Christmas sale

Me and my sister wanted to raise money for charity. I wanted proceeds for WWF, to help them protect my favorite animal, the polar bear. My sister wanted her proceeds to go to Emmaus, a charity that helps people who have nowhere to live. We made soaps, pencils, bath salts and biscuits, but we didn’t buy anything. It was all homemade.

I raised 40€ for WWF and Rozzy made the same for Emmaus. Thank you to everyone who sang carols at our house and bought things.

I wanted to suggest to you that you could do that too! Try not to buy any ingredients from the shops. Use bits and pieces from around your house. It would be a great help to charities like WWF and Emmaus if you raised money for them!

Happy creating!IMG_0875

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The snow leopard

 

 

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Snow leopards are perfectly adapted to the cold, barren landscape of their high-altitude home, but human threats have created an uncertain future for these cats. Scientists estimate that there may only be between 3,920 and 6,390 snow leopards left in the wild today. Which seems a lot but, actually when you think about it, it is not much.

Snow leopard fact file:

  • Solo traveller: the snow leopard is usually solitary
  • Crepuscular: dawn and dusk are the cat’s most active times
  • Living large: some snow leopards have home ranges of up to 1,000 square kilometers!
  • Single mums: for about 18 months, females raise their cubs – all alone! They must be brave!
  • Cold and dry: the snow leopard primarily lives in arid, barren mountain areas
  • Gentle: snow leopards are not known to be aggressive toward humans. Of course, if you provoke them they will probably attack you. You can’t sweet-talk them!
  • Carnivorous: the cat’s main prey are ibex, argali and blue sheep. (despite their name, blue sheep are neither blue nor sheep. These slate grey to pale brown caprines are actually more closely related to goats than to sheep.)

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Too bad these cats don’t compete in long-jump competitions. Using their superstrong legs, they can leap up to 50 feet! They’re also into power walking—some travel distances of over 25 miles in one day in search of food! Must be really hungry! I wouldn’t do it!

Snow leopards are masters of camouflage. Their spotted coats turn white in winter to match the snow. In summer the fur changes to a yellowish grey so the cats can blend in almost completely with the surrounding mountains and blooming plants! Wow!

I have adopted a snow leopard at WWF! I have grown to love these cats and I hope you like them too!

 

Wildlife special

Hello everyone! I have decided that for a few months -ish , I shall post about endangered wild animals, that I believe would make interesting reading. I hope you will learn lots and be inspired by the wonderful creatures that are in decline.

Please choose your favorite animal that I have posted about, and reply back to me in the comments bar.

 

Anyone can do anything

I saw an article on the BBC website about an inspiring girl who lives in Pakistan called Zymal.  She realized that Pakistan has a huge waste problem and people need to recycle more. For now, there is rubbish everywhere in piles, on the road, outside houses, just everywhere. Mountains of colourful plastic bags. Have you ever had a bin open in your house, and it stinks really badly? Double that, or triple that or even quadruple that and you have the smells in the streets of Pakistan. Think about how lucky we are to not have that happening to us, whether we’re in England, France, Ireland, Germany, and Italy…

But we’re never that far away because lots of countries have had problems like this. For example, in England in the 1970s, we had a similar problem which was that all the rubbish collectors went on strike. As you can imagine, it must have been horrible. Can you imagine walking out of your house, and finding rubbish piled up everywhere?

Zymal decided to put a stop to it by making Zeebags, decorated newspapers with pretty decorations. She sells them to family, friends and most of the profits are given to various local charities. In the space of just three years she has gone from selling a few bags to selling hundreds – worth $4-5,000 One charity Zymal’s money goes to is called SOS Children’s Villages, which helps orphaned and destitute children across Pakistan. She hopes this will make people inspired to help protect the planet. Because if we all stand together, we can achieve amazing things. Everyone can do their bit, just a little thing helps.

Winners at St Albert’s Primary

Mrs Brightman’s class at St Albert’s Primary, Pollokshields, Glasgow rose to my recycled wrapping challenge. Their ideas were all very good, so it was difficult to decide the winner. In the end I picked four winners…

  1. Sakeena who used some old cord to make a beautiful bow on her box.

Sakeena cord bow

2. Rishab who made a box with its own clasp.

Rishab cardboard new box catch

3. Tanzeel who made a Star Wars present from old magazines.

Tanzeel star wars

4. Saleeha who used an old plastic bottle.

Saleeha recycled bottle

Well done everyone! Now over to you! Can anyone think of any other ways?

Bea’s eco paper

My promised eco-wrapped present has been made! Here is what I did:

  1. Equipment.

Things needed2.Sticking

Green sellotape

Prof at work

3.Finished

Job done

4. Wrapped

This present is for someone who just turned one, so I thought it was best to use some bright shapes that might interest him, like the elephant and the giraffe.

I used a sheet of old newspaper and some old magazines for the shapes. I even used recycled sellotape…!

Now, over to you. What photos can you send?

 

 

 

Wrap a present…

When you look at wrapping paper, what do you think? A brilliant way to hide a surprise? A pretty pattern? Well, did you know that wrapping paper is a big waste of paper and of trees? This should stop, and although we can’t stop it entirely, we can help by not buying or using it. But what do we do when we want to wrap a present?

What we can do is find stuff that we would just throw away and make a substitute for wrapping paper. We (me and my family) have made some of our own wrapping paper and used it. I will post a picture of it this weekend.

This is what you can do too!

I will organise a competition for ThePrettiestWrappedPresentWithNoWrappingPaper. Then it will be up to you to create! This is what you have to do:

  1. Create your wrapped present.
  2. Send a photo of it to me.
  3. Then I will consider your pictures and post the winner.

I had an English teacher here in France who is now a teacher in Scotland. Her class is doing a project on sustainability and they have very kindly got the competition underway. Here is a photo they sent of their creations. I will post more about their class and their efforts at the weekend, but in the meantime, great going guys!!!!!

Shirley presents

 

Difficult…

A few weeks ago, I was staying in Brindisi, which is in Italy. The villa where me and my family were was almost in the countryside, so the power wasn’t too good. We had to buy bottled water, in case of a power cut (the water pump used electricity), which did happen lots of times without warning. This ,meant that everything was in lots of  plastic packaging, which was bad for the environment. (see my previous blog post on rubbish). So even though we wanted to be eco-friendly, it was difficult and probably impossible. There were still a few small things we could do that didn’t seem much, but everything helps. For example:

1. We re-used plastic water-bottles by putting tap water in them.

2. We made sure that everything that could be recycled was recycled (for example some packaging was recyclable).

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My Papa doing his favourite activity: recycling

3. If we could do without something and it wasn’t essential we didn’t buy it (some stuff is useless and bought us lots of plastic which we didn’t need.)

4. If we could make our own food we did (we made our own tomato/bolagnaise sauce).

5. It was very difficult to recycle as the rubbish men didn’t come, so we drove our rubbish down to the recycling bins ourselves.

So you see, sometimes helping the planet is sometimes difficult or impossible but if you can you must always try and find solutions and persevere.

That’s a bit rubbish…

Have you ever wondered where exactly rubbish goes, and why it’s bad for the planet? One day you might have gone to put something in the bin, and thought: “Where does this go?”

Rubbish has a long journey to get through. All the rubbish is taken away from our ordinary bins by the bin lorry to the rubbish dump. The dump is a big hole in the ground, called a landfill. All the rubbish is emptied into it, gets squashed by big diggers, and is covered with soil. Over time, some types of rubbish disappear, but plastic stays there for thousands and thousands of years. This causes global warming by making it difficult for things to grow and because of the nasty gases the rubbish produces.

GARBAGE_IS_DUMPED_IN_THE_MARSHES_OF_SPRING_CREEK_ON_JAMAICA_BAY_BECAUSE_OF_ECOLOGICAL_DAMAGE,_EPA_PLANS_TO_STOP..._-_NARA_-_547971

Landfill By Arthur Tress, 1940-, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons

So what can you do?

REDUCE – use and buy less stuff, especially less packaging.

RE-USE – use what you have again perhaps in a different way. e.g. turn a jam jar into a pencil pot.

RECYCLE – sometimes you will find bins where you can recycle paper, glass, plastics, and some metals.

Did you know…? You can buy some things that have already been recycled, like loo paper (no, it is not loo paper that someone has already wiped their bum on!)

Why don’t you try…? Composting food waste. It’s good for your flowers!