Change the World Wednesday – 7th Jan

The first CTWW of 2015.

Small will be back in a couple of weeks.

Most of the people who read this blog are already ‘green’. As I said in a comment last week, I sometimes feel as though I am preaching to the converted, but I look at it positively, if I can reach just one more person…

This week’s challenge is something small.

Look at everything you have changed, or aspects of life that are now different; how can you can waste less of just one thing.

or

If you have already made a small change this year, tell us about it.

Over the past year, I have changed my life, in particular, my diet. I am not dieting, heaven forbid, dieting is a myth, counting calories is counterproductive; and I have read this week that ‘flushing toxins’ out of your body is a fallacy.

So what did I do?

I have changed some of the liquids that I used to drink. Previously, I wasn’t beyond drinking Coca Cola and boxed fruit juice and my milk intake was a lot, often more than a litre per day.

cubalibreFor the past year, I have all but stopped drinking all soda; I still have a little coke if I make a Cuba Libre, but I have had only one since I gave up soda.

Fruit juice in a box, don’t even think about it. I buy or grow fresh fruit and make my own juice without sugar,

I still drink beer. In fact my beer consumption has risen since the silly season; mainly because I have had less students and more free time. After carnival the students will return and I will have less free time.

My milk consumption is down drastically. So much that the last two litre boxes of milk went sour in the fridge before I could use them all; because I now only have milk in my coffee, and maybe one cold chocolate drink a week in the evening, whereas before it was a nightly ritual.

So, what did I do with the last box? Because I was sure that it would be sour in the morning and end up going down the kitchen sink too.

Before the milk went sour, I filled an ice cube tray with the last and put it in the freezer.

This morning I made my coffee as normal and put two milk cubes in it.

The milk cubes turned yellowish, but taste normal

The milk cubes turned yellowish, but taste normal

Okay, that’s a small change, but it reduces waste and saves about half a litre of milk. I have enough frozen milk for coffee for the next three days.

So, what do I drink instead of Coca Cola? Sparkling mineral water! It’s also cheaper than Coke. So the saving is twofold, health and finnancial.

The end result was a weight loss without dieting and I counted not a single calorie. I just made changes.

How much weight have I lost… about 20kgs (44lbs).

I can walk easier, I have less reliance on my walking stick, I can’t yet run up the stairs at work, but I can walk up in a semi-normal fashion instead of taking them one at a time which was laborious.

So small changes can make a big difference.

What have you done, or what can you do this year?

Simple Green Ideas

What can kids do on a rainy day? Something that doesn’t involve X-Box or Playstation or TV!

One of the banes of modern shopping is the ubiquitous polystyrene try.

Food comes like this...

Food comes like this…

You get left with this...

You get left with this…

What to do?

I used to wash them and most would finish up in the ‘junk box’ along with all sorts of other knick-knacks.

On a rainy day I’d get out the junk box, sellotape, glue, paints, etc set it on the veranda and tell the kids to get to it and use their imaginations.

They’d come up with all sorts of weird and wonderful things.

Like this…

The result of imagination

The result of imagination

Monday Moaning

Here we go again!

Sugar, the big enemy.

Headlines today:

Cut back amount of sugar children consume, parents told

Health officials believe children are consuming more sugar than they should

Parents are being encouraged to cut back on the amount of sugar they feed children in a new health campaign.

The Public Health England (PHE) Change4Life campaign offers “sugar swap” tips, including swapping ice cream for yogurt and sugary drinks for sugar-free alternatives.

Health guidelines advise that 10% of a person’s energy or calorie intake should be made up of sugar.

But officials fear children between four and 10 are consuming far more.

‘Health impact’

Source: BBCNews Read more

Opinion:

While it may be true, sugar is not the BIG enemy. They’re barking up the wrong tree… again. Because the real tree has gremlins.

The real enemies are twofold, sweeteners and HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup); i.e. sugar-free alternatives.

Sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are far more damaging to the body than sugar.

HFCS, which has replaced natural sugar in nearly all sodas and prepared foods in supermarkets, is a plague.

Natural sugar has 50/50 sucrose/fructose. HFCS has an imbalance, as much as 40/60. The excess fructose cannot be processed by the body and my understanding goes straight to the liver and gets converted to fat.

HFCS is the hidden beast that is responsible for the current explosion of obesity. Check this…

hfcs obesityNow look at this…

hfcs-2Check out these figures…

infographHFCS

Click the image to enbiggenate if your eyes are like mine

Nearly every drink and preprepared food product in the supermarkets have HFCS…

hfcs_products2HFCS-1The governments won’t do anything about HFCS, because they’d be fighting giant corporations who pay millions for the ‘right’ politicians to be elected.

Politicians are basically cowards, they won’t protect your rights over their chances of being reelected.

You and your health simply don’t matter!

Your only guarantee for health is to totally eliminate HFCS from your diet. Forget the sugar problem, compared to HFCS it’s not a problem.

banHFCS

Nature Ramble

An excursion involving all of the senses

Bergh Apton, Norfolk The collection symbolised all that our own species has pondered, learned and felt about mushrooms for centuries

This collared earthstar was one of the prize finds at Bergh Apton community wood. Photograph: Mark Cocker

he difference between a fungus foray and most other forms of nature study is the gregariousness of it all. There were more than 20 of us, aged eight to 80, joking and laughing and clustered around our guide, who is himself like a rare treasured specimen. Tony Leech is an expert who contributes as much simple human joy to a group as he does knowledge.

Each person scoured the ground for a contribution to bring back to the central hub of discussion. Our guide then marshalled these converging tributaries of inquiry into a wider delta of mycological conversation. This one was a dryad saddle. There was a wood blewit, or parrot waxcap, a collared earthstar. I often stood simply to marvel at the poetry of mushroom nomenclature. Ponder awhile the wrinkled peach, the parasol, the lilac bonnet – and the dog stinkhorn.

It was an excursion involving all the senses. We lay on the ground to be on intimate terms with the tiny earthtongue or dead moll’s fingers, whose pencil-thin fruiting bodies poked up like death-blackened digits. We inhaled a deep whiff of ocean in a mushroom called crab brittlegill. Best of all, we stood in amazement at the crazy fecundity of fungi: a fruit body of the football-sized giant puffball can produce 6bn spores.

Eventually the whole afternoon of encounter was distilled to Tony Leech’s basket of specimens. Here were gathered all the toadstools that were beyond our collective ken, and whose identities can sometimes only be settled by examination of spores that are 1/200th of a millimetre. In a sense, that collection symbolised all that our own species has pondered, learned and felt about mushrooms for centuries.

Yet that same basket also summarised the unfathomable wonder of life on this planet: for it contained the stories of 100 different fungi, which had each travelled through time probably for millions of years to meet on that afternoon in that October sunshine.

Source: TheGuardian

Satireday on Eco-Crap

92158-Earth-Day-2035-by-515x386

Make you Fink on Friday

Wow! New Year went with a bang… all over the world.

It started in New Zealand with the magnificent display from the Sky Tower.

Sky Tower, Auckland, NZ

New Year celebrations crept around the world for a whole 24 hours.

It finally got to Rio de janeiro, then continued on to the US and Pacific.

Copacabana Beach in Rio has the biggest New Year party in the world, more than 2 million people on 6½kms of beach between Leme and the Copacabana Fort.

They were treated to a magnificent aerial display of fireworks. Twenty-four tons of fireworks produced a display over 16 minutes.

How much carbon dioxide was added to the atmosphere with this frivolity?

I have no idea, but considering that fireworks use gunpowder, I’d hazard a guess at lots.

Copacaban Beach - Pretty, but deadly

Copacabana Beach – Pretty, but deadly

But Rio had about nine (I haven’t checked the actual figure) similar or lesser displays around the city from Niteroi to Sepetiba; along with thousands of neighbourhood displays. My own neighbourhood was blowing tons of gunpowder into the air for longer than the Copacabana display.

And the rest of Brazil, all the capital cities had their displays, and undoubtedly minor cities in each of the 26 states and Federal District also had their displays.

Now the amount of carbon dioxide is mounting up.

How much more CO2 did the rest of the world add?

NZ, Sydney, Hong Kong, Japan, all over Europe, Britain, USA and the Americas, totalled, that’s a hell of a lot of gunpowder.

Isn’t it high time that events like this that produce CO2 and other pollutants were banned?

Are we taking this issue too lightly?

Cities that used LED and projected light displays are to be congratulated, even if they used this form for the wrong reasons.

Maybe the rest of the world should follow suit; and go electronic with music instead of the traditional need for BIG BANGS.

Change the World Wednesday – 31st Dec

Last CTWW of the year.

Yes, there is a challenge, two actually.

First is have a Happy New Year!

plasticglassSecond, don’t use/accept a drink in a plastic glass.

Not even to toast in the New year.

Besides, plastic glasses are just so tacky.

Good wine doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.

Even beer is cheapened by plastic.

Once you have got over New Year, continue the challenge for the rest of the year. Make it a whole year of refusing plastiuc glasses.

See you in January.

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