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Engineer, project manager & sustainability advocate. I blog about how individuals can live a more sustainable life.

Helping you to plan climate and sustainability action in May

Welcome to my monthly overview of the Sustainability Calendar. The full year-long calendar can be found here. Scroll to the end of this post for the full list of events in May.

Highlights

Endangered Species Day and International Day for Biological Diversity

These two are inextricably linked: lose species, and biodiversity is impacted; similarly, declines in biological diversity can cause species to become endangered if food sources are compromised or habitats destroyed. In the worst case these changes can cause extinctions.


This week: Ade on the Frontline; Why I support malaria charities; and next week’s sustainability calendar

Welcome to the seventh issue of my sustainability newsletter Rethink Convenience weekly. Each week I introduce my latest stories, highlight the work of other sustainability advocates, and preview the week ahead to enable you to plan climate and environmental action.

This week I watched the second episode of Climate Change: Ade on the Frontline (BBC). I’m a couple of weeks behind but it was good to pick up this series again. Ade is travelling the parts of the world that suffer most from the climate crisis (Bangladesh this week), and again the personal stories he encounters deeply moved me.

However…


Great article, and I love the idea of making incremental changes. Not everyone has to ditch the car and convert to foot or pedal to make a difference.

A few other suggestions:

Stop idling

Drive as if your goal is to save money on fuel; no harsh breaking, no aggressive acceleration, plan your routes. Less fuel burnt equals less money spent _and_ fewer emissions. What's not to like?

Don't carry dead weight. Clear out your boot/trunk.


Maximising the impact of charitable donations this World Malaria Day

Five years ago, walking off a stag-do hangover in Bristol, I spotted a book that changed my life. Doing Good Better¹ by Dr William MacAskill argues that our altruism needs to be as effective as possible, which means that we need to make as much impact as possible for every pound or hour donated.

I found this concept to be remarkably empowering². …


This week: What is Earth Day?; greenwashing on Earth Day; and next week’s sustainability calendar

Welcome to the sixth 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 started Earth Day with an email from Amazon, wishing me, without the faintest hint of irony, a happy Earth Day, and telling me all of the amazing things they were doing to save the planet. I knew right then that I was in for a day of unrepentant and shameless greenwashing.

The sad truth is that many companies see an event like Earth Day…


And why should it matter to you?

This article is part of a series highlighting events and holidays from the sustainability calendar, your definitive guide to a year of climate action. Find out more here or read the monthly summary for April here.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is one of our oldest environmental awareness days, established in 1970 before many of us thought of nature as anything more than something to be used¹.

Earth Day celebrates nature in all its forms, our relationship with this planet and its planet-wide ecosystem. More information can be found on the official website.

This year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth”:

Restore Our Earth…


This week: resistance to change, tiny volunteering, and next week’s sustainability calendar

Welcome to the fifth 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 took a couple of weeks off over Easter, so thanks for sticking with me.

New Stories

Almost a Quarter of Us Won’t Change to Prevent Climate Change

The results of a recent survey of British people, on how willing they’d be to change their behaviours on behalf of the planet, made for depressing reading. Not least because the purpose of this blog is to encourage people…


And why should it matter to you?

This article is part of a series highlighting events and holidays from the sustainability calendar, your definitive guide to a year of climate action. Find out more here or read the monthly summary for April here.

What is Microvolunteering Day?

The event’s website¹ describes Microvolunteering as:

bite-sized, on-demand, no commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause

That is quick actionable ways that you can donate your time, money or expertise in the support of others. Microvolunteering Day is a way to bring together individuals, sponsors, charities and non-profit organisations to celebrate the meaningful impact that even the smallest actions can have.

Microvolunteering can take…


23 % of survey respondents wouldn’t take any action for climate change

The results of a recent survey of British people, on how willing they’d be to change their behaviours on behalf of the planet, made for depressing reading. Not least because the purpose of this blog is to encourage people to rethink those behaviours, to give up their conveniences for the sake of our future.

(I’ll save conversation on whether this means I now have an impossible task ahead of me for another time)

Sky’s reporting of the survey can be found here, but some of the more interesting statistics were:

  • More people trust Boris Johnson’s government to make the “right…


Why we should care about light pollution and a tip

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…

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