Tuesday, 15 December 2015

More Houses Planned, Part 2


[Post updated - see end.] 

We've mentioned in the past that Ceredigion County Council have been working with developers to build a number of new housing estates on greenfield sites. This one in Llanbadarn Fawr would include 48 houses and totally wipe out another meadow, one of the only large greenspaces still remaining in Llanbadarn Fawr.

We've been told that there will be a Site Inspection Panel of the Development Control Committee at the site at 11.30am, 18th December 2015 (i.e. when most people will be in work so won't be able to observe). These are the details shared last time:

---

SUMMARY

Planning application number: A140679, Applicant Mr Tony Bates

Proposal: New housing estate on Primrose Hill, Brynteg site (48 houses on greenfield site)

Summary: Ceredigion County Council have been working with developers to build a new housing estate in some natural meadows in Llanbadarn Fawr. Many people believe that it would be inappropriate to build houses there. If you agree then you can contact the Council to comment on or object to this proposal. There are some things you might like to consider below.

Objections to:
  • [Post] Head of lifestyle Services, Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron SA46 0PA. 
  • [Email] planning@ceredigion.gov.uk (FAO Head of Lifestyle Services).

POSSIBLE REASONS FOR OBJECTING

Friday, 4 December 2015

Syria Bombing

Strange. Air strikes aren't going for the areas where Daesh [IS]
is in control, they're generally targeting areas where there are
fewer Daesh members and more civilians. [Source: BBC]

Well, the vote is in, Britain once again decides it is a good idea to drop more bombs onto civilian areas because - amongst the people living there - there are "bound to be some bad 'uns". What could go wrong? How could that possibly fuel global hate and increase terrorist recruitment? Conveniently for the Government, once the UK undertakes military action the media are pushed to suppress anything critical of the country's military, and the news stories on this will hide all the other things the Government plan to do to education, pensions, the environment, privacy and so on. Poverty, unemployment, inequality, and the environment can't compete with explosives that send our limited national resources up in smoke (some missiles cost up to £1 million - that's a lot of nurses/CABs/trees planted/education funded). Ever been curious about the cost? This is one estimate.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Fix My Street!


Ceredigion County Council are a pain to contact (often ignoring you, or making it difficult to get in touch e.g. providing broken forms rather than letting you email them), so it is worth bookmarking Fix My Street - a site which lets you report local problems such as graffiti, fly tipping, broken paving slabs, or street lighting. Not only does it take away the pain of contacting the Council, but since the problem is made public it is an incentive for the Council to act rather than ignore it.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Protect Cardigan Bay

"Welsh government plans to reopen Cardigan Bay to destructive dredging suggest it’s an even worse defender of our key conservation areas than Westminster – and that’s quite a feat" George Monbiot
The Welsh Government are currently consulting on proposals to open up Cardigan Bay to Scallop dredging. This is a highly damaging method of fishing which destroys the seabed. Much of Cardigan Bay is supposedly protected as 'Special Areas of Conservation' yet the seabed in these areas is under threat and the species that rely on a productive ecosystem, such as bottlenose dolphin and porpoise, are also under threat. Please sign the petition against this proposal, and find out more in this Guardian article.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Take Action To Stop EU Subsidies For Bullfighting


Next week (on Wednesday 28th October), the European Union will vote on budgets for 2016. Each year the European Union provides an estimated £100 million through Common Agriculture Policy payments to farmers who breed bulls for bullfights.

Yes, your tax is helping to support this barbaric industry, with £13.5 million coming from the UK alone.

Next Wednesday, your MEP will have an opportunity to support and vote for an amendment to prohibit the use of European funds to support farmers who breed bulls for bullfights. Last year, a similar amendment fell just short of an overall majority, but the tide is turning against bullfighting. 76% of Spanish people are opposed to public subsidies for bullfighting, and only 29% support bullfighting at all.

Friday, 23 October 2015

More Flowers


Thanks to the Greener Aberystwyth Group for pointing out the extra flower planting that is planned by Aberystwyth University:

"Good news for insects. Following successful plantings last autumn and this spring Aber Uni is planning more areas of meadow mix (native wildflower/polinator friendly) flowers. Thank you AU"

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Rare Pine Martens Relocated To Mid Wales


"Pine martens are being relocated from areas of the Scottish Highlands to Powys and Ceredigion in a bid to save them from extinction in Wales.
The first of 20 have been released into the wild by the Vincent Wildlife Trust and 20 more will follow in autumn 2016.
The mammal is so rare in Wales, conservationists are unable to give population estimates."
Read more on the BBC and Vincent Wildlife.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Ethical Impact Calculators


By using this quick website people can calculate how much Co2, forest, grain and water they have saved (or would save) by being vegan/cutting animal products out of their diet, and how many animals lives would be saved.

The calculator is based on the facts from the Cowspiracy film facts page. The film "uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about it."

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

Huel


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.

Advantages

  • 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

Petition
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

Make Deodorant


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.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Don't Allow Hunting To Return


In a matter of days hunting could return to the countryside. That is what the Government is planning and without your support the hunters will get their way. It is vital that you contact your MP and let them know that you are completely opposed to a return of cruel sports such as fox hunting. Voting to water down the Hunting Act is a vote for animal cruelty.

The Government have announced that MPs will be asked to vote on changes to existing laws on fox hunting in England and Wales next week. These proposals are a return to hunting by the back door. By amending the Hunting Act, the Government would be deliberately and cynically making it easier for hunts to chase and kill foxes, and harder for them to be convicted when they break the law. This is not about hunting foxes for pest control. It’s about hunting foxes for fun. Hunting with hounds, whether the victims are foxes, deer or hares, is a cruel pastime carried out by a minority who like to see animals ripped apart. More information here.

The Ceredigion MP is Mark Williams, LibDem. The Liberal Democrats are rightly calling on their MPs to object to watering down hunting laws - we have asked him how he will be voting and will summarise it here.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Recycling Odds And Ends

 
An old article with tips on recycling and passing things on to charity shops

We haven't mentioned recycling for a while so here are some reminders and tips.

  • What does Ceredigion County Council collect from your doorstep?
  • Note that glass can't go into the clear bags, you have to take it to a recycle centre/bin yourself, even though it's inefficient in terms of journeys (e.g. you might have 100 cars going back and forth rather than one van). The best option is to take glass with you when you go for a walk or cycle that takes you past a recycle bin, and do it little but often.
  • Minimise what you purchase, and you'll minimise waste. The figures will have changed since 2012, but back then Ceredigion County Council were charged £120 per ton for landfill, and were disposing of 40 tons of material this way every single week (literally wasting £5000 per week, on top of the environmental and social harm from this approach). We don't need half of the things we buy, so buy less: it saves money and the environment at the same time!
  • Think about re-using stuff. For example, many people cut up and re-use cards (birthday/Christmas etc) as notepaper/notelets/bookmarks. Or you could pass them on to a school or creative group that would like them. For example in Aberystwyth you could donate them to Canolfan Padarn for clients' art projects (collages etc).
  • You can also re-use bits of soap (and make your own tooth powder).
  • Many tea bags aren't compostable.
  • Labelling of materials is always a pain, and it seems that many companies nowadays choose to use non-recyclable packaging (e.g. most crisp packets). Check the label and cut back on things that aren't recyclable - and tell the companies why! In an ideal world all packaging would be clearly labelled with either an R (recyclable), B (biodegradable), or a bin (if neither of the previous). For anything without an R or B the company would need to pay for a licence. That would soon start reducing the amount of non-recyclable and non-biodegradable waste! At present there's no penalty at all to manufacturers, and the only stick we have to beat them with is consumer power. Use it!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Cycling In Ceredigion

It's important to have clear and unambiguous signage on roads, cycle routes, and pavements, so that it is obvious who can go where. Let's go for a ride.

Mmm. This is strange. Three lanes. One has a cycle symbol.
Are the other two for pedestrians?
And why do they just end at nothing?

A bicycle. I can cycle here.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Food Impact


Let's have another post about food - we eat meals a number of times a day, so changes here can have a real impact on our health and the environment.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Fracking And Bridgend

Today we have a guest post from David Elston, Pirate Party Spokesperson for Wales and Bridgend election candidate. It focusses on a local environmental issue at Bridgend but the perspective applies to many areas of Wales and the UK - fossil fuel companies, supported by the Government, want to frack everywhere that would make them a profit.




I was the first candidate  to sign the Frack-Free promise with Greenpeace and took it upon myself to push the incumbent politicians on their stance on fracking. Ian Spiller, an ex-Conservative, now Independent local councillor responded to my question:

“What is the current situation and your stance regarding fracking in Merthyr Mawr and Ogmore?”

Mr Spiller's reply:

“I don't know enough about fracking so I am staying out of it.”

If only he was in some kind of elected position where it was his duty to know something about it and be involved!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Primary Rainforest Cleared For Massive Palm Oil Plantations In Peru


"More than 9,400 hectares of closed-canopy Amazonian rainforest has been removed for two oil palm plantations in the Peruvian region of Ucayali since 2011, according to scientists working for MAAP, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project." Read more here.

Also see our previous article about palm oil. There isn't enough coverage of this issue (certainly none from the main political parties) yet our society uses increasing amounts of palm oil. The obvious answer is: stop buying so much processed food. Or at least avoid anything with palm oil or "vegetable oil" (unless it gives the type, and it definitely isn't palm oil). Cut back on margarine, maybe use olive oil instead. Write to companies which use palm oil and complain - tell them you have stopped buying those products.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Stop TTIP


Time to email our MEP in the European Parliament! Next week there's a key vote on the dodgy TTIP trade deal, including a vote on whether big corporations should be given the power to sue our government. Only five UK representatives will be there, but our MEPs can have a big influence on their votes.

If the vote goes the way the giant corporations want, big business will get even more power to call the shots with our government.

It looks like the vote could go either way. Please can you send a quick email asking your MEP to campaign against corporations suing the government? It'll only take two minutes.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Protecting Species


A good article about why species go extinct (human activity) and what can be done, from Green World (issue 87, Winter 2015).

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Make Tooth Powder


Let's have something positive. Modern toothpastes have all sorts of unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals in. The tubes aren't recyclable, so end up in landfill. There is an alternative though - tooth powder. You can increasingly buy this in health shops because it is much simpler, not needing so many preservatives, foaming agents and so on, and it is actually what people used many years ago. An even bigger bonus is that you can make it yourself at home easily. Here are links to some popular recipes (in no particular order). We'll be trying a combination of them and seeing how it goes.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Who Should You Vote For If You Care About Animals?


It's interesting to compare the different parties' attitudes to animals. This Animal Aid site does just that. In some cases you can even dig down to the level of individuals. (It is no surprise to find out that David Cameron is pro-hunt, pro-shoot, and pro-badger cull. Less well-known is that UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage, has attended a hunt too.)

You can compare all the main parties. Some come across as wishy washy, such as Plaid Cymru's attitude to animals ("One MP voted for the badger cull; one did not vote and the third is not standing at the next election." / "One MP would repeal the Hunting Act (to make hunting legal again); one is undecided and the third is standing down."). The Green Party comes out on top, and is completely in opposition to the badger cull and hunting. Anyway, have a look around the site yourself, there is a lot of useful information there.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Meat-Free May


Most people eat meat twice a day without even thinking about it. But the amount of meat and fish we feast on is damaging our planet and our health.

  • Livestock production makes up 14.5% of total global greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the causes of deforestation and climate change.
  • Our taste for fish had been stripping the seas; over 70% of the world’s fish stocks are over or fully exploited.
  • Our health is suffering: a shift to lower-meat diets in the UK could prevent 45,000 early deaths each year and save the NHS over £1.2 billion per year.

So consider signing up to go meat-free in May with Friends Of The Earth! Do it with a friend for double the benefit (and support).

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Ethics Of Using Animals In Research


The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics (OCAE) has produced a review of the ethics of using animals in research. Extracts:
"New scientific critiques raise issues of the unreliability of animal experiments; the unpredictability of laboratory environments; the difference between human diseases and “animal models” of disease; the differences in physiology and genetic function of different species; and the development of more predictive human-based testing. The upshot is that it is no longer accurate or reasonable —if it ever was — to say that the only moral choice is between experimenting on animals and giving up on scientific progress.

The Three Rs — Replacement, Reduction and Refinement — which is supposed to result in humane laboratory-based research, is endorsed by the EU. Governments pay lip service to the Three Rs but in practice they are massively underfunded and ineffectual. Even where controls exist, they are found wanting. This is confirmed by disturbing evidence provided by undercover investigations.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Global Population


If you’re over 45, the world population has doubled in your lifetime. In 1968, the world population was 3,557,000,000. Today, the world population is 7,217,000,000 and grows by over 200,000 daily. [Source] There are updated statistics at Worldometers, including a World Population Clock.


The growth of the human population is one the biggest threats to the planet. Every other problem (pollution, consumption, waste, food resources, road building, loss of greenfield sites etc.) is magnified by it.

a = i X p

Monday, 13 April 2015

Vote For Policies - Reminder!


Some very useful and still-relevant links in last year's post - see which parties most closely match your beliefs.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Crimson Rhino


If you live in or visit Aberystwyth then make sure you visit Crimson Rhino! A totally vegetarian cafe, with all sorts of lovely food, ciabattas, smoothies, coffee, herbal teas, and chocolate. Open every day, at convenient times, making it easy to visit. Please support independent businesses. :-)

Where:
4 Northgate Street, Aberystwyth

When:
Mon-Sat 10am-7pm
Sun 12pm-4pm

[Check their page for updated times - they alter occasionally]

Monday, 30 March 2015

52kg Of Rubbish

Aberystwyth Beach Buddies cleared 52 kg of rubbish and plastic pollution from Clarach Beach yesterday. Really well done to the volunteers for doing such good work, they deserve the greatest respect. It would be nice if Ceredigion County Council cleared the beaches rather than wasting money, but until that miraculous day we should all chip in and help out where we can.

Aberystwyth Beach Buddies were also recently featured on Aberystwyth Voice, congratulations to them!

The Aberystwyth Beach Buddy schedule of upcoming cleans (check their page for updates):

  • April 18th - Tan y Bwlch, 10am, Marine Conservation Society BeachWatch survey clean
  • April 25th - Beach Bach, 3pm, Marine Conservation Society BeachWatch survey clean
  • May 9th - North Beach, 2pm
  • May 23rd - South Beach, 2.30pm
  • June 7th - Clarach Bay, 2pm
  • June 20th - North Beach, 1.30pm

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Cattle Disease Creation

(Graph by Team Badger)

From the Save Me organisation (appropriate considering Wales grants permission for intensive dairy farms):
"Thousands of cattle are being needlessly slaughtered each year, at a cost of £1 billion to taxpayers, because they are infected with bTB.
Well, that’s not true either. Every year the UK’s farming industry sends 350,000 cattle for premature slaughter, most of which are suffering from illnesses that are easily treatable and preventable. Only 25,000 of these, or one in 14, are suffering from bTB. Intensive dairy farming, in which cows never graze in the fields, has not surprisingly, resulted in an increase in mastitis and lameness. Cows’ hooves, like those of horses, are unsuited to harsh concrete; and even lame cows that are unable to move, are often milked lying on their sides for the sake of profit. Dairy farming has changed beyond all recognition, and is now a highly intensive industry. Given that cows are held in crowded sheds where they suffer from severe stress, it is little wonder that bTB is prevalent. Cows now produce ten times more milk as nature intended, and are often milked for more than 6 hours a day. Inbreeding is used to increase productivity, and when their yield falls they’re needlessly slaughtered. It’s astonishing that anyone can regard today’s farming practices as humane."

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Good Packaging

Now and again we look at packaging, and whether it is recyclable or not. As before, we selected a sample of companies and looked at their products, then asked them for more information if their labelling was unclear, or they weren't using recyclable materials.



Goodies
Recyclable is good; biodegradable (as long as it is clearly labelled) is even better.

Inspiral
This is a good company - after eating one of their tasty products I spotted this on the back:


Fully compostable bags: great! So many companies make excuses and try to claim that even recyclable isn't possible for their packaging - companies like Inspiral really show them up, and prove that it is possible to put the environment first.

Seed and Bean
The Seed and Bean Company have been featured before, but any company that puts such care into its packaging deserves regular praise:



Saturday, 28 February 2015

Slice up the green areas


Death by a thousand cuts. Always going on in little ways: green areas cut across, cut into; roads and paths widened. We got a few emails about Ceredigion County Council doing it again this week, and saw this letter published in the Cambrian News:
"I hate seeing trees cut and green areas lost so was annoyed to see Ceredigion Council workers digging up green areas near Ysgol Gymraeg. They cut down at least one healthy tree (and then removed the stump/evidence), got rid of the grass and snowdrops and bushes, all apparently to widen one of the FOUR parallel pavements in that area, and to add another unnecessary path cutting across the green area. How come the Council can waste our money for vandalism like that? And they say there’s no money for litter collecting and keeping schools open? It’d be nice if they knocked down their eyesore offices and put a nice park there instead. Scratch that – knowing the council it would become another supermarket."

Friday, 20 February 2015

Rats, Squirrels, Seagulls, "Pests"


Our last post was about Aberystwyth University targeting wildlife - apparently illegally. The inability of humans to coexist with other species is often fought out in this one-sided way. It's the basis of the whole badger persecution issue.

Cost?
Ceredigion County Council has staff whose responsibilities include killing animals they think of as pests (they sometimes use temporary contractors too). Poisons are used for some species. The Council has no idea how many animals they kill a year (according to an FOI request). For the financial year of 2011-12 the Council spent £168,354 in this area.

Aberystwyth University uses contractors to kill any animals they don't want on their land. They also use poisons, and don't know how many animals they kill (target species or not). For the financial year of 2011-12 the university spent £10,800 on "pest" control.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Aberystwyth University And Herring Gulls


Aberystwyth University has allegedly committed criminal offences by removing the nests and eggs of a protected bird species. The Cambrian News carried this story about disregard for wildlife and the natural environment.

The Cambrian News states:
"It is a criminal offence to “take, damage or destroy a gull’s nest” or “take or destroy their eggs”. Under law, a general licence can be applied for if the actions “preserve or protect public health and safety” or to “protect livestock”, but guidance says, “gulls being a ‘nuisance’ (e.g noise or damage to property) is not a legitimate reason for control.”
Depending on your viewpoint the gulls are a minor nuisance (certainly less of a nuisance than humans are proving to be to their species), or a natural part of living near the sea that we should embrace. It would certainly seem that the university is breaking the law here. It's certainly not the first time they have ignored existing guidance in the area.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Litter in Ceredigion - 4

(Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / others)

Who picks up the litter? In many cases it is you, and me, and lovely volunteers like Aberystwyth Beach Buddies. My experience of trying to get the County Council to collect it goes something like this:

  • Report litter.
  • Do it again when you get no reply.
  • And again.
  • Get an acknowledgement.
  • Discover that the Council only pick up what is on the path or within a few inches of it - everything that has blown under bushes or onto people's gardens or further from the path is ignored (i.e. the majority of the litter), even though it was originally on the path and it is only the Council's delay that led it to being blown elsewhere. [Their wording is: "It is the responsibility of land owners to keep the land in their ownership free of litter. This can include land adjoining paths that the Council maintains and cleans." - which is why the Council avoid picking it up, since they know that an hour later it will blow or be kicked off the path, become an eyesore for pedestrians and a pain for the landowner, but at least it won't be the Council's responsibility.] 
  • Go out with a binbag and pick it all up yourself.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Fracking news


Fracking. Depressing, eh? Some good news then: in a vote this week Ceredigion announced their intention to became the first frack-free local authority in Wales. That is great news thanks to a lot of work by some good people. This is the statement:
"As a council which is leading on the use of renewable energy and energy conservation, we believe that Hydraulic Fracturing, Coal Bed Methane and Underground Coal Gasification (commonly referred to as 'Fracking') are incompatible with Ceredigion's energy strategy as well as arousing considerable public concern. Having received a large petition from Ceredigion residents to this effect, we are happy to declare that we will not support fracking within the county and are therefore pleased to declare Ceredigion a Frack-free Local Authority. We hope that our commitment to a cleaner energy future will show the rest of Wales how important it is to protect our environment for future generations and to allow us to stand together with other forward thinking Local Authorities."
More good news: Scotland has just voted to have a temporary ban on fracking. However, in Wales the policy is determined by Westminster, England. The Guardian article says:

Friday, 23 January 2015

Bourgeois Boheme


We mentioned Bourgeois Boheme in our footwear post. They got in touch to say:
"Beyond making lovely shoes, here at Bourgeois Boheme we are dedicated in educating our audience also that there are better, sustainable and eco-friendly ways to fashion. There are amazing, nature-kind alternatives to mainstream shoe materials available, and we show how they can be used to drop-dead-gorgeous effect, without any animal ingredients. That means no leather or animal products, no nasty glues or dyes – in fact, nothing that’s harmful to anyone, whether they have four legs or two."
Note that they have a sale on until the 2nd February 2015, with big discounts - have a look at their online shop.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Veggies.co.uk


I've just found a nice site which reviews vegetarian and vegan products (and includes other articles such as recipes). Have a look: veggies.co.uk. We've added it to our links.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Make Soap (And Candles) From Leftover Bits

Soap

Those last bits of soap which are too small/broken/soft to use? Throw them in a tub you keep under the sink. Once you have enough of them it is time to get creative.

Old bits of soap, collected over a year or so.
They'll probably still be soft, since the tub will keep a bit of moisture in.

Break them up a bit and throw them into a non-stick pan.
We have an old pan we just use for things like this.