Looking ahead to 2021

I hope the start of the new year has been good for your; well, as good as it can given the circumstances. It’s clear that living an unrelenting Groundhog Day is tiring out many of us. Earlier this week on the a call with a friend, I found myself talking about my experiences of Sainsbury’s Click & Collect which shows how little there’s going on in my life at the moment. Our “stay safe” wishes have changed to “stay sane”, and I wish that was just a joke.

In August, I wrote about how I had discovered how spending time in the local green spaces helped me to relax. I felt gutted when my friend and I had to halt our Sunday morning runs when the 3rd lockdown started in England. Nevertheless, I try to make most of the one allowed daily exercise. It can be grey, it can be muddy, it can be wet, but the nature never fails to give me a little boost that helps me keep going. And, there can beauty even in greyness.

It’s taken me quite a long time since my previous post. While sustainability goals remain both important and urgent, I’ve been pondering how to approach the topic in these times when the daily to-do list may already feel a stretch. I know the motivation is there: we know that if we don’t act, next generations will pay a very high price. It would be great to hear your thoughts: what’s topical for you at the moment?

What would you like to read about?

Material footprint

Human-made materials now outweigh Earth’s entire biomass.

Production of concrete, metal, plastic, bricks and asphalt greater than mass of living matter on planet. On average, every person in the world is responsible for the creation of human-made matter equal to more than their bodyweight each week (the Guardian, December 2020).

Air pollution

In the UK, air pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health (UK government guidance, March 2020).

Carbon footprint

Do you know yours? Do you know how to calculate it? Do you know how it compares to the UN target?

Biodiversity loss (6th mass extinction)

Our planet is experiencing the 6th mass extinction. It is a widespread and rapid decrease in the biodiversity that has wide-scale impacts on all areas of life. For example, UN report highlights links between biodiversity loss and spread of disease.

Home Energy / Renewable energy

Home energy is where the biggest change is needed.

Or, how about

  • government plans and actions,
  • sustainable food choices,
  • new about technological breakthroughs helping the environment,
  • sustainable shopping,
  • microplastic pollution,
  • tips for changing habits, or
  • something else?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Take care, stay safe – and sane!

Human-made materials now outweigh Earth’s entire biomass, December 2020, The Guardian
Air pollution: applying All Our Health, March 2020, gov.uk
UN report highlights links between ‘unprecedented biodiversity loss’ and spread of disease, September 2020 UN Ne

10 thoughts on “Looking ahead to 2021”

  1. Hi Nana
    I’d be really interested to hear more about any connection between how we treat nature and the environment, and pandemics. Understandably, at the moment, society’s focus is very much on how we can exit the coronavirus crisis. However, looking ahead, I’d really like to know whether there are changes humans need to make to avoid future pandemics.

    1. That’s an interesting topic, Mary. I’ll see what research I can find about it. Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

  2. Hi Nana, lot’s of topics and all definitely interesting.
    I’m really interested in the local angles here, so anything from what you can do to influence your local MP or lobby parliament on environmental issues, to local tree growing schemes that we can support / get involved with and i really liked your “local shops / green Friday” initiatives too.
    Things that we can do to make a difference 🙂
    Keep up the good work

      1. Thanks! In that case, I’ll aim to write about this in March when people start their gardening activities after the winter 🙂

    1. Thanks Mark! I have been trying to get some traction to build a Tiny Forest in my area (they are great for biodiversity) without much success so far, but I’ll definitely keep an eye about local schemes.

  3. Hi
    Wow – there’s so many but how about:
    New building regulations and the need for green spaces in buildings – this can pick up the man made materials as you look at alternative building materials.
    Green new deal as we come out of lockdown – getting people to lobby their MPs for a sustainable recovery plan
    If you want it to be tangible and accessible for the individual – how about gardens and biodiversity – how to make your garden a refuge not a dessert.
    And encouraging the circular economy is another good individually focussed one.
    Glad to hear you are keeping well and sane so far 🙂

    1. Thanks Adrian, great suggestions. The first two are challenging, but definitely worth thinking. I’d love to do something to get people to lobby their MPs for a sustainable recovery but my social media presence and skills are rather lacking to make a difference. I hope you are keeping well too!

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