Tree lovers, yellow-eyed penguins and a very large battery - the weekly climate change news round-up for busy people

Green and Ethical News: Ecojam's Weekly Round-Up of the Headlines

So what has kept you busy this week? Sending back your Black Friday purchases, running round after the kids or starting your Christmas shopping? Whatever your reason, if you have struggled to keep up with this week's environment and climate change news, here is what you missed...

It was a good week for tree lovers as the government announced plans to create an ambitious new forest in Northumberland. The new forest will be as big as 650 football pitches and it 'will help red squirrel populations, store 120,000 tonnes of carbon, help manage flood risk and boost timber industry businesses and jobs'. There are plans to plant 11 million trees across England and this new forest will play a significant part in realising this goal.

It was a bad week for yellow-eyed penguins as we heard news of the plummeting population of 'the world’s most endangered penguin species'. Commercial fishing practices are being blamed and experts are now warning that the species could be 'on their way out'.

In other news

Initially the topic of a Twitter conversation, the world’s largest lithium-ion battery has officially been turned on in South Australia. The 100MW battery was completed in 100 days as promised by Tesla's Elon Musk. The battery, which is paired to a neighbouring wind farm, can power 30,000 homes for up to an hour in the event of a blackout but it is more likely to be called upon to even out electricity supplies.

The controversial pesticide, Glyphosate, has been given a new 5 year lease in Europe despite 1.3m people signing a petition calling for it to be banned. Research has linked the weedkiller to cancer and environmental harm.

The horrors of plastic pollution once again hit the headlines this week as we heard that the Marine Conservation Society's annual beach survey found a 10% rise in rubbish, much of which was single-use plastic. The Great British Beach Clean also found a 94% rise in wet wipes.

We also heard this week about a plan for zero tolerance of plastic pollution of the oceans which may be agreed by nations at a UN environment summit next week.

A new WRAP initiative is calling for clearer food labelling to prevent food waste. Plans include a blue fridge label to indicate that food should be kept in the fridge and prioritising of the term 'best before'.

Coop and Iceland have become the first UK supermarkets to back a bottle deposit scheme which aims to reduce plastic pollution. Results of a survey, carried out by Greenpeace, indicate that no supermarkets 'appear openly hostile' to the idea.

Some light relief

UK fashion designer, Stella McCartney, has backed the Ellen MacArthur foundation campaign to clean up the 'incredibly wasteful' fashion industry.

This week we heard about Google's Moonshot Factory which 'builds and tests out prototypes in an attempt to address really big global problems like climate change.' It is a fascinating insight into some of the ideas that are being tested to pave the way for a green energy future.

Danish brewing company, Carlsberg, has launched it's first carbon-neutral brewery. The brewery runs on biogas (some of which is generated from the brewery's own waste) and green electricity.

And instead of a photo of the week this week we have picked a series of images from French graphic designer Sylvain Boyer who believes that if some of the world's biggest brands changed their logos slightly to reduce their ink consumption it could have huge environmental (and economic) benefits. See the tweaked versions of some iconic logos here.

What actions can you take?

Here are our top tips on actions you can take this week.

Plan a greener Christmas
At Ecojam we are working hard to help you have a greener Christmas and we have put together this handy infographic to guide you through your Christmas gift shopping. You could also use it to send to loved ones to explain why you don't want them to spend a fortune on extravagant gifts which won't make it through 2018.

These 21 eco-friendly Christmas tips from Friends of the Earth could come in handy too.

Show your support for a ban on Fracking
We heard news this week that Sadiq Khan plans to tell councils across London to ban fracking. He warns that fracking could pollute water supplies and put health at risk. You can show your support for a ban on fracking by signing this Friends of the Earth petition

How ethical is your favourite supermarket?
Before you make your decision on where to do your Christmas food shop this year, check out this guide to supermarkets from Ethical Consumer. The guide includes ethical and environmental ratings for 13 supermarkets and gives you an A-Z of policies from Animal Testing to Palm Oil.

For more tips visit the Ecojam News page for our new series of blogs 'Green living tips to prevent climate change'.

Thanks for reading and remember to come back again next week for the next round-up of green and ethical news.

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Date published: Friday 1st December 2017