Hello! How’s it going?
For any new readers, every Sunday morning I do a bitesize unbiased link roundup of the week’s environmental news and good reads. Over the hot beverage of your choice, you can get up to speed and read all of the good stuff in one place. It’s been another busy week, so let’s cut the chit chat and jump straight in.
This week’s links:
1. The UK has just gone a full week without using any coal-generated electricity for the first time since the industrial revolution. As recently as six years ago, burning coal provided 40% of the UK’s electricity needs, so we’ve made massive leaps and bounds in a short space of time.
Before we all jump for joy, this doesn’t mean that we’re fully renewable – natural gas, a fossil fuel, is filling in the gaps. However natural gas emits about half as much carbon as coal per kWh of electricity it generates, so it is a greener option until we can be fully renewable (potentially by 2025).
2. Ireland has become the second country in the world to declare a climate emergency.
The Irish Climate Action Minister, Richard Bruton, said climate change has been “rightly” described as the greatest challenge facing humanity. “We’re reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration,” he said. “Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing.” He added that urgency had been injected into the debate by the protests by school students calling for action from parliaments around the world.
3. Scotland has unveiled a new deposit-return scheme, whereby consumers in Scotland will have to pay a 20p deposit on every bottle or drinks can they buy from shops.
Small shops have criticised the measures, but the Scottish government has stayed strong saying “There is a global climate emergency and people across Scotland have been calling, rightly, for more ambition to tackle it and safeguard our planet for future generations”.
“Climate change is not so much an emergency as a festering injustice. Your ancestors did not end slavery by declaring an emergency and dreaming up artificial boundaries on “tolerable” slave numbers. They called it out for what it was: a spectacularly profitable industry, the basis of much prosperity at the time, something founded on a fundamental injustice. It’s time to do the same on climate change. prominently in that party’s manifesto“.
“Change trickles from the bottom up—from the grassroots. Plastic pollution awareness has led people around the world to reject excessively packaged products, to design better products and to demand change from industry and government. All of this has begun to lead to change, slowly at first but lately, the movement has picked up steam… Grassroots activism works. Keep this in mind when you think your changes don’t matter. They do. They add up. Together, we change the world“.
6. Most people waste more food than they think – here’s how to fix it.
7. “You can’t be an environmentalist if…“. Some great lessons here.
it seems so strange to me that people who are so devoted to it might choose to pick a fight with someone who is ten feet to their left, or ten feet to their right, rather than saying ‘all hands on deck’.
8. Related – how as individuals we can’t do everything, but together we can.
10. Finally, the top five issues in the upcoming EU elections (23rd May).
Before I go, a few people have been asking me about plastic-free hair conditioner lately. I have tried a few solid conditioner bars and been sorely disappointed with the results, so last year I did some research into zero-waste solid conditioner bar alternatives. You can find that post here with different options for different hair types. Currently, I am using this product* (affiliate link), which comes in a glass bottle, and I can’t rate it highly enough.
The initial price point is high (£16), but once I’ve washed my hair I use 3 small drops on my damp hair, so I reckon at this rate one bottle is going to last about a year, which is considerably less than what I would spend on conditioner over the course of a year.
Using oil on your hair sounds counterproductive, and I was worried it would leave my hair greasy, but it hasn’t been the case at all. My hair is soft, smooth and shiny and it’s been a huge step up from the conditioner bars I tried which left my hair feeling like straw. The fact that it smells of chocolate is an added bonus!
ps: catch up on last week’s Ten Things post from 5th May here.