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Round-up

A toy story

Children go through toys at lightning speed, which can generate a lot of waste as a result. With sharing at the core of their values, Whirli is a subscription service that allows parents to order second hand toys for kids to play with, and then return once they are finished with them. You’re free to keep the playthings for as long as you want and anything kept for more than nine months becomes yours to keep. The genius solution works in favour of kids who always want something new to try and benefits parents too by reducing toy clutter – 77 per cent of British parents have admitted that toys are crowding their homes. Playing with Whirli means no more neglected games and jumble, providing a more affordable way of swapping, not shopping. Plans start at £9.99 a month.

For more information, visit whirli.com

At what price?

Back in 2016, polymer banknotes were introduced in the UK, but it turns out they are actually much worse for the planet than paper. The new banknotes release 8.77kg of CO2, which is almost three times more than previous paper notes. The £5 notes alone release 2.76kg CO2 emissions, according to research from moneyboat.co.uk. These plastic notes were initially introduced on the basis of their ability to include greater security features, being more resistant to dirt and having a longer life. This extended lifespan was cited as the main reason for the new notes having a lower environmental impact. When it comes to disposal at the end of their lives, paper notes are returned to the Bank of England where they are granulated and composted in a process similar to that used for food waste. Meanwhile, polymer notes are granulated, melted and mechanically recycled into other objects. The greenhouse gas footprint of both methods is said to be roughly the same.

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About Be Kind

Hello, If you’d asked me earlier this year what images the Amazon rainforest conjured up in my mind, it would be densely packed, lush green trees, brightly coloured macaws and chatty toucans living alongside speedy squirrel monkeys and majestic jaguars. Perhaps naively, I assumed that the world’s largest rainforest was a constant – a protected part of our natural landscape, somewhere we can all close our eyes and see images of, like the Alps or the river Nile. But, over the last few months, this idyllic picture of the Amazon has been destroyed, replaced with haunting and horrifying images of blazing fires and ominous plumes of smoke. Often described as the lungs of the planet, the Amazon now looks like it’s starting to choke. The anthropogenic impact we have had on some of the most vital natural resources on the planet is really starting to show. The notion of constants is changing, too – our glaciers are melting, our rainforests are being destroyed, our rivers are polluted and our coastlines eroded – the landscape of our planet as we know it looks set to continue to transform and degrade. As bleak a future as I’m describing, it’s not all doom and gloom and there are many things we can do to help. We want the future generations to close their eyes and picture the toucans, not the burning embers of what was once the greatest rainforest on Earth. We need to act, and we need to do it now. Have a great month, Phillipa Editor