Eco News

Eco News

Ten Things – 28th April 2019

Hi there! I’ve got a fire in my belly – it feels like so much has been happening this week. So many more people seem to be talking about climate change and thinking about how they can help. Have you noticed it too? I really really hope all this talk translates into action and change. We CAN do this.

1. Could coffee waste replace palm oil? Excitingly, two Scottish entrepreneurs at Revive Eco are working to make this a reality, using the coffee waste from coffee shops. I really hope this succeeds – what a game changer this could be.

There are oils in coffee with a wide range of uses in different industries – cosmetics pharmaceuticals, food and drink, household products – you name it, there’s probably a use there. We’re developing a process to extract and purify these oils. The most exciting part for us is that they have all the same components as palm oil“.

2. Think your actions buying loose fruit and vegetables are just a drop in the ocean? The good news is that collectively we are making a difference – loose fruit and veg sales are actually growing at double the rate of plastic-packed fruit and vegetables in the UK.

3. Before we get too carried away with patting ourselves on the back, it’s worth highlighting that over the course of one week a staggering 35,000 people have signed a petition urging McDonald’s to bring back plastic straws. Whilst I never thought I would be giving McDonald’s credit, McDonald’s isn’t bowing to public pressure and have said that they are doing the right thing, by offering only paper straws and that they are “pleased” to be “taking significant steps to reduce our environmental impact”.

4. This article on Climate Change: The Mother of All Problems is simply superb. Give it a read, all the way to the end – you won’t regret it.

5. Green gas – made from farm and food waste – is now powering 1 million homes in the UK. According to the article, currently only one supplier – Green Energy UK – guarantees all of its gas is green.

5. This quiz on climate change solutions was fun and definitely eye-opening. I won’t ruin any of the questions and answers for you – all I’ll say is try it for yourself!

6. My favourite tweet of the week.

7. Speaking of challenging the system, Extinction Rebellion activists have hailed their protests in London as a “huge success” after data suggested they caused a five-fold increase in online searches for climate change.

8. Hopefully, this new interest and enthusiasm in tackling climate change comes at just the right time. This week alone I’ve read heartbreaking news about giraffes undergoing a silent extinction and the emperor penguin colony that disappeared overnight, losing thousands of chicks.

9. If, after that, you’re feeling downhearted, I was definitely buoyed after reading this piece on the orchestras, the villages, the entire countries all working to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

I especially loved reading about the Swedish orchestra so determined to cut its emissions that it has promised not to employ any musicians or conductors who travel by air. “We are convinced that we can get all we need in terms of talent and artistic energy from within Europe, and from people living in Europe who come from other parts of the world,” said Fredrik Österling, director of Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, and are calling out to artists, conductors and composers willing to make their way to the Swedish city by train, road or boat.

Remember to share what you have been doing to help the environment.

10. Finally, this week is Fashion Revolution Week – the week when we’re encouraged (more than ever) to demand more transparency in the fashion industry, by asking clothing retailers “who made my clothes”?

There are lots of ways you can take part to help campaign for greater transparency. Here are just some examples:

  • Take a photo with your clothing label and ask the brand on social media #WhoMadeMyClothes?
  • Send an email to brands you have shopped with in the past asking them to disclose more information about their supply chain and manufacturing.
  • Write to a policymaker, asking them what they’re doing to create a fairer, safer, cleaner more transparent fashion industry.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


PS: catch up with last week’s post from 21st April here, in case you missed it.

Eco News

Ten Things – 21st April 2019

Hello! I have read a lot this week so it’s been hard work picking the best 10. Let’s cut the chit chat and get to it!

1. Firstly, did you see Climate Change: The Facts on BBC One on Thursday evening? If not, stop what you are doing, go and watch it on iPlayer and come back and tell me what you thought of it. I watched it, and then watched it again – David Attenborough was superb, and hits the nail on the head time and time again.

And if you’re not in the UK, you can watch the programme on YouTube instead – it’s too important to only be available in the UK.

2. Greenpeace is calling on the UK Government to declare a climate emergency now and act on it. You can sign the petition here. At the time of writing, over 143,000 people had signed it, leaving it just 7000 signatures shy of the 150,000 target.

3. It was reported that half of the UK population is willing to pay more to avoid plastic packaging, with half of all respondents saying they would be happy to pay an extra £2 a week – £104 a year – for their food shopping if all the packaging used was eco-friendly and did not include any single-use plastics.

Whilst it’s great that so many people are serious about cutting back on plastic, what struck me most from this was that we’ll never solve anything if plastic reduction is only open to those that can afford to cut plastic from their lives. £2 a week extra is huge when you don’t have any money. Reducing plastic packaging on products, in theory, should be cheaper in some cases as pointless plastic packaging is removed from products – and the Government should be taking stronger steps so that it’s more expensive for manufacturers to produce items wrapped in plastic. That’s my rant for this Sunday.

4. Greta Thunberg is incredible – watch the speech she made at the EU Parliament:

You need to listen to us, we who cannot vote. You need to vote for us, for your children and grandchildren. What we are doing now can soon no longer be undone. In this election, you vote for the future living conditions for humankind. And though the politics needed do not exist today, some alternatives are certainly less worse than others“.

Something to mull over before we all head to the polls in May for the European elections.

5. Climate campaigners may sound naive. But they’re asking the right questions.

6. I had to applaud this Facebook post made to the Tesco Facebook page after one shopper got annoyed about why all their swedes were shrink-wrapped in plastic. I would have linked to the original Facebook post, but Tesco deleted the post after it was shared over 10,000 times and rising – perhaps not liking the bad publicity the post was generating. However, it’s a useful reminder to constantly call-out businesses and politicians over failure to act on plastic and climate change despite the rhetoric they spout.

7. Like a phoenix from the flames. Some serious good news.

8. As Attenborough says, we all should eat beef and lamb less, and eat more plant-based foods. Think plant-based is another word for expensive? Hopefully, these £1 vegan meals (that look so incredibly delicious) can convince you otherwise! There’s even a book: Vegan One Pound Meals that is very much on my wishlist.

9. Emma Thomson was criticised after flying from LA to London prior to taking part in Extinction Rebellion. This is a fantastic response.

10. Finally, do you feel like the polystyrene packaging that comes with large appliances is unavoidable? Hopefully, it won’t be unavoidable for much longer, thanks to the wonder that is the mushroom.

That’s it from me – have a good one!


PS: catch up on last week’s post from 14th April, if you missed it.