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Eco Environment News feeds

  • Breakthrough means less pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions

    It is a problem bedevilling households across the UK: what can we do with the mountains of food-spattered plastic waste left in our bins?

    Now a group of scientists say they have the answer – by using the detritus of domestic life to heat homes.

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  • Schools should teach pupils gardening skills to instil a passion for the environment in future generations, says horticultural chief

    From the water vole to the Scottish wildcat, the dwindling numbers of Britain’s most at-risk animals are well documented. But now the alarm bell is sounding over a rather more overlooked endangered species: green-fingered children.

    Young people are so rarely spotted in gardens across Britain nowadays that the Royal Horticultural Society is warning that the country is facing a green skills crisis unless more learn to garden.

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  • Australians can afford to spend more on food that meets higher animal welfare standards. It’s time to demand change from farmers

    It’s easy to argue that the intensification of animal farming puts food on the average Aussie battler’s table at a price they can afford. By suggesting we eat less meat, or better-quality meat, it’s easy to be accused of favouring the rich: perhaps only theycan afford the grass-fed, organic, free-range alternative?

    So let’s take a look at the numbers. The average Australian spends about 14% of their income on food – down from about 19% of income 30 years ago. According to government statistics, total annual expenditure on meat and seafood was only $650 per person in 2015-16 compared with $734 in 1988-89, allowing for inflation (the data for seafood and meat were compiled into one number, unfortunately). We spend less on meat than we used to, and buy more of it. So now, according to the most recent numbers available, each week households spend an average of $13.70 on vegetables and $9.60 on fresh fruit. Compare that to the $40 or more we spend each week on takeaways, fast food and confectionery. Or the 31% of our food budget we spend eating out, a 50% increase on three decades prior. Or the $13 we spend, on average, per household, per week, on our pets.

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  • Even short-haul flights produce huge amounts of CO2, figures show

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  • High numbers have reached UK in past six weeks and many of their offspring will emerge during Big Butterfly Count

    Wildlife lovers are being urged to help record the greatest influx of painted lady butterflies for a decade as part of the world’s largest butterfly survey.

    Unusually high numbers of the migratory butterfly have flown into Britain from continental Europe in the last six weeks and some of their offspring will emerge during the Big Butterfly Count, which starts on Friday.

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  • Firebugs in Russia, monkeys in India and penguin visitors in a New Zealand sushi shop

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  • Our conditions have forced us to temper our expectations, but my friend and I won’t let them stop us pursuing what we love

    A breakaway is a cycling term that refers to an individual or a small group of cyclists who have successfully opened a gap ahead of the peloton, the main group of cyclists. On 21 July, two of us are plotting a breakaway from the disease that hangs over our daily lives by tackling one of the most challenging amateur cycling events.

    The Etape du Tour, which has been running since 1993, is a chance for amateur cyclists to test their mettle on a stage of the Tour de France, riding on the same routes and under the same conditions as the professionals.

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  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says ‘further loss of coral is inevitable’

    The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef has made an unprecedented call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, warning only the “strongest and fastest possible action” will reduce the risks to the natural wonder.

    The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has published a climate position statement that says the reef is already damaged from warming oceans and it is “critical” global temperature rises remain within 1.5 degrees.

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  • SKM Recycling says its collapse could mean 400,000 tonnes a year more waste sent to landfill

    A major recycling company feared to be at risk of going into administration has warned up to 400,000 tonnes of glass, paper, plastic and metals could be sent to landfill each year if it goes under.

    Victoria-based SKM Recycling issued the warning in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the waste management crisis that has grown since China introduced an effective ban on most imported recyclable materials in 2017.

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  • Not only carbon dioxide but also soot released from fires has impact on global warming, study finds

    The focus on plastics in our oceans has highlighted the global problem of waste disposal. Household bin collection and the recycling, composting, burying or incinerating of our rubbish are key functions of a modern city. But in low-income countries about 90% of waste ends up in open dumps or is burned in the open air.

    Obviously, burning waste creates carbon dioxide and the smoke contains health-harmful particles, but it also contains tiny black particles of soot which have a huge short-term climate impact. Researchers from London’s King’s and Imperialcolleges burned small samples of rubbish and measured the smoke. Soot amounts were greatest when the rubbish contained two plastics: polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate (more commonly abbreviated to PET and often used to make drinks bottles). Burning waste containing textiles, many of these being plastic, also contributed to high soot releases.

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