Monday, October 15, 2007

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today, as you may or may not know, is Blog Action Day. Bloggers of the world are uniting in a single cause, and that cause is (insert drum roll here) "the environment".

Now, in my mind, which runs off on a million tangential paths simultaneously at the mention of blogging about "the environment", there becomes immediately two ways to view this topic.... One way to look at it, is how we are devastating our little blue cosmic marble, and the other is to look at it as a creative hook. Surely it all depends on your definition of "the environment"?

I had planned to write a little piece today about how much I had enjoyed the Marsden Jazz Festival this weekend.... and the gears click into place.

Firstly, we walked to the Jazz Festival on Sunday lunchtime, along the canal. What I CAN say is that the advancements we have made in recent years, with regard to how we view and treat these monumental waterways, is refreshing indeed. For years, the humble canal fell into disrepair and disregard. Fettered with shopping trolleys, carrier bags, and foul stinking water. Now these revolutionary transport paths have had life breathed back into them.

The chosen mode of transport into Marsden allowed me to exercise a love of the natural surroundings, to neutralise my carbon footprint, and to enjoy and endorse these wonderful canal towpaths.

In Marsden, I headed for the Riverhead public house, which serves beer that is brewed on the premises. The fact that the beer has not had to travel to reach the pumps, and subsequently my stomach, makes me feel a whole lot better. I think we can safely say, I managed to drink the planet a little bit healthier!!

I also managed to drink some beer in Golcar at the Rose and Crown (which is a dreadful pub) where the beer is also brewed locally. Golcar Mild, Pennine Gold...... delicious stuff.

If that weren't enough, let me tell you about another "green" policy I have recently introduced to my life.

Carrier bags. Horrible plastic things for carrying shopping in. A travesty of both design and environmental consideration. The handles are so bad, that when the bags are loaded to their capacity, the circulation to your fingertips is completely shut off. The black fingertip syndrome even prompted some brainbox to create another lovely petroleum based plastic product which you can loop the handles around to avoid this problem. They don't (in the main) biodegrade, and almost all, if not every single one of them, eventually ends up in our rubbish bins and dumped in a landfill.

Well, for a rather nominal fee, you can purchase some rather fetching alternatives to these plastic bags. The ones that you can buy at Tesco, that are made of a sort of hessian material (maybe it's jute?) and have nicely designed handles, will easily fit twice as much in them as a carrier bag. They cost one pound. They are comfy to carry, and if you keep them in the car, then you'll never forget them when you hit the supermarket aisles.... I suppose a greener version of this story would be to keep them in your walking trouser pockets, but I don't know many people who walk to the supermarket to do their "Friday big shop", so let's be realistic.

It's a small step for man, and a giant gulp for mankind.

We all know the pack drill.... Don't boil more water in the kettle than you need.... Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth...... A full freezer functions better than one that is half empty..... Recycle..... Use public transport...... Don't put your telly on "standby"...... Don't buy fruit that has travelled three thousand miles to reach your supermarket shelves....... Feel free to add to the list.

Christ on a bike, I nearly forgot.... feed the birds!!!


  1. good to see you taking up the cause, foxtrot. i like the creative approach. i was just lazy and ripped off howies [which i love to do as i love them bad] but that aint such a bad thing ...

  2. Haha, good post! I particularly like "drinking the planed healthier!" Ace.

  3. Here In Hebden Bridge The Shops Have Gone Plastic Bag-Free.{see here}. The Coop even pushed a free cloth carrier bag thru my letterbox.
    However.......if you know the right people&Have Contacts (*nudge&wink*)some "under the counter"bags are still to be had..............

  4. Also you forgot - Kill the Mice!

    Carbon footprint? Isn't that what kiddies in mining communities left behind after scavenging on slag heaps all morning?

    By the way, rather than plastic carrier bags I think a nice wicker basket would suit you along with a head scarf and thick stockings with brogues.

  5. Monsieur tête de potironMonday, 15 October, 2007

    Bonjour Renard.

    Sauvez la planète? Une idée très bonne, mais combien d'electicity nous économiserions si personne n'écrivait ou commentait aujourd'hui?

    En vous écrivant aujourd'hui ayez la partie devenue du problème. Prenez un repos, mon ami.

  6. My chest is puffed out with pride... I just bought reusable "carrier bags" (we call them shopping or grocery bags here) this past Sunday. They cost $2.00 here, so I think yours are a better bargain (marginally). We are overrun with the plastic disposable variety here (although they are great for disposing of used diapers and cat litter!). Most places that use them here have a big round recycling container by the store entrance where you can recycle your old ones, but recycling takes energy, it's best to avoid them all together. Do yours come with warnings not to let young children play with them because they are a suffocation hazzard? Ours do! Complete with a picture, I guess in case you are too little to read?

    Happy Environmental Blogging Day!


  7. The other good thing about those reusable bags is they don't fall over and spill their contents all over your backseat as soon as you go above 10 mph. Hallelujah!

  8. Today? Don't you mean yesterday?

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