All this week (5 to 12 April) is International Dark Sky Week, which highlights the issue of light pollution.
Poor lighting is an inefficient use of resources (both materials and energy) and so is a contributor to climate change.
Our light can have a huge impact on the safety of nocturnal animals, and their migration, feeding and breeding. We have a responsibility to minimise this impact as much as possible and live more in harmony with the natural world.
Finally, the visibility of the night sky represents our connection with the natural world. Few of us must navigate by the…
Sustainability tip for 2 April: reuse spare scraps of paper, rather than recycle.
It becomes concerning to me just how much perfectly usable paper and card we put to recycling. Not all of this paper will be recycled, sadly, and that which does will likely be a product inferior in quality to what started. We also have to think of the energy, water and physical labour which is required to make this inferior product.
So, with the buyerarchy of needs in mind, my tip today is this: reuse spare scraps of paper, rather than recycle.
I have a few things…
Welcome to my monthly overview of what’s happening on the Sustainability Calendar. As always the full year-long calendar can be found here. Scroll to the end of this post for the full list of events.
International Dark Sky Week takes place in the week of the full moon in April, which year falls between the 5th and the 12th of April. The week aims to highlight the problems caused by light pollution by encouraging us all to get out and enjoy the night sky. As the International Dark-Sky Association says:
Light pollution is increasing at 2x rate of population growth…
A challenge on World Water Day.
How often do we think about the networks that exist to get drinking water to our homes? Extraction and collection infrastructure, water treatment facilities, kilometres of pipes and countless storage tanks exist to get potable water to us. Physical infrastructure aside, there are thousands of water company employees working to ensure that the water we drink is safe and available to us on demand. Supporting all of this, systems and processes, safeguards, business models, mission statements, and customer liaison.
What many of us don’t realise is that water supply in many areas is under…
Welcome to the fourth Rethink Convenience weekly. Each week I summarise the latest articles in Rethink Convenience, highlight some interesting things I’ve encountered in the last week, and give a preview of what’s coming up.
I’ve not published anything new this week, so I’ll get straight to some tips and what I’ve read and watched:
It was Global Recycling Day yesterday (18th March). Recycling is, and should always be, a last resort because of the energy it consumes and the diminishing quality you get in recycled materials. …
Welcome to the third Rethink Convenience weekly. Each week I summarise the latest articles in Rethink Convenience, highlight some interesting things I’ve encountered in the last week, and give a preview of what’s coming up.
I’ve not published anything new this week, as things are hectic. Hopefully, normal service will resume next week.
My main focus this week has been on gender equality. The week started with International Women’s Day, and a chance to champion women everywhere. In the UK though, gender politics took a decidedly more negative turn as the week progressed.
I won’t provide too much commentary as…
Welcome to the second Rethink Convenience newsletter. Each week I summarise what’s been published in Rethink Convenience, highlight some of the interesting things I’ve encountered in the last week, and give a preview of what’s coming up.
It’s cold again this week, but spring is definitely in the air. Flowers are blooming everywhere and the birdsong seems louder than ever. This week we celebrated World Wildlife Day, and it’s the perfect holiday for the start of spring. Wildlife is always around us of course, but it’s unashamedly in our faces at the start of spring.
My main story this week…
I think it’s time we ditched red noses.
Red noses are the main symbol of the charity Comic Relief and its biannual telethon Red Nose Day. To ensure regular and repeated sales different noses are designed and released every two years, recently in multiple styles and forms. This year Comic Relief announced that the noses would be plastic-free for the first time.
From my recollection (and bear in mind I haven’t interacted with one since childhood) the noses were uncomfortable, worn once for photographs and then never again. …
Welcome to my monthly overview of what’s happening on the Sustainability Calendar. As always the full year-long calendar can be found here.
It seems everything happens in March; certainly, you’ll find as we move towards the summer months the calendar gets more crowded. Maybe it’s because the weather is nicer (at least here in the UK). For those of you in the southern hemisphere, sorry. I guess the calendar is driven by us in the north.
The first thing I want to draw your attention to is UN World Wildlife Day, on Wednesday, 3rd of March. This day celebrates the…
Heritage railway versus the environment.
…the nation burns huge volumes of charcoal on barbecues to create far more CO2 than [heritage railway does] as a whole industry… (Dick Wood, South Devon Railway)
There is an important distinction and something that should be watched for whenever someone justifies fossil fuel use. As I wrote last summer, when you burn charcoal you don’t increase the amount of atmospheric carbon, as it originates from plants. When we burn coal, however, we free carbon that’s been trapped underground for millions of years.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t try to burn less charcoal (or…