November Update: Environmental Sustainability Working Group

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Posted 31st October 2020

November update

Lauren Hall,
Environmental Sustainability Chair

Welcome to the November update for Watts Gallery's Environmental Sustainability Working Group! Our working group was established in 2018 and is made up of one member from each department, who meet up each month. We carry on G F Watts's interest in preserving nature by focusing on ways we can reduce our site emissions and our waste, as well as developing a sustainable travel project. Our group sends regular updates to all our staff, sharing wider news and further resources on the subject on environmental sustainability. We have now decided to share these with our visitors and supporters too! Keep reading to find out more about the last month's updates.

9 October

There has been a lot of stories related to environmental sustainability in the news this week.

Here are the headlines:
The world experienced its hottest September on record this year, scientists have reported. Surface air temperatures last month were 0.05C warmer than in September 2019, making it the hottest September on record globally, according to the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Click here to read the article.

16 October

Boris Johnson has promised to power every home in the UK with offshore wind energy within a decade, pledging to make the coronavirus pandemic a catalyst for green growth. In a speech to the virtual Conservative party conference on Tuesday 6 October, he said that the government will invest in a clean energy future to create “hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs" in the next decade. Click here to read the article.

Prince William has announced that £50m will be awarded over 10 years through his ambitious Earthshot prize, which aims to find solutions to repair the planet by 2030. Officially launching the prize, Prince William said he felt it was “my job and my responsibility" as the planet reached “tipping point", and the next decade was “crucial". Five £1m prizes will be awarded each year for the next 10 years, aiming to provide at least 50 solutions to some of the world's environmental problems. William said he had been inspired by his father, Prince Charles, as well the TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough, who is one of the judges of the prize. Click here to read the article.

23 October

Make this Halloween environmentally sustainable! Did you know that 12.8 million pumpkins are thrown away each year after Halloween? See the links below for recipes and other ways you can recycle your pumpkin:
Love Food Hate Waste – Save Your Halloween Pumpkins
Better Homes & Gardens - Ways to Use Leftover Pumpkins

Other tips include swapping Halloween costumes with friends (although be sure to wash thoroughly) or get crafty and make decorations from items around your home (old tights can be cut up and used as cobwebs).

30 October

You may have seen this story from a few weeks ago: it has been released that the UK has failed on 17 out of 20 UN biodiversity targets agreed on 10 years ago, according to a study undertaken by the RSPB - the conservation charity which G F Watts supported at its founding. Click here for more information.

To improve biodiversity in your own gardens, see this helpful link below which gives a great guide to native and butterfly friendly plants, as well as suggestions like building bug hotels, hedgehog huts and water features. Click here for more information.