30: Broaden your horizon – Learn about something completely new

We are coming to the end of our month of Simple Things, and although February is now in sight, we hope over this past month you have enjoyed trying out our new ideas, as well as learnt something about our world, how we’re all connected and some of the ways we create a big impact.

learn; read; horizon; understand

What topics have we addressed this past month that you are not particularly interested in? Why not try find an article, video or interview about it and see if by learning more you suddenly find the subject much more interesting than you would have thought?

Here at ResPoss, we asked our directors and interns what we had learnt during our month of Simple Things, and here’s what we discovered:

Marijn: “This month I have learned about the fishing industry while doing the research for Simple Things number 14. Although I was aware there is an issue with over-fishing of our seas, I wasn’t aware of the extend of the problem (for example the fact that a healthy ocean provides so much of our oxygen and absorbs carbonsimple thing 14 know what fish not to eat dioxide) and also how complex it is and how disputed: some salmon from certain regions are ok. Farmed salmon is not ok. Tuna is never ok. Haddock from the North East Arctic and the North Sea is ok, but if it’s been caught in the seas of West Scotland or the Faroe Islands it is not ok. Mind boggling and overwhelming, yet clearly so important. I now have a proper read of the package when I buy fish and have actually decided it is better to buy it from the local fish mongers rather than the super market. I notice that I now look out for stories related to these issues and rather than skip over them to read something I would be more interested in, I will read it to find out more.”

conflict-free gold; conflict metals; diamonds; gold; fairtrade;Natasha: “I was really interested by the conflict free diamonds and gem stones. Whilst I’ve seen Blood Diamond, even after watching that film I still didn’t fully comprehend the impactof the diamond trade in our world today, and definitely wasn’t aware of the steps I could take to make sure I helped to prevent unethical diamond trading. I’ve now started reading a book about the history of the DRC so that I can learn more about conflict trading, looking at minerals and rubber, as well as diamonds.”

Katherine: “For Simple Thing number 13 we were asked to make our own cleaning products. Some things I discovered were very surprising. The fact that when soap foams it doesn’t actually mean anything, it is just for us to think it is 1421136782449cleaning things. The fact that you can basically clean anything with baking soda, white vinegar and some lemons is astounding. No wonder this is not being promoted by major companies: it would bankrupt them! I have never been especially interested in the ingredients and the politics around cleaning products, but now I am. I am going on blogs to get more household tips for natural ways of cleaning stuff, enjoying learning more about this and putting it into action.”

We hope that even after January is over, you continue to keep expanding your knowledge and understanding of the issues around us!

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