Today is world cleanup day -
What is this ?
As the name suggests, this is a day in which many cleanup events are organised worldwide.
Plogging, beach walks, stand up paddle cleanups and a lot of other fun ways of cleaning will be part of this initiative.
Do I believe it will make much of a difference to the amount of rubbish? Probably not so much, as the quantities are huge! Do I believe it will help? Yes.
Last week (4-8 September) I participated at the Venice climate camp, which, as it turns out, was one of the first of its kind.
It was a very inspiring initiative, with many people from all over camping and actively participating in debates and ‘action’ including a 7 hour occupation of the red carpet (with coverage from the bbc! Unfortunately I couldn't make it to that...). I actually only made it to the discussions, or better ' focus labs' but I am so glad I did. Not just for the atmosphere (peaceful and full of helpful and friendly human beings from all over the world and spanning most of the demographic range), but also for the quality of content!
If you understand Italian, I recommend you to check the globalproject, as every debate was summarised in great details there.. And for those who don’t : here is my version of it, with some brief summary and interpretation on what I deemed the most important points!
As I am writing this I am on my way back from the 3rd Advances in Marine Mussels Research symposium, a longwinded title that can be summarised as ‘mussels are cool’.
Yes, mussels are a great study species and yes, I am a self disclosed shellfish geek (as you can hear from min 18:50 here) but also if you can have two days of talks and posters just talking about mussels then there might be something cool about them
So here are my 10 facts
The shorter days and cooler air can only mean one thing - summer is ending !
There is something about this transition that I always liked. This is the transition into new things - a new school or university year for the younger but also for the older amongst us , new seasons, new hopes , new dreams . This is the year where we will get into better routines , do something good for us etc etc
Of course , this is also the season of shiny new clothes in the shop window. The season where the idea of buying a soft wooly jumper makes us feel cozy inside, and look at this year new color. New fashion trends are shown on mankins, this year ‘new’ colour. It is tempting, but let me tell you a secret : there is no ‘new fashion’- and everything eventually repeats itself. From skinny to bootcut jeans, they go onto a cycle! Same for colours, as much as I love colours I think it is not possible to have new ones anymore.
Do you understand where I am going with this ?
If you are following any news you may be aware of the recent wildfires that have broken out in the Amazon and are burning the forest at an unprecedented rate, so devastating that have been considered as an international emergency.
To put it on Greta Thunberg terms: our house is on fire
Those who know me,know that I am quite an eclectic person. There is relatively little that I don’t like and while I am truly a scientist from the inside out, I have grown up around beauty, magnificent architecture and art in many of its forms. And is no secret that I love colours, and paint shops and art exhibitions. But now, more than in any other period of my life I have started to understand and appreciate art as an optimal way to convey a message.
I just started up reading a new book
‘Darwin comes to town: how the urban jungle drives evolution)
This week I have been in Lisbon! And no, not only to get a nice break in this beautiful city, but also to attend the "European Ecological Federation" annual meeting. I have to say it was a very interesting, thought sparking and productive meeting. The theme chosen, "Embedding Ecology into Sustainable Development Goals" was not only very timely but was also followed very well throughout, with all plenaries, symposia and parallel sessions falling back on the theme somehow. And I'd like to mention that I was so impressed that also everything related to the conference, from the delegates bag, the food and the waste management, fell back into this sustainability theme.
But you may wonder: What are these sustainable development goals??
Just a couple of weeks ago I was told by my friends ‘let’s go an attend an evening event at the beach all about the local dunes - there is also a moonlight walk planned’.
Okay, who wouldn’t fall for that? Let’s forget an evening of Netflix and chill and out we embark on an exploration about the local dunes...
Are you ready for plastic lesson #2?
This week I want to talk about types of plastic that we may consider as ‘sustainable’ : biodegradable and compostable plastics.
I set out on a quest to find out about these and disentangle some of the confusion for you.
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