Warwick mums learn how to knit

    A pioneering partnership initiative between Action 21, Warwick District U3A (University of the Third Age) and Westgate Children’s Centre in Warwick has been attracting young mums from Warwick to learn how to knit.   As part of our Skill Share project, members of the local U3A ‘Woolpack’ knitting group have been running free […]

Meet Our Newest Member of Staff!

After a very successful recruitment drive, we’re excited to welcome Action 21’s newest member of staff! Our income is up sufficiently to be able to employ a Bicycle Workshop Coordinator three days a week. Having a dedicated member of staff will enable us to develop the Bike Workshop project further, increase the quality and quantity […]

How to have a Sustainable Christmas

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, halls decked with boughs of holly and wheelie bins overflowing with five extra bags of household waste. A contemporary Christmas is founded on excess – too much television, too many presents and too many sprouts. As a nation, we tend to spend a lot of time talking about the […]

Sustainability in the Home: An Oily Mess

At this moment, in kitchens across the country, meals are in the process of being cooked. The ignition for so many of these meals – cooking fats and oils – may be left to pool in the pan, forgotten about until they come to be wiped away in the washing up bowl. What seems like […]

Food Part 5: Organic Food

The organic standards for food in the UK are laid down in European Union (EU) law. Any food labelled ‘organic’ must meet these standards. They cover all aspects of food production, from animal welfare and wildlife conservation, to food processing and packaging. Organic food sold in the UK must display a certification symbol or number. […]

Will the Bank of England cash-in on polymer technology?

Australia has boasted investments into complex polymer material since 1988, and has since witnessed several countries relying upon the thin film polypropylene polymer in the form of plastic bank notes. The number of countries converting from paper notes to the use of polymer bank notes is gradually increasing; currently sitting at 23 countries such as […]

Sustainability in the Home: How computer games could make your household more sustainable

Trying to convince children to do something about climate change can be a challenging task. They have been born into a world where this abstract concept – so much less urgent than who’s sitting next to who in Geography or why a sibling got an unfairly large amount of time on the computer – is […]

Food Part 4: Organic Farming

Organic farming recognises the direct connection between our health and how the food we eat is produced. Organic farming does: Reduce soil erosion and loss of soil fertility Preserve the habitat of local wildlife Develop fertile soil by rotating crops and using compost, manure and clover Encourage wildlife to help control pests and disease Provide […]

Welsh ministers succumb to pressures of marine zone protests

The year of 2012 saw vast developments in the cohesion of political and environmental conservation relations, exemplified by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s widely publicised “Fish Fight” campaign to reduce fish waste (discards) by introducing more marine conservation zones (MCZS). Protecting sea beds and habitats are the pivotal focus of MCZs, ultimately mitigating the damage caused by fishing […]

Food Part 3: Sustainable Agriculture

  Here’s part three in our series on sustainable food production.   Sustainable agriculture, in contrast to conventional farming, looks to the long-term fertility of the soil, and to crop varieties that suit local conditions. Some key principles of more sustainable agriculture include:   Conservation and preservation: What is taken out of the environment is […]

Indonesia and Singapore clouds plant seeds of hope

Governments of Indonesia and Singapore are employing controversial cloud seeding technologies in a bid to increase rainfall and subsequently limit forest fire desolation.   Forest fires engulfing peatland hotspots in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia are a common sight during the dry season, resulting in an immeasurable harsh haze with costly consequences. The ongoing devastation to […]

Is the future lit by the Moser lamp?

In 2002, Brazilian mechanic Alfredo Moser had a ‘light-bulb moment’ which has since illuminated homes and businesses across the world. Moser’s simple but brilliant invention was sparked during a blackout in Brazil. Like multiple ingenious ideas, its simplicity is such that one wonders how no one had thought of it previously. After drilling holes into […]

Food Part 2: Chemicals in Farming

This post is part two of a series on the sustainability issues affecting food and food production.   Research has found that many chemicals used in conventional farming practices can have harmful effects on human health – including on farm workers themselves. The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated around 20,000 farm chemical-related illnesses each year […]

Delicacy or disgust: consuming insects for a healthier body and environment

It may be of great surprise to many that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation is advocating a rise in the consumption of insects, targeting the “cultural bias” of the Western world. With obesity levels doubling to 500 million people since the 1980s, health concerns alone are a motivational force to implement these nutritious […]

Sustainability at home: Audit your energy

Each day, energy and money silently leaks from your home via the walls, windows and sockets. Auditing energy is a useful way to understand where such losses are occurring. This can be undertaken by a professional or carried out as a DIY job. DIY is a cost-effective approach, using the last 12 months’ utility bills […]

Food Part 1: Conventional Agriculture

  This post marks the first in a series on food production, and what we can do to eat and buy sustainably.   Conventional agriculture Conventional agriculture aims to get high yields for minimum direct costs. Practices include using industrial fertilisers and pesticides, and rearing animals intensively indoors. Food production has hugely increased over the […]

Climate change poses threat of extinction to Australian possums

The mountain pygmy possum has journeyed across Australia for over 25 million years. Today, the survival of the species is threatened by climate change. Only 2000-2600 possums remain in Australia. Their extinction could be determined by a relatively small increase in temperature; from only a rise of 1C, the continent could see its first climate […]

Cleaner water, flawless home

The use of toxic cleaners is causing UK water quality to plummet as the nitrogen-rich mixtures flow into water bodies, proving problematic for aquatic life and water itself. To lessen further reduction in water quality, use items in your cupboard: white vinegar kills bacteria on mirrors and windows; deodorise fridges and freezers with baking soda; […]

The Benefits of Buying Local

A whopping 13% of the UK’s fossil fuel consumption goes on packaging and transporting food. To transport one calorie of carrot into the UK takes 68 calories of air fuel, a fact made more depressing when taking into account all the gardens and allotments of Britain that blossom with carrots every year. As we all […]

Fish Fingerprinting

  In line with the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act, wild salmon caught out at sea must be returned to waters unharmed; this ensures the salmon population remains at a sustainable number. However, the illegal selling of wild salmon has proved hard to trace due to a lack of quantitative information differentiating between wild and […]

Food and Oil

In this week’s Knowledge Centre post, we take a look at the relationship between food and oil. Agriculture depends on fossil fuels. This may seem obvious – of course the global exchanges of foodstuffs today require products to travel petrol-gulping distances in planes, lorries and trucks – but less transparent is the fact that modern […]

A bill worth sustaining?

The highly anticipated Energy Bill has been announced, to the relief of environmental bodies and the anguish of the taxpayer. To achieve the 2020 Climate Change Act targets, energy companies are to invest £7.6bn in low-carbon power, the knock-on effect being an additional £110 to the average household bill by 2020. The Bill has won […]

Re-thinking mechanised time

  There are many sustainable design theories focusing on the use of ‘happy’ individuals and societies to create a sustainable world.  I agree it is an element we need to consider. Once a person is content with their own space they have the opportunity to look elsewhere and consider the consequences of their actions on […]

The Largest Climate Rally Ever

Obama is considering giving the ‘go ahead’ to the Keystone XL pipeline, despite huge contest. Just under a fortnight ago, environmental groups built a wall against the approval– morally and literally. In what is described as the ‘largest climate rally ever’, environmentalist groups unified in their thousands at the National Mall – a rare occurrence […]