environment

Should you line food caddies with magazine envelopes?

An ever growing number of organisations are sending us their magazines in eco-friendly packaging: namely 100 per cent compostable bags.

They look like plastic, but they are not. One I have just received says it is made from potatoes.

While the much-trumpeted packaging offers advice on the limits of what you should do with it, such as put it in your waste food caddy but not in the plastic recycling or general bin, it doesn’t detail how long it will take to degrade in your garden compost facility.Read More »Should you line food caddies with magazine envelopes?

When students demand what to be taught, let’s listen

Students. Anti-establishment. Rebellious, or looking for an excuse to be. Demanding. Campaigning. And learning courtesy of state funding.

That was the perception of many when I was at university (which was a while ago). One of my flatmates once even sneered at a charity spokesperson on the television saying she was probably a Guardian-reading recent graduate. What did he think he was going to become upon, er, graduating?

The bit about learning courtesy of state funding is no longer true. And these protesting students, they’re getting younger. They are still at school, many of them.

Read More »When students demand what to be taught, let’s listen

Carbon neutral and the packaging paradox

An English A-level student known to me has frequently asked what’s the difference between an oxymoron, a paradox and irony?

A couple of packaging labels put the question into full perspective. Both companies claim to be carbon neutral – a noble aim in a world more geared towards sustainability than of old. Some businesses are concerned about how far their products travel and how they are made and have been making strides to improve for years or even decades.

Yet their packaging…

Read More »Carbon neutral and the packaging paradox

National Gardening Week: Is gardening like parenting?

The thought occurs that gardening is much like parenting – and that perhaps I should quit before expanding on that notion!

The similarities are easy to see: gardeners and parents want to: nurture, encourage and watch as growth occurs; create an environment where that can happen; eradicate the bad stuff; and bring the fruits of their endeavours to maturity without too many major dramas!

However, while there are many people who can profess to be experts in gardening (which I don’t, it’s just a hobby), you can merely be experienced parents. There’s no such thing as an expert parent: it’s an imperfect exercise.

Read More »National Gardening Week: Is gardening like parenting?

Ditch the tea bag for fully blended compost

Every time I see that advert asking “Coffee in a bag? Why didn’t we think of this before?” I scream back at the television: “Because it can’t be good for the environment!”

The company responsible says on its website that it is using PLA (Polylactic acid) made from natural materials instead of plastics, which is becoming popular among brands and which scientists say biodegrades but still slowly.

Manufacturers have made huge strides in recent years – possibly decades – to make their packaging more environmentally friendly.

Read More »Ditch the tea bag for fully blended compost

Food wrapper litter

Return to offender and tackling repeat litter offenders

Yesterday was Earth Day, the 50th such annual day when we are encouraged to think of our planet.

The official website of the movement says that “on April 22 we flooded the world with hope, optimism and action” about improving the earth’s future, environmentally.

Plenty of organisations took up the theme, including Surfers Against Sewage, based in Cornwall, which campaigns to improve the plight of oceans, particularly in relation to beaches.Read More »Return to offender and tackling repeat litter offenders