Sunday, 5 January 2020

10 ways to stay healthy and help the environment


Being unwell is horrible for you and also horrible for the environment.  Health Services are one of the most wasteful sectors of society with many items made from single use plastic wrapped in plastic and most of this is not recycled. Gowns, masks, gloves etc are often thrown away after one use. Medicines, operations and care in hospitals or at home are all heavy on resources and every bottle of children's medicine you ever buy comes with a spoon/syringe.  Whilst no-one can predict unforeseen illnesses and injuries there are many ways we can keep ourselves healthy and reduce the negative environmental impact from time spent under the care of your health service.  Why not make your New Year Resolutions to be more healthy not just for you ... but for the planet as well.

Operation in a hospital - heavy on resources

How to keep yourself and the planet healthy:


Don't overeat


Being overweight increases your risk of being ill. In many cases heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, gout and sleep apnoea can be attributed to excess weight - furthermore overweight people put extra pressure on their joints etc leading to a higher risk of joint damage and other injuries. You read more about this subject in this blog post I wrote: Overeating, food waste, obesity and climate change.

Eat healthily and avoid over-processed food


It is now realised that eating well is more than just eating the right amount of calories, you also need to be heating healthy calories. So plenty of fresh produce (especially local and in season food) and less empty calories from biscuits and fizzy drinks etc.  Often processed food is high in salt, fat and sugar none of which are healthy in high amounts. Replacements for these products are also not good for your health including sugar substitutes, unnatural flavourings and flavour enhancers.

Keep up the exercise


You don't have to join a gym or take up a sport and there are so many small lifestyle changes you can implement to increase how much exercise you take.  Park a street or two away and walk the last bit of your journey, walk the kids to school, walk the dog a bit further (or offer to walk the dog of an elderly or unwell friend/neighbour), take the stairs, run upstairs, spend 5 mins doing yoga stretches every day. This list goes on! And get outside in the fresh air every day, what-ever the weather.

When ill keep away from others


If you are ill stay off work and keep out of crowded places and keep unwell children at home. Especially in warm heated buildings you are going to spread your germs and without rest you will lengthen how long you (or your child) is ill.

Use natural remedies


For minor illnesses and injuries consider natural remedies - for example rosehip syrup, elderberry port and honey and lemon are great for colds and coughs.

Let minor illnesses such as colds take their course


Colds cannot be cured by antibiotics so unless the patient has underlying health issues such as asthma or is very young or elderly colds should just be allowed to run their course - take natural remedies to ease the symptoms and keep away from other people.

Avoid antibiotics


Overuse of these winder medicines is resulting in bacteria becoming resistant to them and so there is a risk of us returning to a time when illnesses and even minor injuries can become life threatening as bacteria cannot be treated. This places a massive burden on health services and it is why we are seeing a rise in cases of MRSA also known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus - the bacteria is resistant to many of our antibiotics and no new antibiotics have been found recently. The same goes for antibacterial cleaners - do not over-use them.


Avoid toxic products


For example over use of cleaning products can lead to asthma and so many toxic products risk making us ill.  Avoid chemicals where-ever you can. Keep you house fresh by opening the windows and use house plants to help cleanse the air.

Give up smoking


Just that - it's bad for your health and for those around you. Just do it.

Avoid flying


We all know flying is bad for the environment but there is more than just the direct impact of the flight. First off you are stuck in a closed shell and at risk of picking up illnesses from fellow passengers. Secondly long haul flights increase your risk of getting life threatening deep vein thrombosis.

These are my Top 10 Tips - do you have any more to add so we can all stay as healthy as possible?

Stay healthy

Other posts you might enjoy:


Friday, 3 January 2020

New Green Initiatives for 2020


Happy New Year everyone!

For 2020 I am shaking things up a little on the blog and social media.  The science all points towards this being the last decade that we have to limit the worst effects of Climate Change.  If you were ever in denial surely the excessive forest fires in Australia must have tipped you into believing this is real and people we know are going to get hurt or die. Fires, floods, rising sea levels, extreme weather occurrences etc are all a result of each and every one of us adding CO2 into the atmosphere ... and I almost forget to mention the plastic crisis that is poisoning our beautiful oceans.  I also believe that it isn't too late but we all have a huge role to play, a critical role in fact, in changing things for the better for us, for our children and for their children.

New: Daily Thread on Facebook: #DailyGreenTips


We need to spread far and wide the steps everyone needs be taking to reduce their individual impact on the Climate. It's great to see so many posts on social media about reusable shopping bags, straws and cups but we need to do more than this. So on my A Green and Rosie Life Facebook page I am running a series called #DailyGreenTips and for every day in 2020 I will add a tip to help you live a greener life. Do visit each day to read them and share them on your social media accounts, amongst your friends, at work, at the school gate  ....

Daily Green Tips

New: Monthly Blog Roundup


I am no longer hosting my #GoingGreen linky but I want to continue sharing your inspiring green blog posts. Once a month I will write a post including links to your recent green themed posts and I will also share them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (if they have suitable vertical images).  If you have a post you'd like me to share please do let me know. If you could also give me a link to your social media accounts I can tag you when I share.

Green Blog Roundup

I hope you'll join me on this journey to minimising the impacts of Climate Change.  For want of adding several clichés: There Is No Planet B, Every Little Really Does Help and Together We Are Stronger.

LET'S DO IT !!

You can start by pinning these images!
Green Blog Roundup
Daily Green Tips

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

How Sustainable is your Christmas Dinner?


We are probably all aware how unsustainable a "Typical" Christmas is and I've seen plenty of posts on social media begging us to cut back on how much we buy, suggesting eco-friendly wrapping ideas,  how to make natural decorations and whether to have a real or fake tree etc.  But what about your Christmas Dinner? How sustainable ... or not .. is that?  A Daily Mail article from 2009 suggested that our Christmas meal could have travelled nearly 90,000 miles before it got to your plate ... and that's just one aspect to consider.

For a meal to be sustainable we need to consider many factors - does it include meat and if so how was it raised and where, how far have all the ingredients travelled (food miles), how processed is it and how much packaging did it involve? Are the ingredients fair trade or organic and does any part of it contain palm oil? Is it from local producers or a big multi-national? It's a lot so I thought I'd try and break down our main course and see if it is "sustainable".

Chrstmas dinner and sustainability


Thursday, 5 December 2019

Embrace change, don't be negative.


Something I've noticed a lot recently is how quickly people are to jump on new climate friendly ideas with a whole heap of negativity.  It is always good to question new ideas and technologies to ascertain if they will really work and work out if they are going to be more damaging to the environment than what we already have but this is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the knee-jerk negativity that so often plagues innovative ideas. Let's talk storm drains.

I recently saw this innovative and simple way to limit how much rubbish is swept down storm drains, rubbish that ultimately ends up in our waterways an oceans.


On the original Facebook page (Tramore Eco-Group) where it was posted there were some really positive comments from the public and councillors looking to see how they could implement trials of this idea ... but in other groups where it was shared there was far too much negativity without any thought for finding a solution to the perceived problem.  Top of the list and most frequently cited was the fact that the baskets would need emptying on a regular basis to prevent flooding.  Cost was also cited and how they would block with leaves in autumn. Some just said they were dangerous and people would fall down them.

Baskets would need empting


It's a fair point but it is not enough to stop what could be a really simple way to limit how much rubbish gets into the drains and ultimately water courses. The problem of them needing cleaning out is not difficult to remedy and it's as simple as employing people to clear them on a regular basis.  As we tackle climate change there will be many new jobs created and many old "polluting" jobs will disappear.

Cost


To this I simply say we cannot afford NOT to tackle plastic pollution and we owe this to future generations.  As Abraham Lincoln said:

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.“


Dangerous


Quite simply anyone writing this had not taken on board that they would have a normal drain cover over them as shown in the top of the photo.

Trials would be needed to find the optimum size of basket and holes but this ridiculously uncomplicated addition to storm drains could massively limit how much rubbish reaches the sea. They could be used to compliment regular road sweeping and work alongside increased education to reduce littering.  Alternatives may be needed in areas with lot of trees where autumn leaves could block them.  But the simple fact is this could work. Let's be positive about ideas like this, not knock them down at the first hurdle.

Social media is a great place to share innovative ideas and I was so pleased to see local councillors talking about how they could set up trials for these drain baskets.  The negativity and unwillingness to change saddened me and I see this so much on social media.  We need to embrace innovation and be ready to change our world for better.  I'll leave you with this poster from World War Two and my namesake Rosie the Riveter. We can do anything if we put our mind to it as many thousands of men and women did during the war.  Let's all be Rosie!



Have you seen many examples of negativity towards eco-friendly ideas? 

Other posts you might enjoy:


How to overcome negativity  to Climate Change    Packaging - think outside the box




Sunday, 10 November 2019

Packaging - Think Outside of the Box


Our kettle died recently and when I brought home the new one it got me thinking about how we need to have a totally radical and innovative new at packaging.  This is what my one kettle "needed":

  • A cardboard box
  • 2 shaped cardboard sections to secure the kettle in the box.
  • 2 plastic bags (one for the kettle and one for the kettle base)
  • A 60 page safety instruction leaflet in 19 different languages
  • A guarantee certificate, approx equivalent to A3 size and also in 19 different languages (not shown, I only found it later inside the safety instruction booklet).
Packaging, Kettle, Single Use, plastic, cardboard.


On first impression this might appear to be relatively sustainable packaging with minimal plastic but sustainability is more than about replacing plastic with other products. It is about reducing unnecessary single use items of all types and where this isn't possible making them more sustainable.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Going Green #33 - November 2019


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 subjects would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky here: Going Green Linky.

I'm dreaming of a GREEN Christmas


Did you know that early images of Father Christmas showed the jovial present giver dressed not in red but in green?  It was only after a well know drinks company decided to use him (and their corporate red colour) that Farther Christmas became the familiar figure in red we know today.  Bearing in mind that particular beverage company has an appalling environmental track record I think it's high time we brought back our green Santa.

OK, so I am probably not going to get that to happen but I can at least try and help you make your Christmas as green as possible. For starters there were a couple of festive posts in last month's Going Green including a round up of 60+ ideas for home-made gifts from Attachment Mummy and plastic free glitter from The Mad House of Cats and Babies.  I have also put together a round up of various eco-friendly Christmas related posts I have written - everything from seasonal food, to presents and how to wrap them.  Hopefully you can use these hints and tips to have a fabulous yet sustainable Christmas.  If you have any similar posts please do let me know and I can add them.

Vintage card with green Father Christmas


Sunday, 3 November 2019

How to have the best ever Green Christmas


It can sometimes seem impossible to keep Christmas green when everywhere you turn the "spend spend spend" message is shoved in your face.  However I do feel that the greener message is beginning to get through with more and more people realising that we cannot keep spending on things we really don't need and we really must reduce how much we waste in all aspects of our lives.  Over the years I have been blogging I've written various blogs on how to celebrate Christmas whilst staying true to my green roots and as my present to you this upcoming festive season I've put them all together in this round-up:

Green Christmas tips


Saturday, 2 November 2019

It's time to swap for a better world


Who is old enough to remember the TV programme Swap Shop?  It was a ground-breaking children's entertainment programme that aired for 3 hours on a Saturday morning on BBC.  It included music, interviews with celebrities, competitions, cartoons and news coverage - but the name of the programme came from the part called the show called the "Swaporama" where children could swap their toys etc with other children.  I very much doubt thinking green and keeping items out of the bin was behind the concept but it was immensely popular and over the 146 episodes must have seen so many items find a new home rather than ending up in landfill.

They say "one man's rubbish is another man's gold" and how often do you think about throwing something out that is of no further use to you but think it must be useful to some-one else?  We need to bring Swap Shop back to the 21st century and make it more than just something for kids to swap their toys etc.  You don't need to be a TV producer, though, and there are plenty of ways to swap items and organise your own swap events.

Swap your unwanted goods


Sunday, 13 October 2019

Vegetarian Winter Salads Made Easy


Eating locally grown foods is one of the most sustainable ways you can feed yourself and you get bonus points if the ingredients don't need to be cooked.  In the summer it is easy to make salads but this may seem more challenging in the winter and with supermarkets supplying all type of fruit and veg all year round it can also be difficult to know what is is season and what has flown halfway round the world to grace your dinner plate.  Help is at hand.  Below is a list of salad friendly vegetables and fruits that are in season in winter and with so many great winter veggies to choose from you won't miss tomatoes, avocado and cucumber etc.  One point of note though, even if you are buying from this list do check where the produce is from as supermarkets will still often import from far away if it best suits them.

Use in season fruit and veg to make great winter salads


Monday, 7 October 2019

Going Green #32 - October 2019


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 subjects would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky here: Going Green Linky.

Climate Strikes


First we had The Blue Planet Effect and then we had the global climate strikes on September 20th 2019.  Awareness that we absolutely have to changes our ways and we have to do it urgently is gathering momentum and we need to keep it going.  To that end I have linked up 2 posts that show what we can all do right now, one aimed at everyone and one aimed specifically at the section of our population who stand to gain most from the changes - children.

I would also urge you to do some reading.  I am part way through the book "There is No Planet B" by Mike Berners-Lee which outlines where we are now and what we have to do mitigate the negative knock-on effect of our combined actions.  In part in makes for depressing reading but it is also a very positive book, showing that it is entirely achievable to stop increased levels in atmospheric CO2 without losing our current standard of living.



My picks from Going Green September 2019


Thank you to everyone who linked up in September - these were 3 of my favourite posts:

  • Isabel at Sustainable Responsible Living gave us a range of healthy sweet snacks without plastic packaging.
raw brownies, healthy snacks, recipes

  • Annette from Four Acorns wrote about something that I suspect we all suffer from - Climate Anxiety and how she deals with it.
fireweed-flowers-epilobes-epilobium-angustifolium  

  • And finally Emma from Small Footprints Big Adventures gave a very detailed account of which are the best shopping/grocery bags to use. Interesting stuff and not always what you would have expected. 
Choosing reusable bags can be confusing!



If you missed these posts do head over now for a read.

Calling Eco-Instagrammers

If you are on Instagram and would like to join a group of like minded people to help support and promote your account. If you are interested please follow and then DM  backcountrycitygirl.

Please link up to 3 posts, old or new and let's work together to spread the Going Green message.  I'd love it too if you could promote the linky on all your social media channels and among all your friends. Thank you 💚.  Let's work to

Before you link up may I just remind you of 3 of the "rules":

  • Link up to THREE posts
  • Please can you include my badge (preferably) or a link back to A Green and Rosie Life. That will 
  • This is a blog link so in order for us all to benefit please comment on a minimum of three other blogs in the link up, ideally including the one in front of you, one my host posts and at least one other ... the more you comment the more others are likely to visit your blog. 

If you share your posts using the hashtag #GoingGreen and I will RT you etc.  I will also add posts with suitable vertical pins to my Going Green Linky board on Pinterest.

Need to find me on Social Media?  Here you go ...

Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Thanks for visiting and I look forward to reading all your linked up green posts.







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