The Goods: Cats replace adverts on London’s tube – and other stories everyone’s talking about


(Photo: weglimpse.co/catsnotads)

Give the people what they want: pics of cute cats

Well, it happened. And when we say ‘it’, we are of course referring to a project that Collectively reported on back in February, which asked people to donate money to a Kickstarter campaign, in order to replace adverts in a London tube station with… pictures of cats.

For the next two weeks – until September 25 – Clapham Common underground station will feature 68 less adverts and 68 more photos of cats from two animal welfare charities, thanks to £23,000 donated by almost 700 members of the public.

Why? Not for any reason more than ‘why not?’, pretty much. It’s the colossally kooky idea of a group called Glimpse, who founded the Citizens Advertising Takeover Service to launch the Kickstarter.

Writing on Medium, Glimpse founder James Turner explained the thinking behind the move: “This isn’t a clever marketing stunt for a pet food brand, or a guerrilla campaign for a new TV series. The people behind it are volunteers who raised the money on Kickstarter. We want to inspire people to think differently about the world and realise they have the power to change it.”

Clearly, Glimpse don’t want people to paws too long to think about it – just accept it for the purrrfectly arbitrary idea that it is.



(Photo: weglimpse.co/catsnotads)


Weaving plastic bags into beds for the homeless

With charges and outright bans on pesky plastic bags featuring in an ever-increasing number of cities and countries across the globe, it seems the world is waking up to the need to ditch – or at least minimise – these plastic pests. But there are still a lot of them in circulation.

So apart from reusing a few of them for shopping, is there anything useful that can be done with them? Try asking the self-proclaimed ‘Bag Ladies’ from Tennessee, who’ve been turning the bags into sleeping mats for the homeless.

And it’s all thanks to the power of crochet. The group tie strips of bags together to create what they’re calling ‘plarn’ – plastic yarn. Then they get their crochet on and turn the plarn into mats, which are given to those in need to provide a more comfortable sleeping option. Some of the mats have even been sent to Louisiana, to help out victims of the recent floods who’ve lost their homes.

It apparently takes 600-700 bags to make one mat, and so far, around 88 mats have been produced, meaning that the group have recycled around 52,000 plastic bags. Keep on crocheting that plarn, ladies – you’re weaving some real magic.



(Photo: Flickr/Duncan Hull)


London gets electric

In another welcome move to tackle London’s grim levels of air pollution, it’s been reported that the city will have Europe’s largest fleet of electric buses by the end of this year. London’s mayor Sadiq Khan announced that two routes in central London will be purely electric, featuring 51 new electric vehicles transporting commuters without the resulting carbon emissions.

Which all sounds good to us, especially as it’s part of a larger drive towards even more electric buses across the city. The plan is for all of the 300 single-decker vehicles in the centre of the city to become zero-emission by 2020, and for all double-decker buses – those ones that you see plastered on postcards, T-shirts and mugs in every other shop on Oxford Street – to become hybrid vehicles by 2019. Electrifyingly good news.



(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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