Do you really need that? How many items of clothing does a person need? One hundred items? 66? 33? Less? It is an interesting exercise to examine how many clothes you own and to try and determine how many of them you actually need and how many you are holding onto just in case. To … Continue reading Buy. Wear. Wash. Repeat: The True Cost of our Clothes
[Sequel to the March 2017 piece titled Don't Just Wait For a Movement.] Regression The final piece in Rebecca Solnit's collection of essays advocating a positive approach to tackling what often feel like overwhelming problems, Hope in the Dark, is quite memorably titled Everything's Coming Together While Everything Falls Apart. In this excellent essay, Solnit … Continue reading Don’t Just Wait for a Movement (part 2)
[Last year] the UK threw away a total of 108 million rolls of wrapping paper last Christmas [...] enough to wrap up all of Glasgow.
In August earlier this year I started an internship just outside Chicago, where I will be until December. In order to get to the US, I had to take an (almost) inevitable Transatlantic flight from the UK, despite efforts to book a room on a freighter ship. Fine, I thought, at least I am taking … Continue reading Exoneration for environmental sins?
The topic of this blog piece is probably the most controversial I have covered so far. It is a topic which frequently upsets and angers people when brought up, but which is nonetheless important to discuss. In fact, its taboo nature means its discussion is even more important. In this blog, various strategies have been … Continue reading The most effective way to cut emissions
That the hedonic treadmill of modern life can be so unfulfilling is indicative of the fact so many of us have lost our mooring to the natural world to which we owe our existence.
As of 2011, the top five biggest commodities in the world were (in descending order) crude oil, coffee, natural gas, gold and Brent oil. As a first note, the presence of three fossil fuels in this list means that there is still a long way to go in the transition to a low carbon economy. … Continue reading Eco-espresso?
A new age The Space Age, the Information Age, the Social Age... contemporary culture has gained a number of labels for itself over the past century. These ages typically arise following a major technological breakthrough, such as space travel, computer science or social media in the cases above. But ages need not necessarily be to … Continue reading Plastic People
I recently read J. G. Ballard's book of short stories 'Vermilion Sands'. This 1971 modern classic is set in (what was then) the near future, in an imaginary town after which the book is named. Vermilion Sands is an extravagant resort town in the desert, complete with casinos, not dissimilar to Las Vegas. Additionally, Vermilion … Continue reading Possible near futures
I recently read Fumio Sasaki's entertaining and enlightening account of his becoming a minimalist, titled 'Goodbye, things'. Minimalism comes in many forms, meaning different things in music and visual art, for example. The type of minimalism Sasaki refers to has to do with the number of possessions a person owns, in opposition to materialism. Material … Continue reading Discard everything you own