Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Green Bog Round Up - February 2020


Each month I am putting together a post with some of green themed blogs I have come across over the preceding month. Here are my favourites for February 2020 and if you have any interest subjects such as reducing waste, plastic free living, carbon offsetting and green cleaning then you will find at least one blog post here to enjoy.

Love green blogs


Helen from Spot of the Earth reviewed her local Zero Waste Shop
You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook

Zero waste shopping


Aaron from The Busy Papa will help us reduce fridge waste with this post.
You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest

Reduce waste from your fridge

Teja on the Horizon wrote about Carbon Offsetting based on your personality
You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

Caron offsetting

With Summer on the way Justine from Little Green Duckie talks about how to having wet wipe free festival fun!
You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter

Say no to wet wipes


Spring Cleaning must be in the air as two bloggers have written about natural cleaning: 

Trail  of Breadcrumbs wrote about the simplicity of Green Cleaning  
You can follow this Trail of Breadcrumbs (see what I did there?!) on Twitter and Pinterest

and so did Isabel from Sustainable, Responsible Living  - Cleaning with Natural Products
You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Bicarb, vinegar and lemon juice


Whilst we are talking Spring Cleaning I wanted to also highlight this post. I have recently become aware of cleaning influencers on instagram and how they are pushing their followers to use ridiculous amounts of cleaning products. This overuse is a disaster both for anyone who uses this amount of cleaners (something I blogged about before) and for the environment. One of these influencers, a brand ambassador for P&G, has over 3 million followers and in the unregulated world of instagram is able to post stories promoting their excess use whilst also showing unsafe ways to store these dangerous chemicals aka laundry tabs.  I can see no better reason to stop using these commercial cleaning products than the facts that they need child proof lids (that should NEVER be removed) and 7000 cases of ingestion were reported in a one year period and 6 deaths since have been attributed to people eating them. (source).

Laundry tabs box with child proof lid removed

Finally I wrote a post about making environmental connections:

Flooding and Flying


Find A Green and Rosie Life on Facebook, Instagram (joint page with the gite), Twitter and Pinterest.

... and don't forget you can follow my #DailyGreenTips over on my A Green and Rosie Life Facebook page.

Love Daily Green Tips


If you have a blog post you would like to be added in the March roundup please do get in touch.  Posts need to be current and on any of these subjects:

  • Recipes with seasonal and/or foraged ingredients
  • Organic gardening and attracting wildlife to your garden
  • The 4 Rs and a U - Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Repair and Upcycle.
  • Natural crafting
  • Waste and energy reduction.
  • Conservation posts - helping wildlife, wild flowers and their habitats.
  • Connecting kids to Nature
  • Discussions on green, sustainable, ethical, organic, environmental subjects such as:
    • Green hobbies
    • Green technology/advances
    • Green politics
    • Good environmental practice 
    • Greenwashing 
    • Sustainability and you
.... and lots more besides.  If you have a current post with a theme that is green, sustainable, ethical, organic, fair trade, environmental, seasonal or local please do get in touch and I'll include it in next month's round-up.

Love Green blogs - feb round up

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Have you made the connection? Climate Change and YOU


A few short weeks ago the news was full of stories of the bush fires in Australia. Whilst summer bush fires are not unusual the number this year there were many more than normal, they were bigger, they burned longer and the loss of life (wildlife, plant life and human) was greater than ever before.

Photo Credit

Now the news is full of a completely different natural disaster with catastrophic floods affecting many parts of the UK.  As with the fires in Australia there are more floods than have been seen since records began, they are deeper and have lasted longer.  Whilst deaths due to the flooding have thankfully been kept very low there have been deaths caused by falling trees etc in the storms than bought the flooding.

It is not just the UK either. In January 2020, 66 people were confirmed dead in Jakarta as a direct result of flooding and there are countless other examples of extreme weather events leading to loss of life, property and damage to land.

Image credit

The bush fires started earlier than usual and with greater ferocity due to exceptionally hot and dry weather.

The UK floods were caused by extremely heavy rain brought in on 2 severe winter storms.

These and many other extreme weather examples indicate that the overall climate is changing. Australia is becoming hotter and drier and whilst the UK is experiencing warmer and drier summers but having more winters with severe storms.

Climate Change is the result of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  One of main ways this happens is through the burning of fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels are burned to create the electricity used to create all the stuff we buy and what it is powers aeroplanes.  Our excessive consumerism and addiction to flying are 2 of the main reasons we have bush fires and flooding.  We are therefore all responsible and have each played our part in these disasters played out around the world.   

Is your addiction to so much STUFF (clothes/imported food/electronics/cleaning products/plastic etc.) and the desire to FLY to a foreign holiday destination really more important than leaving behind a planet for our children to thrive in?

Burning forests and shopping - they are connected

Flying leads to clinate change that causes flooding

You can pin these images:

Shopping leads to wild fires. Climate Change is fuelled by consumerism.Flying and floods - they are connected. Climate Change.



Saturday, 1 February 2020

Green Blog Roundup - January 2020



Each month I am putting together a post with some of green themed blogs I have come across over the preceding month. Here are my favourites for January 2020 and if you have any interest in sustainable holidays/tourism, green campaigns, litter picking, natural crafts, sustainable fashion, meal planning, plastic and staying healthy to help the environment then you will find at least one blog post here to enjoy.

Green heart blogs


Isabel from Sustainable, Responsible Living has written about Responsible Tourism
You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Sustainable tourism


Diana from Greener Identity outlines Green movements to join all year round
You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Justine from Little Green Duckie talks about how to  find your local litter pick group
You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter

2 women, litter picking
Add caption

Lucy from Kids of the Wild show how you can make a driftwood star 
You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

Home made driftwood and shell star

Jackie from L'Oven Life (Naturally Jackie) - Sustainable (mostly free) fashion
You can follow Jackie on Facebook and Instagram 

Free fashion

Trail  of Breadcrumbs wrote an essay about meal planning

You can follow this Trail of Breadcrumbs (see what I did there?!) on Twitter and Pinterest

And a couple I have written ...

... As Eco-Gites of Lenault I give you Eco-Friendly Holidays
You can follow the gite on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

Eco friendly holidays

... and as A Green and Rosie Life I implore that you keep the Plastic you already have


Plastic containers, plates and bags - keep using them

and show you 10 ways to stay healthy and help the environment

Woman with a cold


Find A Green and Rosie Life on Facebook, Instagram (joint page with the gite), Twitter and Pinterest.


If you have a blog post you would like to be added in the February roundup please do get in touch.  Posts need to be current and on any of these subjects:

  • Recipes with seasonal and/or foraged ingredients
  • Organic gardening and attracting wildlife to your garden
  • The 4 Rs and a U - Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Repair and Upcycle.
  • Natural crafting
  • Waste and energy reduction.
  • Conservation posts - helping wildlife, wild flowers and their habitats.
  • Connecting kids to Nature
  • Discussions on green, sustainable, ethical, organic, environmental subjects such as:
    • Green hobbies
    • Green technology/advances
    • Green politics
    • Good environmental practice 
    • Greenwashing 
    • Sustainability and you
.... and lots more besides.  If you have a current post with a theme that is green, sustainable, ethical, organic, fair trade, environmental, seasonal or local please do get in touch and I'll include it in next month's round-up.

Green blog heart

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Keep using the plastic you already have


Plastic is everywhere. It is in our homes and offices, in our clothes, our cars, surrounding our food and almost anything that we buy etc and it's not really surprising: plastic is a bit of a wonder material - it is lightweight and strong, it can be made into a variety of forms and it is cheap to produce.  But as we now know this all comes at a price: plastic is made from fossil fuels and it's manufacture contributes to increased levels of atmospheric CO2 and by default global warming. Now people have become aware of how bad plastic is and there are calls across the globe to see its end. As a result you will see many people saying they are getting rid of plastic in their lives and replacing items with other materials. I saw a video originally uploaded to Instagram by one of the Kardashians where she proudly announced that in her pantry she had got rid of all of her plastics and replaced all her containers with glass jars .... STOP.  Just stop right there.  STOP. We need to keep using the plastic you already own and NOT throwing away perfectly usable plastic.

Re-use plastic


Single use v reusable plastic


On the face of it getting rid of all plastic might seem the right this to do but not so but that is far too simplistic. First off we need to separate plastic into 2 major usages - single use and non-single use.  The really bad guy is the single use plastic, the items that are used once and thrown away - plastic bottles, packaging, take-away cups, straws, sanitary towels/tampons, razors, coffee pods, wet wipes etc. We absolutely need to stop buying this form of plastic. So ditch plastic bottles, buy packaging free goods and food, have a reusable cup etc.  Non-single use plastic is the plastic we use time and time again - it may be used in our cars or household goods, our tech, our furniture (the list goes on) ... oh and refillable plastic food containers.  We should aim to keep the plastic that is in our lives for as long as possible, reusing it time and time again and re-purposing it where we can.

What happens when plastic decomposes?


If we get rid of plastic, what happens to it? Whilst some forms of plastic can be recycled (which itself is energy heavy and polluting) many forms cannot and very little is actually recycled anyway - almost all thrown away plastic ends up either in either landfill or our oceans. Plastic will eventually decompose but this can take anything up to 500 years, possibly even 1000 years and the process comes with its own set of problems.  As plastic decomposes it breaks down into increasingly smaller pieces which often get eaten by animals.  As the process continues it releases pollutants known to be cancer forming and which also disrupt the reproductive systems of animals.

In contrast plastic in daily use is stable. So when Ms Kardashian said she dumped all her plastic containers for glass, she made a poor environmental choice. It gets even worse when you remember that all the new glass containers used new materials and energy to be produced.  Furthermore if you watch more of the video you will see she has 4 energy draining fridges including a massive walk in fridge and more plastic packaging and plastic bottles in her home than the average small shop.

But the purpose of this blog post is not to have a dig at celebrity extravagance (I'll save that for another post) but to highlight the fact that we all have plastic in our lives and we really need to be using that for as long as possible.  Use the plastic you already have for as long as possible.  By all means look for plastic free alternatives but only when your current plastic is too damaged to be of use.

How to keep your existing plastic out of the bin.


  • Keep reusing all those plastic items you already have - plastic food containers, plastic kid's crockery etc.
  • Reuse plastic bags, washing them if necessary. 
  • Use refill stations for washing liquid etc even if the bottles you use are plastic.
  • Pass on plastic you no longer use - sell it or give it away to someone who can use it.
  • When the plastic you have is no longer fit for use can you find a new use for it - old food containers in our house get down graded to storing DIY bits and pieces, old plastic bags become a bin liner, plates go under plant pots, plastic bottles can become a DIY plant watering system. Get imaginative with your plastic and do what-ever you can to keep it out of the bin.
  • When you do need something new can you buy it second hand? If it is plastic that's one more plastic item kept out of the bin.
  • Buy items made from recycled plastic.
It may seem counter intuitive to keep using plastic but it is so important we do this, whilst at the same time we totally reject single use plastic.  How are you managing the plastic in your life - have you any innovative ideas on how to keep your plastic out of the bin?

Plastic containers - reuse.

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