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THE CLIMATE ISSUE DECEMBER 2020 | Â ISSUE 3

ECO TOP TIPS

5

DIGITAL MAGAZINE

ECO GIFTS

ECO SWAPS

WAYS TO BE SUSTAINABLE AT CHRISTMAS

HOW CAN WE USE PLASTIC TO SOLVE HOMELESSNESS? CAN ONE PROBLEM SOLVE ANOTHER?

30 DAY SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX: MY OBSERVATIONS @theclimateissue


"We don’t have time to sit on our hands as our planet burns" WEBSITE

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ

THECLIMATEISSUE.COM

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@THECLIMATEISSUE

"I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is." GRETA THUNBERG

ALSO ON FACEBOOK @THECLIMATEISSUE1

ARE YOU A WRITER? If you are a writer with a passion for the environment and would like to contribute to The Climate Issue, please send an email to theclimateissue@gmail.com stating your experience and areas of interest.


IN THIS ISSUE EDITOR'S NOTE I proudly present the third issue of my magazine The Climate Issue! Throughout the Christmas period, we have a tendency to adopt extravagant behaviours because we use the excuse 'It's Christmas'. Unfortunately, there is a lot of unnecessary waste and negative environmental impacts which goes unnoticed. The December issue will encourage a 'greener' Christmas and explore ways in which we can adopt more considerate habits, thus limiting the amount of household waste during the festive period. As you flip through the pages, you will come across two articles: A reflection upon a social media detox and an interesting insight into whether plastic to solve the homeless issue in developing countries. This issue introduces a new guest writer who has an architectural background, and interested in building for sustainability. As part of 'the regulars' you will find exciting eco top tips and swaps which encapsulate how easy it is to become eco friendly at home. I want my readers to learn something when they finish reading each issue and endeavour to try something new as a result. I really hope you enjoy reading this issue with optimism and inspiration in mind. I wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Contents 30 DAY SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX: MY OBSERVATIONS

03

5 WAYS TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AT CHRISTMAS

05

HOW CAN WE USE PLASTIC TO SOLVE HOMELESSNESS?

11

8 ECO GIFT IDEAS

9

BLACKLE SEARCH ENGINE

13

Until next year,

S.Nicholaou

Eco Top Tips + ECO SWAPS

08

which country?

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DECEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 3

30 DAY SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX: MY OBSERVATIONS By Sophia-Harri

It has now been over 10 years and there are so many ways we talk to one another on the internet. As technology advances, there are more and more ways to communicate; whether its a new app, more advanced mobile technology or new video conferencing capabilities. These advancements put the means to connect anywhere, at any time, on any device, in everyone’s hands. We don’t ‘log off’ anymore…there is no downtime, perhaps only when we sleep. The reality is, we all want to stay connected somehow, whether its keeping in touch with friends and family, stalking old school friends, seeing what your old uni mates are up to, stalking an ex, or if you're like me, literally trying to keep up with the Kardashians. I think we can all admit to these on some level. I’m certainly guilty. What I can’t understand is the amount of time I waste mindlessly scrolling or engaging with Instagram stories that add little value to my life. We have adopted a habit where we have to share our every move. We photograph what we are eating at a restaurant. Tag who we are with. ‘Check in’ to places to show our location. But why? Do we need validation from others that badly? Are we trying to prove that our lives are great? Or are we tricking ourselves into believing this (which is much worse)? As I spent more and more time on Instagram, especially during lockdown (when boredom kicked in), I started to realise that the constant scrolling was affecting my mental health.

But it wasn’t just Instagram, it was my phone in general that was frustrating me. I needed to escape. It didn’t help that I created the The Climate Issue Instagram account during lockdown, so wanted to be active everyday to engage with similar accounts. I started observing how much time I spend online using the ‘Screen Time’ feature on the IPhone and I was utterly shocked. On average 3 hours of my day was spent on the Instagram app! I made a pledge to have a 30-day social media detox in November and do what we never do…log off. I signed out of Instagram and Facebook and deleted the apps from my phone; I even made a bold decision to delete my Twitter account permanently. Here are a few observations from my 30-day social media detox: habits For the first week or so, when I woke up I would automatically pick up my phone to get onto Instagram (as I would do every morning), but obviously, the app wasn’t there! We don’t realise how much these social media apps are integrated into our daily routines. I would usually wake up, scroll through my social media apps, not forgetting the BBC News app for Coronavirus updates, and then eventually get out of bed. It took me until at least day 6 to stop this habit. SETBACKS I’m not going to lie, I had a couple of setbacks. At around day 15 I re-downloaded the Facebook app to check if any of my items for sale on Facebook Marketplace had sold. I won’t deny that I had a quick scroll through the news feed before signing out. I logged into my Climate Issue Instagram account to check notifications a couple of times in the first week, but did log out straight away!

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Most people won’t acknowledge their unnecessary attachment to social media and the unhealthy obsessive habit it has created. For me, social media has been a huge part of my life; in 2007 I created an MSN account, 3 years later in 2010 I entered the world of Facebook, and now, well I can’t imagine a world without Instagram. Things were much different then; I would chat online to friends for a few hours in the evening before ‘logging off’, which is something completely unheard of these days.


DECEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 3 REDUCED SCREEN TIME As the days went by, I noticed I wasn’t on my phone for long periods of time.. I obviously used my phone to text and call like normal, but I was using less apps, so my screen time went down a lot. In the last 2 weeks of November, my screen time decreased by 15%. Although, this might go up in the beginning of December due to online Christmas shopping! OUT THE LOOP At first I did feel a bit out of the loop, obviously I didn’t know what Kim Kardashian was up to or what Rochelle Hume’s was feeding her kids for dinner. But I have to say, this feeling wore off very quickly. Once you are out of the loop for a while, you lose interest completely. It no longer becomes enticing, which emphasises that our addiction to social media is just a habit. After completing 30 days without social media, I am definitely going to change the amount of time I spend on social media and try not to get into my old habits. As I mentioned earlier, you do lose interest once you’ve been out the game for a while. I do wonder if I would feel the same had I done this detox outside of lockdown or before the pandemic. The biggest takeaway for me was that yes, perhaps I was addicted to social media on some level. These apps are designed to make addicts of all of us. Social media will continue to have a huge role in our lives, because we live in a digital revolution. You are probably reading this article because I shared it on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn…contradictory I know. If you are like me and feel like you are slightly addicted to social media, then why not consider your own 30-day detox.

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If you would like to share your 30-day detox journey, please email theclimateissue@gmail.com.


5 WAYS TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AT CHRISTMAS

DECEMBER 2020 | Â ISSUE 3

SHOP LOCALLY

Support your local independent businesses this Christmas to help boost a sustainable local economy. The festive season is a great opportunity to get to know your local farmers and food producers. Visit your local farm shops to find the best seasonal organic food.

BE ECO-CONSCIOUS WITH WRAPPING PAPER Many of us don't realise that conventional wrapping paper contains non-recyclable elements such as foil, glitter and plastic. It is important to opt for eco wrapping paper that is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. Alternatively, why not wrap gifts with alternatives such as fabrics that can be reused.

Most of us are pretty good at being creative with our leftovers throughout the year, but when it comes to Christmas we can be a little more wasteful. One option is to buy less so that less is thrown away- this will probably be the case this year with smaller gatherings. Alternatively, if you have too many leftovers, see what you can freeze, or donate food to a local food bank.

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REDUCE FOOD WASTE


DECEMBER 2020 | Â ISSUE 3

ECO-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS TREES More and more places, such as garden centres now offer a Christmas-tree hire service over the festive season. They'll often even deliver and collect the tree to save you the hassle, the tree can even carry on growing after it's returned. If you want to be reassured that your tree has been grown sustainably, look for the FSC-certification logo. It is important to find a tree that is grown locally to you and not being imported from abroad. If you've got an artificial tree already, keep using it! Make your tree last as long as possible, not just for one Christmas alone.

SWITCH TO LED LIGHTS When it comes to eco-friendly Christmas decorations, LEDs are far better than traditional lights because they use up to 80% less energy. While LED bulbs may be more expensive than other types of bulbs, they last longer, which can make them a better investment.

Scrunch up the wrapping paper in your hards and then let it go. If the paper stays scrunched up, then it can be recycled. If it unfolds by its own, then it likely contains non-recyclable elements.

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THE SCRUNCH TEST


DECEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 3

ECO TOP TIPS

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+ ECO SWAPS


MAKE YOUR OWN GRANOLA BARS IN 5 MINUTES ECO SWAPS DECEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 3

5 ingredients 3/4 cup peanut butter 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups rolled oats

method In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl add the peanut butter and maple syrup. Microwave until heated through and then thoroughly mix them together. Add in the cinnamon and salt and stir to combine. Then add the oats and mix well. Pour the oat mixture into a lined pan or deep tray and press down evenly into place. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the bars to firm up. When ready, remove from pan and slice into 8 bars. Store in the fridge for up to a week or freeze.

BAR SOAP VS LIQUID SOAP When it comes to soap bars, the most important benefit is the plastic free packaging. Organic, chemical-free bar soaps have a lower environmental impact than liquid soaps in many important categories including carbon footprint. However, a study has shown that people use about 30% less water when they wash their hands with liquid soap than with bar soap. Unfortunately, liquid soaps are packaged in plastic and often not recycled. They often contain fragrances, parabens and sodium sulphates even when labelled as 'natural! An example of 'greenwashing'.

CLOTH NAPKINS VS PAPER TOWELS Cloth napkins and Handkerchiefs are multipurpose compared to paper towels and Kleenex tissues which you use once and throw away. It’s pretty clear now that single use options are not a great solution as they create a greater waste problem. Paper towels often account for a quarter (or more) of the total waste produced by public buildings like schools and office buildings. Why not create your own napkins from old clothes or cloths!

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HOW CAN WE USE PLASTIC TO SOLVE HOMELESSNESS?

DECEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 3

BY OLYMPIA DALITIS Plastic bags and plastic packaging have been household items for years. We created the plastic bag and have consequently depended on it for decades. We are now drowning in it. It has become dangerous to our wildlife, difficult to recycle and causes blockages in local drainage systems of developing countries. How could such an innovative product cause so much destruction? The answer is simple…we created a product that only has a single use.

We now have a staggering 9.2 billion tons of plastic to deal with, of which 6.3 billion tons have never been recycled. Countries are working to combat the issue of plastic waste, but what happens to the billions of tons of plastics already wasted? Can it be used towards resolving another pressing global issue…the issue of homelessness. The paradox is that while so many people have barely enough to get by and are living in poor conditions, our planet is suffocating from an over consumption of plastics.

https://www.othalo.com/media

Where 9 billions tons of plastic has gone to waste, only a small percentage has been recycled. The question we need to consider is, can the mountains of plastic waste be used to create affordable housing and combat the humanitarian crisis of homelessness? Amnesty International have reported a growing number of 26 million refugees globally. Two thirds come from only five countries, Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.

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The production of plastic packaging accelerated in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the early 1960’s where the lightweight shopping bag was invented by Swedish engineer, Sten Thulins. The bags were invented as an alternative to paper bags, which at the time were considered to be a product of deforestation. But now, the opposite exists. In the 1950’s, the plastic bag was initially designed to be re-usable, but it ended up as a single use product due to the fascination with its disposable use. The problem was that single use plastics were not easy to get rid of, and this problem continues today.


DECEMBER 2020 | Â ISSUE 3

The world is having to do more to share the responsibility of resettling those without homes. In addition to this, almost 1 billion people worldwide are settled in slums. An affordable method of housing is certainly required to address this problem.

In terms of the companies plans and readiness, Othalo will develop its first series of building elements and designs for low-cost homes over the next 18 months. The company expects to be ready to start mass production as soon the pilots are approved.

Norwegian company, Othalo, was established in 2019 and have introduced a patented pending technology to manufacture wasted plastic into building systems such as shelters and affordable housing for refugees in developing countries. This is a solution that could be the future of the housing crisis, whilst also addressing plastic pollution.

There is a long way to go to address the global issue of homelessness and plastic waste, but there is certainly hope when new start up companies seek innovative ways to tackle global crises. Othalo have introduced a great concept of using plastic to solve homelessness in developing countries and we look forward to seeing how this progresses.

The process involves shredding plastic waste and mixing it with other elements, including non-flammable materials to create affordable, sustainable and eco-friendly housing which meets modern living standards. It is believed that you would need only 8 tonnes of recycled waste plastic to build a 60m2 home. The company claim that an incredible one billion houses could be built through this innovation.

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Silje Vallestad (Acceler8)


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DECEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 3

ECO GIFT IDEAS Reusable water bottle Ditch single use plastic

Solar-Powered Phone Charger Introducing renewable energy

The Kind Box

Available at The kind Store thekindstoreuk

Biodegradable phone case 100% compostable

thekindstoreonline.co.uk

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Choose sustainable and ethical products to fill your custom box


DECEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 3

Recycled coffee cup pocketbook

Cork Yoga Mat 100% biodegradable, recyclable and renewable.

Available at The kind Store Covers made from 50% reclaimed coffee cup fibre’s with 100% recycled lined paper

Adopt an animal

Stylish, inspirational and practical guidebook to maintaining a more environmentally friendly household.

By adopting an animal for your loved ones, you'll be protecting precious habitats and all the species which rely on them.

wwf.org.uk

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Sustainable Home book


Blackle is a website powered by Google which aims to save energy by displaying a black background and using grayish-white font color for search results.

Concept The concept behind Blackle is that computer monitors can essentially use less energy by displaying much darker colours. In January 2007 a blog post titled "Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year" proposed the theory that a black version of the Google search engine would save a lot of energy. The Blackle homepage tells you how many watt/hrs has been saved for the day, so you can actually see how much energy is saved for youself!

www.blackle.com

How can you help? Not many people know about Blackle, I only heard about it last week...so spreading the word is so important! It is encouraged that we set Blackle as our homepage. This way every time we load our Web browser, we will save a little bit of energy. Every Watt counts! You will also be reminded about the need to save energy each time you see the Blackle page load. Help us spread the word about Blackle by telling your friends and family to set it as their home page. Why not put the following text in your email signature: "Blackle.com - Saving energy one search at a time".

theclimateissue.com will be transitioning to a black background in the coming weeks.

WHICH COUNTRY AM I? Below are five facts about a country in the world. Can you guess which country it is?

I am the eigth largest country in the world

I am the largest spanish-speaking country

I have the largest consumption of red meat

I was the first country to have radio broadcasting in 1920

I share my border with 5 other countries

ANSWERS WILL BE REVEALED IN THE NEXT ISSUE!

ANSWER TO THE SEPTEMBER 2020 ISSUE IS SWITZERLAND

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What is Blackle?

DECEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 3

Profile for The Climate Issue

The Climate Issue | Issue 3 December 2020  

I proudly present the third issue of my magazine The Climate Issue! Throughout the Christmas period, we have a tendency to adopt extravagan...

The Climate Issue | Issue 3 December 2020  

I proudly present the third issue of my magazine The Climate Issue! Throughout the Christmas period, we have a tendency to adopt extravagan...

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