Thursday, 12 November 2020

Deeds Not Words

So said Emeline Pankhurst, and I have it written on my pen to remind me. In September I sent off my tenner to The Pound Project. This is a crowdfunding enterprise, which looks to effect 'small change, one story at a time'. I loved doing the Green Living Project, and making new friends there- but it is no good if we just sit and talk and do not act.

The Pound Project announced over the summer that their next publication would be "Three Things" - a collection of essays and ideas about action to slow down global warming and reduce climate change. I sent off my tenner, understanding that when the the book was produced, all profits were going to Water Aid. I knew too that PP books are small, pocket sized, limited editions [ designed to be portable and easy to read. I was quite excited when it arrived, and put it aside to read 'properly'. Inside the lovely recyclable packaging I found a set of three postcards summarising the themes, and a blank card for notes. [pictured here with my Suffragette pen]
On Monday I went for a walk with a friend, and got two insect bikes on my right leg. Tuesday my leg was red, swollen and throbbing. I occasionally have this sort of reaction. Anti histamines help, but knock me out. So Wednesday, I felt very groggy. After breakfast I returned to bed to read and doze. I took my new book - it was just right. Nine brief essays, so I could stop and think [and nap] as I finished each one.
To summarise - three things in life where we can take action about are the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the atmosphere we breathe. The three postcards summarise the simple steps we can make in  our lifestyle choices to fight climate change in these areas. The authors are a diverse bunch - I'd heard of Melissa Hemsley, the chef, and Rosamund Kissi-Debrah - whose child Ella sadly died of asthma, but the others I was not really familiar with.
Jonathan Safran Foer's contribution reminded us that we often speak of moments in history and say "where were you when Kennedy was shot/the Berlin Wall came down/on 9/11?" . Will future generations ask us "where were you when the Climate Crisis reached the point of no return?" - he points out that crisis  comes from the Greek word krisis meaning decision. We must decide to act, positively. Ana Santi, who brought this little book together, warns against the danger of saying "If we can't achieve 100% let's not bother". Every little helps - cycling to work, and recycling the newspapers - but we can all do more than that.

The nine ideas are these
  1. create a weekly meal plan
  2. buy less food, eat it all [or share with someone else]
  3. don't eat animal products before dinner
  4. mend your clothes or befriend a tailor
  5. rent or buy 2nd-hand to make your wardrobe 'new'
  6. support sustainable brands
  7. for journeys under 5 miles, walk, cycle or take public transport
  8. fly [much less] with conscientious airlines
  9. be politically active.

That's a very brief summary - inside there are facts and figures, specific examples etc. I'm sure that you are already following some of these suggestions as are many of my family and friends. I'm not ready for #3 yet - happy to have meat free days, and beans not beef [sometimes] - but no milk in my morning cuppa is a step too far just yet!  I must admit that 'sustainable brands' hasn't been high on my checklist when I have purchased new clothes. I haven't flown for nearly 6 years, and I wasn't a frequent flyer anyway.

But this was an interesting read, and I shall return to it again, when I am 100% awake, to see if there are further things to make note of. And maybe I will try Melissa's fruitbowl bake sometime. [not that we ever get 3 bananas and 4 apples 'left over' in the fruit bowl] Her website has useful tips on it about avoiding plastic etc. Christopher Raeburn, the designer, who contributes to the 'wear' section says we should ask three questions before replacing something - Can I fix it? Does it need to be new? Does it already exist?. I found that suggestion helpful. 

The Pound Project has sold out of this one - at some point I hope I shall feel ready to lend out my copy or pass it on. The next PP is out just before Christmas and is called intermission - produced by actors, poets, artists during lockdown [proceeds going to Acting For Others, a charity supporting all theatrical workers in times of need - like now]. That might be a good gift..."I couldn't get Panto tickets, sending this instead"


  1. I followed the link - what an interesting project.
    The 9 ideas are good to follow - Although Public transport would be a nice surprise out here at the end of the lane!

    1. I suspect that most of the contributors live in London, where public transport is good (and decent bike lanes on the increase) Public transport in rural areas is a huge issue. As I prepare to retire to a Norfolk village, I'm aware of the difficulties people face with that one.

  2. I like the idea of this project and you know I really care about the environment and do what I can but there's always more to do. I think I'd struggle without dairy products as I really don't like non-butter products though I could cope with them. I can do Soya and oat milk buy they tend to come in Tetrapack rather than glass like my milk bottles (managed to convert my Mum and Sis to the milkman)

  3. You're a shining example of somebody who knows she can't achieve 100% but is constantly striving to do more, and encouraging others to do the same.

  4. I'm trying to do more and more of these suggestions but - like you - I need my morning tea with real milk! I also usually eat cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit to try and avoid too many carbs at breakfast each day. I have cut down on meat and often have vegetarian days but vegan is a step too far for me.

    1. I'm trying to have fruit and yogurt rather than pudding. But I do like carbs in cold weathdr

  5. These are all good ideas and, every little bit helps.


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