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What can I do to help the environment?

Helping the environment is a big deal for us, you’d know if you’ve read our previous post on our 2019 resolutions!

You have most likely heard people talking about reducing their dairy and meat consumption. Maybe you’re sick of hearing about vegans. But stick around for a little longer and you might learn something new!

What is veganuary? 

Veganuary is a stepping stone into veganism. In brief, you’ll pledge to be vegan for the whole of January. No meat, no dairy, no fish!

Why do it?

For the most part, people go vegan for the ethical impact meat consumption has on animals and the environment. Some want to feel better about themselves and others want a challenge.

graphThe facts and figures

Becoming vegan or reducing your consumption a small amount can have a huge impact.

For example, you’ll save water[1]. The production and transport of food require lots of water. Products that don’t use livestock require less water.

  • A Loaf bread = 600 litres
  • An apple = 70 litres.

You’ll protect nature

Animal agriculture requires a large amount of land to rear animals and to produce food to feed them. 30% of the earth’s surface is used to graze and rear animals. A big issue is palm oil. It’s used to make a whole range of cosmetics, detergents and food products including margarine and ice cream. The demand for palm oil is high therefore has detrimental effects on wildlife and forests.[2] 

bar chart

Reduce your greenhouse gas emissions

Air pollutants are generated through clearing land and growing crops for animals and transport. Scientists at Cornell University found that to produce one calorie of food energy from beef requires 40 calories of fossil fuel energy. In comparison, one calorie of human-edible grain takes 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy.

Your diet can greatly impact the emissions into the environment which then leads to an impact on our health.

You’ll reduce pollution

The biggest threat to water pollution is from agriculture. Many coastal dead zones populate the UK due to fertiliser, manure and sewage pollution. This causes algal blooms. These decompose and oxygen is sucked out of the water leaving fewer species able to survive.

Eating vegan and you don’t know it

Cutting down on your consumption of certain foods isn’t always bad. For instance, these are just some foods that are accidentally vegan that you’re probably already eating!

  • Doritos: Chilli Heatwave and Lightly Salted
  • Oreos: Original
  • Fox’s: Dark Chocolate Chunkie Cookies, Party Rings
  • Co-op Jam, and custard doughnuts
  • Bird’s Custard(when made with plant milk)
  • Walkers Crisps: Ready Salted, Salt and Vinegar, Pickled Onion, Prawn Cocktail, Worcester Sauce, Crinkles Simply Sea Salted, Chipsticks Salt ‘n’ Vinegar Flavour, Sensations Lime & Coriander Chutney Poppadoms, Sensations Balsamic Vinegar & Caramalised Onion, Sunbites Sweet Chilli, Sunbites Original, Sausage and Brown Sauce
  • Pringles: Original, Paprika, BBQ and Smokey Bacon
  • Mr Kipling: Treacle Tart, Jam Tarts, Apple and Blackcurrant Pies[3]

In a lifetime, each of us will eat more than 7,000 animals! It’s not about trying to change your whole lifestyle straight away. Small changes can make a big difference for you and the environment!

In short, realistically it would be hard to cut out everything and go cold turkey. However, why not try meat-free Mondays? Or switching up your milk in your coffee (coconut milk is my favourite).

 

Referances

[1] https://waterfootprint.org/media/downloads/Report49-WaterFootprintSoy.pdf

[2] https://veganuary.com/why/environment/youll-protect-nature/

[3] https://veganuary.com/starter-kit/accidentally-vegan-products-uk/

New’s Year Resolutions

Happy New Year!

Hopefully, the January blues haven’t gotten to you just yet and you’re almost fully recovered from the holidays!
2019 is the year of the pig and upon doing some research the pig represents;
  • sleeping and eating
  • no plan to harm others
  • can bring affluence to people
  • has been regarded as wealthy
If 2019 brings lots of sleeping and eating, this will be a very good year!

 

sparkler

Historically (around 4000 years ago to be precise) resolutions were made as promises to the gods. While today majority make resolutions to focus on self-improvement. Sometimes they usually are unobtainable goals that make resolutions seem so hard to follow through on. Additionally, this may explain why many of us dislike making them.
However, the first blog of the year has to feature some mention of new year’s resolutions. You’re probably sick and tired of hearing ‘new year new me’ and the barrels of people who are going to start the gym. If you’re firmly against resolutions, generally speaking, they can be useful. The firemizer team would like to share some of ours. Maybe it’ll spark something in you to make a change!

new years Bring more attention and awareness to air pollution

Since the public have become more aware of plastic pollution and are making small changes to lessen plastic consumption. The next step is air pollution. The government released a clean air act initiative. We believe that firemizer can be the solution and this year we want to spread more awareness. If pollution carries on, in a few years’ time we could be all wearing designer gas masks!

Continue to be 100% recyclable

As a business, is it highly important for us to continue to be 100% recyclable and to highlight areas we need to work the coming year. Currently, firemizer is 100% recyclable, the packaging, the product and now the postal envelopes.

Be a mindful, transparent and an environmental business as possible

In anything we do we aim to do our best, be honest and be as human as possible. Any questions or queries we will answer in the best honest way we can, without using complicated jargon.

Always keeping the environment in mind when developing new things.

when creating new products or ideas we aim to think of the best way that will benefit the environment rather than harm. So you can trust you’re shopping ethically.

 

That’s our resolutions, what are yours? You’ve got the whole year save for that holiday, run a 5k, be more environmental or just make your bed every day!
We keep making resolutions every year so why stop now!

Fun and Festive Family Activities

Family

Christmas is getting ever nearer, and things might be feeling chaotic. However it’s never a bad time to pause and enjoy the people around you. Christmas is a time for celebrating time with family and friends after all. When you get a break from working, shopping or catching up on sleep, try some of these fun family activities!

 

Festive Baking

Baking is a great way to get everyone involved. It might create a bit of a mess, but it will also create some lovely sweet treats. Gingerbread men, Christmas pudding, trifles, fudge, and chocolate cake – the list goes on. The Food Network has got 101 great recipe ideas for you and the family to get stuck into here.

Christmas Films

Something more relaxing (and requires a lot less tidying up) would be to gather the family and watch a movie! Everyone could choose their favourite festive film, and pitch why theirs should be watched. Or, take turns and watch one every few days or each week leading up to the big day. Everybody has his or her own opinion when it comes to the best Christmas film ever. To make it easier, here’s Rotten Tomatoes list of the 25 best Christmas films ever.

Get Festive with Firemizer and Firebuilder

To add that extra bit of festivity, cosy up by the fire with a Firemizer. It helps your solid fuel last over a third longer without emitting any harmful air pollutants or creosote. If you need to get your fire started, there’s nothing better than a Firebuilder. Simply break one of the corrugated-cardboard bricks in half, light the corners and watch your fire go. No need for kindling or lighter fluid!

Decorating the House

If you read our post last week’s about DIY decorations, you might find time this week to put them up! Like baking, this is a simple activity that everyone can get involved with – get all hands on deck. Hang the tinsel, frost the windows, get the lights plugged in and fancy up the tree. Christmas is rapidly approaching, so before the big rush begins, get everyone helping and have the house party-ready!

DIY Christmas Presents and Decorations!

December

It’s the last month of the year, but though we should be winding down, December is the busiest of all! If you’re organised, you might already have the Christmas decorations up and the presents already bought. If, like most people, you simply haven’t had time, fear not – we’re here to give you some simple DIY tips.

 

Decorations

Dust off the decoration box and get the tinsel and baubles at the ready; it’s time to get festive! We all have decorations acquired over the years, some we’ve become attached to, but you can always find new additions. Instead of spending valuable present money, why not try your hand at making your own? These can range from frosty window décor, to hand-painted baubles, to a lovely wreath for the front door. Or, what could be better than personalised stockings to hang above the fire? Check out these great DIY decorations here. And, if you’re struggling to get the fire beneath roaring, why not try a Firebuilder? One box can start you 10 perfect fires, without the need for kindling or any chemicals!

Presents

If you’re stuck for presents to buy for the person who has everything, why not make something yourself? It’s an easy way to guarantee no doubles on Christmas day, and it’s something they can cherish forever. Family picture key chains, hand-painted coffee mugs, wood-carved wine and beer carriers – the list is endless. Dodoburd have you covered with 65 amazing ideas here.

 

Once the big day arrives, you’ll want to get the fire going to keep the home nice and cosy all day. This means no running to grab extra wood from the store, so throw a Firemizer underneath your solid fuel to keep it burning 38% longer. Air pollutants are reduced by 72%, and creosote in the chimney is reduced by 52%. This means an easier journey for Santa down the chimney too!

National Tree Week

National Tree Week

We’ve already had International Day of Forests, Earth Hour and Recycle Awareness Week – now it’s time for National Tree Week! Between 24th November and 2nd December, the Tree Council hold this week to for communities to improve their local treescape. With the help of various environmental organisations, local authorities, schools and community groups, National Tree Week gets everyone helping.

What’s so great about trees?

Trees provide so much to our everyday lives that mostly goes unnoticed, despite providing valuable habits, materials and especially oxygen. We get food from trees, fuel, building materials, clean polluted air, prevent flooding and conserve energy. Therefore, what’s not to love about trees?

The aim is for everybody to get their hands dirty planting a million trees, but there’s plenty more to do. Each community will offer something different, from historic tree walks, talks hosted by conservationists, or tree charter and dressing events. Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council, says “Whichever way people choose to mark the occasion, National Tree Week is a great time for individuals, communities and families across the UK to recognise and celebrate the value of trees.”

How do I find out what’s happening around me?

Futhermore, the Tree Council has a national newsletter, and local events are found at the Near You Map on their website. There are also lots of helpful posters, tips and ideas of ways you can get involved this year. Find out more at their website, here.

Recycle Awareness Week

Get Recycling Awareness Week:

From Monday 12th until Sunday 18th November, it’s Recycle Awareness Week! Started by Planet Ark in 1996, Recycle Awareness Week takes place to put a focus on the environmental benefits of recycling. It promotes kerbside, industrial and community-recycling initiatives meaning everyone can get in on the action. By giving people the tools to help manage their materials responsibly, we can dramatically reduce the levels of waste.

Schools and Workplaces

First of all, teaching children the important benefits of recycling is the best way of continuing this tradition and protecting our environment. For example, recycling games and ‘junk to funk’ projects get young minds engaged and find purpose for waste products. Introducing new recycling initiatives at work or even just refining the current ones allow workplaces to reduce their waste levels. Furthermore, joining cartridge-recycling programs and buying recycled office products are the best places to start.

What are the statistics?

Statistics show that recycling in the UK is actually down for the first time since monitoring began. Recycling has been on a steep incline since 2000/2001 where it was at 11.2%. As of 2017, it sits at 43.7%, a massive improvement reflecting the shift in social attitudes towards recycling. We know that if we want to protect our planet, recycling waste and cutting down on harmful plastics is crucial.

Firemizer and Firebuilder are both recyclable products. Firemizer helps reduce your solid fuel usage as well as reducing air pollutants caused by burning by 72%. Made from corrugated cardboard, Firebuilder helps you start the perfect fire every time without the need for any nasty chemicals like kerosene.

Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes Night

With the distant sky lighting up and the smell of smoke in the air, we know it’s finally bonfire night! Remember remember the 5th of November – gunpowder, treason and plot. Some think that the fireworks and bonfires on Guy Fawkes Night are to celebrate his attempt to attack British parliament. However, the tradition actually comes from bonfires the people of London started to celebrate King James I surviving the plot. Whilst it’s great to witness some fireworks and enjoy a hot chocolate, fire safety is more important than ever. The Firemizer team is here to give you some simple safety tips to make sure everyone enjoys the night safely.

 

Did you know?

Did you know that three sparklers held together produce the same heat as a blowtorch? Or that fireworks can travel speeds of up to the 150mph? Or, until 1959, it was actually illegal not to celebrate bonfire night? If you’re starting a bonfire, one box of Firebuilder can start you up to 10 perfect fires!

Firework safety:

Fireworks might be very beautiful to watch, but if not handled properly, they can be incredibly dangerous. Always make sure the firework is properly stood with no flammable materials or plants around it. Maintain a safe distance after lighting it, and make sure everyone else is a suitable distance away – especially children. In recent years, just under 1000 injuries throughout October and November were caused by fireworks. Half of those were children, injured by fireworks or not handling sparklers correctly.

Sparkler safety:

Sparklers might seem less dangerous than fireworks, but misuse of them can lead to some nasty injuries. Before lighting them, always make sure it’s not too windy and anyone holding them is wearing gloves. Keep each individual sparkler away from any others, holding it at the base away from yourself. Always ensure there’s a bucket of water to dispose of sparklers when finished, as they can stay incredible hot for a long time after the spark has gone out.

Pet safety:

We know the loud noises around the 5th are fireworks, but pets don’t and can be easily spooked by them. If a pet is scared and hides, don’t try to prise them out as this could distress them further. For dogs, ensure they’ve been properly walked during the day and that smaller pets have everything they could need for the evening. Closing windows and curtains can reduce the noise, and turning on the TV can distract them further.

 

Here’s a great link with more safety tips and ways to enjoy the evening.

Why we love Halloween (and you should too)!

Why we love Halloween (and you should too)!

Can you hear that creepy organ playing in the background? The distant rumble of thunder coming from the distance? The shadow of a black cat from outside the window? Shrieks of terror and squeals of joy as the streets are packed with tiny ghosts and ghouls? It must be Halloween again! While you’re preparing for the scariest evening of the year (whether you’re trick-or-treating, or having a movie-marathon), this week’s blog post is all about why we love the 31st!

Food and Desserts

Of course, when most of us think of Halloween, our first instinct is to think of the massive amount of candy we’ll consume. Halloween and candy go hand-in-hand. It’s really the one time of year that amassing a huge haul and eating it in one night is encouraged! However, it’s not just candy that gets our taste buds going, but all the cool and creepy desserts too. From candy apples, to skeleton cookies, to a big bowl of spooky punch, there’s an endless list of ideas. To get you started, there are 11 ideas for you here.

Costumes

In true holiday spirit, Halloween is certainly one of those holidays that has a tendency to… creep up on you. The days are getting shorter, and we’re all still suffering from the post-summer blues. Before you know it, you’re drowning in invitations to haunted houses and Halloween parties, so it’s no surprise a lot of people struggle to get a costume sorted in time. If you’re among them, here’s 22 cheap and cheerful costume ideas that require little-to-no time at all.

Arts and Crafts

One of everyone’s favourite ways to celebrate Halloween is carving the pumpkin! It’s a way to really unleash you’re inner-creative demon with something spooky, funny, or just totally imaginative. Obviously we’re not all carving-experts, and often the worse the carving the funnier and scary it is! Here’s a fantastic collection of the best and brightest pumpkins from last year.

Traditions

It wouldn’t be Halloween without Halloween traditions! If haunted houses and big parties aren’t quite your speed, there’s nothing better than a spooky movie-marathon. There’s always the black-and-white Hitchcock classics, but they’re definitely a bit too scary for those with kids. If the trick-or-treating is done and the fire is still roaring (up to 38% longer with a Firemizer), then there’s plenty of child-friendly Halloween-themed films the whole family can enjoy. Find a list of them here.

Deforestation and its environmental effects

Deforestation

This week’s topic will be all about an on-going crisis facing our planet – deforestation. Statistically, the earth loses 19 million acres of forestry per year. Also, deforestation contributes massively to climate change – about 15% of all global emissions come from the process of deforestation.

Other effects of Deforestation

There are many far more immediate consequences too. Firstly, deforestation causes the loss of animal habitats, which in turn results in massive extinctions. The water absorbed by the trees and the soil beneath are ruined and can enter into larger water systems. This decreases the quality of the water, and contributes to poor health and the spread of disease. Also, deforestation results in the disturbance of many of the native tribes that reside in rainforests. Furthermore in the Amazon alone, there are over 350 different tribes and deforestation is ruining their homes, food and water supplies.

What can we do?

Recycling, reducing your carbon footprint and choosing greener alternatives are the best places to start. Regarding wood burning in your homes, always ensure your wood comes from a sustainable source. Also, using a Firemizer will not only reduce harmful air pollutants by 72%, but helps your fuel last 38% longer. Placing a Firemizer on the base of your wood-burning stove or fireplace will allow the wood to burn more evenly, meaning that there are no clumps of unused fuel in your ash. Therefore, less wood is wasted in heating your home saving you trips to the wood store, and more trees for the planet.

Help your Wood or Coal-Burning Stove live its best life!

Stove Life!

Now we’re into the final quarter of the year, it’s likely you’ll find yourself starting your wood-burning stove more often. Nothing beats the feeling of evading the outside in your lovely warm front room, listening to the crackling wood. As it’s getting more use, it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re using and maintaining your stoves correctly. That way, you can get the most out of your fuel and stove in terms of heat output and lifespan. Here are some quick and easy tips to make sure your stove stays pristine and performing properly.

Know your wood!

Firstly, it’s important to make sure you’re using the correct fuel in your wood-burning stove. Beech and ash logs burn the best especially when seasoned, so you should be harvesting your wood about a year in advance of when you actually plan to burn it. Both of these types of wood when dried out can produce quite a lot of heat output with a consistent flame. Burning hardwood is likely to give a stronger flame and appear to give out more heat than softer pinewoods. This is because they are likely to burn faster and cooler than hardwood because they have a lower calorific value.

Keep a clean stove!

Your stove door should fit snugly to keep the heat of the fire concentrated inside. If the door itself feels loose, you could be losing a lot of heat output. Keep an eye out on the Firemizer website for Maxseal – a new product that ensures your stove door is sealed and secure. Using a Firemizer will reduce creosote build-up in your chimney by 57%, keeping a clear flue. It will also make sure there are no unused clumps of fuel in your ash bed – Firemizer makes sure your fuel ins burned evenly, helping it last 38% longer.

Use the top-down method!

The way in which your start your fires could also improve stove life. Firstly, make sure your firewood is cut in a variety of sizes to fill all available space. Using the top-down method of starting a fire is a great way to start that perfect fire (especially when paired with a Firebuilder). Read our step-by-step guide on how to use the top-down method, as well as lots of other helpful tips and tricks here.

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