Posts tagged " sustainability "

COP 23: Reflections

November 16th, 2017 Posted by Blogs, COP No Comment yet

2050 Climate Group team member,  Siri Pantzar, offers some reflections on time spent at COP 23 in Bonn, Germany this November. 

 

It is such a precious thing, this conference. People who are all passionate about climate change, discussing solutions, research, projects, and policies. Everyone is keen. Everyone is interested. Everyone is buzzing.

It’s a shame that that’s all pretty much restricted to this event though.

When we go home, we go back to the silence on climate change. Most people don’t talk about climate change in their everyday lives. People around us are concerned, but don’t voice it, don’t engage with it, and more often than not don’t see it as an immediate issue that they have to do something about in their own lives, or one that impacts them. It’s in the future, it’s those poor polar bears, it’s in the small island states and in Africa. While this motivates some people to buy clean energy, turn down the heating or vote for greener candidates, most people are more concerned about immediate issues (or ones they perceive as such): getting a job, paying their bills, getting food for your children, getting a mortgage. Climate change is indeed big and bad, but essentially something somewhere else, for somebody else with more time on their hands to do.

One of the things I’ve constantly been impressed with about 2050 Climate Group is how it really addresses this issue, through making climate change relevant for young professionals by bringing it to the sphere where we have to operate in. We might want to do something about climate change, but often focus instead on things that will pay our bills, add experience to our CVs, or build us networks. 2050 fits into that framework. It makes being a part of the global action against climate change useful and fun to us, in our own specific terms, together with other people like us.

Yesterday I attended a talk by George Marshall, and I realised how special and crucial that is. George Marshall is a climate change communicator and the founder of Climate Outreach, a non-profit research organisation supporting those that want to work on climate communications. He stresses that tailoring the message is crucial; too often we use the same polar bear and disaster images, too often the messages are tailored to us who are already keen and identify with the issue, not to those that are not. Especially as we see the global politics reaching points where major countries can elect leaders that don’t believe in climate change, we, as people who know that this should not be a partisan issue, should acknowledge that we have allowed it to become one. There are values that we all hold dear involved in promoting climate change action, but they are not the same values for those on the left, as for those on the centre right, or those in faith communities, or environmental activists, or coal worker communities, or British people or Finnish people or Chinese people. For some it’s a question of justice and planetary environment, and those messages get aired often; for others it’s about fairness, or working together, or bringing the world to balance, preserving our heritage, protecting the world that is a gift from God, or keeping champagne production possible in Champagne. Authenticity is key; we want to see people who are like us, and care about the same things as we do, tell us that we can work together to protect those things. That’s why we can’t leave talking about climate change to environmental activists; their messages are relevant for people like them, but then again, people like them are in most cases already engaged.

Most importantly, these conversations need to happen and continue to happen, outside this bubble. Often they aren’t easy; at least I often inherently assume that no-one else is interested and that I come across as nagging, which is unlikely to be true. We need to create space, and have conversations, and make spaces for conversations that are appealing and create communities. The 2050 Climate Group has provided that for many of us; now we need to continue to spread it out to everyone else.

Plastic Free July – is it possible to avoid single-use plastic for one week?

July 22nd, 2017 Posted by Blogs, Newsletter No Comment yet

As part of Plastic Free July, Kate Chambers tried to avoid single-use plastics for one week. Here’s how she got on…

 

PREPPING

Avoiding single-use plastics for one week was going to take planning. I knew that a last minute dash to the supermarket was out of the question, as everything is wrapped in plastic film. My veggies were taken care of – each week, I order an organic vegetable box from East Coast Organics. This gets delivered to my office, and every Thursday I look forward to seeing what locally-grown goodies I’m going to eat.

IMG_4224

Last week’s veg box, all free of single-use plastic (East Coast Organics take back the plastic container for reuse!)

But one box of veggies wasn’t going to cut it. I headed off to the supermarket in search of plastic-free produce. All the most delicious things (chocolate, sweets, butter, CHEESE!) were off limits but I was pleasantly surprised to find some glass jars and cardboard packaging hidden amongst the plastic. On the walk home, I popped into the Indian supermarket just along from my flat, and found loads of great herbs and vegetables – all packaging free!

IMG_4241

Plastic-free haul

I had lots of lovely beetroot (see my veg box above!), so decided to rustle up some beetroot hummus…

…which turned out much tastier than expected, and was a favourite throughout the office on Monday. I’d been given a bunch of homegrown rhubarb from my boyfriend’s mum, and I decided to make this into a (very basic) rhubarb and ginger jam. Again, I was shocked by how good it was – no modesty here! I ate this all week, on homemade bread and with my morning porridge.

IMG_0217.JPG

EATING

No amount of plastic was going to stop me enjoying my food. I was determined not to give up good grub along with the single-use plastic. And I quickly realised I didn’t really have to. My office have two large fruit baskets delivered each week, so there was plenty of natural sugar to keep me going…

Picture1.png

There were also lots of apples and pears left over from the previous delivery so the whole lot went straight home with me, and I made poached pears and apple compote…

I realised that I was much less wasteful. I made far more of an effort to use every ingredient, when I would usually be snacking on convenience food like crisps and sweets.

Each night, I was looking forward to making my dinner, always excited to see what I could rustle up from limited ingredients.

IMG_4262.JPG

The beginning of beetroot risotto

IMG_4260.JPG

Zero-waste lunch in the sunshine – hummus, bread & kedgeree

IMG_4263.JPG

Tasty! & NO PLASTIC!

 

LIVING

Things were going well, and I didn’t feel like I was missing out too much. I realised that there are plenty of nice chocolates that are wrapped in foil and cardboard, so this satisfied my very sweet tooth. I really missed tea! But I decided to go cold turkey, since teabags are made with plastic. However, it wasn’t until halfway through the week that I discovered some more expensive tea brands, such as Pukka are in fact plastic-free, so I could have the odd cuppa again! Good times. It wasn’t until Friday morning that my regular shampoo (packaged in a plastic bottle!) ran out… until now I had only focused on food and drink, but I had to think more carefully about my cosmetics. I decided to buy a shampoo bar, which I am loving so far!

IMG_4279.JPG

 

WHAT I LEARNED:

  • Making stuff is fun. Once I realised that I had to make all my meals from scratch, I got really into it. I would spend any free minute looking up recipes, and thinking about how I could use up all my plastic-free ingredients. I was a lot more creative in the kitchen, and the quality of my cooking improved.
  • My diet improved. I have never eaten so much fruit and veg in my life! Almost all sweet treats were off limits, since most chocolate and biscuits are packaged in plastic. Suddenly, I was snacking on fruit and high quality chocolate (which tends to be packaged in card/foil)
  • Local is best. I was encouraged to use all the small businesses near my flat. The Indian supermarket next to my flat sells high quality veg and herbs, all loose. The fishmonger was happy to put everything into my reusable glass container, rather than using plastic wrap/bags.
  • Plastic is everywhere! And it’s difficult to avoid. Even my glass jars of peanut butter was sealed with non-recyclable plastic. This is frustrating when you have gone to the effort of seeking plastic alternatives.

 

Kate Chambers

2050’s Communications Chair 

@rarerthanbooks

Sustainable Growth Agreement with Scottish Environment Protection Agency

July 7th, 2017 Posted by News No Comment yet

Thursday 6 July marked an exciting milestone for the 2050 Climate Group. After being supported by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for the past three years, we have embarked on a new journey with them. We are thrilled to announce that we are the third recipient of a Sustainable Growth Agreement (SGA) with SEPA. This voluntary formal agreement will create a partnership between both organisations to share and deliver environmental outcomes which help to achieve objectives set out in SEPA’s new One Planet Prosperity – Regulatory Strategy. It will also provide the 2050 Climate Group with new opportunities to influence and lead and offer new ways for young people from all backgrounds and locations in Scotland to get invovled in achieiving Scotland’s low carbon, sustainable vision.

The agreed areas for joint working between SEPA and the 2050 Climate Group include:

  • Influencing and Leadership: Both parties will work together to create opportunities for leadership that excite, interest and support all sectors of society to deliver environmental, economic and social benefits.
  • Inclusion and Decision Making: Both parties will work to ensure young people (specifically, the target 18-30 group) from all backgrounds and locations are represented in decision making.
  • International Co-operation: Both parties will commit to increasing the ability of the 2050 Climate Group to share its work internationally; gaining more action, partners and putting Scotland on the map as a place for youth leadership.
    sga signing

    SEPA Chief Executive, Terry A’Hearn and 2050 Climate Group Chair, Richard Dryburgh, signing the SGA

On this partnership, SEPA Chief Executive, Terry A’Hearn said: “Scotland has set some of the most ambitious climate change targets in the world.  As we pursue these targets, we are lucky enough to have a group of young Scots who are trying to help tackle climate change.  They aren’t waiting for powerful institutions to take action.  They aren’t moaning about the dilemma their parents’ generation has left them.  They are getting on with it and creating innovation and action here in Scotland.  I am determined that, through this Sustainable Growth Agreement, SEPA will support these young Scots to do what they do best – make things happen.

Our Chairperson, Richard Dryburgh said: “The 2050 Climate Group is delighted to enter into this innovative partnership with SEPA. Our SGA offers young people from all backgrounds and all areas of Scotland the chance to lead on climate change action. We must thank SEPA for their support which has been invaluable to our organisation and an important factor in our success to date. Through this agreement, we look forward to further developing our relationship to create a more sustainable future for Scotland.

“Globally as well as nationally, climate change needs leaders to radically change our current trajectory. I firmly believe that by working together, Scotland’s future leaders will both make critical impacts now but also be connected and engaged for years to come. With this success, Scotland can be a true leadership example on the world stage.”

The 2050 Climate Group will continue to be a platform to empower young people to shape their future and lead the transition to a low carbon country. By working with SEPA, we will also be able to source new partnerships and collaborate with businesses from different sectors, ensuring that Scotland’s future are at the forefront of decision making.

The Sustainable Growth Agreement marks the beginning of our future collaboration. Working with SEPA, we will explore new ways of working together for environmental, social and economic success.

View the full SGA document signed by SEPA and 2050 Climate Group and find out how we will work together. Also see SEPA’s guiding principles document outlining the broader aims of SGAs.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Upcoming Events

December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031