What’s your Carbon footprint?

I don’t know about you but I seem to be in various “groups” on facebook. There’s a crafting one, a reduce plastic one and a sustainable living one to name but a few. I enjoy these groups and they are mostly easy going places where I can pick up different tips.

Last week however, someone posted this link in one the groups. A link to a calculator to work out your carbon footprint. The original poster lived in Australia and flew home to Britain a few times a year so as expected her carbon footprint was pretty high.

I was excited to try out the link to see what my footprint was. We are a family of 4, a guinea pig and a tortoise and we try to live as sustainably as possible. So I took the quiz and got the results….

I’ve got to be honest I was a bit shocked. I didn’t think it would be so high!

The quiz is split into 4 sections and the results give you a breakdown of each section:

From the results above, it seems that we fall down on the travel section. We have been abroad twice this year already but only once by plane, we have two cars, Hubby commutes almost an hour each way 5 days a week, I have a medium sized family car which I use to ferry the kids about to their various activities and to carry my stuff from school to school when needed for my job.  We do walk to school as often as we can, even in winter, but sometimes it is necessary for me to drive the kids the mile to school.

It also gave a breakdown of our carbon emissions. Apparently we are just lower than the UK average but much, much higher than the world average.

I realise that this isn’t an accurate figure as it uses guesstimates based on your answers to a quiz that doesn’t really cover all the bases. It is however, a good starting point.

Does anyone know of a better calculator?  Have you tried this one? Please let me know

Half Term

Last week was half term so I had the kids home with me all week. I am one of those mums that love having my kids home and we usually pack so many activities into school holidays.

But this time was different. This time we hardly did anything, and to be honest I’m feeling quite sad about it.

I had ear surgery two weeks ago and as such I wasn’t really well enough to leave the house and I haven’t had the energy to organise activities in the house either. So the kids have pretty much done nothing.

On the positive side, they are quite happy to entertain themselves (and each other), they have played with Lego, D has played with his Pokémon cards, they have watched Netflix and YouTube videos and played nicely with me downstairs. It was nice and the kids were fab but now we are at the end of half term and I feel like they’ve missed out and I have awful mum guilt.

As a way to salvage something we walked up the mountain last night to watch the sunset. Little Lady brought a friend and they spent a bit of time running around and messing around, stopping every now and again to admire the colours of the sky as the sun went down.

We were all exhausted on the way back down (even though I’d spent most of my time sat on a blanket!) but they have an Inset day here today so it didn’t matter how late they were going to bed last night.

They haven’t stopped talking about it today which eases my guilt slightly. Little Lady’s friend has already asked when we can do it again and I have heard rumblings about repeating it but on Pen-y-Fan instead. We’ll see.

How do you feel about school holidays? Do you use the time as downtime? Or fill the time with activities?

Is there plastic in your tea?

Almost 4 years ago I wrote this blog post about teabags containing plastic. I was absolutely horrified to realise that I had been ingesting plastic (albeit tiny amounts) but it did explain why I kept finding the bags in the compost bin.

We made the switch to loose leaf tea and we’ve used that ever since. However, that’s not really the end of the story, as the most convenient form of loose leaf tea (supermarket rather than trekking into Cardiff) still comes wrapped in plastic *sigh*.

So it was great to read that PG Tips are switching to plastic free, fully biodegradable tea bags  (article here). The Co-op are reportedly following suit with their Fairtrade tea going plastic free by the end of the year.

Hopefully in their rush to remove the plastic from their teabags, they won’t overlook their packaging.

Still, it’s all a step in the right direction.

 

Pen Y Fan

Pen-y-Fan is the highest peak in South Wales and a popular attraction for both casual and accomplished climbers. It is 886 meters above sea-level and is owned by the National Trust.

There is a very well cared for path to the top and although steep, the terrain itself is pretty smooth. Hubby had a few days off and he and I decided to take the kids. We packed some sweets and some sandwiches, wrapped up warm (the weather was showing -5* at the summit) and set off.

Despite the cold there were already a lot of people on the mountain and the kids were keen to set off.

Here’s D with his “ready to climb a mountain”pose 🙂

As we climbed we came across the odd bit of snow at the sides of the path and the kids were very excited.

The views as you climb Pen-y-Fan are breathtaking.

As is the view from the top

D especially found the climb hard going, but in fairness to both of them, they were both determined to reach the top.

The classic “top of Pen-y-Fan” picture.

I was (and still am) so proud of the two of them. It is not an easy climb and with D’s little legs it took us an hour and a half to climb the 2 miles to the top. With the endorphins pumping from the accomplishment both stated that they can’t wait to do it again. You never know maybe we’ll make it a regular thing.