[BC TRIPS] Research Journal #20 - London
Aside from the exhibition, I walked around London quite a bit. Thankfully I was able to stay at a friend’s house again this time, so I got to enjoy a more "real" London life. FYI this is the same friend’s house where I was first introduced to Soda Stream 4 years ago as a way to reduce plastic waste, and it continues to be one of the items that are daily used at our household. It really has help eliminate a lot of plastic bottles from our home!
When you go to the supermarket, vegetables and fruits are basically sold naked. Bread, for example, is left as it is as well, and you put it in a paper bag by yourself. I wonder why they look so much tastier than when they are wrapped!
As for transportations, there are a lot of cars in Europe, but in some places near the city, only residents can drive in, and in some places, cars are not allowed to drive through. There are also many buses and cabs, but many people use electric bicycles. Many bike lanes are well secured and there were many shared electric bicycles. There were probably at least 5 different shared electric bicycle companies available throughout the city.
To prevent theft and to secure bicycle parking, covered bicycle parking spaces like the one in the photo were scattered around in various locations. The idea is the same as renting a parking space: you sign a contract and pay, and you get a space to park your bicycle. I think it's a good system and helps your bicycle from being stolen!
In terms of clothes, there were many stores that only carry second-hand and ethical clothing. The store in the photo only carried brands that were B Corp certified, member of 1% For the Planet, fair trade, GOTs certified, etc. I also found a few stores run by Oxfam, a non-profit organization that runs the Second Hand September campaign, which encourages people to think more about ethical consumption and change their purchasing habits by buying only second-hand items for 30 days. As you can see in the photo, I ran in to a few second hand pop-up stores as well. It is easier to adopt ethical consumption if you can easily find and go to stores; I wish there are more in Tokyo!
Also, since you are not allowed to use plastic straws in England anymore, there were no disposable plastic straws at all in any of the stores I went to. It's nice when you don't have to specifically ask or say "no straws please!"
My impression was that although I saw the words "ethical" and "sustainable" here and there, it was more of a commonplace behavior, and each person seemed to be doing what they could do without any difficulty. After all, the true meaning of "sustainable" is "sustainability," so it is important for each person to take actions that they can sustainably do, and since there are things and services that make it easy for people to take actions, I guess it is possible.
Take the Second Hand September challenge! Make your pledge to shop second hand for 30 days.
In our last post about our ten days spent in New York City, we introduce you to "A SUSTAINABLE VILLAGE" Zero Waste Shop & Refillery, which opened in 2021.
This time our New York research is about food. Here are just a few of the things we saw and places we enjoyed during our 10-day stay.