Face masks being made out of recycled ocean plastic and a study shows surge in neighbourliness

Today’s #FourForApril is about humanity’s brilliance and caring for one another. An amazing scuba diving group have found a way to make face masks out of recycled ocean plastic which is just fantastic, while a study has shown that lockdown has lead to a huge surge in neighbourliness – people stepping up once again!

In other positive news, New York farmers are donating milk to struggling communities as a way to counteract their own issues with selling milk and a dog lover is doing an utterly mad challenge of listening to ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ for over 26 hours to raise money for charity. It’s so crazy and we love it!

I hope these stories make you as happy as they have made me. Stay hopeful and safe 💚

Scuba diving group making face masks out of recycled ocean plastic

A scuba diving group is turning recycled plastic bottles into face masks. (Gabriele Lasser, Pixabay)

A scuba diving group is turning plastic water bottles that once polluted oceans into face masks as a way for people to protect themselves against coronavirus.

The remarkable creation comes from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), in partnership with Rash’R, a company that sells eco-friendly active wear.

The reusable masks that cost just over $20 each come with five replacement filters.

Lisa Nicklin, vice president of consumer marketing at PADI Worldwide told CNN: “We are not profiting from this product. We’re very much a heart-and-soul organization.

“We care about the ocean and our diver community, so we wanted to be able to put our hands on our hearts and say that we’re not profiting off this difficult time.”

Over 15,000 masks have already been pre-ordered. They come in five different designs based on sea animals and there is even one made to fit children ages 4-10.

Lisa Nicklin believes the masks have so far helped remove and reuse 1,267 pounds of ocean waste.

You can read more about this brilliant story here.

Lockdown leads to surge in neighbourliness

A study by Co-Op Insurance found that people in the UK are being more neighbourly than ever. (Pexels)

A new online study released by Co-Op Insurance has found that neighbourliness has surged.

The study says that the government measures to stay at home have led to a surge in neighbourliness as people have been looking out for the vulnerable and talking to those next door more than ever before.

It found that almost three quarters (72%) of UK adults now know which of their neighbours are classed as high risk and over a quarter (26%) have checked in on their neighbours over last few weeks.

Over a fifth (21%) of UK adults who know at least some of their neighbours have spoken to them more in the last few weeks than they did previously.

Despite not being able to spend time physically with neighbours, almost a sixth (16%) of UK adults who know their neighbours say their relationship has become better in the last few weeks.

Highlighting the lengths people are going to in order to stay in touch, over two fifths (42%) of people who know their neighbours have spoken to them over a fence or a wall.

Almost a fifth (18%) say they have chatted online or over the phone to their neighbours in the last few weeks to see how they are or if they need any help and over a tenth (13%) have dropped off shopping or essential medicine for neighbours or others in their household.

In a display of kindness, 12% say they have dropped off shopping for neighbours while 4% have collected and dropped off essential medication.

Andrew Nevitt, Head of Products at Co-op Insurance said: “It’s heartening to hear that so many people are looking out for one another during this time of crisis.

“For the last two years we’ve recognised and celebrated the UK’s best neighbours and it’s so encouraging that at such a difficult time people across communities are stepping up to help their neighbours more so now than ever before.”

Co-Op has itself launched an online community centre, Co-operate, which encourages communities to come together online, until the time comes when neighbours can once again spend time with one another.

You can read more about the great findings in this study here.

New York farmers donate milk to struggling communities

Farmers in New York have been distributing milk they have been unable to sell to low income families. (Couleur, Pixabay)

Yesterday, more than 8,000 gallons of milk was distributed to low income families in Syracuse, New York.

Farmers are having issues with an excess supply of milk, but in a move to turn a negative for farmers into a positive for communities, a “milk drive thru” was organised by Dairy Farmers of America.

Jennifer Huson, a regional coordinator for the cooperative told Democrat & Chronicle: “The discussion [from] the dairy farm community was, ‘Why dispose of this milk if we can get it processed and get it out to those folks in need?'”

Dairy Farmers of America, a national cooperative with more than 13,000 members, joined forces with a number of regional food banks and other groups to distribute more than 100,000 gallons of free milk to families struggling to afford groceries.

Yesterday, 8,000 gallons of whole milk was brought to Syracuse with 2,000 gallons given to the Syracuse City School District and 1,000 given to residents in the city’s senior housing. 

The rest of the milk was distributed to families in the community.     

New York is the country’s third largest dairy producer, eclipsed only by California and Wisconsin. 

But since COVID-19 has taken root in the state last month, dairy supply chains have been disrupted, leading to an excess supply of milk.

Many farmers who sell their product to local cooperatives where milk is processed before being distributed have come to rely on wholesale business from local schools and restaurants.

But since schools have been shut since last month and restaurants have been limited to just take-out orders, this has been an increasing issue.

Rather than dispose of unsold products, dairy farmer and cooperatives partnered with organisations like Dairy Farmers of America to distribute their products to those in need until the markets shift.

You can read more of this great deed by the Dairy Farmers of America here.

Dog lover to spend over 26 hours listening to ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ for charity

A dog lover is going to listen to ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ for over 26 hours to raise money for charity. (Martine Auvrey, Pixabay)

In a bid to raise money for the RSPCA, an animal lover is to listen to the noughties hit ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ for over 26 hours.

Amy Ockelford, 31, will be playing nothing but the Baha Men’s hit track from 2000 in an unconventional marathon.

Amy is doing the challenge to raise money for the RSPCA, for whom she works as a press officer.

While she says she does “quite like” the song, she does not know how she will feel after 26.2 hours of woofing.

Her fundraiser is part of the 2.6 challenge, a week-long nationwide effort starting on Sunday, the original date for the now-postponed London Marathon.

Ms Ockelford, who lives in Horsham, West Sussex, told PA: “I see on a daily basis the incredible work our staff and volunteers do to help thousands of dogs, and other animals, every year.

“I really wanted to use the lockdown to do some good and felt it would be appropriate to take on a challenge that was crazy, dog-themed and home-based.”

Every year the London Marathon raises over £25,000 for the RSPCA and is a vital source of income for many charities.

PA constructed some numbers based on 435 listens and found that:

– The immortal question about canines being let out will be asked 8,700 times
– That question will be answered 6,525 times
– The question will go unanswered 2,175 times
– She will be told that “the party was pumping” 435 times
– She will hear 32,625 uses of the word “woof”

You can read more about this wacky challenge here and help support Amy’s amazing fundraising efforts here.

Bonus positive

More police coming together to give socially distanced birthday wishes to children 💚

Every day in April, we will be sharing four positive news stories in one post under the hashtag #FourForApril. Got any kindness stories? Send them in! We’d love the world to hear about these good deeds by good people 🙂

Thanks for reading one of our positive stories!

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