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A Conscious Christmas Dinner: Just Less Than Half Of Brits Ate More Sustainably In 2016

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A Conscious Christmas Dinner: Just Less Than Half Of Brits Ate More Sustainably In 2016

Environmental or animal welfare concerns have been the reason for 49% of British Adults changing their diets.

Almost half of British adults are eating more ethically than last Christmas, according to new polling released today by Triodos Bank and Ethical Consumer. The research indicates a continuing trend towards ethical and sustainable food shopping habits as people hit the shops in earnest to stock up on supplies for a traditional Christmas dinner.

When surveyed by YouGov, British consumers indicated a strong preference in the last year for shifting their diet towards more environmentally- and ethically-friendly food:

  • 49 percent of respondents said they had changed their diet because of environmental or animal welfare concerns
  • 39 percent said they had bought free range meat or eggs
  • 13 percent said they had tried to eat fish instead of meat
  • 9 percent said they avoided red meat
  • 8 percent said they were vegetarian or vegan.

Every pound we spend on ethical and sustainable food and drink is a statement of our values

Bevis Watts, Managing Director of Triodos Bank UK said: “As many of us prepare to gather around the festive dining table it’s heartening to know that these celebrations can now include food and drink that both tastes good and is healthy for us and our environment. Every pound we spend on ethical and sustainable food and drink is a statement of our values and a vote for a more resilient and sustainable food system.”

These consumer preferences showcase some of the motivations that are driving increasing trends towards ethical consumption. According to the soon to be released 2016 Ethical Consumer Market Report, increases in organic food and drink, sustainable fish, vegetarian products and Fairtrade wine markets point toward an ethical and more sustainable Christmas for many in the UK. In 2015, various ethical food markets saw strong increases:

  • Organic food and drink increased by 4.5 percent to £1.7 billion
  • The RSPA’s Freedom Food scheme increased in value by 28.6 percent to £1.5 billion
  • Vegetarian products increased by 6.3 percent to £710 million
  • Sustainable fish increased by 15.2 percent to £507 million

In a year where inflation was at zero percent, these trends show strong growth in the ethical food and drink sector. Furthermore, the overall UK food and drink market declined by 0.9 percent. This emphasises the significance of the growth of the ethical market and indicates a general trend towards more conscious consumer behaviour.

Additionally, although the value of free range eggs sold decreased by 3.6 percent to £609 million, this is due to a decrease in retail prices. The volume of free range eggs sold actually increased, resulting in an increase in market share.

Commenting specifically on the increase in organic food and drink sales Clare McDermott, Business Development Director of the Soil Association said: “Last year, 83% of households bought organic, and with renewed growth in the Organic Market, more and more people are looking to buy organic in order to avoid pesticides in their food and to avoid meat from animals routinely treated with antibiotics. The Soil Association is encouraging shoppers to swap one or two key Christmas dinner items like turkey, sprouts, carrots and potatoes to organic, which can make a surprisingly big impact. Organic food reduces exposure to potentially harmful pesticides and helps protect our vital wildlife.”

The ethical consumer market report is an annual survey of the value of UK sales from a wide range of products considered to be more ethical choices in a range of consumer markets. It has been run every year since 1999.

Features

The World’s Top Cities for Owning a Green Home

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Demand for green homes has risen sharply in recent years. Dodge Data & Analytics’ SmartMarket Report stated that over half of homebuilders project that 60% or more of the homes they build will be green within the next three years.

While the outlook for green home is surging throughout the world, growth is far from uniform. The outlook in some cities remains much stronger than others. Here are some of the best cities in the world for building or buying a green home.

Vancouver

Vancouver has a population of nearly 650,000 people. It has a surprisingly low levels of pollution for a city its size. According to research from Siemens, air quality is significantly better than most other communities of the same size. The city government has expressed a desire to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions even further. They expect to cut air pollution by 30% by 2020. Many people in the community have green homes and the government is likely to offer new incentives for green homes in the future.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is rated as the best city in the United States to own a green home. Within a 12-month period, over one in three homes that were sold were environmentally friendly. Demand for green homes in Philadelphia is higher than other homes. The average green home costs 45% more than homes that lack green features.

Elliot Springs

Australia has begun making substantial progress on the green energy front in recent years. According to one company that offers house and land for sale near Townsville, a growing number of houses are built around sustainability.

Curitiba

Brazil is not known for its commitment to green energy. The city of Curitiba is an exception. Despite being surrounded by communities that lack its vision of a green renaissance, the Siemens report shows that the city is outperforming the global green living index.

Some indexes rank the city even higher. Grist ranks it as the third greenest city on earth.

“As a whole, the green urban areas in Curitiba are among the largest in the world and every inhabitant of the city has approximately 52 m² of nature to romp about in. Brazil’s green capital makes a tremendous effort to preserve the city’s natural environment and is regarded by many as one of the world’s best examples of green urban planning.”

Boston

When most people picture Boston, they usually envision a city filled with smog. This stereotype arises among people that have visited the city off and on over the last 50 years. However, it has made tremendous progress over the past decade and has started to become one of the greenest cities in the United States.

The changes are being driven in Fenway. This is one of the least developed areas of the city, so most new construction is focused on creating green building structures. Older parts of the city have existing housing, which is often decades old. After these buildings need to be replaced, the city will try to focus on green initiatives. This will help the city receive even more attention as a green city.

Copenhagen

Denmark as a whole is an incredibly green country. Few people own cars and homes are minimalistic, which reduces CO2 emissions. Copenhagen leads the charge in the country’s commitment to green living, so it is rated as the cleanest city in all of Europe.

Copenhagen hasn’t needed to make nearly as much effort to earn this title as most other cities, largely due to the culture that rejects decadence and embraces sustainability. Citizens have coordinated with the government to boost green living, but most of these conditions are driven by free market ideals. They haven’t needed to rely nearly as extensively on central planning as San Francisco and other Western cities.

Cultural Nodes Are Driving the Green Housing Market

Some of the largest cities in the world are embracing a cosmopolitan view that encourages green living. This is propelling demand for green housing in their areas and the rest of the world. People that want to buy a green home should consider investing in one of these areas.

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Energy

China Unexpectedly Emerging as Global Leader in Green Technology

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green technology

In the late 20th century, China underwent an amazing industrial revolution. However, in the process, it produced far more pollution, which raised concerns about global warming. The United Nations Environmental Council placed a lot of pressure on China to reduce its carbon footprint. It is clearly making headway now and may actually be a shining example for the rest of the world to follow.

China is Taking Environmental Concerns More Seriously than Ever Before

In recent years, China has made tremendous progress. In 2014, the World Bank praised the Chinese government for integrating forest development, biodiversity conservation and carbon reduction strategies. According to the World Bank analysis, china increased its forest cover by nearly 50% between the late 1980s and 2005. While analysts stated that those levels were still significantly below the global average, they stated that China is clearly headed in the right direction.

“China has long been a forest-poor country. Though its forest cover increased from 13 percent in the 1980s to 18.2 percent by 2005 thanks to an extensive plantations program, the hectare per capita of 0.13 remained significantly below the world average of 0.6.  With rapid economic growth, China’s forests came under intense pressure due to the growing demand for timber and pulpwood. The logging ban introduced by the government in 1998 further aggravated the wood shortage. This challenge was more acute in Guangxi, where combined with weak forest resources protection  resulted in a threat to its unique biodiversity including one of the largest and most important representatives of karst ecosystem in the world.”

The government’s policies to improve forest area and reduce carbon emissions are highly encouraging, but their new focus on green energy is even more impressive. In May, Premier Li Keqiang announced that the country is tapering steel production and relying less on coal-powered electricity. They have made substantial investments in wind and energy power, which are beginning to make a difference all over the world. They are also investing more heavily in solar. In fact, they developed the world’s largest floating solar plant.

Many environmental experts feel that the country has gone from being one of the worst contributors to climate change to a shining role model in the quest to save the environment.

What drove China to make these changes? The biggest incentive was the need to save it so when people from pollution. National Geographic reports that approximately 1.1 million people die from air pollution in China every year. The government needed to institute massive changes to reverse this epidemic.

Additional progress it is still needed

Nations around the world should applaud China for making such revolutionary changes to save its own citizens in the rest of the world. However, the country still needs to implement more changes to set itself on the right track.

The government has passed a number of regulations to improve air quality. However, many businesses have been reluctant to follow them.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection surveyed nearly 20,000 companies across northern China. They found that 70% of those companies or nearly 14,000 failed to meet environmental standards.

Some of the violations were fairly benign and easy to rectify. Others were far more severe. According to the report, which was published on a state new site, nearly 5,000 companies were operating in on off the rise locations or fail to secure the right environmental permits. The ministry of environmental protection states that stricter enforcement is necessary.

Despite the fact there are still areas for improvement, China is still headed in the right direction. It simply needs to examine some of the ongoing challenges and find new ways to save money.

China May Lead the World in the Fight Against Climate Change

Li Keqiang and other Chinese officials are taking environmental concerns far more seriously than their predecessors. The country is expected to roll out new policies in the future and may be one of the global leaders in the fight against climate change.

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