March 28th, 2014

Foam of contention: dealing with polystyrene wastes

640px-A_squirrel_and_his_styrofoam_cups

By Michelle Rose Rubio

 

Expanded polystyrene (also known as EPS foam, polystyrene or Styrofoam) is a popular plastic for the packaging of food items, electric and electronic goods, furniture and more due to its excellent insulating and protective properties, as well as a being a production material in its own right for such items as disposable cups, trays, cutlery and cartons.

Read more on Foam of contention: dealing with polystyrene wastes…


October 29th, 2013

Things that go bump in the bin?

melon brain

By Joe Hudson

 
This Halloween, scores of children will once again drag their parents out into the chilly October air to spook their obliging neighbours into handing over sugary treats. Costumes, sweets and decorations are all considered necessities for this single evening of enforced spookiness – and then typically end up in the bin. For a green-minded parent (or child), are there ways to avoid being haunted by horrible waste without making Halloween a ghastly chore?

Read more on Things that go bump in the bin?…


August 30th, 2013

Playing chicken with the climate: why environmentalists should go veggie

Bypass Burger

by Francis Vergunst

 

You’ve heard it from the Greens, you’ve heard it from your friends, you’ve probably even heard it from your grandma… and now you’re hearing it from the government too. What’s the big deal? Do we really need to eat less meat – or none at all? I would argue that becoming vegetarian could be the most effective action you take against climate change. Consider the following.

Read more on Playing chicken with the climate: why environmentalists should go veggie…


July 5th, 2013

Trash talk

Dictionary discard2

by Steve Watson

 

The literate and waste conscious Isonomia reader will no doubt be familiar with just how very differently waste gets talked about in different quarters. At one extreme there is a growing community of ecologically minded individuals committed to seeing all waste as a ‘resource’, with the very admittance of the category of ‘waste’ seen as part of the environmental problem. At the other, the Daily Mail tends to class recycling as just another type of ‘rubbish’. The vocabulary different people use to categorise the same basic stuff has a dramatic effect on how they view it, and to understand how this has come about we need to delve deep into the linguistic landfill on which modern English is built.

Read more on Trash talk…


June 21st, 2013

A nation of spongers?

Treading water – the UK has yet to get serious about water footprinting

by Alex Massie

 

It may seem unlikely given our much-discussed damp climate, but the UK is in fact one of the biggest importers of water, per capita, in the world. Our sponge-like tendency is not just due to our thirst for French mineral water. Water is ‘embodied’ in almost every single thing that we import: food, energy, and products alike.

Read more on A nation of spongers?…


March 27th, 2013

A tale of two escalators

Westminster Escalator

by Peter Jones

 

The Budget last week offered little to excite the environmentally minded, as George Osborne produced no new green measures from his battered red box. One of the main talking points in the waste sector has been the absence of any clarification of what will happen to landfill tax after it reaches £80 in 2014/15. The Green Alliance advocates further increases, but the Environmental Services Association and various local authority representatives are looking for the escalator to stop. At the same time, the planned fuel escalator increase for September 2013 was cancelled.

Read more on A tale of two escalators…


September 21st, 2012

Is my grocer greener than my government?

Carrots

by Carolyn Cross

 

As I meander through the veg aisles of my local supermarket, Matthew the British apple farmer beams down, Chairman Mau-style, from giant posters. He looks like a nice guy, and while the supermarket may be getting a lot of mileage out of him, it does mean fewer nasty air freight and truck miles. In turn that means fresher, healthier produce, reduced carbon emissions, and more of the economic benefits staying close to home; so buying Matthew’s apples is good for us, good for UK plc and no doubt good for Matthew too.

Read more on Is my grocer greener than my government?…