Happy Earth Day (why bother?)

As part of a global network of galleries, it’s part of our reality that climate change is happening, FAST. Science Gallery Venice will open in 2020 with a focus on climate change and sustainability, against the backdrop of a city which is predicted to vanish underwater within the next century. Science Gallery Benglaru (Bangalore) will open in 2019 drawing our attention to India’s tech capital. The city’s nickname “Sillicon Valley India” plants it firmly in the third industrial revolution, characterising it as one of sustainability’s contemporary villains, but also a victim: a mega city with a population of over 10 million, Benglaru faces high degree vulnerability to urban heat islands, flooding and increased temperatures. 

*Sigh* Although if you’re reading from London, hold your nose and cover your mouth – air quality in London averages twice the EU legal limit on Nitrogen Dioxide [40 micrograms per cubic metre air] and has been recorded at more than ten times the legal limit! Find out more from our world leading friends at King’s, the London Air Quality Network. And to compare the air of London with cities including New Delhi, check out Michael Pinksy's Pollution Pods at Somerset House before 25 April!

So, with all that in mind, let’s get cracking to make a change. This Sunday is Earth Day 2018 and this year its main aim is to end plastic pollution. 79% of the 8.3 billion metric tons of virgin (non-recycled) plastic that has been produced to date has accumulated in landfills and the natural environment. This is now threatening the survival of the planet.

There is some good news – you might have recently read about the new plastic eating enzyme that scientists have created to help us in the battle…

But what can YOU do? Earth Day 2018 recommend the following:

REDUCE – do you need that straw in your drink? Have you remembered a tote bag for your food shop? At SGL we have a NO BOTTLED WATER POLICY - glasses and tap water do the trick. More ideas

REFUSE – If somebody offers you a plastic bag JUST SAY NO. Seek out goods that don’t use single use packaging. Did you know that 40% of all plastic created is used for packaging? A Plastic Planet is lobbying for UK supermarkets to implement ‘plastic free’ aisles, following the concepts of ‘gluten free’, ‘dairy free’ and ‘wheat free’ products.

REUSE – We’ve already mentioned using mesh or canvas totes for your food shop, but why stop there? Get a reusable water bottle and lunch bag. And why not use the Earth Day plastic consumption calculator to see what your current use is and whether you can improve on it?

Jessie, our Production Assistant's tasty looking lunch, with no plastic in sight!

RECYCLE – Not all plastics are recyclable. Get to know your plastics by number, this should help you to recycle better, and identify plastics products that might have been slipping under your radar.

REMOVE – this Earth Day put on your activist cargo pants and organise a plastic clear up of your street, park, or local stretch of water.

Obviously change doesn’t happen on only one day of the year, so remember: