Archive for May, 2007

Shopping trip

Usually, when I go shopping I find myself endless repeating the phrase, ‘no, it’s all right, I don’t want a bag… no, I’ve got my own… yes, I’m quite sure, thank you’. Today, the guy who served me in Sainsbury’s didn’t flinch when I got out my massive black cloth bag and even said, approvingly, ‘good for you’. He was also very friendly and polite and asked me all about my exams and my course. It made me very happy, so I mad a point of saying how lovely it was to talk to him. I wish all shop assistants could be like that.

Then, I went to Whittard’s. I noticed they’ve started selling tea in old-fashioned tins. The greenie in me got massively overexcited, and I spent ages wrestling with my conscience over whether to buy those or the cardboard boxes: Well, I could compost or recycle cardboard… if I had a compost heap or if the council would recycle it… Is it more energy effecient to make cardboard or metal packaging? I wonder whether the plastic seal over the tins is bigger than the plastic bag inside the cardboard boxes… I could reuse the tins… But what for?

Does anyone else spend ages deliberating things like this in shops? I always feel ridiculous!!! I blame working in the farm shop – I am physically incapable of buying anything without thinking about where it came from and what’s going to happen to the waste. Anyway, the tea deal was eventually clinched by the fact that they didn’t have Moroccan Mint or Kenyan leaf teas in the tins.

Mmmmm, tea.

M&S still haven’t asked me if I want a bag. Despite all the signs. They also haven’t replied to my email asking about their new ‘Farm Assurance’ scheme for milk. Sounds like an excellent idea, but I can’t find out how it works, or if it applies to the other dairy produce in store. Tut tut.

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May 26, 2007 at 9:01 pm Leave a comment

Cause of Global Warming Revealed!

May 25, 2007 at 7:29 am Leave a comment

In praise of tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is fantastic. Not only has gargling with it been good for my sore throat (WHY did I get ill just as finals started??), but it’s also cleared up a long-standing problem! (Touch wood.) I had an accident when I was really small and had stitches in my nose, and recently I’ve been getting a lot of pain and itchiness and occasional bleeding around the scar tissue. (Sorry if that’s too much information.) Anyway, I went to see my GP and got referred to a consultant and she said ‘oh, it’s just an slight inflammation, go home and put Vaseline on it’.

Now, I’ve been putting Vaseline on it for about 9 months, and while it’s quite soothing, it hasn’t actually cleared up the problem. In sheer desperation last week, I used some tea tree oil. It stung rather, but after a few days, my nose feels like a normal person’s nose! Hurrah!

So, petroleum = bad.

Things from trees = good.

Things from trees coming from Australia = less good.

May 24, 2007 at 8:52 pm Leave a comment

One hour no power

Just found out about this initiative through self-sufficientish. Basically, you’re supposed to turn off everything (non-essential) for one hour at midday on July 1st: cars, television, computer, radio etc. It isn’t a power-saving exercise, but more “a symbolic hour in which to switch off from the modern world and look at our everyday lives, to see how we can make some long-term changes that will help our planet”.

Suggestions for things to do with your hour include:

  • Spend some quality time with family and friends.
  • Hold a sponsored event for your favourite environmental group.
  • Take to the roads on your bike, board, blades.
  • Hug a tree (while stocks last).
  • Hug a cynic (there’ll be no shortage of these).
  • Write down your personal green action plan for the coming year.
  • Find a quiet spot and savour the peace.
  • Hold a John and Yoko style love-in.
  • Wear something green.
  • Wear your recycled, home-made One Hour No Power T-shirt in public.
  • Get some friends together, find some musical instruments and make acoustic music.
  • Get a neighbourhood party going.
  • Read a book in the park.
  • Plant a tree or flower.
  • Make a costume and donate it to an aspiring Real Life Superhero.
  • Do some philosophical work on your inner-self.
  • Paint or draw.
  • Play board games.
  • Start a conversation with someone new.
  • Write a letter to someone and mail it.
  • See if you can stretch it to two hours.

May 20, 2007 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

Article on global warming

Absolutely terrifying

Interesting article about the effects of the temperature rising by different amounts. Rather worrying, and a bit heavy on the science (I have a terrible habit of tuning out when anyone starts mentioning science) but makes it clear what exactly climate change will entail, with different scenarios, etc. i.e. Home Counties’ climate being like Marrakech is atm! I can’t deal with the summer in Surrey as it is, and have threatened my parents with going home, if it’s as hot down south as it was last year. Don’t get me wrong, I like the summer, but I like being able to go outside and do things when the weather is nice, rather than have to sit around feeling all floppy.

Hopefully articles like this and the climate map I posted a while back offer a more ‘tangible’ way of thinking about the effects of climate change. ‘It’s going to be like this! Pay attention!’ Makes you wonder why governments and so many people don’t seem to be taking it very seriously, though…

May 19, 2007 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

Alcohol

This is where greenness and student life come together! I am making rhubarb schnapps. Which means I have an extremely dodgy-looking tupperware full of pink liquid and bits of rhubarb under my bed, which makes a wonderful fizzing sound every time I shake it. It already smells and tastes so good. Can’t wait till it’s ready in 5 weeks!

May 19, 2007 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

Talking vegetables!

May 15, 2007 at 6:07 pm Leave a comment

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The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."