green blog uk

Hiya!  How are you?  I have to admit – I am really struggling with January this year.  Is anyone else really fighting the urge to just curl up and hibernate for the rest of the month?

Writing fell by the wayside, but I did do a fair bit of reading by the fireside, and there were heaps of good environmental news this week worth sharing in case you missed any of it.

1. Theresa May wants to introduce a plastic-free aisle in supermarkets.  She also plans to expand the 5 p carrier bag charge to all shops in England and Wales (in Scotland the charge already covers all shops), and she is looking to extend this charge to single-use plastic containers, such as takeaway boxes.  Additionally, she is looking to ban all avoidable waste by 2042.

I think these are great steps forward, but the time frame is far too long.  We need action now.  Plastic as we know it has only really existed for the past 60 years or so (these diagrams are pretty useful if you’re struggling to get your head around it all), and we’ve gotten into so much of a mess in such a short time frame, that adding another 25 years on top of that is just ridiculous.

2.  The Government is also planning a 25p latte levy on takeaway coffee cups.  Again, I think this is great – the carrier bag charge reduced plastic bag use by a huge percentage – but a tax on the consumer puts little onus on the cup manufacturers to switch to greener manufacturing materials.  But this happened so it’s not all bad.

3. Scotland is set to ban plastic cotton buds AND the microbead ban came into force on Tuesday!

4.  Finally, in what I think is THE biggest environmental news of the week is that the city of New York is to divest $5 billion in pension funds from fossil fuels and sue oil companies over their contribution to climate change.  Other cities are predicted to follow suit in what could be a devastating blow to the fossil fuel industry.  Bring it on!

5.  All news-ed out?  Don’t worry, Ten Things isn’t going to turn into the week in review!  This last news-based story is the good news that BBC is following the success and impact of Blue Planet 2 with more hard-hitting nature documentaries.  Thank you, David Attenborough!

6.  Fitting for the 6th item of Ten Things, could you wear just six items of clothing for 6 weeks?  Labour Behind The Label is challenging you to do so, to challenge our increasing reliance on fast fashion, and to raise funds for garment workers worldwide.

7.  Food for thought.

8.  Snow in the Sahara?  This is so scarily unnatural.

9.  “Things I’ve learned in a year of ethical shopping“.

10.  Finally, if you have 10 minutes I would heartily recommend watching this lovely video.  It’s the beautiful story of one man’s mission to restore North America’s redwood forests and will really help restore your faith in humanity.  My partner and I watched it the other evening, and it’s one of the best things I’ve watched in a long time.  What an inspiring man and a helpful reminder of what one person can achieve.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!  I will be hibernating, that’s for sure!


PS: In case you missed it, do catch up on the 7th January Ten Things post.

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