I have to say this latest expedition to Mars has really caught my imagination. Continue Reading
I went to see Coldplay last night in Manchester at the Ethiad Stadium along with 50,000 others. It was brilliant. We were dazzled with a fabulous 2 hour set complete with PyroTechnics, the most incredible monster size HD screens and a dazzling light show courtesy of the 25,000 or so wirelessly triggered wrist bands which flashed different colours at various points during the concert. Continue Reading
Let’s get this straight. I’m a huge Iceland fan – the country that is! As many of you know I located most of my first thriller, The Human Race, there after a visit in 2001 and completely fell in love with everything …the people, the geology, the way of life, its peace – all combined to send me home with a perception that Iceland is a clean, green and healthy country. Continue Reading
According to Mayan mythology a cataclysmic or transformative event will occur on 21st December, 2012. Exactly what is open to some debate but interpretations range from mankind undergoing ‘a positive physical or spiritual transformation’(whatever that is!), through to Earth’s collision with a black hole or passing asteroid, or with a planet called “Nibiru.” Continue Reading
Notably, Steve Jobs had some very high profile failures. The first was his ignominious booting out of Apple – the company he had founded – followed swiftly by his reasonably unsuccessful tenure at the helm of NeXT, before his return to Apple in 1996. Most people would probably not consider these chapters in his life failures, per se. At least not financially; when he left Apple he was worth some $200 million and was subsequently able to sell NeXT back to Apple for a sum in excess of $400m. So these were hardly failures – or were they? Continue Reading
Now here’s a thought provoking start to your week: Rupert Read, a Philosopher at the University of East Anglia has suggested creating a new council responsible for protecting the Earth for future generations.
Read’s report, Guardians of the Future, suggests that this new democratic body, to be known as Guardians of Future Generations, would have two core powers. Firstly, it would have the ability to veto legislation that threatens the basic needs and interests of future people. It would also have the power to force a review, following suitable public petition of any existing legislation that threatens the interests of future people. Continue Reading
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Unfortunately it’s also the most wasteful.
I recently declared that I want to aim to cut my carbon emissions to zero within the next ten years. There are few things more likely to ruin my chances than Christmas. What with sacks full of presents all wrapped in fancy paper and ribbons, and all of them sat under a tree that has been cut down in its prime; is this really the season to be jolly? Jolly environmentally careless more like.
So after some serious thought and a bit of digging around online, here are five ways to keep your carbon emissions at a minimum and enjoy the season of goodwill ‘green guilt’ free.
1. Buy local
It is commonplace nowadays for Christmas gifts to come from across the globe. Whether from eBay or Amazon, the shipping implications contribute significantly towards global carbon emissions. Buy from local independents and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment without anyone even realising it.
2. Grow your own Christmas tree
Rather than buying an environmentally harmful artificial tree that is made up of non-biodegradable materials – and most of which are created and shipped over from Asia – why not grow your own? Plant one in your garden and see it blossom over the course of the year. Arguably more fun than unwrapping a fake tree, the grow-your-own option is even more eco-friendly than not having one at all as real trees breathe out oxygen into the atmosphere.
3. Wrap presents in recycled material
Think newspaper and decorative sweet tins lying around the house. Rather than trudging out to the shops to buy numerous rolls of wrapping paper and decorative ribbons that will get binned, why not wrap presents with a personal touch? For small presents, painting jam jars with a festive theme is the perfect way to wish someone a merry Christmas, while doing your bit for the environment. For larger gifts, why not save up cereal and shoe boxes throughout the year and wrap them in paper that you’ve decorated yourself? Not only will you be saving the environment, you’ll be saving money too.
4. Don’t overindulge
Christmas often results in overindulging, in every way. We all head out to our nearest supermarket to go and do our “big shop” and stock up for the season. But is this really necessary? Do we really need to buy the biggest turkey in the store? Will we really eat a full cheeseboard and all those tins of chocolates on offer three for two? Probably not. Buy what you know you’ll be able to eat and perhaps treat yourself to another bottle of mulled wine with the money you’ve saved. But only if you know that you’ll drink it.
5. Compost what’s left
If you do find yourself with some leftovers after the big day is over, it’s a great idea to compost any excess vegetables or suitable waste. Compost bins are relatively cheap to purchase from most local garden centres, so you don’t have to order online or break the bank to do so. Alternatively, why not build your own composting bin? Instructions on how to do so can be found here, courtesy of the University of Missouri. The end product – finished compost or humus – can benefit the environment in a number of ways, primarily as a natural fertilizer for gardening.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Image credit: Jess Spear…