3-2-1: WHSmith Buys Back Books, Elon’s Eco-Warrior Jibes, and World Vegan Month!

3 Positive Changes

Record Breaking Green Tech in Wales

The impact of the Welsh Government’s Warm Homes Nest Scheme is becoming increasingly clear with a significant increase in the number of homes investing in these technologies, even overtaking Scotland who has long been the leading nation of the UK in the installation of green technologies.

Back in August it was reported that through the first half of 2023, over 122,000 homes had invested in heat pumps and/or solar panels for their homes or offices. By investing in greener solutions like this homes and offices can reduce their carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency compared to older gas heaters. 

WHSmith Book Buy-Back

WHSmiths, with the help of Zeercle, have introduced a book buy-back scheme where customers can return used books and either receive a gift card for use within their stores or, if the book isn’t of good enough quality to re-sell, will recycle books for free!

With one fifth of waste still going to landfill being books, building an opportunity to re-sell or at a minimum recycle will make a major impact on reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill!

Opening Up RSPB Estates

In an attempt to bring young people closer to nature, the RSPB have announced that from today 16-24 year olds will be able to visit any of their 200+ estates for free. When previously surveyed on why they weren’t visiting these areas, cost was one of the more significant reasons so this would be a major step forward in making natural areas more accessible to people!

2 Steps Backward

Profit Over Planet: Water Companies

The spotlight on privatised water companies all over England dumping raw sewage is brighter than ever, yet it still continues. Over the last few weeks with heavy rain, these companies have been dumping raw sewage – [something which they are legally allowed to do during times of heavy rainfall]. Even when rain is much lighter, and even in cases where there is no rain at all, sewage is being dumped into our seas and rivers causing major ecological damage. 

With Storm Ciaran passing through recently there are water companies, Southern Water in this case, who cannot provide water to many across the region they supply water to. Throughout this year though, many areas of the south and south east have had major interruptions to water supply that has left residents with only bottled water available. 

Despite the poor service through 2023, four water companies in the south east (Thames Water, Southern Water, South East Water, and Sutton and East Surrey (SES) Water) have given shareholders £1.4billion in dividends despite all of the polluting incidents, the Victorian infrastructure that is simply not built to manage the volumes of waste water produced in the present day, and the debt that many of these companies find themselves in.  

Without stricter regulation and harsher penalties for the water companies will continually dump raw because there is no penalty for them doing so, and with no accountability they very likely won’t make the improvements themselves. 

What do you think should happen to polluting water companies? 

Elon’s Anti-Human Eco-Warrior Jibe

The self-proclaimed king of free speech, Elon Musk, was bizarrely interviewed by the Prime Minister of the UK at the recent AI Summit held at Bletchley Park, UK, last week. 

Regardless of your thoughts on Elon Musk, he has a number of companies working within the technical and engineering spheres so should be qualified to speak on the subject of AI. However, to see a billionaire be interviewed by a sitting Prime Minister not only makes the position of UK Prime Minister appear very small, but its pandering to billionaires on a level that I don’t think has been seen before. 

Musk’s comments on AI and environmentalists were incredibly misguided. The idea that environmentalists are anti-human is false; we are critical of humans actions, but not of humanity as a whole. We want humanity to prosper, but to do so whilst taking care of the environment and allowing nature to thrive. No doubt those comments hit with the right-wing, Conservative base he begs for attention from though…

1 Change We Can All Make

November marks the start of World Vegan Month, hoping to help people make changes to their diet, cutting down on meat and dairy products, that can have a major impact on climate change and land degradation. A vegan diet can be tough but there are so many great meat- and dairy-free recipes, and meat-alternatives available now.

Have you thought of going vegan?

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