and December.
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