Cardiff Friends of the Earth Newsletter - Winter 2001

Minimise your waste this Christmas

It is the time of year when the wrapping paper comes out, the Christmas tree goes up, we eat twice as much as is good for us, and our domestic waste doubles.

On Saturday 8 December, Cardiff Friends of the Earth were out in force on Queen Street. We hit home our 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle' message with shoppers, complete with plastic bag mountain to show how easily waste accumulates during Christmas.

Two of our members, fashionably dressed in plastic bags, handed out leaflets and Phil with his trusty harmonica played Christmas carols.

Here are a few tips to help you cut down on your Christmas Waste:

  • Just say 'no' to all those plastic bags handed out at every shop for every single item. Take one bag, and use it well. Better still, get a reusable bag and take it shopping with you.
  • Buy a tree with real roots. After Christmas, plant it out in a large pot in the garden for next year. If you can't do this, take you non-rooted tree to the council tipping sites to recycle it into mulch.
  • Keep old wrapping paper to re-use next year. If you need new paper, buy a roll of recycled paper.
  • Don't forget to order extra pints from the milkman. Don't use supermarket plastic cartons.
  • Recycle all your empty bottles.
  • Buying lose vegetables and meat from a butcher avoids the polystyrene trays and cling film.

Many thanks to Recreate for taking away our 200 plus plastic bag collection for use in arts and crafts projects.

Real food

Make your Christmas a real food Christmas. Eating and drinking is an important part of our Christmas celebrations. Stock up now with organic, locally produced, food and drink using our Cardiff mini-guide:

  • organic wine and fresh vegetables. Pulses Wholefoods, Kings Road, Canton
  • organic food and vegetables. Urban Organics
  • turkey and other meat. Graig Farm
  • tea, coffee, nuts, cards and gifts. Fair Trade Centre, Canton.

Baby deformities linked to nuclear plant

Cardiff Friends of the Earth is continuing its campaign to improve safety at the Nycomed Amersham site in Whitchurch. A recent report commissioned by the Bro Taff Health Authority found that between 1983 and 1998 a "statistically significant" number of babies were born with congenital deformities within a 7.5km radius of the plant.

Both Bro Taff Health Authority and Nycomed Amersham have stated that there is no clear link to the plant which, according to an article in the New Scientist, is Britain's second largest radioactive polluter in Britain after Sellafield. The plant makes radioactive products for medical use and releases radioactive Tritium into the air and into the sea.

Boycott Esso

Cardiff Friends of the Earth showed that we can hit Esso where it hurts by staging a demonstration outside its petrol station in Cowbridge Road East. The normally busy forecourt was unusually quiet on Saturday 1 December as group members asked drivers flocking into Cardiff to boycott the site.

Esso is being targeted as part of a national campaign because it is attempting to sabotage international action to prevent climate change. It is using its huge wealth to influence the US President, George W Bush, persuading him to block international agreements on the issue.

Please support us in our campaign by avoiding buying petrol from Esso whenever possible.

Cardiff FoE needs your help

We will be holding our AGM on Saturday 19 January between 10.30am and 3pm at the FoE Cymru office, 33 Cardiff Arcade Balcony. We will discuss our campaigns for the coming year, evaluate what we did well last year and see what needs to be improved.

If you would like to have your say, please come along. Alternatively phone us or write to us at the address above.