Thursday, 25 June 2009

Recycle week - make your pledge now!

The lovely people at WRAP have launched Recycle Week to encourage more recycling. We're invited to make a pledge, set ourselves a forfeit and nominate a friend to check up on us. Suggested pledges are listed on the site, acting as a useful prompt about things we should all be doing as a matter of course.
The Recycle Now website is bright and visually appealing, with engaging graphics and all the usual social media connections. On the practical side, there are tips for recycling at home, in the garden and at school, and a separate section for home composting. There's also a useful guide to what can be recycled and how, and a search for recycling activities in your postcode area. So no excuses for not getting involved!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Back to the future

A 1950s revival is apparently sweeping the nation as an escape from the ubiquitous virtual world of the internet, Wi and iPod. Old-fashioned pastimes such as knitting and baking are regaining popularity as an antidote to the mass production of industry that has all but wiped out craft skills. Although a modern twist has been added to knitting with the advent of yarn bombing, where taggers create knitted items and then display them prominently - for example as "bollard cosies". There are even knitting circles with attitude, called Stitch 'N' Bitch.

Elsewhere, thirty-somethings disenchanted with a world where technology has overtaken everything are attending tea dances and retro evenings where the entertainment is provided by swing bands and burlesque. Advocates claim this return to the simpler pleasures is meditative and calming, a view that's supported by Dr Colin Gill of the British Psychological Society who considers the over-worked and under-appreciated are seeking solace in tradition.

Unplugged activity is a great way to reduce energy consumption, and in my house the board game is undergoing something of a renaissance. This one one trend I'm happy to follow.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Happy World Environment Day

World Environment Day (WED) - June 5th - was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. It's one of the UN's key activities to promote worldwide awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and action. It has four key aims:

  • Give a human face to environmental issues;
  • Empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development;
  • Promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues;
  • Advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

This year's theme is 'Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change', to reflect the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen this December.

The World Environment Day site has some lovely features: There's a daily "Do something" tip on the front page - and a link to a list of other useful actions - and a Twitter for Trees campaign where UNEP will plant one tree for every follower it has by 5th June. Plus there's an inspiring profile of Climate Heroes which should encourage us all.