Innovating for an uncertain future.
Most people around the world now live in urban areas. Towns and cities are the major drivers of the carbon emissions changing our climate, the consumption eating in to our stock of finite global resources and the waste polluting our environment. But they are also where people meet, mingle and innovate. Cities and towns like Reading are central to developing positive responses to climate change, biodiversity loss and the challenges of a world of finite resources.
So what is happening in Reading?
Reading is a resourceful place by nature. The town is literally built on its ability to make money from natural resources. Making beer, bricks and biscuits. For much of the town’s 700 year history it was genuinely believed that the world’s resources were effectively limitless and that the land, air and sea around us could absorb any waste we cared to throw at it.
Most people now accept that isn’t the case. We are using the earth’s natural resources faster than the planet can renew them. Air quality is a real problem in many towns and cities, including Reading. Carbon emissions are helping change our climate. And we are losing species to extinction at an alarming rate.
The need for action is clear. We need a new type of resourcefulness.
The ‘Resourceful Reading’ display
Lots of the focus is, rightly, on action at a global level. But there is also a lot happening locally that is worth celebrating, ranging from individual ‘life hacks’ through community‑led initiatives to town strategies.
The Reading Sustainability Centre and Reading Museum put together the Resourceful Reading display to showcase some of the many things that people and communities in Reading are already doing to make life more sustainable.
The display is in Reading Museum’s community cabinet in the welcome area of the new ‘Story of Reading’ permanent gallery. It features ideas from pioneering projects like True Food Coop and Reading’s Climate Action Network to more recent initiatives like reusable coffee cups and tap water refill points as well as individual actions including #refusethestraw, reducing energy use and tips for cutting down on food waste. We hope that the ideas in the display will inspire visitors to the museum to think about actions they can take in their own lives. If on Twitter we hope that they will share their responses using the hashtag #resourcefulreading.
No action is too small. Lots of small actions quickly add up.
The Reading Sustainability Centre and Reading Museum gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Earley Charity in making this display possible.
Resourceful Reading updates
- How resourceful is Reading? 26/04/2019