Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Trees In Conservation Areas

Greener Aberystwyth Group (GAG) have just put up a scan of a Ceredigion Council leaflet about trees in conservation areas - lots of useful info in the leaflet which is in Welsh and English. GAG are a worthwhile group to follow, via either their website or Facebook.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Where Does All The Money Go? A Mini Rant

We're used to seeing public money get wasted in Ceredigion. Pointless alterations to train stations; digging up green areas when there are already enough paths; scrabbling for ideas to spend money; and Ceredigion County Council spending money to enable supermarkets to come to the county and suck money out of the region (in opposition to local independent shops which would keep it in the county and make it a more interesting place to live and visit, rather than becoming the same as everywhere else).

Ah. All that money spent on the train station. And the 
one thing customers are often desperate for - the toilet - 
continues to be closed whenever you need it.

We won't even go into all the money the council wasted on its Unitary Development Plan (UDP)/Local Development Plan (LDP) debacle. These documents are still used by the Council as justifications for granting planning permission to developers (often to build on greenfield sites), as if the things the Council put in these documents many years ago (and well out-of-date now) can be used later on to justify developments. Many people spent days responding to the awful UDP, only to find that the Council then dropped it anyway when the UDP was thrown out by the Welsh Government as being no good.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Red Kites And Hunters

Sometimes hunting feels like something far away, where scumlord British bankers and US dentists spend their leisure time eradicating endangered wildlife. But the view that we can do what we want to other species is on our doorstep too.

In Wales we're lucky to have the red kite, after concerted efforts to re-establish them. Red kites used to be widespread and common in the UK, but they were gradually killed off by farmers and gamekeepers by the end of the 19th Century.

"Once one of the commonest British birds of prey, the Red Kite became virtually extinct in this country. Farmers, convinced it was taking their lambs, would put down poison to kill it. The rarer it became, the greater became the value of its eggs to collectors in recent years. Today, after a sustained programme of reintroduction and protection, and after the prosecution of a number of illegal egg collectors, the Red Kite is once more a relatively common sight in Wales - if one knows where to look!" (Source)

We need to watch against a recurrence of the short-sighted prejudice of any farmers and gamekeepers who kill birds of prey.

Monday, 17 August 2015


What is Huel?

"HUman fuEL: a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all the protein, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals your body needs."

So it is like that space food you dreamt of as a kid, the meal-in-a-pellet that would arrive at the same time as hover boots and teleporters. Well, only one of those has happened.

Huel comes as a powder. The easiest way to consume it is to mix it with water (though there are other options). We thought we'd buy some and get a few people to try it because many of the advantages below make sense to us.


  • Cuts down on food waste (up to 30% of all food in the UK is thrown away). Huel has a shelf life of over 1 year.
  • Makes it easy to take in the right amount of calories, which would help to curb the UK's obesity epidemic: 64% of adults are overweight or obese and obesity related conditions are on the increase.
  • Includes all the nutrients you need. "Huel provides at least 100% of the UK Government's Reference Nutrient Intakes and the European Union's Daily Recommended Amount."
  • Cruelty-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. "Huel contains no added sugar, no meat or animal products, no dairy, no soy, no eggs, making it suitable for those with even the most complex dietary requirements. Huel is made from real food. It contains a carefully chosen blend of vegan protein (rice and pea), oats, flaxseed, sunflower lecithin, MCT from coconut, and a vitamin and mineral blend."
  • Cuts down on packaging: a whole week's supply of Huel comes in two pouches, compared to all the packaging required if you purchased traditional food from the supermarket.
  • Saves time: it takes 2 minutes to mix a whole day's supply. Less washing up, less shopping, and no cooking.
  • Versatile: you don't have to have it as your only food. Just use it for one meal a day, or one meal a week, and eat traditional food the rest of the time. Some people have Huel when on their own, and normal food when in company so they can enjoy cooking or eating out with friends as usual.
  • Handy for when you don't have access to a kitchen (e.g. overnight stay in a hotel, travelling).

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Eat And Drink Between Trains

If you travel to or from Ceredigion by train, chances are you might stop off at Shrewsbury on the Welsh border. If your trip covers the girth of Wales, east to west, then you may also be at the other end of the line, Aberystwyth. Well, if you get hungry while waiting for a train then there are some great veggie/vegan cafe options. It may even be worth catching a later train in exchange for a treat at either of these!

Optimum Joy - tasty vegan breakfast special, coffee, 
and chocolate cake

Shrewsbury - Optimum Joy
A cafe with a relaxing ambience. All food is vegan, with lots of tasty options - breakfasts, lunch time meals, cakes and treats, teas and coffees, and lots of other things. Various holistic treatments upstairs. Website / Facebook

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Cutting Back On Waste

Let's try and prevent this - mobile phones on a tip

Planned obsolescence is when manufacturers design things to break or be unrepairable, so that you have to buy a replacement. This leads to mountains of unnecessary waste. What can you do?

France passed a law that makes manufacturers publish the expected lifespan of their products as a way of combating this. Sign this petition if you'd like to see that in the UK too. You'd be able to buy something and know that it won't break within a few months! It is the kind of policy that would end the throwaway and low-quality manufacture culture. Global demand for resources has exceeded the earth's supply. We need long-lasting products that are designed to be easy to repair.

Monday, 13 July 2015


We've learnt how to make tooth powder; also soap and candles. It's fun to make your own toiletries and customise them. Let's make deodorant. Here are two options.