Buying second hand gives partially worn item a further length of life, so preventing unnecessary waste of resources in disposing of partially used items and in making more brand new items. I regularly drop in at the local charity shops looking for a book to read, a jigsaw for distraction or maybe something to wear. Yesterday I was feeling the lack of summer trousers – usually I expect to wear shorts at this time of year but the cold wind is making that less than comfortable – and I was particularly lucky in finding a pair of thin cotton trousers and a loose top both in bright colours that make one feel happy.
Having both a number of sheets and pillowcases that are wearing thin (even after turning the outsides into the middle) I have combined the two to make/ mend some new pillowcases, and used the left overs to make handkerchiefs. Possibly a bit excessive but it does give the cotton an extended life.
This is a noisy time of year – the young starlings can now fly but have not yet learnt to feed themselves. They fly off with their parents and perch in easy reach of food and then squawk loudly to ensure that their parents keep on putting food into their ever open beaks! The juniors are a delicate shade of grey compared with the shiny sparkly back that they will sport when they reach adulthood.
It is good to see – and hear – them as their number have declined by 66% since the mid-1970s, placing them on the red list. According to the RSPB only 15% survive the first year to make it to adulthood. I hope that keeping our feeders full of fatty insect based nibbles will give them a helping hand.
The ongoing climate crisis makes local weather patterns more unpredictable and with that comes the risk of some plants species dying out in the short term. For example the speed with which bluebells can naturally migrate northwards to cooler climes may soon be slower than the speed with which unseasonal heat is advancing. If the bluebell seeds can be artificially transported to more suitable climes then the species can be saved. Seedbanks gather and store seeds to protect all our futures. Their stocks can allow for replanting in the future. They are also our security against our short sighted eradication of plants that we currently see as weeds, but which hold as yet unforeseen virtues.
Kew Gardens maintains a global seed bank, The Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) with over 2.4 billion seeds, representing over 39,000 different species of the world’s storable seeds. You can make financial donations to support this work.
I thought I saw the following headline – “Sowing the Seeds of Biodiversity Conversation’ – but when I looked a second time, I saw it read “Sowing the Seeds of Biodiversity Conservation”. And yet perhaps I did read it aright as I am now having a conversation about biodiversity. My reading had been about the idea that to assist biodiversity it helps to sow and grow local seeds and plants – ie ones that are most likely to grow where you are and to be a significant part of the localities food chain – nettles for comma butterflies for example. One way of doing this would be to collect seeds from such plants and share them with your neighbours.
On Wednesdays when Parliament is sitting, a group gathers on the pavement ent outside for an Earth Vigil. In two shifts, 11-1pm and 1-3pm, we sit or kneel to express our love and grief for the earth and its compromised environment, and to pray for wisdom for those in positions of power, and for all who can share in caring for the earth.
Last Wednesday we were joined by Andy, who afterward as spoke eloquently about the experience –
The campaign group “We Move” believes that politics in Europe needs to put people and planet first, and that it is people who have the power to push for the changes that are needed.
Here is one of there current campaigns –
“Just 1% of people are responsible for half of all toxic emissions from flying….But here’s the thing: we can do something about it. In fact, the solution is simple – cut emissions from luxury flights. This includes a ban of private jets from European airports, a tax on frequent flyers and an end to frequent flyer programmes. And we know it can be done: Climate activists recently scored a win and managed to ban private jets at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Let’s build on that success and cut down luxury emissions from flying.”
Sustainable living means not consuming more than can be replaced or replenished. Helium is a light gas that once released escapes beyond the limits of earth’s atmosphere – and thus from our viewpoint becomes irreplaceable. Helium forms naturally through the radioactive decomposition and decay of certain elements such as uranium and thorium. The gas has thus formed either escapes directly into – and out of – our atmosphere, or else becomes trapped with in rock pockets. This latter is the gas that is extracted for commercial use – but the supply is limited. The gas cannot be artificially manufactured.
Long term or excessive use of helium is not sustainable. However helium gas is currently a critical part of the operation of MRI scanners. These two factors are good reasons why we should not waste helium to fill party balloons. An additional reason for avoiding party balloons is the damage to the environment caused by the remnants of balloons – even biodegradable ones can block drains, choke or poison birds and animals.
Are there alternatives to helium balloons? In terms of party declarations, bunting (paper or fabric) which can be reused and finally recycled, paper chains, paper balloons, banners – Google these and you’ll find a wealth of ideas.