Computer controllers in purple and green

Green Tech Briefing: 2nd August

Aug 2, 2019 - 3min read

From eco-friendly burials to environmental university league tables, people are striving to make every stage of their lives more sustainable for the good of the planet. Read on to discover five green news stories we are excited about this month!

Sainsbury's says NO to black plastic trays 

One of the UK’s leading supermarket chains has pledged to replace black plastic, which is currently used for ready meal trays, with CPET, a reusable source of plastic. The new material will replace the current plastic used in all of Sainsbury’s chilled ready meals by November, according to the brand. Sainsbury’s has also removed plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables in select stores as part of a trial designed to reduce single-use plastic and help protect the environment. 

How to be eco-friendly in death

With overpopulated graveyards becoming a concern, some eco-friendly enthusiasts are opting for a ‘green burial’ in which the deceased is placed in a biodegradable casket or shroud and returned to an untamed, often unmarked plot of earth in a green space. There are currently 360 green burial sites in the UK, which can be found in woods, meadows, orchards and farmland. Unlike traditional graveyards, these green spaces can be used as picnic spots and relaxing parks where families and friends can gather to celebrate their loved ones in a natural environment. 

Which is the most eco-friendly UK university? 

Apparently, it’s Manchester Metropolitan University which came top in the eco-friendly league table, according to a student network called People & Planet. The network has ranked universities by how environmentally friendly they are, based on a criteria which looks into the school’s environmental and ethical commitments and actions. The universities were scored out of a possible 100 points for various factors including carbon reduction, student and staff engagement, use of sustainable food and ethical investment. Manchester Met got 79.9 out of 100, followed by Trent (75.2), Northumbria (66.6) and City, University of London (66.4). 

World peace: the video game

Can mobile games teach children to use technology for good? This is one of the questions which will be addressed at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conference in India later this year. At the conference, experts will discuss how games can inspire learning and promote humanitarian access. The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) has already created two games which serve this purpose: World Rescue, designed for ‘young global citizens’ who play in different country ‘levels’ and try to solve global problems like pollution and deforestation, and Cantors World, a game created for master’s students studying economics and sustainability. Cantors World allows its players to experiment with policy choices and see what consequences your choices have.

Newham to install air quality monitors outside schools

The London borough of Newham will become the first in the UK to install air quality monitors outside every school in the area to help monitor how much toxic air children are breathing during the week. The monitors will be put outside all 96 of the borough's schools and the data they collect will be used in future traffic policies and could result in parents being banned from driving to and from school.

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