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Grow Wild. Please vote for Plymouth!

21 Oct

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Some of you may have heard about the Grow Wild Project already. There is £120,000 up for grabs in a round of funding made available to transform our local spaces into wildlife havens. The funding has been made available by The Big Lottery Fund and Plymouth has been shortlisted to the final five. With its ‘City to Sea’ proposal, the plans are to transform Plymouth from Armada Way to the Hoe.

If Plymouth wins the money it will really transform our local spaces. Watch the video on the Grow Wild Website to see the plans. The idea is to involve the whole community in this project, from start to finish.

  • 1000 pupils will be invited to help sow native wild flower seeds and bring the plans to life.
  • An orchard will be planted on Armada Way and passers-by will be encouraged to stop and enjoy the fruit
  • The site will play host to events that will inspire young people to enjoy nature.
  • A scarlet sea of poppies is planned for the Naval Memorial on the Hoe

 

Please, please, vote for Plymouth so that this vision can become a reality! Voting ends on 4th November and you can vote here

 

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Getting involved in coastal clean-ups

8 Jan

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Devon and Cornwall have certainly taken the brunt of recent storms. Our local beaches have faced devastation, with sea walls being destroyed, beachside cafes being ruined and sandy beaches being sucked out to sea, replaced only by a bed of rocks. Waves of up to 27ft have been recorded in Lands End so it is no surprise that such destruction has been left in the storm’s path. Our coastline has been completely changed in places. Porthcothan Beach is beautiful and for as long as I can remember has had a wonderful, natural rock formation. This has been completely destroyed in the last week as you can see from these photos.

Stunning rock formation at Porthcothan, Cornwall. Photograph:Idenna

Stunning rock formation at Porthcothan, Cornwall. Photograph: Idenna

Porthcothan after the storms of 2014.

Porthcothan after the storms of 2014.  Photograph: Idenna

Also left in its wake is a mass of litter and debris which is threatening our marine life and can also be hazardous to the public. On a recent trip to Wembury beach we spotted a dead animal on the sand, and bags and bags of litter. A friend of mine has been making trips to the beach specifically to help clean up and has removed many bags of rubbish. We are going to do the same thing this weekend and will definitely be going prepared for what I think will be a massive task.

If you would like to help clean up your local beach there are organisations out there that can provide help and advice. Surfers against Sewage organise beach clean ups but will also assist you if you want to organise your own beach clean up with volunteers. Their website has lots of information including safety factsheets and advice on the types of marine litter you may find.

The Marine Conservation Society also organises beach clean ups and you can find a list of their organised events here. You can also become a volunteer with the Marine Conservation Society by becoming an organiser for your local beach.

If you would like to help clean up your local beach, you don’t need to join an organised event. You can just turn up and start work but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Wear warm clothes and sturdy footwear and ensure you have refreshments to hand.
  • Ensure that children are supervised at all times
  • Never remove natural debris such as driftwood or seaweed as this provides important habitats for wildlife
  • Always wear gloves and in addition to a bag for your litter you may want to carry a sharps box or similar container.
  • Report any dead animals or pollutants to the organiser of the beach clean-up, or alternatively to a local life guard who will contact the appropriate organisation.
  • If you find litter that can be directly traced to a company or organisation, this should also be reported as above.
  • DON’T touch anything that you are not sure about. This includes suspicious containers or dead marine life.
  • Most importantly be aware of the tides! Do not risk being cut off or do anything that could endanger your life. Yes, big waves are exciting and dramatic but they are also very dangerous.

Finally take a look at the Western Morning News for some of the latest storm damage images and some pretty terrifying videos!

RECALL NOTICE: Amber teething necklaces

31 May

We have today received a recall notice from Wildsheep regarding their Amber Teething Necklaces.  We recently sold these necklaces on our website.  Following recent investigations by Trading Standards into the safety of all teething necklaces, Wildsheep submitted a necklace for safety tests and here are the results.

BS EN 71-1:2011 Mechanical and Physical Properties

  • 8.4.2.1   Tension Test – General (Satisfactory)
  • 8.7          Impact Test (Unsatisfactory)

The following is an extract from the “Opinions and Interpretations” section of the test report.

“The product failed to satisfy BS EN71-1:2011 (Safety of toys – part 1:  mechanical and physical properties) when tested in accordance with paragraph 8.7 (Impact Test), in that several beads shattered and detached. The bead fragments fitted wholly inside the small parts cylinder of dimensions specified in paragraph 8.2. These components pose a potential choking/inhalation hazard to a child under 36 months.”

We would like to point out that there have been no incidents of these necklaces causing harm HOWEVER as a precautionary measure all teething necklaces that fail these tests are being recalled as a precautionary measure.  If you have purchased one of these necklaces from us and wish to return it for a full refund you are of course welcome to do so. Please note that we cannot be liable for any necklaces that are lost in the post so you may wish to send via recorded delivery.

We apologise for any inconvenience or distress this may cause. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Thank you

World’s biggest offshore windfarm opened today

23 Sep
Middelgrunden offshore wind farm (40 MW) obser...

Image via Wikipedia

Today was the official opening of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.   The wind farm off the coast of Kent has over 100 turbines which can generate enough power for 200,000 homes.

Thanet will not keep the “world’s biggest” accolade for long though. Guests were already speculating about the next major offshore launch they might be invited to. Just up the coast is the Greater Gabbard offshore project with its 140 turbines, which will be followed by the even bigger London Array scheme in the Thames Estuary. When completed, this could generate 1000MW.

Renewables UK, the industry lobby group, declared that the Thanet development meant that renewable energy had now become “absolutely mainstream” in the UK. It added that targets to more than triple electricity from clean sources by the end of this decade were now “realistic and achievable”.

Only 8 years of landfill space left in the UK

18 Jul

The Local Government Association  (LGA) has warned council officials in the UK that there is only 8 years of landfill space left in the UK.  The UK dumps 19 million tonnes of rubbish into landfill sites every year and that space is quickly running out.  We currently dump more  waste than any other country in the EU – 7 million tonnes more than France!

This is a huge issue, not just for the leaders of our councils but also for us as taxpayers.  On 1 April landfill tax paid by councils rose to £48 per tonne and it is set to rise by £8 per tonne each year until 2014/2015.  That money has to come from somewhere and it’s our pockets that will be affected.

Councils have been trying hard to reduce the amount that is sent to landfill and the amount has reduced by 33% since 2000 but the LGA warn that this is not enough.  We need to increase our efforts to recycle and reuse as much as possible.  At Green Mums we are big fans of Freecycle and always list unwanted items on here instead of sending them to landfill.  It’s worth checking it out as you may be able to pick up something for free yourself.

In Plymouth the council are working really hard to promote cloth nappies in efforts to reduce the amount of disposables that are going to landfill.  If you’d like to know what your council are doing check out our council incentives page. I have noticed larger companies making great efforts in reducing waste.  Sainsburys recently launched their ‘milk in a bag’ which comes with 75% less waste than plastic milk bottles and they actively encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags by offering nectar points for each bag used – thus reducing the amount of carrier bags that are wasted.  More businesses need to put in this kind of effort to reduce our landfill waste and it needs to happen fast!

Can you offer any tips on recycling and reducing waste?  Maybe you have an idea that could be put towards your local council?  Feel free to post them on here and perhaps we can all do our bit to spread awareness.

Brighton Rocks to a green revolution

11 May

Caroline Lucas, the UK Green party leader, has been elected as MP for Brighton Pavilion. The only Green politican in the world to be elected in the First Past the Post system, Ms Lucas’s success is a rare good news story from last week’s election.

With the parties still discussing how the government will be formed, Ms Lucas is clear on her new role in Westminster. She wants a fairer system and a new kind of politics and believes she will have significant leverage over issues such as investment in renewables and climate change. She will adopt a radical stance on certain issues and use her position to highlight specific topics and campaigns.

After more than 30 years on the edge of the political mainstream, the Greens now have a voice at the heart of Westminster and intend to make the most of it.

Earth Day 2010

22 Apr

Today is Official ‘Earth Day’.  Over one billion people, in 190 countries will be taking action today to help make our environment more sustainable for future generations.  Events will be taking place all over the world to mark ‘Earth Day’ – for more information have a look at the official Earth Day 2010 website.

Here at Green Mums we do what we can to be environmentally friendly.  We use cloth nappies on our children, recycle, use energy saving lightbulbs, don’t leave electrical items on standby, make our own compost etc.

What do you do in your home or office? Think what a difference we could make if everyone pledges to do one more ‘green’ thing today!