Plastic is for eternity, and we use it mostly only once. The features that have made crude oil plastic so attractive are the same ones that make it pollutant: resistance to degradation. This near-eternal litter is omnipresent in the oceans, landfills and freshwater and on land and the numbers are quite likely to increase. Why use this eternal material once? The existence of single-use plastic is such an annoyance for most consumers. For me as well. I do my best (reusable cups & cutlery, cotton package bags, bulk shopping etc.) but still can’t get rid of plastic entirely. I am happy with the ban in the EU on single-use plastic in 2021, but single-use plastic meal boxes, sandwich boxes or food containers for fruits, vegetables, desserts or ice creams are not included. A stubborn zero waste practice will be still necessary until producers and governments are willing to protect the environment. Do you have tips for reducing single-use plastics?
I love my dishwasher but always feel a tiny little bit guilty about using it. There is no need for this! A British study shows that manual dishwashing consumers, on average, used 49 l of water and 1.7kWh of energy, whereas the dishwasher used 13 l of water and 1.3kWh of energy on average for the same amount of dishes under the conditions tested.
On my wish list good reads: Heat of George Monbiot. He argues in this book that there’s still time to save the world.
The Guardian writes:”Monbiot comes up with some ingenious solutions to cut carbon while preserving our lifestyles. There is, however, one carbon extravagance he insists the planet can no longer afford: air travel. A return flight to New York creates more greenhouse gases per passenger than the total amount Monbiot says we should be allowed to use as individuals in a year. “The growth in aviation and the need to address climate change cannot be reconciled.” A 90% cut in carbon emissions means that there can be no more shopping trips to New York or parties in Ibiza, “unless you believe that these activities are worth the sacrifice of the biosphere and the lives of the poor”.
Jonathon Porritt writes: “2007: the atmosphere warms up; the forests crash down; the poor of the world go on getting poorer; water resources in more than 30 countries are running dry; fish stocks decline; an additional 73 million people join the human race; 800 million go hungry while a billion get fat. Just an average year in the life of planet Earth. And still, we wait for today’s political “leaders” to begin to get their act together.”
“Politicians are fearful because they don’t believe the answers can be found within a capitalist framework. And they know they won’t get elected unless they go on offering voters the same kind of “get rich quick, party on politics” that has dominated our lives for the last 50 years.”
Ed Hawkins is a climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at the University of Reading. Effectively communicating climate change is a challenge, but the warming stripes of Ed Hawkins are doing well. Each stripe represents the global temperature of a single year, ordered from 1850 till 2017. The colour scale represents the change in global temperatures covering 1.35°C