Green Your Life

Talking about amazing eco-friendly products and access to my online Wikaniko shop.


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Planting for Bees (other other bugs)

Bugs in a pumpkin flower!

Bugs in a pumpkin flower!

Now is a really great time to get planting wildflower seeds for bees, butterflies and all sorts of other bugs.  I love going around collecting wildflower seeds and taking them home to plant.  From doing this and buying some plants, I have quite a collection of wildflowers in my garden – most I haven’t got a clue what they are called, but if bees and bugs like them, they get to stay.

A mixture of wildflowers. The tall ones with big leaves have lovely purple flowers!

A mixture of wildflowers. The tall ones with big leaves have lovely purple flowers!

Throughout the late summer and autumn I go around collecting the seeds and some I plant in trays or pots recently vacated by the carrots that have left the garden for the kitchen and our stomachs.  Some I scatter around my wildflower beds and some I keep for spring.  I also use some of our lovely wildflower seed-balls which do really well, though unfortunately, a bit of chilli powder in the seed-ball-mix does not deter the slugs!

The wildflower patch in early summer.

The wildflower patch in early summer.

The plan is to have quite a lot of wildflower plugs that will be slug resistant come spring!  This spring the slugs definitely won the vegetable and wildflower seedling battle for quite a few weeks!  I may not have been happy.

My large white daisy’s (Ox-eye I think) are coming up well and so are some sweet williams, the marigolds, some lovely blue flowers and others that will only be recognisable when they are quite a bit bigger!

Blue flowers, loved by bees and other invertebrates!

Blue flowers, loved by bees and other invertebrates!

I may even be so successful in my wildflower growing that the kids will be able to sell some alongside more strawberry plants at a spring-time event!  However, they will have to help out with potting on so that the wildflowers have a good chance at survival.  And we may need to figure out what they all are – not sure people are happy buying ‘lovely blue flowers that bees like’!  But you never know!!

The white daisies growing on well

The white daisies growing on well

I admit wildflower areas don’t always look pretty or neat, but by having a few of these areas in your garden gives bees food and a home.  As our world climate changes, the bees, butterflies and many other animals will need our support more and more to survive.

So go on, plant some wildflowers and give a bee a hug!


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NOOOO Chocolate is under threat!

cake-005The reason for my existence is under threat, globally!

OK, that is a slight exaggeration, it is not my only reason for existence, but it is a favoured part of my diet!

Chocolate…

I am a big fan.  You might say that I have strong chocoholic tendencies.

So it has come as a nasty shock to discover that the future of chocolate around the world is not secure.

In fact, it is already under threat.

Organic and fair trade - helps the growers, but wont stop climate change!

Organic and fair trade – helps the growers, but wont stop climate change!

You see Cacao trees (the ones that grow the cacao pods that are the basis of cocoa and chocolate) only grow within 20° north and south of the equator.  Most cacao is grown in the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia.

If we carry on as we are currently doing so – using fossil-fuel based energy, emitting greenhouse gases into the air, chopping down rainforests – then by 2050 the countries where cacao grows will experience a 2.5°C increase in temperature.  It will be much harder to grow cacao trees then – not so much because of the heat, but because the humidity will decrease.  It will just get too dry for the cacao trees.

So for the love of chocolate, take action on Climate Change!

 

Information extracted from this NOAA article  on the impacts of Climate Change on the Cacao tree.

 

 

 


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Climate Week of Action

Is this the future? Will you change it?

Is this the future? Will you change it?

It is nearly a year since the Paris Agreement to curb global warming to well below 2o and internationally action has been taken.

At the beginning of September the USA and China ratified the Paris Agreement.

But what is happening in jolly old Blighty!

Well, on the surface sweet naff-all!

In fact, we seem to be hurtling in the opposite direction at an ever increasing rate.

Government support and subsidies for solar panels and wind turbines has decreased dramatically leading to many small green businesses collapsing.

There is an increasing government support for fracking – including subsides and central decision making and continued denial of the problems fracking can and does cause to the local environment or underground water sources, let alone the fact that it makes in much harder for the UK to meet its commitments on Climate Change.

In fact, the Tory’s only seem to be able to say that they are going to support an increased construction and development of Nuclear Power stations, binding us – the tax payers and bill payers – to years of high prices.

Impact of climate change - Melting ice sheets at North and South Pole

Impact of climate change – Melting ice sheets at North and South Pole

Many of us get upset and angry about the apparent (and real) inaction on Climate Change and how little people seem to understand it or want to talk about it – or maybe it is just me!

However, there is a chance to take action this October.

Speak Up Week of Action takes place from 8th to 16th October and there are numerous events being organised around the UK to lobby MP’s to take action for Climate Change and to raise awareness about this earth-changing issue.

If you are a member of the Womens’ Institute (WI), then find out if your local WI has a Climate Ambassador – if not, you can sign up to be one and get your whole WI involved.

Otherwise do go onto Week of Action website and see what is happening locally and join in if you can.

Impact of Climate Change - floods, drought, extreme weather. Is this the future you want?

Impact of Climate Change – floods, drought, extreme weather. Is this the future you want?

It is our planet. Ours to love and heal, but also ours to damage and make uninhabitable for humankind.

Every choice you make indicates the world you want.  So choose wisely, please choose love and healing.

Together, we can Make A Difference.