weekend links

weekend links

Ten Things

Hello! Having a good weekend? I’ve had a busy one at work – evening and weekends this week – so I’m just going to jump straight in if you don’t mind me:

This week’s links:

1. New Zealand has just abandoned economic growth or other growth indicators as a political priority, in favour of well-being. Billions of pounds will be spent on mental health services, child poverty, homelessness and domestic violence.

This is absolutely huge news. In the UK we are pursuing economic growth at all cost – economic growth is used as a justification for everything, from additional runways to increased road building. Meanwhile the Government are pushing wellbeing further and further down the agenda. Neither of these aspects are in any way sustainable, and we could learn a huge amount from New Zealand’s lead on this.

2. What do the plastics and climate crises have in common? The same someone profiting from the status quo.

Whether it be the fossil fuel industry or the broader petrochemical industry, the corporations profiting from the problem have been reluctant to envision a future where they could profit, instead, from the solutions to the problem.

While governments, various private-sector actors and private citizens have joined forces in an effort to find alternatives to single-use, plastics manufacturers have been largely AWOL. In fact, they’re increasing production“.

3. That status quo is clearly hurting poorer communities. This week it has been reported that Malaysia is to return 3,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste to the countries that sent it there, including the UK, after being deluged with so much waste that their recycling systems have been overwhelmed. Rubbish has often been dumped or discarded, only to end up as marine litter.

The environment minister, Yeo Bee Yin, said that “garbage is traded under the pretext of recycling [and] Malaysians are forced to suffer poor air quality due to open burning of plastics which leads to health hazard, polluted rivers, illegal landfills and a host of other related problems.”

4. Every protest shifts the world’s balance. An eloquent reminder on why our actions matter.

People taking such stands have changed the world over and over, toppled regimes, won rights, terrified tyrants, stopped pipelines and deforestation and dams. They go far further back… to the great revolutions of France and then of Haiti against France and back before that to peasant uprisings and indigenous resistance in Africa and the Americas to colonisation and enslavement and to countless acts of resistance on all scales that were never recorded“.

5. Britain has now gone two weeks without coal.

6. Mexico has a new environment minister, and I like the cut of his jib.

“Human beings are not responsible for global warming, as superficial environmentalism and uncritical science would like to tell us… The responsible are a parasitic and predatory minority, and that minority has a name: neoliberalism.”

7. After last week’s radical plan to save the planet by working less, here’s a further case for working fewer hours: each bank holiday saves at least 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

8. Supporting this campaign from Which? on Freedom to Pay, which highlights the many people and industries that are affected by a society moving away from cash payments. 

9. The Indian school that accepts plastic waste instead of school fees.

10. Finally, new podcast alert – Big Closets, Small Planet is a new podcast series that seeks to explore what it will take to transform the fashion industry so that it contributes positively to the lives of people and the health of the planet.

Have a great Sunday!


weekend links

Ten Things



How has your week gone?   My week has been politically focused.  This clip was spot on.  I also voted in the European Elections and am nervously awaiting the results tomorrow.  I know a lot of people in my left-wing bubble voted Green, but just how many people voted for the Brexit Party is a scary unknown.  

This week’s links:

1. Holy sh*t.  Concentrations should drop as we get into June (this video is a great visual for how CO2 concentrations vary throughout the year), but it’s still pretty scary stuff.  

2.  Mexico City, which currently generates an estimated 13,000 tonnes of waste every day (second only in the world to New York City) has announced that it will ban all single-use plastics, including bags, cutlery, straws, cups, and balloons.  This is huge.  

3.  A more conservative measure has been put forth in England, where straws, drink stirrers, and cotton buds with plastic stems will be banned (or rather their availability restricted) starting from next year.  Defra says that: “Anyone can ask for a straw and be given one without needing to prove a disability – we’ve been working with disabled groups so that they don’t feel stigmatised.

4. 8,000 Amazon employees asked the company to do more on climate change. Shareholders just said no.  I’ve recently updated this guide on ethical alternatives to Amazon should you wish to explore ethical alternatives.

For a company the size of Amazon, there just can’t be a program here and there [on climate], it can’t be a patchwork of solutions that are happening in the different businesses that Amazon is involved in. It has to be a priority at the top.

5. A nine-hour working week could be needed to tackle the climate crisis.  

6.  What have you got planned for 20th September? Greta Thunberg is calling on adults to join climate strikes across the globe.  Here’s how to get involved.  Let’s do this!

7.  What if we covered the climate crisis like we did the start of the second world war?  Some insightful words from Bill Moyer.

With no silver bullet, what do we do? We cooperate as kindred spirits on a mission of public service. We create partnerships to share resources. We challenge media owners and investors to act in the public interest. We keep the whole picture in our heads—how melting ice sheets in the Arctic can create devastation in the Midwest—and connect the dots for our readers, viewers, and listeners. We look every day at photographs of our children and grandchildren, to be reminded of the stakes. And we tell the liars, deniers, and do-nothings to shove off: There’s no future in naysaying.

8.  One sure way to convince a climate denier.

9. ASOS Marketplace now has a charity boutique section*, featuring vintage finds from the ’80s and ’90s.  The clothes are sold through ASOS’s charity partners: Oxfam, TRAID, and Barnado’s and all profits go directly to charity.  Excuse me whilst I sit here and weep that the ’80s and ’90s are now considered ‘vintage’.

10.  Finally, a reminder that the biggest news this week wasn’t a resignation, but something much more immense and important.

Things have been quiet this week whilst I’ve been working on some research-heavy posts that have taken quite a bit of time to write.  The first post is coming up this week so keep an eye out!