Welcome to Alles Gute, the SPIEGEL newsletter with only good news from the week. It's great that you're here!
A week ago I was in Bali, which is the island of surf shops and yoga classes, and of course, on such a sun-wave-sand-sea island, everyone wears flip-flops. They hang on every corner for sale, and unfortunately: lie as individual parts in the dunes on the beach and flattened on the streets. Rubber soles of slippers float in heaps as garbage in the sea. A major environmental impact. I was therefore quite relieved when I saw so-called flip-flop recycling bins in several shops in Bali. You can hand in the old rubber soles, they are melted down and – if the shops keep their promise – recycled.
Basically, shoes are often a major burden on the climate. First and foremost, running shoes and sneakers. This week, my colleague Regina Steffens talks about this in the podcast "Climate Report". Regina reports: In 2021, 47 million pairs of sneakers were sold in Germany. Worldwide, 24 billion shoes are produced every year. Not even all of them are sold, some end up unworn in the landfill.
Sneakers are hardly recyclable, they are hazardous waste. All the polyfibers, the foam that cushions the step. Rubber soles, shoelaces, adhesives, decorations: all difficult to degrade.
Here's the good news. Regina talks to Michael Spitzbarth from the fashion label »Bleed« and Steffen Otten from »runamics«. Both want to change that. They explain what a closed recycling loop for running shoes could look like. The most important thing is to keep the material in the system. So that as little as possible of the worn-out running shoe ends up in nature - but instead, renewed, back in the sports shoe store. They tell us how consumers can continue to wear sneakers with a clear conscience. I recommend the podcast to you.
A completely different topic, one that contains good news.
"I always thought I was beautiful. My husband and I loved my breasts. Where they used to be, there are now only scars on my upper body: a line on each side."
Uta Melle's breasts were operated on after being diagnosed with cancer. She helps other women with similar surgeries to feel beautiful and comfortable in their bodies again.
Marlena Waldthausen / DER SPIEGEL
That's what Uta Melle tells us. She had her breasts removed 14 years ago after being diagnosed with cancer, then her ovaries. She had just turned 40 at the time. Now she supports other women who need similar operations with a photo project and lectures.
Melle says many women hide their scars, and that many outsiders even felt provoked by the absence of breasts. We live in a society where people would rather not be confronted with illness or even death, she believes. Where you prefer to look the other way.
Yet, as I read from Uta Melle's sentences, her scars testify to the opposite: to the joy of life. Of great strength. "Women, fight for your life, not for your breasts! For me, that's the most important message to other sufferers: Lying in a coffin with the greatest tits doesn't benefit anyone.« Here you can read the text, which for me is one of overcoming and moving on.
What else was good this week – for the world:
Supreme Court strengthens rights of black voters in Alabama
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a surprising ruling: The state of Alabama discriminates against black voters with the layout of its electoral districts. Reform is imperative. What this means for the people and the presidential election campaign.
Louvre in Paris gives »asylum«
to works of art from Ukraine Five Byzantine icons are soon to be exhibited at the Louvre. They come from a museum in Kyiv that was damaged in a missile attack. A total of 16 works of art from Ukraine will be transported to France to protect them.
How Brazil wants to stop deforestation in the Amazon The state of the rainforest is usually the cause of bad news.
Not this time: the new Brazilian President Lula da Silva has presented a plan to protect the Amazon regions. It provides for more surveillance, a greener economy and higher penalties.
more than 78,000 weapons after call In response to two mass shootings in Serbia, thousands have responded to a call for voluntary surrender of weapons. This does not solve the problem of the many illegal weapons circulating in the country, but the amount of weapons surrendered is a remarkable symbol.
What's good – for you:
New rights for rail passengers in the event of delays
In the future, new EU rules on compensation will apply in the event of a train cancellation or delay. In which cases is there still money back? And when can you rebook yourself – at the expense of the railways? Find out here.
Dairy products are getting cheaper
Many foods, especially products such as butter or milk, had become extremely expensive last year. Now some retailers have announced: Milk, cream or yoghurt will soon be noticeably cheaper. The milk price at Aldi slips below the one-euro mark. The next message fits in with this:
How to store food correctly – and save
money as a result In his current column, my colleague Sebastian Maas gives tips on how to manage to throw away less food. This protects the environment and your wallet. Here's how to do it.
Hiking in Cyprus
Do you already have an idea for your holidays? In Northern Cyprus you can hike and at the same time learn a lot about mythology, religion and the history of viticulture. Oh yes, great views included.
The good interview at the end:
MIRROR: Does there inevitably come a point in the life of a pop star when you go crazy?
Matthias Reim: Yes. For me, the time had come after half a year.
Matthias Reim, pop star, gave an interview to my colleague Alexander Kühn in which he shows a lot about himself, especially from the years when he was not doing well. I know Matthias Rheim's megahit »Damn, I love you« by heart, because it ran reliably in hot rotation at the carnival parties of the football club in my village. I suppose you know it too. Reim became a multimillionaire with the song, later went bankrupt, today he is debt-free. He speaks openly – about mistakes, about seduction, about how he found his way out of the great crisis.
"Mr. Reim, it's a miracle that you're still sitting here," my colleague begins the conversation, and Reim says: "The fact that I've always gotten the hang of it amazes even me. I had a lot of trouble.«
Every crisis is an individual crisis, of course, and no two can be compared. Least of all, perhaps, with that of a pop star. But whenever someone has mastered one and talks about it openly, it gives courage that you can do things. That's why I like the interview with Matthias Reim – and because I had to laugh quite a bit in between.
It's one of those days when the Baltic Sea can compete with the Mediterranean. The water glistens mirror-like in the sun and where it is very shallow, it shines turquoise.
Writes my colleague Verena Töpper. She has rented a room for a working day in Eckernförde on the Baltic Sea, in a so-called tiny office. "Nordort" is what the inventors called their mini-office. But Verena thinks the beach chair office would be better. It has a porthole at the front, and Verena had to put on her sunglasses in between while she spoke to her colleagues in the Hamburg office of SPIEGEL via video. Because she was surrounded by so much early summer.
Verena says that since the pandemic forced us to rethink how and where we work, many great projects have emerged, many places of work that seemed impossible before. Being productive, we now know, is also possible with a beautiful view. Or maybe just then?
You can read more about the beach chair office here.
Maybe you also have a place that is good for them. Then write us your little story. Even if something good happened to you, you had a special experience, whether small or life-changing. Tell us about it. We look forward to receiving your mail. By e-mail to GuteNachrichten.Newsletter@spiegel.de . In the next few weeks we will present a submission here again*.
At the very end, I would like to recommend an account on Instagram. The French artist Orfayo manages to summarize entire life situations with a few strokes. Everyday life, stress, new beginnings, beautiful little things. Everything included, take a look. I like this here, matching this week's many encouragement texts:
Have a nice weekend. Get out, it's summer! Eat an Amarena sundae! And if you haven't signed up for this new weekly newsletter yet, you can order it for free here.
Maria Stöhr, Southeast Asia correspondent for SPIEGEL in Bangkok
(*By submitting a submission, you agree to an anonymous publication on SPIEGEL.de and all other media of the SPIEGEL Group.)
This article is part of the Global Society project
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Under the title "Global Society", reporters from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe report on injustices in a globalized world, socio-political challenges and sustainable development. The reports, analyses, photo series, videos and podcasts are published in a separate section in SPIEGEL's foreign department. The project is long-term and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has been supporting the project since 2019 for an initial period of three years with a total sum of around 2.3 million euros – around 760,000 euros per year. In 2021, the project was extended by almost three and a half years until spring 2025 under the same conditions.
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In recent years, SPIEGEL has already implemented two projects with the European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: the "Expedition ÜberMorgen" on global sustainability goals and the journalistic refugee project "The New Arrivals", which has resulted in several award-winning multimedia reports on the topics of migration and flight.
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