Sunday, 17 June 2018

Cooking up a way to help the world


Food is life but is our current way of feeding ourselves killing the planet?

Wander through the aisles of any supermarket and you are spoilt for choice for food and a lot of it is ready prepared food - from breakfast cereals to microwave dinners, from fresh fruit already peeled and chopped to snacks galore.  It is now entirely possibly to eat without ever having to cook a single meal from scratch and whilst this may be amazingly convenient it comes at a price ... and not just the inflated cost of the food itself.  Convenient foods may be just that - convenient - but they also come with a negative impact on the environment.

Supermarket food aisle

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Animal Tales - 111


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up!

Apologies for not hosting an Animal Tales last month but I had so much on, something had to give and blogging pulled the short straw.  Am I forgiven?  Will a daft picture of Morgan help?


Monday, 11 June 2018

10 reasons I will never own a ferret

When I first started the #AnimalTales linky one example of the sort of post I'd love to see linked up was Pet Lists such as 10 Reasons Why I Would Never Own a Ferret ... and I have never got around to writing that post.  Anyway after 111 Animal Tales linkies I think it is about time I did it.  This post is not meant to offend those of you who love ferrets and for many they make great pets ... just not for me.

10 Reasons Why I Will Never Own a Ferret



1. They bite


I am old enough to remember this and to be quite frank that was enough for me to never want to handle a ferret.  In fairness there are plenty of ways to teach your ferret not to bite (apparently) but with those sharp needle like teeth I am not taking any risks!



Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Green or GreenWash?


I picked this loaf of organic bread up at our local supermarket recently.  I don't normally buy what my boys call "Plastic bread" but this was in the reduced to sell basket and with an excess of eggs and milk I knew I could make it into a bread and butter pudding. But I also wanted to pose the question to you as to whether this was a good green choice or a fine example of greenwashing?


Monday, 7 May 2018

Going Green #18 - May 2018


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

Support local businesses and support the local environment


Apologies it took me so long to get around to reading all the posts from last month but I have been working on building up a Facebook group I am admin on ... and it does have a green link.  Called Book Your Holiday Direct with the Owner it enables holidaymakers to book self catering rentals in the UK, Ireland and France without going via the big Online Travel Agents (OTAs) who charge high booking fees to guests and commission to owners.  On a Green level when holidaymakers book direct rather than through an OTAs it can have benefits for the local environment.  Read how in one of my linked up posts.


Sunday, 6 May 2018

Book holidays direct to help the local environment


You may not know but as well as writing this green blog and trying to live my life in as a green as way as possible, I also run an eco-friendly gite (holiday cottage) in Normandy called Eco-Gites of Lenault.  And on the back of that I have been working hard, recently, on building up a Facebook group and page called Book Your Holiday Direct with the Owner ... and this does have a green ideology behind it as booking your holiday direct with the owner leads to benefits for the local environment.

Let me first explain why I work so hard to help owners get more direct bookings.  The alternative is to use one of the many large online booking agencies (OTAs) such as Owners Direct, Airbnb, TripAdvisor etc but when you do this the OTA charges a hefty booking or service fee to the guest and commission to the owner - sometimes up to 20%+.  This is money that the holidaymaker and owners can no longer spend locally ... and money spend locally is likely to be better for the local environment.

Book Direct to help the local environment

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Totally Unnecessary Plastic Packaging


Many of us will have seen the episode of Blue Planet 2 which showed the disastrous effect plastic is having on our oceans.  It brought home to many people that the plastic we all handle every day is a HUGE problem and we really need to do something about it.  But for consumers it can be so hard when manufacturers seem to be INCREASING not decreasing the plastic packaging.  Take these examples I have found this week:

A Plastic Wrapped Sink Plunger


Why on earth does this rubber part of the plunger need to have a plastic sleeve around it? It is not a product that needs to be kept extra clean or protected from damage.  The packaging doesn't hold any product details or prices (the price was a small label stuck on the handle) nor enable the plunger to be hung from a rack.  But the worst thing about it all was I bought a plunger just a couple of months ago from the same supermarket and then, IT WAS NOT WRAPPED IN PLASTIC.  Sorry, I had to shout that.  This is NEW packaging. Why Why Why????



Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Animal Tales - 110


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up!

Last month I mentioned that we were getting a new dog and you can read about him in my linked post from the gite blog. I can't quite believe we have had him a month already!  A new dog is not the only new addition at Eco-Gites of Lenault and look what I woke up to one morning last week ... a rather unexpected late lamb!



Monday, 2 April 2018

Going Green #17 - April 2018


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

Instagram


I joined Instagram a while back and really enjoy it.  I would love to follow more green themed accounts so do please drop me a comment with a link to yours.  I have been a bit lax this last week or so adding new images and some new accounts to follow may be just the inspiration I need to got going again.

You can find me at https://www.instagram.com/greenrosielife/ with photos on sustainable living, our life in France, our gite, Normandy and other general stuff!



GreenRosieLife - Instagram

Friday, 23 March 2018

Why gardening should be on the National Curriculum


Before we moved to France I was as an Environmental Educator working with primary school children.  I covered a range of activities including gardening.  I helped the children plan, build and use gardens in their schools.  It was hugely satisfying work and the children loved what they thought was non school work, where in fact they were learning so much.  My work was outside of the National Curriculum and relied on head teachers realising how important this "work" was, especially as much of the area I worked in was very urban, with many children having limited access to gardens or outdoor green spaces.   Both then and now I strongly believe that gardening should be part of the National Curriculum as it teaches children so many important things.

Children with their pumpkin harvest

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Animal Tales - 109


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up!

At some point on the blog recently I mentioned that we were looking for a new dog, realising Saari really does want some more regular canine company than just the few dogs the friends leave with us when they are away.  I still think she misses her beautiful Poppy and whilst no dog will ever replace her best friend she would now love a new friend.  And it looks like we have found that dog .... but it was only last night that we saw him and the refuge owner has yet to do a house check so you will have to wait a bit longer before I introduce him to you, here, on A Green and Rosie Life.   Instead, I give you a picture of Moo in one of her favourite sitting places ... we are not too sure how she is going to react to a new dog here!

A cat sat on a man's head

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Skills the world needs us to know


I wrote in a recent blog that when we lose so many of the skills our predecessors knew then we place our lives in the hands of others ... and with just a few large companies holding the greater part of the market share we are left to buy what we need from a small number of super-corporations and they can produce theses goods however they want. These large companies care more for profit than sustainability.  They can use as many pesticides as they see fit, grow GMO crops, use child labour, transport goods all around the world, wrap them in plastic etc etc ... and as consumers our choice to have anything different is lost with the skills to produce these items ourselves.

What skills, therefore, do we need for the sake of saving our planet from further environmental damage?

Hand holding freshly harvested radishes


Monday, 5 March 2018

Going Green #16 - March 2018


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

Keep those basic skills alive


I hope those of you reading from the UK/Ireland have all survived the recent bad winter weather.  I heard on the news that at one point gas supplies were running low and some households had no electricity.  Many roads were impassable with this one on Exmoor showing how deep the snow was!  It's at times like this that we come to realise how much we rely in modern world on both our power supplies and ability to jump in the car whenever we want to get necessities in ... until the weather decides otherwise.  Here in Normandy we didn't get the snow but our gas did slow down considerably due to the cold and the road down the hill was too icy to drive down for a couple of days.  However with a woodburner to cook on, flour to make into bread and plenty of home grown supplies in we were not inconvenienced at all.  But it inspired me to write about how important maintaining basic living skills are ... and not just for when adverse weather hits.  Please see my first linked up post for the full story.

Image from BBC Somerset Facebook page

I am also adding a sneaky Eco Easter post - I know I added this to a linky last year but with lots of new followers to #GoingGreen and Easter coming up, I thought it needed another airing. Privilege of being the linky host and all that!


Saturday, 3 March 2018

Skills we must not lose


This image turned up on my Facebook timeline this morning.  I am sure it brought a smile to a good few people, especially if they had managed to rush to the shops before the bad weather hit and stocked up of loads of bread.  However when a friend posted on Facebook that they were baking bread, he wondered how many people were also doing this and how many do not know how to bake bread.

Image from Leamington Spa Courier

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Animal Tales - 108


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up!

I have been busy over the last couple of weeks watching over our small sheep flock as they lambed.  I had hoped to link up a lambing update on my Eco-Gites of Lenault blog but have not had the time to write it so you will have to make do with a post just mentioning our first lambs to arrive ... as well an an old post from this blog! 


Monday, 5 February 2018

Going Green #15 - Feb 2018


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

Inspire me!


Do you have any specific green plans for February?  I'd love to hear from you as I can always do with some inspiration from fellow green enthusiasts.  Which is why I hope the 2 posts I have linked up this month will motivate you to take some more green steps.  And in a world that often seems so full of bad news have you heard of any good environmental stories?  The news that London will be bringing back water fountains in a step to eliminate single use plastic water bottles certainly cheered me up.  Do let me know any more good news stories you have come across.

One of the new drinking fountains installed in Borough Market. Photograph: Lucy Young/PR Source: The Guardian

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Journey to Green: How to succeed at green living


If you search online for "How to live a green lifestyle" or some equivalent phrase you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and blog posts about all the things you can do to help the environment.  However, Going Green is not always easy and to really succeed the right "Green Mindset" will help enormously.  Let me help you get in the right frame of mind as you head off on your Journey to Green.

Journey to Green

Saturday, 3 February 2018

What fruit and veg is in season when


I am sure a lot of you may well have made eating more fruit and veg one of your goals for 2018.  I wonder, though, if you have thought about how it is best for you (and the environment) if you are eating fresh seasonal produce.

What is seasonal produce? 


If you are eating "Seasonal Produce" it means you will be eating fruit and veg that is naturally at its best.   It will have grown outside and generally not too far from where you live.  For this reason it will taste great and have the highest possible nutritional value.  Also, if you are eating out of season produce it will have either been grown abroad (racking up food miles) or in heated greenhouses (racking up energy costs).

Eat seasonally - what is is season when

Monday, 22 January 2018

Why buy your meat from an independent butcher/farm shop/farmer's market


FACT - there are a lot more meat eaters in the UK than vegetarians or vegans (studies suggest there are around 5% vegetarians in the UK).

FACT - the number of vegetarians is growing in the UK

It is known that producing meat, especially lamb and beef, produces greenhouse gases and that large amounts of meat for sale in the UK comes from abroad (stacking up food miles) and/or from factory farms with questionable animal welfare standards (both for animals and workers).  Eating too much meat is also be linked to health issues.

BUT, many of those who eat meat will not become vegetarian in the foreseeable future.  Meat is an integral part of their diet and despite an ongoing reduction in overall meat consumption in the UK over the last 40 years, the negative points above will not stop many from eating meat.

FACT - that makes for a lot of meat eaters. 

But where is the best place to buy your meat?  In my view this would be a local butcher or farm shop/farmer's market.   

Image attribution - wikimedia

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Animal Tales - 107


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you and all your animal friends a Very Happy and Healthy New Year!  Mini-Pig, my friend's dog who dislocated her leg and was featured in last month's #AnimalTales, is getting better slowly after a successful operation to put her leg back in place, but she still has a good few months before she will be back to long walks again.

I currently have another dog staying, a rather lovely Lab x Spaniel but she has one major vice, she chases cats.  Poor Moo is not any good at standing up to her (Our old Henry would, in contrast, have put her in her place with one sharp wallop across the nose) so we are having to do rather a lot of Moo management, keeping the two of them apart.  At least it may, therefore, take her mind off beating up Fumée in the on-going Cat Wars we are living in.  Do you have pets that don't get on?

Cat hiding on office chair
Moo hiding


Monday, 8 January 2018

Cat Wars


They say you can choose your friends but not your family but when you are a cat then you get no choice on which other cats your owner brings home to be your "friends".  And just like humans some cats do not like other cats. I mean some cats REALLY do not like each other:

Like Fumée and Moo, two of our cats.

Yup - we live in the middle of "cat wars" where Fumée and Moo are sworn enemies.


Monday, 1 January 2018

Going Green #14 - Jan 2018


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

Happy New Year


Welcome to 2018!  A new year and hopefully one that will see more green ideas taken up by both ordinary people and businesses, large and small. It is difficult to know exactly what the state of the planet really is but what I do know is that I, for one, cannot idly stand on the sidelines doing nothing to protect the only home we have.  Others may scoff at my efforts as I make seemingly insignificant green steps but I know that I have to do what I can.  I will continue to live a green life to the best of my abilities and I will continue to spread the word through friends, family and this blog and I hope you will join me on this journey.  If you are looking for some green inspiration as we step into 2018 my 2 linked blogs should help you.  How about enough green ideas for a year in 365 ways to help you save the planet or if you prefer letters to numbers, try my A-Z of Going Green - one step at a time.



Sunday, 31 December 2017

A-Z of Going Green, one step at a time.


I am going to make any specific New Year Resolutions this year.  Instead I am going to try and follow the A-Z Going Green, one step at a time.  Are you with me?  Will you make 2018 the year of Going Green?

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

365 ways to help you save the planet


If you are looking to take some steps towards living in a more green and sustainable way let me help you with enough ideas to fill a year!  Based on my series of Weekly Green Tips I have now combined all the weekly tips I gave into one post giving you a new idea for every day of the year .... 365 ways to help you save the planet.  I appreciate you may already do some or others are either irrelevant to you or maybe impossible to tackle right now - but hopefully there are plenty here you can action.  And imagine what a difference we could make to the world if we all took up these tips.

To make it easier for you to find them I have linked to all of them below in 7 main groups.  And of you are wondering why there are not 52 I did a few super blogs of 14 and even 21 tips to cover when I had time away from blogging! Oh and the last one had a list of nine as try as I may I couldn't lose 2!!

365 WAYS TO HELP YOU SAVE THE PLANET


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Animal Tales - 106


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up!

Saari and I are both wondering if you could send some healing thoughts this way.  Saari's best friend, Mini-Pig, had an accident on Sunday resulting in her dislocating a hind leg at the hip.  The vets have been unable to get the joint to stay in by manipulation so she is due to have it operated on tomorrow.  Fingers crossed she will make a full recovery and soon be back doing what she loves best - careering through the countryside at great speed.  Thank you.

Mini-Pig

Monday, 11 December 2017

Dogs and Christmas


With the Christmas season well and truly up us please do take a moment to consider dogs as well as our friends and family as their take on Christmas may not be quite the same as ours. 

Presents for Dogs


Can I let you into a secret? Dogs don't understand Christmas and they really don't need any presents.  Why not spend the money on some wild bird feed or sponsor a wild animal instead?  However if you absolutely must get them something please try and go with something that is plastic-free and maybe also good for them - a new exercise toy for example.  And if you feel totally unable to resist some pet accessory such as these canine antlers, please never leave the dog alone with them as they can all too easily become a choking hazard.


For more tips on how to own a sustainable pet have a read of this blog post.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

My kitchen table - my life


This was my kitchen table yesterday and I realised that it summed up my life so well and what I hope to achieve on a daily basis.  Let me take you on a journey round my kitchen table/life ...

My kitchen table sums up my life so well

Starting top left and going clockwise:

Bowl of bread dough rising - this one is pumpkin bread and it turned out really tasty.  The sharp eyed among you may notice the dough is covered with plastic and you would be right.  It is a bag that had tortilla wraps in it and after being used several times to freeze things it split so got downgraded to a bread cover.

My 13 year old Nokia phone - yup, I really do have an original Nokia and it is at least 13 years old.  Dare I ask how many phone upgrades you have had in 13 years?

2 tea towels - these came from my Mum's house after we cleared it out.  We tried to salvage as much as possible of things that could not be given to charity or sold on/recycled.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Going Green #13 - Dec 2017


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

Happy Green Christmas


Lots of the blogs last month had a Christmas theme and I have included links to many of these in the 2 "Ultimate Green Christmas" posts I have written - one of Green Present Ideas and one on having a Green Christmas generally.  If anyone would ask me one piece of green advice for this time of year it would be this - don't be swayed by all the adverts thrown at at every turn or what everyone tells you you should be doing... make Christmas what you (and the planet) want it to be:


Friday, 17 November 2017

Green Christmas Present Ideas - The Ultimate List


If the advertisers and big manufacturers were to have their way we would buy so much stuff for Christmas we'd have to starve for the rest of the year.  Well I have a message for big business.  There is another way.  A green way that does not mean Christmas is stuffed full of plastic, packaging, waste and debt.  Christmas can be just as fun, and above all better for the planet if we step off the treadmill of rampant commercialism and make Christmas altogether more sustainable.  In my previous blog post I wrote about general ways to celebrate a green Christmas and now I give you the low down on eco-present giving.

Green Christmas present ideas


The Ultimate Collection of Green Christmas Ideas


Christmas is just around the corner and for those trying to lead a more green and sustainable life this can be a difficult time.  The constant pressure from adverts to BUY, BUY, BUY can all too easily force you into the mindset that the only way to have the perfect Christmas is to buy masses of new stuff - presents, cards, wrapping paper, decorations, food and drinks, clothes, new sofas, new technology .... And only when you do this will you have the picture perfect time as seen in all the big budget TV adverts, magazines articles, billboards and so on which are inescapable at this time of year.

It is difficult not to get sucked in.  Who doesn't want a fabulous meal or to see the delight on children's faces as they rip open their presents on Christmas Day?  Perhaps you want to be the decorated home everyone talks about with your magazine perfect brand new every year decorations?  Or maybe you can see beyond the glitter and the tinsel for what Christmas is really all about - plastic, excess packaging, waste, food miles, lining the pockets of big business, exploitation of workers, family debt etc.

Now don't get me wrong.  I am not saying we all turn into Scrooge and bah humbug our way through the festive season.  But I do believe we can all have just as much fun without all the excess.  So I asked on a couple of Facebook groups (Make Do and Mend and Zero Waste Heroes!) and among my fellow bloggers and friends what they do at Christmas to keep keep it green whilst still having fun and I got MASSES of responses.  So much so I have going to have to put them in to 2 blog posts - one for present ideas (Green Christmas Present Ideas - The Ultimate List) and one for everything else!

Ideas for a Green Christmas


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

A Seal in the River Liffey, Dublin


I am just back from a family holiday in Ireland.  When there, we has a day trip to Dublin, taking the train along the coast from further south.  We had read that you can see seals here so kept our eyes peeled all the way there in the hope of seeing one ... without luck.  I have never seen a wild seal.  Oh well, maybe another time.

In Dublin we walked down to the dock area where we took a moment alongside the River Liffey to decide what to do next.  At the same moment we all turned to look at the river and what did we see - a SEAL!!  It was just chilling in the middle of the river, without a care in the world.  I found this video from The Irish Times from 2 years ago when a seal was filmed in the Liffey at the same place as we were so apparently our sighting was not a first, although I do not know if the seal we saw was the same one.  We watched it for a while and it was obviously looking for fish, diving for up to 10 minutes at a time before resurfacing.

The article in The Irish Times asks whether the seal will become the Dublin equivalent of Fungi the Dolphin.  Fungi is a wild bottlenose dolphin who happily lives in Dingle Harbour, Kerry, on the West coast of Ireland.  When we were there in 2000 we specifically went to see if we could see him but without any luck.  

Seeing this seal was just as good though and such a surprise as we knew nothing about seals in the Liffey.  It also proves that the water is not too polluted which is great news for a city river.

Have you ever seen any wildlife in an unexpected place?

Seal in the River Liffey, Dublin.  Image from The Irish Times


Animal Tales - 105


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up!

One of my posts this week is about seeing wildlife in an unexpected place - you can read about it here.

Image from The Irish Times

Monday, 6 November 2017

Going Green #12 - Nov 2017


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

Green Christmas


Christmas can be a trying time for green minded people - the pressure to buy so much stuff and eat to excess is all around from TV to Internet, in the shops and at schools and businesses.  I would like to write a post giving some great ways to green up Christmas and for that I need your help.  Have you got some innovative ideas of how we can celebrate in style without spending a fortune and more importantly for the planet, without creating more waste?  Maybe you have some ideas for presents you can make or some delicious recipes for home-made festive food?  What about natural decorations or home-made cards?  Or have you ways you spend Christmas that don't involve any spending at all?

If you have any ideas you would like to share please either leave a comment below or use the contact form in the right hand column.  Do give a link to your blog, if you have one and I will link back to you.  Let's see if together we can wean ourselves off the excess that is the 21stcentury Christmas and be able to wish everyone a Very Happy GREEN Christmas.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Ending the use of disposable drinks cups


In rural France, where I live, you simply do not see people drinking on the run. A drink, such as coffee, is either drunk at home or whilst sitting in a bar or café and it is drunk from a china cup.  However I am just back from Ireland and it was rather a shock to see so many people wandering around with drinks in disposable cups.  Even the local supermarket had a coffee vending machine and when we crossed on Irish Ferries, the coffee in the canteen was only sold in disposable cups.  

Tray of used disposable cups heading to landfill

Many people believe that disposable drinks cups can be easily recycled when, in fact, because they are lined with plastic this is not true.  And anyway, with most cups used "on the run" the vast majority just end up in general waste bins.  It is estimated only 1 in 400 cups in the UK actually gets recycled.  Furthermore the cardboard the cups are made from is "new" board and almost no recycled fibre is used amidst health concerns for the user.

In the UK 2.5 BILLION disposable cups are thrown away every year.  That is 7 million every day or just over 80 cups EVERY SECOND.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Be the change you wish to see in the world


This picture recently came up in my Instagram feed ...

Image from Instagram

... and someone in the comments wanted to know where they could buy the sign as they are setting up a zero waste shop.

But ...

Whilst the message is spot on, it seems completely ironic to me that someone setting up a zero waste shop should be asking where they can buy a sign that would have be transported with associated packaging materials.   So I suggested that to be true to their cause they should really should be making a sign themselves from local stuff that would otherwise go into landfill.  They replied that they would not know how to even start making a sign like that and anyway zero waste is not about not buying anything new.  I further replied that perhaps a better solution would be to get someone local to make the sign, maybe a school or college, thus helping to build local networks and spread the zero waste message.  In our journey to save the planet we may not stop be able to stop buying things but we do need to look for sustainable alternativese.

Sadly though, I am not sure they were overly impressed with my comments.  For daring to air my opinions the person setting up the zero waste shop has now removed their comments both asking where to buy the sign and their inability to make their own .... and blocked me from their Instagram account.

We are all entitled to our opinions and I was not rude.   I simply added what I felt was a valid point and I believe that anyone in business needs to be able to deal with feedback.  Blocking them is hardly a constructive way of going about this.

What do you think - was I wrong to add my viewpoint and were my comments valid?  Feedback welcome!

A Green and Rosie Life

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Simple and Sustainable Ways to enjoy Halloween

 
I am the first to admit I love Halloween.  I am a dab hand at making costumes so long as they are ghosts or zombies (!) and I take great delight in making frightful looking food that actually tastes really nice.  However what I do not like about Halloween is twofold and they are linked.  I do not like the rise in its commercialism and I do not like Trick or Treating.  For me I love a simple and sustainable Halloween.

Home-made zombie costumes for Halloween

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Animal Tales - 104


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up!

A PLEA - if you are going to link up please have he decency to comment on at least some of the other blogs.  I know I have been late getting there this month but that has just served to show me how few comments some of the lovely posts have got from people joining in the linky.  

Cute kitten with a big message

Monday, 2 October 2017

Going Green #11 - Oct 2017


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

Some questions about organic food - Why do you buy it?


I have written a couple of blogs this month ("Am I really Green Because ... " and "When Organic food may not be the best choice") looking at the environmental choices we may all make, asking if we actually make the best choice every time.  I would like to take one aspect of these blogs a bit further and for that I need you help.  Could you therefore answer the following for me:

Do you buy organic food? 


  • If yes what is the main reason why.
  • If no - why not?

If yes would you buy organic food if it...

1. Was packaged in plastic?
2. Contained palm oil?
3. Was not produced locally?

Thank you and please do pop your answers in a comment below.

Why do you buy organic food?

Friday, 29 September 2017

Why I will not buy organic food that contains palm oil


My last blog post questioned whether choosing organic food over non organic was always the best choice for the environment.  Many people are happy to pay extra for organic food thinking they are doing the very best for the environment.  However, in my view, there are many instances when organic food does not offer the best environmental choice, including when it contains palm oil:

Quote from my blog post:

When organic foods are contain palm oil  


We all know the devastating effects palm oil plantations are having on the rain forests of Asia and South America and the animals and plants that used to live there.  Manufacturers may say their palm oil is sustainable (what exactly does that mean anyway?) but the production of all palm oil goes far beyond just destroying habitats.  The working conditions of those harvesting and processing the crops is often extremely poor with no health care in place and workers are paid very low wages.  For the consumer, palm oil is far from a healthy product being high in saturated fats.  So why do organic producers even use it in their products?  Simply because it is the cheapest fat currently available.

I then received this comment from Jana315:

"Organic palm oil, all of the world's producers, grow in sustainably. Organic palm oil is the BEST choice among oils. Please do your research so that you are educated properly on this subject. Organic Palm oil is zero chemical input, pays farmers well and is ALL non-gmo. All palm oil is non-gmo. Responsible palm cultivation is a solution to feed the world."
In hindsight I had greatly simplified the organic palm oil issue, as I had done with each point in the blog, and so I wish to expand it here, both answering Jana315 and further clarifying why I stand by my claim that choosing organic foods containing palm oil may not be the best environmental choice.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

When Organic food may not be the best choice


"Buy Organic and save the Planet" could well be the logo of a company selling organic products and in many ways it rings true.  With a world of only organic agriculture we could be rid of so many harmful chemicals that kill more than the pests and weeds they are designed to wipe out.  We would say goodbye to genetically modified crops and the world's soil would be in a much better state.  But is organic always the right choice?  Are there actually times when you would be better off not choosing the organic option?  Was this "Simply Good and Organic" muesli I bought really a good environmental choice?



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Animal Tales - 103


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up!

I am afraid my first post this month is a sad one as we had to bid our final farewell to one of our cats, Henry.  It is always the hardest of decisions to make and I have written a post that I hope might helps others know when the time is right to let their pet go.  I have also added a more light hearted one one from 8 years ago - the day we made Henry sulk!

Henry, a handsome black and white cat
Henry - a noble puss who never had a hair out of place

Deciding when to have a pet put down


Last week we had Henry, our oldest cat, put to down.  He had had kidney failure for several years but the wonders of modern medicine and specialist foods had kept him going as the disease advanced.  But all pet owners must, at some point, make the decision to have a pet put down.  So how do you know when it is right to say goodbye?

Henry, a beautoful black and white cat
Henry

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Am I really green because ...


I am not a vegan?

But what about all those vegan foods that are imported from the other side of the world.  Maybe I should only ...

Shop Locally?

But what if I can only get non organic produce or factor farmed meat locally.  I need to ...

Only Eat Organic

But you know what?  My organic shop sells a lot of processed foods, non local foods and those made with palm oil.  So let's go ...

Palm Oil Free

Looking good until you realise that the only palm oil free peanut butter you can buy comes in a plastic jar.  So the answer must be to ...

Go Zero-Waste

Sounds great until I tell you that the nearest bulk store for me is miles away without any public transport so think of all that fuel I'd use to get there.  So I need to become ...

Self Sufficient

Now in fairness I do grow a lot of my own produce.  And so it is local .... and organic ... and palm oil free and very low on waste.  BUT, I raise and eat my own animals (and use their manure to fertilise the soil) so I am well and truly not a vegan which takes me neatly back to the start of this post.



Monday, 4 September 2017

Going Green #10 - Sept 2017


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

A summer of not blogging!


You may have noticed a bit of a silence from me over the last month as I was so busy with other things that I took a bit of a blogging break.  Plus our internet was rather temperamental and was often was down to a speed that felt you were wading through treacle ... or it completely died!!   Hopefully I did finally manage to visit all your posts from last month although I had problems adding comments to one or two for some reason.  Sorry about that.

Well with autumn on its way (complete with some fabulous sunsets), the boys go back to school this week so with luck I'll have a bit more time to spend on this blog.  I hope you had a great summer and I look forward to reading all the linked up posts this month.

Normandy late summer sunset
Normandy late summer sunset




Sunday, 3 September 2017

My Green Summer


I pretty much took a break from blogging this summer - partly I was too busy and something had to give and partly my internet connection was playing silly whatsits and was often so slow (or even dead) that it made working online almost impossible.  I am keeping everything crossed that will behave itself from now on.

So I though I would take this opportunity to share with you some of my green moments from the summer of 2017.  I'd love to hear what you have been up to too.

Family Time


The boys and Simon went camping in the UK for a while and when they were here we had some great times playing games such as Settlers of Catan and Molkky (Finnish skittles made from wood), visiting local landmarks including our favourite castle at Falaise (birthplace of William the Conqueror) and taking some lovely walks around the Normandy countryside.

Playing Molkky

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The British Plastic Federation and #PlasticFreeJuly


I was really pleased to hear that at the end of July plastic was talked about on Radio 4's You and Yours consumer affairs programme in response to both #PlasticFreeJuly and to the survey that says that 90% of people want to see a plastic free aisle in the supermarket.  I was, however, less pleased to hear what the supermarkets and British Plastics Federation had to say about plastics.   You can have a listen here, it is the first topic discussed - PlasticFreeJuly on You and Yours.

 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Animal Tales - 102


Welcome to Animal Tales, the monthly linky for all your animal stories.  If you have an animal related blog post (old or new) then come and link up! I had hoped to write an animals of Eco-Gites of Lenault update but failed to find the time. So instead I thought you might like this photo.  Remember the ducklings that hatched earlier in the year?  Well they have grown up a bit and have learnt how to fly.  Here they are on the sheep shelter with Bertie, the ram and Moo the cat to keep them company!

Ducks at Eco-Gites of Lenault

Monday, 7 August 2017

Going Green #9 - Aug 2017


Welcome to Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.

Plastic Free July ... for Ever!


Last month was Plastic Free July where we are asked to choose to refuse single-use plastic during July.  Did you take part ... and more importantly will you carry on reducing your plastic use now and for ever?!  I was really pleased to hear that it got a mention in Radio 4's You and Yours (A UK national radio consumer programme) although the response from both the supermarkets, the British Retail Consortium and the British Plastics Federation were depressing to say the least.  I will add a separate blog about what was said as soon as I can find a few minutes and add it to the linky.



Monday, 31 July 2017

Observations on #PlasticfreeJuly

So #PlasticFreeJuly is drawing to a close for 2017.  How was it for you?  Did you manage to refuse plastic and find alternatives?  Did you learn anything new and will you move forwards more plastic aware?  I know I learnt a lot from the month, some of which was rather depressing but some was really very uplifting. 

Plastic Free July 2017