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Change In Legal Status Of Refugees Called Upon By Friends Of The Earth




Thousands of people will take to the streets of London today to demonstrate support for the plight of refugees.  Ahead of the UN General Assembly’s high-level summit to discuss the movement of refugees and migrants on Monday in New York, Friends of the Earth is calling on the UN to codify the term ‘climate refugee’ and put it into law.

Doing this would provide legal protection for climate induced migration: people forced to move for safety and survival because of the effects of climate change.
The UN General Assembly has called for a special summit on large movements of refugees and migrants (Monday 19 September 2016 at the UNHQ in New York) as the current response to large scale migration of people fleeing war, persecution, and environmental damage caused by climate change has been woefully inadequate.

Friends of the Earth are critical of governments, including that of the U.K, who are pulling up the drawbridge and refusing to give assistance to millions of people dealing with the impacts of environmental and climate pollution, preferring to label people economic migrants with no legal protection. This is why Friends of the Earth is calling on the UN General Assembly’s meeting on large movements of refugees and migrants to begin discussions on climate change and its increasing role as a driver of migration and displacement of people.

As well as this, the General Assembly should establish a system of legal protection for peoples displaced by climate change, including internally and temporary displacement, as well as those affected by immediate weather impacts, water stress, collapse of agricultural systems, and subsequent economic losses.

Asad Rehman, climate campaigner, Friends of the Earth, said:

We’ve witnessed a record-breaking 14 consecutive months of the hottest global temperatures since records began.

“These temperatures are making homes inhospitable, farmland unproductive, it dries up water, and contributes to unrest which all too often results in war. Given dire circumstances people will naturally and obviously move to survive.
“It’s the greatest injustice of climate change, that those who are the least responsible for causing the climate crisis, are the first to suffer and those most responsible are the first to turn their backs.

“Let’s also remember the 3,500 people drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean last year, with nearly 800 drowning in one week in May this year, because legal options for seeking safe haven are no longer available. Something has to change.

“We shouldn’t be timid in demanding a world where solidarity and justice connect us, where all citizens have the right to live a safe and decent life. That means we must also extend protection to those who currently have no legal protection.”

For these reasons Friends of the Earth stands in solidarity with all those marching around the world today to say #RefugeesWelcome. Countries must not only live up to their existing legal and moral obligations to provide legal protection, they must also oppose the racist and xenophobic debate which seeks to demonise migrant and refugee communities.

Friends of the Earth believes that to meet the challenges of climate change and the devastating impact it is having on poorer peoples’ lives, the international community must make sure that the protection agenda includes a commitment to comprehensive human rights, financial support for those in need, as well as recognising the collective rights of communities and people, who face the loss of their territories and states.


Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness



Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move



Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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