This dog is cleaning up his local park

This border collie has one unlikely passion – collecting plastic bottles.

Wait, what?

That’s right! Scruff, 13 from Nuneaton, UK has discovered an unexpected passion for cleaning up our environment.

No longer able to pick up sticks on the Vet’s recommendation, Scruff has turned to picking up plastic water bottles instead.

Does he find many?

According to his owners, Scruff has collected over 100 plastic bottles in his local park in November alone – he can find upwards of 5 per day!

What does he do with them?

Scruff loves to play with the plastic bottles he finds! But once he’s had his fill, his owners take them home where they will stay to be properly recycled.

We should all try and be a bit more like Scruff!

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.


Upcycling bread into beer

It’s that time of the week when we tell you about a few of our favourite companies that are doing their best to give back.

This week we have clothes, loo roll, and even beer that are all giving back in some way. Keep reading to find out just what they’re doing to make our world a better place!


Toast Ale, an amazing company that turns leftover bread that would otherwise be wasted into beer, has raised £2 million in funding. Investors include the National Geographic Society, Heineken International and sustainable business leader Paul Polman.

The money raised will go back into the business, which has so far paired with 86 breweries since launching in 2016, and upcycled 2.9 million slices of surplus bread. The money will help Toast Ale to continue its incredible mission of reducing food waste and creating delicious beer along the way!


Fat Face has organised a collaboration with Shelter, a housing and homelessness charity. During the cost of living crisis, charities like Shelter are more important than ever, and Fat Face has decided to give back to help them out!

With their new collection, FatFace donates 10% of every sale to Shelter. So far, they have raised £276,719 for Shelter, which will go towards supporting people who are experiencing homelessness or insecure housing this winter.


Who Gives A Crap is a fantastic organisation that sells, wait for it, toilet paper. But what makes toilet paper so great? Who Gives A Crap loo roll is made either of bamboo or recycled paper – your choice. Regardless, it comes in adorable, plastic-free packaging, and is soft as a baby’s bum.

But it doesn’t stop there – an incredible 50% of Who Gives A Crap’s profits are donated to impact partners to help provide people around the world with access to clean water and toilets. So far, Who Gives A Crap has raised $11,222,000 AUD for their cause. That’s pretty awesome!

This article aligns with the UN SDGs Responsible Consumption and Production, Clean Water and Sanitation and Zero Poverty.

Uncategorized Wellbeing

Airport has largest therapy animal program in the world

The airport can be an incredibly stressful place. Trying to keep pace with your takeoff time, making sure you’re prepared for your travels, and maybe wrangling in young children overwhelmed by everything happening around them. 

To alleviate that stress, some airports have taken to having therapy animal units roam the halls of the airport to provide flyers some reprieve. The Denver International Airport just happens to hold the record for the largest airport therapy animal program in the world called the CATS (Canine Airport Therapy Squad) ironically. 

“Animals reduce stress, that’s been proven by studies over the years,” Karla Grahn, the Denver Airport Volunteer manager tells Smiley News.

“Airports are pretty stressful places. People are traveling for hundreds of reasons. It could be happy, it could be sad. And we all know that sometimes getting from the terminal to the concourse can be stressful. So providing that surprise and delight and those therapy animals to just expand that experience and make it really welcoming out in the concourses is kind of the goal, what we shoot for.”

According to OAG, a travel analytics organization, the Denver Airport is the fifth busiest airport in the world, with about 3.7 million people coming through the airport each year. Known for endless conspiracies around the art displayed or how and why the airport was built, the place is full of intrigue and interest, leading directly into such a large therapy animal program. 

To add to the appeal, each of the airport’s 87 animals (86 dogs and one cat) has personalized trading cards with a professional headshot, what year they join, social media, and some facts about them. According to Karla, the cards end up being incredibly collectible among the staff of the airport.

Even though they already hold the record for their animal program, the airport is still far short of its peak, which was cut when Covid-19 hit its peak. 

“At our height, we had 120,” Karla says. “During the pandemic, we lost a lot because we had to suspend our program for about 15 months. 

“But we continue to grow we continue to ask for more teams onboard more teams, or almost a 24/7 365-day operation and three concourses and a terminal, and we only have 86 teams and most people are like ‘oh we’ve never seen them.’” 

With that in mind, they’re always taking in new volunteers, with the goal of having a minimum of three animals each for a few hours a day. 

As far as the visits are concerned it’s up to the volunteers handling the animals to decide the plan of action and travel. The visit is announced on Twitter, and depending on the reaction of the people in the airport the dog may not make it more than 20 feet before being swarmed with love and affection from passersby. 

Now, as they continue to expand their own program, other airports have reached out for advice on how to start their own programs. 

“There are over 50 airports in the nation that currently host therapy and meal programs,” Karla says. “We get contacted quite frequently by airports looking to start this type of a program.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.


The top 10 positive stories of 2022

It’s that time of year – the end! 

If you need a little cheering up in this grey and miserable weather, or if you just want to keep up the festive spirit, here are our top ten positive news stories of the year. 

Collected in one place for you to explore at your leisure, this is a great opportunity to look back at this year and all the wonderful things that have happened in it. What better way to ring in 2023 than with a little (or a lot!) of positivity?


A more eco-friendly alternative to the beloved avocado, the Ecovado is just as scrumptious but much better for the environment than farming the one made by Mother Nature. Read on to find out more.


Ukrainian tennis champion Elina Svitolina promised to donate her prize money to Ukraine to help support her family and others there. Click on the link to keep reading.


Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) set off to tackle the homelessness crisis in Washington, USA by creating villages of tiny homes. These tiny house village shelters ensure that people’s experiences with homelessness are as safe, dignified, and brief as possible. Read on to see more.


A group of builders in the North West created a prize draw, auctioning off a house worth £250,000 in a raffle. The price of all tickets purchased went on to be donated to Derian House, their local children’s hospice – follow the link to watch them dance.


A cafe in Brighton decided to dedicate one day per week to training young people with autism. The young people loved it so much that they kept coming back – again and again! Click the link to find out how it all happened.


These Auto Artists collaborated to sell art pieces in the name of supporting Ukraine. The proceeds from sales went directly to The British Red Cross’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal to help provide people in Ukraine with much-needed support. Read on to see the art, and find out more.


Teachers around the world, from the UK to Bahrain, donned these T-Shirts to show their pride and support for those in the teaching profession. Keep reading to find out what inspired these snazzy shirts in the first place, and where the money went.


Lolly, who suffered a trauma herself, now earns her kibble by helping out other nervous pups in her rescue centre. The story is so sweet, and the pictures are adorable – click on to see more.


An anti-bullying scheme designed to help kids develop empathy and create friendships, the Positive Post-Box Campaign was created by The Diana Award. Read on to find out how you can sign your child up.


Meet the friends from Leeds who collaborated to create paint banks, helping to recycle and reuse paint that would otherwise be incorrectly disposed of in landfills. Read on to see what they do with the paint.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.


The volunteer giving dogs an extra paw on Christmas Day

A dog lover in Leeds is going the extra mile this Christmas to make sure all pups are taken care of.

Tell me more!

Evelyn Grice from Beeston has been volunteering with Dogs Trust since 2008. She volunteers twice a week at one of their rescue centres, and this year has decided to give up her Christmas day to make sure her furry friends are happy.

What does volunteering on Christmas day look like?

Well, for Evelyn, this year it looks like spending the day in the laundry room! But she doesn’t seem to mind. Here’s what she said about it:

“I love volunteering, whatever I am doing. For many years I walked the dogs and on Christmas morning I will join the team taking the dogs out, but now my main job is doing the laundry so that’s what I’ll be doing. It is of course never-ending, from towels to beds, and it doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas! But knowing the dogs have lovely clean bedding to snuggle into makes it all worthwhile.” 

Happy Christmas to Evelyn, and all her four-legged friends!

This article aligns with the UN SDGs Life on Land and Partnership for the Goals.


The bakery that gives back

This bakery in Newcastle is giving back to its community in the best way!

Tell me more.

Big River Bakery, based in Shieldfiled, Newcastle, is a social enterprise that aims to help as many people as possible by providing them with food. From loaves to scones, cakes to croissants, and even the ‘stottie’, a local delicacy, Big River Bakery provides it all.

Committed to making food as affordable as possible, particularly during the current cost of living crisis, Big River Bakery even has designated ‘pay what you can afford’ days.

Who do they support?

The answer to that is – everyone! The whole community is welcome at Big River Bakery, which holds a variety of classes and gatherings including bread-making workshops and period poverty awareness classes.

Most recently, Big River Bakery has started providing Breakfast Bags for children, to ensure that they never have to go without the most important meal of the day. The breakfast bags include muffins or croissants as well as fruit, juice and yoghurts.

How can we support Big River Bakery?

To support Big River Bakery, please consider donating to their fundraiser which can be found here, and look out for some of those excellent goodies they offer as rewards too! We’re particularly fond of their Scottie the Stottie soft toy – what a cutie!

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing, No Poverty, Partnerships for the Goals.


Virgin Atlantic to have world’s first “net zero” transatlantic flight

Planes are the preeminent form of long-distance travel taking human beings just about anywhere they want to travel in just a few hours in a giant steel tube and a few tedious encounters through the airport. Technologically they’re marvels of travel but as society begins to focus on more eco-friendly forms of travel hoping to slow the effects of global warming the emissions produced by and fuel efficiency of air travel become incredibly apparent.

Airplanes emit around 100 times more CO2 per hour than a shared bus or train ride, and global aviation emissions are about 1 billion tons of CO2 per year — more than most countries, including Germany.

Some are trying to make flying more environmentally friendly and net-neutral in the future. 

Flying with Virgin Atlantic

One of the biggest eco-projects in flying right now is in the airline, Virgin Atlantic. They plan to have what’s being billed as the “world’s first” net zero transatlantic flight. They plan to fly a Boeing 787 from London to New York powered solely by waste oils and fats.

The fuel, coming from waste oils and fats is what’s called sustainable aviation fuel or SAF. SAF is an alternative to fossil fuels that uses ingredients like cooking oils and agriculture waste, cutting carbon emissions by an average of 80%, according to IATA, the International Air Transport Association.

Around 450,000 flights have already been powered by SAF this will just be the first one to cross such a milestone by braving the Atlantic. 

The UK government, which supplied some funding to the project said in a statement that the flight’s carbon output will be totally “net zero” and that any emissions will be offset by what is called “biochar credits” or payments that support the use of an energy process that results in the safe storage of carbon.

“For decades, flying from London to New York has symbolised aviation’s ability to connect people and drive international progress,” UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper said. “It’s now going to be at the forefront of cutting carbon emissions from flying.”

The exact date for the flight hasn’t been announced but it will be taking place sometime in 2023.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Responsible Production and Consumption.


Author gives back to charity 13 years after tumour diagnosis

Thirteen years after receiving the news that she had 18 months to live, an author is donating proceeds from her books to the charity that helped save her life.

Sounds incredible!

It really is!! In 2009, Emma Crabtree was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (an aggressive brain tumour) with a prognosis of 12 to 18 months. Emma rediscovered her love of writing after six weeks of radiotherapy and six months of chemotherapy and has since moved home to Skipton to be with her family. 

In 2021, she published her first book ‘The Adventures of Big Boy: Big Boy’s Birthday Walk’. Since then, she has gone on to write and publish two books, donating some of the proceeds to the Yorkshire Brain Tumor Charity (YBTC) to support the work they do and raise awareness of the diagnosis. 

That’s brilliant! How much has she raised?

Since her first book was published a year ago, Emma has raised £800 for the YBTC – her second book was published in October 2022. Her books are available on her website here, with a small portion of each sale being donated to YBTC.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.


The 4 sustainable TikTokers you need on your feed

With platforms like TikTok comes the opportunity to spread the word about issues you’re passionate about – whether that’s the D&D miniatures, the latest dance trend, or Taylor Swift fan theories.

For these TikTokers, the issue is sustainability – and they’re determined to make a difference with their channels. Racking up an incredible 145,000 followers and nearly 7 million likes between them on TikTok alone, their videos have reached thousands of people worldwide.

So if you’re looking to get more sustainable, want to upgrade your eco-friendly lifestyle, or to take the plunge on going zero-waste – here are the channels you need to follow, plus their advice on what small actions make an impact.


Gittemarie Johansen, known as Gittemary on TikTok, posts primarily about how she lives sustainably in her home of Aalborg, Denmark. A vegan, who has adopted zero-waste living, her profile has eco-tips abound – and delicious recipes to make that transition easier, for all those omnivores out there.

“Start by using what you already have, buy less things, consume less, overall,” she says. “Reduce single-use disposables and gradually find reusable alternatives, they don’t have to be fancy or expensive, often you already own swaps you can use.

“Whenever you need something, see if you can find it secondhand or pre-loved before buying it from new, check Facebook Marketplace or secondhand shops in real life. Repair rather than replace, and take good care of the things you already own.”

One thing Gittemarie recommends is finding like-minded people around you, who can support you in your journey.

“Find people that are equally interested and passionate about sustainability. It has been nothing short of essential for me to have people that I can share ideas with and that I can learn from as well, community is what keeps these movements going. “


Emma Dendler, aka The Simple Environmentalist, focuses on providing people with tips to help them be not only as eco-friendly and sustainable as they can possibly be, but also do it on a shoestring. There’s no reason saving the planet should cost the earth, she believes.

“The focus of my social platforms is to inspire people to make eco changes that save them money and/or time and don’t actually require them to change their whole life,” says Emma. “I think there is a stigma that going zero waste is hard, expensive, and you have to flip your life in a full 180. You don’t.”

Because sustainable alternatives are often more expensive, it often seems as though sustainability is something only people with a larger income can practice. On The Simple Environmentalist, Emma shows that this isn’t the case at all.

“Do what you can,” says Emma. “Everyone has different needs and abilities so focus on what YOU can do today. Some big things are composting, swapping some of your meat or legumes or tofu, using reusable water bottles and reusable bags, and voting! Get out and vote for leaders who want what is best for us and the planet.”


Delilah Isabel is known on TikTok for her eco-friendly fashion and travel tips – and for showing that you can save the planet and invest in the things you’re most passionate about.

For Delilah, her journey into sustainability started at college when she watched The True Cost, a documentary about the truth behind the fashion industry and how detrimental it can be for the planet, and for the people involved.

“Making small shifts is something to be celebrated and applauded; that could even be buying a bit less [or] buying more intentionally,” explains Delilah, though she herself went ‘cold turkey’ from fast fashion. “It’s not about perfection; you can drive yourself crazy if you’re travelling and you feel guilty for every single thing you do. So it’s just about doing the best you can and then a little bit better each time.”

Since then Delilah has spent her time spreading the word about her eco-friendly lifestyle on social media, and even to her real-life friends and family. “Don’t underestimate the power and influence of how powerful it is to get the gears going with talking with friends and family … just putting it out there. So conversations [are] important just to kind of get the gears going.”


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Skylar, known on TikTok as Skysaba, is the founder of Happy Earth Habits. On TikTok, she shares all the eco tips and tricks you could ever need. On her website, Happy Earth Habits, she tells you all about how to keep Mama Earth happy from sustainable recipes to reviews of ‘eco-friendly’ products where you can see just how sustainable they really are.

“My go-to tip to get into being more eco-friendly is to start one swap at a time, in one area of your house,” says Skylar. “Pick a room and start there, once that room is complete then move to the next.”

Skylar has cultivated a huge following of people who care about the environment and save the planet across all of her platforms. Not only does she encourage people to be more sustainable, but she also encourages people to have fun with it, and nurture themselves, as well as Mama Earth.

“Get creative! Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean spending money on swap after swap. There are so many creative and fun DIYs and ways to reuse your stuff and I think that it’s a great way to jump into sustainability. Also, my fave swap is bars. Literally anything in bar form. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving cream, dish soap, laundry detergent, stain remover… you name it if it’s in bar form I love it.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.


4 festive stories that’ll make you smile today

Need some joy to make you smile? Here are four super heartwarming tales of people spreading Christmas cheer to bring some festive magic to your day.


A woman in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA has been distributing Christmas cards to elderly people living in nursing homes, who often feel lonely this time of year. With the help of some special kids, Liz Ross has managed to give out an incredible 20,000 Christmas cards to nursing homes over the years, so that everyone has something to open in the run-up to Christmas!

The Caring Kids Christmas Card Programme, as named by Liz, is something she came up with when volunteering in a nursing home 13 years ago, and has only grown from there.

Today, she buys blank Christmas cards in bulk and takes them to various schools in her area. Children are then given the opportunity to write cards to a stranger and decorate them however they wish, before Liz drops them off at nursing homes.


A 9-year-old girl from Redditch has committed to sleeping outside in her tent one night every weekend from November until Christmas to raise money for St Basil’s Homeless charity.

Jessica Fields completed the St Basils Big Sleepout on 25th November in a tent in her garden, and has smashed her fundraising target of £250, raising £1070 so far. If you want to donate to Jessica’s JustGiving, you can do so through this link.


E & A R Agar Funeral Directors, based in Norton, are touring their Dignity PLC charity organ to care homes around Malton. They are playing Christmas carols, giving out mince pies and hoping to spread the festive spirit to those who may not be seeing family this Christmas season.

The best part is, it’s all happening completely for free.

Care homes interested in a visit from the charity organ, are asked to give James a call to book on 01653 692926.


John Lyon’s charity carried out a national survey and learned that 42% of parents with children under the age of 16 can’t afford to take their child to a pantomime/theatre this year.

This December, John Lyon’s Charity has paid for multiple schools to take trips to the theatre to see a bunch of festive West End shows, including A Christmas Carol, Frozen, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and so many more.

Nickai, aged 11 said: “Even though some parents might not be able to pay to go to the theatre, it’s great that kids can still go with their school and all their friends. I’m very excited!”

Saadiya, aged 11 said: “I think it’s important to experience a pantomime because it’s like you’re there and it’s your experience, not just something you’ve watched off a YouTube video or online.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnerships for the Goals.