Friday Notes || No.29

On beavers, food waste & climate change

Hello, and welcome to Friday Notes. This week’s edition of Friday Notes is all about beavers, food waste and climate change.

Friday Notes is my weekly newsletter round-up of my own work together with a curated list of the essays, articles, music, web comics, videos, films and books I enjoy each week, online and off. I hope you find something that interests you.

What I've been enjoying this week

1. The pandemic has been hard for all of us, but the impact on those who live or work in care homes or have a family member who does has been heartbreaking. In the UK, our care homes have been in lockdown for most of the past year and residents haven’t been able to see their families in person in an unrestricted way. For dementia patients, this is incredibly difficult. The Guardian shared a story and video earlier in the week about a couple in their eighties who were reunited after almost a year apart. I cried.

2. This episode of Green Dreamer is all about dumpster diving, food waste and climate change. It’s really interesting, you should definitely give it a listen. When I was an undergraduate student I worked a part time job in hospitality at a large events centre - the NEC - out by the airport on the edge of Birmingham, making coffee and selling sandwiches at events like Crufts and the National Wedding Show. The shifts were twelve hours and at the end of the day we had to bag up the ‘out of date’ sandwiches - sandwiches that were perfectly fresh and good to eat but stamped with a conservative ‘best before’ date - and put them in the bin round the back of the warehouse. I couldn’t bring myself to do this, so quite often I would end up carrying a big bag of sandwiches back to the city centre with a co-worker to drop them off at a homeless shelter by the station.

That’s just one anecdote of food waste in hospitality and my drop in the ocean effort to do something about it. I still see food waste on a huge scale when I work weddings as the catering team almost always over cater and end up throwing out large volumes of food at the end of the day. The scale of the problem is hard to comprehend, but it’s a very good place to make an impact for the benefit of both society and the environment.

3. The beavers are back! This year, after successful trials, beavers are set to be reintroduced at several locations across England and Wales. This is fantastic news. Beavers can help humans with river flow challenges and flood management, and they’re really cute too!

That's all for this week, thanks for reading.

See you next Friday!


If you're reading this for the first time, hello, my name is Stéphanie. I'm a documentary photographer, filmmaker and writer, and I live in Birmingham in the UK. I hold a PhD in environmental social science from the University of Birmingham, and write about art, society, politics and the environment.

You can find out more about me and my work at these other places on the web:

Portfolio Website | Personal Blog | Flickr | Vimeo | YouTube | Instagram