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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.

Friday, 21 March 2008

On the frame

Nicola & Pete plus daughters Lola, now 9 and Nell, now 7, spent last year exploring Britain in a carbon-light manner. Our spring 2008 challenge is to give up waste from 24 March to 24 April. Most posts are by Nicola (as it was her silly idea). This is how it’s going:

April is full of do-gooder events – join us at the Islington Ecology Centre on Sunday 6 April from 2-5pm to buy your own bit of Zimbabwean art done by 8-9 year old school students from Harare. All the money raised will go to support the Greystone Nature Reserve, a little pocket park around a dam in the suburb of Borrowdale. Since 2006 Greystone Nature Reserve has been twinned with Gillespie Park and the Friends of Gillespie are trying to raise around #250 a year to help cover the Zimbabwean park’s running costs.

Last night I was trying to frame the 12 sweet pictures my friend Nicky brought over from Zimbabwe in December. All were winners in the competition Greystone Nature Reserve holds every October for the schools that use the park. Although I’d rather use a second hand frame I just couldn’t find a dozen A4 frames and so turned to the Ikea solution. The Ram frame (incredibly cheap), made in China may make these pictures look lovely and sellable for the wanted tenner BUT it created a pile of plastic waste that I’ve no idea how to recycle.

Why every picture frame needed a thin envelope of plastic (only removable with scissors) and then two more bits of sticky plastic to be peeled off the cheap plastic facing that turns a page of A4 into a proper picture is mystifying.

Verdict: it’s harder than I thought to avoid non-recyclable plastics. If I get the energy I’m going to write to Ikea (which claims it is soon to charge customers for plastic bags) to ask if they can reduce their packaging. Or at least explain themselves...

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