Featured

How to bee good 🐝 

Author: Katerina Pickup

Today is the National Don’t Step on a Bee Day and as I love seeing bees in our garden, I took time to learn a little bit more about them and to share a few facts about these wonderful, hard-working creatures with you!

You might find this surprising if not shocking but without the tireless work of our native bees, more than a third of everything we put on our table would disappear!! Bees are absolutely vital for our ecosystem and for our economy – in fact pollinators such as bees are estimated to be worth a staggering £690 million per annum to the UK economy. Yet their numbers are reducing faster than ever before. 

Bees are super-important pollinators for flowers, fruits and vegetables.  

Bee facts: Did you know that…

🐝 Bees rely on transport system called B-lines which link existing wildlife areas together, creating a network, like a railway.

🐝 Male bees in the hives are called drones and female bees (except the queen) are called worker bees.

🐝 Number of eggs laid by queen: as many as 2,000 per day!

🐝 Honeybees have a dance move called the ‘waggle dance’. It’s not actually a dance move at all, rather a clever way of communication between themselves.

🐝 If the queen bee dies in a honeybee hive the workers create a new queen bee by feeding a young larva special food called ‘royal jelly’!

Climate change and bees: Protecting our planet

Almost 90% of the world’s wild plants depend on animal pollination, along with 75% of leading global crops. But our pollinators are under threat.

What can you do to bee helpful?

Firstly, DON’T STEP ON A BEE (obviously!)

1 Take the British Beekeepers Association quiz.

In the UK we have a honeybee, 24 species of bumblebees and around 240 species of solitary bees who come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) has an area on their website called “What bee is this?” which helps identify most of the more common bees seen in the UK.

2 Buy honey from your local beekeeper.

Some 85% of honey here in the UK is currently imported. With so many beekeepers on our doorstep in both Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, there is really no need to buy imported honey. Support our local beekeepers by visiting a nearby farm shop and enjoy the honey produced by local bees from local flowers! It tastes delicious and has so much more flavour than supermarket honey.

3 Plant wild flowers in your garden.

Aim for a good variety of pollen-rich flowers that have different flower shapes and a range of flowering periods from early spring to late summer and even throughout the winter if you can. Bumblebee species have different length tongues that are adapted to feed from different shaped flowers. For example, the longest tongued species, Bombus hortorum, prefers deep flowers such as honeysuckle and foxglove. In general, avoid plants with double or multi-petalled flowers. Their flowers are filled with petals and pollinators find them difficult to access.

Wildflowers are great for bees and butterflies, and to be honest they’re pretty darn good for the soul too!

4 Give your lawn mover a rest.

Leave the daisies and dandelions to grow for a few weeks to provide food for bees and butterflies. If you don’t like the idea of leaving the whole lawn grow then you can always create a little wild flower patch just for insects and pollinators!

5 Help spread the message!

Before today I knew that bees were under threat but frankly, learning just how much of our ecosystem depends on bees has been an eye-opener. Please share your bee stories, photos and videos with your friends on facebook, Twitter and instagram using #dontsteponabeeday and #beegoodtobees hashtags to raise awareness!

Why not take a look at our WH&T Going Green Facebook Page which is packed with ideas on how to bee more green, wherever in your journey to sustainability you are.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and learning a little bit more about bees! Thank you for reading. 🙂🐝

Practical tips on saving energy in your kitchen

Author: Wendy Young

DID YOU KNOW? You could reduce the energy you use and the power bills you pay by using some key kitchen gadgets? Lots of kitchen devices can help you cut down on the fuel you use which is good for the planet and will also save you money. 

These gadgets will only save you money if you use them on a regular basis. It’s also much better to dig out the ones you have at the back of the cupboard, re-use one that a friend or relative no longer needs or buy second hand or from a charity shop, this will save you money, use less of the Earth’s resources and prevent good gadgets going to waste.

Slow cookers cook for long but use very little electricity especially good for cheaper cuts of meat.

It’s also really useful to read the instructions/recipes that come with the appliance or look up online what they are used for. I’ve recently started doing this again and found that there are lots of new things that I can try with the kit that I’ve got (hidden at the back of the cupboard) which will save me money and reduce the energy I use.

Finally, if you don’t want to use different appliances you can still reduce the amount of energy you use and save money with some small adjustments. Always use a lid, that fits, on your saucepan. Only use the amount of water you need – either to boil in the kettle or to just cover the vegetables you are cooking.  If you are going to put your oven on, try to cook more than one thing at a time – maybe a spare dish for the freezer or cook ahead a meal for later in the week, that can be re-heated quickly.

Pressure cookers offer another way to save fuel and time, great for soups and pulses.

Slow cookers, cook for a long time on low power so they can make cheaper meat soft and full of flavour, produce a meal whilst you’re out and if you can double up on your quantities give you an extra meal for the freezer.  I find they’re really good for basic casseroles – goulash, beef and beer, chicken in red wine.  You can add rice or dumplings for the last hour to have a ‘one-pot’ meal and the casserole dish can usually go in the dish washer.  You do have to plan a little in advance if you want to use it to cook a meal whilst you’re out for the day and it doesn’t lose as much moisture whilst it’s cooking so you may need to adjust the amount of liquid you add.

Pressure Cookers, cook food much more quickly than an ordinary saucepan and can use up to 70% less fuel than cooking on a hob.  They’re really good for pulses, stock, soups and casseroles.  You could produce a slow-cooked curry or casserole in 30/40 minutes, saving you time as well as money. I find they can be a little heavy to use with the ingredients in so you need to have a good oven cloth and an un-cluttered space to use them.

Air fryers use much less power (and fat) for chips, roast potatoes and even doughnuts!

Air Fryers, cook foods that you might deep fry or oven cook, like chips, roast potatoes, chicken and even bacon.  Although they cook at a high temperature they use less energy because they heat up and cook much faster than an oven or deep fat fryer. So, once again, they save you time and as an extra bonus they use less fat or oil, so produce healthier food.  

Microwaves cook fast so save you time and money, excellent for fish and vegetables.

Don’t forget the microwave, lots of us have one but, in my house, at least, it’s used mainly for de-frosting or re-heating food.  However, it can produce really tender, tasty vegetables much more quickly than using the cooker top or part cook jacket potatoes so that they need less time in the oven.  They are very good for making stock and because they use very little water they are especially good at keeping the flavour in fish. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. Why not take a look at our WH&T Going Green Facebook Page which is packed with ideas on how to bee more green, wherever in your journey to sustainability you are!

Water, a most precious gift 💧

Author: Clare Welfare

We are currently experiencing one of the hottest spells of weather across Europe and with the temperature gauge recording unprecedented levels of heat in the UK, we are told this is the shape of things to come due to global warming. At a time like this our natural reaction is to perhaps stay longer in a cooling shower, enjoy cold water straight from the tap embellished with ice cubes from our fridge, fill up the paddling pool ( and that’s not just for the children), in short we do anything to help ourselves to keep comfortable.

Most of these actions will involve the regular supply of water from our tap that we mainly take for granted…… at least I did. Then a few months ago something happened to me that really made me think about how I use water in and around my home.

Facts and stats: 771 million people don’t have clean water close to home. 

It all started on an evening back in March when I could just make out a high pitched sound coming from my bathroom. It sounded like a fine jet of water but however much I checked the floor, bath surround, sink etc I couldn’t see any sign of a water leak……so I did nothing. I must explain that due to a mobility problem I walk with a crutch so the option to get down flat on the floor to investigate further was just not an option.

The sound persisted for a day or two but as no evidence of water appeared in the bathroom I wasn’t too concerned. Luckily a good friend visited that evening and mentioned the “sound” so I knew I hadn’t been imagining it. Well, to cut a long story short she removed the front panel of my bath to reveal a fine jet of water, spraying away where two pipes had rubbed together over time causing the tiniest hole – not big enough to cause a flood but certainly in need of a plumber’s attention!

My friend turned off the mains water for me and by now it was 8pm. I called Dave my regular plumber who does 24 hr callout but describing the problem to him he asked me to email him a video clip of the leak in progress. My friend laid down on the bathroom floor and said video clip was despatched to Dave who promised to look at it and get back to me in the morning…… and so began my first night without mains water. 

When you have no access to water suddenly it put my mind into sharp focus about all the things I needed water for. No shower tonight, what about brushing my teeth, was any water left in the kettle for a cuppa before bed time and oh dear no, I wouldn’t be able to flush the loo. Luckily I found a large 5 litre container of bottled water that I had bought for an event a couple of weeks earlier that I hadn’t needed to use. My salvation, I could survive the night now I had 5 litres of pure water.

Watering more thoroughly but less frequently helps get the water down to the deeper root tips and is therefore more economical and better for the environment.

I can’t pretend it’s fun cleaning your teeth without running water but at least I was able to use a glass of precious water from my stash to at least go to bed feeling half human. I was also able to use a small amount of water to wet a flannel to wipe my face and hands before heading to bed. I was hopeful Dave would rescue me in the morning and life would return to normal. How wrong could I be.

Dave phoned at 7.30am to say he’d seen the video & due to the inaccessibility of the offending leaky pipe, it was a big job and would probably be a full two days work and due to his other work commitments he was unlikely to be able to get to me for a fortnight! I thanked him and frantically started messaging local friends for their recommendations of plumbers who might come to my aid. An hour later I had spoken to 9 plumbers all of whom told me the same as Dave and said they were unable to get to me within the next month… now I was starting to panic. 

It was at this point I had a flash of inspiration – didn’t I have a little known insurance policy through Anglian Water that provided callout for such plumbing emergencies. Full of hope I rifled through my endless pile of household paperwork and there it was. I rang them straightaway and they promised someone would be with me by the end of the day- hurrah, what a relief.

Feeling much calmer I made myself a cup of tea, just using enough to fill the kettle from my 5 litre stash and then brushed my teeth using just a small glass of water. My stash was now slowly diminishing. I then drove into town where I am a member at one of the local gyms. A quick swim followed by a shower & hair wash meant that personal hygiene was sorted for the time being. 

Turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save around 12 litres of water per person per day! 

The problem of the loo remained an issue and then I remembered my next door neighbour had an outside tap on her wall less than 5 yards from my driveway. On returning home I explained my predicament to her and asked if I could fill my bucket up from her tap and in this way I could refill my cistern each time the loo needed a flush. She gladly agreed and to say I was relieved was to put it mildly.

I discovered the loo needed at least two bucketfuls of water to get a reasonable flush so as I live alone decided the best policy to adopt was “ if it’s yellow let it mellow and if it’s brown flush it down”. Going back and forth was difficult for me as with my limited mobility, carrying a heavy bucket wasn’t easy but going slowly worked just fine. My lovely neighbour offered to help but something pig headed within me made me determined to manage on my own.  

I started thinking about lunch and discovered I had several home made meals in the freezer which I could microwave so shepherds pie it was. Not wishing to use much water I put carrots, peas and broccoli in my three tier steamer and so was able to enjoy a decent lunch. No sign of the emergency plumber from Anglian Water so decided to pop round to a friend for a chat but what I was really going for was a cuppa and a chance to use her loo……well, she is a good friend and we had a good laugh together about my predicament! 

The emergency plumber (all 6’ 4” of him) didn’t arrive till 7pm and took one look at the job and told me he couldn’t do it tonight. It was a big job as the bath would have to be come out, floor and wall tiles would need to be removed and any damage caused in repairing the leak wouldn’t necessarily be covered by the insurance policy. Things were getting worse not better!

Harvesting rainwater for your garden is a brilliant way to save water. It’s also better for your plants as it has a lower pH than tap water!

He did promise to phone the job in as an emergency now and tomorrow I could expect two plumbers to embark on the job. Oh joy, so here I was facing another night without mains water. So it was a repeat of last night, refilling buckets from my neighbours tap and using my 5 litre stash which was now down to about 2 litres for face washing  and teeth cleaning – I could have wept. Next morning it was back to the gym for a shower & hair wash so at least I’d look presentable when the two plumbers showed up.

The morning was uneventful and it was 4pm when the two plumbers arrived. The plumber who was clearly in charge was young, very slim build and amazingly cheerful – he clearly loved his job and a challenge. I watched him wriggle under my bath, contorting his body into an impossible shape to reach the offending pipe. He emerged a few minutes later and said joyfully that he thought he could replace the troublesome pipe WITHOUT removing the bath. I hardly dared breath as once more he wriggled back under the bath. I offered to make both plumbers a cup of tea with my last remaining water – it felt like the least I could do in the circumstances. Forty minutes later I heard the sound I’d been hoping for,”It’s fixed, we can turn the mains water back on” !  

I was so relieved and grateful. I had been without mains water for probably only 36 hours but what an eye opener the experience was for me. We are so lucky to live in a country where clean fresh tap water direct into our homes is considered to be a basic human right. It has certainly make me think about my water usage and how I may have casually left a tap running when I didn’t need to or how I may have lingered longer in the shower than really was necessary. It has made me change some of my habits to reduce my water consumption which has been really easy to do e.g. not leaving the tap running the whole time as I brush my teeth or using the water from the dog bowl to water my plants rather than just pouring it away.  

Climate change is making life harder for people who already struggle to get clean water.

Anglian Water – Protect Every Drop

With the economic crisis our country is facing, anything we can do to save ourselves money by reducing our water consumption and energy costs is definitely worth pursuing. Anglian Water are offering plenty of guidance about saving water and it’s well worth a read. Every drop counts! Here are some great tips with a few small actions we can all take that will help reuse, recycle and protect every drop of water will make a big difference for the environment today, and for tomorrow 👉 read all tips here. Are you a water saver or do you like to splash out? Take a quiz here!

Click on image to read the Anglian Water water-saving tips!

As for me, I will try to really think about my water usage and just use what I really need and I hope you will think about doing the same.

Oh, it might be worth checking out whether you have any insurance for plumbing emergencies because what I really learnt was that plumbers are rarer than hen’s teeth when you really need one! 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and learning a little more about our precious water! Why not take a look at our WH&T Going Green Facebook Page which is packed with ideas on how to bee more green, wherever in your journey to sustainability you are.

Thank you for reading!

WH&T to Read

I receive a lot of useful information in my email inbox as a subscriber to the various green sites & organisations. Unfortunately some ‘green’ retailers are so keen to sell their products that I have to unsubscribe before I’m tempted into buying something I’ve previously done without.

If their product & processes are green, I add those to favourites on my search engine (Ecosia) and unsubscribe.

I am keen to use reliable sources and I consider what benefit the giver of information is getting.

A surprising new resource I’ve discovered is a monthly email from Nottingham CC Waste and Recycling

This email reminded me that June 16th is National Refill Day organised by Refill. Check out their website for reasons to refill. It’s an easy to read site with well worded explanations of why we need to cut back on resources.

With the holiday season approaching and increased drives to see our loved ones, I will be needing to use motorway services. I have to be very insistent to ensure I don’t get a huge handful of napkins, condiments in throw away packets and plastic cutlery. I carry my own knives, forks and cloth napkins, but at busy times the people serving seem to be in a loop that caters for convenient travelling food in single-use packaging with no time to pay attention to different requests.

We try to use Farm Shops or National Trust sites that have a cafe as it is better to stop and have a proper sit down in a cafe using proper plates etc.

Refill have an App that links you to your nearest place to either fill up your water bottle or find places to eat that are doing it with less waste. I can log each time I use a refill station for water or food which will illustrate to me my saving and add to their grand total. I can ensure the places that are making a green statement get my business. Hopefully this will add to the feel good factor of thinking green at all times instead of the sadness and guilt around tradition pit stops. It will also send a message to the companies that aren’t doing what they can to change in order to keep their customers.


The other highlight of June is Father’s Day, Sunday 20 June. Gifts are another area where I find myself stepping outside my green comfort zone. They’re a minefield, so I really enjoyed the Notts CC Waste and Recycling email thought:

Why not opt for an eco-friendly gift for dad, uncle, grandad or the special man in your life?!

Here’s some ideas for sustainable gifts instead of the usual socks or chocolates:

• Subscription to a local Wildlife Trust

• Garden Centre vouchers

• Solar powered torch or radio

• Reusable travel mug

• Adoption of an endangered animal

• Organic indoor herb growing kit


Other football teams are available 🙂

Some good ideas there. The email also gives details of where to find information on make do and mend.

Just before covid hit I bought a pair of lounge trousers for my Dad in his favourite Tottenham strip. They were far too long for him so my creative and talented niece used the bottoms to make his own special face mask.

Smiles all round – albeit hidden by the masks 🙂

Have a look at the WH&T Going Green Facebook Page for lots of ideas to be more green – whatever your skill level. I think you may need to answer a couple of questions to join but it’ll be worth it.

We need to keep asking ourselves questions to find ways to change to a more sustainable lifestyle to avoid a climate disaster.

What a load of rubbish

This weekend Mark & I helped on a river clear up with Lincoln Canoe Club as part of the Clear Water Access Paddle Cleanup Campaign. On Sunday we took part in the WH&T Going Green the Big Community Clear Up. Two great initiatives to encourage more of us to take action to improve our surroundings.

When we litter pick we often find evidence of how the litter has caused problems to wildlife, including sadly, decaying bodies of small birds and mammals. Understanding how the inconsiderate actions of people adversely affects wildlife, motivates me to take care of this planet.

We talk about changing habits and doing what we can, when we can. Keep an eye on WH&T Going Green Face book page for regular going green ideas to see what appeals to you.

To combat the amount of rubbish we found brought to my thoughts two extreme measures: Zero Waste and Refuse.

Zero waste followers try to minimise their impact by ensuring anything they buy does not result in them having any rubbish e.g. using their own containers to buy food or using refill stations, always using their own bags, composting & repurposing.

A quick win is taking your own bags/containers to the local farm shop. They embrace you doing it as it saves them money on bags (even a paper bag becomes rubbish & uses resources to make) and you have nothing to throw away.

I don’t expect to change every habit, but I keep chipping away at it because even putting things in recycling doesn’t have the same big impact on the climate as not using them in the first place.

Which leads us onto Refuse in the way of refusing to be a consumer, refusing to be caught up in the spin of great marketing, refusing to buy things that you really don’t need.

Even if we’re buying products that can be: recycled; are packaged in cardboard; are compostable; are better for the planet than another item you already have that’s not worn out and still does what it was bought for but is made of plastic instead of glass/bamboo etc etc… we are still using up resources. The largest contributor to the worlds carbon emissions (31%), are caused by making things…yes surprisingly even higher than producing electricity (27%)*.

Next time you go to buy – ask why?

Why do I need this? Why can’t I repurpose something I already have? Why can’t I do things a bit differently to avoid needing it? 

If you do need to buy something then consider the source. I like to check if I can buy from a B Corporation company or refer to The Ethical Consumer before I purchase anything.

Sometimes I have to get things through Amazon but on at least three occasions I have ended up not buying what I thought I needed as there was nowhere ethical to get it from.

The less I buy the less chance there is of rubbish being produced along the supply chain. Which brings me neatly back to the local clear ups – rubbish mostly thrown out of cars/delivery vehicles, people on their way to make something to buy or on their way back from buying something.

Whilst we are proactively improving our local environment we should also consider how we can be motivated to change our purchasing habits to improve the worlds environment.

My own journey has led me down a path of not just better recycling, less plastic use etc., but towards campaigning through Greenpeace & Friends of the Earth. Mainly just signing petitions but as I say – do what is right for you. I’m not really a soapbox on Hyde Corner activist.

Please watch this video from Greenpeace.

Yes, a soapbox moment, but please indulge me and take some time to look at the work Greenpeace do. It may be something you wish to support if you can.

*How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates.

It doesn’t have to cost the Earth

We hope you had a lovely Easter break. Everyone who completed the Nature Hunt found it an enjoyable, relaxing and rewarding exercise. In fact, one of our members saw something special.

Although it was aimed at Easter, the form is still accessible and we’re happy to have more results sent in.

A representative of Notts Wildlife Trust is coming for a look around the villages to help us learn where and what to plant and/or care for to ensure we maintain biodiversity in our endeavours to keep WH&T green.


Earlier this week I was delighted to see that the ‘Money Expert’ listed going green under his money saving choices. It’s a common misconception and often a deterrent, that being green is expensive.

Sainsburys in Lincoln is going to be one of the stores nationally to trial giving a 5p voucher for returning plastic bottle(s), (up to 500 bottles). Sainsburys is not the only supermarket to trial this idea, other initiatives are also cropping up. While this doesn’t seem much, it is a way of incentivising recycling and possibly a step towards creating better habits.

Meanwhile, our local glass recycling centre at the Bottle & Glass is still in place. With the refurbishments it appears harder to find, but it’s where it always was at the top of the car park on the right. It’s also nice to know that eating or drinking in our local can be better for the environment than a throw away picnic or drive through. That’ll be our excuse if you happen to see us there (it’s in walking distance too).


The UK is now moving through the steps to get back to ‘normal’ after Covid and much is being done to get the economy moving again. It is easy to want to relax and get back to our good old lives, but it’s important to know that the world is still facing a global crisis – climate change.

There are more occasions that draw attention to the climate crisis and this week there is Earth Day on 22 April.

I was sent an email pointing me in the direction of an article originally posted by The Ethical Consumer in 2019. There is still a lot of pertinent actions available and you will see a theme from the money saving list too.

It is worth having a look – some ideas are not for everyone, but there are enough there that hopefully you will feel that there at least one change you can make towards being green(er).


It is as important as ever to ensure the people in power feel supported in any actions they do to prevent continual abuse of this planet. Possibly they also need to know what we don’t want them to continue on the road that is leading us to disaster. If you’re interested in understanding how lobbying or connecting with the right organisations can help please contact us. Future blogs will also have more information too.


Wigsley Village Noticeboard displaying the daffodils planted last year

Thank you for reading and we’re happy to hear from you about anything mentioned in our blogs especially of any way you thing we can add to WH&T going green.

The next major project to watch out for is the big villages clear up on Sunday 23 May – volunteers needed.

Happy Easter

Easter is traditionally a time to think of renewal or rebirth and in our group that encourages us to think about the connection to recycling and nature. 

The group are finding out a lot about recycling. There are many items that currently go in waste bins that could be recycled if separated from general waste; an example is empty tablet blister packs. Superdrug are recycling these and supporting Marie Curie under “Little Packs, Big Impact” scheme. Clare Welfare in Thorney is the groups representative for dropping these off.

Please let us know if you have an item that you currently put in general rubbish that you think would be better to recycle separately or even know of a charity that would benefit and are happy to collect them.


Meanwhile back to Easter. Other than the religious aspect of Easter we tend to think of Easter in the form of eggs and bunnies…eggs and chicken production will surely be the subject of another blog one day! (And I am definitely not covering any chocolate issues for a while.)

Let’s turn to bunnies, I wonder why there is this connection. In the country wild rabbits are often treated as vermin due to the damage they do to crops, young trees and plants etc. It now seems totally incredible that a disease to curtail the rabbit population (Myxomatosis) and therefore limit the damage to food production was introduced to Europe so effectively. 

It’s illegal to spread Myxomatosis now due to lobbying by animal rights groups. However, there are still controversial programs to cull various animals in order to preserve our food chain. Apparently sometimes there is no choice???


For many environmental issues there are choices we can now make. Sometimes, we just need to change our habits to make better choices for the sake of the environment. 

Changing habits is a complicated, many tiered process, but ultimately if the result of performing the habit isn’t immediate or certain, humans are unlikely to change. Take smoking for example, the government taxes cigarettes to ensure they are costly, lungs that had cancer are paraded round school (well they were at our school), packets even have a government health warnings on them,  and yet many people still smoke. There is no immediate impact and it’s not certain that this habit will kill you and so smokers continue to smoke…until…

Buying a plastic carrier bag because you forgot one of your 100 bags-for-life you have at home is not a huge immediate problem. Photos of whales that have died as a result of plastic in their blow hole is upsetting but not enough to create the immediate need for a change and it’s not certain that all Whales will suffer the same death. There is not a strong enough connection for many to want to change their habits.

I do not confess to know the answers, I just want to try to find them while we do still have a choice.

Meanwhile, here is a clip shared by WWF for Earth Hour – interesting connection to Covid-19 and humans over running the planet…any similarity to the rabbit problem?…

Don’t forget our Nature Hunt over the Easter Weekend. We are hoping to follow a lead from another greening group and ask North Notts Wildlife to visit to give tips on what we can do for our local wildlife. Having details of what we currently see will be a great opener. Thank you.

We are not alone

I’m unashamedly directing you to another blog in advance of Earth Hour:

Saturday, March 27 at 8:30 pm

I confess we haven’t planned our hour yet but I can guarantee Mark won’t be in favour of the board games option.

Socially distanced Scrabble in the dark anyone??

As usual we would love to hear about how you’ve chosen to participate or let us know after how it went.


Dogs amongst the daffodils in Mill Lane

Keep an eye open for our Easter Hunt – think bird watch but its all about the abundance of nature we can see around Wigsley, Thorney and Harby.

The event is now listed on our website. To download the pdf checklist go to  https://whtgoinggreen.org/projects/ 

To be honest dogs aren’t on the list but daffodils are 🙂

WH&T is going on?

Thanks to all who have joined us. Whilst we want to pass on as much information that we can about going green we appreciate that you may not have time to read all we pass on to you.

The two current issues that may be of interest to you are:

New WRAP Food Waste Acton Week Monday 1 to Sunday 7 March 2021

Greenpeace release supermarket plastic league table

Please click on the link to read more about them.

Personally I have a just slimmed down my subscription emails as my brain can not take in all the information. I still don’t actually read many fully but just by seeing the titles and introduction gives me a heads up on the most pressing.

I think part of why humans are in danger of destroying the planet is because we are so successful. One of the elements of that success is marketing. Sadly the marketing habit now creates headlines about products to buy to help the environment. In fact it is the opposite – the greatest thing we can do it nothing (or rather buy nothing).

Buying from ‘green’ companies goes a long way to create a more sustainable world but my inbox is too full of them suggesting the things I need, hence the slim down.

Without some of the articles or blogs these companies produce I may not have become so focussed on changing. This group is hoping to save you some of that as part of your own green journey.

Please help us by commenting on what you’ve liked, what was not for you, if you want us to give more or less information.

If you have no time for reading every blog, don’t worry a lot of the topics will come up again and you’ll find your own way of being green. Please do keep following and passing the word on.

The next thing to keep an eye open for is Earth Hour Saturday 27 March https://www.earthhour.org/take-part

Myth Busters: Fairtrade Products

By Katerina Pickup

Welcome to our new Myth Busters blog series! There are often misconceptions around sustainability issues and I find it eye-opening to keep learning new facts which help me understand our environment and what we can do to live in a more sustainable way.

The Fairtrade Festival is coming to an end today and I have been reading a lot about Fairtrade products. I wanted to share a few facts that you might find interesting! Enjoy the read and please leave a comment. I’d love to hear about what your experience or opinion on using Fairtrade products is!

Myth 1: Only a small fraction of the price you pay for a Fairtrade product goes back to the farmer

This myth comes from the assumption that Fairtrade traders are paid a percentage of the price that a consumer pays for their Fairtrade product. However, this is not correct. The retail price of a Fairtrade product is set by the shop owner and is not related to how much goes to the farmer.

The way Fairtrade works is that the company trader who makes the product for the the supply chain receives the Fairtrade price which is a set price called Fairtrade Minimum Price. This is to ensure that traders will receive the same amount every time and are protected from fluctuations in the market. That way they are able to plan better and cover their costs even if the market price of their commodity falls. And that’s a fair arrangement, don’t you think?

Myth 2: Fairtrade products are more expensive

This is perhaps the biggest myth of all when it comes to Fairtrade. Consumers often assume that businesses respecting human rights, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world, will end up offering more expensive products. This is not always the case.

To explain, let’s start from the basics. The price of a product is normally made up of several parts. If you look at a bag of coffee, for example. Assuming that you bought your (not Fairtrade) coffee for £3, how much do you think ends up in the coffee producers’ pocket? Around 20p. So where does the remaining £2.80 go? It’s the production company, the retailer, several intermediaries in the supply chain and also the transport company that gets the product to the retailer.

The difference is that Fairtade organisations work directly with producers, cutting out intermediaries. This means that Fairtrade products can be competitively priced. And the trader is always guaranteed the Minimum Price.

Myth 3: Fairtrade results in poorer quality products for the consumer

Fairtrade products are often hand-made and not mass-produced like high street goods. This is why some people make an assumption that Fairtrade product quality can fluctuate.

In reality, Fairtrade organisations continuously work to improve quality and consistency. Through direct and long-term relationships, producers and Fairtrade organisations communicate market demand and monitor quality. Fair traders’ products have received accolades for their quality over the years including awards at the international Cup of Excellence and Roaster of the Year competitions, SustainAbility in Design, the New York Home Textile Show, and other venues.

Myth 4: Fairtrade agreements lock farmers into a fixed price

Let’s go back to the Fairtrade Minimum Price which is where this myth often originates. The Fairtrade Minimum Price is a safety net or a floor price, not a fixed price that a farmer will receive for their product. It’s carefully calculated to cover the costs of production and only comes into play in a worst case scenario. It is a price the farmer is guaranteed to receive.

If the market price of their product is above the Minimum Price, then the buyer must pay the higher price. The farmer may also negotiate higher prices at any time on the basis of quality and other factors.

Any amount the farmer receives above the Minimum Price is known as the Frairtrade premium. This extra money can be spent on improving training, improving farming techniques and building schools and medical clinics to support the local community. Fairtrade doesn’t dictate what it’s spent on but the Premium spend is audited in the interests of transparency.

Myth 5. Fairtrade means coffee and chocolate

Coffee was indeed the first agricultural product to be certified Fairtrade in 1988. However, Fairtrade has gone a long way in recent years to certify new product categories. These include bananas, cocoa, coffee, dried fruit, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, honey, juices, nuts/oil seeds/oil, quinoa, rice, spices, sugar, tea, wine and non-food products such as clothing, beauty products, cotton, cut flowers, ornamental plants, sport balls, gold, platinum and silver!

Fairtrade in the UK:

The Fairtrade Foundation is a charity based in the United Kingdom that works to empower disadvantaged producers in developing countries by tackling injustice in conventional trade. The Foundation promotes and licenses the Fairtrade Mark, a guarantee that Fairtrade products retailed in the United Kingdom have been produced in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards.

The Foundation is the British member of FLO International which unites 25 national Fairtrade organisations (FLO-CERT) and three producer networks in Europe, Asia, North, Central and South America, and Australia.

Find out more at https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/.

Thank you for staying with me all the way here! I hope you have enjoyed the read and have learnt one or two interesting things about Fairtrade and how it fits in with sustainable living.