Info, news & debate

11/2016 posts

Nature in December – what to look out for

December always naturally makes me think of Christmas, and Christmas makes me think of robins, and this colourful little bird seems to feature on almost every Christmas card I receive and no wonder – it is a bird we very much notice, and associate with, nature in December. Read more

What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in December

It’s a good time to take a break from your tunnel or greenhouse. All you need to do is harvest your salads and ventilate as much as possible. If you have spare time you can prepare the beds for the following year. Read more

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for December

Predicting winter weather is as hard as predicting summer weather in Britain, which makes it difficult to advise on jobs. We’re pretty sure of seeing some hard frosts but those dreaming of a white Christmas are actually more likely to see a white Easter. Read more

New York Times: GM crops require more pesticides and don’t increase yields

Dave Darby of | 27-Nov-2016 | 6

I’ve been saying for a long time that GM crops do not increase yields and they don’t reduce pesticide use – because that’s not what they’re designed for. This report in the New York Times shows that I was right. Read more

Stargazers of the world unite: how seeing the Milky Way in a clear, unpolluted sky can change your life

Having grown up in the industrial West Riding of Yorkshire, I was 22 when I first saw the Milky Way. It wasn’t my fault; there was too much light pollution. In places such as this, you may think that on a moonless and cloudless night you can see the stars Read more

New report: number of plastic bags on UK beaches falls by almost half – so charging 5p for plastic bags works?

The number of plastic carrier bags found on UK beaches in surveys carried out by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has dropped by almost half between 2015 and 2016. This is the lowest number reported in over a decade, and fantastic news for marine wildlife. Read more

Want to help stop CETA? Here’s something you can do (before Wednesday)

Linda Kaucher of Stop TTIP | 21-Nov-2016 | 0

Remember the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) that’s a part of TTIP and that would have allowed corporations to sue governments that introduced legislation that threatened their profits? Well now it’s part of CETA, a deal between the EU and Canada Read more

What’s the current situation as regards TTIP, TPP, CETA, TiSA, and what’s the future for trade deals?

Linda Kaucher of Stop TTIP | 20-Nov-2016 | 0

It’s been a very confusing time for TTIP and other pro-corporate trade deals. There has been huge public opposition to them, often based around the fact that they would allow corporations to sue elected governments if they introduce policies that threaten their profits Read more

Stunning film of blades lifted onto a giant wind turbine that you can become a co-owner of

Dan McCallum of Awel Co-op | 18-Nov-2016 | 0

Double BAFTA-Cymru winner, Mike Harrison, has made a stunning short film, capturing the moments that the blades are lifted onto one of our turbines at dawn. Read more

If society collapses, which skills will you wish you’d learnt?

Here’s a conversation between Dave of and Nigel Berman of ‘School of the Wild’. Nigel teaches appreciation of nature and wilderness, and he’s provided us with information for our topic introduction on ‘firecraft’. Read more

Fancy kayaking around the Cornish coast to raise money for the Marine Conservation Society?

That’s a basking shark’s fin, by the way – they grow up to 26ft long, but eat plankton rather than humans. The Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK’s leading marine charity, is behind a fantastic opportunity to see one of the most spectacular parts of the UK’s coastline from a kayak Read more

Rent first to see if a self-build home in a cohousing project at an eco-chateau in France is for you

Ruth Phillips of Eco Chateau | 11-Nov-2016 | 0

An cohousing eco-hamlet around a chateau in the Dordogne region of France is being formed. You can rent a plot to see if the project is for you, before deciding whether to become a co-owner. Read more

The US presidential election is a circus, and the sooner we realise that power lies elsewhere the better

Dave Darby of | 08-Nov-2016 | 2

As Adam Curtis recently explained, governments are no longer for deciding how we live, or for building a better society – they have slowly morphed into institutions for managing the affairs of the finance sector. Read more

Sigi Koko on the basics of passive solar design

Passive solar design takes advantage of solar orientation and other climate conditions to minimize (and in some conditions, eliminate) heating and cooling requirements for a building. Read more

How to buy flowers for someone you love without being part of an environmental nightmare: interview with Rachel Petheram of Catkin Flowers

You don’t want to show someone you love them by damaging the environment, do you? It sounds unromantic, but it’s really difficult to buy flowers in the UK that aren’t sprayed with huge amounts of pesticides, doused with chemical preservatives and flown half way across the world. Read more

Wales’ unique ‘one-planet’ planning policy and the Lammas Ecovillage

Here at the Lammas Ecovillage we have recently celebrated our 7th birthday. The 9 households have collectively built around 15 different buildings, planted many thousands of trees, created hundreds of new habitats, and hosted thousands of volunteers and visitors. Read more

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