Blog - Sustainable(ish)

12 EASY IDEAS FOR A SUSTAINABLE(ISH) CHRISTMAS

Christmas - "It's the most wonderful wasteful time of the year" (feel free to sing that bit. In your head. Unless you're alone.)
I've already freaked the bejaysus out of you with my 12 Not so Fun Festive Facts, so to re-dress the balance I'm countering each of those slightly scary stats with a sustainable(ish) solution.

1. 27,000 MILES OF WRAPPING PAPER IS USED EACH YEAR IN THE UK ALONE

'Upcycle' old newspapers, magazines or maps to wrap presents in. Use some re-usable ribbon to pretty them up (ask for it back to use again 😉 ) and then make sure the paper is recycled afterwards.

2. ONLY 1% OF CONSUMER GOODS ARE STILL IN USE 6 MONTHS LATER

Don't by crap people don't need or want.
So that means NO novelty gifts for the office Secret Santa or to irritate your brother with.

3. ONE BILLION CHRISTMAS CARDS END UP IN THE BIN EACH YEAR 

Recycle them!
Avoid cards with glitter on them, and if you can buy a pack in a cardboard box rather than wrapped in plastic you get double brownie points from Santa.

4. THE AMOUNT OF WRAPPING PAPER USED TO WRAP CHRISTMAS PRESENTS IS ENOUGH TO GO AROUND THE GLOBE NINE TIMES!

Try out 'furoshiki' - it's a Japanese technique of wrapping things in fabric and tying it up cleverly. It looks great, and if you use secondhand fabric from the charity shop you're definitely on the nice list (just make sure it doesn't get thrown away - ask recipients to return it to you if you don't think they'll re-use it!)
There's a great video here from Lisa at Less Stuff.

5. THE EQUIVALENT OF 2 MILLION TURKEYS END UP IN THE BIN EACH YEAR
  • Don't buy it if you don't really like it
  • Buy the right sized bird - ask your butcher or look on the pack for the recommended number of servings if you're not sure
  • Use up leftovers: turkey sandwiches, curry, soup etc etc
  • If all else fails, freeze it to eat later in the year when people aren't quite so fed up with turkey
6. 500 TONNES OF FAIRY LIGHTS ARE THROWN AWAY EACH YEAR

Repair or recycle! 
Often it's just one bulb that needs replacing. Or the fuse in the plug.
If you can't fix them yourself, you might be lucky enough to have a Repair Cafe near you where you can take them to see if one of their volunteers can have a  go for you.
If you have no luck with the fix, they can be recycled at your local recycling centre.

7. FIVE MILLION CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS HIT THE BIN EACH YEAR
  • Don't buy it if no-one likes it
  • Just buy a small one (unless you really, really like it!) - it's quite rich so usually people only eat a small bit
  • Use up leftovers - eat it cold, or there's some great suggestions here from BBC Good Food.
8. ONE IN TEN UNWANTED CHRISTMAS PRESENTS ENDS UP IN LANDFILL

Don't buy people crap they don't need or want. (It bears repeating!)
Gift experiences (days out, cinema tickets,) or even things like babysitting vouchers. 
Anything rather than more 'stuff' for the sake of it.
(If you're struggling there's a whole list of ideas for experiences in the Crap-free Christmas course)

9. WHEN CHILDREN HAVE SO MANY PRESENTS THEY ACTUALLY STOP ENJOYING PLAYING WITH THEM

If you have a lot of kids in your family, how about a Secret Santa, so that each kids ends up with one decent present, and everyone has to spend less time and money.

10. WE WASTE AROUND 250,000 TONNES OF FOOD EACH CHRISTMAS 

Meal plan.
Yes, I know it sounds dull and grown-up. It IS dull and grown-up, but just because it's Christmas doesn't mean we get out of doing dull and grown-up things.
When you know who is going to be where and for what meals, do a quick back of the envelope meal plan and then shop accordingly.
And remember - the freezer is your friend!

11. 81 MILLION UNWANTED PRESENTS ARE RECEIVED EACH YEAR

Don't buy crap people don't need or want (are you sensing a theme here...?)
Make this the year you grab the bull by the horns and have 'that conversation' with family - the one where you suggest you all just buy for the kids (there are 'swipe files' of wording suggestions in the Crap-free Christmas course if the thought of this makes you want to curl up in a ball in the corner!)
If you feel obliged/want to buy a gift for your kids hard-working teacher, why not club together with some of the other parents to get them a voucher for afternoon tea, or even a book token.

12. THE UK GENERATES THE WEIGHT OF 3.3 MILLION EMPEROR PENGUINS IN PLASTIC WASTE EACH CHRISTMAS

Plastic-free(ish) principles still apply at Christmas.
Buy loose fruit and veg. 
Look out for cards and paper that aren't encased in plastic.
Avoid overly packaged gift sets.
Buy kids toys secondhand - my kids are quite accepting of the fact that Lego doesn't always come in a box!

Which steps will you choose to embrace this year?
If you love the idea, but you know you're going to find making changes a struggle, check out the Crap-free Christmas course for all the support and resources you need.

JOIN ME NOW FOR A

​ CRAP-FREE CHRISTMAS!

Crap Free Christmas

A two-week course tackling the big issues around Christmas waste in the home:

  • Advent Calendars & Christmas Cards  
  • Food & Nibbles
  • Gifts, Alternatives & Tricky Conversations
  • Festive Family Guilt

Let's take out the plastic and waste from Christmas

  • Starting 12th November 2018
  • 12 days of Crap-free Christmas e-mails with ideas, resources, and encouragement 
  • check
    Private Facebook group for questions & accountability
  • check
    Judgement free -  progress not perfection!

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO A CRAP FREE CHRISTMAS

This post could essentially be just three words long:

BUY. LESS. CRAP.

Because it's not rocket science is it?
If we want less crap in our Christmas, and in our lives, we simply need to buy less crap right?
Well...yes and no.

If it really was as simple as that we wouldn't need posts like this, and I've have no-one signed up to my Crap-free Christmas course.
Because buying stuff isn't as simple as the financial transaction - it's an emotional thing. And at Christmas, those emotions that we associate with 'stuff' and gifts and giving get ramped another good few notches.

I will hold my hands up and say that we don't have a perfectly crap-free Christmas.
My kids still want stuff. Even they have enough Lego to build a life sized Millennium Falcon there is apparently still the desire (and they insist the room..!) for more. Despite my fervent wishes, our kids are not immune to the lure of stuff, and bright shiny plastic crap.
And to be honest, I still have a tug of war between my heart and my head when it comes to buying them presents - In my heart I want them to be happy, to have a magical Christmas, to be so excited they might burst. In my head, yes I want them to be happy, but I logically know that that happiness shouldn't come from 'stuff' (and that if it does it will be fleeting)
So it becomes about compromise. 

And I'm guessing I'm not alone.

If you're fed up with feeling guilty about the sheer volume of stuff that somehow finds it way into your house each Christmas.
If each year you swear you're going to do it differently, but then leave it too late and it all gets too busy and stressful to do anything other than 'Christmas as usual'.
If you love the idea of less crap at Christmas, but you have no idea how to get the in-laws on board, I've got some suggestions here for how to go about it without ramping up your stress levels.

1. DON'T TRY AND DO IT ALL AT ONCE

This applies to all things Sustainable(ish) (the 'ish' is there for a reason!).
Think of any changes you make as a diet - if you crash diet and got at it hell for leather, you'll end up miserable, cranky and resenting the choices you've made.
Plus the family will think you've lost the plot and you're unlikely to be able to bring them along with you if you suddenly go all evangelical and start berating them for their choice of cracker.
Slow and steady (as dull as it sounds) wins the race.

Pick one or two things to work on first.
Go for the 'low hanging fruit' (i.e. the easiest changes!) first, and pick your battles. 


2. BE BRAVE

Be the one who makes that phone call suggesting that maybe only the kids get pressies this year.
Or that the grown-ups do a Secret Santa.
Or that you do a Secret Santa for the kids if you have lots to buy for - they get one decent present they really want, everyone saves time, stress and money.
#winning

I've got swipe files with suggestions of e-mail/conversation wording to use in the Crap-free Christmas course if you're filled with dread at even the thought of suggesting this!


3. MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE

If your house is already full to bursting and you hold your head in your hands and weep when you peek into the kids bedrooms, your inside voice may well be screaming "NOTHING!!!" when you get asked by anxious relatives what the kids want this year.
Have some suggestions ready for them. 
EITHER for stuff the kids genuinely do want and you know they'll love and play with for a long time
OR for days out/experiences you can all do together - I always think National Trust membership is 'the gift that keeps on giving' for families.


4. SHOW DON'T TELL

Families are complicated beasts at the best of times, and even more so at Christmas.
As much as you might be visibly wincing as you see that Aunt Mildred has wrapped up the gifts in glittery metallic paper (a total no-no, it can't be recycled) don't berate her. 
But make sure that your gifts are wrapped up in re-usable or recyclable options - e.g. brown kraft paper, 'upcycled' newspapers, magazines or old maps, fabric wraps. And if anyone comments or asks, just have a sentence or two at the ready like "Yes, I'm really pleased with them - we've been looking at how to make our Christmas a little bit greener this year".


5. ENJOY IT!

Christmas is stressful enough for lots of people.
Do what you can.
Focus on the positive changes and the different choices you HAVE been able to make, and don't feel guilty about the things you might not have got around to. The last thing Christmas needs is more guilt attached!

Where these helpful?
How do you tackle 'crap' at Christmas?
If you can feel your blood pressure rising already, check out the
Crap-free Christmas course below for a ton of support
and all the resources you need at your fingertips!

JOIN ME NOW FOR A

​ CRAP-FREE CHRISTMAS!

Crap Free Christmas

A two-week course tackling the big issues around Christmas waste in the home:

  • Advent Calendars & Christmas Cards  
  • Food & Nibbles
  • Gifts, Alternatives & Tricky Conversations
  • Festive Family Guilt

Let's take out the plastic and waste from Christmas

  • Starting 12th November 2018
  • 12 days of Crap-free Christmas e-mails with ideas, resources, and encouragement 
  • check
    Private Facebook group for questions & accountability
  • check
    Judgement free -  progress not perfection!
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12 NOT SO FUN FESTIVE FACTS

Christmas is coming - there's no escape!
We're on the downhill slope to the biggest consumer festival of the year, and I think it's about time for a sanity check.

We all want to create magical memories for our kids, but in the process of doing that we're building an appalling legacy for them - plastic clogged oceans, over-flowing landfill sites, and potentially a climate and landscape that may well be pretty much uninhabitable. 

Check out these 'not so fun festive facts' that reveal just how wasteful and damaging our festive consumption can be:

1. 27,000 MILES OF WRAPPING PAPER IS USED EACH YEAR IN THE UK ALONE

And much of it ends up in landfill.
Metallic paper and paper with glitter on can't be recycled and mess up the waste streams. Do the 'scrunch test' - scrunch a piece of wrapping paper into a ball - if it stays in a ball it can be recycled.

2. ONLY 1% OF CONSUMER GOODS ARE STILL IN USE 6 MONTHS LATER

This is a crazy reflection of the sheer speed with which we buy, upgrade or discard and then move onto the next shiny new 'must have'.

3. ONE BILLION CHRISTMAS CARDS END UP IN THE BIN EACH YEAR 

When they could be recycled. Most supermarkets have a Christmas card recycling bin available in the New Year, so no excuses!

4. THE AMOUNT OF WRAPPING PAPER USED TO WRAP CHRISTMAS PRESENTS IS ENOUGH TO GO AROUND THE GLOBE NINE TIMES!

'Upcycle' old newspapers or magazines which can then be recycled 🙂

5. THE EQUIVALENT OF 2 MILLION TURKEYS END UP IN THE BIN EACH YEAR

That's the leftovers that don't get eaten when everyone is fed up of turkey.
If you're going to eat meat (and we do) at least ensure that you honour the animal by making sure none it goes to waste.

6. 500 TONNES OF FAIRY LIGHTS ARE THROWN AWAY EACH YEAR

Repair or recycle! 
Fairy lights can be recycled at your local recycling centre.

7. FIVE MILLION CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS HIT THE BIN EACH YEAR

And that's before we even add in the plastic waste that comes with shop bought Christmas puddings.

8. ONE IN TEN UNWANTED CHRISTMAS PRESENTS ENDS UP IN LANDFILL

This makes me hold my head in my hands and weep - a complete waste of money, resources, and the efforts of the people sweating away in god-forsaken factories somewhere far away to make these things.

9. WHEN CHILDREN HAVE SO MANY PRESENTS THEY ACTUALLY STOP ENJOYING PLAYING WITH THEM

When did it become ok to teach our kids that more is better, than excessive consumption is not only good, but to be encouraged at Christmas?

10. WE WASTE AROUND 250,000 TONNES OF FOOD EACH CHRISTMAS 

That's the weight of the Empire State Building or 100,000 elephants!

11. 81 MILLION UNWANTED PRESENTS ARE RECEIVED EACH YEAR

Working out at an average of 3 per UK household

12. THE UK GENERATES THE WEIGHT OF 3.3 MILLION EMPEROR PENGUINS IN PLASTIC WASTE EACH CHRISTMAS

I love the 'penguin-ification' of this stat, but all that plastic will be sitting in landfill for the next 500+years - this isn't the legacy of a magical Christmas that I want for my kids.

Do you despair at the waste at Christmas?

JOIN ME NOW FOR A

​ CRAP-FREE CHRISTMAS!

Crap Free Christmas

A two-week course tackling the big issues around Christmas waste in the home:

  • Advent Calendars & Christmas Cards  
  • Food & Nibbles
  • Gifts, Alternatives & Tricky Conversations
  • Festive Family Guilt

Let's take out the plastic and waste from Christmas

  • Starting 12th November 2018
  • 12 days of Crap-free Christmas e-mails with ideas, resources, and encouragement 
  • check
    Private Facebook group for questions & accountability
  • check
    Judgement free -  progress not perfection!

[019] – 12 NOT SO FUN FESTIVE FACTS

The kids are back to school and now there is no denying that we're on the downhill slope to Christmas and the biggest consumer festival of the year.

Which brings with it not only a dose of magic and goodwill to all (hopefully) but also the stress, the overwhelm and All The Stuff.

In this episode I share with you 12 'not so fun festive facts' that demonstrate quite shockingly the waste we generate each Christmas, and the impact that the waste is having on the planet.

We all want to create magical memories for our children but we need to make sure that those memories aren't destroying the very planet they live on.

USEFUL LINKS:

 

Which fact shocked you the most?
Would you LOVE some help to have a
crap-free Christmas this year?

JOIN ME NOW FOR A

​ CRAP-FREE CHRISTMAS!

Crap Free Christmas

A two-week course tackling the big issues around Christmas waste in the home:

  • Advent Calendars & Christmas Cards  
  • Food & Nibbles
  • Gifts, Alternatives & Tricky Conversations
  • Festive Family Guilt

Let's take out the plastic and waste from Christmas

  • Starting 12th November 2018
  • 12 days of Crap-free Christmas e-mails with ideas, resources, and encouragement 
  • check
    Private Facebook group for questions & accountability
  • check
    Judgement free -  progress not perfection!

[018] – THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO DO TO TAKE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Wednesday 24th October is International Climate Action Day - Yay!
But wait, hold on. 
What the hell is climate action? And what does it mean to regular people like you and me?

Surely 'climate action' is something for governments and big business to be concerned with? 
Not for me to have to worry about in between school runs and work, and refereeing the kids.
After all, what kind of impact can we have as individuals?

A lot as it turns out!

A study on 2016 found that household consumption
(of everything from food to electricity) 
​is responsible for more than 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions 
and 50—80% of total land, resource and water use.

So our actions count - they count for more than 60% of global greenhouse emissions.
Wow!

The key, the ONE thing we can ALL do to take climate action TODAY is simply this:
BUY LESS, BUY BETTER

 It works for pretty much everything:
- Buy fewer clothes, and when you do buy, buy ethically produced.
- Eat less meat, and when you do buy meat go for local, organic free range meat.
- Use less energy in your homes - switch to LED lighbulbs, turn the lights off etc etc, and switch to better energy ie renewables.

USEFUL LINKS:

What will you NOT buy today?
What better buying choices will you make?
Do let me know - leave a comment or come and find me on social media (@sustainableish)

FEELING INSPIRED TO
TAKE MORE SUSTAINABLE(ISH) STEPS?

Get Sustainable(ish) 101
My FREE download of 101 easy, do-able ideas and tips to help you make sustainable(ish) changes for you and your family!

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT…CLIMATE OVERWHELM

I wanted to write today about climate change.
And I've written and re-written this blog post about four times - it just wasn't flowing and saying what I wanted to.
I messaged a friend to whinge about it, and explained that I'm feeling frustrated and powerless and "wanting to DO SOMETHING" and she said I should write about that.
So I am.

I can't be alone in feeling this way about climate change, so I'm hoping that by starting the conversation, by providing the space for it to take place, we can help each other.

Ever since the latest IPCC report came out a couple of weeks ago, I've been preoccupied with climate change - worrying about it, worrying about the future my kids might face, wondering why more isn't being done, why the governments of the world aren't galvanising.
And swinging between despair and hopelessness, and then resolving to do MORE, and then wondering what more I can do, and then back to the hopelessness again.

I feel like shouting and crying and ranting but it feels like shouting into a void. 
When the IPCC report came out, it generated headlines, and media coverage. For about 6.5hrs.
And then nothing.
No 'declarations of war' on climate change. 
No galvanising of the world's leaders to start legislating and taking the 'unprecedented action' called for in the report.
No coming together of a terrified, angry public demanding that action be taken.
Just Brexit. And Trump. And more Brexit. And some Royal news. Oh, and Brexit.

I feel powerless a lot of the time. And I feel guilty admitting to feeling powerless. 
Part of the whole ethos of Sustainable(ish) is that our choices matter, no matter how small.
And I genuinely believe that, but at times like this it can feel as inconsequential as 'wafting a tea towel at a house fire' (to quote a recent Guardian piece).

So how can we come together to do more?
I have 30k followers on various social media channels - I feel like collectively we should be able to 'do something'.

I don't have the answers - as my lovely friend pointed out, if I did I'd win the Nobel prize.

So let's start the conversation - let's brainstorm together:
- What are YOU doing to tackle change and live more sustainably?
- How are you engaging your local community?
- What MORE can we all do?
- How can we all come together to amplify our actions?
- What can I do to help YOU?

Here are some of my brainstormings to get us all started - please do feel free to add - either reply to this e-mail or comment on the blog post version of this post, or find me on IG or Twitter (@sustainableish).

DO SOMETHING

When faced with the enormity of an issue like climate change, that sense of powerless seems only logical.
But it is vital to remember that we are not powerless - the question needs to not whether we can make a difference, but how we can make a difference.

Every action, no matter how pointlessly small it might seem matters. It creates change and from there the ripples spread.
So whether it's remembering your re-usable water bottle, changing your lightbulbs to LEDs, hanging your washing out to dry on the line, or choosing a veggie meal for tea, it ALL counts.


SHARE WHAT YOU'RE DOING

Social media has made this SO easy - snap a picture of you with your re-usable water bottle, or a selfie as you walk to work and share it.

We need all things sustainable(ish) to be mainstream, so the more people that are seen to be doing this stuff, the more people will start making changes too.

START CONVERSATIONS

I got on my eco soap box last week and said that we need to talk about climate change - and we really do.

Whether it's to our political leaders, to our peers and colleagues, to our kids (in age appropriate ways) or to our friends and family - let people know that this is an issue you care deeply about. That you're terrified about the future. Let them know what you're doing, and ask them what they can do to help or join you.

COME TOGETHER

Find your tribe - it can really easy to feel isolated and alone, especially if your friends and family aren't quite in the same place as you.
But know that you are NOT alone.
Again, this is an area where the internet excels - it allows us to find like-minded people from all around the globe and to share our struggles, our triumphs, our solutions.
If you aren't already in it, come and join the Sustainable(ish) FB group, and check out hashtags like #climateaction and #climateoptimist on Twitter and IG.

Locally, join your local transition group, or start one up. See if you have a Repair Cafe near you and volunteer (even if it's to make the tea and coffee!). Host some 'green drinks' in a pub once a month, or a coffee morning.

GET POLITICAL

Contact your local MP - ask them what they are doing, both personally and politically, to take action on climate change.

- Contact your political leaders and ask the same questions.

- Vote - when it's election time, vote for the party that has the most robust climate change policies and that makes tackling climate change the number one priority it needs to be.

OVER TO YOU - WHAT ELSE?

Let's keep this conversation going - it's OK to feel overwhelmed and powerless sometimes. 
But then we need to find ways to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves up, and come together to amplify our actions and make our voices heard.

So hit me up - what else can we do?
What are you already doing that I haven't put out there? 
How can we come together more easily and more effectively?

Comment on this post here, or tag me (@sustainableish) on social media.

FEELING INSPIRED TO
TAKE MORE SUSTAINABLE(ISH) STEPS?

Get Sustainable(ish) 101
My FREE download of 101 easy, do-able ideas and tips to help you make sustainable(ish) changes for you and your family!

[017] – SUSTAINABLE(ISH) TRAVEL WITH EARTH CHANGERS

Travel.
We all want to do it- whether it's to experience the world and different cultures, or simply to get some R&R in the sunshine away from the gloom of the British winter or the fickle nature of English summers.
But for most of us on the sustainable(ish) spectrum, it probably comes with a good smattering of guilt layered in - worrying about the carbon footprint of our flight, or wincing at the volume of single use plastic that aeroplane travel seems to generate.

So are you condemned to spending our holidays in cold damp caravan parks in North Wales (as an aside I love caravan parks, and I'm sure North Wales is lovely. And not always damp.)?
Does climate change and our desire to not exacerbate it mean that foreign travel is off the cards, and our kids will only ever see foreign climes on the tele-box?

Thankfully not, according to the lovely and supremely knowledgable Vicky Smith - founder of sustainable travel company Earth Changers.
Apparently, and this blew my mind, it is possible to travel not only in a way that is LESS negative, but for our travel to have a net POSITIVE impact on both people and planet. I genuinely had no idea - to my mind prior to this chat, air travel was bad, end of. I hadn't really given much (any) thought to the impact that tourism can have at the end destinations, and as it turns out, with a little bit of thought and research, this can be a really positive thing all round.
Hurray!

But before you start dragging your suitcases down from the loft and contemplate shaving your legs, listen in to find out how you can make your holiday and your travel as sustainable(ish) as poss.

ENJOY.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT…ONLINE INFLUENCERS

"Online influencers"...
These are the people you might be following on social media, who through their huge followings hold influence over the things we buy, the TV programmes we watch, what we eat, and more.

Online influencers have clout. They have power.
It's a bit like the Great British Bake Off featuring a certain ingredient, and then suddenly the supermarkets sell out because we all want to have a go ourselves.
If they show off a product they've bought (or more likely been given by retailers) on their social media channels, a proportion of their following may well go and buy this thing too.

There are some 'good' online influencers out there - people like Rob Greenfield who use the followings to highlight important issues like plastic pollution and climate change.
But there are lots more who seem to have no idea that they are in a position that comes with responsibility.
Take fashion vloggers for example, many of whom have followings in the millions, who take to the airwaves with alarming regularity to show off their 'hauls' - their latest purchases of vast quantities of cheap fast fashion. 

Watching Fashion's Dirty Secrets on BBC1 recently I was gobsmacked and slightly cynical trying to believe that the fashion vloggers they interviewed claimed to have no idea about the devastating effects of fast fashion on both people and planet.
Are they seriously trying to tell us they had no idea?
That they thought the planet could support pumping out such massive volumes of cheap clothes indefinitely?

Who do they think made these clothes?
What did they think they were made from?
How did they think the fabric was dyed?

This makes me unbelievably f*cking angry.
Ignorant at best and blatantly, shamefully irresponsible.

It's not all fairy dust and glitter (although, ermmm, microplastics alert).
And it's not rocket science either. 
It just needs a moments thought to work out that to make clothes the raw materials all need to be grown and harvested and processed. They need to be dyed, and sewn, and shipped over here.
That people are involved in this process every step of the way, and that the planets resources are what makes those clothes.

Deserts are created, rivers are dead, children miss out on an education and a childhood. People die.
So we can have an endless cycle of cheap clothes to wear once and then discard.

If you're going to promote something, and 'influence' people to buy the same crap as you, at least have the good grace to be educated about it, and to know the true cost of what you're promoting.

[016] – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT…CLIMATE CHANGE

​This is the first in a new series for the podcast of commentary type episodes, some might even say rants, about some of the big sustainable issues we're facing right now.
I hope you enjoy!



I couldn't sleep last night, and I got to thinking, and then to worrying, and then to freaking out, about climate change.

The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) report said that we need to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C and highlights the differences we might see with a 1.5C rise versus a 2C increase. And it turns out that that 0.5C is pretty critical.
And even more worryingly, the report states that we now have just 12 years to take action to prevent a climate crisis.
12 years.
That's 2030 - which sounds an age away, but it's not. 
It's 12 years. I've been with my husband for longer than that (he may argue that it feels way longer...). 
In 12 years time my kids will be 22 and 19. They should have the world at their feet. 
But if nothing changes they might well be looking at us in disbelief and disgust that we didn't act when we still could.

This matters. 
This matters so much it physically hurts me to think about it.
And time is running out if we want to create a better, truly more sustainable future. 
If we want to mitigate the worst effects of the climatic changes we have already created.

In a recent study into how MPs understand and respond to climate change, one of the findings was that "politicians speaking and acting on climate change must construct a ‘representative claim’ to justify their proposed actions, and to show why and how they are in the interests of the represented." And that our MPs don't feel like they have that justification as they aren't hearing from us, their constituents, that climate change is an issue we want them to take action on.
We can change that.
Very quickly we can change that.

So today, after listening to this, I want you to tweet your MP, or send an e-mail, or write them a good old-fashioned hand-written letter (or all 3).

  • Ask them what they are doing on climate change
  • Ask them what their party is doing in response to the latest IPCC report
  • Ask them how they intend to make that the government take the 'unprecedented' action necessary to secure the future for our kids

Don't be fobbed off with politicians bullshit answers - keep asking - channel your inner John Humphrys.

Make your voice heard.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT…CLIMATE CHANGE

I couldn't sleep last night, and I got to thinking, and then to worrying, and then to freaking out, about climate change.
If I'm honest, it's something that's never really far from my mind - it's a kind of constant companion of low level anxiety that can sometimes elicit a visible twitch when I see people not using a re-usable cup, or sitting in their car outside school with the engine running (WHY?!! I totally have NO clue what that is all about? Apart from anything else, you are sitting there literally polluting the air that your little darling is going to be breathing in two minutes time when the kids all pile out of school you absolute moron. OK, clearly that's another topic for a rant another time).

I know that there are people like me who worry - I see them every day in my FB group, and on my Twitter and IG feeds.
But when I look up from the computer screen, I don't see them.
I rarely have conversations with other mums at the school gate about plastic pollution, or fast fashion, or the big one - climate change.
Actually, that is changing - certainly around plastics. This is an issue that really seems to have caught everyone's imagination, thanks largely to programmes like Blue Planet II and the recent BBC 1 documentary Drowning in Plastic.
Plastic is very visible. We see it everywhere - in the shops, in our trolleys, littering our parks and pavements, and then on the TV we see the tons and tons of it floating in the ocean. And its heartbreaking. And we can clearly see the cause and effect, the impact of our own plastic use on the wider environment.

But climate change isn't like that is it?
It's very invisible - we can see the weather, but we can't really see, or grasp the wider climate and how that's changing. And the catastrophic effects that that will have, and is already having.
Freak weather is becoming more and more un-freakish, more 'normal'. But even that doesn't seem to be jolting us out of sleepwalking into a climate, a planet, a future that may well be far beyond the worst we could imagine.

The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) report said that we need to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C and highlights the differences we might see with a 1.5C rise versus a 2C increase.
For example:

  • The Artic sea ice would disappear completely in the summertime once a century if we can limit temperature changes to 1.5C
    If we have a  2C rise, it will disappear once every 10 years. 
    And you might think "oh, that doesn't sound too good, but so what?"
    Well, if the polar ice melts, sea levels rise, leading to massive flooding, massive displacement of people, and loss of agricultural land. Essentially more people squeezed into a smaller space, and less land to grow food to feed them. 
    Cue arguments. Heated arguments. Between countries. In other words more wars.
  • At 1.5C 8% of plants that have been studied would no longer be able to be grown as the climatic conditions they are suited to would have disappeared.
    At 2C this figure rises to 16%. Which means less food to go around, on top of a growing population.
    Cue arguments. Heated arguments. Between countries. In other words more wars.

I might be painting an overly apocalyptic scenario, and feel like I should apologise if that's the case. But I am genuinely terrified that this is future my kids and grandkids are going to face. That this is what WE are creating for future generations.

We have already gone beyond 1C of warming, and based on current levels we could be headed for a temperature rise of between 3 and 5C. 
Now if the future looks 'fairly apocalyptic' at 1.5, or even 2C I can't even bring myself to start imagining what it's going to look like at 3-5C.

According to the IPCC report we now have just 12 years to take action to prevent a climate crisis.
12 years.
That's 2030 - which sounds an age away, but it's not.
It's 12 years. I've been with my husband for longer than that (he may argue that it feels way longer...).
In 12 years time my kids will be 22 and 19. They should have the world at their feet.
But if nothing changes they might well be looking at us in disbelief and disgust that we didn't act when we still could.

This matters. 
This matters so much it physically hurts me to think about it.

So why aren't we all talking about it more?
Why isn't THIS what the governments of world are focussing on rather then in-fighting about bloody Brexit or getting judges of questionable moral standing elected to the bench?
Why is it still socially acceptable to sit outside the school gates with your engine running, or to spend your Saturdays buying yet more cheap disposable fashion that you will only wear once?
Why does it feel like shouting into the void if I post stuff about this on my personal FB page where the people seeing my posts aren't necessarily in the same sustainable(ish) bubble as me?

Time is running out if we want to create a better, truly more sustainable future.
If we want to mitigate the worst effects of the climatic changes we have already created.

I get that I am preaching to choir here - that by the very fact you are here reading this blog post, or following me on social media, it means that you are already on board.
But I've been thinking a lot about how we as individuals can help to bring about changes that are "unprecedented in scale" - and it's quite frankly overwhelming. How can my actions even budge the needle the teeniest of fractions, when we need bold, cohesive, massive action from the world's governments, from industry, from big business?
I've come to the conclusion that not only do I need to make the changes that I can, I need to be more vocal (hubby will be snorting into his cuppa at this point - I am already pretty vocal, especially in the crucial 10 minutes before we need to be out of the house to get to school on time).
I need to make sure that my voice is heard.
We all need to make sure that our voices are heard.

In a recent study into how MPs understand and respond to climate change, one of the findings was that "politicians speaking and acting on climate change must construct a ‘representative claim’ to justify their proposed actions, and to show why and how they are in the interests of the represented." And that our MPs don't feel like they have that justification as they aren't hearing from us, their constituents, that climate change is an issue we want them to take action on.
We can change that.
Very quickly we can change that.

So today, after reading this, I want you to tweet your MP, or send an e-mail, or write them a good old-fashioned hand-written letter (or all 3).

  • Ask them what they are doing on climate change
  • Ask them what their party is doing in response to the latest IPCC report
  • Ask them how they intend to make that the government take the 'unprecedented' action necessary to secure the future for our kids

Don't be fobbed off with politicians bullshit answers - keep asking - channel your inner John Humphrys.

Make your voice heard.
Get angry - we have every right to be angry about this.
And then channel that anger into action.

Things NEED to change. 
And they need to start changing NOW.
The time is over for sitting by and wringing our hands and complaining about other people, about the government, about industry, not taking action. We need to call them out. We need to demand change.

Do it NOW!
If you aren't sure who your MP is, or how to contact them, you can find out here.
And if you're not in the UK, still contact your own government representative.
Let's do this!

PS. There's a blog post here with another 4 easy things you can do TODAY that will have a big impact on your carbon footprint ðŸ™‚

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