Eco-living is the art of living your dreams while minimising your impact on the environment. Topics will include waste, energy, recycling, green building, transport, food, product reviews, book reviews and anything else to help readers live within ecological limits.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Birds Again: Sparras
OK, so I'm posting a lot about birds at the minute...
Anyway, when we moved into our house eight years ago there were plenty of sparrows, now they are scarce. According to the Guardian, this decline is because gardens are too tidy to support enough insects. As a result, baby sparrows starve in the nest in their first four days. All my bird seed won't help either - they need those insects.
So, spare a thought for those poor little chicks and don't tidy your garden this winter. And, obviously, lay off the pesticide.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Green Business Bible
It is here!
Labels: green business bible
Monday, November 17, 2008
Just to follow up on my post about bird feeding - we had been giving them B&Q birdseed and they (the birds) didn't seem interested, then switched to Bill Oddie's recommended seed from Haith's and they've gone crazy for it. You can see the difference in the mix - less grain, more and different types of seeds.
We've had less success with squirrel protection - the Sunday Telegraph recommended cayenne pepper. We didn't have any but tried a mixture of paprika and chilli powder, but the grey git took no notice and had another go at mangling my feeder. Perhaps I should call my friend Rupert...
Monday, November 10, 2008
Feed the Birds
While much of this blog is about tackling big issues like global warming and unsustainable use of resources, it is important and satisfying to consider your very local environment as well. And at this time of the year, one of the best contributions you can make is to feed the birds. This is a bit more complicated than I first expected, but I've taken these tips from the RSPB website:
1. Don't use cheap plastic mesh bags of nuts - they damage birds' feet.
2. During the breeding season don't put out whole peanuts unless they are in wire mesh holders - baby birds can choke on the large nuts.
3. There are different qualities of birdseed - the better mixtures contain plenty of flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut granules. Wheat and barley grains are often included in seed mixtures, but they are really only suitable for pigeons, doves and pheasants. Avoid seed mixtures that have split peas, beans, dried rice or lentils as again only the large species can eat them dry.
We've two seed feeders and one mesh nut holder (pictured). This was raided by a squirrel, which we found amusing until we found it had rolled up the wire on the far side and spilt the lot. I've now nailed it down.
The really lovely thing about this is how much our 21 month old son loves watching the birds, in fact when we were on holiday, he loved finding them in a bird book - OK so he could only get the Robin, but you gotta start somewhere.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
The world celebrates as 'The One' is elected.
While I'm chuffed that the Bush Doctrine is dead, that Obama has shown that the colour of your skin and the nature of your name is no barrier to the highest positions in the world, and that Sarah Palin will never be near the presidency, I'm not getting prematurely excited on the environmental front.
While papers like the Guardian are proclaiming that there will be a new global climate deal and a huge boost to renewables, we should not forget what happened under the last Democrat president. Bill Clinton (then dubbed 'The First Black President" - a bit of a daft statement from today's perspective) and Al "Inconvenient Truth" Gore gutted the Kyoto agreement according to Tony Juniper. Clinton tried to add some green varnish to his rule by rushing through a raft of green legislation in the fag end months of his incumbency knowing that they would be booted into touch by the incoming Bush Jr.
So, while there is a much better chance of moving forward on climate under Obama and he's made all the right noises so far, I'm waiting to see what happens when the wheels of that aspiration hit the rough road of reality.