Newsletter – September 2021

positive environmental news

I heard an interesting point on a podcast I was listening to yesterday; ‘Can an economy built on the mental exploitation of citizens ever be sustainable?’

How on earth did we get to a place where companies make profit by stirring up feelings of inadequacy in people. If we all sat around a table designing our ideal society, I’m sure this wouldn’t feature, and yet here we are.

Nothing mentioned in this article has been sponsored. It’s all just my own personal opinion. If you like your sources to remain independent then please;
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buy me a coffee on Ko-fi, or
make a small monthly donation via Patreon. or
with a one-time donation via Paypal
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

It’s a system I am morally repulsed by, which is why I don’t do sponsored posts or use affiliate links. It’s true, I do list places to shop (articles that I regularly consider removing btw) but they exist to help us use purchases to push for the future we want. Most importantly I don’t profit from them. Doing that would see me invested in the amount your purchase, rather than the quality of your purchase. I’d rather shut down the website than move in that direction.

Unfortunately this may end up happening as my ethical stance does result in less income than other websites built on the traditional model of product promotions, advertisements and affiliate links. But for now I can afford to keep it going, thanks in part to all of the wonderful readers who donate to the running of the website.

At the moment I’m looking for someone to help with updating some of my older articles. Just a few hours a week should it. If you’re interested let me know by email (see about me) and we can talk rates.

For now, let’s get going with this month’s happy eco news.

Delighted to announce the opening of 2 new Zero Waste stores in Ireland, Plan A in Bray, The Habitat Store in Castlebar and Refillz in Naas

Irish environmental charity VOICE tests takeaway food containers over concerns they are treated with harmful toxins 

An new agricultural start-up based in Dublin, Urbanfarm, is using simple organic techniques & the latest technologies in LED lighting, microprocessor controlled aquaponic, hydroponic and fungi growth systems to grow food

According to Possible, solar could run one in four trains in India.

Switchbike, a low cost electric bike conversion kit is now taking pre-orders

Siemens Gamesa recently announced a fully recyclable wind turbine blade

Switzerland covers it’s glaciers in blankets in an effort to stop them melting

10 things we should know about climate change

Orca, the world’s largest direct air capture and CO2 storage plant, starts operations in Iceland

Reusable packaging scheme Loop launches in Tesco in the UK

Since it began in 2017, Barcelona’s free public transport scheme has reduced the city’s traffic by 10,613 cars and 1,735 motorcycles. 

Harvard, the richest university on earth, no longer has any direct investments in fossil fuel companies.

New York’s new governor, Kathy Hochul, has signed a bill into law that will require all passenger vehicles sold in the state to be emissions-free by 2035.

Hyundai just announced it will not sell any more more combustion vehicles in Europe after 2035, and in the rest of the world after 2040.

The population of Australia’s largest wombat species is back from the brink too, after almost being wiped out in the 1980s.

A rewilding project of 128,000 acres of industrial wasteland in the UK has created 5,000 new jobs

Dublin based community garden in Cherry Orchard has a bumper year enabling them to supply a local supermarket and cafe

A Climate & Nature Summit aimed at students and teachers is taking place this November 

Zero Waste Europe are running a series of monthly webinars on Zero Waste in Europe

How to reduce the carbon footprint of the breakfast fry-up

It’s blackberry season so here’s my recipe for blackberry & apple jam.

Easy to read article about if it will be possible to offset global carbon emissions 

Man city fans can now eat their coffee cups 

The UK Green Film Festival is running from 3rd to 14th November.

And taking place between November 4th to 7th in Glasgow, and the 1st to 14th digitally worldwide, is the Climate Crisis Film Festival

Massive Attack publish a roadmap to ultra low carbon live music industry

Cambridge Open Eco Homes have created a hub where homeowners looking to build more sustainable homes can interact with volunteers with experience in eco-renovation and sustainable building.

You can now find environmental tips from the Irish Times all in one place

Dublin City Council are supporting the development of shared transport hubs to encourage non-ownership of cars 

Ethical Consumer Week runs from the 16-22nd of October in the UK and includes a series of discussions on how to move to carbon neutrality globally

Irish startup Refunk hopes to match upcycled furniture with new owners

The Baron of Dunsany offers some land for injured animals recuperating at the Wildlife Hospital in Co. Meath 

Irish app Foodie Save allows food businesses to reduce food waste and helps customers save on food costs

Fibreshed in an international movement focused on creating a nature and human enhancing, locally-based textile and clothing culture. They have 4 chapters in the UK

Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city has created a large network of “green corridors” across the city to offset rising temperatures. The shady walkways and bike lanes have reduced average temperatures in parts of the city by 2°C since they were built in 2018.

Three quarters of plans for new coal power stations have been cancelled since the Paris Agreement in 2015, and now 44 countries are now committed to no new coal power,

The last coal mine in Spain is due to close in December, with coal consumption ending completely by 2030.

A wonderful guide to collecting pollinator friendly wildflower seeds

Study shows that landscapes with varied planting could boost US crop yields by 20%

Little by little, India is restoring its mangroves, with a nett increase of  93,000 ha since 1987.

Africa’s largest tropical rainforest, Salonga National Park, has been removed from UNESCO’s list of threatened sites, following 20 years of sustained conservation work and anti-poaching measures.

Chinese officials have announced that they no longer consider giant pandas an endangered species.

Australia trials giving seaweed to cattle to reduce methane production

Here’s a good list of staples to make yourself, from pasta to glue

In possible scenarios for water level rises in 2100, Howth will be cut off from the rest of Ireland

The Burren Beo Trust launches The Hare’s Corner scheme, encouraging landowners that leave a corner of their farms to nature.

And given the time of year that’s in it here are lots and lots of ideas for a low-waste Halloween that I’ve published over the year.

Till next time


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

6 thoughts on “Newsletter – September 2021

  1. I understand it might sound confusing to stand by not advertsing brands on your blog but still recommend better brands for responsible shopping.
    I just felt I should say that the listing you provide here is being really helpful for me on the past couple of years. Whenever I really need something I have no idea where to search for responsible brands, if I Google “responsible/sustainable shopping” even Amazon would be recommended, so I find your blog a great place to start my research for products kinder to earth.
    I have already used your website to choose and buy my backpack, pijamas, beachwear, etc. And I love the fact that I am sure that those things are social and environmental friendly.
    Please, don’t take those articles away, maybe add a note about your concerns?


    1. Hi Meghan. Thanks for those lovely words of support. I haven’t any immediate intention to remove the articles. It’s just something I think about from time to time I’m glad the listings have helped you. they help me too when I do have to buy something new. I generally do suggest using what we have, repairing or buying second hand at the top of ‘Where to buy ….’ posts in the hopes that some readers might think twice before clicking order. Elaine


  2. I don’t mind affiliate links, we all need an income. Please don’t do any pop up videos though, they drive me bananas 🙂


    1. Thanks Sue. I think once a writer starts taking payment for recommendations they’ve stepped over a line and their content is not objective anymore. I know what you mean by pop up videos. Hate them too. Slow the webpage down dramatically, and increase the carbon footprint of them!


    1. Honestly, not sure I know enough about it to comment. As with everything the devil is in the detail. In theory it makes sense but does it just distract us from what we should be focussing on, i.e. reducing carbon in the first place. We probably need to take a very measured approach and balance investment between these twin tracks.


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