Adventures in Nature
November is a month notorious for consuming, with the often frantic lead-up to Christmas and the chaos that can be Black Friday. Born in the USA to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season, retailers slash their prices and shoppers can try and grab themselves a bargain, with varying levels of chaos. In the excitement, we may buy things we might not need, something I am definitely guilty of, to the dismay of my belongings that have sat in drawers or cupboards untouched for a while now! Whilst the savings can be great, there are hidden disadvantages to Black Friday that we often ignore.
One of the first things to consider is the environmental footprint of the increased amount of purchases, which all need delivering after all. Last year it was estimated that over 100 million transactions were made on Black Friday alone; that is a lot of deliveries! A rough estimate has placed the amount of carbon emitted caused by Black Friday last year at 386,243 tonnes, equal to that emitted on 215 flights between London and Sydney.
Walking through the woods this half term, the bright blue of a sweet packet catches my eye amongst the autumnal leaves. As I start to collect bits and pieces of rubbish lying around it, I notice how much litter is single use plastic; a takeaway tray, a scrunched up water bottle, a crisp packet, a blue vinyl glove. Before long I had filled a bag full, but it was barely a drop in the ocean of what is there, littering our natural spaces. Plastic chemicals are leaching into our soil, rivers are polluted by plastic debris and sea birds and marine mammals are choking on the millions of tonnes that end up in our oceans. The UK generates more plastic waste per person than any other country, apart from the USA – we have to do something about it now. I have been seriously attempting to reduce my use of plastic since the start of the year, using the waste hierachy triangle as a guide to how I can break my dependence on this finite resource that hangs around forever. (more…)
My relationship with nature has changed since I started working for Get Out More; in the last year, I have found that I feel much closer to nature. Before joining, I did enjoy going out and spending time in the woods and rivers, but the reasons I enjoyed it was more to do with being surrounded by the physical processes of our world. Now I more often approach nature without my geography cap on and instead engage with nature by spending time to think, appreciate and afterwards speak about my experiences. (more…)
Have you ever wondered about the benefits of walking and cycling? I love cycling, but I don’t often stop to think about it. I do know that I feel calmer, happier and less stressed when cycling to work compared with sitting in my car in traffic jams! Walking and cycling are the perfect way to fit exercise into your daily routine, cheaper than the gym and replacing just one journey a week by active travel (walking or cycling) can reduce personal CO2 emissions and help to tackle the climate crisis.
The amount of land covered by gardens in the UK is over four and a half times that our our nature reserves. With urbanisation and intensive agriculture pushing nature to the margins, if we are lucky enough to have some outside space, we have an opportunity to really help the nature on our doorstep – and enjoy a beautiful garden too. Last month I blogged about how I create wildlife habitats in the garden. Now the gardening year is in full swing, I’m focusing on how planting can support the bees, butterflies and other pollinators and help stop their steady decline.