Fishing down the food web – what is it and why does it matter?

A popular idea in marine conservation and fisheries management is that of “fishing down the food web”, first coined in a paper by Pauly et al. (2000). The phrase describes the observation that the average catch from global fisheries in 2000 was of a lower average trophic level than over the last 50 years prior. …

Ecotourism: Is it as ‘green’ as it claims to be?

Ecotourism has been defined as the “responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people” (The International Ecotourism Society). The term arose in the 1980s to highlight the connection between conservation and tourism, and the benefits that one can have on the other (Stronza et al., 2019). But …

Dairy, developments and GM cows

The global dairy industry is a huge one. The EU, US and New Zealand account for almost half of global dairy production, and the largest 13 dairy corporations emit as much greenhouse gases as 6.9 million passenger cars generate in a year (Sharma, 2020).  Because it is so colossal, sustainability issues are plentiful within the …

Captivity: Conservation of Scottish Wildcats

The Scottish Wildcat* (Felis silvestris grampia) represents the last surviving wild member of the cat family in Britain (Fredriksen, 2016). It is a famously elusive and untameable species (Gartner et al., 2014), which resembles the domestic tabby cat, with a large black-tipped bushy tail. It is among the most endangered species in Britain, with under …

Badger Culling

Badgers are charismatic, black-and-white striped mammals which share their scientific family with otters, weasels and ferrets, and are protected in the UK under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 (Bennett & Willis, 2008). They live in underground setts, some of which have been found to extend from 20-100m or more, with the largest in the …

Anthropocene

Today is the first day in what I am referring to as my “Alphabet”, which will feature an environmental/social issue for every letter (Z and Q remain a struggle so let me know if you have any ideas!) So, A is for Anthropocene. “Anthropocene” is the term used by many to describe the new geological …

Online shopping I: packaging, planning and pollution

Introduction This post is the first of two looking at different aspects of online shopping. E-commerce has grown hugely over recent years with improvements in access to technology, Internet speed, online payment security and delivery (Zhang et al., 2016), meaning it is rapidly becoming the most popular way to shop. Online shopping frees time, reduces …

Smart Shorts III: Foraging Frenzy

Foraging describes the harvest of non-cultivated “wild” goods, also known as non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Such goods may contain wild animals, fish and wild plants such as stinging nettles, wild garlic and wild mustard – the focus of this essay is on the latter. The practice, at least in people, is as old as the …

Smart Shorts II: Combating fast fashion

Good afternoon! Today I am bringing to you another “smart short” – this one is covering the sorts of things you can get involved in to combat fast fashion. I hope you like it! A person’s wardrobe is for many the basis of their creativity (Bang, 2019). The fast fashion industry has exacerbated this belief, …

Smart Shorts I: Freeganism and dumpster diving

Hello and welcome to my first “smart short” – I intend on writing more concise overviews of topics which might go alongside some of the lengthier stuff I address in other posts. In this case, I am planning a couple of “shorts” which go alongside the current series on sustainable consumerism. Let me know if …

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