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Happy New Year!

London Fireworks

Here’s to our new year’s wish that more people will see the urgency of saving the planet and its people.

[Let’s just hope you weren’t one of the thousands who chose to dump their garbage (including bottles that injured quite a few people) in the streets of London last night.]

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Whilst experts and politicians are debating whether humans contribute to global warming, let’s look at other aspects affected by this issue. Necessity is the parent of all inventions.

This issue has triggered many researches in all aspects of our life. Because of this we have become conscious and forced us to re-evaluate our attitude towards how we use our resources and manage our wastes, which affect our world and has consequences to our children. We finally realised that no resources are really infinite, not even oil, land or potable water. Awareness of this issue caused an increase in research investments that resulted in more energy-efficient homes, more sources of renewable energy, more compostable/biodegradable materials for mostly everything we use (i.e. packagings), more modern energy-efficient equipment, more fuel-efficient vehicles, etc. True, all these things come at higher costs. I’d rather pay the premium today while it’s much cheaper as it will be more costly to our children in the future. As research and technology improve, premiums will be lesser in the long term.

If we have not become aware of this issue, whether true in the long term or not, we wouldn’t invest much in research. Development of more energy-efficient products/technologies would be at much slower pace; consumers wouldn’t be bothered to demand such things.

I’ll leave to the scientists (and politicians) to continue with the debate. It’s always natural for us humans to always disagree with anything. The results of this awareness are all positive from what I can see. In our time when the population of the world is growing (and we consume ever more as people become more progressive, i.e. China) and available resources are shrinking, it’s just right that we strive for higher efficiency.

A.G.
(What is life?)

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I would love to see this done across London. I see too many little plots of land turned dumping ground or overgrown with weeds just on the way home. And to think it takes years to get an allotment!

Read on – Dump sites used for growing veg.

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Happy New Year!

green new year

New year, a time to make a fresh start. Allow me to share with you a very apt message from a page in my calendar (credits from the living green Page-A-Day calendar).

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the green show

I had it in my calendar for ages. It was supposed to be the first large scale green event I will be going to (the only one I know so far). And I was excited to see what they will have on offer and what new ideas i can find.

Imagine my disappointment when I looked at their website last week. I lifted this text from there,

“Unfortunately, The Green Show has been postponed indefinitely. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

We discovered that small companies did not have the budget to exhibit at a major show, and that larger companies did not necessarily want the two-way conversation afforded by an ‘green’ exhibition. We also discovered that the potential audience for a consumer ‘green’ show is limited: Some environmentally switched-on people were prepared to make the effort to come along, but in the main, there was considerable apathy from ‘the man in the street.’

It’s possible that someone will stage a large and successful ‘green’ show in London, as they do in other major cities around the world. We wish them good luck, and will be interested to speak with them if they wish to try. “

Apathy? And whilst being in London is where I started to make an effort to ‘green-up’ my lifestyle. This is also where every other person on the tube leaves their paper on the train. Where a mother scoldingly tells her teenage son to leave that can of soda on the pavement. Where builders eating their breakfast on the way to the train station drop their food and packaging as they eat. Where the old and young spit anywhere. And leave their dog’s mess for some poor soul to step on. Where the hurried and busy people dump their plastic sandwich packaging, coffee cups and plastic bags in the bin 3 times in a day. This is where household recycling is worst.

Maybe next year?

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We sacrifice a lot for our children’s future – we spend so much time working hard so we can give them the best we can afford, we save money to fund their education, and we help them as much as we can when they start a new stage in their life.

How much of their future do we really think about? Do we only think about the economics of their future life? Can we include in our worries their future environment?

We don’t know what problems the future will bring. From previous generation to today’s generation we experienced wars, poverty, political and economic instabilities (which includes dot.com bubble and today’s credit crunch). I think the future will uncover a much worse problem than what we face now. How will you solve environmental problems caused by generations of neglect – climate change, pollution, food shortage? Money we’re trying to save will not save our children from these problems.

It’s worrying that majority of people and businesses don’t realise the urgency of this issue. Each individual has a contribution to make and they can also bring that contribution to their workplace. Businesses should take this seriously and not only use it for publicity or marketing strategy. They should actively implement their policies concerning the environment and energy efficiency. I would put this above the issue of health and safety as breathing polluted air and destroying the environment is a broad part of health and safety issue.

Our blog from previous weeks discussed many things how we can contribute to solutions on environmental issues affecting our children’s future. My sacrifice will not stop just providing them economic security.

How much are we willing to pay for our children’s future?

Read more: Companies need green directors article from the BBC.

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brrr….It is beginning to feel so much like winter, but don’t put that budding environmentalist in you into hibernation.

Here’s a list of events in and around London to keep you (and us) going. And, of course, a dose of shopping wouldn’t hurt as well. We have scoured the web for this list, but this is not exhaustive. If you know of any other green events, email us here (info[at]guui.co.uk).

Plumstead, Greenwich. 9 October (10am-4pm), 12 October (12noon-5pm), 16 October (10am-4pm), 23 October (10am-4pm), 30 October (10am-4pm). Greenwich Eco House Open Days. More info here.

Hornbeam Centre 458 Hoe Street, E17 (corner of Bakers Arms). 11 October. 12noon-5pm. Good Food Swap. Swap your grown produce for somebody else’s pickles and bakes in a locally celebrated ‘good food swap’. Link here.

Highbury Fields School, Islington. 13-19 October. A week of eco activities and energy efficiency tasters. More details here.

Stratford Meridian Square (in front of Stratford Station). 15-17 October. 9am till late. The Keen Green and Ethical Market.

Royal Geographical Society. 16 October 2008 at 7pm. Earthwatch Lecture – Shrinking Habitats, Species Survival. Free! More info here.

Hampton Wick Library. 18 October. 11am. Green Bites. A series of environmental workshops in libraries. Free! Run by the Richmond Council. To book a place ring 020 8912 0653.

Camden Town Hall. 22 Oct 2008. 7pm. The Great African Scandal – Fairtrade event. Find out more here.

Brent Museum, Willesden Green. until 2 November. Exhibition – Greenopaedia. Free! Find out more here.

Scadbury Park, Bromley. 15 November. Tree Planting Event. 10am. Meet at the Old Perry Street car park entrance to Scadbury Park. Run by BEECHE(Bromley’s environmental education centres at High Elms). more information here.

Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London. 20 November. 7pm. Small donation requested at door. Irreplaceable – The World’s Most Invaluable Species Debate. Run by Earthwatch Europe. find out more here.

Acton Market, The Mount/King Street, Acton Town Centre. Give or take market. Last saturday of each month. 12:30noon-3:30pm. Give away unwanted household or garden goods or pick up something someone else no longer needs for free. Find out more.

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