Eco News

Eco News

Ten Things – 14th April 2019

range cooker

Hello! How’s your week been? I’ve had a lovely week off work with my little people, holidaying at home; lamenting Brexit; and finishing up some DIY projects around our house. I’ve also been working on some DIYs for the blog – coming up next week!

I’ve also been planning what to cover on the blog in the coming months, so if there is anything in particular that you’d like to see me write about then do let me know!

1. In seriously impressive news, the ‘Attenborough effect’ leads to a 53% drop in single-use plastic in 12 months.

Over half of consumers polled in a study said they have reduced the amount of disposable plastic they have been using in the last year, and 42% say products that use sustainable materials are important when it comes to their day-to-day purchases.

2. Norway is in the news again – they have refused to drill for billions of barrels of oil in the Arctic, leaving the whole oil industry surprised and disappointed. The move creates a large parliamentary majority against oil exploration in the sensitive offshore area, illustrating growing opposition to the polluting fossil fuel, which has made the country one of the world’s most affluent.

3. People with asthma are being encouraged to use “greener” inhalers by the NHS, if it is suitable for them.

Around 70% of inhalers used in the UK are the types that have high levels of greenhouse gases  – “environmentally-friendly” dry powder inhalers contain 25 times fewer pollutants. If anyone is thinking about changing their inhaler or needs advice, it is recommended that they visit their GP or asthma nurse.

4. Climate change: yes, your individual action does make a difference.

Individual action is part of the collective. So, while you won’t save the world on your own, you might be part of the solution“.

5. Buying new is not sustainable, not matter how you sew it.

Regardless of how consumption is greenwashed, the ongoing promotion of wants over needs creates an aspirational culture, in which acquisition of the right products is the pinnacle of self-empowerment. No matter how you brand it, buying anything new – especially within the constant churn of the trend cycle – can never be sustainable“.

6. “We can change it all if we want it all, and we do“.

7. Britons throw away 720m eggs a year over best-before date fears – here’s how to test if an egg is fresh or not, regardless of it’s best before date.

8. This is really interesting – a Bristol nursery is trialing a no-toys rule for a month, to see what effect it has on the children. So far kids have been playing outside more often; playing with each other more; and there are positive reports from parents, with one saying “a box becomes a spaceship, a stick becomes a wand, they become a wizard“. This comes at a time when 1 in 4 parents have admitted to throwing away toys that are in perfect working order.

9. Flipping loved the guy in this video.

10. Finally, would you support a climate label for food?

Have a great week!


PS: catch up on 7th April’s post here, in case you missed it.

Eco News

Ten Things – 7th April 2019

Hello! How are you? It’s Easter Holidays here, and I’m looking forward to some time off work and spending time with my two little people. I am also planning on sending out the Moral Fibres newsletter this coming week, so keep an eye on your inbox if you are a subscriber. If not, you can sign up here. :)

This week’s links

1. This one simple idea can save us from climate breakdown, say campaigners including the teenage school climate strike activist Greta Thunburg, authors Margaret Atwood, Naomi Klein, Philip Pullman, U.S. climate scientist Michael Mann, and environmental campaigner Bill McKibben, but it’s being almost totally overlooked.

2. Legal action has been launched against Shell, for what is seen as the fossil fuel company’s inadequate efforts to tackle climate change. Friends of the Earth have been joined by Greenpeace and ActionAid, as well as 17,000 people who have signed up as co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit. One to watch.

3. An independent coffee chain reported that it has seen sales fall by £250,000 since it banned single-use cups last summer – the first cafe to ban single use cups altogether. The owner of the Boston Tea Party chain, Sam Roberts, is a true hero. Rather than ditching the ban, Sam said they had factored the loss in takings into its plans and would continue with the ban, saying that too many operators were “putting their profits before the planet” – and urged other cafes to follow suit.

Sadly I don’t have a Boston Tea Party cafe near me (there are no branches in Scotland), but if you do then why not show your support by paying them a visit and giving them your custom?

4. Primark and Marks & Spencer have been accused of ripping off ethical footwear brand Veja. Veja’s response was perfect:

I think Primark got it wrong. They should not copy the style of our shoes, they should copy the way we make them. With organic cotton, with recycled plastic, with more ecological fabrics, in factories where workers are paid decently, and are working in secure conditions. We will explain everything to them in court”.

5. From 11th April you will be able to buy clothes made out of discarded orange peels, pineapple leaves and algae in selected H&M stores. Sounds great but it’s not without its problems – these fabrics use finishing chemicals that prevent them from being biodegradable or recyclable. There are other issues too – as always the best solution is buying fewer clothes.

6. David Attenborough’s Our Planet is now available on Netflix. Warning – have your tissues ready – people are tweeting things like “Friday night and I’m in bed thug crying over the Walrus scene in Our Planet“, and another saying “Watching Our Planet is the most beautiful gut punch you’ll ever see”.

7. Remember the Monsanto case I highlighted in last week’s Ten Things, where Monsanto was successfully sued for $80 million after being found to have caused cancer in a gardener?

Well, councils around the UK are now assessing their weedkiller usage, and seeking non-chemical alternatives – actions that could prove massively beneficial to our bee, butterfly and insect populations, and the creatures that feed on them. Here’s an eco-friendly homemade weedkiller if you’re looking to make the switch too.

8. Global CO2 levels will now be available in weather forecasts in the Guardian to act as a daily reminder that we must tackle climate change now. Alongside the daily carbon count, the paper will publish the level in previous years for comparison, as well as the pre-industrial baseline of 280ppm, and the level seen as manageable in the long term of 350ppm.

9. Signed – this petition to install micro-plastic filters on all new washing machines as standard. Share far and wide if you can – laundry is one of the biggest sources of microplastic pollution,

10. Finally, Surfers Against Sewage are running their Big Spring Beach Clean between the 6th and 14th of August – and urging people to volunteer and take part in one of the 600 mountain, river and beach cleans happening right across the UK. Find your nearest clean here.

That’s it for now! See you next week!