Saturday, 22 November 2008

Winter is here so don't forget to feed the birds and wrap up the wormery

We're having a cold snap in Norwich and we woke up to our first snow in ages. Time to check the bird feeders are full and make sure the wormery is wrapped up. Cold worms slow down and so take longer to munch through the kitchen scraps. Sadly we can't add building a snowman to the list as there is rain with the snow.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Greener Trends - ideas for a more sustainable life

I know, this site is based in the US but I received a comment on my blog from Kate at Greener Trends and thought I would take a look.

As a gadget lover, to see a backpack covered in solar panels immediately got my attention, even if I don't really need one, it is still quite cool. :-) If you want one, go and take a look at the Voltaic Systems site for more info.

This site is worth a look as there are some good posts to inspire you about greener and more sustainable living, technology, greenwashing and even ideas for toys for Christmas for children.

It is great to see and read about like minded people in the US. With the imminent arrival of President Barack Obama, who knows, maybe we will have a new champion for sustainable living with some real clout on the world stage?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Autumn leaves and trying to still love trees

I've been putting off collecting the fallen leaves from our enormous sycamore tree, hawthornes, beech hedges, and the millions of vicious needles from the black pines in our garden. Had to make a start yesterday as the grass had disappeared under this Autumn carpet of rotting brown and yellowness.

This year I invested in a Powerbase Garden Vacuum in a recent Homebase sale, naively thinking this would bring an end to the backbreaking monotony that is picking up leaves. For the pine needles and sycamore leaves, this gadget is pants and constantly gets jammed.

So it was back to low tech with a rake and garden sacks and now armed with my toddler son. We had a great time throwing the leaves about, pretending to hibernate in them and doing just about anything but pick them up! The job took longer but was good fun and I'm starting to like trees again, despite all this effort. At least it is only once a year.

I read about resarch that the Woodland Trust has done that suggests that Britain’s ancient woodland is being felled at a faster rate than the Amazonian rainforest. Scary stuff.

According to the Trust, nearly half of all the woods in the UK over 400 years old have been lost in the past 80 years. A further 600 ancient woods are threatened by new roads, electricity pylons, housing and airport expansion.

The Woodland Trust’s Campaigns Director pointed out that England’s ancient woodland, i.e. woodland designated as being over 400 years old, is the equivalent of rainforest and is irreplaceable. The rate of loss of this woodland in the UK is now one of the fastest in the world. The Trust is appealing to the Government for better protection of the woods that remain.

So as you gather up the leaves from your garden and moan about your backache, just remember that our woodland is under threat and be thankful for any trees you may have near you or in your garden.

Why not become a Woodwatcher and support the Woodland Trust in protecting our ancient woodland before its too late? You can read more on the Woodland Trust's blog.

Monday, 3 November 2008

The ultimate Secret Santa idea this Christmas

Received my blood donor card today after my first donation a few weeks ago.
Found out that I'm O+ which confirms how common I suspected I was!
Apparently it is the most common blood group with 37% of people having this group. Being common has its advantages. My blood donations can potentially help 83% of the population. How cool is that?! Although you can only donate 3 times per year and only after a 16 week gap between donations, it won't stop me making an appointment in advance for the next donation online.
I never realised what a positive effect this experience would have on me and if you want to get close again to the true spirit of Christmas, do consider giving blood.
It really is about giving the gift of life to someone you will never meet. The ultimate Secret Santa present. :-)