We are a fairly new Group asking 'how can we change to benefit the Environment?' We are concerned with many aspects, including electric cars, heating systems, travel, food choices, new housing, clothing, cosmetics and our carbon footprint. We aim to take each subject in turn, inform ourselves of the facts and, in the future arrange some study days. Contact Jean A for further details.
From our February Zoom meeting
We reported our findings from the RSPB Birdwatch weekend. The weather hadn’t been all that bird-friendly but there were still sightings of a black cap, goldcrest, jay, song thrush and dunnock, along with plenty of blue tits,coal tits, great tits, long-tailed tits and blackbirds.
Peter had responded to an article in the Westmorland Gazette in which Highways England had asked for suggestions for cycling safety improvements. He contacted them with the suggestions mentioned in our last report. He had also contacted Highways England following a mailing about the removal of vegetation in preparation for the new roundabout on the A590 at Cross-a-moor. There are online consultations every Wednesday at 10.30 and Friday at 6.00 for a month but Peter discovered he was the only one who got in touch the day he tried. Details on the Highways England website (search A590).
One of the concerns is that the addition of the roundabout will make it easier for traffic to turn right onto Main Road, Swarthmoor and then detour round town to avoid four of the five sets of traffic lights. Rosemarie had given us details of a TED talk presented by a photographer in the Everglades who had taken some wonderful photos of the wildlife there in an attempt to elevate this particular National Park to the same status as the other well-known ones such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. He explained how the loss of snails and insects led to the loss of larger predators, and also how the draining of the swamp to create golf courses and housing affected the water flow as well as the wildlife.
Swanscombe Marshes are under threat by developers who want to build a Disney style theme park. A petition is circulating to protect it and to try and have it declared a SSI.
Another petition to save bees from pesticides had caught Judith’s eye. A previously banned pesticide is going to be trialled on some sugar beet in Norfolk. Judith had emailed our MP, Simon Fell, who had replied that it was a short-term project and that no flowers were growing nearby which would attract the bees!
We also discussed Bill Gates’s book, ‘How to avoid a Climate Disaster’, the use of palm oil in Nutella and other chocolates, PG Tips going plastic free, the decision by Cumbria County Council to re-consider the new coal mine, and finally, how should we spend our Covid savings in an environmentally friendly way!
Truly sustainable fashion
It looks great in the photo, but is your clothing actually made of plastic? Natural fibres such as wool, cotton, linen and cashmere are biodegradable. They do not contribute to plastic pollution. Yarns such as viscose and modal are made from the pulp of beech trees or bamboo; these also biodegrade. Humans have worn natural fibres for thousands of years for good reason. Their hygroscopic properties keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.
What can I do? Always check the label. It might be described as a 'wool' jumper, but is it actually made from 4O% acrylic? Does it feel nice and soft but is actually 5O% polyester? Find out more at WhatsInMyWash.org.uk.