Can you believe we’re already halfway through the month of July? Not only does that mean we’re nearing the final stretch of summer (sob)—it’s also time for a new round of charity partners! Please give a big Bjorn welcome to… *drumroll*
Get fit and do good? Sign us up! Goodgym gets people running, walking, and cycling while helping local organisations and assisting neighbours with practical tasks. Whether that’s sorting cans at a foodbank, or doing some maintenance for an older person, it’s a great way to get your steps in and get involved with your community.
One thing that really caught my attention was Goodgym’s mission to create a support network for isolated older people. According to research conducted by AgeUK, over 1.4 million older people across the country are lonely, with 2 million eldery living alone and more than a million going over a month without speaking to a neighbour, friend or family member. Loneliness isn’t just difficult in and of itself—it can also lead to a decline in physical and mental wellbeing.
In 2018, the UK appointed a Minister for Loneliness for the first time, officially recognising loneliness as a public health issue. By linking our physical health with the wellbeing of our elderly neighbours, Goodgym is helping to bridge generations and build up stronger communities. Beats running on a treadmill, right?
We’re thrilled to once again partner with Seawilding, the UK’s first community-led native oyster and seagrass restoration project! Seawilding are planting seagrass meadows and encouraging oyster populations to thrive in Loch Craignish, Argyll—restoring lost biodiversity, sequestering carbon, and creating green jobs.
Ecosystem restoration projects such as these play an essential part of strengthening our planet’s natural biodiversity. A planet with rich, thriving ecosystems is one that helps protect us against the effects of climate change and extreme weather; traps carbon; and sustains all life on earth—no biggie, right? The latest IPBES report—an intergovernmental panel that provides scientific data on the protection of nature—has also revealed that half the world’s population directly depends on wild species for their survival, from medicine and energy, to food and building materials.
Unfortunately, the report also highlighted how decades of rampant overexploitation have severely degraded our ecosystems and damaged wildlife populations. This makes restoration projects like Seawilding all the more vital if we’re to ensure a safe and healthy world for all. And luckily, seagrass is an absolute champion at carbon storage, in addition to being an important habitat for fish populations. And this May, the first shoots of restored seagrass sprouted in the loch! Things are looking a lot greener already.
The Restart Project
Here’s another familiar face! We partnered with The Restart Project late last year to support their efforts in teaching people how to value and use devices for longer, and advocating our government for a much-needed systems change. Check out this incredible article that James Pickstone, their Online Community Lead, wrote for us about the true impact of our electronics on the environment.
Since we last partnered with them, things have definitely been moving in the right direction. The UK government has introduced new measures for the repair of washing machines, dishwashers, fridges and TVs. This is a good start—but not enough. We need a more comprehensive Right to Repair that includes electronics like smartphones, laptops and tablets. There’s lots of public support for this too, with a 2021 YouGov poll suggesting that 81% of the British public wants an increased Right to Repair.
But there’s plenty we can already do now. The greenest gadget you have is the one you already own—by hanging onto our products for longer, and buying second-hand when we do need a new product, we can help keep e-waste out of landfill and push governments and companies to do more.
Each of these causes are working on-the-ground to build a stronger, better world for all. By supporting these amazing organisations, we can amplify our impact beyond ourselves and our immediate spheres of influence, and out into the world. So let's get spending those Pawpoints and be part of the change we need!