Environmental News Made Simple
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Hey curious.friends 👋

As a planet, we are now officially 'living in the red' for the rest of the year as we passed Earth Overshoot Day on the 1st August.

But, is here to show you plenty of awesome ways that we can help to send Earth Overshoot Day back in the other direction.

Check out some of our favourite 'other news' at the bottom of the email, as this week we came across an organisation that lets you plant a tree every time Donald Trump tweets about climate change!

Reading time is 3:37 minutes.

Category of Article

Waitrose to offer compostable coffee pods!

What's Going On Here?

Waitrose has announced it will become the first major UK retailer to stock own-brand compostable coffee pods.

Coffee pods have become widely used with the rise of brands such as Nespresso & Tassimo. However, it is bad news for the environment, they are frequently made from non-recyclable materials, or can’t be recycled due to contamination by the coffee grounds. Currently the only home-compostable coffee pods available are branded. 

What Does This Mean?

This move is part of Waitrose’s commitment that all own-brand packaging will be widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025. Coffee grounds are often chucked away without a second thought. However, being nitrogen-rich they are can be great fertiliser for plants.  

Due to be released in December 2018, the home compostable coffee pods can be thrown straight into your compost, reducing the need to buy fertiliser, which can save you both time and money! 

Why Should We Care? 

30% of UK residents now own coffee pod machines in our homes. That’s a latte coffee pods being thrown away each year. How many exactly? OK we’ll do some rough mathematics for you:

27 million UK homes = 8 million coffee machines  & (let's say) 5 coffees per household per week >>>> That's over 2 billion capsules per year... & we haven't even mentioned the WORKplace pods! 

That's over 2 billion capsules per year...OK.. we wrote that twice for effect -  Déjà brew.

Single-use coffee pods are typically made of aluminium, or worse, mixed plastics and foil. While, aluminium is generally recyclable, when contaminated with leftover coffee grounds those pods often can’t be recycled in standard council recycling centres meaning that many of these end up in landfill too.

Be Curious!

Are you one of the 8 million households who own a pod coffee machine in the UK? Well don't be a mug...reduce your environmental impact by switching to a home compostable brand such as Eden or Waitrose. 

If your thinking about buying one why not follow Curious.Toms 2018 helpful guide to buying coffee machines, which hasn't been published in the Good Housekeeping magazine:

Step 1. Don't but a coffee pod machine
Step 2. Buy a 2nd hand cafetière from the charity shop

Thanks for spilling the beans on that one Curious.Tom - BLOODY BREWTIFUL!

Category of Article

UK Water Firms Cracking Under Pressure

What's Going On Here?

This week UK water companies have been put under pressure by central government to reduce the amount of water wasted by leaking pipes. It comes just days ahead of the infamous hosepipe ban coming into force.

What Does This Mean?

Michael Gove, the environment secretary has demanded water companies to ‘raise the bar’ in tackling leaks. He calls for ambitious new targets to be met after meeting with 18 water companies this week, of which 8 failed to meet their target on leaks in 2017/18.

3,183 million litres of water is leaked each day in the UK. That’s equivalent to 1,273 Olympic swimming pools per day! In fact, Thames Water, Britain’s largest water company, was made to pay back a whopping £65m to customers over poor management of their leaking pipes back in June this year.

The UK’s driest start to the summer since 1961 and a bitterly cold winter has been blamed for causing pipes to crack and the ground to move under extreme conditions.

Why Should We Care? 

As pressure builds on the UK’s water supply (whilst the actual water pressure drops), we all need to play our part in conserving water amidst the impending hosepipe bans.

If extreme weather patterns continue it could have an impact on all of us. Freezing winters and blazing summers can easily take their toll on our water supply and we could soon find ourselves in need of some serious H20.

Earlier this year, Cape Town, South Africa saw one of the worst droughts in living memory. The city of over 430,000 people came within weeks of Day Zero (when the taps would be turned off and emergency water rations imposed across the city)! 

Be Curious!

Saving water may be easier than you might think:

> Cutting a 10-minute shower down to 4 minutes could save up to 60 litres of water
> Dishwashers / washing machines use on average 50 litres per cycle - make sure they have full loads!
> One dripping tap can waste over 7000 litres of water in a year (20 litres a day) if not fixed

But that is not the only area you can save! 

> It takes 2400 litres of water to make a hamburger (growing crops, drinking waters for animals, processing / cooking)
> Whilst up to 2700 litres of water to make a cotton t-shirt (enough drinking water to last someone 900 days)


Other news we found curious...

Treespond plants a tree every time Trump tweets about climate change - HuffPost
Degrading plastics revealed as the source of greenhouse gases -
Smart tech tackling £13BN food waste problem -
Martyn Lowder
Will Roderick

We would love to hear your feedback, as we make Curious.Earth the most enjoyable and informative read in your inbox.

Stay Curious
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