This week, as part of my 30 Green Days Challenge, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much food we throw away as a family. (Admittedly this was worse when No 1 Son was small, and used to squirt blackcurrant all over his food when he was fed up of eating it, but even now we do waste a fair bit.)
Of course, we’re not alone. In fact, in the UK, we throw away almost 7 MILLION TONNES of food and drink from our homes every year. That’s shocking, isn’t it? Particularly when you realise that if we stopped wasting food, there would be huge benefits to the planet – the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road, in fact.
It’s made me resolve to ensure we waste less food as a family, so from now on I’m going to be really strict about what I’m buying: no more picking up bits and pieces here and there and then forgetting all about them or ordering takeaways because I can’t be bothered to cook and throwing away fresh food. We’re going to have a meal plan and stick to it. And plan in the takeaways.
I’m also trying to make sure we recycle as much as possible. I only found out recently, for example, that you can recycle empty aerosol cans. As a family we’ve resolved to make sure we’re recycling 80% of our household rubbish, and something I’m seriously considering right now is getting a compost heap to take care of the food waste. We used to have one of these when I was growing up as a kid and I can definitely see the benefit now I’m thinking more about how much we throw away.
I’d love to know how much you recycle – and if you have any tips for composting, do let me know.
And meanwhile here’s some really exciting news. SC Johnson have agreed to give £6000 to a British environmental charity, chosen by me. That’s right, £6000. I KNOW. Isn’t it AMAZING? I feel like Oprah, or something. But I do need your help to find a suitable charity to receive the award.
All you have to do to nominate a deserving charity is leave a comment below telling me why you think they should get the funds, giving me as much detail as you can about their work, and their website. This is your chance to really shout about a green charity you feel does great work and could do with an extra £6000. It could be a conservation charity that is helping to protect endangered British wildlife; a woodland charity; or one that encourages people to live a more sustainable life. There are so many brilliant environmental charities to choose from – the only stipulation is it must be a British charity, working in Britain (not overseas), and it must be registered (this will be verified).
Entries close at midday on April 28. I’ll be choosing the winning charity with the help of a representative from SC Johnson. The usual The Mum Blog competition rules apply.
And don’t forget, keep looking out for the hashtag #30GreenDays on twitter to pick up eco-friendly tips.
I’d like to nominate Incredible Edibles.
It started with a vegetable plot with a revolutionary sign: help yourself. One lady had planted runner beans secretly outside a disused health centre. People talked about the beans, then started picking them. More vegetables were secretly planted. And so it grew, and the community embraced it.
Incredible Edibles is where residents grow vegetables and fruit in the centre of villages and towns for the local people to pick and eat. It started in Todmorden and has spread to many other places in Britain. I think it’s wonderful – they’re all volunteers, they choose the growing spots (disused flower beds outside the police station now grow sweetcorn. The school is getting a fish farm. Cherry trees appeared in the supermarket car park. Commuters help themselves to herbs growing at the railway station). The community works together. Elderly residents teach under 5’s. This is about self sufficiency, and ensuring a secure future for the planet. A new initiative is to make every egg a Tod egg. I believe £6000 would make a massive difference to this small, but growing, charity.
This small charity rescues wildlife casualties and orphans 365 days each year in their ambulances and cares for them using volunteers (like me), rehabilitating them and releasing them back where they were found wherever possible. It’s run on an absolute shoestring yet does amazing work, including in educating people in the area about caring for wildlife and the wild environment.
The charity is called East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service.
Great initiative. I’d like to nominate FoodCycle who create meals from unwanted ingredients and http://foodcycle.org.uk/about-us/our-story/
oodCycle runs volunteer-powered community projects across the UK – working to reduce food poverty and social isolation by serving tasty, nutritious meals to vulnerable groups. They started cooking in May 2009 and have served over 90,000 meals, made using 100,000kg of reclaimed surplus food (the equivalent saving of 450,000kg CO2 emissions) by their network of 1,200 volunteers. Kelvin Cheung, Founder of FoodCycle is one of my social enterprise heroes as he proactively did something constructive about the growing problem of food poverty nationally in the UK. There are so many great social enterprise/charities out there so I know the
prize will go to a deserving initiative.
I would like to nominate the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation, they do some amazing work to save the endangered species of the world, many of which are having their habitiats destroyed by human action. Currently YWPF’s main project is the rescue of a Polar bear named Yupi, under the project name ‘Project Polar’.
If we, as humans are acting in a way that is negatively effecting the animals in our world that deserve their space and way of life as much as we deserve ours, then we have a responsibility to protect these animals, to ensure they breed to prevent them going extinct, and to ensure that they are truly looked after and given the life they all deserve.
Currently, the way humans act is completely unsustainable for nature, and without organisations like YWPF, these animals will one day no longer exist.
The actual work that YWPF does is of a very broad range, consisting of things like promoting welfare and conservation of exotic of other species of endangered wildlife both in their natural habitat and captivity. They also seek to ‘advance the education of the public in relation to these animals’.
I believe I have explained many reasons as to why the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation is a worthy cause for this kindly contributed money from SC Johnson though if there is anything else you would like to know then there is plenty of information on their website: http://www.yorkshirewildlifeparkfoundation.com/
I’d like to nominate the Natural Death Centre, who help people arrange green funerals as well as fighting through the misinformation the for-profit death industry gives them. http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk
I’d like to nominate Garden Organic Liz (http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk)
They are based in Coventry and are promote organic living and gardening with the aim of protecting our food supplies, our environment, our health and our wellbeing
They are also actively educating (pupils and teachers) to help make a difference, are lobbying to conserve endangered varieties and we campaign for change.
And they have the most beautiful gardens to showcase the work they do which boils down to creating a better environment for us all to live in
I’d love to nominate People & Planet, a fantastic UK based charity. P&P visit schools, colleges and universities across the country, educating and inspiring young people to get active against climate change. They encourage young people to make changes to their own lives, campaign for changes at their place of study, and contact politicians to demand even bigger changes. I used to work for this organisation, and know £6000 would allow them to reach even more young people than they already have.
Our children are the ones who will be most affected by climate change, so let’s put the power in their hands.
Oh and their website is http://peopleandplanet.org xx
I’d like to nominate Warley Woods, a local park. http://www.warleywoods.org.uk/ Warley Woods is unusual because it is run by a charitable community trust rather than a council or larger charity. It has a high level of community involvement and exists to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical, natural and historic environment of the area known as Warley Woods. Warley Woods is an oasis of green in the city.