Environmental News Made Simple
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Hi curious.friends,

We know what you've been thinking...

What is so damn special about Pablo Esobar's escaped hippos?!?!
Why are wasps the new bees' knees?!?!
Where can I find the most inspiring quotes on climate change?!?!
What is the greenest way to get my reading fix?!?!
How much less polluting are EVs than petrol cars?!?!

... knew it. Lucky for you, this week we have all the answers plus much, much more!

Enjoy x

Reading time is 3:47 minutes.
Climate Change

For all you eco-conscious bookworms...🤓🌍

by Maya Comely

What's Going On Here?
Surprise surprise...the greenest way to read is by borrowing books from libraries, sharing them with friends and donating those you’ve already read! 

What Does This Mean?
With all this time on our hands (don’t worry I won't be mentioning the C word), I’m sure a lot of us are intending to read more. Indeed, what better time to start a new book…🤓

But making a one-click book purchase on Amazon, having it delivered to your door in a petrol guzzling van, reading it once and then hoarding it on your bookshelf until the day you pop your can see how this isn't the most sustainable of activities.

There’s a long list of factors to consider when comparing the environmental impact of print books with ebooks (check out this article for a much more in-depth analysis). 

Why Should We Care?

One study of the US book industry calculated that approximately 30 million trees are cut down a year for publishing. In the UK, it’s been calculated that each book on average produces 3kg of CO2 during its production. As well as putting forests at risk, producing huge amounts of wastewater and the pollution that comes with ink production - there are also the emissions from deliveries. The good thing is that once a book is made it can be shared with literally hundreds of people in its lifetime ♻️.

Ebooks, such as the famous Amazon Kindle - don’t seem to be much better. In their production, you have the mineral extraction (often from war-torn countries), water use and energy consumption (around 100 kilowatt hours of fossil fuels is needed to make just one e-reader). There’s also the energy consumed while using the device, as well as disposal at the end of its life (adding to the growing problem of electronic waste). ⚠️

I’m not saying literary consumption is bad for the environment (there are definitely worse things!), but there are some ways we can reduce the impact of our reading…

Be Curious!

🧐 Check out the libraries near you before purchasing a book (saving you £ too!). And if you do want to buy a book, buy second hand or at independent &/ local bookstores.

🧐 Try book swapping with your friends, fam and colleagues!

🧐 Check out this cool map of London’s Bookswaps. From converted post boxes to tube stations, you can take a book for free or leave one for somebody else to enjoy (or both!). 

🧐 Our curious recommendations…
📗 There is no planet B by Mike Berners Lee 
📗 The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace Wells
📗 Feral by George Monbiot 
📗 On fire & This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
📗 Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Orekes
📗 The Future We Choose by Christina Figueres
📗 Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmera
📗 No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
📗 This Is Not a Drill by Extinction Rebellion
📗 Why Women Will Save the Planet by Friends of the Earth

🧐 Join Curious Fran’s (@envirobite) virtual environmental book club - she’d be delighted to have ya!
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Air Pollution

Electric vehicles are now up to 70% less polluting than petrol cars

by Paul Davies

What's Going On Here?
A new study published in Nature: Sustainability shows that electric vehicles (EVs) produce up to 70% less CO2 than their petrol counterparts, across their entire life-cycle.

What Does This Mean?
Whilst this may seem obvious to us curious.readers, in recent years there have been many detractors claiming that ‘the production of electricity and their manufacture outweighs the environmental benefits.’ 

Scientists from the University of Cambridge, Exeter and Nijmegen (The Netherlands) looked at environmental life-cycle costing for electric vs petrol cars across 59 regions across the world (accounting for 95% of global traffic). Their results showed that in 53 out of 59 regions, electric cars already have lower lifetime carbon emissions, than petrol cars.

In countries like Sweden and France (that have a high mix of renewables and nuclear power) the savings on CO2 emissions are up to 70%, whilst in the UK, EVs produce 30% less CO2. It is only in countries like Poland and India, where their electricity grid is heavily dependent on coal, that emissions for EVs are currently higher than petrol car emissions.

Why Should We Care?
Governments across the globe are pledging ambitious targets to reach net zero carbon targets, and those dates are getting closer every day. 

In the UK, transport is now the biggest contributor to carbon emissions, so a combination of decarbonising the energy grid and utilising clean energy for transport and heating is essential for us to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Florian Knobloch of Nijmegen University and the lead author of the study, sums it up perfectly.

“There is no need to wait. There’s a net benefit from electrification even given all the uncertainties and variations. Don’t be confused by all those different results out there. It’s a no-regret choice already.”

Be Curious!

Electric vehicles are on the rise, and as more and more manufacturers go ‘all-in’ for electric vehicles, the cost of owning and maintaining one will keep falling.
  • Switch to a sustainable electricity supplier like Ecotricity, Bulb, Octopus, it might take you half an hour, but it really is worth it knowing that the kettle that just boiled for your 4th cuppa this morning was powered by renewable energy, rather than oil or coal.
  • Test drive an electric car -we know it might not be the most ideal time, but for now why not take a look at electric vehicles on the market and when you can, book in a test drive!
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From the curious.archive!

30 of the Most Impactful Climate Change Quotes -

Other news we found curious...

How Pablo Ecobar’s escaped hippos might actually help the environment - ZME Science 
Business giants including Coca-Cola pledge to deliver 'net-positive' water impact - edie
Global efforts on ozone help reverse southern jet stream damage - The Guardian
Garden birdwatching: the wildlife travel drama on your doorstep - The Guardian
Wasps may benefit us as much as bees. Could we learn to love them? - New Scientist 
Maya Comely
Paul Davies

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