Monday 16 May 2011

The Green Chain Interview

I've been asked to take part in the Green Chain interview to raise money for envieonmental charities. This campaign is run by Price Minister who believe that trading second hand items online is a great way to increase opportunities for sustainable consumption and reduce the environmental impact caused by the purchase of new goods. The campaign is raising money for three UK charities: Surfers Against Sewage, Trees for Cities and Young People's Trust for Environment. So here are my answers to the interview questions:

Turning the heating down by just one degree in your house saves 240kg of CO2 a year. It would take eight trees to soak up this amount of CO2! Are you currently doing anything to make your home eco-friendly?

We've got double glazing and recently had the loft insulated (though we don't have solar panels!), we put on extra jumpers before we turn on the heating, we don't have many electrical appliances and only have them switched on when we're using them, most of our furniture is second hand and we only use environmentally friendly toiletries and cleaning materials. We don't have a tumble drier, we let everything dry naturally (though usually indoors because the drying green is three flights down the stairs and doesn't get much sunlight!)

Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface, now they only cover 2%. How are you reducing your use of paper?

I reuse paper (including envelopes and gift wrap), I have a big box full of A4 paper only used on one side that I've rescued from office recycling bins and mail, which I largely use for writing drafts of my poetry and stories on. I buy most of my books second hand. I use loose tea, rather than tea bags.

At PriceMinister we believe that trading second hand items online is a great way to extend the life span of products. Have you ever thought of buying or selling second hand items on or off line?

I give all my unwanted goods to second hand shops so the money goes to charity. I have thought about selling some of my second hand books but on balance decided it was easier to give them to second hand shops or to friends, though I donate foreign language books to a local youth hostel or language school.

One of the biggest environmental challenges we face is Freshwater Shortages. Are you taking measures to reduce your water consumption?

We have quick showers, we don't always flush the toilet if its only pee in there, we only put as much water in the kettle as we need to, we use as little water as possible for washing up. Our washing machine is water efficient and we aren't obsessed with washing things (ie we wear items for more than one day if they don't get dirty).

- How do you choose the produce that goes into your shopping basket? (any favorite products?)

Local, organic, fair trade, with a preference for local and organic where possible. Also we try to avoid products that include palm oil (as palm oil plantations are helping to destroy the forests of Indonesia and thus drive the orang utan to extinction, unfortunately palm oil is in most processed foods, try Paterson's Oat cakes as a palm oil free option) or that include any environmentally damaging, unhealthy chemicals. We also avoid proudcts with excess packaging and we use reusable cloth carrier bags. My very favourite recommendation would be the Cyrenians organic raspberry jam, which is made on an organic farm just outside Edinburgh that is also a training centre for people who have been homeless. On top of all that it is by far the tastiest raspberry jam in existence! (Can be difficult to find though, even in Edinburgh).

What is your favourite green space near home? (a photo would be great!)

Water of Leith, specifically Colinton and Craiglockart Dells, which is currently a mass of hawthorn blossom.

Which charity would you like to support and why?
I would like to support Trees for Cities, because I live in a city with plenty of trees though sadly we are losing some all the time. It is vital to have trees in cities because they are beautiful, they offer shade on a hot day and they improve the air quality, the also offer homes for insects and birds who bring colour and variety into the city too.

Please give us the url of a fellow blogger (or bloggers) you would like us to contact to raise an extra £10. Or tag them on Twitter with this tweet.

I will tag at least one UK blogger via Twitter. If you are reading this and you are a UK blogger on Twitter who would like to take part in the interview and help to raise money for these great UK environmental charities, let me know in the comments section and I'll tag you!


Reader Wil said...

Brilliant!!! You are doing a great job. You are like my daughter in Australia! She saves paper, plastic, glass for recycling. She buys at Oxfam's. She buys second hand clothes.She has solarpanels like me. Thanks for this terrific post!

d. moll, said...

Yes, on all accounts. I'm trying to figure out how to do less washing with house rabbits....they account for the majority of the wash done that's for sure.

Christina said...

Great post. We dont always flush if its just pee. I like cool showers in the heat of the summer and bunny stuff gets washed in a bucket outside. I always hang my wash out in the summer rather than use the drier(and the clothes smell good too) The thrift store is my best source for bunny stuff and my work scrubs and I keep all my plastic bags for the recycle bin! If everyone just did 1 thing imagine how much better off we would be.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks for your comments, you've reminded me of some other things which we do, so I'll edit the post to add those in! Reader Wil - we'd love to have sloar panels but in a shared tenement it would be more difficult,,,

d.moll and Christina - oh bunnies cause a lot of washing, I remember that...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Good reminders Juliet. Bravo for you. We try!

eileeninmd said...

Great post and info. Thanks for sharing and reminding me.

d. moll, said...

OTOH all the bunnies box contents goes into the garden....they'd be more green if I wasn't so fussy about house keeping, at least that's what they tell me.

RG said...

Good work all ... We have Tree Cities here and also Backyard Habitat cities, and our local towns are both! But then, the first settlers here lumbered everything!!!! So we have plenty of catching up.

Catherine said...

Interesting to read what you are doing. We learnt very quickly after our February 22nd earthquake just how much we could cut down on. The toilet gets flushed about once a day, the sewage plant here is only operating at about 40% at the moment.
I learnt to wash in a bowl of water instead of having a shower, and got quite used to it, now I am enjoying showers again but only every couple of days with a basin wash on in between days, and we are hanging the laundry out on our covered patio to dry as it doesn't dry outside in winter, the line is too shaded. On the patio it can stay out for a couple of days if necessary.

Unknown said...

Don’t forget that you can all participate in the Green Chain and raise funds and awareness for 3 great environmental Charities. All you have to do is take our eco-interview and spread the word:

Unknown said...

Even if you live in the U.S :)

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Re the peeing 'if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown flush it down' - haha. Australians are pretty good at water conservation - during the last 10 year drought in Brisbane, the city nearly ran out of water so water restrictions were very tight and the Council gave out lists of things to conserve water and shower timers so everyone would not shower for more than 1-2 minutes maximum.

Anonymous said...

We don't always give ourselves credit for the little things, but they do add up. I hate to hear someone say that their little bit wouldn't matter, because all those little bits create something that does make a difference.

Thanks for sharing your ideas, and helping this project along.

And quite appropriately, the captcha letters are "mates"