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40% of UK carbon emissions come from households. Get active - 10 things you can do now that will make a difference.

  • Make sure lights are switched off and doors are closed in rooms that are not being used.
  • Put on an extra jumper and turn your heating thermostat down by 2 degrees.
  • Have a ‘no car day’ once a week.
  • Talk about climate change with family, friends and work colleagues.  Share your thoughts and ideas.
  • Create a wildlife friendly garden, encourage bees, birds and other wildlife. Don’t use pesticides or herbicides, look for eco friendly alternatives.
  • Support local wildlife trusts/groups.
  • Think twice before buying clothes or goods - do you really need them?  Malvern Repair Cafe can repair most things for a donation. 
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle everything where possible.  Request non plastic packaging on your online purchases. Malvern and Worcester have a shop to refill your household cleaners, soaps and dried foods, bring your own containers.
  • Buy local foods wherever possible. We are lucky to have Greenlink in Great Malvern and Natural Choice in Barnards Green that sell local produce. Cut down on your meat eating.
  • Be positive, you can make a difference.

Our Friends at Greenlink have open a new Shop GL2. This shop allows you to refill your wholefoods, toiletries and household cleaning products.

It is at 14 Cowleigh Road, Malvern, WR14 1QD. Select here for a map.

Their Current opening hours are:

  • Tuesday 10 till 7pm
  • Thursday 10 till 5pm
  • Saturday 10 till 4 pm

The Centre for Alternative Technology(CAT) has release a new Zero Carbon Report. This major 200 page report shows how Britain become carbon neutral. A modern, zero-emissions society is possible using technology available today.

For the full report and lost more information and resources see CAT's own website.

I would urge all of you to read this report.

Malvern's 2019 and 8th annual Seed and plant swap / sale takes place on Sat 6 April 10am – 3pm at Lyttleton Rooms, Church Street

  • You can swap plants and seeds or give a donation
  • Serving home-made savoury and sweet snacks and fairtrade drinks
  • Refurbished tools for sale
  • Tool / knife sharpening 12-3pm

Wanted

Broken or unneeded hand and power tools and sewing machines


Proceeds for Tools for Self Reliance

For more information please contact us

Why is this important? The plastic pollution highlighted by the Blue Planet TV Program is plastic that was not recycled or incinerated or put in landfill. If it had been it would not be in the oceans. It’s litter. The same applies to litter in Britain. I believe that the only solution it to make sure that packaging is fully biodegradable. But that leads to problem of what to we mean by biodegradable. There is a lot of Greenwash in this area.

Let’s start with a definition.

Biodegradable: capable of being broken down especially into innocuous products by the action of living things such as microorganisms[1]

The problem is that capable does not mean it will breakdown. To quote Jacqueline McGlade, chief scientist at the UN Environment Programme. “It’s well-intentioned but wrong. A lot of plastics labelled biodegradable, like shopping bags, will only break down in temperatures of 50C and that is not the ocean. They are also not buoyant, so they’re going to sink, so they’re not going to be exposed to UV and break down”[2]

If they need to get to 50oC that will also not happen in the British countryside, not even this Year.

Is compostable an alternative term? Again, this may only work at temperatures above ambient. So, I think compostable can be as misleading as biodegradable.

So, what is the alternative. The best solution is to eliminate single use packaging. But this is utopian. So what alternatives are there.

For some uses paper bags are a good solution. Where paper bags do not work there are alternatives which claim to work but the question I ask is do they breakdown in the environment be that the ocean or the countryside, or even the city.   These alternatives include cellophane and “plastic” made from corn or potato starch.

Searching the web finds lots of products but are they really the solution. I do not know. The term “Home Compostable” look promising but I fear it could become greenwash.

Greenpeace have a useful video here on plastic packaging.

For the more technically minded one informative link is The truth about bioplastics by Renee Cho, Earth Institute, Columbia University  from Phys.org

Ian Caldwell