February Round Up

I’m often coming across news items, recipes, environmental stories and things that give me pause for thought, but aren’t enough for a whole blog post on their own. So I thought it would be nice to collect them together and share them with you each month. It would been more satisfyingly ‘neat’ to have started this in January, but never mind!

February has been an exciting month because SPRING IS COMING! Just when I was starting to think that it really was going to be muddy, cold and miserable forever, the first flowers are finally peeking their heads up. Here are the celandine and snowdrops on my way to work:

The river where we go swimming is still a chilly three to four degrees Celsius (around 38 Fahrenheit) so I know ‘proper’ spring is still a way off, but it turns out it isn’t going to be winter forever.

Reading

I’ve just finished How To Read Water: Clues & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea
by Tristan Gooley. The perfect resource for anyone looking for an opportunity to have a quick dip when you’re out and about, but also great for anyone interested in understanding natural signs better, so I would also recommend it for walkers, campers and explorers of all kinds!

Next up is The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. I’ve already learned how trees are naturally social and that they talk to each other, and have started sympathising with the lone hawthorn in our front garden.

Cooking

My neighbour gifted me a pumpkin, which I used to adapt this Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Coconut Curry recipe from thevegan8.com. I swapped the sweet potato for pumpkin, spinach for some purple sprouting broccoli, and added a bit of garam masala at the end. Delicious with short grain brown rice, flaked almonds and a handful of fresh coriander. The pic here is my version, but I’d recommend visiting the link above to see how beautiful it looks when being photographed properly, and not by a hungry person with a camera phone.

coconut curry

We finished off January with an entirely vegan Burns Night, with veggie haggis, neeps and tatties made using olive oil and mustard rather than butter, and a surprisingly delicious vegan cranachan, made with whipped coconut cream.

Articles

I’ve discovered Anthropocene Magazine, who have some thought provoking articles, my favourites of the moment being:

  • The unforeseen consequences of killing ‘prize’ animals – I cannot get my head round the idea of hunting as a pleasurable activity personally, but this article explains how shooting the the ‘best’ animals is weakening the gene pool and is an interesting counter-argument to the ‘hunting as conservation’ idea.
  • Reusable or Disposable: Which coffee cup has a smaller footprint? – It turns out that it can take as many as a thousand uses for a reusable cup to have less of an environmental impact than a disposable one. I don’t think this is an argument for disposables, more of a case for buying once, making it last, and being frugal with the washing up liquid and hot water when keeping it clean. But a powerful reminder that reusable really needs to mean reusable.
The most shocking news story I’ve seen this month is, as unbelievable as it may seem, that Cape Town is preparing to run out of water. On what is being called the apocalyptic-sounding ‘Day Zero’, the city will turn off its water supply, leaving citizens to visit water ration points to collect their daily allowance of just 25 litres of water. A stark warning to us all that seemingly infinite natural resources are anything but. Could you live on 25 litres of water a day?

Blog posts

Sarah’s post Zero Waste Myths: Are sustainable lifestyles only for middle class people? is a great read, and something I worry about myself. I think those of us promoting ZW and environmentally-friendly activities do need to keep trying to check our privilege – if we’re creating most of the waste, we need to make sure we’re addressing that.

I always love Lindsay’s posts, and got some good ideas from 5 Ideas for Donating Stuff You Don’t Need (But Is Still Useful).

 

I’d love to know what you’ve been up to, and your eco reading/watching/listening/doing recommendations, please leave a comment and let me know! 

 

4 thoughts on “February Round Up

  1. Interesting article about the disposable cups. I have read studies that show the impact of reusable cups can also be reduced by putting them in the dishwasher, as they are more efficient at washing up than humans (or, as you suggest, you can always just try to minimise the amount of hot water and soap you use).

    Like

    1. I will be dancing round my kitchen the day we get a dishwasher! In the meantime, it’s the washing up bowl. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the water we don’t see (i.e. in making a t-shirt, which I think is around 2500 litres) vs the water we do (taking shorter showers). Arguably there’s more impact in the stuff we don’t see, which so rarely is targeted in water saving campaigns.

      Like

      1. Haha, since reading that this morning I’ve been super careful washing up my reusable cup! But totally agree – the average person in the U.K. uses about 150 litres of water directly per day – meanwhile it takes about 30,000 litres to make one beefburger!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.