Apple Day is on October 7th, 2-5pm at the Community Centre – see the Apple Day page on this site.
|Plastic Free Long Ashton
What’s the problem with single-use plastics and why rid Long Ashton of them? As a society, we have produced 8.5 billion tonnes of plastic since its inception, and with that are wreaking havoc on the natural environment. Here’s how:
- Plastic never breaks up, it just breaks down – into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes what is known as microplastic. That’s 8.5 billion tonnes we’ve created so far.
- Plastic is made from oil, which through its extraction damages habitats
- Producing plastic requires energy-intensive processes, which demand fossil-fuel use
- Only 9% of plastic get recycled. Now that China will not accept our recycling we need to take responsibility for it ourselves, except we do not have the facilities so are incinerating a lot
- Plastic in landfill produces toxic gases. Some of these toxins get into water systems which then pollute the environment.
- Plastic is blown or washed into the natural environment where it is unsightly and dangerous to wildlife.
- Animals are injured or killed by plastic in their habitat: they can get strangled by anything with a hole in it; many marine mammals and birds mistake plastic for food; microplastics can enter animals’ bloodstreams and make them poisonous
- Plastic enters the food chain once it has been consumed by an animal or sea creature. Two-thirds of fresh fish on sale in San Fransisco contains plastic.
Examples of single-use plastic include: bottles, straws, cotton buds, coffee cups, carrier bags, food packaging, nappies, disposable cutlery. There are however countless other examples.
Reducing the use of single-use plastics will drastically reduce the amount of plastics produced, and disposed of.
The vision is for no single-use plastics to be supplied or consumed within the village. This will require commitment from residents, business owners and their staff so that we all work together to achieve this aim.
By committing to eliminating single-use plastics from Long Ashton, we are demonstrating the acceptance of our responsibility to care for our environment. We are also sending a strong message to suppliers, retailers and residents that we will not support the destruction of the environment for the sake of convenience.
| Rosie Payne who is initiating Plastic Free Long Ashton writes:
I’ve recently set up an Instagram account called @eco_life_hacks which provides daily tips on not only reducing your single-use plastic use but reducing your impact on the planet as a whole. The tips are designed to provide context on the issue in question and offer practical solutions which are accessible.
Example tips include:
- Shopping locally to reduce food miles
- Eating less meat
- Using heating less
- Choosing sustainable fish
- Switching energy providers to those which use renewable sources
The more research I do, the more passionate I become about doing practical things to limit our destructive actions.
Rosie’s Instagram page is here, and you can also see much of its content on Facebook here.
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Transition: building community towards a sustainable future……….
Transition is about meeting the challenges of Climate Change at a local level – the collective thinking and action that can produce all the local initiatives that have taken shape in our seven years of existence, and many more. By working for and with everyone in the community, we can make significant improvement in quality of life and sustainability ……….a resilient, rejuvenated, relocalised village.
This could be the outcome of the end of the age of plentiful cheap oil, if we prepare and work together for it.
The end of cheap oil
We are living at the peak of the oil age – a 50 litre tankfull of petrol delivers as much energy as a labourer working for 3 years! But it cannot continue – oil production has plateaued and will start to fall. Demand continues to soar – China’s oil consmption is rising at 11% a year, and 98% of transportation uses oil. Renewables are the future, but cannot deliver enough to make up the shortfall. If we go for nuclear, uranium will run out in 40 years. So we need to plan for ‘energy descent’ – a reduction in energy use. And we need to make 80% cuts in carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. Transition is about this process.
You can download a Transition Primer which will give you a good start in understanding what this is all about – go to <http://transitiontowns.org/TransitionNetwork/TransitionNetwork#prime> http://transitiontowns.org/TransitionNetwork/TransitionNetwork#primer <http://transitiontowns.org/TransitionNetwork/TransitionNetwork#primer>
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