Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Weds 11th April 07

A lovely day weatherwise so got started early with some Green Party local election leaflet deliveries. I went with Debbie who enjoyed the round last time and had asked that she could help again. This delivery was Fishergate Ward, but a different area, someone elses round. It didn't take long with the two of us and we visited some housing we hadn't seen before, new flats and small houses off Hull Road.

I cycled into town to do my Wednesday compostables pick up, and got some vegan ice cream for Gill who reacts badly to cow's milk products. Vegan products also have less of a carbon footprint too, as cows produce loads of methane and use lots of resources such as water and feed, which has it's own carbon footprint. The 'Swedish Glace'ice cream also tastes lovely, but is a lot more expensive than dairy.

I also visited the Yorkshire Museum with the Morel fungus I found over the weekend on the allotment. Pip Strang the expert there says she will identify it... I was suprised to hear from her that there are 18 British species, my book lists just two! She'll contact me with a identification in a couple of weeks.

During the afternoon I did a lot of riddling of finished compost, to make the stuff usable and separate the uncomposted sticks and non-compostables (stones, little bits of plastic) from the fantastic crumbly rich particles of 'humus' or biologically active carbon-rich matter, perfect for adding to growing media for healthy plants and crops. The seeds are in, I need lots of compost to add to leafmold and loam to grow them in. So I'm bagging up the riddled stuff ready for this season. My riddle is a sheet of chicken wire mounted on a wooden frame, about 1.5m square. I also have a 'rotaseive' which is smaller and has smaller holes, producing a finer grained compost.

This afternoon's York Press had our letters published, mine about the lack of response from Lloyds TSB about my offering to help them with reducing waste, and one from Gill saying she considered me an Eco-Lover not an Eco-Warrior.

In the evening I attended the first meeting of York CRAG, Carbon Rationing Action Group. This was interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. The basic idea is to help citizens to reduce their carbon emissions and save resources for future generations. This will be done by offering a carbon calculator to measure annual emissions, and setting a target to try to aim for (or under!). There will be regular meetings to inform, educate and encourage, perhaps themed to get people with different interests involved and on board. We may perhaps set a penalty for those who go over the target, a financial penalty per kilo, which would be paid into an account and used to offset those extra emissions. The offsetting could be local, such as helping to pay for insulation or energy efficient lightbulbs for a CRAG member who's finding the target difficult to attain. We're meeting in a fortnight and will debate and agree Mission, Aims and Objectives plus discuss (and agree?) the structure of the group.

I got home just in time to see the Newsnight 'Ethical Man' special, in which I featured, helping Justin Rowlatt with composting and helping Ethical Man go on his way ethically, by composting him. It was a good programme and I think was a fitting end to his year-long project. And I've benefitted as I now have a column in Community Care magazine (starting at the end of the month) and a new career begnning.

What a day!

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