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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Monday, 30 April 2007

Greens on planes

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of loads of countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood. This post is from Nicola.

Planes aren’t just carrying passengers with sunscreen and travellers cheques – there’s an increasing amount of planes arriving each day that are stuffed with crates of exotic fruit and vegetables destined for our supermarkets and market stalls. If you can't resist holiday, work or love miles using a plane, then you can at least reduce the amount of CO2 emissions you create from your weekly shopping basket by choosing UK grown produce. This is easy if you read the label, and great for your children's geography too. Admittedly it makes your trip round the supermarket a little bit slower at first...

Sometimes a packet of salad leaves, can contain produce grown in as many as five countries – all flown in from different corners of the world. This is definitely not what's meant by having your five a day.

Less miles from farm gate to your plate is even easier if you grow a few items yourself. At Lola and Nell's school the Climate Club planted strawberries and blueberries back in March in the hope that they'd be able to enjoy snacking on their own grown produce. They might even share the crop with their friends, so long as someone keeps remembering to water the containers.

Cross fingers that our housesitters will also be watering our window boxes of basil, tomatoes, Romanesco cauliflower, fennel and mint while we are away. Has anyone got any tips about how to make watering really easy, and fun enough for children and guests to want to do it? Or can we get away with a thick layer of mulch?

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