Features

The good, the bad, and the (re)Generative – AI as a force for good in sustainability?

Artificial Intelligence is coming…well actually, it’s already here and changing a lot of our working practices (whoever knew ChatGPT could have so many useful and useless applications eh?!). This week, we’re diving deeper into the opportunities and risks that AI poses to  people and our planet, examining how it might help, or hinder, our fight for a sustainable future…

How to make Halloween less terrifying for the planet

A pair of Jack O'lanterns with candles inside

Synthetic costumes. Plastic decorations. Candy wrappers. Methane-emitting jack-o-lanterns. Like all holidays driven by consumerism, Halloween is a sustainability nightmare.  While the environmental impacts of Halloween are not widely researched, some estimates indicate that up to 83% of Halloween costumes from big-box stores are made from synthetic, oil-based fabrics that are nearly impossible to recycle and wind up in landfills. In the U.S.…

Vaping vs. Smoking vs. Planet: Should we ban all nicotine use?

Silver vape lying discarded on the floor of a forest

Disposable vapes look set to be banned in the UK, due to concerns backed by the Local Government Association about teenage addiction, fire risk, and plastic pollution. Whilst factors such as the health risks and addictiveness of vaping are bad enough, the environmental impacts must also be considered. The scale of the waste they produce is staggering, with eight disposable vapes being…

The Golf Game isn’t up to Scratch 

A person plays golf on a flat green lawn with no trees in front of a large stately building

In August 2022, French climate activists filled in holes at golf courses near Toulouse with cement. In July 2023, Spanish activists followed suit, filling in holes at courses across Spain with soil and planting seedlings on the courses. The reason? Protesting golf’s very thirsty use of water in times of drought. At a time of unprecedented heatwaves and droughts fuelled by the…

Festivals of the future – can they ever be sustainable? Top tips for eco-friendly festival-goers!

Booming season Festival, Vietnam. Photo by Tony Pham on Unsplash

Festival season is in full swing in the UK and Europe, with over one million people attending live music events in London alone, in the first week of July. Glastonbury festival in Somerset, UK attracted a crowd of around 210,000 people. Tomorrowland, Belgium is set to double even that total in a few days time.

There are many ways of reducing your environmental footprint when attending these events, and you still get to still dance to great music in a big field with a drink in your hand. Here are our top four “do’s and don’ts” for more sustainable festival-ing.

Down To Earth: Slow Travel and the Benefits of Not Flying

A passenger train travelling through wild, mountainous landscape.

Travel can be one of life’s most enriching and inspiring experiences, for those of us privileged enough to have the opportunity. But how does it fit into modern life? In a society that sometimes values productivity over well-being, and indeed quantity over quality, it is easy to fall into the trap of treating holidays like a kind of work. For many, it starts with scouring the internet for the cheapest flights to the most exotic and must-see destinations. Then, once you get there, you feel pressured to see every sight, take perfect Instagram photos and tick off experiences like a to-do list. In this rush you might find yourself missing out on experiencing the true character of that place you visited, and feeling more exhausted than refreshed.

Enter, slow travel. This concept celebrates staying in one place longer and taking the time to fully appreciate its culture and unique “personality”. It’s all about getting off the beaten track and experiencing life through the eyes of a local. The end result is cultural enrichment, new connections, and ultimately a more meaningful getaway.

A quick guide to permafrost

What is permafrost?   Permafrost is a mix of soil, rocks, and sediment that absorbs water which then turns to ice and freezes. The ice combines the materials and creates solid areas of frozen ground. These areas are officially considered permafrost if they remain frozen for at least two years. Above the frozen ground is an ‘active’ layer that thaws during warmer summer…