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Hi curious.friend,

This week saw the UK Autumn budget announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond MP. There was a pretty mixed reaction to the government's environmental plans. With opposition Green Party leader Caroline Lucas declaring that it was 'a truly disastrous budget for the planet.'

We predict a riot (well, a backlash at the very least). It also begs the question, could a political party standing for environmental issues ever make it to Number 10?

Reading time is 3.27
Pollution & Waste

An inconvenient truth about Bonfire Night pollution

What's Going On Here?

It’s that time of year again when we cause lots of air and noise pollution and cheer about it aka Bonfire Night 😉. With all of that mother nature killing fun, can you enjoy Guy Fawkes night whilst being sustainable?

What Does This Mean?

For over 400 years on the 5th November across the UK we celebrate the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. This tradition is often brought with happy memories, but it is also the most polluting night of the whole year.

The combination of smoke from bonfires and fireworks contain a mixture of toxic metal compounds often used as propellants & colorants. These include lead, titanium, antimony and potassium, that are ironically the very same pollutants that we try to keep out of our atmosphere by filtering chimneys.

How Bad Is Bonfire Night? 

As you can see from the graph above, Bonfire Night is pretty easy to spot, with the particulate matter storming above any other day of the year.

All across the world festivals are celebrated with fireworks. Across the US,  the 4th July celebrations create the same impact as a 2,700 acre wildfire.

Bonfire Night and fireworks are similar to air travel. We have fallen in love with it, but they aint good for the environment, so some smart cookies need to come up with more eco-friendly solutions that mean we can still use a sparkler to write our name (or something naughty) in the air and feel less guilty!

Be Curious! for a more sustainable Bonfire Night

Find a local event
- Wrap up warm and walk to a local event
- Make some friends, have a shandy and let someone else risk losing their fingers

Having your own event?
- Avoid having a bonfire
- Buy eco-friendly fireworks
- Clean-up afterwards

Climate Change

Hammond blows the Budget on fossil fuel future

What's Going On Here?

People expecting major action on climate change were left disappointed by this year’s Budget.

Philip Hammond announced a new tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic, but failed to make a single mention of climate change during his speech to the House of Commons on Monday.

What Does This Mean?

The chancellor may have given a nod to environmental issues with his plastic tax and promise to spend £60m planting trees (which is huge), but this seems like a token gesture when compared with a £30bn pledge for roads.

Caroline Lucas, former leader of the Green Party and MP for Brighton Pavilion tweeted:

Why Should We Care? 

Greenpeace UK’s executive director, John Sauven, said that, “the chancellor has delivered a budget that reads as though he missed the memo”. 

That memo being a IPCC report published earlier in October, warning that ‘unprecedented changes’ are needed to stop global warming.

Greenhouse gas emissions would need to be cut almost in half by 2030, which can only be achieved by a dramatic switch away from fossil fuels, as well as significant investment in technologies that remove CO2 from the air.

It’s disappointing that the Government continues to place the onus of change on businesses and consumers, rather than incentivising green initiatives. There are some glimmers of hope within this Budget, but clearly much more needs to be done by those with the power to make the big decisions. 

Be Curious!

Politicians may make the decisions, but we get a say on who runs this joint. 

When you next cast your vote (it could be any day now 😉) choose a party who’s policies allow you and future generations to do, and see, and experience the things you love #GreenPartayyyyy.​


Other news we found curious...

The city that gives you free beer for cycling - BBC
Air-cleaning technology fitted at Marylebone Station -
Climate Change Is on the Ballot - NY Times
Poppy 'Birthday Girl' Gaunt
Paul Davies

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