Sunday, 11 September 2016

Nottingham Green Festival 2016

BFTF recently had a very nice time at the Nottingham Green Festival 2016, an event which seemed to be bigger and better that the 2015 Festival. Here are some pictures and stuff...


Dr Bike, from not-for-profit Nottingham Bikeworks, were present and offering free bike checks. BFTF took advantage of this and was told that the BFTF bike was in good nick apart from the chain, which was worn and needed replacing (and was what was causing BFTF's gears to slip occasionally).

Dr Bike

Incidentally, some very nice signs had been installed around the Arboretum, provding information on the history of the park.

Informative Signs at the Arboretum

Lots of food options with most (if not all) being vegan. BFTF bought some very nice vegan cakes but could easily have been persuaded to part with some cash at the following two food locations.

Nice looking doughnuts at Vegan Junk

The Veggie Catering Campaign

Nice stall from Nottingham Hackspace, who were demonstrating how rope can be made, amongst other things...


Nice things at Hackspace

A Lemonade Shisha thing at Hackspace

The three hooks are spinning at about 3prm

At the other end, gently tapping the rope to settle the twist

End result is rope like this!

The "Bee Cause" campaign, a Friends of the Earth project also being championed locally. The group comments that :

"The main reasons for decline of bees are: habitat loss, farming practices, pesticides, loss of flower-rich hay meadows, hedge removal (hedges attract small mammals whose burrows can be used by bumblebees), unsympathetic management of verges and green areas. Gardens are the best remaining habitat (if pesticide free)."

They have also engaged with the Nottingham City Council (in 2012), and received a positive response showing the many ways the council is making its parks and green spaces more bee friendy.

The chap on the stall explained to BFTF that it would be helpful to bees if gardens etc had flowers in them all year round (as far as possible) - and gave a list of suitable plants (see here)

Nottingham FOE were also campaigning on the issue of air quality, pointing out that Nottingham (and other areas) were still not meeting air quality standards that they should have reached in 2010, and that poor air quality kills thousands of people a year in the UK. The key measure required to reduce air pollution is to implement a "Clean Air Zone" by restricting or charging heavily polluting vehicles (e.g. trucks) from the city centre (for example).
Air pollution in Nottingham

Bee Cause 

Interesting stuff at the Frack Free Notts stall. Their literature claimed to bust a number of fracking myths, not least the one that the UK is dependent on Russian gas supplies (it isn't). An it was interesting to see how a typcial fracking field would look when superimposed on some English countryside.

In terms of the local situation, Frack Free Notts will be challenging IGAS Energy's planning application to explore for shale gas in the north of Nottinghamshire at Mission Springs in Bassetlaw. In particular they are asking people to turn up at County Hall at 9am on Wednesday 5th October to urge the planning committee to reject the planning application.

IGAS has a website for this project which includes notes from meetings of a community liason group.

Frack Free Notts

Mission Decision - Wed 5th Oct

What a Fracking site looks like

At AVID (Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees), BFTF learnt how they provide support, training and information to volunteer befrienders, and to help visitors around the country learn from each other. And also about the Morton Hall Detainee Visitor Support Group

Morton Hall Detainee Visitor Group

The "Keep Our NHS Public" stall were unsure how to respond when asked about ensuring that Nottingham City CCG does not implement polices that discriminate against those who smoke or who are obese (except in cases of clinical need). Eventually they said BFTF should email Peter Homa, chief executive of the NUH. BFTF has done that via the NUH contact page

Keep Our NHS Public

Both Five Leaves and ExLibris booksellers were present, with the inevitable result that BFTF bought a book...

Seriously, it was rather busy!

BFTF also visited a number of other stalls, but this post is probably long enough already, so if you would like to get the full experience, make sure you visit the Nottingham Green Festival in 2017.

The weather was kind.

They walk among us!

Stooge, House Muslim, Puppet, Coconut, Uncle Tom etc

BFTF does not think it is right to use words like "stooge", "house muslim", "coconut", "puppet", "uncle Tom" etc about Muslims who are active in politics and civil society.

They are ad-hominem attacks that use innuendo to blacken someones name without bringing any specifics to the table.

They also discourage people in the BME community from stepping forward for roles in civil society as politics and dialogue necessarily involve compromise. And it is easy to hurl accusations of being a "stooge" at any such compromise.

But most of all, words like "stooge" are racist - because they ARE used against BME people and NOT against non-BME people EVEN WHEN BOTH ARE BEHAVING THE SAME WAY.

Paper at Cartamundi

BFTF was thinking about buying a couple of decks of "Ace Trumps" after seeing them on the shelves of the toy section...

...but decided to leave them be as was not sure the card used was from a sustainable source.

Bit worried Cartamundi are cool with unsustainable deforestation

The Cartamundi website has an environment section but only says this :

"8. Environmental Impact - Cartamundi maintains a commitment to sound environmental programs and practices and encourages the reduction and recycling of waste. Facilities must comply with all applicable laws relating to the environment and dispose of toxic materials in a controlled and safe manner. To that end, Cartamundi seeks to conduct business with Facilities who are equally dedicated to pursuing continuous efforts to improve the compatibility of its operations with the environment."

This is disturbing, as paper from forests that are unsustainably logged contributes very significantly to climate change, deforestation and loss of ecosystems around the world - and conversely, the use of sustainable sources, such as recycled paper or trees logged under forest management schemes such as those of the FSC.

Sent some messages :

Via :

"Was going to buy two packs of AceTrumps, but didn't because could not see any evidence that card used pulp from a sustainable source (e.g. FSC or recycled). So I'm presuming that card in your products is from unsustainably (possibly illegally) logged forests, and is contributing to the climate change, deforestation and loss of habitats that that unsustainable and illegal logging causes. Nor can I see any mention of sustainable paper sourcing in your environmental policy."

Via :

"....That Tesco is quite happy to stock such products does not give me a warm feeling. Would suggest you contact Cartamundi and ask them where their card comes from. "

Update 12th Sep 2016
Impressed with the response from Cartamundi!

They bounced back certification for ISO9001, ISO14001 and FSC - via Twitter, a blog response and an email!

Cartamundi ISO9001 and 14001 certification

Cartamundi FSC certification

Cartamundi environmental standard

So, happy ending?

Well, yes, and no...

Great to see that Cartamundi has FSC certification. BFTF would not hesitate to buy those Ace Trumps (or other Cartamundi products) if seeing them in the store tomorrow.

And No...
Bit disturbed that Cartamundi think that ISO9001 or ISO14001 (an "environmental management" quality standard) provide any evidence that they use sustainably sourced card. So far as BFTF can tell all these standards do is ensure that the company has clear documented procedures and that it follows them. The policy itself could be very unsustainable indeed - but at least it would be written down!

Certainly neither of these standards mandate the use of FSC or recycled paper, or the use of paper that meets any equivalent environmental standard. For a company to suggest that possesion of these standards in any way guarantees the sustainability of the paper they use is the kind of greenwwash that makes BFTF very suspicious of a company.

Also, BFTF does not keep a mental list of which companies have good paper policies, so in six months time if BFTF sees the same product in a store, it is entirely possible that BFTF will have forgotton this episode and will send another email to Cartamundi, asking them exactly the same questions!

Even if BFTF does remember the current conversation, how would BFTF know, in a years time, that Cartamundi still has the same policy?

So, please Cartamundi, if you're using FSC card, put a note about it on the box!

Related Content
How BFTF reacts to product packaging messages
Sustainably sourced Christmas cards
Challenging Fire Angel on sustainability
Sustainable paper at a local mosque
Hey Jamie! Where's the sustainable packaging?
FSC in some toys at Tesco Sustainable paper at Orion Books
Tesco, Sainsbury's and Oxford notepads
FSC at Random House