Pollution

England set to introduce a ban on single-use plastics

What’s going on here?  The UK government has set out plans to ban the sale of certain single-use plastics. This includes items such as plastic cutlery, plates, and polystyrene trays. The ban is set to come into effect by October 2023. What does this mean? The environmental impact of plastic pollution is well understood. Plastic pollution is so pervasive that it has…

What would happen if the world stopped shopping?

A shopping mall

Let’s take a curious dive into J.B. MacKinnon’s thought-provoking thought experiment to find out!  Before we start, you might have some questions… Firstly, what is a thought experiment? A thought experiment is an exploration of a hypothetical situation, in this case: a world without shopping. What do we mean by shopping in this context? MacKinnon clarifies that by ‘shopping’ he is referring…

There’s not mushroom in our net zero goals for concrete – revolutionising the construction industry with mycelium bricks

Close up image of mushroom. Its colour is yellow/orange and the fibres are visible. Black background.

There’s always going to be a need for construction, whether that’s homes, hospitals or offices. But, the environmental impacts of construction materials such as concrete are alarming. It’s time for the construction industry to be revolutionised to keep up with global targets of reducing emissions. This is a realistic goal too, as alternative sustainable materials already exist.  Creating mush-less-room for concrete  So,…

A golden floating rainforest in the sea with no coastline

Blue open ocean to horizon

Nestled in the bottom corner of the North Atlantic, circling Bermuda, you’ll find a sea with no coastline. Forming part of the High Seas, the Sargasso Sea is brimming with mystery and magic. Perhaps it’s the proximity to the famed Bermuda Triangle; perhaps it’s that few seem to have heard of the sea, despite its importance. Or perhaps it’s what bobs on…

Clean air – a human right?

What’s going on here? Last week a new bill entitled the “Clean Air (Human Rights) Act” had its first reading in the House of Lords.  What does this mean? This is the first step in enshrining in UK law the right to clean air across all forms of pollution.  The law will be known as “Ella’s Law” after Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah (pictured), a…

Five ways to swerve the financial costs of environmentalism

Here at Curious Earth, we talk a lot about the role privilege plays in the climate crisis. We try to raise awareness of the disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and extreme weather events on the global south and many other marginalised groups. (Check out our Stories from the Frontline series to hear directly from those worst affected.) Yet, we also want…

#WhatsInMyClothes

Whats In My Clothes campaign photos

A couple of weeks ago saw the return of the annual Fashion Revolution campaign, designed to raise awareness of the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry. One of the questions they are encouraging consumers to think about is ‘What’s in my clothes?’ and we’re here to take a curious look into that very topic… 

3 ways that fungi could help us combat our waste and climate crises

A group of small, light brown mushrooms growing up a mossy log in a woodland setting.

From plastic waste to intensive fossil-fuel practices polluting natural environments, we humans have created a lot of mess on our planet. Innovative scientific research has been experimenting with fungi as a potential method of cleaning up our waste. Specifically, mycelium has the potential to help us eat-away at some of the waste we’re leaving behind.   What is mycelium?  Mycelium is essentially the…

The Paris Agreement of plastic: coming in 2024

A woman is in a kayak filled with waste plastic bottles, and the surrounding water has lots of plstic waste and vegetation

What’s going on here? A plastic treaty is being drawn up to be implemented in 2024, which would regulate the production, design, use and disposal of plastic on a global scale. The treaty has been described as the most significant multilateral environmental deal since The Paris Agreement. What does this mean?  At the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) last week in Nairobi, Kenya,…