Posts

Environmental racism. Who Are The Biggest Losers When it Comes to Climate Change?

As climate change worsens, naturally we start to imagine our potentially apocalyptic future. This begs the question: Who will face the consequences first?

Unfortunately, evidence suggests that non-white people and the global south are already disproportionately becoming victims of environmental degradation.
Racism and environmentalism are often thought of as two independent problems that face society today. However, these two -isms have more in common than you might think.
In this article, I will examine how environmental issues of pollution, fast-fashion and oil are already having disproportionate effects on non-white people and the global south.
Firstly, when looking at the issue of air pollution, poor air quality has always disproportionately affected inner-city areas and race has been proved to play a role as well. The Guardian did a study in 2016 which showed black, African and Caribbean people account for 15.3% of all Londoners exposed to nitrogen dioxide levels breached EU l…

7 things you can reasonably do to help the planet

As mentioned in my previous post, I am quite the sceptic on isolating environmental activism to individual action. The recent popularity of Zero-waste trends/lifestyles basically sums up all the issues I have with mainstream environmentalism. This is mainly because this Pinterest brand of activism puts the blame on consumer and their personal greed/frivolity and is often completely tone-deaf to limiting factors such as wealth, convenience and education.

That being said, I do feel it is somewhat hypocritical of me to preach about environmentalism on the internet but not make any changes to my own life which reflect my support for sustainability. If you can reasonably make small changes to your everyday life or you have the energy and financial ability to make bigger ones it would be counterproductive not to. Not to mention, as we are so often faced with a rather bleak image of the realities of climate change and other environmental issues, it is understandable people want to be doing a…

Who's to blame? Individual vs. corporate action in the world of environmentalism.

In researching environmentalism over the last few months, two questions have popped up time after time: Who is to blame for this mess we're in? and by extension - Who's responsibility is it to sort it out?

Accusations of blame usually point towards one of two culprits - big business or us, the consumer.
However, in the last year, in particular, we have seen many more attempts to push the blame onto the consumer in the form of anti-plastic campaigns and the popularity of zero waste lifestyles to name but a few.

I agree to some extent that personal consumption of non-sustainable materials certainly is a part of the problem but I don't feel it is the only way to address the fight for our planet. Instead, more overwhelming for me is the how this non-sustainable consumption is encouraged by big business and their profits which are being prioritised within a capitalist system. As a result, I believe the ones who should be taking the most action are not the consumers but the busi…

Making the most of your local community

As a student on my summer holidays, I've been very lucky to have an abundance of spare time on my hands in the last couple months. During this time I've had some great opportunities to explore and get involved with the local community and make the most of all the benefits that living in a big city has to offer. Unsurprisingly, a fair proportion of these activities and groups have been environmentally focused! So I thought I'd make a post about some of the things I've been up to, the amazing people I've met and advice for finding or even starting similar projects in your town or city!

I started off my summer in May with probably my favourite environmental event this year - A rock concert/networking event for local eco-charities and organisations called Environmental Rock. This was a collection of most of the major environmental groups in Southampton and allowed me to discover some really interesting causes. Not only was this a really good excuse to get a few pitcher…

Cycling

Cyclists often get a bad rep - hogging the road, clad in lycra and generally being pretentious.

Whilst these are all characteristics I would attribute to myself in some way... I strongly believe this means of transportation should be reclaimed from centrist dads who work in the city.

In this post, I'm going to share my experience with cycling as my principal mode of transport and the benefits, challenges and solutions of riding my bike every day.

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To give a bit of context, I live in Southampton which is still rather a terrifying place for cyclists - with lots of buses for the two universities and constant freight lorries heading to the docks. It is also one of the most polluted cities outside London due to it being a major port city for both cruise ships and heavy industry making it a key area to promote green transport.

Despite these challenges, there is a strong community of cyclists active on facebook and I've noticed even in the last year, a significant effort from the …

Food waste solutions

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Food waste is one of the biggest environmental problems facing our society.

First of all, let's start with some quick stats to put the problem into perspective: (Taken from the 2016-17 Food waste in England parliamentary report - https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/429/429.pdf)
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates that a third of food fit for human consumption is wasted each year Globally this means we produce 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste10 million tonnes of this waste comes from England alone60% of UK yearly waste could be avoided  Our problems with food waste aren't simply down to people being frivolous and throwing away food for the sake of it. There is an element of that but, in reality, there are lots of challenges people face which contribute to unnecessary food waste - in combination with the fact many people aren't actually aware of how much food they throw out each week.

I thought I’d talk about what…

Welcome!

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My name is Bethany, I'm a student at the University of Southampton and this is my first blog post!
I decided to start this blog after recently becoming interested in environmentalism and my personal impact. Two things I noticed when I began researching different ways I could be more 'eco-friendly'  Environmentalism isn't being made accessible to everyone - especially those on low-incomeThere exists far too much snobbery and perfectionism around people trying help the environment What I mean by this is that the stereotype surrounding your average hippie trying to do 'zero waste' is both somewhat accurate AND extremely damaging to getting more people attracted to the movement. 
Most products advertised as being available to assist people in living with less waste or consumption are far too expensive. Examples being anything from good quality reusable cups or speciality wholefoods to electric cars. And even if you can afford these items, there exists this pressure …