Reducing plastic in food packaging

Posted on Posted in Future food, Topics, Useful Links

Plastics used in food packaging are a significant contributor to plastic pollution, a serious problem which was documented recently in the Blue Planet II series. In this short clip, Guy Singh-Watson from Riverford explains what he sees as three interrelated causes of plastic pollution: unnecessary food packaging, the use of oxo–degradable bags which create micro–plastics, and the lack of a standardised recycling policy for local councils. Keeping food fresh is important for consumer appeal and avoiding food waste, so although paper packaging may entail higher carbon emissions than plastics, it is our best option. 

Food wasted on farms? Just call the gleaners…

Posted on Posted in Future food, Topics, Useful Links

Gleaning unwanted produce from farms has been a practice for centuries and it is making a comeback in several European countries, according to the Gleaning Network. This BBC clip explains how volunteers help to avoid food waste by harvesting the unwanted produce and sending it to food redistribution charities. This benefits the farmers, by reducing the prevalence of pests, and reduces the environmental impacts […]

Disruptive trends for global sustainability

Posted on Posted in Low-carbon innovations, Topics, Useful Links

A new online platform is tracking potentially disruptive ‘mega-trends’ which can contribute to global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Launched by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), the ‘SDG Trend Scanner’ has data on trends ranging from ageing, automation, digitalisation to climate change, social instability, and vulnerable employment. As the […]

‘Pay as you feel’ cafes reduce food waste

Posted on Posted in Future food, Topics, Useful Links

Cafes which use the ‘pay as you feel’ concept are springing up across the UK. These cafes collect surplus food from supermarkets and wholesalers and turn this food into meals. Customers can pay for their meal with money or with their time. This BBC clip explains how The Real Junk Food Project aims to tackle the environmental problem of food waste as well as create inclusive social meeting […]

The sharing economy: beyond Uber and AirBnB

Posted on Posted in Future cities, Topics, Useful Links

The sharing economy is transforming the ways in which people access and use goods and services, and challenges traditional, ownership-based, business models.  This short article from the World Economic Forum explores how people in 5 cities across the world are embracing the concept of sharing economy, and highlights the scale and scope of goods and services being ‘shared’ today.  If […]

Gaming apps to reduce your carbon footprint

Posted on Posted in Future food, Topics, Useful Links

There are now apps and websites which encourage you to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet, such as Part-Time Carnivore and The Climatarian Challenge. They ‘gamify’ the challenge of reducing your “meaty days”. You can set monthly targets to reduce your meat consumption or form teams to compete against each other. It is a fun way to tackle a serious problem! 

Charge your electric car on a strangers drive

Posted on Posted in Future cities, Topics, Useful Links

Zap-Map, a UK – based multi-platform map showing charging points for electric vehicles (EV), has launched 2 new peer–to–peer charging networks.  Zap-Home allows people who own an EV charge point to share their charge point with other EV users, possibly for a fee, which the owner determines.  Similarly, Zap-Work is targeted at businesses with charging points who can choose to share […]

Vertical Farms…still too expensive?

Posted on Posted in Future food, Topics, Useful Links

This week’s Big Issue (issue 1303) has an interesting piece entitled ‘Vertical farms won’t save us…yet’. While several small-scale vertical farms are achieving modest success, larger scale production is still proving difficult despite significant technological advances in recent years. The problem for producers is the cost; set-up and production costs are high, but salad and vegetables are […]

Surplus food: energy, or food for those who need it?

Posted on Posted in Future food, Topics, Useful Links

This interesting article in Fresh Produce Journal discusses the current situation regarding food waste in the UK. Despite a lot of media and public attention to this issue in recent years, the UK still only rescues less than 10% of its surplus food. A lot of food is sent to anaerobic digesters to produce energy, which is of course better than sending it to landfill. However, food […]

Is Public Transport being replaced by private companies? 

Posted on Posted in Future mobility, Topics, Useful Links

Smart ride by Citymapper and Chariot by Ford are ride hailing services currently running in London. This article discusses how private companies such as Uber and Citymapper are challenging or taking over mass transit. The Transport sector is moving towards public private partnerships and mobility as a service is one of them. To convince people to give up their cars […]