February 19th, 2016

Does waste have a future?

By Dominic Hogg and Mark Hilton

 

When the institutional economist Thorstein Veblen coined the phrase ‘conspicuous consumption’ in the late nineteenth century, it was as a caustic term saved for the very rich. In particular, it referred to the glittering socialites born of the Industrial Revolution, who Veblen saw as wanting and wasting in equal measure.

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June 12th, 2015

To EV or not EV: should I buy an electric car?

by Sophie Crosswell

 

When our ageing Corsa made it clear that it was trundling inexorably towards the car graveyard, my partner and I started to discuss how to replace it. Could we afford to take the plunge in to the emerging electric vehicle (EV) market, and could an EV do what we needed from a car?

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November 22nd, 2013

Water woes in Jordan

Disi_Water_Conveyance_Project_in_Jordan

by Amir Dakkak

 

Being one of the most arid countries in the Middle East, Jordan is facing severe water shortages. The current per capita water supply in the country is 200 cubic meters per year which is almost one-third of the global average. To make matters worse, it is projected that Jordan’s population (currently at 6 million) will reach 9 million by 2025 causing a drastic decline in per capita water availability to measly 91 cubic meters.

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September 27th, 2013

Putting the boot in to fashion

Billy Super Hero

by Thomas Vergunst

 

I stand for being a super hero. What do you stand for?” Walking down the high street in my home town of Bristol, I was faced with this question – supposedly asked by somebody called ‘Billy’– writ large across the window of the Dr Martens store. As style-conscious Bristolian shoppers enjoy the Bristol Fashion Week festivities, I’d like them to reflect on what they stand for. Do they support the values the fashion industry embodies? And are they content to buy in to retailers’ attempts to sell us more things we don’t need? As consumers, is there something a little less nebulous to stand for than “being a super hero”?

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August 30th, 2013

Playing chicken with the climate: why environmentalists should go veggie

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.

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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.

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May 13th, 2013

Put your money where the mouths are

FoodCycle Collection

by Hattie Parke

 

On Saturday evenings I cycle to my local Sainsbury’s, trailer in tow, and collect a stack of ‘Taste the Difference’  loaves, bagels, croissants, pastries and other baked goods that happen not to have sold that day and would otherwise end up in bin bags and never be eaten. This stuff isn’t ‘off’ – it’s been baked fresh that morning, but anything that’s unsold by evening is removed to be replaced with fresh goods the next day.

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