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Environmental News Made Simple
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Good morning curious.earthlings,

Today in the UK, voters have a big choice to make in the general election. The climate impact of the winning party could be huge. Have a listen to our latest podcast episode, all about voting for the climate. Click on the link or search curious.earth in Spotify.

In Madrid, COP 25 is drawing to a close after almost 2 weeks of talks. And bushfires that have been raging for weeks in Australia have caused air pollution levels to rise to over 11 times the hazardous level.

Reading time is 3:47 minutes.
Enjoyyy
Travel

Could You Stay on the Ground in 2020?

by Fran Haddock

What's Going On Here?

The Swedish organisation 'We Stay on the Ground' have launched a ‘Flight Free 2020’ campaign urging people all around the world to commit to giving up flying for an entire year to reduce their carbon footprint and help raise awareness of the climate crisis.

What Does This Mean?

Back in June we wrote about 'flygskam' - the Swedish word meaning ‘flight shame’. Well, this anti-flying climate change movement has gained some traction with Flight Free 2020 campaigns now in 10 countries including the UK, with the aim of encouraging 100,000 people to take the pledge. The campaign was set up to encourage people to change their transport habits amidst our current climate emergency. Taking the pledge doesn’t have to mean giving up flying completely, but a significant number of people abstaining from flying for a whole year can help make a statement, break the habit and help people to consider transport alternatives to carbon-intensive flying. 

Why Should We Care?
Although there is some progress in electric aircraft technology, widespread ‘eco-friendly’ flying is not going to go mainstream any time soon. Flying accounts for approximately 2% of global CO2 emissions, however, this is much higher in wealthy countries. The aviation industry is also set to grow significantly, with our own UK government on track to expand airports and Brits flying more than any other nationality. Is this really aligned with reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 or (ideally) sooner?
 
Taking just one flight produces more carbon emissions than some individuals emit in an entire year in some countries, and giving up one return transatlantic flight has a bigger impact than both switching to a renewable energy provider and eating a plant-based diet! Abstaining from flying for one year not only does wonders for your personal carbon footprint but sends a message to politicians, friends and family that we are willing to alter our lifestyle to tackle climate change - so much so that some of us curious.earthers are taking the pledge!

Be Curious!

  • Think you could go flight free for 2020? Take the pledge here and help them reach 100,000! The UK specific page is here.
  • Explore wonderful destinations in your own country or places that are easy to get to without flying. Check out these 11 no-fly adventures from the National Geographic.
  • Can’t avoid taking a flight? Check out our carbon offsetting article for how to do this effectively.
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Fast Fashion

Jumpering into the Festive Season

by Martyn Lowder

What's Going On Here?

The single-use Christmas jumper is the festive season’s fast fashion flop.
In the build up to Christmas Jumper Day (Dec 13th), Save the Children is urging us to think twice before buying a new Christmas jumper.

What Does This Mean?

Amid rising concerns over fast fashion and its impact on our planet, Save the Children is calling for us to reuse and upcycle our festive wear this December. From clothes swaps, hand-me-downs to make your owns, the charity isn’t just saving the children this Christmas.

Research suggests that just two out of five Christmas jumpers are only worn once over the festive period, and one in three adults under 35 buys a new Christmas jumper every year.

The environmental charity Hubbub found that 12m jumpers will be bought this year, producing huge amounts of plastic waste. In fact, a recent study of 108 garments currently on sale from 11 high street and online retailers – including Primark and George at Asda – found that 95% were made wholly or partly out of plastic materials.

Christmas, Consumerism & Climate Change

It’s no secret that consumerism and our throwaway culture is contributing to climate change. The fashion industry—clothes and shoes—accounts for more than 8% of the global climate impact.

More stuff = More resources = More fossil fuels

Having our basic needs met is important, but having a new Christmas jumper every year leaves us red in the face.

Be Curious!

A jumper is for life, not just for Christmas.
  1. Check what you already own - Bring last year’s jumper out for another wear or pass it on if you’re not planning on wearing it again.
  2. Go second hand - Charity shops, hand-me-downs or swap with a pal. Pre-loved items come with extra love!
  3. Make your own - Turn an old jumper into a festive feast by cutting 3 circles out of an old t-shirt to create a snowman, use buttons for eyes and a ribbon for its scarf!
And of course, whatever woollies you wear this winter, remember to donate to Save the Children here 😊.
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Other news we found curious...

Greenland's ice sheet melting seven times faster than in 1990s - Guardian
Greta Thunberg is named Time Person of the Year for 2019 - NYTimes
Anger as climate protesters barred from COP25 talks, including Greenpeace director - BBC
Drax owner plans to be world's first carbon-negative business - Guardian
At COP25, 500+ BCorps committed to being NetZero carbon by 2030 - Twitter
Pensioner 'puts life on the line' eating nothing for 23 days in climate protest - Mirror
Bushfire smoke blankets Sydney, air pollution to rise 11x above 'hazardous' levels - New Scientist
Fran Haddock
NEWS WRITER
Martyn Lowder
NEWS WRITER
THANKS FOR READING

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