flowers in greenhouse

Hello! This week’s Ten Things, my roundup of the week’s environmental news, is, I feel, a particularly good one. There’s a plethora of positive news this week, but also lots of scope for inspiration and action.

This week’s links:

1. Some great news to start with: on Wednesday the EU Parliament voted to ban single-use straws as well as single-use plastic cutlery, stirrers, plastic plates, balloon sticks, and cotton swabs in all EU member states by 2021.

Meanwhile, products such as wet wipes will have to be labeled that they contain plastic and can therefore be fatal to marine life. Campaigners have asked that policies make exceptions for those who rely on plastic straws, for example. Whether it will apply to post-Brexit Britain is anyone’s guess.

2. In other great news, according to research the secondhand fashion industry is booming and could soon overtake the fast fashion market. When asked what would encourage UK shoppers to buy more secondhand clothing, 90% of respondents said that friends or family doing so first would encourage them to make the shift. So come on, let’s start talking more about our secondhand finds!

3. Coal is officially on the way out: a study has found that the fossil fuel is now pricier than solar or wind power 75% of the time. The coal industry will be out-competed on cost in just six years time.

4. Liz Pape, founder of ethical fashion label Elizabeth Suzann, on why we shouldn’t treat sustainability as a trend:

“Convincing customers to buy more shit in the name of sustainability is the biggest scam of our generation. We all know this, but it bears repeating: Buying nothing at all is the most sustainable thing any of us can do, and when you must buy or want to buy, then use that opportunity to shop responsibly. Treating sustainability as a trend is the biggest threat to it being taken seriously, and to take it seriously it has to be more than surface level”.

5. For city dwellers at least, owning a car may soon be as quaint as owning a horse.

6. The Wind In The Willows has been updated – it’s now set in today’s times, with Sir David Attenborough, Stephen Fry, Catherine Tate, Alison Steadman and Asim Chaudhry providing the voices to this Wes Anderson style animation.

The twist? This Kenneth Grahame classic set in an idyllic English countryside has now been ravaged by bulldozers and climate change. Sounds grim, but there is a message of hope. The Wildlife Trusts, who commissioned the animation, hope that the short film will inspire a massive call for change at the highest level.

7. An interesting read for a Sunday morning from The Ecologist- why do environmentalists disagree about food?

8. I love this lady – telling it like it is, as always.

9. A jury awarded $80 million in damages to a Californian man whose use of Monsanto’s Roundup Weed Killer – a weedkiller linked to a decline in bee and butterfly populations – was directly attributable to causing his cancer.

Bayer, the company that owns Monsanto say that the verdict in this trial has no impact on future cases and trials, as each one has its own factual and legal circumstances, but Bayer and Monsanto face hundreds of other Roundup lawsuits in the San Francisco federal court and perhaps it could spell the end for these types of weedkiller that are harmful to wildlife and humans.

10. Finally, I’ll leave you with this beautiful story that will make your heart sing.

Wendy.x