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ClientEarth Clarify Decision To Return To Court As Government In Disarray Over Air Quality

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ClientEarth Clarify Decision To Return To Court As Government In Disarray Over Air Quality

The government have demonstrated that they are in disarray over air quality following their reaction to a Commons select committee report and environmental lawyers ClientEarth have set out their reasons for taking the UK government to court.

The challenge is due to be heard at the High Court in London next month.

Chief executive James Thornton said court action was a last, but necessary, resort.

Legal action ensures that governments comply with the law and act in the best interests of the environment, the country and their citizens.

“No-one, least of all an organisation like ClientEarth which relies on donations, wants to embark on the costly option of taking ministers to court.

“It is necessary at times though, particularly when tens of thousands of lives are at risk because an intransigent government persistently fails to comply with the law, which is where we find ourselves on air pollution in the UK.”

Thornton was responding to claims by a former Number 10 environment adviser who suggested in a blog, on the Green Alliance website, that the impending court case had harmed the government’s ability to solve the pollution crisis.

In his response, Thornton states: “Since 2010, the government has failed to comply with legal limits set to cut air pollution and protect human health.

“What sort of democracy would we be living in if we as citizens have to comply with the laws put in place by Government, but ministers can ignore them when they feel like it? Many autocrats enjoy such an ability to ignore the law. But since Magna Carta, we have committed to live under the rule of law, Government and citizen alike.

“The government is sitting by while in the UK 40,000 early deaths a year are caused by air pollution.”

The government’s response to a report by a group of MPs which urged it to get a grip on air pollution, setting deadlines, which the government missed, was published today. The response to the EFRA committee comes after the government ignored three similar reports from the Environmental Audit Committee.

Responding to the government’s statement, ClientEarth lawyer, Alan Andrews said: “This is another sign that this Government is in complete disarray over Britain’s air quality crisis.

“Once again it has ignored the recommendations of a parliamentary select committee. This comes as no surprise – it has already paid scant regard to the Supreme Court which in 2015 ordered it to take “immediate action”. A year and a half later, we are still waiting to see any signs of progress.

“The Government’s strategy seems to be to delay, do nothing and hope that this problem will go away. It won’t, and neither will ClientEarth. The longer they delay, the more people will die early or be made seriously ill from breathing harmful and illegal levels of air pollution. So on the 18th and 19th of October we will be back in court to challenge the Government’s woefully inadequate air quality plan.

“We need a bold and far-reaching strategy to rid our towns and cities of the public health menace posed by diesel. We need a national network of “clean air zones” which restrict access to all but the cleanest vehicles. This needs to be supported by a major investment in clean public transport and walking. The government needs to get on the side of consumers and ensure that motor manufacturers prove that their vehicles are as clean as they claim when driving on the road – not just in discredited laboratory tests.”

ClientEarth won its case at the Supreme Court in 2015 when ministers were forced to produce new plans to bring the UK into compliance as soon as possible. The plans don’t envisage compliance with current limits until 2020 for most cities and not until 2025 for London.

 

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Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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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

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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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