the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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whether its worth it to fly?

There are many people who write articles about why they don’t fly.  There are also many articles by people about why they do.  What I haven’t yet seen is someone who did fly, writing with hindsight about whether the journey was worthwhile or not.  So that’s what I want to do here, a kind of cost-benefit analysis of the trip.

The first point I want to make is that for me, deciding to make this trip was a really big deal.  We can do all the things we like at home to reduce our carbon footprint, but one substantial flight throws that out of the window.  As Ed Gillespe writes in his recent book ‘Only Planet’, the record of his round-the-world trip without planes:

“Flying makes the world seem small.  But let’s face it, it’s not.  It’s a 25,000 mile journey around the equator.  That’s a bit more than a stroll in the park”.

He adds:

“Travel is a gifted privilege not a given right.  Think about this next time someone argues they ‘deserve’ a holiday”.

The US is a very, very long way from the UK.  We calculated the amount of carbon used to get there, for internal flights while there and the journey home again, for both Peter and myself.  We did this using three different carbon calculating websites, and took an average of their (surprisingly varied) results.  My total was 3.4 tonnes (14,804 miles), and Peter’s, who only came on the first part of the trip, was 2.08 (8,776 miles). For context, the average UK carbon footprint is 14 tonnes (when you include aviation).  To reach a point consistent with the challenge of climate change, our footprints should be falling to around 3 tonnes, so a trip like that is a big deal.

To read more, click HERE!

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where to invade next

Academy Award®-winning director Michael Moore is back with WHERE TO INVADE NEXT: a provocative and hilarious comedy in which Moore will stop at nothing to figure out how to actually make America great again.

Just in time for election season, America’s favorite political provocateur, Michael Moore, is back with his new film, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. Honored by festivals and critics groups alike, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT is an expansive, hilarious, and subversive comedy in which the Academy Award®-winning director confronts the most pressing issues facing America today and finds solutions in the most unlikely places. The creator of FAHRENHEIT 9/11 and BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE has returned with an epic movie that’s unlike anything he has done before—an eye-opening call to arms to capture the American Dream and restore it in, of all places, America.

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another film to screen in your town, grange, or church basement

Racing Extinction: The Film

In Racing Extinction, a team of artists and activists exposes the hidden world of extinction with never-before-seen images that will change the way we see the planet. Two worlds drive extinction across the globe, potentially resulting in the loss of half of all species. The international wildlife trade creates bogus markets at the expense of creatures that have survived on this planet for millions of years. And the other surrounds us, hiding in plain sight — a world that the oil and gas companies don’t want the rest of us to see. Using covert tactics and state-of-the-art technology, the Racing Extinction team exposes these two worlds in an inspiring affirmation to preserve life as we know it. From the Academy Award® Winning Filmmakers of “The Cove”

To buy this film or check out a screening, click HERE!

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act now to prevent the soon-to-be largest chemical and gmo seed company in the world

If you thought Monsanto was bad, this could be even worse: Chinese chemical giant ChemChina has begun a $43 billion merger with Swiss-based seed and pesticide company Syngenta to create one of the largest chemical and GMO seed companies in the world.

This proposed merger could have huge ramifications in the U.S. and across the entire global food system, where only six companies now control 75 percent of the world’s seed and agricultural chemical business.1 Further consolidation would put our food production system in the hands of even fewer multinational corporations, with the potential of unchecked use of more toxic chemicals and GMOs in our food supply.

A bipartisan group of members of Congress is calling on the Obama administration to more aggressively scrutinize the merger, with the potential of stopping it from moving forward.2 We must act now to pressure the Obama Administration to stop this dangerous merger before it’s too late.

To act, click HERE.

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ugly fruit is especially nutritious

Eat Ugly Apples Picture

Source: Eliza Greenman (

Greenhorns blogger Eliza Greenman is featured on NPR, the Weather Channel and Food&Wine this week in regards to her work on #eatuglyapples!

Food&Wine: Bruised and scabbed apples have more antioxidants and sugars because they’ve fought off natural stressors.

Grocery shoppers don’t generally make a beeline to the scabbed and blemished apples. But maybe they should. New research shows that trauma to the fruit—stresses from fighting heat, bugs, and fungus—forces apples to produce antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, anthocyanins and carotenoids. And these compounds have all kinds of nutritional value.

to read more, click HERE!


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vt: hands on workshop weekend (aug 25th-28th)

Ever wonder how milk becomes cheese and yogurt? What the difference between bacon, pancetta and prosicutto is? How an IPA differs from a regular Pale Ale?

 Roll up your sleeves and pack your apron!

 During this four-day tour, you will be introduced to various food production methods through hands-on workshops, tastings and innovative farm tours around Vermont’s Champlain Valley. From the cheesemaking that Vermont is famous for to traditional Italian charcuterie, from ancient yogurt and kombucha fermentation methods to the top craft beers, ciders, wine and spirits, our aim is to show you as much behind the scenes artisanal food production as possible in one weekend!

To learn more about this extended workshop weekend, click HERE!


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