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tents rubbish

How to deal with post-festival waste

A few years ago I had the misfortune of passing through Reading on the train just after their famous music festival ended. The debris left behind is extraordinary, and seems to go on for ages. Field after field of abandoned camping equipment, bags of rubbish, and strewn beer cans. It’s something of an indictment of […]

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mushrooms

Growing mushrooms on coffee

I enjoy experimenting with growing things, and this year we tried growing mushrooms. Two different family members bought me growing kits for Christmas, and I’ve enjoyed the pink oyster and chestnut mushrooms we’ve grown. As my current mushroom farms come to the end of their run, I’ve been looking up where to get some new […]

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algal-bloom-red-tide

Sustainable plastic from seaweed

A couple of years ago marine biologists conducted a wide scale survey of the sea floor around Europe, diving as deep as 4.5 kilometres down into the Cascais Canyon off Portugal. 6,500 sites were studied in total, and “litter was found at all surveyed locations”. Our rubbish is everywhere. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, so once it […]

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Primark, Oxford Street

Why cheap fashion is a problem

A little video for your Friday afternoon, in which the good folks at Grist explain the consequences of cheap fashion. If you’re not familiar with Grist, by the way, mooch on over and have a look at their site. It’s a firmly established and well informed climate change website, but it has its tongue in […]

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plastic bank

Making plastic too valuable to throw away

As we saw a few weeks ago, world plastic usage has soared in the last couple of decades, but only 14% of plastic is recycled. 40% of it goes to landfill, and a depressing 32% leaks into the natural environment. The solutions to this include reducing plastic use, finding biodegradeable alternatives, and of course increasing […]

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food-waste

What’s food waste got to do with climate change?

Food waste is one of the easiest environmental issues to talk about, as almost everyone can agree that it’s a bad thing. If nothing else, it’s a waste of money, and everybody wants to get more out of their household budgets. It’s also a good place to make a difference, because there are so many […]

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aircarbon

Making plastic out of greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases, as we all know, cause climate change. We create CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and so on as we burn fuels in our cars, heat our homes, and generally go about our business – it’s a waste product of modern civilization. They have no value, so there’s no interest in capturing greenhouse gases. We’re […]

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plastic sea

Plastics in a linear economy

Last week I wrote about how we may end up with more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. It’s a striking projection from The New Plastics Economy report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum. We’re on our way to that surreal milestone because a whole third of plastic waste, […]

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ocean-plastic

More plastic in the sea than fish by 2050

There’s an extraordinary report out from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation this week, part of the flurry of ideas that always accompanies the World Economic Forum. It’s called The New Plastics Economy and it details the role of plastic in global industry, what it’s used for and where it ends up, and how circular economy principles […]

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bagasse power station

Two unusual ways to make energy from waste

A few days ago we had a guest post on glycerol, a waste product from the biodiesel production process. There’s lots of it these days as the biodiesel industry grows, and it turns out it has some useful applications, including generating electricity. There are lots of different waste products that can be used to create […]

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