Tuesday, December 23

Salvador Caetano

It is a great shame that the Waterlooville Caetano plant has had to close at a time when we need more public transport and jobs. The site had a long history of 'coach' building, starting with Wadham Stringers building buses and ambulances. In fact Wadhams are featured on the brass plaques now embedded on the pedestrian areas of Waterlooville and on the underpass mural.

The Tory run council now has planning proposals to develop the land for even more pointless shops and car attracting terror. I wonder if the Mayor would mind if one of these retail hell holes were built near his house on Hayling Island and that he had to walk through them on a daily basis?

Obviously the optimism of Salvador Caetano for the British coach building market was completely undermined by the typically destructive mindless British car driver.

Saturday, December 13

Reducing That Electricity Bill - and other stuff

I have found wearing thermal underwear helps when trying to reduce heating bills. The trouble is when it is in the wash and you don't have any spare, you find out how much you miss it!

It just shows what a difference thermal underwear can make and you realise how ridiculous it is that all the buildings you visit must have the heating turned up just so that people wearing one layer of clothing (having driven around in their cars) can feel comfortable.

I'm looking forward to seeing the next electricity bill just to see how much it has dropped. It's not very often that one can say they are looking forward to a bill arriving!

Not much going on with the Wimpey MDA development, I suppose that is not surprising, it is good news in some respects but it also means i have less to report here!

Sunday, November 16

Monday, November 3

Waterloovilles fields about to be saved?

It's good news to see that the House of Commons Environmental Audit select committee has recommended that greenfield developments pushed forward by the government should be slowed down or halted completely. With a bit of luck and a building industry in serious trouble, our fields will remain.

Local Government Chronicle

Saturday, October 18

Why does turning the thermostat down 1 °C save money (and Carbon Dioxide)?

To many it may seem at first that turning down the thermostat on the central heating system a tad, as recommended by many government public information films, to be one of those crazy ideas with no founding in science or every day common sense. But when you consider the system as a whole (something that any eco friendly person should do) then you realise it is based on very sound science.

So where do people get the idea that it is crazy?

The reason is that people think of numbers in absolute terms from zero up. So 20°C is obviously greater than 0°C. Hence a 1°C reduction seems small in comparison, just 5% of the total. If that were how a thermostat controlled heating system worked then not much money would be saved.

But the science in that scenario is incorrect. In order to get an accurate estimation of energy saved, the 'heating system' should include the world outside your home. We must include the temperature outside the home in our calculations of energy saved.

So how do we do this?

First of all the minimum temperature possible in the home will be the same temperature that is measured outside it. So if the temperature outside is 14°C and we normally have the thermostat set to 20°C then the difference is 6°C.

In our scenario lets take the thermostat down by 1°C.

Since our temperature difference in the scenario is only 6°C, the percentage saving is now roughly 17%. This is more than triple the original perceived reduction for that particular set of circumstances. Obviously as the temperature outside the home drops further, less will be saved and if the temperature outside increases then more will be saved.

So the main defining factor is the temperature outside the home and the fact that the temperature range the central heating operates, is between the outside temperature and the thermostat setting. Since outside temperatures in the UK are not very often near 0°C, a 1°C reduction in the thermostat setting is often not as small as it seems.

Sunday, October 5

Reducing That Electricity Bill - More tips

Lids on saucepans
This may not seem like a big deal, but putting the lids on your saucepans reduces the amount of heat/energy required to, say boil potatoes, to about 1/4 or 1/3 of that needed to do the same without lids. Once the water is boiling you can turn the heat right down. Saucepans with glass lids also allow you to see what is going on without having to remove them.

Use a vacuum flask
If you put to much water in the kettle and end up with some boiling water left over, you can put the remainder into a vacuum flask. Then when you need more boiled water later in the day, you can pour it back into the kettle and possibly add some cold water from the tap. This may at first seem like a waste of time, but the warm water will require a lot less energy to boil than fresh cold water from the tap. Of course ideally it is best to only boil as much as needed, but this isn't always possible since many kettles have a minimum amount of water that should be used with them.

Tuesday, September 23

Important Animated Message - do watch it all!


Green Screen Film Festival

Next month (18th and 19th Oct) there is an environmental film festival at the No3 Cinema in Portsmouth called Green Screen. Films on show will include Earth, An Inconvenient Truth, Refugees Of The Blue Planet and Garbage Warrior. There will also be talks by Phil Thornhill, Andrew Simms and Tim Baster.

More info link

Friday, September 5

Tories barely hang on to Waterloo seat

Waterloo ward nearly gained a Liberal Democrat councillor for the first time in decades (or ever?) yesterday after a close fought by-election returned a Tory again. Fred Dunford got 801 votes after mounting a significant door to door campaign in the area. The Tories scraped through with 849 votes.

Congratulations are due to Fred, having achieved a major change in voting patterns by working hard. It just shows how making an effort can make a difference.

Tuesday, September 2

Reducing That Electricity Bill - The Laundry

With a lot of electricity generated using fossil fuels, there is a direct link between reducing the electricity bill and cutting Green House Gas emissions. Here I will describe some of the ways I have used to try and reduce my electricity bill.

1. Stop using a tumble dryer.
I have to admit that over the last decade or so, access to a tumble dryer has made me 'addicted' to this previously unrequired technology. We are all to easily enticed into believing we need these conveniences, just so we can sit and vegetate on the couch watching TV.

But there are other ways of drying clothes without using a massive 3 kilowatts of energy for half an hour or an hour. My solution is to stick a clothes horse in the kitchen in the evening after I have done some cooking. The heat from the cooker cooling off warms the kitchen and dries the clothes. Note it is very important to have some ventilation so that condensation does not cause problems. A lack of ventilation means the moisture in the warm air from the drying clothes will lead to condensation on cold surfaces, this may then cause mould to grow, which is very unhealthy. However the advantage of drying clothes like this is that you are using waste heat instead of using new generated heat in a tumble dryer.

2. Use a washing line.
A simple, effective and traditional way of drying clothes. Note that I also have a small line that is outside AND undercover. The washing line undercover means that I can dry stuff even if the weather is unpredictable. This is a massive advantage and increases the drying options, negating the need for a tumble dryer. I have to say this is also a new thing and i haven't yet tried the undercover line in cold winter conditions!

3. Use a separate spin dryer?
This is a new idea for me and i have yet to try it out in the winter. The idea is to supplement the spin dry of the washing machine with an extra spin dry of a dedicated spin drying machine. The reason for this is that dedicated spin dryers attain a much higher speed than a washing machine, thus extracting more water. This should in turn reduce the drying time, using much less energy than would be used by a tumble dryer (You would need to check the spin drying speed of the washing machine and the speeds of dedicated spin dryers, the idea certainly holds true for our washing machine!).
Anyway that is my theory, I will see during the coming winter if it works.

Combining these ideas, my intention is to kick the tumble drying habit and to make a dent in the now growing electricity bill. Despite recent price increases i hope to at least have electricity bills in the future that are similar to previous years, with some luck i should even be able to reduce it!

Friday, August 29

Waterloo Ward By-Election

The election on 4th September could possibly turn the tide of Tory domination in the Waterloo Ward with the prospect of Fred Dunford winning. Many people that actually live in the ward are fed up with Havant Borough Councils poor management of their council tax money, failing to invest in making the Civic Offices more efficient as a result of taking short term economic views. Compared with many places of work, HBC fails to meet modern green ethical standards and wastes energy. As a result the council also wastes public money. The council needs to put the environment as a higher priority.

Fred Dunford is leading a campaign to stop Jubilee Park being earmarked for development. There are some fantastic huge oak trees in Jubilee Park that are not protected and of course it is an important local green space, so he gets my support for that.

Some issues mentioned in Freds leaflets i don't agree with. The higher food and energy prices are due to over consumption of resources and no matter what you do with taxes, prices are still going to rise. The other point is that higher fuel prices have encouraged people to reduce consumption.

Considering that some 25% of food is wasted in the UK and that a lot of people don't need to make many of the journeys they do, then for many there is a lot of room to make cuts in consumption. If poor people can not afford the basics then reducing the tax burden would be a temporary reduction. People are poor because their gross income is low, not because oil, gas and food prices have gone up.

Saturday, July 26

West of Waterlooville MDA - Portable town

Despite the 'Credit Crunch' and a down turn in the property market, Grainger continues with the devastation of Waterlooville green farm land and habitat.

Construction of a portable cabin site base is ruining the view we once had. Close by is the site entrance where vehicles going in and out of the site will hold up traffic in the Waterlooville area causing greater emissions than we already have. A few months ago the muddy mess in the foreground was green land

Wednesday, July 2

Local shop helps locals to increase landfill

The Martin Mccoll shop at Hambledon Parade have normally stocked milk in plastic recyclable containers for around a decade or so, then i ventured into the shop recently and was confronted with 1 litre tetrapak milk cartons on the shelves.

These cartons will not currently be accepted by the local recycling scheme and as such it is a step backwards, when everyone else is trying to make steps forward to reduce their environmental impact. My advice is don't buy milk in these tetrapaks until they can easily be recycled locally.

There are schemes for recycling tetrapaks, but in this area that would probably require the cartons to be sent off somewhere. Some council areas have places where tetrapaks can be taken for recycling, that doesn't currently include Havant and Waterlooville.

For more information about Tetrapak recycling visit the
Tetrapak site and map:

Where can i recycle Tetrapaks?

Tuesday, June 24

Adventures with Natural Paint - episode 5

Mission completed, although we decided to buy 5 litres of Deep Vanilla Earth Born Emulsion instead of the claypaint. The emulsion was chosen because Greener Living in Southsea had a deal on, that made the coloured emulsions work out to about the same price as Crown emulsion per litre.

The emulsion is quite thick stuff and the main ingredient other than water seems to be chalk, although I suppose the ingredient mix may differ depending on colour chosen? The emulsion has some interesting properties in that it appears to not cover very well initially and then when it dries it becomes much more opaque and you realise it has covered quite well. Overall the results are fine, it will be interesting to see how the paint performs over the years.

Sunday, June 15

Adventures with Natural Paint - episode 4

The samples of Earth Born paints are impressive. The Clay Paint in particular covers extremely well, with a nice uniform matt finish (the sort you would expect from a high quality popular brand such as Crown or Dulux) and i reckon in many cases only one coat would be needed, which potentially would make Clay Paint as cheap or cheaper than the low cost petro-chemical emulsion brands that you find in your local DIY superstore.

This is the sort of thing that really bugs me. We are so often conned, bullied and manipulated by big corporation bull crap on TV and the internet that the vast majority of us don't realise that being eco-friendly may in many cases be cheaper and less damaging. It just needs a little research and thought to get a perfectly modern and sustainable answer. But most people just blindly walk into a DIY superstore and buy a load of crap off the shelf.

So the decision has been made, Earth Born Clay Paint it is!

Friday, June 13

Adventures with Natural Paint - episode 3

Well having trialled Nature Paint on a section of wall and getting used to mixing the paint, we are not sure about the colour! (See previous post about obtaining samples).

We are now going to get some Earth Born paint tester pots from Greener Living in Southsea to try out those paints and to see how well they cover. Meanwhile the remaining Nature Paint powder has been reserved for the kitchen.

I have to say that with Nature Paint the thickness of the paint on the wall does seem to change the colour and optical properties of the finish. Unlike petro-chemical paints that give a uniform colour finish, Nature Paint looks a bit more rustic and uneven in my opinion (it may be something to do with the particular colour chosen ). But then again, it is the first time i have used these paints so there are probably techniques to learn.

One promising feature of these natural paints is the idea that they could reduce condensation and mold problems. Because modern paint is basically a plastic coating on the wall, moisture collects on the surface in steamy rooms and then mold grows. With these natural paints, the moisture can penetrate through to the plaster (if you removed the old paint) and then released later as it evaporates. This should in theory remove/reduce the condensation problem and hence inhibit mold growth. Time will only tell if this is true!

BTW, anyone reading this probably thinks i am rolling in money!
Not true, one incentive is to eliminate the need to dispose of old paint tin cans as hazardous waste, another includes removal of fumes whilst painting and drying, another is that it is easy to waste money elsewhere on trivial rubbish, so why not spend a little more on something that is worth while instead. Finally the biggest incentive is to eliminate another source of fossil fuel usage.

Greener Living
Earth Born Paints

Sunday, June 8

Adventures with Natural Paint - episode 2

Having prepared the walls (washing, sanding and washing again) to make sure the surface was good, we decided to mix a very small sample of NaturePaint to test it out. As it was the first time, we were very careful weighing the powder and measuring the warm water. Anyway, having mixed a sample we brushed some on the wall. It was surprisingly good at covering considering it was a lot thinner than petro-chemical emulsion.

I think at this point i would suggest that anyone wanting to use this paint, ask NaturePaint to send cardboard paint chips of the colours they are interested in, as the colours printed on the swatches may not accurately match the actual paint colour. The cardboard chips are painted with the real stuff, so should match accurately the final finished colour.

Having used some of the paint, the remainder has been covered in cling film (see photo) and put in the fridge. This enables you to keep any unused paint for a few days.

BTW, i didn't mention this in the last post, but NaturePaint is supposed to absorb some CO2 when it dries!

Wednesday, June 4

VeggiePower on BBC South

I was a bit surprised to see local business VeggiePower on BBC South today. The business is based in Denmead and is selling kits to convert diesel engined cars to run off used vegetable oil, from takeaway shops and other sources. Apparently the kits are selling well since fuel prices have gone up.

BBC South interview link

Friday, May 30

Adventures with Natural Paint - episode 1

It's time to paint that room that hasn't been decorated for some 15 or more years! OK i don't expect this to be much different to using petro-chemical paint (Dulux, Crown, Wicks etc.) apart from the cost maybe. As you can see from the photo, NaturePaint emulsion comes in a paper packet as a powder, rather than a plastic pot as a liquid.

I ordered it by post and it arrived by postman in a snuggly fitting cardboard box. Apparently it is the only paint that can actually go by normal mail, since it is not made of hazardous materials. All the packaging can be recycled in the normal recycling waste, in fact NaturePaint claim that even the left over paint can be composted or put in the normal waste stream.

I bought enough to paint a room with a lot of windows/glass, the pack should make up about 2.5 litres of paint. You make this stuff up in a bucket and mix it with warm water. That is yet to come as i have yet to buy a mixing thing for my drill!

The adventure continues...


Sunday, May 18

The view from Hambledon Parade, May 2008

Having put up a wood fence, Wimpey's West of Waterlooville MDA contractors decided to rip half of it down again and instead put up a standard building site metal fence. Note the lovely trees in the distance, they are still standing, lets hope they are still there in a few years. The big native British trees are homes for hundreds of insect species. Typically Oak is home to some 420 species, Birch to some 330, Elm 120, Beech 90 etc.

Recently the London Zoological Society pointed out that 30% of species across the world had been made extinct by human activity since the 1970s and the rate was continuing at 1% per year.

Added: (19/05/08) Natural England today published its first report about English wildlife. The conclusion being similar to the Zoological Society, English species are in danger due to climate change and developing land for human use.

ZSL biodiversity report
Natural England - State of the Natural Environment

Wednesday, April 23


Thats what we need in Waterlooville and the wider area. More local shoe makers and cobblers. But until that happens I recommend buying British handmade shoes. Guat shoes of Sheffield are an excellent example.

They may seem expensive at first. But that assumes that you buy into the fashion and wasteful mass produced shoe concept. Basically the idea behind locally produced products like shoes, is that you pay more initially but then get them re-soled and/or repaired at least once later. The resulting cost is the same over the years as two pairs of good quality mass produced shoes that you just throw away when you have finished with them.

So for no real extra cost, you get a pair of handmade shoes, made in the UK from locally sourced materials, all of which is much better for the environment.

It would be great if we had many cobblers/shoe makers set up in all towns across the nation, including Waterlooville, reducing imports, providing local jobs and services, plus more importantly reducing emissions and helping the environment. Civilisation wouldn't collapse just because we go local.

Tuesday, April 22

Local Elections campaigns

Well it isn't very long before we have to stick a mark on an election form. So far i have had two leaflets pushed through the door, two for the Liberals and one for the Conservatives. None for Labour so far.

The Conservatives pride themselves on these green issues:

1. Cleaning up chewing gum and shopping trolleys!
Cool that is so going to stop flooding, pollution etc. Maybe they should take a look at the photo i took a few weeks ago of the shopping trolley in a ditch. No word about plastic carrier bags or general rubbish that can be found around Waterlooville.

2. Providing extra rubbish collection at Christmas
Wow, this is so impressive! Instead of reducing the amount of rubbish collected, the Conservatives want to encourage us to produce more.

3. Increased the recycling rate in the area
I'll give them that one. Recycling has improved, but more needs to be done to get shops and manufacturers to change the packaging used so that we can recycle more. But the council also need to increase the types of materials that can be recycled.

4. Supports the Signing of the Nottingham Declaration on
Climate Change

I suggest this should be read, since close inspection shows this is a horrible compromise document. eg. It starts with the statement "Evidence shows that climate change is occurring".
The priorities of the declaration focus on adapting to the impacts of climate change and the only real commitment is to reduce the authorities own emissions whilst encouraging others to change.

Funny, because i don't see how voting for a bigger Tescos in Havant is compatible with encouraging others to cut their green house gas emissions! Or how building car parks around Waterlooville and a retail park encourages people to stop driving.

In fact in the Conservative leaflets 'Building a Better Borough' section, the Conservatives are actually proud of encouraging people to drive and shop til they drop! Suggesting that many big national retailer chains that have set up locally are compatible with the Nottingham Declaration. I mean it just shows how weak the Nottingham Declaration is, if businesses that import high carbon footprint goods from the likes of China are seen as good by the Conservatives. Or maybe they are just confused and bewildered by the changes that are happening.

Are the Liberals any better? Well i have no idea, one has to guess what their environmental policies are since there is zilch in the leaflet shoved through the door.

Added: Slight correction! The Liberal leaflet from Fred Dunford alerted me to the Havant Council consultations on the developments in the area. Thanks Fred, completed one already.

Nottingham Declaration

Wednesday, April 16

A 1.5 metre sea level rise and us

Recently two different scientific teams (Stefan Rahmstorf in Germany and Svetlana Jevrejeva in the UK) predicted that sea levels will rise between 0.5m and 1.5m by 2100. There are many predictions about sea level rises, including conservative IPCC predictions and scifi scale predictions that are much greater (naming no American names!).

This may seem irrelevant to anyone living in and around Waterlooville. Why would a 1.5m rise on the Solent coast have anything to do with people living on high ground at Waterlooville?

Well if you look at any maps that show the effects of different increases in sea level rises, you will see that even for small rises, the Solent coast starts looking a lot different when compared to other areas of the South Coast. With a 1.5m rise, Portsmouth in particular doesn't come off very well. Anyone living near Eastern road is probably going to have salt sea water permanently lapping around their front door and in their living room. In fact large chunks of the Portsmouth coast line will move inwards, covering streets.

OK so far, chunks of Portsmouth will be under salt water, is this all we have to worry about?

Well no, one obvious problem would be sewage, you can't have sea water getting into the current sewage system. So thats one problem. But that is relatively minor (Yes really, it is!). The main problem is that the sea isn't so benign that it will happily stay 1.5 metres higher than it is now. The next problem is the tide. What appears to be a minor problem of water permanently flooding a few roads, becomes a serious problem of flooding on a larger scale at regular times. So not only do you have people flooded out permanently, but also a greater number of people flooded a number of times a year by the tides.

That's not all. Regular tides are predictable, although probably not manageable without significant defenses. A bigger problem of a 1.5m rise for the whole of Portsmouth is the weather. Storms, surges and high tides would occasionally combine to flood great chunks of Portsmouth. If all these factors are combined then anyone living near the sea in Portsmouth would have to move. Those living on slightly higher ground would also have to move due to tidal flooding, those nearer the central areas will get fed up with the sewage polluting the homes and roads, as well as the weather related flooding.

Where does this all lead to?

Well Portsmouth City council statistics show the cities population being about 196,400 people in 2006. That is a lot of people who will need to move in the next 80 to 90 years. Yes, just 80 to 90 years. Anyone born this year is likely to see this happen in their life time. Even if only 50,000 have to move, that is a lot of people to accommodate in the local area or across Hampshire. If the whole lot move (and that doesn't include other coastal areas in Hampshire), then we have a serious problem.

How does this affect Waterlooville? Well maybe one of the obvious places to go when you're flooded out is nearby higher ground. The pressure to build even more houses in the area will be even greater. You would also have to move businesses, schools etc. The whole thing would be environmentally devastating and extremely expensive.

There are various scenarios that are possible. The first is that because the sea level rise would be relatively slow, the migration from Portsmouth will be gradual and people will even move out of Hampshire. The second possibility is that the government will spend huge amounts of money and put up massive sea defenses, something like New Orleans where much of Portsmouth would be below sea level. This may just put off the inevitable though?

However you look at the issue, Portsmouth and the surrounding area could have some serious problems to deal with in a relatively short time. The whole coast of Hampshire may very well become an economic dead zone, which will also propagate throughout the UK

Some useful links:
Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory
Potsdam Institure for Climate Impact Research
CReSIS Northern Europe Map

Monday, April 14

Buses and pedestrians diverted in Waterlooville

Pedestrians have to walk in the bus lane whilst Grainger carry out some 'minor' West of Waterlooville MDA work.
Big mounds of earth appear on the MDA site near London road. With food shortages and high prices across the world, here in the UK we are going to build houses on green field land and grow biofuels instead of food.
Some light machinery carrying out some 'minor' work on the West of Waterlooville MDA site, along the London Road.
Buses, cyclists and pedestrians all get diverted for some reason for a couple of weeks. Cars get off lightly.

Sunday, April 6

Snow in April 2008

Snow in April!
It's to late for an April fool joke. This really is 3 inches of snow in Waterlooville on April 6th.
Mind you it started melting about half an hour after it stopped as the air started warming up again and the clouds started clearing.
It's quite unusual for the South coast of England to get any snow, even more so this time of year. The last time we had a significant amount was probably some 20 years ago.

Tuesday, March 11

Walk a mile? Waterlooville is closer than you think

How long does it take to walk a mile?
The answer is 15 minutes (at a brisk pace), that's 4 miles an hour.

Is this slower than driving a mile to one of Waterloovilles car parks? Well not really, if you think about it, taking into account the traffic hold ups at lights, junctions and roundabouts, then finding a parking space, fetching a ticket and then walking from the car park to the centre, at best you might shave a few minutes off the journey and would have added some weight to your waist!
On a bad day it may very well take longer than walking. Also when the West of Waterlooville MDA is finished, traffic will get worse, why not start walking today!

So what is the point of driving, when walking costs nothing, rebuilds some muscles you lost, and loses you some weight.

How far is a mile, you may well ask?

It's about 1 mile from:
1. Hart Plain Avenue/London Rd junction to Waterlooville centre.
2. Hambledon Parade to Waterlooville centre.
3. Purbrook to Waterlooville centre.

Basically many thousands of people live within a 15 minute walk from Waterlooville. Do yourself and others a favour, walk to Waterlooville.

Sunday, March 9

West of Waterlooville MDA - photos of hedgerow destruction

Muddy mess after the assault on the trees and hedgerows. I wonder if they checked for nesting birds before the destruction?
High fence being constructed for or by Wimpey, replacing the trees and hedgerows, this will block off the view of the massive machines doing more destructive work later.
Stumps where the hedgerow and trees along the road once stood.

Saturday, March 8

Wimpey start the Waterlooville destruction

Before Wimpey start the West of Waterlooville MDA destruction...

... and not long after they start, hedgerows and trees chopped down.

Friday, February 29

The demise of the plastic carrier bag

Hmmmm, looks like i'll be turning my attention away from plastic carrier bags if The Daily Mail and Gordon Brown have their way. Maybe if the campaign against plastic carrier bags is successful i won't have to take photos of them flying like flags in trees and bushes around Waterlooville. I think it will be a long time yet though before plastic garbage is completely gone from the trees, grass and hedgerows of Waterlooville and the UK. So you can expect to see more horrible photos of Waterloovilles waste problems in the future until something is done to tackle the problem of crisp packets, fast food containers and other such rubbish.

Tuesday, February 26

No Car Day at Waterlooville?

Oh if only Waterlooville can follow Marlows example and give up cars in a big way. I refer to the Channel 4 show called 'The Woman Who Stops Traffic' which was broadcasted this evening at 9pm. It was a joy to see the streets of Marlow empty of traffic and what seemed to be a commitment to change.

The solution in Waterlooville isn't to push cars into car parks on the outskirts of the town that pedestrians have to walk through to get into town, the solution is to get people to stop using their cars altogether, to walk and cycle. A 40% reduction in traffic (and a 40% reduction in green house gas car emissions) in Marlow was impressive, with no reduction in commerce, business etc. Plus the majority of the kids got to school without a car.

Finally everyone in Marlow was that little bit healthier to!

Thursday, February 21

Do your shopping in Waterlooville without a car?

How do you haul loads of shopping from Waterlooville to home, without a car and disposable carrier bags? This has always been a problem even when in the past we had plenty of choice for local shops. Well mothers and fathers often use the babies push chair, so we can take a lesson from this and use un-motorised wheels.

One way is to use a shopping trolley, not the supermarket variety, but a personal one that you can pull behind you. I know what your thinking, it's not for you because they are dull or uncool. Yes? No?

Well no, because there are trolleys to suit all tastes now. For example Rolser have a range of cool looking trolleys. I like the Rolser Mountain Retro. If you want to use carrier bags, then why not use a DeWeNe trolley to carry them. Lets get rid of those disposable carrier bags, get fitter and reduce GHG emissions all in one go!

Monday, February 18

Asda fly the bag in Waterlooville

An Asda plastic carrier bag caught on camera at the Hambledon Road Retail Centre, near the pedestrian underpass. The dual carriageway traffic lights can be seen in the background.

Well done Asda Waterlooville for achieving greater heights with plastic bags. This one looks like it might be blown away in a gale, who knows where? Maybe to the big rubbish dump collecting in the Pacific ocean.

The good news is that the bag isn't full of dog shit, which is what you do observe in plastic bags a lot on the streets here in Waterlooville, surrounding areas and other parts of the UK.

Monday, February 11

Swiss Cottage - Waterlooville

Swiss Cottage

Nearby Office block and flats
Swiss Cottage is probably one of the last remaining unaltered buildings in Waterlooville that dates back before the 1950s. There is a photograph of the building that is dated 1906, this one was taken today.

It is now occupied by the local Citizens Advice Bureau branch, an organisation devoted to giving free legal and financial advice. It's a shame that the roof tiles at the front have been replaced by plastic sheeting, but most of the building retains its original character. It is however in poor repair.

A few yards further down the street is this non-descript block of offices and flats. About two years ago some beautiful Georgian cottages were demolished so that these could be built. The same type of cottages in Chichester would be protected and cherished, but the local Waterlooville authorities and property developers consider Waterlooville the ideal place to demolish any previous history. Unfortunately i didn't photograph the Georgian cottages before they were demolished.

A lot of the worst defacing of Waterloovilles historic buildings occured in the 1950s and 1960s. Take a look at photographs of the period and the old Victorian buildings had either been replaced or modern fronts had been put on the old shops. Of course today, developers and councillors see fit to continue the trend.

Monday, February 4

Havant Rubbish

Had to take the bus to Havant last week and was shocked yet again at the amount of rubbish that can be found in ditches, hedgerows etc. at the road side. It is really appalling and because car drivers don't see it (and councillors), nothing gets done. The Bus stop near the Havant Civic Offices and Health Centre has a nice pile of fast food rubbish and supermarket packaging in a ditch.

I didn't have my camera with me this time so can't post any photos, but will do if i get a chance. On the embankment that leads to the railway bridge crossing into Havant Town centre there is another huge pile of rubbish, again because it isn't visible by the majority of people that pass that point (in cars), it isn't seen as a major problem.

If the majority walked past the point, then there would be a big public outcry about how appalling it is and that Havant should be cleaned up. But because most people drive past it and it is not visible to them, there is no will to do anything about it.

Thursday, January 17

Trenches at Waterlooville

Initial survey work and the digging of test trenches has started on the Grainger part of the West of Waterlooville MDA. I'm not sure what the trenches are for, but it looks like they are checking the composition of the soil.

The diggers and bulldozers moved in days ago, similar trenches were dug on a different section of land last year.

I think crops were grown on the land last year. You can't actually see the trenches from London road, you have to climb up the embankment to get a good view of them.

Like the George Wimpey development nearer Denmead, this housing/commercial development will permanently take this land out of agricultural use and/or remove it as a habitat for wild life. At the same time the weak environmental regulation of building in the UK will mean carbon emissions will also increase.

Sadly when people move into their new Grainger and Wimpey homes, they won't care that the land their homes are built on was once green or what Waterlooville looked like before the homes were built.

Congrats to the Hawks

An outstanding result for the Hawks (Havant and Waterlooville) football club yesterday, beating Swansea 4-2 in the FA cup tournament. It's not often the team or the two Hampshire towns make headline news!

Even more incredible for the part time Hawks team will be the fact that they will be playing Liverpool in the next (fourth) round. Good luck Hawks.

Hawks Supporters site

Saturday, January 5

Rubbish Waterlooville

Waitrose bag

Asda bag

Tesco bag

Bag of unknown origin

Shopping cart

Plastic carrier bags and other rubbish trapped in hedgerows and grass are an eyesore around Waterlooville. The photos here were taken this weekend near Waterlooville fire station and along the dual carriage way bypass. There seemed to be examples from every local supermarket, Waitrose, Tescos and Asda.

The problem is that most people don't notice the mess in the grass and hedgerows, whilst sitting in their cars. You have to be walking past it to really appreciate the crap that is lying around. Car drivers probably use more 'disposable' carrier bags than pedestrians these days, as most pedestrians i see with shopping bags have there own sturdy bags or recyclable 'bags for life'. So not only do drivers ignore the bags, but they are probably also the primary reason why supermarkets in the UK keep supplying 'free' carrier bags to customers.

How can the mess be cleaned up?

Well one could blame the people that drop the bags on the pavement. But the bags are just as likely to blow out of public waste bins along the street or out the back of waste collection vehicles. So who should take responsibility for cleaning this crap up?

I think the supermarkets and other retail outlets in Waterlooville should contribute to a yearly clean up fund. This could be used to pay for a team of people to go around the grass verges and hedgerows cleaning up the rubbish a few times a year. Twice a year is probably sufficient. I don't think that Havant council does anything, i might be wrong but i have never seen anyone clean it up.

Of course the other solution is to eliminate the packaging and bags. Biodegradeable packaging has been around for centuries, it's called paper and card! But obviously there are other modern alternatives as well.

Banning disposable plastic carrier bags is another obvious way forward. If you don't like it, tough, you'll have to survive without, i'm sure you'll manage.

Wednesday, January 2

A New Year!

The same Waterlooville.

One annoying thing about Christmas is that it is virtually impossible to buy paper gift wrap in the popular stores. Recycle For Hampshire and Project Integra won't take the current plastic wrap for recycling. This situation is exactly the opposite to what we know it should be. We know we need to recycle more, but shops and manufacturers do not help us achieve this.

The ridiculous thing is that for many, many decades, paper wrap was perfectly satisfactory, so there is absolutely no excuse.

If you have to buy gift wrap, try getting paper wrap and if you can't find any, complain in the shops that are selling the plastic stuff.

Natural Collection has a selection of eco friendly gift wraps. I think as long as people assess a product mainly based on price then we will always have a waste and consumption problem.