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A Positive Start to January is Reason to Smile
While 2021 was never going to start with a total clean slate there are still plenty of reasons to smile. Below are a few positive things that have happened so far this month, everything from ecological farming to a National Register of Tradeswomen.
Books Sales Rise
One positive of the lockdowns is that it has rekindled people’s love affair with reading. Research suggests that 35% of people have read more during the pandemic and book sales, as well as audiobooks, have risen.
Not only that but according to the Booksellers Association, more than 50 bookshops launched last year despite the coronavirus crisis, outnumbering the 44 that closed. This is a huge positive which helps secure the livelihood of businesses and jobs.
The increase in openings helped the Booksellers Association grow its membership to 967 bookshops in the UK and Ireland – the most since 2013.
The UK could grow enough healthy food to feed the predicted 2050 population while doubling fallow land for nature and reducing farming emissions by 38 per cent.
This is based on research and modelling by the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and debunks the myth that sustainable farming can’t feed the UK.
There is a catch, however, as a population, we need to change our eating habits by reducing our meat consumption by 36 per cent, eliminating sugar and increasing our intake of fruits, vegetables and nuts. There would also need to be a 10 per cent reduction in waste and the removal of chemical sprays.
With many schools closed as a result of the pandemic many parents are having to help their children get to grips with remote leaning. However, a social enterprise is helping by upcycling redundant laptops donated by the people of London and given to disadvantaged children.
With Ofcom reporting that 9 per cent of children in the UK don’t have access to a computer, the Restart Project launched the campaign with people being able to donate laptops at sites across the city.
The Restart Project’s Vanessa Ternes said: “It’s great to see people realising that the dusty laptop in their cupboard is valuable and can have a second life.”
National Register of Tradeswomen
Women who don’t feel comfortable with allowing tradesmen into their home will be able to access a register of certified, fully qualified tradeswomen.
A not-for-profit project National Register of Tradeswomen will aim to ensure that vulnerable householders who feel safer with tradeswomen are able to find them.
The register is set to launch on 15 March and will feature tradeswomen from a wide range of skill sets including a tree surgeon in the Midlands, a stonemason in Scotland and a digger operator in Yorkshire.