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Year in Review

By Shelby Burr

Happy New year!! Wow, and what a year it was indeed.

So much happened in the world and some of it seems like it was two years ago instead of within this year.

The world can turn in a flash and we can miss some pretty big and exciting things. Let’s recap some great things that happened in the year of 2021!


Monarch Butterfly population is growing

You know the beautiful orange and black butterflies? They are back and beaming with life! Conservation recorded fewer than 2,000 butterflies in California. On average, this state would typically have tens of thousands recorded every year. The migratory route of monarchs has been destroyed by sprawling housing and development, increased pesticide and herbicide use of commercial agriculture, and the eradication of the milkweed they depend on. And california relies on these butterflies as an indicator of ecosystem health! On October 20, 2021, monarch counts on Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove totaled roughly 8,000! That’s a 2566.67% increase year over year!

The World has Opened Up a Little More

We all lived in an interesting world in 2020. Covid-19 rocked our reality and forced us all to stay inside. As 2021 came into view, the world slowly started to regain it’s freedom to venture outside of their four walls. Concerts are now accepting participants, movie theaters are welcoming folks in, and restaurants are allowing their patrons. It’s a happy world when we can step back into our social lives!

Scientists reveal that Cheese is good for you!

A 2011 paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed three cohorts that together tracked 120K US adults over several decades. They found that foods like potatoes, processed meats, and refined grains were associated with weight gain. Yogurt, fruit and nuts were associated with weight loss. Cheese was right in the middle! On average, eating more or less of it had essentially no effect on weight. Yay! 

Understanding and battling pollution with drones!

Throughout 2021, UK-based startup Ellipsis Earth has been mapping the scaleof the world’s plastic pollution with camera-equipped drones that are able to (sometimes) identify the exact origin of the trash. This allows experts to better understand the solutions needed in different 

areas, from pushing through dumping regulations at beaches to installing more bins in littering hotspots.

World’s First 3D printed school

Affordable housing group 14Trees built an entire school in Malawi in July 2021 using 3D printing technology. Women and children sang and danced in front of the new school to celebrate the opening!


Thought-to-Be-Extinct Orchid Was found

And you’ll never guess where! In june 2021, a rare species of orchid was found growing on top of an investment bank roof in London. Ecologist Mike Waller, author of Britain’s Orchids, said: “This is clear evidence that with patience and dedication, even the most unlikely places can become havens for some of our rarest wildlife.”


There are so many great things to celebrate and be thankful for that happened in the year 2021. Lots of memories, lots of victories, challenges we faced and triumphed over. Here’s to hoping 2022 will be filled with good news, new beginnings, awesome resolutions, and even more fantastic memories you will cherish for a lifetime. 

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