What happened in GAP-mission related news in February

Climate change, biodiversity and globalisation

Is it possible for everyone to live a good life within our planet's limits?

“Imagine a country that met the basic needs of its citizens – one where everyone could expect to live a long, healthy, happy and prosperous life. Now imagine that same country was able to do this while using natural resources at a level that would be sustainable even if every other country in the world did the same. Such a country does not exist. Nowhere in the world even comes close.”  This is according to a new paper that uses Doughnut Economics to plot social needs (in line with the SDGs) against the nine planetary boundaries (as set out by the Stockholm Resilience Centre)- and warns that if every country were to create ‘the good life’ for its citizens, this would push us over most of our environmental boundaries.

Why is this important for our mission? The study emphasises that we need to make drastic, sweeping changes if everyone around the world is to live well within sustainability limits - from moving beyond the pursuit of economic growth, to quick shifts to renewable energy, to distributing resources with extreme efficiency to cover our basic needs (we’d need reduce our resource consumption by a factor between two to six times what it is).

We need to talk about climate change

MPs are having trouble talking about climate change to their constituents, it’s emerged, as they feel it is no longer being asked to act on it. The article calls for campaign groups to work closer with MPs to make the case for climate change prevention strategies.

The South African water crisis continues

With water being limited to 50 litres per person, per day, in Cape Town, this article paints a picture of what this looks like (from a tourist’s perspective). 

Catastrophic events on the rise

Catastrophic events where enormous numbers of animals are dying en masse are on the rise, *at least in terms of how aware we are of them*, according to this article. From Saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan, to Flying foxes in Australia, to starfish in America, while the conditions are different in each mass mortality case, temperature shifts are likely to blame. 

Consumption, trends and buying behaviour

How YouTube consumerism affects children and teens

This New Statesman account of the extreme influence YouTube’s beauty and make up gurus have on kids features academic expert Tim Kasser, and a vlogger who criticises the toxicity of the sector.

Would labels describing how long a product’s going to last for help people make more sustainable choices?

This article argues for and against, but highlights an interesting bit of research that found durability labels on products generally tend to increase sales (by a not inconsiderable 56% overall, and by 128% on suitcases!).

Would you wear this item 30 times?

In this Stylist article, Lucy Siegle wrote about the impact of fast fashion, why we buy in the first place and how mindfulness is the answer to impulsive shopping. She provides a helpful checklist to guide mindful shopping as well as tips on how to keep your clothes looking fresh for longer (two cups of coffee in with black clothes laundry, anyone?) 

Plastics

Glastonbury goes plastic bottle free

When it returns in 2019, Glastonbury festival will be plastic bottle-free, according to this article

How easy is it to go plastic free?

Four writers at The Guardian see if they can go plastic-free for a week. There are firsts for all of them, from asking the butcher to put chops in Tupperware, to foregoing black bin bags, to buying reusable nappies. They write about what they find, here.  Check out the comprehensive checklist at the bottom to help you phase out plastics at work and at home.

Air Quality

Free public transport to improve air quality?

5 German cities are going to be trialling free public transport to see what this will do to improve air quality, starting this year.