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Positive news amid a pandemic

Today’s post is a little different. Through the bombardment of news updates, rules, regulations and scaremongering around the current Covid-19 pandemic, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. As such, this article will look at some of the positive aspects of the global situation: firstly in terms of the potential environmental benefits, then in […]

Part 1: Global impacts of Palm Oil

Welcome to this two-part special series on the impacts and production of palm oil. Both of these posts are a collaboration with fellow science blogger Beth from Green Ambition ( so if you enjoy what you read here check out her fantastic site! Introduction Over the last decade, palm oil has become the most widely […]

Veganuary: going cold tofu on meat and dairy

Okay, so I thought that perhaps a nice way to summarise what I had learned about veganism so far in previous blog posts would be to do it for myself. And what better time than the glorious period of failed resolutions that is January? I joined the approximately half a million people (since 2014) who […]

Sustainability and veganism III: the economy and society

Veganism is supported by many as a way to increase the sustainability of our food system, all the way from production to consumption. The dietary and environmental implications of this have already been discussed (see Veganism and Sustainability I and II), but such a huge change in the way we see, buy and eat food […]

Sustainability and veganism II: the environmental impacts of diet

It’s been ages since I wrote part I, and for that I apologise. However, better late than never, right? Read on to learn about some of the environmental impacts associated with food production. According to a study by Oxford University, going vegan is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the planet (The […]

Air quality and working out: should I be worried?

~Apologies in advance that this post is a) very late after the previous and b) not veganism part 2!! It’s on its way, honest! ~ Introduction to air quality Anthropogenic activities are a major cause of air pollution. Whilst historically it was the actions of the industrial sector which led to major air pollution events […]

Sustainability and veganism I: nutrition and health

What is veganism? “Food consumption is an environmentally significant behaviour, accounting for around 20-30% of Western greenhouse gas emissions” – Beverland, Wahl & De Groot, 2015 Veganism has been suggested as a solution to many of our sustainability problems; including climate change, biodiversity loss and antibiotics resistance. As such, over 1% of the UK over-15 […]

What makes a sustainable diet?

Sustainability and diet Sustainability is one of those environmental “hot topics”, which is so often talked about but rarely specifically explained. According to the Brundtland definition (presented in the Brundtland Report of 1987 to the UN General Assembly), sustainable development is: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future […]

Will agricultural intensification solve our food crisis?

2018 saw an 11% rise in the number of food insecure people globally (World Food Program, 2018). A food crisis is a sharp rise in rates of hunger and malnutrition at a local, regional or global scale, for reasons which may include increased food prices or poor crop yield due to drought or flooding. There […]

Ancient woodlands: what are they and why should we care?

Ancient woodlands are an ecosystem which, according to the Woodlands Trust, are home to more threatened wildlife than any other UK terrestrial habitat. Across Europe, ancient woodlands are rare, but can be found in the form of remnants of “wildwood” or primeval forests, such as the Białowieża Forest on the border between Poland and Belarus, […]

Why should we bring back the beaver?

The reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver is a topic much debated across Europe and the UK, given its effects as an ecosystem engineer in rivers and streams. The species, which used to be widespread across England, Scotland and Wales, became extinct in the 16th century after widespread hunting (Countryfile, 2018). However, in recent years it […]

How is paleoecology useful in modern-day fire management?

Fire is a vital process in natural systems, providing structure, disturbance and change across ecosystems from heathlands to forests. It is integral to understanding the composition of forests worldwide, as it dictates vegetation types (with frequent fires driving a shift to more fire-resistant species) and subsequently the species which live with them. Fire is also […]

Pleistocene Rewilding: What is it?

Pleistocene rewilding describes the theory of restoring Pleistocene habitats back to their original state (at around 11,000 years ago), by reintroducing the megafauna which maintained them. The end Pleistocene saw huge megafaunal extinction (losing 97 of the 150 megafaunal species between 50kyr and 10kyr, Barnosky 2004). This period of extinction has been linked to several […]

What happened to the Easter Islanders?

“The person who felled the last tree could see it was the last tree. But they still felled it” – Bahn & Fenley (1992) By AD 900, Easter Island, the most remote piece of land in the world, was first inhabited by Polynesian settlers. Around 500-600 years later, their society collapsed. The following article will […]

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