Is Sustainability Making Strides? Good news stories from 2018

If you live with a commitment to the planet, you’re likely to come across many depressing sights on a near daily basis. Coffee served in non-recyclable cups, litter in the park, and town centres crawling with polluting traffic, to name just three.

To live more ethically we have to believe that an individual can make a difference. Be the change you want to see in the world! With that in mind we thought we’d round up some of the sustainability success stories from 2018.

Reusable shopping bags and personal coffee cups are now so common. And it’s those little things that do make a difference. So if you are fed up with hearing the bad news, here are 8 good news stories from the last year:

  1. The UK Government launched a review into the environmental impact of fast fashion. Whether it results in any change in regulation remains to be seen, but at least the Government are recognising that the environmental impact may not be worth the economic gain.
  2. We found out that 9 billion fewer plastic bags have been used in England since the 5p charge began in 2015. Also, more than £95million raised from the charge has been donated to environmental, educational and other good causes.
  3. Friends of the Earth launched Plastic Free Friday in February 2018 and it has gradually grown in popularity by trending on twitter and Instagram. Building on the success of Meat Free Monday, the campaign urges us to avoid single use plastic for one day a week. It is these small changes that lead to a shift in habits.
  4. Vegan food became much easier to get in cafes and restaurants. Nut milks are now common in many local and chain coffee shops. Even pizza places are on board. Pizza Express and Pizza Hut both launched vegan pizzas in 2018. In September Pizza Express extended a vegan option to their supermarket range. Want to try going Vegan? Don’t forget Veganuary this Jan!
  5. Ikea set the standard by pledging to phase out all single-use plastic products from its stores and restaurants by 2020. Despite effectively selling ‘fast furniture’, Ikea do show a commitment to sustainability within their business model and aim to help their customers live more sustainable lifestyles.
  6. The world’s first lab grown steak was revealed and is set to alter the way we think about meat. The single greatest impact you can have on your carbon footprint is by giving up meat, so if the world eat far fewer animal products it could make a huge difference to global sustainability (and free up more land).
  7. Walkers launched a crisp packet recycling scheme after a consumer petition saw 330,000 people demanding greener packaging. The packets can now be collected and turned into other plastic items.
  8. The British energy grid now has more renewable energy capacity than all fossil fuels combined. It’s not used to capacity, but it does help future proof our energy supply. Most of that comes from wind turbines (not so ugly now, are they?).

 Let’s hope 2019 can continue momentum towards more sustainable, ethical living.

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