Friday, 25 January 2013

2013: The Year of Environmental Action?

Actually, it’s the Year of the Snake. But let’s not let that mess up my snappy title. 

For EMERGE and little sister FareShare North West, 2012 was a year of productivity, progress and success. FareShare NW's 'thank you' event at the end of November particularly highlighted the success that can be made if people come together to fight for a worthwhile cause. Elsewhere, EMERGE's Lucy and FareShare's Seb became mini-celebrities, finding themselves in numerous TV interviews and radio interviews throughout the year. And, who could forget, Lucy cycled 950 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats, raising well over £6000 for FareShare in total. She's just about recovered now.  

So, onto 2013. It’s January. This time of year is always thought to encapsulate some sort of increased optimism among the general population. Hope for the future. Hope for change for the better. What usually happens, however, is a brief sense of increased motivation, a huge increase in gym memberships shortly followed by a huge decrease in gym memberships, and a return to normality. But can 2013 be different?

For environmentalists, it already seems to be bringing change. Food waste has hit the headlines, not just once, but again and again and again and again. Global campaigns have already kicked off here and here. Will this be the year when the world stands up to fight food waste?

A primetime Channel 4 documentary on Monday also highlighted the role of supermarkets in this story. It’s not surprising that of the £1.4 billion spent on food by Britons last year, £1.2 billion of it went straight into supermarket coffers. This is a distressing fact when you consider that many blame these supermarkets for our food waste culture. Will this be the year when people start shopping at local markets again?

On other environmental fronts, 2013 is already bringing further progress. The Green Deal is imminent and, closer to home, Manchester’s Carbon Literacy project is set to be rolled out in the coming months (watch out for e-learning in March!). In the meantime, EMERGE is offering Carbon Literacy workshops to customers free of charge up until 31st March! (please contact Liz on 0161 223 8200 for more info). Maybe this is a time to optimistic after all!

All we need now is a clear rebuttal of Fracking (let’s be honest, ‘fracking’ is best left as a linguistic toy for novelty t-shirts) and for Barack Obama to truly throw his weight behind climate change action in the US. Give me that and 2013 may just be the best year yet. 

The Contemporary Caveman

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