Saturday 19 February 2022

A Greener Planet

Green Planet

Tree in a Bubble by Pixabay from Pexels

What a joy it was to watch Sir David Attenborough’s Green Planet aired by the BBC earlier this year. It was split into 5 episodes, exploring Tropical Worlds, Seasonal Worlds, Human Worlds, Water Worlds & Desert Worlds.

Sir David Attenborough follows the remarkable nature of plants, including how they grow in remarkably hostile terrains and how, with a little care, we can encourage nature to spring back allowing a biodiverse environment and benefitting us in the long term.

If you missed this amazing programme & you’re based in the UK you can access clips at: or find past episodes in your TV box.

Inspired by the BBC programme, an AR experience has been created for a short time in Piccadilly Circus, London. It runs from Friday 11th February to Wednesday 9th March.

Travel through some digitally enhanced worlds including Saltwater, Freshwater, Rainforest, Seasonal & Deserts.

The Green Planet AR Experience is located at Piccadilly Circus in London. Tickets are free & can be booked online at

Also available is this Green Planet double-sided colour poster. Produced by the Open University, it is free to order online at

If you enjoyed the programme, you can test your knowledge with the Green Planet Quizzes:

How Can we Keep our Green Planet Green?

Hedgerow Planting:

Hedgerows are easy to undervalue but they are a great refuge for multiple species of birds and insects. According to Positive News, the Climate Change Committee recommends a 40% increase in hedgerows, which not only helps wildlife but they can act as a carbon store. Devon Farmer Rob Wolton, with the aid of entomologists, spotted 2000 species in one hedge alone, including insects, small mammals, lizards, grass snakes and various types of birds.

The Guardian report that hedges reduce the likelihood of flooding downstream, help to suck pollutants out of water, and prevent soil erosion. Flower filled hedgerows could also attract pollinators which have been in decline. (An excellent look at the benefit of hedgerows and how they can help us reach net zero can be read in the Guardian link above.)

The Tree Council kick started a National Hedgerow Planting Week end of May/early June last year. Their Close the Gap Hedgerow Project is part funded by the UK Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund in unison with the National Lottery.

If you’d like to support them you can donate to the Tree Council, pledge a hedge or get tips on looking after your own hedge at:

The People's Trust for Endangered Species have links to a hedgerow survey app you can download.

Trees through Crystal Ball Photo by Bogdan Dirică from PexelsTree Planting:

The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Everyone across the UK is being invited to plant trees from October 2021 (when the tree planting season begins) through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022.

For more info head on down to: 
The Local Authority Treescape Fund (LATF) will re-open in early 2022. The government expects that up to 100 grants worth £50,000 to £300,000 will be available for local authorities in the next round.

The first round of funding is currently supporting planting of an expected 260,000 trees outside of woodlands, with 139 local authorities awarded a share of £4.4 million across 42 projects. 

For further tree & woodland planting grants head on down to:

So why are trees so important? Although they can produce carbon, they sequester twice as much as they emit allowing them to be a carbon sink.

According to an article by Eco Watch: ‘Forests emitted on average 8.1 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide and absorbed 16 billion between 2001 and 2019.’ The net amount absorbed is 1.5 times more than United States emits annually, so our trees MUST be nurtured if we want to continue our existence.

Peatland Restoration:

The UK Peatland Strategy was launched in April 2018 by the IUCN UK Peatland Programme. They estimate that 80% of peatland is degraded, this sadly leads to drying out of the peat causing carbon loss rather than carbon capture. In the UK, three broad peatland types exist – blanket bog, raised bog and fen. Peatland in good condition can help with water filtration and prevent flooding, as well as encourage a more diverse mix of plants and insects which then encourages a greater mix of birds and wildlife.

In 2021 the UK government produced an England Peat Action Plan (PDF). According to the plan they have launched a four year ‘Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme’ investing over £50million in peatland restoration by 2025.

According to Cambridge news:

“Peatlands are Earth’s largest terrestrial carbon store, holding more than twice the amount of carbon in all the world’s forests. 87 per cent of peatlands are degraded. In this state, they do not capture and store carbon but emit an estimated 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year.

“The Government’s Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme aims to capture this carbon by setting 35,000 ha of degraded peatland on a path to restoration by 2025.”

Seagrass Planting:

Sea Otter Photo by Barthy Bonhomme from Pexels

Swansea University, Sky Ocean Rescue & WWF have been planting sea grasses to help our shores. Sea grasses are a useful source of carbon capture & provide a haven for sea life. 

Sadly 92% of seagrass on UK shores have disappeared - with planting projects, the aim is to bring back a thriving community.

A Seagrass Seeds of Recovery Fund has helped create a Seagrass Nursey in Wales. For some of the seagrass projects around the UK, including England, Scotland & Wales check out:

Rewilding Land:

Rewilding is allowing nature to return back to its natural habitat. Land can be over farmed losing its nutrients; trees can be cut down for house building & animal grazing can strip young shoots preventing new growth. Hedgerows can be cleared to make way for larger fields and waterways can be straightened and narrowed, reducing natural flood plains which can result in flood water rushing down into inhabited towns and villages.

Animals, birds and insects that rely on natural surroundings begin to suffer as their native food supply may be lost due to lack of forest and ground cover and lack of healthy plant and flower growth in the area. Soil can lose nutrients and peat land can dry out. With dry peat land, unhealthy soil and a lack of greenery, this leads to carbon storage becoming much harder to control causing carbons to be lost into the atmosphere.

Rewilding projects help to work with landowners and farmers & allows nature to return back to its former glory, thereby encouraging a more biodiverse landscape. This will help with carbon capture thereby helping us out too!

If you’re a landowner, here’s 12 steps to begin rewilding:

Regenerative Farming:

Check out this short video by the United Nations:

Overgrazing can deplete soil causing loss of nutrients and soil erosion. We don’t have to STOP farming, just re-think the methods in the way we do it. 

Methods could include planting wildflower meadows along the edges, building more hedgerows, allowing fields to recover before bringing grazers back in, avoid over tilling of soil which could strip the nutrients, planting trees, shrubs and herbs that produce food which also encourages pollinators & allowing grazing animals to move between trees rather than land clearance.

Our recent eco booze article covered ways in which grape producers encourage local biodiversity in between their planted vines as an example.

There’s also the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund by the UK government which encourages collaborative farming communities getting together to exchange ideas. 'The scheme plays a significant role in fostering and strengthening an engaged, collaborative and environmentally aware farming community.'

Hope Care Peace Love Flowers by Disha Sheta on Pexels

The Tower of London are holding a Super Bloom event this year. Vibrant meadow flowers will be used to fill the moat in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

In spring 2022, over 20 million seeds will be sown from carefully designed seed mixes. 

The flowers will be in bloom from June to September. Tickets can be booked online at:


One of the Green Planet episodes covered a project in Kenya, whereby seeds were encased in charcoal ash and scattered by volunteers which included school children and wardens. Numerous ways have been used to plant seedballs, including dropping from planes, using slingshots to project them in random directions (great fun for the kids!) and some countries even uses camel riders to drop seedballs as they trek through the desert.

More on the Seedballs Kenya project at:

The beauty of seedballs is that the material used to encase the seeds (such as charcoal, clay), can be used to protect the seedlings and feed them during the early development. The seeds naturally bury their roots down into the soil so don’t need digging in.

Did you know that Lovelier Planet have been making seedballs with wildflower seeds for your garden? A good way to attract bees and butterflies into your garden to increase pollination. 

They are individually hand made from 50% compost & 50% clay and come in packs of 10 balls in a gift pack (which can be personalised on request) or in home made fabric crackers in packs of six available, with Easter and Christmas designs. See our etsy store for more details.

Resources for the Family:

Ask your school to apply for some free tree planting packs with the Woodland Trust:

Try this excellent Tree Tools for Schools site, which is a child friendly & full of resources:

Apply for fruit tree and hedgerow packs with the Tree Council (current application ends 7th March 2022)


Couples can get married in the Northwoods Rewilding Centre in Scotland. Maybe carbon offset your wedding day or perhaps ask for donations to support re-wilding projects. More info on all these options at:

For confetti, why not choose flower confetti using dried petals? (Normal confetti may contain plastics). 

For flowers & bouquets, check whether they are grown in the UK (rather than flown in from abroad) to reduce your carbon footprint.

Some great links below on eco wedding choices including venue and suppliers at: 

Robin on Blossom Branch by Pixabay from Pexels

Green burials are becoming more popular. Read more on this at: or

Did you know you can choose alternative coffins too, including beautifully designed cardboard based coffins?

If you have lost a loved one why not donate a tree in their honour through Woodland Trust? RSPB can accept memorial donations and have a book of remembrance at selected reserves.


Support sustainably produced projects such as companies that use green energy or re-utilise waste products (check out our recent eco-booze article for some ideas).

If buying products made from trees, look at for the FSC label to ensure it was properly managed, or use products made from faster growing bamboo. Our reviews section has some ideas for you. 

Check whether your product uses sustainable palm oil by using a Giki app. (This app looks at various ethical badges to help you make an informed choice). 

Also look out for the Rainforest Alliance logo on products for sustainable agriculture.

Check the label and see which products are produced locally. Avoid those sent by plane (for instance perishable goods such as fruit & veg flown in from abroad). Support your local farm shop for fresh produce.

Support local care farms (aimed at helping people as well as the environment whilst growing and selling fresh produce). There is a UK map here which you can enlarge to see the local care farm in your area.

Check our food to save the planet article a look at the impact of various food choices.


Check the packaging of items you buy in store to see if the manufacturer uses recycled content for their packaging (this uses less virgin plastics or trees which would add to your carbon footprint).

If you have a zero waste store in your area, help cut down on packaging waste by taking your own containers. See this directory for some stores near you. 

Reduce food waste (waste produces methane which can affect plant growth and increase global warming). There are some food apps to help reduce waste you can try.


Flying is a huge source of greenhouse gas emmissions for our planet. Look for greener ways to get around. If staying in the UK check out the National Trust’s eco holiday accommodation site.


Check our list of eco books which can help make swaps in your life to more eco friendly products.


Create a wildlife friendly garden with tips from the PTES. The site includes pollinating flowers, how to create woodpiles, insect hotels, bat boxes, ponds & hedgehog friendly gardens.

Anyone donating receives a free Wildlife Friendly Garden Kit too!


Ditch the gym membership and find some outdoor gym equipment in your local area. This site shows some ‘fresh air fitness gyms’ that might be near you.

Check for local activities such as ranger led nature walks at the National Trust.

If you like walking, maybe get a group of friends together to do a beach clean or litter pick.

Waterhaul, a UK company, can sell you litter pickers for about £15 made from recycled fishing nets and face masks. Great idea! Or the RSPB has one made from recycled plastics & metal.


Easter Chocolate Bunny Photo by George Dolgikh from Pexels
You’ll be surprised that even Easter eggs have their affect on the planet as well as worker’s rights. The Ethical Consumer group has listed Cadbury’s, Terry’s & Nestle as scoring poorly in their league table. 

Read on to learn more. (It’s worth reading the summaries below the league table too for some interesting insights).


Maybe not relevant now, but keep an eye on our tips towards the end of the year to reduce waste at Christmas.


Support banks & pensions that don’t invest in companies that fund oil production or chopping down of trees.

For a look at ethical investments check out this very informative site:

The site below is an eye opener for those looking at greener savings accounts. I was shocked to see my bank has been financing the nuclear weapons industry, as well as contributing to climate change industries whilst scoring poorly in tax payments and the use of tax havens. 

They are also involved in high levels of directors pay.

What Else Can We Do?

⚘ Support charities such as wwfwoodland trust, wildlife trust, & friends of the earth. Support your local Green Party candidate. 

⚘ Support companies that offer free tree planting with your order such as Floral Fox. Switch your search engine browser to Ecosia to support tree planting projects with every click. 

⚘ Get ready for Earth Day 2022 with your Earth Day Action Toolkit

Don't forget to breathe!

Snowdrops Photo by Photo by Simon Berger from Pexels