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Environmental News Made Simple
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Good morning curious.friends.

On the menu this week... the Danish Government announce carbon labeling system for food products & new transparency reports for the world of fashion!

Elsewhere the climate change conversation well and truly entered the mainstream this week as none other than the Daily Mail shared its 20 tips to save the world. 

Reading time is 3:47 minutes.
Food & Drink

Carbon labelling sticks in Danish food aisles

by Martyn Lowder

What's Going On Here?

This week, the Danish Government announced plans to incorporate a carbon labeling system on food products as part of their target to become carbon neutral by 2050. 

This comes as more of us than ever before are asking our decision-makers to stand up and take notice of climate change. Tell the truth and provide solutions.

What Does This Mean?

What did you have for dinner yesterday? Could better information have changed your decision? What if you were able to compare the environmental impact of a free range egg against a seasonal butternut squash? What if you could compare local veg with their imported cousins? And what if you could do all of this while popping them into your shopping basket and listening to your favourite tunes?

That’s exactly what our friends in Denmark will be doing as the government proposes that all food products clearly indicate their carbon footprint

Denmark’s Minister for the Environment, Lars Christian Lilleholt, said, “We want to give consumers the means to assess in supermarkets the environmental impact of products.”

Why Should We Care?

Food production is a major cause of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, a study from the University of Oxford shows that food production is responsible for 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
 
However, the environmental impact of different foods varies hugely. Meat and other animal products are responsible for more than 50% of food-related greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Therefore diet changes and the behavioural strategies used by government, supermarkets and the food industry are crucial in reducing environmental impacts. 

Perhaps the steps taken by the Danish Government will stick. Just as nutrition information helps you pick what’s best for you, a carbon footprint label helps you pick what’s best for the planet. 

Be Curious!

Here at Curious.HQ we know that working out the carbon footprint of everything we eat and drink can difficult, time consuming, and down right confusing. So to keep things simple, here are our top places to look. 
 
1.  Take a look at the BBC’s attractive and simple-to-use food calculator to compare the carbon footprint of your favourite foods.
2.   Read the WWF’s top tips on how to eat more sustainably.
3.  Read Friends of the Earth’s top tips for choosing less meat and better meat, how to halve food waste, how to support farmers and much more. 
4.  Read Mike Berners-Lee ‘How bad are bananas’ book to help you discover the real impact of each of things you buy.

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Fast Fashion

Fashion industry needs more transparency, says report

by  Lucie Machin

What's Going On Here?

Six years after the Rana Plaza clothes factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed 1,138 people, Fashion Revolution have just released their annual fashion Transparency Index

This reveals how much information the 200 biggest fashion brands disclose about factors such as their working conditions and environmental impact.

Who are these guys?

In 2018, global fashion sales grew by a massive 4.5%, with consumers spending a whopping $1.7 trillion in 2018, with many of these purchases being made online. 

Online shopping gives us a double dopamine hit: once when buying an item and once when we open it. This could be further fuelling our addiction to fast fashion, which is bad news for the environment and for garment workers.

Fashion is a notoriously polluting industry and most of the people making our clothes still live in poverty. It’s estimated that the fashion industry emits ~ 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas (around 10% of global emissions) each year. This is being made worse in part by next-day-delivery, leading to more delivery trucks being sent out, often half-empty. Making matters worse, fast fashion items are often worn less than 5 times, and less than 1% of clothing material is recycled into new clothing at the end of its lifespan.

Why Should We Care?

This report shows that whilst transparency is improving, the average transparency is still a tiny 21%, meaning there is still a lot of secrecy surrounding how our clothes are made. This suggests that fashion companies have something to hide. Are you comfortable about that? We’re not either...

However, there are signs of opposition to fast fashion, with more brands opting for sustainable materials; second-hand garments rocketing in popularity (perhaps even overtaking fast fashion by 2030); and there’s even a move to develop ‘virtual reality clothing’ which can be digitally fitted onto users’ photographs!

Be Curious!

Check out Fashion Revolution’s events this week, read their Transparency Index 2019 to see how brands are scoring and ask #whomademyclothes to demand more transparency in the fashion industry. 

Before jumping on the internet for your next fashion-fueled high, think: “can I buy this second hand?”. If you do decide to buy something new, check out the Ethical Consumer guide to see which brands have the best ethical and environmental scores!

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Other news we found curious...

Save the planet AND your cash!  - Mail Online
'You did not act in time': Greta Thunberg's full speech to MPs - Guardian
Game Of Thrones star Jason Momoa shaves off his beard for an environmental cause - Wiki of Thrones
Car-pooling saves more than 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year - Intelligent Transport
Polly Higgins, lawyer who fought for recognition of 'ecocide', dies aged 50 - Guardian
Martyn Lowder
NEWS WRITER
Lucie Machin
NEWS WRITER
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