Positive News is a magazine about the good things that are happening.
When much of the media is full of doom and gloom, instead Positive News is the first media organisation in the world that is dedicated to quality, independent reporting about what’s going right.
Don’t Throw That Away! An A-Z of leftovers, tired veg, etc and what to do with them:
Ever thought about foraging? Now is a good time to explore our country side…
Renewable energy is the “cheapest source of electricity”, says IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency
One of many suppliers of Renewable Energy is Octopus Energy. Octopus Energy claims to be ‘doing energy better' – and the Which? expert analysis suggests it's living up to expectations. It's a Which? Recommended Provider for the third year on the trot.
Non-toxic home cleaning:
Did you know that Toilet paper is getting less sustainable?
Toilet paper – the one product that the majority of us use just once and flush away – is becoming less sustainable, according to research.
Analysis from Ethical Consumer magazine found that major brands were using less recycled paper than in 2011, while only five of the nine major supermarkets (the Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) offered an own-brand recycled toilet paper. The large-scale use of virgin paper contributes to unnecessary deforestation.
Think of alternatives to super market bought toilet paper!
Ashton Hayes in Cheshire is a village just a little bigger than Martinstown with a population of just over 1000 (Martinstown has approximately 850) In January 2006 they decided to try to make their village the first carbon neutral village in England.
Among many other benefits, they now have an array of community owned solar panels supplying the village with electricity, a pool of electric cars for villagers to use and much much more. Here is a link to their website, a mine of useful information. http://www.goingcarbonneutral.co.uk/
This is from their website:
“Five surveys have been carried our since the launch in 2006 and these reveal that the community has managed to cut its carbon emissions by 40% through behavioural changes such as switching off appliances and changing to low energy light bulbs. Some people have cut the costs of their energy bills 50% by focusing on improved insulation and careful energy use”
Here is a summary of the Ashton Hayes story:
There are many examples of other villages, towns and even cities wanting to go carbon neutral, in the UK and around the world. Here are a few examples.
Cumnock is a mining town in Ayrshire, Scotland. It has been deemed to be the perfect size for a experiment in which they are attempting to create a carbon neutral town.
‘Cumnock – which was previously a mining community – has 1800 residents, an amount thought to be perfect to test the project’s different renewable technologies on a mass scale as well as a new smart grid and metres, a high speed communications network, new carbon neutral buildings and a series of cycle paths and electric vehicle initiatives.’
They have received funding and advice from Scotland’s Towns Partnerships. Who describe themselves as ‘Scotland's Towns Partnership is Scotland’s national towns’ collective; representing and promoting the diversity of our towns and places, and supporting those organisations and groups that have an interest in or ownership of them’?
Nottingham is a small city of about 321,000 people, wanting to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city. It has already cut its carbon foot print by 39%, having started the project in 2005.
‘Nottingham could become the first carbon neutral city in the UK after the City Council set itself an ambitious target to achieve this by 2028.The city has already met its Energy Strategy target early – a 26% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 – and reduced emissions by 39% since 2005. Nottingham is also on track to meet its 2020 target of 20% of energy generation from low carbon sources, due to a combination of a reduction in the City’s energy demand and its renewable energy projects program.’
Meenangadi is a town in India,with a population of 34,000 and is fast becoming one of the most sustainable urbanized areas in India.
‘Meenangadi’s carbon-neutral project was officially launched last year, on June 05 2018—the World Environment Day. We will “conserve and expand our forests, plant more trees, reduce carbon emissions from households, promote self sustenance through organic farming, and recycle our waste.”
Greensburg is a town in Kansas, USA with a population of 900. After being wiped out by a tornado in 2007 the town decided to rebuild itself in a modern, green and sustainable way.
‘Living close to the land, they knew the value of solar and wind power and using water efficiently. When they rebuilt, they took those values to heart in a new way. The result: Greensburg is a truly green burg. It is a model of sustainable living and a standard for rural communities everywhere.’
Rather than reinvent the wheel and make a new list of ways to go greener l have included links to Sustainable Dorset's website that already has comprehensive information and ideas on sustainablity
How to reduce plastic waste
Here are some ways to save plastic, from Sustainable Dorset website.
More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year! Packaging accounts for just over 40% of total plastic usage. Over 100 billion plastic beverage bottles are sold in the U.S alone each year. Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each with a “working life” of a mere 15 minutes.
Here are some simple ideas for you to adopt to reduce your plastic usage and waste:
• Take your own bag to the shops
• Drink tap water and carry it in your own stainless steel bottle
• Don’t buy body scrubs – those tiny beads are usually made of plastic
• Choose fruit and vegetables that are not wrapped in plastic
• Don’t use ‘single use’ plates, knives, forks etc. wash up after you eat.
• Wherever you can, choose liquid products that can be re-filled rather than bought new etc.
• Refuse plastic straws in your drinks, try stainless steel or paper.
• If you can’t find an alternative to single-use plastic, make sure you recycle it
• Don’t celebrate with balloon releases, the chances are the balloons will land in the ocean, choking seabirds, turtles and marine mammals.
• Use crystal deodorants – they last far longer, are more effective and some even come with no plastic packaging at all.
• Use good old-fashioned soap – it works as well as liquid soap and lasts longer
• Buy butter wrapped in paper instead of in a plastic tub
Solar car ports/parks
This is such a simple idea and of benefit in many ways. Not only do the solar panels generate electricity that can power the needs of the car park, charge electric vehicles and power offices nearby, for example, but they act as a sun-shield in the summer and a rain shield in the winter. Keeping the car cooler in summer and dryer in winter! Happy parking!
An estimated 50% of all household water usage is wasted. It goes down the drain while we wait for it to warm up, so why not collect it and use it in the garden or for watering houseplants? In an era when our fresh water supply is diminishing due to pollution and drought, it's important to conserve all the water we can, as well as learn about and put to use greywater recycling practices. Here are 120 ways to conserve energy!
Save money and energy in the Garden by:
1) Making a home made compost bin. The compost is good for pots, flower or vegetable beds, and saves collection and processing of waste. http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/soil_makecompost1.shtml
2) Collecting rainwater with a simple diverter on the downpipe. This gives you pure water for the plants but also saves money on the water bills.
3) Growing your own vegetables. Why not try a few in a tub or make a special bed for them if you have the space? It is so rewarding to pick what you have grown yourself. It is good to know how things grow and is good for you!
4) Taking your own cuttings and saving seeds is very easy and provides new plants for free!
5)Swapping plants, cuttings and seeds with friends and neighbours. It's fun and builds friendship – and it is free!
6) Make your own fertiliser from nettles soaked in water for a couple of weeks. Smelly but it works!
7) Grow your own herbs in a tub outside the back door.