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Happy New Year curious.earthlings,

Welcome to 2020

Have you made any new year's resolutions? We have plenty of ideas below to help kick-start your sustainable 2020.

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Sustainable Me

New Year, New Decade...New ‘Eco’ You!

by Helen Steiger

What's Going On Here?

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020 - A New Year (and a new decade!) means only one thing, New Year Resolutions! But rather than the standard ‘Join a Gym’, ‘Eat Healthier’ or ‘Dry January’ - we at Curious Earth have come up with some environment-based actions YOU can take to have a positive impact on the planet...the ultimate way to feel better about yourself and the planet as you step into the new year. 

What Does This Mean?

The 2020s has been cited as the decade for climate action - by policymakers, businesses AND (most importantly) YOU! We can all do our bit to have a positive impact on the planet, and incremental changes should never be underestimated. See below for a compiled list of some of the actions you could take as you dance into 2020. Feel free to do more than one, do others that aren’t on the list...all points = extra prizes for our planet!!

  1. Switch to a more plant-based diet. Yes you can do Veganuary, but you needn’t go the full cold turkey to have a positive effect. Try to reduce the amount of meat and dairy you eat, maybe try one of the ‘Beyond Meat’ burgers next time you’re out for dinner with your pals? Reducing our meat, fish and dairy consumption is repeatedly shown to be one of the most impactful changes you can make to lower your own carbon footprint. 
  2. Switch your energy provider - solar energy is now cheaper than oil and gas to produce, and with energy providers like Bulb, Octopus and Ovo offering competitive deals, there’s no financial loss to be had from switching to a provider that sources its energy from renewable sources! 
  3. Reuse your reusable - how many of you received a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, lunchbox or bag as part of their Christmas present? Now is the time to use these bad boys - see how much greater a take-out coffee tastes when it’s eco-guilt free! 
  4. Fly less, train more - we’ve covered it already - abstaining from flying is (metaphorically only) taking off! Why not think about how you could get to your holiday destinations using more sustainable, transport options e.g. train, boat, bike… part of the holiday is the journey after all! 
  5. Save Sustainably - the Divestment movement is growing in momentum, and there are an increasing number of options to invest in environmental and socially good projects and schemes. Investigate your pension - is it investing in oil and gas companies which are unsustainable for a climate-friendly future? Read our article on this last year to understand more how your money can have a positive impact on the planet.
  6. Buy Local, Buy Organic - Support local business and environment-friendly (and wildlife-friendly) practices by buying more from your local shop and choosing organic where possible. Buying local also often means less plastic - a double-winner! 
  7. Demand more from those in power - Write to your MP, speak to management in your company about what they are doing about the climate emergency, protest - inspire and encourage those with greater power than you to also make positive change in any way possible.  

Why Should We Care?

Because if we are going to create a climate-friendly world this decade, we all need to make changes and take action. And a fresh new year bringing an exciting new decade is as good a time to start as any...right? 

Be Curious!

  • Want to make your resolutions more official? Sign up to DoNation and make a pledge - from as little as turning down your thermostat to stopping flying, every action will have a positive impact for the planet! 
  • Trying some other New Years Resolutions that positively impact our planet? Share them on Instagram and tag us
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More Green and Pleasant Land in 2020?

by Alexandra Genova

What's Going On Here?

A former chief scientific adviser to the UK government has said that half the nation’s farmland needs to be transformed into natural habitat to restore wildlife and help fight the climate crisis.

What Does This Mean?

This idea might seem radical to some but Prof Sir Ian Boyd—who worked at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for seven years—says the benefits would be a gamechanger for Britain’s efforts to cut carbon emissions and improve biodiversity. He says that instead of “subsidising a livestock industry that is causing huge environmental damage”, farmers should instead be paid for storing carbon dioxide and providing natural landscapes that the public could benefit from

This could be good news for farmers too. UK farmers currently receive around €4 billion per year under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) but this will end after Britain leaves the European Union and it is unclear how long the UK government will meet the shortfall. 

Boyd’s proposal is not the first time a rewilding plan on this scale has been floated. In January 2018, then environment secretary Michael Gove said that after Brexit, farmers would get subsidies for turning fields back into wildlife meadows, 97% of which have been destroyed since the second world war. 

Why Should We Care?

At the moment, farmland takes up a third of the country and converting half of it into woodlands and parks would drastically change the landscape of Britain. Producing less meat and dairy also falls in line with recommendations that we should shift to a more plant-based diet in order to eat sustainably. 

Be Curious!

If you want to learn first hand what it means for a farmer to rewild their land then Isabella Tree’s book ‘Wilding’ is a must-read. Tree tells the story of her pioneering experiment which turned her farm in West Sussex into a new habitat for wildlife. 

And for more information on Rewilding schemes across the country—and how you can implement them in your local area—visit the Rewilding Britain website. 
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Other news we found curious...

Thousands Flee to Shore as Australia Fires Turn Skies Blood Red - NYTimes
Palau is first country to ban 'reef toxic' sun cream - BBC
Jose Cuervo Turns Their Agave Tequila Waste into Durable, Biodegradable Straws - Good News Network
Earthshot Prize: William and Kate launch prize to 'repair the Earth' - BBC
Zero-carbon electricity outstrips fossil fuels in Britain across 2019 - Guardian
Climate change could render assets 'worthless', Bank of England governor warns - Independent
The missing 99%: why can't we find the vast majority of ocean plastic? - Guardian
Alexandra Genova
Helen Steiger

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