Help Ensure a Future for South Georgia’s Wildlife

South Georgia is a unique and beautiful place. Along with having a rich human heritage, it is also home to a wide range of marine and terrestrial wildlife from elephant seals to King Penguins! The island is particularly famous for its seabirds and is considered as one of the most important seabird islands in the world. Tragically many of the species which live there face the risk of extinction.

King Penguin - Roy Bishop

King Penguin – Roy Bishop

The main reason for this has been the introduction of Norwegian Brown rats as a result of sealing and whaling activities in the area. Although such practices have been stopped, the island is still suffering from the devastation caused by these destructive little creatures.  The rats developed a taste for the chicks and eggs of ground-nesting bird species such as the Storm Petrel, Prions and Blue Petrels. As a result, many of these lovely birds have fled the island leaving it bare.

Black browed Albatross chick - Ewan Edwards

Black browed Albatross chick – Ewan Edwards

On top of all this, climate change is making things worse. Global warming is causing South Georgia’s glaciers to melt at a rapid rate.  Such glaciers have been acting as barriers, protecting certain areas from this invasion of the rats. If these remaining barriers disappear, the few surviving bird populations are likely to flow suit.

To the rescue!

Healthy Planet’s conservation partners, South Georgian Heritage Trust (SGHT) have been working hard to protect the current wildlife on the island and prevent any further damage. In order to achieve this, the trust has embarked on the largest habitat restoration project ever attempted. The aim of this ground-breaking project is to save the island’s native birds from extinction by eradicating all introduced rodents from South Georgia by 2015. This is a mammoth task and the first phase alone approximately cost a whopping £7million in total! With the support of Healthy Planet, the SGHT has managed to complete the fundraising for Phase 1 (clearance of rodents from trial areas around King Edward Point and Grytviken) is complete!

Image by Deirdre Galbraith

Image by Deirdre Galbraith

Looking to the future…

The SGHT now urgently needs help to raise the funds for Phase 2 of the project – eradicating rodents form the remainder of South Georgia. This will cost another £5.5 million.

Healthy Planet has recently received a Project update from, Tony Martin, the Project Director, in which he beautifully depicted the splendor of South Georgia as well as the trials and tribulations they face in such a challenging environment.

Helicopter flying over icecap with bait bucket - Tony Martin

Helicopter flying over icecap with bait bucket – Tony Martin

In February 2013 ‘Team Rat’, as Tony describes them, embarked on the exciting journey known as Phase 2. Before first light people were up and about on deck and within the 24 hours the team had pulled enough supplies to clear rats from 77 square km of the island (25 tons of bait and 108 drums of fuel). After having unloaded the most precious cargo, the helicopters, Team Rat was ready to start the difficult task of depositing the supplies to 14 different sites around the island.

Despite severe weather conditions, including blizzards and gale force winds, the team have already successfully managed to set up bases around the south coast and western end of the island.  They are now coming to the end of this labour intensive process, with only a few days to go before they begin the all-important bating work.

Helicopter flying over icecap with bait bucket - Tony Martin

Helicopter flying over icecap with bait bucket – Tony Martin

‘Team Rat’ needs your support! By donating today you are can help the South Georgia Heritage Trust to preserve the island and its natural heritage.

For more information about the Habitat Restoration Project visit http://www.sght.org/

By Nicole Costantini

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What Has Nature Ever Done For Us? by Tony Juniper – Review

What Has Nature Ever Done For Us’ by Tony Juniper – a leading environmental campaigner and sustainability advisor – is a remarkable book which highlights the true value of the natural world, and the true economic cost of human ignorance in modern day development. 

What Has Nature Ever Done For Us? by Tony Juniper (2012)

What Has Nature Ever Done For Us? by Tony Juniper (2012)

After getting thoroughly engorged into the first few chapters, I was fortunate enough to attend a book club hosted by Friends of the Earth with my manager Dawn Newton, where we had the opportunity to meet Tony Juniper himself (and get my book signed – eeeek!) and learn first-hand about his motivations for writing ‘What Has Nature Ever Done For Us’. He passionately spoke how science is basically communicated to the general public in Swahili, with poor communication methods effectively building great walls and further separating environmentalists, and everyone else.

Juniper’s key aim therefore was to communicate the science to all audiences, which he fulfilled by explaining the complexity and interdependency of nature in a story-like fashion. He produced an engaging and highly readable account of how we as a population are literally liquidating the capital of the Earth.

Tony Juniper - Executive Director

Image provided by Friends of the Earth

To introduce the complex web of interactions and relationships occurring within the Earth’s system, the prologue tells the story of Biosphere 2, the first man-made version of the biosphere which incorporated a variety of the world’s ecosystems in individual biomes. This introduction outlines how a group of eight people embarked on a 2 year experiment in a microcosm of the Earth’s closed systems and the trials, tribulations and complexities they faced.

Juniper then continues to address the importance of the different components of the Earth’s system and their vital interactions. He explains to the reader the full importance of nature’s processes; constantly moving from a cold statistic to a vivid anecdote about the economic failures we have already faced as a consequence of our need to fund our exploding population and consumption habits.

A favourite example of mine concerned the Indian vultures – a scavenger which typically doesn’t pluck at the heart strings of conservationists – who suffered a population decline of 40 million birds following the introduction of a painkiller into cattle, the carcasses of which were a key source of food for the vultures. The original aim was to increase the farmer’s revenue by increasing the productivity of the cattle; however the painkiller proved poisonous to the vultures instigating a population crash and left mountains scattered with ‘putrefying fly-ridden corpses’. The consequence was more wild dogs, more dog bites, and a rabies epidemic which cost the Indian economy $30 billion.

Indian Vulture

Junipers key message is that we must put a price on nature if we are to ensure the long term preservation of our natural assets, and in turn maintain the long-term benefits the natural world provides. Nature’s services are not free and are not limitless. To capitalize on this goal we need to move away from our ‘green economy’ dominated by engineers and politicians, and move to a ‘bio economy’ where like during the construction of Biosphere 2, ecologists, climatologists, engineers, politicians, and businesses all work together to maximise our understanding and achieve our common goal.

Overall this book has provided the opportunity for readers from all walks of life to understand the difficulties faced by the natural world and our interwoven fate.

If you aren’t eager enough to buy the book already here are links to other reviews from the Guardian, by Designs On Earth, and by Friends of the Earth! 

And if your still not convinced visit Tony Juniper’s website…

Finally if any of you are interested in attending future Friends of the Earth book clubs visit their webpage with video of Tony (which also has the link to buy the book) contact: foebookclub@foe.co.uk

tumblr_m04d7lhXKL1qc6j5yo1_500Want to do something to help?

Healthy Planet’s Conservation Community allows you to directly impact the difficulties faced by the natural world. It is a fun and engaging way for anyone, anywhere to support real conservation projects that are helping make a healthier planet.

Visit the community and get on the map. www.conservationcommunity.org

Blog post written by Rhiannon Downer: Marketing & Communications intern at Healthy Planet

Get On the Map!

Conservation Community launch event_Nov 12On Tuesday 27th November I attended my first event as part of the Healthy Planet team at the launch of the Conservation Community and the Get on the Map initiative, which attracted a full crowd of enthusiastic attendees to Google Campus London.

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Shaylesh Patel – click on image to enlarge

The Talks
The evening kicked off with an inspiring talk from Shaylesh Patel founder of Healthy Planet, with the hard-hitting line “for the first time since records began, our kids are on track to lead a shorter life than their parents’’ – what a way to engage an audience! Shaylesh passionately spoke about the greener and healthier choices that we, as individuals, can make to help create a better planet for future generations, and the wide variety of projects that Healthy Planet has initiated. Being a new intern at the organisation the success of the projects astounded me as much as the audience! The Books for Free initiative for example, has so far saved over 2 million books from being pulped or sent to landfill – that is a whole lot of books!

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Dr Mark Mulligan – click on image to enlarge

Next up on stage was Dr Mark Mulligan – lecturer at King’s College London and chair of the conservation advisory board for the Healthy Planet Foundation. Mark – clearly an avid conservationist – explained the core concepts behind the development of the Conservation Community which aims to combine knowledge, technology and people to actively get involved in conservation through the use of mapping and social networking. The online experience allows the user to choose projects to get involved in, create an online profile, interact with members and spread the word of conservation to the wider community. Amusingly the social media fanatics in the room all looked extremely excited at the prospect of creating a new online profile and being awarded with badges for frantically tweeting!

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Ed Parsons – click on image to enlarge

The final speaker of the evening was Ed Parsons – Google’s Geospatial Technologist – who ended the talks with a surge of optimism. He outlined the major impacts that technological advances have already had on increasing global communication and social interaction, and the positive knock on effects to global conservation. Ed continued to say that as technology continues to spread, we as individuals can build relationships with conservation projects that we care about, we can tackle local and global issues, and we can make a real impact on the natural world.

The Activities
AL0A4192The clearly inspired audience were then given the opportunity to make their own individual conservation hopes and dreams heard. To start, everyone was assigned to a team which reflected a current Conservation Community project – I was team Tiger to reflect the Phoenix Fund mission to conserve the Amur Tigers in the Russia Far East.

After learning about the different approaches Healthy Planet are undertaking to increase the conservation of each species, everyone was asked to think of their own conservation wish and attach the wish to the Healthy Planet Map – note the name of the initiative Get on the Map! Reading some of these wishes was definitely the highlight of my evening, seeing everyone talk about their favourite animals and what they would like to see done to help conserve our world for centuries to come was inspiring! All these wishes are online on flickr for everyone to view.

Conservation wishes

My personal favourite wish has to be “that future generations will be able to enjoy immense biodiversity both overseas and in the UK”.

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The Chat
The final part of the evening ‘networking’ was the part I was most dreading! Typically, when I’m nervous I stumble over my words and end up hiding in a corner, so the idea of approaching a complete stranger and plucking an intellectual conversation from thin air was terrifying! Fortunately for me however, whilst debating whether I was safer hiding in the ladies or under the stage, I was approached by a lovely young gentleman who too admitted to contemplating running to the foyer and texting his entire address book as a tempting solution to his nerves. Surprisingly I was much more at ease after this conversation – safety in numbers and all. Soon the buzz of the evening filled the air, the conversation (and wine) was easily flowing, ideas were bounding, and the growing interest in the Conservation Community was obvious.

Animal themed photo booth

Animal themed photo booth

The Food
The final triumph of the evening was the excellently chosen vegan canapé selection which was provided by Vegan Peasant Catering. The food was delicious, and that is coming from someone who usually shrivels away from a humus pot and anything resembling a vegetable. I can proudly say I tried Tahini Ganoush and Sage Crisp & Candied Lemon Zest on Crostini. In addition for anyone reading this who wants to spark a conversation with a group of powerful looking women –  go armed with a tray of Pink Sea Salted Brownies, women are like putty in your hands. See all the photos from the event on Healthy Planet Flickr.

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Find out more at on the Conservation Community Website our storify from the night or Follow Us on Twitter or Facebook!

You can watch the talks on You Tube Conservation Community launch by Healthy Planet at Google Campus

We are currently editing a short film by potentialproductions.org which will include excerpts from the event and mini interviews with the guests, watch this space.

Blog post written by Rhiannon Downer: Marketing & Communications intern at Healthy Planet

Healthy Planet’s First Round of ‘Books for Free’ Overseas

Shaylesh @ Kurdistan Library Opening
Shaylesh @ Kurdistan Library Opening

Shaylesh @ Kurdistan Library Opening

Blog by Healthy Planet Founder – Shaylesh Patel

COMMUNITY SPIRIT – IF YOU DON’T ASK, YOU DON’T GET

Laween is in his early 20s and a British born, first generation Kurd living in the UK.  At this young age he has done more for charity and the community than many do in their entire life.  His contribution and willingness to learn and grow through this type of work has (I am sure) also helped him professionally – he is the Chief Research Officer at one of the NHS Hospitals.  I really do recommend anyone to take up the chance to do more than just your normal job if you can – you will be amazed at the outcome – both personally and professionally.

I met Laween Atroshi and another representative of the Kurdish Community in the UK at Heathrow’s check-in for the first time.  We had spoken several times after he approached our projects and logistics team following a Google search for “free books”.

Cheekily he asked us for 20,000 to help set up the first English Library in a town in Kurdistan, the northern region of Iraq.  He asked, he got.

GIVING TO IRAQ

Laween also had the insight to appreciate that we, like others in the past, were probably worried about wastage of our donation along the way.  He arranged for the Ministry of culture and Media to arrange and pay for the transport as well as vetting our donated books on arrival for suitability, as well as finding a good site to run this free service.  Plus he offered us the chance to visit the books and view first hand that there was a real hunger for our books.

Surprisingly the Healthy Planet team members who had been dealing with Laween did not jump at the chance to go to Iraq, but nominated me instead!

LET’S GET THE EMBARRASSING STUFF OUT THE WAY FIRST

As my wife was not with me, she did correctly predict I would suffer (not sure what she meant at the time) and embarrass myself too.

Firstly I got several looks of “I don’t understand” and “why” when Laween tried to explain my veggie status at restaurants.  The hotel we stayed at did not even serve the emergency veggie protocol dish of “chips” – so you can imagine what happened to my eating and related body parts!

Speaking of which Iraq, like India, still has many of the squat style toilets – I almost wrote ‘old fashioned’ but really I should probably write ‘healthy’.  After all, it stretches and massages muscles that most of us in the western world forgot existed; you carry less baggage (so to speak) at the end of your visit and you probably gain a few minutes a day because you don’t sit around chilling in these ones.  Also less of this region’s precious commodity, water, is used in this system.  Hygiene issues tend to arise because of the heat and the wider infrastructure – Toilet Humour aside, lessons can be learned by both the East and West on this subject.  Let’s make Number 2, the new number 1.

The no hanky panky rule before marriage and focus on family is a big difference to life in the UK.  My cultural boo-boo came because I was caught with my trousers up so to speak.  Here it is considered rude to have one knee crossed over the other when seated in the presence of your elders.  Laween asked me to keep both my feet firmly on the ground at all times.  To avoid the bonus embarrassment of being explained this in public, he sent me a text even though he was sitting right next to me – what a gent!

EACH BOOK LOVER HAS THEIR OWN STORY

Whilst in Kurdistan, I was asked by a museum curator and the head of an arts centre if our library included any music scores or archaeology.  I don’t think the Guinness Book of Records from the late 80s or the singing Bob the Builder were what they wanted, but there was probably one or two treasures to dig out from the 20,000.  However, what set my mind at ease the most, about whether 20,000 books would be appreciated as much as by our UK Books for Free Centre visitors, was when I was approached by one of the junior staff at my comfortable, but not fancy hotel.

his story goes like this….
Laween and I had checked in at the hotel from our flight at 4am and re-emerged from our rooms at 0930.  This very young helper in the breakfast area had heard me and Laween talking in English about our plans for the trip – there was no mention of books or the library at this stage.  He later approached me and a very eerie thing happened.

He asked me for a book in English! Given why I was there, you might be surprised, but I did not have one.
He explained that he previously was an English literature student from Syria but now a refugee in Kurdistan and he really wanted to learn English and progress.  He had the drive but not the resource.

In my many travels I have been asked for clothes, food, money and toys but never books.  Perhaps it was a sign from the book god!

Anyway over the next few days (after the library opening and being spotted by a taxi driver who saw us on the news) I was able to show him pics of the books and share the address of the library with him.  Of course, as well as ‘books’ one of the other favourite words in the healthy planet dictionary that came up during this conversation was ….’free’.  He was clearly one of the citizens of the area that would not have been able to pay to learn if this was a charging library.

Books.  Free.  Interested audience.  Job done.

MY TRAVEL BLOG

I used to work at a travel agent and have seen the positive and negative social, environmental and economic (triple bottom line) impact of tourism and travel in general.   I don’t have any qualifications on the subject but have an inquisitive mind and normally have a family in tow so notice lots of otherwise unnoticed things.  This is my first journey as a lone business-style traveller for a while and I have had a little more time than normal to make some observations.

Alot of the similarities and differences between countries and climates come down to the weather, cultural and economic climate of the nation and their priorities.

In Kurdistan that point really hit home when I got to the front door of the Save The Children office here.  Laween and I were asked to leave our guns at the front before entering the building.  This is clearly quite a normal question here and not something I am used too (well, not since being searched at a London tube station just after 7/7 when I had a full rucksack and a 6’ roller banner in a bazooka looking tube hanging off my back – a fair spot check, I think).

With their relatively recent history of persecution you can understand why health, security and infrastructure rank ahead of promoting green things like recycling.

So although there are plastic water bottles and coke cans on the hillsides and picnic spots it did not actually seem to be much more than what I have seen around the UK.  These guys are broadly speaking very proud of their homeland.  Also, although globally, we have started to question the plastic water bottle for its non-green and unhealthy status, we should not forget that it is us that are not recycling 7 out of 8 of them (they do not walk to the recycling centres themselves).  Also, here in Iraq I am not the only one grateful for their existence at the moment – they are helping reduce the spread of the cholera outbreak .  I am sure some clever spark will find a triple bottom line winning answer to the modern day equivalent of the Chicken and Egg question.

Many of the hotels are not progressed enough to have the ‘signs’ indicating whether you want your room made up or not; reusing towels; recycling bins etc, but the staff do make an effort to accommodate your needs and do some small things that make sense in their climate.

For example power cuts out  are not uncommon, so they have back-up generators, and electrical products are relatively costly and harder to repair, so whenever they clean the rooms (and between visitors) the TV and satellite box are switched off from the mains.  Travelling can be relaxing and stressful at the same time, making it hard for the hotels etc to get anything right in the eyes of a moody, stressed traveller.

No one explained why my TV did not switch on whilst I lazily pressed the buttons on the remote,  but I figured it out and also why – probably because I have seen and done many of these things having spent lots of family time in un-tourist parts of India and because I am the tight git in the office turning off all the screens, the wireless and microwave in the office at the end of the day (or earlier to the annoyance of our night owl, Head Gardener – sorry!)

A lot of the time if the traveller is given the chance to understand the ‘why’, they accept the reason and get less agitated – but that requires 2 things – an attempt to communicate by the business and a willingness by the traveller to overcome the temptation of the “I have paid for it” mentality we all succumb too sometimes.  I even came across it at my local gym when (after ignoring several past opportunities)  I politely asked a fellow shaver to turn off the tap between dunks of his blade because of the drought.  “Who is paying for it” and what “it” is, are both part of another story for another day.

The leisure and travel sectors are on Healthy Planet’s “To Work With” list, so if you feel you know an organisation that wants to take the lead then give us a shout.  That’s how www.booksforfree.org.uk  and www.stuffforfree.org.uk  started.

Pic below (from left to right: Laween Atroshi, the library manager and Shaylesh Patel)Image

Are we nearly there yet?

Reading the recent news about the Arctic ice, waves of fear swept through many an eco-conscious person. Each year we get told the situation is urgent and as campaigners there is a concern that people will suffer from crisis fatigue. We are repeatedly told of the urgency of the problem you can feel numb, and further stick your head into the sand.

For campaigners this is a disaster as we need to keep people taking those little steps to get to those big changes we need.

So what can be done? Well obviously there are a number of simple things that people can do. A quick web search will give you no end of options. Change your lightbulbs, drive less and eat less meet.

What interests me is the formation of habits and the promotion of our ideal world. Making environmental choices a habit will certainly be one of those tools needed to affect positive change. Connected with that is the focus needed on the positive. Talking about disaster and XXX and may move someone to action but for many it will shock them into inaction. What is important is to talk about all the benefits that can be gained if we make the change. Cleaner, better public transport, more jobs, better quality, able to heat your home in the winter and much more.

There are great examples of where this is already working, recycling is one. We have been conditioned to put separate waste outside our homes for collection. Over the years this action has become so normalised that even the most ardent climate change skeptic gas guzzling drives are starting to wash out their plastic bottles each week. Saying you don’t recycle gains the same expression as someone who doesn’t wear a seat belt. If people in the green movement could utilise this sort of habit forming then it will make the job a whole lot easier.

A better world is possible. We have small pockets of society which have got it right but much more is needed from the citizens of the world.

Meat Free Monday

Meat Free Monday

We need to make things easier and more attractive. It’s a simple message that has been said before but we forget it at our peril.

Top 5 things you can do:

  1. Eat less meat – try meat free Mondays
    http://www.meatfreemondays.co.uk/
  2. Change your lightbulbs to energy saving bulbs
    http://www.ecogiggle.com/information/energy-saving-light-bulbs.html
  3. Drive less and bike / walk more
    http://www.sustrans.org.uk/what-we-do/national-cycle-network http://www.walk4life.info/
  4. Repair, reuse & recycle things as much as possible
    http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/rrr.html
  5. When you do need to buy something new – choose locally sourced foods & eco versions – particularly appliances
    http://www.redtractor.org.uk/Behind-the-Logo
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_energy_lab

You can also get involved in Books for Free http://www.healthyplanet.org/booksforfree & Stuff for Free http://www.healthyplanet.org/stuffforfree

More ideas here: http://lilmyssdoodlez.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/simple-eco-tips.html

About our guest blogger: Adam Roxby

Adam is a student nurse, environmental campaigner, Karate Black belt and blogger. Adam’s blog can be found here: http://optical-minefield.co.uk/

Rising ocean acidity poses major threat to marine life

Rising acidity levels in the earth’s oceans are causing a serious threat to marine life, which Healthy Planet is helping to combat.

As levels of atmospheric CO2 climb, the amount of damaging gas absorbed by the earth’s oceans is at a worrying level. A staggering 85% of human CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels are absorbed into the ocean as water and air mix at the ocean’s surface. 530 billion tons of the gas is disposed of in this way and the worldwide rate is now at 1 million tons per hour.

The geochemical balance is changing due to oceans becoming acidified, but only recently scientists have begun to investigate the implications this is having on the earth and climate change. These natural changes are causing the mass extinction of several species throughout earth’s waters. The affect to marine life is relatively young at the moment yet organisms are already feeling the effects. Prime examples include shelled or skeletal structures made from calcium carbonate such as corrals, molluscs and many forms of plankton.

As carbon dioxide enters the oceans the reaction forms carbonic acid. This process harms not only our seafood but also smaller species which are vital to the worldwide food web. If these are wiped out the ripple up the food chain would affect fish, birds and mammals.

Healthy Planet is helping to battle this with their Plant a Tree Today (PATT) foundation.  The aim is to restore areas which have suffered deforestation. This will improve environmental conditions by capturing and storing carbon dioxide within plants, trees and the soil which would otherwise be present in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide can be captured before or after fossil fuels are burned and stored within the earth.

What can we do? There are numerous options available whether you want to act independently or get your company involved.

Businesses can:

  • Form partnerships with PATT, not just with funding but through beneficial training and corporate events where your staff can do something positive.
  •  Gain skills and contacts through team building events which are positive to the environment.
  •  Reduce company operations that have a direct negative impact on the environment in relation to global warming.
  • Go carbon-free by identifying and reducing your company operations that have a negative impact on the environment.

Individuals can:

  • Get involved through local government by making your voice heard and affect legislation through representatives.
  • Raise awareness through fundraising
  • Take steps to go carbon free
  • Donate and volunteer with PATT

Many of us want to do something to help, and by getting involved with Healthy Planets PATT foundation we can make a real contribution. To get involved visit www.pattfoundation.org to find out how you can get involved.

Richmond Park needs our help!

Formed in 1637 by Charles I for hunting deer, Richmond Park is now a National Nature Reserve and London’s largest site of Special Scientific Interest. This is because the park is home to many ancient trees, which are of great importance to wildlife; as the trees and their decaying wood supports many endangered species of insect and fungi.

The park is still recognised for its deer. Unfortunately many of the park’s 130,000 trees, including those that provide food for the deer populations, are now under threat from disease and climate change. Both native and climate-resistant tree species are desperately needed to encourage regrowth and biodiversity.

That’s why Healthy Planet is working in association with Friends of Richmond Park to protect this historic area, and we need your help!

As well as our supporting the work of our conservation partners around the world, you can adopt a plot online to support conservation on our doorstep in London. Find out more and adopt a plot in Richmond Park on the Healthy Planet website.

Or you could come and find out more about our award winning Adopt a Plot Project by visiting Healthy Planet at the Ideal Home Show. We are located on Princes Avenue, at Stand 1H93 and will be there until 1 April. To find out what we are up to and how you can get a 10% discount for the show please read our previous blog. It would be great to see you there!

Britain’s Biggest Climate Change Campaign – 12 to 18 March 2012

Climate Week is a supercharged national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. It culminates in thousands of events and activities, planned by organisations from every sector of society. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

Climate Week is backed by every part of society – from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the Met Office, the TUC to the CBI, Girlguiding UK to the National Association of Head Teachers. It is supported by a Headline Partner Tesco, and four Supporting Partners: EDF Energy, H&M, Nissan and SodaStream. During the first Climate Week in 2011 over 3,000 events were attended by half a million people across the UK.

To find out more about getting involved in Climate Week go to www.climateweek.com

For more information on Healthy Planet please email conservation@healthyplanet.org

Cold weather sees UK Greenhouse emissions rise.

Government figures released this month have revealed that in 2010 UK greenhouse emissions rose for the first time in several years. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said that the exceptionally cold weather that year was responsible, as it had led to an increase in domestic fuel consumption.

He added: “One year won’t knock the UK off meeting its long-term emission reduction targets, but it serves to underline the [need] for insulating homes in order to cut bills and emissions”

Insulating your home could be seen as an unaffordable extravagance in the present economy. However, government insulation grants are available for all home owners, with savings up to 100% depending on eligibility. To find out more please visit: government-grants.co.uk.

While this survey highlights the need to reduce our heating bills it is important to remember that there are many other ways to reduce the energy you use at home and save you money!

So here are five simple ways to be more energy efficient at home:

  1. Use energy efficient light bulbs. Each bulb could save you up to £7 a year.
  2. Don’t leave unused electrical items on standby. While this saves a few seconds according to Friends of the Earth your appliances can still use up to 70% of their active energy, costing you lots of money for doing nothing. It is also believed that switching off extends the life of electrical appliances.
  3. Turn down your heating. By reducing the temperature by 1% the Energy Savings Trust believe you will save 10% off the cost of your heating bill and that you won’t even notice the difference.
  4. Look after your boiler. After 10 years boilers begin to become less and less efficient, while newer models convert the energy more effectively.
  5. Change your energy supplier. While not saving energy this can lead to savings of over £100 a year!

Go green for 2010: five ways to change for good

If you’re already struggling to meet your new year’s resolutions – whether you’re trying to quit smoking, loose 10 pounds, or trim your spending – we’ve come up with five top tips to keep you green in 2010.

If we do nothing, rising global temperatures will seriously affect our personal health and the health of our planet. So, we at Healthy Planet have a few things you can do right now to help combat climate change that might tick some of your other new year’s resolution boxes as well.

Healthy Planet’s top tips to help save the planet

1. Adopt land in one of the world’s protected parks
Making a difference to environmental change can be easier than you might think. Join Stephen Fry and Nigel Marven to become a land guardian – choose and personalise your plot in any of the world’s 70,000 protected parks in 2010 using Google technology. Adopt land now.

2. Get a unique code for your school Follow in the footsteps of Eastenders’ Charlie Brooks to make the most of your cash, help your school and help the planet at the same time. By using a school’s unique code for every plot you adopt, starting from £20, you will be funding Healthy Planet’s conservation work and £9 (45%) will be given back to your choosen school in a Healthy Learning grant. Help your school and help the planet.

3. Encourage local businesses to turn their empty commercial space green
Healthy Planet charity qualifies for an 80% rates concession, so if you’re paying business rates on empty commercial space then you could save 50% or more on your rates by handing over your empty office and retail space to us. We’ll brighten up your high street with images of beautiful parkland and encourage your community to think green too. Save on rates with us.


4. Get healthy and reap the rewards

Sign up to our “Healthy Choices” Rewards Programme and/or adopt land to earn more rewards for taking steps to a healthier planet. We believe that rewarding healthy choices encourages even more healthy choices. Start earning rewards.

5. Make some small changes to your lifestyle to make a big difference to the planet
Here are some great ideas from across the web to get you started today.

  • Leave the car at home; walk, cycle or use public transport when you can.
  • Save water; take a shower instead of a bath.
  • Change to low energy light bulbs.
  • Buy the most energy efficient and water saving appliances you can afford.
  • Take reusable bags with you when you go shopping.
  • Sign up with Green programs with your energy supplier.
  • Purchase products without unnecessary packaging.
  • Grow plants native to your area in your garden.
  • Remember the three R’s: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.

Check out Act on CO2 for more ideas.