Category Archives: Uncategorized

Plastic…The Latest News…Week 8…Our actions…The Consequences…

 

Individual choices are important and if we all took a pledge to make a difference…it would as collectively we have the power…Consumer Power can be very powerful…

We are at the crisis point WE the consumer have choices...I know you are all busy and have lives BUT sometimes we also have to make a stand…To stand up and be counted…Because if you think that your inaction doesn’t matter because everyone else is doing it…Try multiplying that thought by everyone else who has the same thought as yours…

Individual consumer choices are important as is collective action which can really make a difference.

I can hear you groaning…haha…Like my smartwatch which reads my actions…But consider this scenario…

In England alone, the government figures tell us that 4.6 bn plastic straws, 316 m plastic stirrers ( yep) those itsy little bits of plastic to stir your drink and 1.8 bn plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used by us( YES) you/us are used each year…The government and the Queen have now announced an outright ban…

3 things that we could all do collectively which would make a huge difference…

  1. Check and buy only environmentally compostable cotton earbuds…
  2. Drink stirrers…
  3. Straws...Come in paper, bamboo, stainless steel and glass

N.B. The links are Amazon I am not affiliated to Amazon I just used these links as an example…These items should now be available locally to you and should be easy to source…

But what a difference that would make…How easy is that to action???

Now for the good news stories...or is it?

a stack of paper cups

Compostable cups… are they really recyclable? …Ummmmm well Biodegradable and compostable are actually 2 different things…sigh

biodegradable
adjective
1. A substance or object capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms

compostable
adjective
1. Something that can be used as compost when it decays.

This means that biodegradable items can break down within the environment with the help of bacteria or other living organisms. But this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for the planet. For example, some plastic bags can biodegrade into tiny pieces in around 20 years but they are still harmful to the environment.

However, if something is compostable, it means it is made of organic matter and it can completely break down to make nutrient-rich compost.

The Solution:

Stop using single-use items and choose reusable alternatives. There are so many reusable coffee cups and straws available now. Lots of coffee shops give you a discount when you take your own cup in too! Why not put a set of cutlery in your bag so you can say no to single-use forks/spoons?

I know it means making changes however step up and be counted we all need to do this…

Rivers…They flow into the sea...Do you have a river near you? Is it clean are the fish abundant or is it like this?

Image by Rafael_Neddermeyer from Pixabay

It may be like this as not everything reaches the sea much drops off on the way…SEE THE ABOVE REPORT.

Plastic bottles, the detritus of our throwaway water and soft drinks habits, are the most prevalent form of plastic pollution in European waterways, according to reports and particularly worse due to covid.

Food wrappers, including crisp and sweet packets, were the second biggest form of plastic pollution in rivers, followed by cigarette butts.

All of these forms of litter can cause problems for wildlife and fish and are hard to clean up once they have found their way into the water.

Glitter…“Some major supermarkets are moving to ban these harmful microplastics, but the British public is clear; supermarkets should be moving faster to tackle plastic waste.”

Vanuatu...Has one of the worlds strictest plastic bans…

Vanuatu local band

Vanuatu is an island country located in the southern Pacific Ocean.

The official name of the country is the Republic of Vanuatu.

Its closest neighbours are New Caledonia (France), Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Tuvalu.

The country is located some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 miles) east of northern Australia.

Vanuatu has 3 official languages: Bislama, English and French.

A beautiful country with pristine beaches and they aim to keep it that way 

The above link is a lovely read as to what can be achieved…it also includes damming info on how far behind the USA are on this…I always thought and looked up to the USA as they have led the world in many areas SADLY…Not by tackling Climate Change and waste…

Every other country and government take note…However big or small you are an outright ban…WORKS…

Another brilliant idea…I have just received my weekly “Meatless Monday email and this week the topic is “Fight Climate Change with your Fork

Lots of great info on how to do just that..some of which I already know and I’m sure you do but there are also some other great ideas please over and have a read…

Even though I bring you the harsh stark facts  think about those 3 small actions and how united we can make a difference…xxx

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

 

 

Plastic…The Latest News…Week 7… Climate Change and renewable Energy…

 

There has been so much in the news about Climate change that I thought I would break it down and explain how it comes about…

green foot prints eco system

Climate change is bought about by Global Warming which is characterized by a general increase in average temperatures of the Earth, which modifies the weather balances and ecosystems for a long time. It is directly linked to the increase of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, worsening the greenhouse effect.

Although the greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon the increase in greenhouse gases is linked to human activities.

The massive use of fossil fuels is obviously the first source of global warming, as burning coal, oil and gas produce carbon dioxide – the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere – as well as nitrous oxide.

I have previously mentioned how everything I talk about in my blogs is interlinked one has an effect on another…and so it goes…

Fossil fuels are used to produce PET…( Polyethylene Terephthalate)

recycling-294385_1280

This is the most commonly used plastic for consumer products which include:- Water bottles, soda bottles and some food packaging.

It is intended for single use only….One time usage…as reusing increases the risk of leaching and bacterial growth. It may leach carcinogens and should NOT be reused.

Still confused about the numbers on plastic bottles then click here for a guide

So to the solution...The first way to prevent climate change is to move away from fossil fuels. What are the alternatives? Renewable energies like solar, wind, biomass and geothermal.

energy-159105_640

The German government realise what a problem this is and plan to close all 84 of their coal-powered power plants.

https://www.latimes.com/…/la-fg-germany-coal-power…

Roughly 27 % of Germany’s electricity is from renewables; the goal is at least 80 % by 2050. Following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Germany has permanently shut down eight of its 17 reactors and pledged to close the rest by the end of 2022. It sounds to me like Germany are serious about using renewable fuel.

Update 2021…Germany’s plan was a brave one and as more Nuclear and coal-burning power stations are due to close there are concerns that renewables will not meet business and consumer needs…An operation like this does have many variables and also relies on outside factors so setbacks are inevitable but no pain no gain as they say…This is one of the recent updates.

Italy voted overwhelmingly to keep their country non-nuclear. Switzerland and Spain have banned the construction of new reactors.

Update 2021…In Europe, some countries stand out for renewable energy conversation, and Italy is one of the top players. For 2018 and 2020, respectively, Italy beat its renewable energy targets. The total energy produced by hydroelectric, solar, wind, bioenergy and geothermal power in Italy for 2018 reached 17.8% of final gross consumption, going past the 17% target set for 2020.

However, electricity in Italy is expensive.

Update 2021...Switzerland it was due to intense public pressure in Switzerland that the construction of new reactors was banned. Over the years intense public opposition has scuppered several nuclear power plant projects. This was the case in 1975 when plans to build a nuclear power plant in Kaiseraugst (canton of Aargau) had to be abandoned as the result of public protests.

At present, Switzerland is in the midst of an energy transition. One of the aims of the country’s ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ is the phase-out of nuclear power.

However, statistics show China and the USA are the largest users of fossil fuels which makes for scary reading…https://www.statista.com/statistics/263455/primary-energy-consumption-of-selected-countries/

This brings me to the conclusion that all these demonstrators do have a point…Governments need to be made to take notice particularly the ones at the top of the list as they are certainly making a huge contribution to Global Warming.

It is heartening to read about towns that are making their own efforts to combat Global Warming like the Finnish town of  Li in Northern Finland

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=980637838806635  

Globally is it going to be enough? I do hope so…but Finland is still leading the way on conservation in many ways as its people are on board and that my friends is the only way to ensure that we go forward and tackle this Climate emergency…

China who are top of the list for burning fossil fuel and it seems their answer is to deploy the army to plant trees…All is well and good but is it addressing the true problem?

Thank you for reading and I do invite your comments what do you think about the most polluted country planting trees????

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week  xx

 

CarolCooks2…In my kitchen…Coconut Biscuits/Cookies…

Coconut Biscuits

I don’t make biscuits very often…I love a homemade cookie/biscuit far more than my waistline does…over the last 18 months I have not walked as much and the pounds have crept on…as I am very close to my 70th birthday…yikes…the motivation to get those pounds off has increased.

I have started walking again however because my feet have gotten soft I gained a glorious blister the other day although I did push it and walked further than I should have… however as it was my first week back on the exercise circuit  I know it was stupid of me..

.I am on week 2 of Sally’s…Smorgasbord Magazine… 6 weeks glycemic plan… it’s going well and I am sticking to low glycemic foods plus staying within the boundaries of medium rated glycemic foods and have totally eliminated the high glycemic foods…maybe I will have one cookie as my treat…

It’s surprising how quickly the urge to eat everything sweet or salty (crisps) decreases…I feel less bloated and am sleeping better…

These cookies are my basic recipe and you can add whatever you like ..grate some lime or orange zest is quite a nice addition…Drizzle a lemon, lime or orange icing over the top…

I know biscuits/cookies can never be healthy...homemade ones don’t last as long not because you eat them all in one day but because they go soft…A manufacturer’s bottom line is profit and shelf life by making them at home we can substitute sugar for a stevia-based one or whatever our favoured sweetener is…we can choose the flour we use maybe wholemeal or spelt…we use better quality ingredients like real vanilla extract or vanilla beans…The bottom line is we try to make the best tasting cookies without the preservatives…

Eaten and enjoyed they are a nice treat…x

Ingredients:

  • 150gm rolled oats
  • 100gm plain flour
  • 100gm light brown sugar( I used raw sugar)
  • 100gm desiccated coconut
  • 100gm butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp of boiling water.

Let’s Cook!

Set oven to heat at 175C, gas mark 4.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, flour, coconut and oats mix to combine well.

In a small pan add the butter and golden syrup and melt the butter. meanwhile, bring the kettle to a boil and add two tbsps of boiling water to the bicarbonate of soda in a small cup. Add this to the melted butter/syrup mix. It will foam a little.

N.B if you leave it on the heat…like me…and turn back to line your tin…It will foam and it went all over my ceramic hob…the rest you can guess…sigh

Make a well in the centre of your dry mix and pour in the melted butter/syrup mix. Stir to thoroughly combine and it will form a slightly sticky dough.

Roll out balls and put on a baking tray leaving a space as they will spread on cooking ( the mix made 15 balls) Slightly flatten with your hand.

Put in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

THE BISCUITS WILL BE SOFT TO THE TOUCH BUT WILL HARDEN ON COOLING.

Don’t make the mistake I made when I first made them and thought they weren’t cooked and gave them another 10 minutes. They were a tad harder than required when they cooled down…haha…I could build a wall with them…Opppps

Enjoy!

I hope you join me tomorrow for Tropical Friday…x

 

Plastic…The Latest News…Week 6…Plastic releases Greenhouse Gases…

 

Week 6…an update…The manufacture of plastics and plastic, when exposed to the elements, releases methane and ethylene – two powerful greenhouse gases that can intensify climate change.

green foot prints eco system

It is little wonder that Sir David Attenborough was moved to give an update as the situation regarding Climate change is worsening by the day…

Update 2021…21st February 2021…

Sir David Attenborough joined the UK Prime Minister at the UN Security Council telling its 15 members that it is too late to avoid climate change.

Sir David Attenborough said: “There is no going back – no matter what we do now, it’s too late to avoid climate change and the poorest, the most vulnerable, those with the least security, are now certain to suffer.”

He continued: “If we bring emissions down with sufficient vigour we may yet avoid the tipping points that will make runaway climate change unstoppable. In November this year, at COP26 in Glasgow, we may have our last opportunity to make the necessary step-change.”

https://www.climateaction.org/news/sir-david-attenborough-tells-un-it-is-too-late-to-avoid-climate-change

♦♦♦♦♦

The first thing we need to do is to stop using single-use plastic, especially products made of LDPE (for example, grocery bags, 6-pack rings, sandwich and snack bags, strawberry containers, and plastic wrap).

We already know that greenhouse gases are released during the production of these materials, and now we have learned that greenhouse gases continue to be released while in use and as they degrade. We need to begin to phase them out entirely. In addition, we need better laws and policies to guide consumers to make better choices. If single-use plastics are banned, consumers will adapt and find alternative ways of bagging their groceries or filling a bottle, these being reusable items rather than items used for a few minutes and then discarded.

Update 2021.

Single-use plastic is still being produced and if it is still being produced it WILL be used…

https://www.climateaction.org/news/sir-david-attenborough-tells-un-it-is-too-late-to-avoid-climate-change

Government Policies can help make a difference globally…

However, we have seen how many governments are either paying lip service or blatantly doing nothing…

People Power has spoken...Well and truly in the UK over the last week…I am immensely proud of each and every one of those protesters and it was a peaceful protest which caused much inconvenience as from Monday 15th April: Extinction Rebellion blocked Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square…The aim was to man these sites around the clock until the government acts on Climate Emergency…

The London actions are part of a wider rebellion taking place across the Uk and around the world…Extinction Rebellion has 331 groups in 49 different countries…

Update 2021…

Reading the latest news reports on the demonstrations in London…is this the right way to protest? Red Paint, super glue has been used over the last 3 years to make a statement…is it working? The latest news shows the police are stepping up their actions and cracking down…Are these actions working for the man in the street the man who has to get to work…Three years on are the demonstrations working ? Has XR lost momentum? Numbers on protests are fewer, The press is more critical… I don’t profess to know what the answer is…What are your thoughts? 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/03/extinction-rebellion-tactics-police-crack-down-on-protests

Dr Rowan Williams…joined fellow worshipers and others as St Pauls Cathedral People of all faiths, everyday people, eminence church figures, celebrities are all concerned enough to take a public stance…

Update 2021…

Dr Rowan Williams has spoken again…good for him…I, unfortunately, missed this broadcast yesterday…Did anybody watch it? If so what are your views?

https://www.intelligencesquared.com/events/poverty-natural-capital-and-the-climate-crisis-with-sir-partha-dasgupta-and-dr-rowan-williams/

Children from around the world are responding to young Greta Thornburg and her calls for action…

Update 2021…

Young and full of hope…Having returned to school after a year out leading young people in school strikes for climate change, Ms Thunberg said the conference falls in her school holidays, and if she does attend she plans to travel by train.

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/greta-thunberg-cop26-host-scotland-b1911599.html

My conclusion… we need action and after what will be the 26th COP meeting I tend to agree with Greta when she said “We know that change will not come from the Cop, from within these negotiations. The change will come when there are enough people outside on the streets demanding change.”

I think Raj Patel was correct when he said…”If governments won’t hear you, If corporations won’t hear you, if the philanthropists do not return your calls or do not think you deserve the dignity of a response then the theory of change won’t get off the ground”

Throwing facts at people rarely changes minds…it’s talk that changes people and creates changes that work…

Thank you for reading this post and please if you are concerned about the future of our world and the effect of Climate change …Action is needed now….xx

 

 

CarolCooks2…In my kitchen…Beer Butt Chicken…

All you need is a chook, a can of beer(of )your choice, some sauce or dry spices maybe some bacon…Some veggies for the bottom of the pan so they can cook in the lovely juices while the chook is cooking…That’s it…Dinner sorted…

It is a lovely way to cook a chook…the meat stays moist and is so tender the kids loved it and demolished it like there was no tomorrow…

Let’s Cook!

  • A medium-sized chicken
  • A large can of beer..we used Heineken.
  • I tbsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp of garlic granules or powder( not salt) unless you want to.
  • I tbsp of sugar
  • I tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder.

Rub all this over the chicken it gets messy guys.

Open your preferred can of beer….drink half

Then sit your chicken on the beer can and take a picture…lol

 

We all concurred and agreed that drinking half of the can of beer  was for safety reasons…it gave room in the can for the steam to rise, cook the chicken and keep it moist from the inside and also prevented a nasty explosion…mmmm

The chook is now ready to cook...Put it in a preheated oven at 200 degrees and cook..timing depends on the size of your chook and ours took I hour 25 minutes.

5 minutes before the end of cooking take 100ml of your favourite spicy sauce and heat with 50gm butter until butter has melted pour over the chook and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.

Of course, you can make it as spicy or not as you like we always vary our spices and rubs depending on what we feel like and now the kids eat spicier food we can up the spice bit cooking the chook this way keeps the flesh lovely and moist it just falls off the bone.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this and will come back again for more recipes next week…see you tomorrow for Tropical Friday xx

Enjoy!

Have a lovely week xx

 

 

Plastic…The latest News…Week 4… an update around the world…

 

Following on from Plastic Free July…

I thought today I would have a roam around the world to see if the initiatives that I wrote about in 2019 have gone forward or backwards…or just disappeared into thin air…

Back in 2019…UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns the world is running out of time to contain climate change…as we have COP26 coming up…The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Today I am having a look at what is happening in the run-up to COP26...are those figures and plans made in 2019 come to fruition …have they gone forward or backwards?

This is one of my favourite beaches...so very beautiful..idyllic one might say…HOWEVER, what you don’t see is the beach after every high tide goes out…That beautiful blue water..what lies beneath it unless you go for a swim or a snorkel you don’t see that either…

11 facts you need to know…

Plastic bags, disposable napkins, plastic straws, plastic takeaway cups, glitter I could go on how could we not notice how could we not realise…did we not see the warning or more to the point heed them…I will be honest here I have read and seen lots over the years and still I didn’t heed the signs…I suppose I was guilty of thinking or not thinking and thought the problem was being addressed…By someone else…

Complacency is the word …

Thailand…

An obvious choice as I live here …Thailand is looking to ban the use of very thin single-use plastic bags in 2022, followed by single-use plastic glasses and straws three years …Thailand is also to ban foreign plastic waste from 2021. Thailand and other southern Asian countries are buckling under the sheer weight of imported plastic waste.

The reality 2021…

Plastic waste was still flowing into the country, brought in by recycling factories in the duty-free zone, indicating a loophole in the regulations.

“We have found that imported plastic waste of up to 150,000 tonnes was brought in in 2020, an increase of 2.69 times on the previous year.

“For this year, around 71,000 tonnes of plastic waste are imported into Thailand up until June,” Ms Penchom said…FULL Story here

The UK...

In January 2018, the UK announced a 25-year plan to set the global gold standard on eliminating plastic waste, according to environment minister Michael Gove.

The Reality 2021…The UK is under growing pressure to ban all exports of plastic waste…There are calls for the environment bill to be returned to parliament to be strengthened to tackle the global plastic waste crisis.

Australia …

Unlike other governments I couldn’t find much on outright bans it seems to be that it is happening state by state…South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory, have state-wide bans on single-use plastic bags, and Queensland is set to follow in July 2018. Ministers also endorsed a target of 100 per cent of Australian packaging being recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025, to be delivered by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation.

The reality 2021…it appears the recycling industry is not ready for the ban on exporting plastic waste…  

But reading the report and seeing statements like unsorted waste makes me think that waste will still be exported just under a different banner and as we see above when a countries regulations have loopholes …call me cynical but it seems to me to just be words and business as usual…

Canada…

In January 2018, Canada put a stop to plastic microbeads. Although microbeads were permitted to be manufactured and imported for non-prescription drugs and certain natural health products until July 1 2018.

The reality 2021…Plastics are not uniformly regulated in Canada. While the federal government is responsible for them to some degree, include for product regulatory matters, it is the provinces, territories and municipalities that regulate many environmental protection matters, including most waste management. This results in a patchwork model of regulation, with some jurisdictions having much stricter plastic regulations than others.

New Zealand…

Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage has confirmed that single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out in New Zealand with regulations to come into force from 1 July 2019.

The Reality 2021…New Zealand has just announced that it will phase out single-use plastics between 2022 and 2025 in an effort to promote environmental sustainability. The country will ban plastic drink stirrers, straws, and cutlery, according to the Guardian, as well as PVC and polystyrene food and drink packaging.

France…

2016 saw France become the first country to announce a total ban on plastic cups, plates, and cutlery, to be brought in from 2020.

The Reality 2021…As of this week, straws, plastic bottles, coffee cups and takeaway containers made from certain materials are banned in the EU. Items made from expanded polystyrene, specifically, are no longer allowed to be sold.

India…

India pledges to beat plastic pollution by 2022…Wow, that is fighting talk as they probably have more plastic waste than many countries worldwide. India was the host to World Environment Day 2018 and they have taken 5 steps to fast track it already…

The Reality 2021…Given the mammoth task, India faces not just with plastic but with Covid, they seem to be forging ahead…Personally, I wish them luck and hope they succeed in turning things around …Next steps …

Holland…

With effect from January 2016, free plastic bags were banned… Although alongside France they have agreed to a Plastic Pact this is being condemned by the break free from plastics movement and Hollands recycling Network as they feel it should be law and not voluntary…

The Reality 2021…Holland as a country seem to be on board and happy to make changes for the good of mother earth…

Spain…

In October 2018, Spain became the 32nd country to sign up for the UN Clean Seas campaign, which aims to ‘turn the tide on plastic.

The Reality 2021…The Spanish government has approved a bill designed to discourage the production and consumption of single-use plastics, including taxes on their production and disposal and a timetable for phasing out their use in the food and drink sector.

Finland…

Collective working in Finland received a Plastics Roadmap, which is the first step toward a new, sustainable plastic economy. Of the more than 100 proposals made, the roadmap presents a set of key actions to find solutions to challenges caused by plastics.

The Reality 2021…work is still ongoing

The USA…

This article published in Jan 2019 shows current legislation state by state…Plastic bags and paper bags…I’m sure that you my dear readers can tell me how your state is doing and where they send your carefully sorted waste and plastic…

The Reality 2021…I always thought the USA liked to be a world leader in everything…it appears waste is the exception

Sweden…This is an addition to my 2019 post as I like their thinking…to me, it seems they discuss, think and act…it also seems that in Sweden consumers are on board and want to save the world…not just a few but the many…

Circular energy is working here…

My conclusion…

I’m worried for the future of this beautiful world and wondering where this leaves my children and grandchildren…what kind of world will WE leave for them to inhabit?

I have noticed from this assortment of countries though that it is where the people and the government are on the same page where the government are not afraid to take necessary steps but also where the people accept the changes and get on and do it… make it work…

A whole approach is what is needed and where it happens it works… all these separate regulations don’t.

Ahead of the forthcoming COP26 of which the first one was in 1995..26 years ago…For the last 26 years, the attendees of these meetings have been discussing Climate Change…According to this IPCC report which has just been published ahead of COP26 UNLESS there are immediate, rapid and large scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming close to 1.5 degrees C or even 2 degrees centigrade will be beyond reach.

Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying – IPCC

I for one hope that at this COP26 action will be decided and implemented forthwith no ifs and buts but ACTION!

That’s all for this week, thank you for reading and have a lovely week xx