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.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Cat nap

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:

I don’t like cats (even this cutie outside my window). I know this is surprisingly controversial and will probably alienate half the readers of this blog (OK, the other one). My main complaints are that cats kill birds, mice, do that horrible padding/clawing thing when they relax on you, spray and poo in my seed beds.

But now I have another complaint, and it’s about waste – those people who have to provide cat litter trays and are using that grey stuff. This is a mineral that has to be dug out of the countryside. It creates huge scars, brings in loads of heavy lorry traffic, and leaves the area with a whacking great hole that will end up as landfill or another quarry nature park.

And if that wasn’t enough complaints, the contents of cat litter trays are hard to dispose of (even for those people who use wood pellets).

Because of the risk of toxomoplosis CHECK SP the official advice is to put it into the rubbish bin. You’re meant to do this with dog poo as well. I’ve recently met dog owners who compost their dogs’ poo. They claim that this is OK so long as you are an expert composter who gets the temperatures up high enough to burn off the pathogens.

Verdict: my family would love a dog (the cat issue is actually solved by Nell being allergic to them, another point against the little beasts) but until I can work out how we’d sensibly deal with the daily dog mess the patter of little paws remains a dream.

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