Year of Environmental Action: Anti-Consumerism for Black Friday
25th November 2022

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.


Year of Environmental Action: Reducing Plastic
31st October 2022

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…)

Year of Environmental Actions:  Motivating Action
16th September 2022

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…)

Year of Environmental Actions: Gardening for Pollinators
5th May 2022


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.


Year of Environmental Actions: Making Homes for Nature
29th March 2022

Sitting in the garden on a warm March day, I am watching a blue tit hop in and out of the nestbox that we fixed to a cherry tree; is it making a nest, or bringing food to a female already sitting on some eggs?  Is it the same bird that inhabited the box last year, or is it one of the offspring that we saw take its first flight, now returning to raise some chicks of its own?  Either way, it feels very special, because the nestbox was constructed by my husband and youngest daughter several years ago and has hosted at least  one brood of blue tits every year since.  There is something so rewarding that this small intervention is supporting the wildlife in our garden.  In the face of urban development, the intensification of farming and climate change, gardens have become important refuges for many species of bird, insect, amphibian and mammal, providing habitats that may be absent elsewhere. Fortunately there are loads of things we can do to help out wildlife in our gardens and public parks. (more…)

Year of Environmental Actions; Conservation Volunteering
28th February 2022

Following our blog theme of a Year of Environmental Actions, I’m throwing my hat in the ring with engaging with the environment through volunteering and how people can get involved.  In the last blog I wrote a lot about rivers, so you’d be safe in assuming I have a real interest in rivers and understand their importance. Which is why I have spent some time over the past couple months volunteering with Aire River Trust. This Bradford charity is working to improve the River Aire by regularly taking volunteer groups out to do work which helps reduce flooding, clear litter, create new habitats.  I’ve only taken part in a few volunteering sessions, but I have already gained a sense of the scope of work that the Aire River Trust (and other river charities) undertake and how important it is for our waterways and ecosystems. (more…)

Lessons from Nature; Nature Journalling
9th December 2021

Like many people, my connection with nature grew stronger during last year’s lockdowns.  As we couldn’t go anywhere or do very much, I really began to notice the nature on my doorstep in that bright, sunny and terrible spring of 2020.  Day by day I watched the trees come into leaf, a succession of spring flowers bloom and the ongoing battle for food, mates and territory playing out amongst the surprising range of birds that visited our garden.  This nature connection both thrilled and calmed me at a time when the world felt full of uncertainty and fear. (more…)

Lessons from Nature: Change of Seasons
25th November 2021

Wandering amongst the autumn trees, I admired the blazing yellows, striking reds and vibrant oranges contrasting with the clear blue sky, with the sunlight streaming through to the woodland floor. Leaves whirled through the air, falling all around me as the wind played with them before letting them spiral to the ground to form a thick carpet beneath my feet. The trees were celebrating autumn and letting go in the most beautiful and striking way.  What can this changing of the seasons teach us? (more…)

Lessons from Nature: Rivers
29th October 2021

Rivers have always felt like a bit of a getaway for me. The way they can wash out the noise of busy roads or warehouses makes it feel like you’re closer to rural areas than you are. I have always been close to rivers, whether it’s the River Aire where I live now, in Thackley or the River Humber and River Hull in Hull. I always found places for contemplation by rivers and walking along the River Aire is where I had the idea to write about them!

During my degree I tried to steer as much as my studies towards rivers as possible, which showed me the range of things we could learn about them.  One thing I enjoyed looking at is the movement of material, this could be anything: boulders, pebbles, rubbish or pooh sticks.  It’s easy to assign our binary day and night cycle to the processes in the world, as we go to sleep everything else does with us, but the processes are constant and are always changing and carving the landscape around us.  I’ve noted small changes in the land around the River Aire, changing meanders, steeper banks, how the flow changes. (more…)

Lessons from Nature; Rewilding our Garden
27th July 2021

When the days were short, the trees were grey and the soil was bare, we moved into a new house. It had a slightly bigger garden than our old one, and that made us very excited.  Big gardens are not really a thing in our West Yorkshire hometown, but it’s perfectly possible to make any outside space a haven for wildlife.   22 million people have access to a garden, according to Rewilding Britain (an organisation focused on rewilding and the benefits it can bring to people, wildlife and the climate) and, as they say, that’s a lot of land for wildlife and nature. But we Brits have a tendency to be neat freaks and that’s not great for nature, which really thrives in unkempt loveliness at the fringes of our gardens, towns and cities. (more…)