Plastic and water-saving law strikes again!

Originally posted on Tangible Virtual Water – Thursday, 24 November 2016


After my post about legislation as a way to regulate the use of water, and my thoughts on the importance of bottom-up pressure in order to support effective legislative change, an instance of the success of new law implementation came to mind.

In October 2015 a new law was implemented in England.
It requires “large shops in England to charge 5p for all single-use plastic carrier bags.”

Such a simple, straight-forward law, already in place in many nearby countries such as Ireland, Wales and Scotland, was viewed as a potential source of chaos and angered customers by some, but one year on, the results have been very promising.

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What is virtual water, and how can it be tangible?

At the start of the academic year, I looked for a selective module which would include climate change and which would have a more practical approach to learn differently and combine it with last year’s theory.
I selected a module from the Geography department, Global Environmental Change.

In the past months I’ve been learning about global changes our planet is experiencing from a more scientific approach. I really enjoyed that, and it made my mind take a glance at the memories of studying geography in a small classroom that smelled of pencil sharpenings and had a map which read “Jugoslavia”.

As part of this module, each student created a blog on a topic of choice.
I chose mine to be about virtual water, the water which is indirectly needed to make everything we use: from extraction processes, to servicing, to growing food for us or animals that some of us eat. It’s funny that I first got to know about it 5 years ago now, and wrote about it on this blog then.

For my uni module I wanted to bring home the concept of virtual water by making it more concrete, so I called it Tangible Virtual Water.

I will post the articles I wrote for it here too. This was the first post.


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OLIO – the app that helps avoid food waste

So much food, which takes so much energy, work and care to be made, gets wasted every single day…bag loads of edible food are discarded merely yards away from people who cannot even afford to buy it. It breaks my heart.
It’s a symptom of a failed food system, and even though it may be the norm in the Global North it does not mean it’s right.

This video says it all: The Extraordinary Life and Times of a Strawberry. It’s under 2 minutes and well worth a watch.

The good news is, we can all do something to prevent this is awful waste.
During class, one day, someone mentioned there was an app which helps reduce food waste by connecting people who have surplus / unwanted / unnecessary food to others who want or need it.

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The results are in and I wish it were all a joke

I woke up this morning and checked my phone around 6am: Britain votes for Brexit, the headline stated.

I actually said out loud: “are you kidding me?” My bedding was too speechless to answer.

The feeling of sickness immediately pervaded my body.

It is now the afternoon and it’s still there.

It is a sensation of unease, discomfort and desperation, similar to…

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My Recycling Adventure in Paris

The Almost Neverending Recycling story


This is the B-side to my previous story about eating vegan food in Paris.


As we had been staying in the flat and cooking, we had accumulated quite a bit of recyclable waste. I thought I’d simply and swiftly dispose of it after leaving the flat myself. NOPE.

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Vegan Food on a budget in Paris

Last week I had the mixed pleasure of visiting the (flooded) French capital for what I think was the 4th time, but the 1st as a relatively grown-up. My mind has changed a lot in the past few months, even more so in the past few years, so it was really enjoyable to go and notice, appreciate and seek different aspects of life there.

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EU and the UK Environment: thoughts on Brexit

Thanks to and after a dear friend’s recommendation, I went to a talk organised by Friends of the Earth and Environmentalists for Europe: What has the EU done for the UK environment?

I have been thinking about Brexit but, but up until the talk, I had not done any personal research to properly understand the potential implications of the UK leaving the EU.  So while this talk was obviously biased by taking an environmental point of view, categorised with #GreenerIn, it still had very interesting discussions and contrasting points were covered.

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