Help reduce excessive household waste

Take your own reusable containers to a buy in bulk shop, and ideally those who only sell organic and seasonal.

Compost your food waste, or put it in your food waste bin for collection to help reduce harmful pesticide use.

Treat your council recycling bin as a last resort. If you must buy something in a bottle or container and you can’t reuse it see about donating it to your local school or charity for arts/crafts or other uses. Reuse.

Rather than send your brown papers to the council recycling bin, ask your local community garden or allotment if they will use it for their compost heap.

If you really must buy something in a bag that can’t be reused and isn’t able to be recycled then return it to the shop from where you purchased it, asking them to instead provide recycled paper packaging for that product. Better that they take on the responsibility of disposal, which might make them think again about packaging, rather than council rates rising to service retailers’ inaction.

Go further than banning smartphones and tablets at school

Harm to undeveloped immune systems and brains, screen-addiction, sleep disruption, cyber bullying, age inappropriate content, purchasing products harmful to themselves and others, county lines crime, grooming, trolls, enabling unsafe levels of independence relative to maturity levels, hearing damage from headphones. What else?

If there were significant weight behind the concern that phone use is simply pushed underground if children are banned from owning phones then the same view would have been taken long ago on gambling, alcohol, other drugs - the list goes on.

We know phones aren’t essential for emergency purposes because this was manageable long before mobile phones were invented. The phones weren’t invented because society was unable to cope in emergencies.

Quantum Biology

Listen here, BBC Radio 4 The Life Scientific

“Jim Al-Khalili specialised in nuclear physics and spent fifteen years in front of a computer screen trying to understand an exotic and ephemeral sub-atomic phenomenon known as the halo effect. His ‘little eureka moment’ came in 1996 when Jim discovered that, for the mathematics to add up, these halo nuclei had to be a lot bigger than anyone had thought.

More recently he has become interested in quantum biology. It started as a hobby back in the 1990s when physicists were sceptical and many biologists were unconvinced. Since then evidence has been stacking up. Several studies suggest that lasting quantum mechanical effects could explain photosynthesis, for example. 'It maybe a red herring’ Jim admits but Jim and his team at the University of Surrey are determined to find out if the idea of quantum biology makes sense. Could life itself depend on quantum tunnelling and other bizarre features of the sub-atomic world?”

Producer: Anna Buckley

Who is watching you?

Listen here BBC Radio 4 Start the Week

“Society is at a turning point, warns Professor Shoshana Zuboff. Democracy and liberty are under threat as capitalism and the digital revolution combine forces. She tells Andrew Marr how new technologies are not only mining our minds for data, but radically changing them in the process. As Facebook celebrates its 15th birthday she examines what happens when a few companies have unprecedented power and little democratic oversight.

Although behavioural data is constantly being abstracted by tech companies, John Thornhill, Innovations Editor at the Financial Times, questions whether they have yet worked out how to use it effectively to manipulate people. And he argues that the technological revolution has brought many innovations which have benefitted society.

The award-winning writer Ece Temelkuran has warned readers about rising authoritarianism in her native Turkey. In her new book, How To Lose a Country, she widens that warning to the rest of the world. She argues that right-wing populism and nationalism do not appear already fully-formed in government - but creep insidiously in the shadows, unchallenged and underestimated until too late.”

Producer: Katy Hickman

Free wildflower seeds for your urban space

A great opportunity to look after native wildflowers - free seeds to sow before mid-May.

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Kew Gardens’ Grow Wild campaign is looking for community, school and workplace groups to create urban wildflower havens to enhance people’s connections with nature, and each other, while helping our bees and other pollinators. To get your free seeds, apply to Grow Wild before 31st January, 2019.

Don’t worry about any lack of plant knowledge. The seeds are easier to grow than many other plants and flowers and are an excellent way to experience the joys of growing.

Includes perennials such as Corn Marigold, Oxeye Daisy and Lady’s Bedstraw.


Pollinator Paths project at local gardens

Find the Pollinator Paths project at a local garden near you.

London supports a wide diversity of wildlife habitats, including woodlands, rivers and wetlands, heaths, hedgerows, gardens and scrub, supporting over 13,000 species. London’s gardens provide valuable habitat for a range of wild plants and animals, covering nearly a quarter of Greater London. They are a key resource for conserving London biodiversity and are also important with regards to the predicted impact of climate change by decreasing flood risk and reducing the urban heat island effect.
— www.lsx.org.uk/our-work/resilient-communities/connecting-londoners-to-nature/
London Sustainability Exchange delivers projects that engage communities with their green spaces, providing education and activities that work towards conserving and supporting biodiversity in the capital. Their work focuses on directly engaging the public because:  Gardens are a significant conservation resource, however their management is outside of government/authority control  Research shows 75% of young Londoners are not connected to nature

London Sustainability Exchange delivers projects that engage communities with their green spaces, providing education and activities that work towards conserving and supporting biodiversity in the capital. Their work focuses on directly engaging the public because:

Gardens are a significant conservation resource, however their management is outside of government/authority control

Research shows 75% of young Londoners are not connected to nature