Freedom

Story continues from yesterday:

Yay Venus! She saved the day again!

If you want to know what she did next, go to episode 4

If you want to know what she did before this, go to the Venus Aqueous page 😀

Have a great day, see you tomorrow ❤

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What exactly happened today?

For this whole story (episode 2) and all the other Megan & Flos stories, click here 🙂

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Plastic Avoidance: Part One

We have for many years tried to keep our plastic consumption to a minimum but have found it very difficult when also trying to incorporate other ethics into our shopping habits.  For example – it’s pretty easy to buy loose, unpackaged fruit and vegetables if you take your own bags to the market with you, but if you want organic produce, it’s usually wrapped in plastic.

We always recycled it of course but we know that a plastic food container, because of its low melting point, cannot be recycled into another plastic food container.  It can really only be downcycled into things like plastic lumber which cannot be recycled again.  Glass, paper and tin cans on the other hand, can be recycled ad infinitum.  Bottles will become bottles again and again; drinks cans and baked beans tins will become cans and tins again and again; paper can be recycled again and again, and eventually composted.

 

So, even though we were recycling, we felt very bad about the plastic in our bins.  Add to that the worry that maybe the plastic being collected by the council recycling lorry wasn’t even being recycled and … well, let me explain:

I had an email a couple of weeks ago from Avaaz campaigning group saying that studies had shown that most (about 80%) of the plastic in the ocean gyres was coming from rivers in Asia and Africa.  Finding it very hard to believe that people in Asia and Africa consume more plastic than people in Europe and America, I was reminded of an email conversation I’d had with someone at Waitrose supermarket.  They told me that there was no facility to recycle their plastic bags in this country so they sent them to Asia for recycling.

Well – if Waitrose does it, you can bet a lot of other companies do it too, maybe even councils?  And if the UK sends plastic to Asia for recycling, you can bet other countries do too.  If the same is happening in Africa that would explain why 80% of the plastic in the oceans arrives there from those continents.  The plastic that I diligently put out for recycling might be ending up in the ocean!

It’s all speculation but it makes a lot of sense and the only way I can be sure that I’m not part of the problem is to take control of it myself.

We now realise that the good done for the Earth in growing organic, is compromised if they wrap the organic produce in plastic.  Plastic not only litters and pollutes when it’s disposed of, the very production of it is toxic since it is (usually) made from oil.

So we’re not going to pay in to that any more.

We have to prioritise plastic avoidance and hopefully these ethical companies will respond with ethical packaging.  In the meantime, we’ll show you our plastic avoidance tactics.

Starting tomorrow 😀

See all our Plastic Avoidance Tactics here

Quick! Sign This! Save the World from Plastic Bottles!

Every day 16 MILLION plastic bottles go un-recycled in the UK.

It’s a plague of plastic that’s choking our rivers and suffocating the ocean — it’s even in our drinking water! But finally there’s hope.

The Environment Secretary is considering a revolutionary plan to give people a financial incentive to recycle. It’s a complete no-brainer, but industry lobbyists and even supermarkets are fighting back, hard — and there’s just four days left in the consultation.

To drown them out we need a tidal wave of public support to flood the consultation — click to add your name and then share this with everyone, we have four days to make it massive:

Secretary Gove: End the Plastic Plague Now!

The plan is super simple: a small deposit is paid with every plastic bottle, which you get back when you recycle the bottle. In places like Germany and Denmark this same plan has taken recycling rates to over 90%.

More recycling means new plastic production would plummet. We’d use less oil, our beaches, birds, and brooks could breath again, AND our councils would actually save money from lower garbage collection and landfill costs. Complete no-brainer.

There’s no time to waste — every minute another 10,000 bottles go un-recycled. With just four days left, let’s make sure the Minister can’t back down now. Add your name and then tell everyone:

Secretary Gove: End the Plastic Plague Now!

In the wild, a single plastic bottle can take 450 years to break down. Winning this would be a victory felt for centuries. Our great, great, great, great grandchildren will walk on their beaches, birds circling overhead as the waves roll in, smiling back at us. Let’s make this happen now, for us, for them, and for our world.

https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/plastic_pollution_uk_loc/?cmzEIlb

Fracking?

For the story so far, click here

vegan comic for children

“They create a mixture of mostly fresh water with sand and nasty chemicals added.  Then they inject this fluid at very high pressure, into a gas well, thousands of feet deep into the ground.  Now forget the chemicals for a minute and just picture the fact that they use about 40,000 gallons of water every time they do this!  And each well can be fracked 18 times.  What a criminal waste of water!  Anyway, the fluid is going down the pipe at such pressure that when it reaches the end of the well and hits the shale rock down there, it fractures it, making lots of tiny cracks, kept open with the grains of sand in the fluid, and the natural gas – that is methane – leaks out of these cracks into the well.  So that’s how they get the gas.”

vegan comic for children

“What makes this business really horrifying is that during the process some of the toxic chemicals – and they use hundreds of different nasties in there, like lead, uranium, radium, mercury, hydrochloric acid, the list goes on and on – and the methane gas leach out from the system and contaminate the ground water.  And the ground water is where our drinking water comes from.  They are threatening the health and survival of everyone!  In America they have found that drinking water wells near fracturing sites have 17 times higher concentration of methane in them than normal and some people have even been able to light their taps on fire because of the high level of gas in their water.  Many others have become seriously ill from drinking it.”

vegan comic for children

To be continued …

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Information from Dangers of Fracking and Food and Water Watch

Fracking infographic adapted from one found at levellers.org

The Folly of Expert Opinions

flat-earth-society1

There was a time, long long ago

When they thought the world was flat.

They worried if they sailed the seas

They’d fall off the end of that.

ducking (1)

In centuries past, in primitive times,

They demonized herbal healers.

They’d label such gifted folk a witch.

Fear and ignorance led to murders.

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1908, the Siberian tundra

Was struck by a freak fireball.

Theories abound, though no cause has been found.

Was it meteorite or black-hole?

cropcircles3

10,000 crop circles in various forms

Have appeared since ’72

Caused by UFOs, wind or rabbits or hoax?

Who knows who knows?  Do you?

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And now here we are, Twenty-Fourteen,

A much more enlightened era.

The experts tell us as the ice starts to melt,

That we should try to live more greener.

go-green

Thoughtful, conscientious, sensible types

Recycle their plastic and drive less.

They walk or take the bus to work;

Use low wattage bulbs; try to redress.

animal farming enviro imp

But in 06 The United Nations

Found that animal farming’s the trouble,

Causing land degradation and water pollution,

Gas with high global warming potential.

Thailand1

The experts gathered and consulted and planned

What to do to solve the problem

Of global warming, pollution, disease

Caused by human animal-consumption.

COP14_-_Poznan_2008_UN_Climate_Change_Conference_-_-Troika-_Press_Conference_(Rasmussen,_Tusk,_Witoelar) (1)

“Urgent action is required,” they said,

“To remedy the situation.”

We need cows that don’t fart, recyclable manure,

And more efficient irrigation!

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“Thank goodness for experts!” the populace cries,

“What would we do without them?

When scientists develop unflatulent cows

That will solve the global warming problem.”

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“Wouldn’t it be easier,” a schoolboy asked

“To solve that long list of crises

By giving up meat and dairy and leather

And planting more veggies and fruit trees?”

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“The experts would tell us,” his teacher replied,

“If there was anything we could do in a hurry.

There’s no need to resort to radical extremes,

Just recycle what you can and don’t worry.”

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Click here to look at the report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  Be aware, you might do a double take when you read that their proposed solutions to the problem are as indicated in the poem.  See Remedies including “Improving animals’ diets to reduce enteric fermentation and consequent methane emissions”

Look at this can

dangerous litter

Look at this can, and picture if you can

What it would do to Peter Rabbit’s paw.

It’s as sharp as a knife, it would cut like a knife,

And cause bad infection for sure.

peterrabbit_peter_1280

This is how it goes, when someone just throws

Their drink can on the ground.

Inevitably it must, succumb to the rust,

Get dangerously jagged and unsound.

dangerous litter

Now think of this, just think of this –

What if Mrs Tiggywinkle walked over?

What if she trod, right over the sod

Where this can was hidden in the clover?

Mrs Tiggywinkle

Or Tabitha Twitchit, perhaps Mrs Twitchit,

Might be walking her youngsters to school.

Moppet and Mittens, and Tom, her kittens

Could, on this can, cut their feet cruel.

Mrs Twitchit and kittens

“Oh I wish,” they would say, at the end of the day,

“That the can had never been left there.”

Their feet would sting, as infection set in,

“But humans who litter just don’t care.”

Here We Go Round The Shopping Mall

vegan nursery rhymesvegan nursery rhymesvegan nursery rhymesvegan nursery rhymesvegan nursery rhymesvegan nursery rhymesvegan nursery rhymesvegan nursery rhymes

All together now:

Here we go round the shopping mall,

The shopping mall, the shopping mall,

Here we go round the shopping mall

On a dirty, dusty morning.

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This is the way we’re kicked about,

Knocked about, blown about,

This is the way we get about

On a cold and windy morning.

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This is the way we go for a swim,

How we slip in, how we drop in,

This is the way we go for a swim

On a bright and blustery morning.

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This is the way we float down stream,

We float down stream, we float down stream,

This is the way we float down stream

On a hot and sunny morning.

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This is the way we go to sea,

We go to sea, we go to sea,

This is the way we go to sea

On a calm and cloudy morning.

***

This is the way we poison the life,

Strangle the life, entangle the life,

This is the way we choke the life

Out of each and every ocean.

***

Here we go round the ocean gyres,

The ocean gyres, the ocean gyres,

Here we go round the ocean gyres

For a hundred thousand mornings.

***

vegan nursery rhyme

Save the Bees!

bee on flower

Save the Bees!

Bees don’t just make honey, they are vital to life on earth, every year pollinating 90% of plants and crops and without immediate action, many of our favourite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish from our shelves.

Recent years have seen a massive decline in bee populations around the world and some bee species are already extinct! A key EU agency is saying that toxic pesticides called neonicotinoids could be responsible for the bee deaths. The EU has banned three of these bee-killers, but giant chemical producers like Bayer and Syngenta continue to export their poison across the world.

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

Let’s get people power to counter the powerful pesticide lobby and save bees from extinction. Please sign the urgent petition to leaders around the world, and then share it as wide as you can.

Thank you 😉

Make Your Own “Helping Venus” Game

FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY

FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY

Venus works hard trying to clean up the rubbish in the ocean in order to save the animals who are being poisoned and ensnared by it.  But since 80% of the rubbish in the oceans originates on land, it’s impossible for her to keep her beloved sea clean.  So, the rest of us need to make sure that all our rubbish is properly disposed of, preferably recycled, and not littered.  More than that, we need to actually pick up other people’s litter in order to protect wild animals and help Venus.

 Yuck!  That sounds like a dirty job, and it’s important to take care not to pick up anything dangerous like broken glass or needles (ask a grown up to deal with that stuff) but if we don’t do it, who will?  Of course it would be better in the long run if we stop buying things that don’t degrade harmlessly in the environment – namely plastic – and then this nasty litter problem might be solved.

Anyway, we’ve invented a board game that you can make for yourself and all you need is paper; something with which to draw or paint; stones or buttons or whatever little things you’ve got lying around to use as counters; and a dice pinched from another game.

1.  Paint an aerial view (map-type) picture of Venus’s home town (it doesn’t have to be the same as this, you can use your imagination 🙂 )

This is Venus's home town, Weston-on-sea

This is Venus’s home town, Weston-on-sea

 2.  Add places to visit, like shops and cafes

3.  Then add ways to score points like picking up litter; refusing to buy plastic items; recycling what you’ve found or bought; and freeing animals that have been trapped in cages.

4.  Finally add stepping stones which link all these places on your map.

Now your picture should look something like this:

game 2

IF YOU CLICK ON THIS PIC YOU WILL MAGNIFY IT SO YOU CAN SEE IT BETTER

NOW YOU’RE READY TO PLAY!

Imagine you have come to visit Venus and are staying at the campsite (place all the counters at the campsite to start).  But Venus is out diving, cleaning up the rubbish in the sea, so while you’re waiting for her you can explore the town.

Each person rolls the dice and the one with the highest score starts.

When you roll the dice you move that number of spaces (stepping stones) from the campsite.  You can go in any direction but you can’t change direction in the middle of one roll.

The idea is to go around the town, accumulating points by landing on the award-giving spots.  You have to roll the exact number to land on the award-spots (and that doesn’t mean the stepping stone next to the award-spot – you actually land on the award-spot).

You can go around the town as many times as you like and land on the same awards more than once, but if you go back to the campsite the game will be over.

In other words, the game can last as long as you like.  As soon as the first person gets back to the campsite, the game is over and you add up all your points.  The person with the most points is the winner (not the first person back to the campsite).  So, you need to be aware of when you are in the lead on points and then get back to the campsite as quick as you can before someone else overtakes your score.

It’s fun and very easy to make 🙂