June 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm (lifestyle)
Tags: building conservation, climate change, conservation, government, Green party, low emissions, nature conservation
Green Party pledge
The Green Party have released details about a new deal that could aid the conservation of our planet, as well as attempting to tackle the issues of mass production and consumption, and economic inequality.
Caroline Lucas from the Green Party has described, in an article in The Guardian newspaper, the types of changes that she would like to propose in the battle against capitalism and the destruction of our environment.
The heart of this approach is centred on rejecting the current government’s plot to make huge budget cuts, especially within the public services.
Instead, the Green Party are suggesting this country invests in a new “green infrastructure”, which would not only help in the fight against climate change and towards nature conservation, but it will also help create a huge number of jobs in the trade sector.
By regenerating every building in the UK to be highly energy efficient and partially self-reliant on their own energy supplies, this scheme could produce a huge number of jobs for numerous trades – such as engineers, plumbers, builders and electricians, to name just a few.
The possibility of implementing a new zero-waste strategy could also help create tens of thousands of jobs in the public service sector, especially for refuse collectors, and the party’s idea to train thousands of people in horticulture in order to produce more locally sourced food, would also produce many more jobs for people in their local areas.
This new Green “deal” is proposed to be funded partly by the new tax revenues generated by the scheme, as well as from private funding, repaid from savings on homeowners’ and businesses’ energy bills.
Could this be the future for an environment-friendly, economic equality-driven society? Only time will tell. Get in touch and give me your views on this proposal.
May 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm (lifestyle)
Tags: days out, ecocentres, ecopark, family activities, nature, wildlife trust
With the summer drawing in there is always one big question on the agenda…where do you take the kids? The six weeks holidays are a long time to fill, and most parents would agree that their days out with the little ones should be both fun and educational.
Get outdoors in Brum
Well hunt no more, as The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country hosts a number of weekly activity days down at their EcoPark in Small Heath. The EcoPark is an educational centre for children of all ages, which aims to teach children about their local environment and how to help protect it.
Children can take part in all kinds of exciting activities such as growing trees and vegetables, pond dipping, “minibeast” hunts and nature-themed arts and crafts. Most importantly, these activities will get the kids out in the fresh air, getting their bodies and minds active for the day.
More to offer
There are plenty more environmental activities on offer in the West Midlands. The kids will be spoilt for choice!
The Birmingham Nature Centre (run by Birmingham City Council) is home to a wide range of animals, such as red pandas, lemurs, cranes, otters and meerkats. The centre also has a wide collection of endangered reptiles, such as lizards and snakes.
With so many fascinating and unusual animals on display, those days of driving miles to the nearest zoo may be behind you. Birmingham’s Nature Centre is sure to impress and with entrance fees as little as £3.50 for adults, £1 for children aged 5-15 and under-5s going free, you could certainly afford to visit more than once this summer.
It gets better, as Birmingham is also home to an Outdoor Education Centre (BOEC), which offers exciting activities such as rope courses, zip wire, orienteering and even some water activities.
Not only does the centre offer a great day out for all the family, but it also aims to leave a lasting impression on its visitors about the importance of environmental and conservation work in the local area.
May 4, 2010 at 9:29 am (lifestyle)
Tags: exercise, nature, plants, well-being
UK researchers are claiming that just five minutes of exercise in a park or other “green space” can boost a person’s mental health.
According to the latest analysis, combining activities such as walking, jogging or cycling with a natural area can increase your well-being, vastly improving your general mood and self-esteem.
The BBC have released the results of this study from the Environmental Science and Technology journal, who have suggested that the strongest impact of this combination of exercise and “green space” was felt by the younger generations.
Five minutes of walking, cycling, fishing or horse riding (among other activities) gave participants an immense feeling of well-being. Longer periods of exercise in a green environment gave continued positive effects, but the magnitude of these effects was much smaller.
Earth and Water
Further research showed that a greater effect was seen when exercise was conducted in an environment that also contained water – such as a river or lake.
Study leader and researcher at the University of Essex, Jules Pretty, claimed that those who were stressed or suffering with a form of mental illness could potentially benefit most from this “green exercise”.
Paul Framer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, also showed support for this research, saying:
‘It’s important that people experiencing depression can be given the option of a range of treatments, and we would like to see all doctors considering exercise as a treatment where appropriate.’
Well, it’s got to be better than sweating it out on a treadmill in your living room, hasn’t it? What good could possibly come of staring at the reflection of your hot, red face in the TV – knowing that a kitchen full of junk food is just in the next room?
I say out with the in, and in with the out!