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ROUND ROBIN - 01 - December 2022

WELCOME TO STOKE ST GREGORY’S NEW BLOG ON ALL THINGS ENVIRONMENTAL, SPONSORED BY SEG. WE HOPE YOU WILL ENJOY THIS PUBLICATION, FIND IT USEFUL, ENTERTAINING AND INFORMATIVE.

WHAT CAN I DO?

GO TO:Change.org

‘The World’s Platform for Change’

This is the largest platform for global social change, founded 2007, as a non-profit foundation.This a simple way to support multiple causes. You can just tick, share or donate as you wish.

In 2019, the young sisters Ella and Caitlin took on McDonald’s and Burger King to ban plastic toys in their kids’ meals. They achieved over 560,000 votes on change.org. In 2019 Burger King banned plastic toys.

McDonald’s attempted to give a choice of toy or fruit - eventually 2 years later they have capitulated (paper and soft toys). This is in the UK only. The irony is these plastic toys are now being sold as collectors items. At least they are not all going to landfill.

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The Wild Life Trust: ‘Changing Nature’, have made a climate risk assessment on their estate of nearly 400 sq. miles. They are campaigning to see increased efforts from governments, business, and other landowners. You can read on line their Impact Reports: wildlifetrusts.org. To join Somerset group: £3.50 per month. This dynamic organisation has many campaigns and ways you can support or be involved.

  

ENGLAND’S TOP LAND HOLDERS (ACRES)

Forestry Commission 489,814

National Trust 474,641

Ministry of Defence 397,098

Crown Estate 264,233

United Utilities (water companies)

THE CUP THAT CHEERS: ‘Plastic’ free tea bags is often misleading. PG tips uses PLA (Polylactic Acid) from plant fibre, which will not break down in your compost. Tetley, Yorkshire are following suit, Twinings have plans for 2025. Pukka, Teapigs, Whittard use various plant fibres and pulps - but these still need commercial composting.

Break open to compost leaves, put the bags in your food disposal box.

 

Best option? Buy loose tea sustainably packaged such as Pukka and

Teapigs. Langport Stores sells loose tea; you can take your own container.

RECYCLE

Plastic bottles eg milk containers: swill out, squeeze and screw on top. Put in Blue bag.

Glass containers eg beer bottles, jam jars: Swill out, put glass in box and metal tops in Blue bag.

You can put small tops inside an empty can then squeeze shut.

Stoke telephone box - next year we hope to make this a recycling depo for blister packs. SEG has grubbed out and planted the bank next to the box.

HOT TOPS FOR KEEPING WARM

  1. Invest in hot water bottles, they make cosy portable heaters. Put behind your knees for best effect.

  2. Thermal underwear can be very expensive. Wear several thin layers to trap body heat.

  3. Have a thick blanket on your settee to snuggle into.

  4. Wear warm slippers in the house. Hats and gloves outside - or in the house or even in bed. Body extremities are where you loose most heat.

  5. A curry, chilli or soup will warm you up.

  6. A cup of tea warms your inside and hands!

  7. Keep doors closed, use draught excluders eg: curtains, sausages - I made mine from an old pyjama legs stuffed with the rest of the pyjamas.

  8. When you turn the oven off leave the door open for residual heat to escape (not if you have young children).

GREEN GARDENING I recently decided that my garden lacked one important element - water. I didn’t want a pond, risk hazard for the grandchildren, expensive to install and a lot of maintenance. So I went much, much smaller. I re-purposed an old washing up bowl, two plastic boxes and one small tin tray.

 

I put gravel and stones in the bottom of each and filled up with rain water, or you can use tap water that has stood for a couple of days. The tin tray I filled almost to the top with small pebbles to make a bee bar. The bowl and a small box have been inserted into an old pallet.

NO PLASTIC PLEASE SANTA!

You can eat Quality Street this Xmas without feeling guilty. They are introducing paper wrappings. This will remove 2.5 billion pieces of packing from their industry, per year.

Smarties have also gone plastic free. Sweet!

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At Xmas we use in the UK roughly 300,00 tonnes of wrapping paper and card, and 1000,000 tonnes of plastic - 80% of which is toy packing.

 

  1. Use paper tape, eg. Naturally Wrapt (online) or tie with string, ribbon, raffia.

  2. Use recycled/recyclable wrap. Eco friendly wrap sold at our shop.

  3. Buy second-hand toys/books/games, or from charity shops.

  4. Buy your Xmas vegetables/fruit loose from a local farm.

  5. Homemake crackers, or make little boxes filled with sweets (Smarties and Quality Street?) or festive gingerbread.

  6. Don’t buy any cards wrapped in plastic. Children find it great fun to make their own cards, or make new cards from

old. Send Xmas postcards instead, like the Victorians. See

Eco Craft (online) for sourcing and inspiration.

 

XMAS RECIPE

PANZANELLA SALAD great use for stale bread, cheap and filling.

2 lb ripe tomatoes, cut into small chunks and deseeded 1 red onion thinly sliced

3/4 lb thick bread cut into small cubes lightly tossed in olive oil Cucumber, thin slices cut into 1/2 moons

Sauce: 2 tblsp Red/White wine or cider vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, basil, crushed garlic, seasoning.

Put bread on a tray and bake 180 C fan until crunchy but not brown. Drain tomatoes and put juice to the side. Mix onion, cucumber and tomatoes. Add cooled bread.

To tomato juice add sauce ingredients and whisk until thick. Pour over bread and stir together. Chill for 6 hours.

There are lots of variations to this recipe. You could add olives, roast peppers, anchovies or capers.

……………………………………………………………………… Shockingly we waste about 8 million tonnes of food a year in the UK (latest figures available 2018)

 

LEFT OVERS: Use stale bread for:

Stuffing the turkey, or make into balls with herbs and onions, or bread sauce.

Coating homemade burgers, patties, fish, chicken fillets. Mix with grated cheese and use as a gratin topping, grill or bake.

Make garlic bread, crostini, brochette or croutons. Bread and butter pudding or bread pudding all good cheap fillers.

 

SPREADING THE COST: An easy way to make your butter go further is to make your own spread. Put 200g of salted butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Add 100ml oil of your choice and mix slowly at first, then increase speed for approx 2 mins until homogeneous (well mixed). It may look too soft but when chilled it will be fine.This is a healthier as it reduces the saturated fats found in butter.

………………………………………………………… If you have any have any queries about this publication please contact Karen Housego email: housego20@yahoo.com uk The research and content of the Round Robin is done to the best of our abilities.Let us know if there has been a big blunder, for the little ones please forgive us.

JOIN US AND TURN THE WORLD AROUND

Contact: envirostoke@yahoo.com

MOBILE PHONES

What is 3TG?

It is an umbrella term for ‘Conflict Materials’ eg. Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold - the mining of these is linked to human suffering, pollution and destroys ecosystems. We no longer have a law against regulating this (EU law 2021).

 

How can I cut my phone carbon emissions?

They create around 1% of global greenhouse emissions. Most of the carbon foot print is in the making of a phone - a 2 year phone will be 52.5kg - 10 years later 10.5kg.

It is estimated that currently there are 55 million unused phones in the UK. So the solution is simple and so much cheaper - buy a 2nd hand phone.

The longer you take to write and read an email the more emissions, more if you copy in lots of people and send attachments. Avoid unnecessary emails eg: ‘LOL’, gifs, emojis and images. If we each sent one less ‘Thank you’ each day, the UK would save more than 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year. Research has found that we check our phones every 5 minutes, we spend on average 4 hours per day on the phone (LSE 2021).

 

What are Smart Phones Made Of ? (average phone) 25% Silicon, 23% Plastic, 20% Iron, 14% Aluminium, 7%

Copper, 6% Lead, 2% Zinc, 1% Tin, 1% Nickel, 0.03% Barium, tiny amounts of Gold, Palladium, silver.

 

How do I buy an environmental and ethical phone? Look for the TCO Certified label - https://tcocertified.com/ product-finder

(Ethical Consumer 199 Nov/Dec 2022)

Oxfam shops now take unwanted or broken phones to recycle.

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