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The government has just given the green light for bee-killing pesticides to be used in the UK

A bee flying
Bee collects honey – rape blossom in spring

The government has just given the green light for bee-killing pesticides to be used in the UK. The pesticide being used has been banned for being poisonous to bees, but it’s just been approved to help grow sugar beet in the spring. [1]

The bees and us

This is about bees, but it’s also about us. If we keep harming bees, we risk our food supplies.

It’s estimated that a third of our food is dependent on pollinators, of which bees are some of the most important.[2]

A third of bee populations are already shrinking. [3] We can’t allow pesticides to destroy our environment and kill any more bees.

Can you quickly sign this Greenpeace petition urging the Environment secretary to enforce a total ban on bee-killing pesticides?


We cannot afford to put our pollinator populations at risk.”

Michael Gove (2018)

These were the words of Michael Gove when he introduced the ban on bee-killing pesticides in 2018. [4]

A beehive
Pesticides has a negative impact on bees

So what’s changed since then? Well, it’s certainly not the science. Pesticides, including neonicotinoids, are still bad news for bees. 

Breeding success at risk

Studies have shown that these pesticides can affect bees’ navigational abilities and breeding success, and they are unsurprisingly ravaging other insects as well. [5]

The government are now saying that their reasons for allowing emergency use is to protect growers of sugar beet. But this is a short-sighted and dangerous approach to take, especially when you consider we rely on bees to help pollinate lots of crops like apples, beans, squashes and almonds.

George Eustice has the power to change all of this. We have the opportunity to shift away from chemical-intensive agriculture to organic farming that protects nature.

As Environment Minister, he can show he’s on the right side of protecting nature by enforcing a total ban on bee-harming pesticides. Can you get the Environment Minister to act now?

We have the power to make George Eustice act. He’s approved this emergency use of a deadly pesticide, but we need to remind him that we’re in the middle of a climate and nature emergency. 

The crucial role of organisations such as Greenpeace to watch out for unsustainable industrial practices

Greenpeace | Drawing United

I have a Greenpeace membership and are more than happy to cover the yearly donation.

They, like many other charities, are doing an essential work or monitoring corporations and expose the companies who are responsible. 



We can stop this now. If lots of people sign this petition we can pile pressure on the government to quickly reverse its decision and keep bee-killing pesticides away from our environment.

Can you sign this petition so we can get the Environment Minister to act fast?

Refs
[1] Government to let farmers use bee-killing pesticide banned in EU
[2] Would we starve without bees?
[3] A third of wild bee and hoverfly species are in decline in Britain
[4] Government breaks promise to maintain ban on bee-harming pesticide
[5] Bees

NB:
This content was received from Greenpeace by email. We, at Drawing United, fully support Greenpeace and relay their information to our audience.

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Global warming is melting the ice cap

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Plastic from supermarkets still on the rise

Plastic, plastic and even more plastic. That’s what we’re all still greeted with when we shop in supermarkets. Yes, plastic from supermarkets is still on the rise…

A view of supermarkets alleys
A view of a supermarket aisles

Despite a nationwide outcry, supermarkets are still failing to deal with the scale of plastic pollution.

In fact, even if all current major industry and government commitments are met, only 7% less plastic would flow into the ocean each year! [1]

This just isn’t good enough.

Will you sign the petition calling on UK supermarkets to ditch throwaway plastic packaging?

Plastic petition homepage from Green peace
Greenpeace petition homepage

In 2020 many of us have had less choice about where we shop and what we buy. More than ever we’re relying on supermarkets to reduce plastic packaging.

But supermarkets just aren’t moving fast enough, or thinking big enough.

The festive period is the busiest and most important time of the year for supermarkets. Now we’ve got a great opportunity to make our voices heard when it really matters.

Thanks to millions of people campaigning across the UK every single major supermarket has announced some kind of action to cut down on unnecessary plastic.

But even when these actions are added up, the changes are not enough to have the impact we need.

There’s really no excuse. Earlier this year Greenpeace did our research and worked out how supermarkets can cut plastic by 50%. [2]

The main takeaway is that there needs to be a monumental shift to reusable packaging that can be refilled time after time. Supermarkets have been reluctant to make the massive changes that are needed, but as customers we have the power to influence their decisions. Because without customers their profits don’t exist.

Can you add your name and show supermarkets that you and millions of others want to see far less packaging on their shelves?

I know it’s frustrating. Despite all the public pressure over the last three years we’re still having to talk about plastic packaging. But now’s not the time to give up. Creating such massive change isn’t easy and we know that supermarkets are taking notice – but we need them to move faster.

Alex Leadbeater is aiming at highlighting today's societies and how much plastic we consume.
An open-air landfill showing plastic items

By 2050 the amount of plastic being produced is predicted to quadruple. [3] Aisles and aisles of plastic is a choice, not a necessity.

And while supermarkets continue with business as usual it means plastic still poisoning our environment, filling our rivers and choking our oceans. It also means plastic leaking into the food chain and creating a problem for generations to come.

Tell UK supermarkets to take responsibility for their part in the plastic pollution crisis and ditch throwaway plastic packaging.

References
[1] Breaking the Plastic Wave
[2] How supermarkets can halve plastic packaging
[3] The New Plastic Economy

NB:
This content was received from Greenpeace by email. We, at Drawing United, fully support Greenpeace and relay their information to our audience.

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Go and see art outdoors – we tell you where in the UK

In these time of confinement, it is hard to see Art on display just because museums and galleries are simply shut.

One of the sculptures at Jupiter Artland (Edinburgh)

But Art is not just confined (see what I did here) to indoors or closed spaces. There are a ton of Public Art all around you so go and see art outdoors – we tell you where in the UK you can take the whole family.

These six venues below celebrate art in the open air, placing the work of renowned artists in dramatic garden and parkland settings.

Featuring sculpture by legendary artists including Elisabeth Frink, Antony Gormley and many more, these six gardens and sculpture parks present work that’s intended to be at one with nature, perfect for a wander in the fresh air.

Want more inspiration? Sign up for our newsletter Art in your inbox and follow us on Instagram for more ways to engage with the art you love.

Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden

One of the sculptures in the garden from the Barbara Hepworth museum & sculpture garden

Highlights – Barbara Hepworth’s signature bronze sculptures

About – Most of Barbara Hepworth’s signature bronze sculptures remain in the same spot she placed them in years ago, when this garden and studio was her home and place of work. The garden retains the original design that Hepworth intended, and her sculptures are as spectacular and celebratory of the form as they were during her lifetime.

WhereSt Ives, Cornwall, England

Jupiter Artland

Highlights – 100 acres of meadow and woodland

About – Jupiter Artland is home to 30 permanent site-specific sculptures by artists including Phyllida Barlow, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Cornelia Parker.

WhereMidlothian, near Edinburgh, Scotland

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Highlights – 4 major works by Damien Hirst including The Virgin Mother (2005-6)

About – There are always around 80 sculptures and installations on show at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, with new commissions and artist gifts appearing year-round.

WhereWest Yorkshire, England

Runnymede and Ankerwycke

Highlights – Architectural landmark by Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger

About – Seen by many as the birthplace of modern democracy, this picturesque open landscape beside the Thames was witness to King John’s historic sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

WhereWindsor, England

Burghley House

Burghley House

Highlights – Burghley House’s renowned sculpture exhibitions from April to October

About – Mixture of specially-commissioned and loaned works which often take their inspiration from the house and gardens. Explore fantastic sculpture alongside pretty wildflowers, a charming icehouse and expansive lake, all in Burghley’s vast grounds.

Where – Surrey, England

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Microplastics are all round us

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