Author: Jackie

Greener Christmas Part 1 – What it means to me.

Christmas and the festive season means different things to different people depending on your own individual experiences.  My Christmas is all about family & friends spending time together normally with lots of food and the Dr Who Christmas special is a must.   Most people’s Christmas also involves spending a lot of money on presents, food and drink etc which ends up producing a lot of waste.  So in the next few blog posts I will be sharing with you a few easy and fun ways to make your Christmas a shade Greener.  Below is a taste of the festive treats I have in store for you. Support local businesses to find unique and personal presents for friends and family.  A good place to start are local craft fairs and Christmas fairs. Buy local food from butchers, farm shops and food producers Ideas for making homemade gifts, decorations and cards Eco-friendly and Ethical gift ideas Family festive traditions Reducing waste, spending less, having more fun Please let me know how you make your Christmas...

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Outdoor fun with 50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4 by the National Trust

  Back in the summer we have managed to tick off quite a few of the activities on the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4. Hubbards Hills in Louth is one of our favourite destinations, whatever the season, in the summer it is great for the kids to play in the stream, if the weather is hot.  Then when it is cooler the kids tend to play pooh sticks (19), there are also some nice slopes to roll down (2) and flatter grassy areas to play football.  Hubbards Hills is good in the autumn and winter too for walks in wellies, as there is a tarmaced footpath running alongside the stream. A day at the beach on a sunny summers day is lovely but you can still have fun along the coast on a fine winters day.  In the summer we like to go to Huttoft as you can park right next to the beach.  As a family we love swimming in the sea (42) and jumping over waves (20), as well as building sand castles and flying kites (7).  In the winter we like to going further North up the coast to Donna Nook for a walk to see the seals and their pups. Living in the flat fens of Lincolnshire you don’t get many opportunities to climb a mountain, however back...

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Is Volkswagen the most sustainable car manufacturer of 2013?

Initially when I read that Volkswagen had been named the most sustainable car manufacturer for 2013 by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices I was a little surprised, eco-friendly cars that usually spring to mind are the Toyota Prius hybrid or the Nissan Leaf electric car (EV).  If you google top green cars, the lists aren’t dominated by Volkswagen cars, so why have Dow Jones Sustainability Indices named the Volkswagen group most sustainable car manufacturer for 2013. Firstly it is the Volkswagen group not just the Volkswagen models of cars, Volkswagen also manufacture Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porshe and Ducati.  Now when you are looking at the top green cars lists you will see the Skoda Citigo, SEAT Mii, Audi A3, Skoda Fabia and SEAT Ibiza mentioned.  However, names like Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and Ducatic are all associated more with gas guzzling speed machines than low CO2 emissions.  Although in one top green cars list I did find the Porsche Panamera mentioned.  The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices doesn’t just assess the eco credentials of a single car but it measures the environmental, economic and social sustainability performance of the company.  Factors such as supply chain management, codes of conduct, climate strategy, environmental policy, operational eco-efficiency and occupational health and safety, which have a wider impact than just the emissions of one make or model of car.  This is...

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Dead Plastic Oceans

Dead Plastic Oceans seems a very negative and extreme title but I am fed up of trying to sugar coat environmental issues. Today I read an article about Ivan MacFadyen a yachtsman who recently sailed from Australia to Japan and was horrified by the lack of sealife and the amount of rubbish in the seas compared to when he sailed the same route 10 years ago.  Read the full Guardian article here, Yachtsman describes horror at ‘dead’, rubbish strewn Pacific Ocean.  Ivan MacFadyen told of his horror at the severe lack of marine life and copious amounts of rubbish witnessed on a yacht race between Melbourne and Osaka. He recently returned from the trip, which he previously completed 10 years ago. “In 2003, I caught a fish every day,” he told Guardian Australia. “Ten years later to the day, sailing almost exactly the same course, I caught nothing. It started to strike me the closer we got to Japan that the ocean was dead. “Normally when you are sailing a yacht, there are one or two pods of dolphins playing by the boat, or sharks, or turtles or whales. There are usually birds feeding by the boat. But there was none of that. I’ve been sailing for 35 years and it’s only when these things aren’t there that you notice them. Here is a video showing the amount of plastic waste along...

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Follow the Frog with Rainforest Alliance UK

On Monday I had a rather long but very worthwhile day travelling to London for a blogger event organised by Rainforest Alliance UK to promote the start of their Follow the Frog week and the launch of their newly revamped The Frog Blog. Rainforest Alliance are a conservation organisation that aims to prevent tropical deforestation and also support reforestation, they don’t work in areas where rainforests are already protected but where rainforests are in need of protection.  The 3 main areas that they work in are as follows: to encourage local communities to change land use to encourage businesses to use Rainforest Alliance accredited products to change consumers behaviour Rainforest Alliance promote positive messages about making a difference by simply changing to a greener product, like the ones shown below. Even Galaxy chocolate has the Green frog logo, although it isn’t in the picture as I ate it on the way home from London.  It was chocolate what more do I need to say. These products were in a lovely ethically produced reuseable cotton bag that I will be using on a regular basis. But what does the Green Frog seal stand for, it shows consumers that a product is from a farm where standards in farming conserve ecosytems, protect soils, waterways and wildlife, while supporting safe and decent conditions for farmers, workers and their families.  For more information...

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