What we learned this week

In one of the most high profile environmental failures of recent years in Britain, rules on pollution dumping has become so slack that every river in England is polluted. River Action have a petition you can sign.

There is a pile of discarded clothes in the Atacama desert that is so big you can see it from space.

Did you know the RSPB runs a farm? It’s called Hope Farm and it’s been pioneering and demonstrating wildlife-friendly farming techniques for 20 years. It’s in Cambridgeshire and is not normally open to the public, but you can visit on Open Farm Sunday.

The four-day week campaign has made some really good progress, but it feels to me like the support of the public sector would really kick it forward. So it was good to hear that South Cambridgeshire council are going to try it with their bin crews.

I wrote recently about what happened to kite power as a form of renewable energy, and Kitemill emailed this week to say that they have broken their endurance record for an energy kite. It might still happen…

Beef lobbyists in America are scared enough to be launching a concerted campaign to reframe beef as a sustainable food, reports Desmog.

This came up in a talk I gave in Berkhamsted this week – the multiple ways that the government now spends the aid budget within the UK.

Highlights from this week

Getting ocean farming to scale

Last week I wrote about a start-up company in the seaweed business, Carbon Kapture, and the challenges of scaling up the promising idea of ocean farming. Carbon Kapture are taking a crowd-funding model to try and get started, and are relying on local partnerships to grow their model. By way of contrast, there’s another attempt…

Steps towards the end of plastic pollution

Last year the UN Environment Assembly agreed on the need for a global plastics treaty, working towards the long term goal of eliminating plastic pollution. UNEP have now published a report called Turning Off the Tap that describes how this could be done – and it’s got the giant tap from the Nairobi conference on…

What can we learn from a car designed for Madagascar?

Design is political. As Caroline Criado Perez has described in her book Invisible Women, most design work is carried out by men, who use themselves as the basis for what they create. The result is mobile phones optimised for larger hands, for example. Crash test dummies are based on male bodies, leading to cars that…

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