Counting on … day 1:026

26th January 2023

Recycle what can’t be repaired or reused. More and more things can now be recycled meaning that we should have less and less to throw into the dustbin. (Our dustbin only needs emptying 2 or 3 times a year at present and we’re working in reducing that). 

Again the net result is to make better use of scare resources and to protect the environment.

For more information – 

https://greentau.org/tag/plastic/

Counting on ….day 1:025

25th January 2023

Carry a keep cup and/ or a water bottle. We can help cafés avoid using throwaway cups by having our own ready to hand. (My preference is to sit in with a china cup but there are times when that is not possible!) There are some takeaway outlets that will fill you lunch box rather than supplying a throwaway container – https://www.refill.org.uk/

There are more and more places – including most main railway stations – where you can refill water bottles avoiding the need to pay for water in a single use plastic bottle. 

Refuse or avoid excess packaging. Producing things we don’t need is clearly a waste of resources. 

Saying no to the plastic bag, or looking for the least packaged items is a good starting point. If you feel a product has too much packaging or has non-recyclable packaging you could post the problematic packaging back to the manufacturer with a letter of explanation – it might nudge them to respond. For a lot of food items you can shop at the increasing number of refill shops where you can take in your own containers or use paper bags or make use of a milk delivery service. Milk and More for example delivers not just dairy milk in refill bottles but also oat milk, laundry and washing liquids, fruit juices etc.

For more information- https://greentau.org/2022/01/24/the-green-tau-issue-31/

Counting on …day 1:023

23rd January 2023

Support ethical/ eco friendly/ fair trade  businesses – use your money like a vote. By opting for fair trade coffee one is ensuring that the people who grow the beans get a fair wage – or buy specialist beans where again the suppliers guarantee a fair wage. Fair wages are needed in the UK too. Opt for companies that pay the real Living Wage. Equally look to buy from companies that pay their taxes!

For further info – https://greentau.org/2022/02/24/eco-tips/

Counting on … day 1.022

22nd January 2023

Be a citizen scientist. The records made by citizen scientists help us to aim a better understanding of the environment, its biodiversity, its interconnected ecosystems and our place within it.

Next weekend is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. Take time out and spend an hour counting the birds in your garden or local park – https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/

Similar events happened throughout the year with projects inviting you to count wild flowers, butterflies, bees etc.

For more information try the following web sites – 

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/take-part/citizen-science.html

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/citizen-science

Counting on …day 1:21

21st January 2023

Shop locally, support local businesses.

How can this help the environment? Shopping locally means we travel shorter distances that can be done on foot or cycle. Shopping locally and supporting local businesses means we are keeping our local community alive, providing jobs locally and ensuring that there is the good range of shops and businesses that we need if we are to avoid long shopping journeys. Walking to local shops encourages us to greet and talk with our neighbours – the people we pass in the street. It builds up relationships that are valuable when we have a problem – when I was isolating due to covid, local shops would deliver. Supporting locally businesses encourages them to support local initiatives from putting up posters in their windows to making donations.

Counting on …day 1:020

20th January 2023

Cut food waste! A third of all the world’s food goes to waste and adding up the waste of resources in producing and transporting food that ultimately goes to waste plus the carbon footprint the food that then goes onto rot, accounts for about 8% of global emissions. 

Here in the UK households throw away 4.5 million tonnes of edible food every year.

For more information – 

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200224-how-cutting-your-food-waste-can-help-the-climate

Counting on…1:019

19th January 2023

Eating seasonally avoids the need to import blueberries from Peru, grapes from South Africa, green beans from Kenya, avocados from Mexico -and such items usually come by air. Eating seasonally allows us to support local growers of produce and to enjoy a greater variety of fruit and vegetables. Seasonal produce is often only available for  a short time span which is why it may not be stocked by supermarkets who favour the simplicity of produce that is available all year round. Eating seasonally means we can look forward to certain delights – Seville oranges in January  Jerusalem artichokes in late winter, forced rhubarb (also late winter), watercress in the spring, asparagus in June, discovery apples in July, cob nuts in the autumn and so on.
Eating seasonally helps improve biodiversity and encourages the growing of heritage crops.

Counting on…1:018

18th January 2023

In September Oxfam runs a Second Hand September campaign, but you don’t have to wait till then to check out your local charity shops. January is often when people are having a clear out or passing on unwanted gifts. You may find just the things you were looking for – it will stop something going to landfill, support and worthy cause, and give you lots of pleasure!

As a follow on you might like to sign Transform Trade’s (previously known as Traidcraft) calling for a fashion watchdog to ensure better accountability in the fashion trade.

Counting on ….day 1:017

17th January 2023

Clothes and the fashion industry contributes about 10% of all global carbon emissions. These stem from the production of synthetic materials as well as the large footprint of growing cotton; shipping and manufacturing; and the trend towards fast fashion. People buy more clothes than ever but wear them less often. Barely worn clothes plus a large number of unworn clothes (those that have overnight become unfashionable) end up in landfill. With cheaply made clothes, replacement is cheaper than repair. As clothes are often made from a mixture of different material types, recycling is not straightforward and can be expensive. 

But change can and is happening. Buying clothes that are made to last, maintaining and repairing clothes, rewearing or swopping clothes, buying from vintage and second hand sources, altering and adapting clothes to new circumstance, all helps to reduce the carbon  – and environmental- footprint of what we wear. 

I still wear a skirt that was my mother’s, a kilt which was second hand when I had it as a child, and my wedding dress (for dances not weddings!)

For more information –

 https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20211105-how-carbon-might-go-out-of-fashion https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/fashion-industry-carbon-unsustainable-environment-pollution/