Ethical Buisness: Ethical Life. Vol 4.

EBEL logoThis month we meet Paula from Fossbox. Fossbox is a non-profit social enterprise that specializes in what I suppose you could call “ethical computing.” They work with universities, museums, non-profits, cooperatives and social enterprises and specialize in “open source web-based software including e-publishing, open access information management and collaborative communities.” This computer stuff may be an area of ethical living that you are totally unfamiliar with, but still, read on… it may all start to sound very familiar!

When did you start your ethical business and why?

I wanted to be independent and to be able to prioritize loving what I do over profit. Of course, I need to make a living – but in a way which is consistent with my own values. I started the business in my early 50s so I’d done quite a lot before, at the time I was working on a project to help charities use technology better. The prejudice and opposition towards Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) in the sector in general, and the organizations I worked for in particular, was extremely frustrating. So, I decided to bypass it by setting up Fossbox – I got support from Technology and Social Action and something called ‘Designing for the 21st Century’ ESRC collaboration funding. Other than T&SA, the entire world informed me I couldn’t make a social enterprise based solely on FLOSS work in the UK – but so far we’ve survived 4 years, a triple-dip recession and neo-cons taking a scythe to the voluntary and public sectors.

How long was it till you got your first sale?

I had sales lined up before I launched.

How much money did you have to start off with?

I started off with a £4k commission and turned over £20k in the first year. We were building on that nicely but the recession hit us and then the funding cuts in 2011/2012 halved our income overnight (because we work with non-profits). We’re regrouping and actually expanding now, but the past couple of years have been very tough.

Describe an average day in the life of you.

I don’t have an average day

Ok – gotcha! So, do you have other jobs too? Do you have a family/hobbies/pets? Do you have a conventional or unusual life style? What things do you do every day, sometimes, or never?

No other jobs. I have a cat, and my lifestyle is generally considered to be rather unconventional. Things I do every day pretty much boils down to having breakfast and coffee, then brushing my teeth… after that, I don’t really remember most days 😉 I don’t have time or inclination for hobbies. Possibly I should mention that I’m gay.

fossbox logoWhat are your ethical principles?

People before profit. I started my own business because I couldn’t get done what I wanted to get done any other way (and because I was tired of the contemporary obsession with HR). We advocate Free and Open Source Software and support more women to get involved in technology. The former based on the general principle of people before profit: software should be developed independently and collaboratively to fit human purpose rather than warping it. The latter because I don’t want younger women to experience the hell that my generation of independent women had to deal with. I’d like to be more upbeat but it’s been a tough couple of years.

Any words of wisdom?

You can’t please all the people all the time so please yourself.

Favorite quote?

It is easy to be independent when you’ve got money. But to be independent when you haven’t got a thing, that’s the Lord’s test — Mahalia Jackson.

 

I did everything he did, but backwards and in high heels — Ginger Rogers

Things you would share with the next generation of people like you

Imagine you’re descended from a long line of mystical female warriors and don’t take any crap unless you’re feeling kind and can afford it 😉

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Ethical Pet of the Month – March 2013

charlieThis month we have a real bobby-dazzler as our Ethical Pet of the Month! Meet Charlie, a 5 year old yellow Labrador from Sheffield. Here are a few words from David (Charlie’s best friend):
We had always wanted a dog, but while living in London and working long hours meant it was impossible. Charlie represented a big change in our lives. We moved to Sheffield to set up our business running 5 a side football and netball leagues: working from home meant we could bring Charlie into our lives. We now live in a great city surrounded by the beautiful Peak District and having Charlie means we have the pleasure of enjoying walks in it every day.
Charlie is a big dog both in presence and personality. He is always up for a game. He loves playing tug, fetch and his favorite game is chase. He always wants to be chased! He has injected a huge amount fun into our lives and made us appreciate the simpler joys of life.
His very intelligent and sailed through puppy school top of the class… sometimes he’s a bit too intelligent for us! He knows loads of commands and tricks and loves showing them off, usually as it means a treat at the end of it all.


Charlie also loves swimming, collecting sticks from the water, camper van holidays, snoozing by the wood burner and he is always up for cuddle. However, as a Labrador he loves his food! He can be pretty greedy and if he ever wonders off on a walk, we know we will find him in scoffing some discarded sandwich or chips! The good news is his waist line is not an issue, as we are a very active house hold doing marathons and triathlons. He loves going for runs with us in the Peaks and open water swims, however, he is not so good on the bike!

He loves Yarrah dog food, both the Vegetarian and Chicken verities, and he has been eating ethically all his life. We decided to go down the ethical route as my girlfriend is a vegan, for this and many other reasons, we did not want Charlie eating meat every day.

If you like a game of football, like Charlie here, checkout Match Night, to find a mini-league near you. If football isn’t your thing, Match Night also run Indoor Cricket, Netball and Squash leagues. Sounds like fun!

 

 

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Marie Dunnion on Animal Healing

Marie and co.Meet Marie. With a degree was in English literature, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, and an MSc in Work Psychology and Business, on paper, she sounds rather straight laced at first… and of course she is very academic and clever. However, the is much more to Marie than meets the eye – as she is also an animal healer. We met her at the Kings Heath Cruelty Free X-mas fair in 2011, where she was manning the Animal Freedom charity stall. Since then we have kept in touch and really enjoy her positive personality and inspiring lifestyle. Here’s an article she wrote for us

I feel incredibly honoured that Ethical Pets have invited me to contribute a guest blog and I hope that sharing my story as an Animal Healer will inspire you to welcome more healing energy into your own lives and that of your animal companions. Although not a blog about veganism, I believe it is important to explain the connection between my veganism and my animal healing practice.

Before training as a healer, I was neither vegetarian nor vegan, but as I progressed on my spiritual journey, my heart expanded with love for animals and I eliminated meat from my diet. Once I started studying towards a Diploma in Animal Healing, I felt increasingly uncomfortable about the contradiction between eating animal-based products whilst also healing animals. In psychology, this state of mind is called cognitive dissonance. Again, my love for animals prompted another change in diet and I became vegan.

Animal Healing in Malta Here I am doing an animal healing session with Berry, a little dog who had been abandoned outside the gates of the Island Sanctuary in Malta. He is leaning into the healing and lifting his paw up to allow better access for healing to his heart. His story has a happy ending as he has since been re-homed. You can find out more about the Island Sanctuary at www.islandsanctuary.com.mt

Veganism is my way of showing love for animals. After all, what is more healing than to ensure that I in no way contribute to the suffering of any other sentient being? I have a great affinity with Buddhism and it’s teaching that we should try never to harm any living being. Perhaps not every Animal Healer will subscribe to this belief system, but this is my story and I can only share with you the experiences of my own heart. Please take from it what you will, and use it to infuse your soul with some animal magic!

What is Animal Healing?

Animal healing is a simple but effective way of radiating loving energy to an animal for their highest good. All animals, great or small, can benefit from healing and this works on many different levels – physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological. During a healing session, I channel healing energies through my hands to the animal, usually maintaining a slight distance between my hands and the animal’s body. Direct hands-on healing may sometimes be appropriate but this will depend on the animal, and personal safety is always a priority.

Another vital ingredient for animal healing is intention. As an Animal Healer, I work from the heart, setting an intention of love which I then channel to the animal. I silently ask for the animal to receive healing, but I then try to detach myself from the outcome of this request. This might sound strange, but I have learnt that it is better to “let go” and just trust that the animal will absorb the healing where it is needed.

When I explain healing to an animal’s guardian, I tell them that it helps the animal to enter into a state of relaxation. The more relaxed an animal is, the better able they are to draw on their own natural resources to deal with illness or injury. It is important to note that animal healing is a complementary therapy. If an animal is ill, veterinary attention should be immediately sought and the vet’s permission asked in relation to complementary therapies.

Healing is not just about touch – it involves all of the senses. For instance, I will usually put on some calming music for a healing session, and this certainly contributes to the animal’s state of relaxation. I even play an animal sound therapy CD to my neighbourhood ducks through the kitchen window. This video shows the amazing results of this sound healing!

Sound Healing with Wild Ducks

The ducks in this video are relaxing to Elizabeth Whiter & Tim Wheater’s Animals Whispers Sound Therapy CD. This unique piece of healing music was recorded with 528 Hz, the frequency of love, and the precise scientific vibration of nature and life itself. You can find out more about this healing music CD at: https://www.healinganimals.org/pg-animal_whispers.html

Equine Healing

I am also a registered Equine Healer, and although this involves me working in much the same way as I would with animal healing, it involves a slightly different approach because horses are much bigger animals than most and they are known for their sensitive natures. This means that healing a horse can quite often feel like an intensely spiritual experience for the Equine Healer. The day after one equine healing session, I ran into a colleague in the corridor and she complimented me by saying, “You seem very calm!” I am sure she was picking up on the equine energies which I was still carrying with me from the day before!

Equine eyes are so very soulful and, despite their size, horses usually have a very gentle energy. Last year, I did equine healing with a beautiful pony called Peter and the following feedback from Peter’s guardian helps to illustrate how equine healing works in action:

“Marie came out to my pony, Peter, who had just moved yards and I thought the session would help him relax and settle into his new loan home. I was very impressed by the effect the treatment had on Peter, he really relaxed and responded to the treatment during the session. Marie was very calm around Peter who seemed to be very happy with her presence. She constantly advised me what she was doing, why she was doing it and what Peter’s responses meant, which I found useful and interesting so that I was able to understand the process of the treatment” – Rebecca Crowther, Halesowen, West Midlands (21 January 2013).

My animal healing has taken me all over the world and I would like to share with you a very special photo of an equine healing session which took place at Fundación AM-EN in Ecuador – in this picture a circle of healing light is clearly visible around my hands!

 

Bebeto, the rescue horse pictured, was receiving healing specifically for an inflamed hoof. However, the likelihood is that he would have taken in the healing on many other levels as well. You will see a white mark around his neck, an unfortunate reminder of how he was found tied up, starving, and near death. After my return home, Heidi Paliz, the President of Fundación AM-EN, contacted me to say thank you – Bebeto was healthy and well again! In fact, Heidi was so impressed with the positive effects of equine healing on her horses that she still gets in touch to request distant healing for other equine patients. The great thing about animal healing is that it also travels across the miles!
Crystal Therapy for Animals

My account of animal healing would not be complete without a mention of Crystal Therapy for Animals. Crystals work through resonance and vibration, helping to rebalance the animal’s energy field through the healing energy they emit.

This photo shows my dog, Brandy, lying in a powerful Clear Quartz crystal grid. These twelve crystals were laid around Brandy with the set therapeutic intention of helping to maintain vitality. Animal healing is not only used to treat illness or injury, but also for general relaxation. This approach helps to promote an on-going state of wellbeing in the animal.

Crystals are a special passion of mine and, although I have been a Crystal Therapist for many years, it was with great joy that I recently completed the UK’s first ever training course in Crystal Therapy for Animals at The Animal Magic School of Animal Therapy. This qualification has already proved valuable beyond measure, and I would like to share with you the story of Rosie the cat, as told by her guardian, Julie:

“Marie came a few weeks before Christmas to help our cat, Rosie, who has thyroid problems, asthma and, most recently, the vet discovered she has tumours which, because of the proximity to her aorta, can’t be analysed or removed…After going through Rosie’s medical history, Marie used crystals for the healing and the atmosphere was very calm and relaxing for both myself and Rosie, who sat quite still for about 20 minutes while the healing took place. It was a very warm, calm, relaxing and lovely experience…Marie has continued to do distance healing for her…I am sure this is helping her because she is still very calm and not at all distressed by her illnesses. She is continuing with her medication prescribed by the vet but I am sure she is holding her own because of the healing. Much to the vet’s amazement, she has a healthy appetite and is still her old self. We know that at some point we will have to let her go, but at the moment she is still enjoying her life and all the attention she’s getting” – Julie Perry, Stourbridge, West Midlands (20 January 2013).

Rosie sadly passed over to Rainbow Bridge last month, but the healing she received possibly gave her a better quality of life in those last few precious months with Julie. I would like to dedicate this blog to Rosie and thank Julie for allowing me to share Rosie’s story.

I would also like to thank all of you for taking the time to read this blog and I hope that it has sparkled some fairy dust onto your day. Please get in touch if you would like to know any more about animal healing! If you are interested in booking an animal healing session, these are available in the Norwich area or via Skype for those further afield.
Love & Blessings,

Marie Dunnion – BA (Hons), DipPsych, MSc, MBPsS

Animal Healer, Member of the Healing Animals Organisation (MHAO)

E-mail: marie@emeraldcityhealing.co.uk
Website: www.emeraldcityhealing.co.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/emeraldcityhealing
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Hope and Freedom – Two amazing Dogs Trust projects.

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, has been helping homeless and vulnerable dog owners for almost 20 years through its Hope and Freedom Projects.

Currently only 7% of hostels are dog-friendly.

The Hope Project

The Dogs Trust Hope Project helps dogs whose owners are homeless or in housing crisis by providing advice, support and veterinary assistance for their dogs.

The Hope Project Veterinary Scheme offers free and subsidised veterinary care to any dog owner who is rough sleeping or living in temporary accommodation. The scheme runs in 100 towns and cities across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and offers free preventative healthcare – microchipping, neutering, vaccinations and flea and worming treatments. Dogs Trust can also subsidise most other essential veterinary treatments that a dog would need. Since the scheme began in 2004, the Hope Project has funded more than 10,000 veterinary treatments.

The Dogs Trust Hope Project also works with providers of homelessness accommodation to encourage them to accept residents with dogs. Unfortunately most homelessness organisations and housing providers in the UK still do not accept clients with dogs. Currently only 7% of hostels are dog-friendly [1]. This means that many people are being denied access to shelter and support, simply because they have a dog. Dogs Trust offers advice to accommodation providers on a range of issues such as introducing a pet policy, health and safety, hygiene and behaviour.

Every Christmas, Dogs Trust works with winter shelters and homelessness projects to provide a Christmas parcel service.

Every Christmas, Dogs Trust works with winter shelters and homelessness projects to provide a Christmas parcel service. Christmas can be an especially difficult and lonely time for people who are homeless. By sending out parcels of treats, toys, coats, collars and leads, the Hope Project tries to make Christmas special for homeless people and their dogs as well as providing essential coats and jumpers to keep the dogs warm during winter.

The Freedom Project

The Dogs Trust Freedom Project is a pet fostering service for dogs belonging to families fleeing from domestic violence.

Each year, thousands of women suffer abuse at the hands of their partner. Research indicates a strong link between animal abuse and domestic violence, with men who are violent to women often threatening or harming a pet in order to intimidate their partner.

Families fleeing domestic violence are usually unable to take their pets with them...

Families fleeing domestic violence are usually unable to take their pets with them into a refuge or temporary accommodation, so in many cases they are reluctant to leave their home until they know there is somewhere safe for their pets.

Dogs Trust offers a service which places dogs in the homes of volunteer foster carers until their owners are in a position to take them back. Dogs Trust covers all expenses so there are no costs for the volunteer foster carer or dog owner. The service operates in Greater London, Hertfordshire and Yorkshire. In Greater London & Hertfordshire, Dogs Trust can also foster cats in partnership with Cats Protection. Since it began in 2004, the Freedom Project has fostered more than 1000 pets.

[1] Homeless UK, Homeless Link.

For more information on Dogs Trust’s Hope and Freedom Projects, please visit www.moretodogstrust.org.uk

Dogs Trust is funded solely by public generosity. If you would like to make a donation towards the work of the Dogs Trust Hope Project or the Dogs Trust Freedom Project, please go to www.moretodogstrust.org.uk/donate.

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3 New Ethical Products.

This month we have started stocking three new products. Our great eco-bed range (100% recycled plastic and super soft) has been expanded to include a large mattress, for big dogs. It costs 49.99 and measures 100cm x 70cm and a plump 18cm thick. We have also changed the supplier of our poop bags: they are the same size as the old ones (nice and large) but a slightly lighter weight plastic (waste not want not eh?). They also come in packs of 50 (rather than 20) which saves on packaging too! We have carried over the multi-buy offer, 250 bags for 9.99. They are degradable plastic which means that they won’t produce nasty gases when they rot down in landfill. Lastly, we now stock Yarrah Organic Chicken and Turkey Chunks, a great wet cat food. The unusual thing about this food is that it contains only chicken and turkey (and no other types of meat), so if your cat has special dietary needs, you are in more control.

Joey’s Animal Facts V4 – Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie!

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie…

Last month we discussed the tallest animals, but I didn’t mention was the world’s longest domestic cat, a 48.5in (1.23m) Maine Coon named Stewie. Sadly however Stewie died recently after a year long battled with cancer. May he rest in peace.
So far, we have discussed the tallest, fastest and heaviest creatures… now it’s time to look at the other end of the scale: the smallest. You may know that the smallest breed of dog is the Chihuahua (which usually weighs around 1.5 kg and is between 15.2 – 20.3 cm tall) but here are some of the smallest animals you may not known about.
The smallest vertebrate (back-boned animals) was a fish (Paedocypris progenetica 7.9 – 10.4 mm) until January last year when a tiny frog species (Paedophryne amauensis 7.7 mm) was recorded. The smallest bird is the Bee Hummingbird which is only 25.4 – 50.8 mm long and weighs arround 1.4 g. The smallest lizards are the Jaragua Sphaero and the Virgin Island Dwarf Sphaero, which only grow up to 16 mm long. The two smallest snakes are the Barbados Threadsnake and the Brhaminy Blind Snake – only growing up to 10.8 cm long. The smallest insect is the fairyfly which is only 0.21 mm long! The smallest true monkey is the Pygmy Marmoset measuring 14 -16 cm and weighing only 120 g but the smallest primate is the Philippine Tarsier measuring 85 – 160 mm in height – and bizarrely these little guys also hold the record for the largest eyes of any mammal (wow!).
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Joey’s Animal Facts Vol. 4 – Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie!

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie…

Last month we discussed the tallest animals, but I didn’t mention was the world’s longest domestic cat, a 48.5in (1.23m) Maine Coon named Stewie. Sadly however Stewie died recently after a year long battled with cancer. May he rest in peace.
So far, we have discussed the tallest, fastest and heaviest creatures… now it’s time to look at the other end of the scale: the smallest. You may know that the smallest breed of dog is the Chihuahua (which usually weighs around 1.5 kg and is between 15.2 – 20.3 cm tall) but here are some of the smallest animals you may not known about.
The smallest vertebrate (back-boned animals) was a fish (Paedocypris progenetica 7.9 – 10.4 mm) until January last year when a tiny frog species (Paedophryne amauensis 7.7 mm) was recorded. The smallest bird is the Bee Hummingbird which is only 25.4 – 50.8 mm long and weighs arround 1.4 g. The smallest lizards are the Jaragua Sphaero and the Virgin Island Dwarf Sphaero, which only grow up to 16 mm long. The two smallest snakes are the Barbados Threadsnake and the Brhaminy Blind Snake – only growing up to 10.8 cm long. The smallest insect is the fairyfly which is only 0.21 mm long! The smallest true monkey is the Pygmy Marmoset measuring 14 -16 cm and weighing only 120 g but the smallest primate is the Philippine Tarsier measuring 85 – 160 mm in height – and bizarrely these little guys also hold the record for the largest eyes of any mammal (wow!).
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Missi Hathaway on Ethical Pet Insurance

The Importance of Insuring Your Pet

Our pets are part of the family, which is why we should go to great lengths to look after them. If they sadly become ill or have an accident, it is our responsibility to get them the right care. Unfortunately, the cost of taking animals to the vet can be high which is why having the right pet insurance in place can protect owners and the animal. We may not like to think of our animals becoming unwell or getting knocked down on a main road, but if the worst happens, it’s best to be prepared with a comprehensive pet policy. It’s not just illnesses or accidents which require a trip to the local vet either. When we first get our new addition to the family, we need to make sure of a number of things. Depending on the kind of pet you have, you may need to inoculate them from any infections that can be picked up. Kittens for example need a series of injections before they can go outside. You may also want to have them micro chipped. Animals prone to running away or getting stolen can be identified by a chip that brings up the owner’s details when scanned. Neutering or spaying your pet will also prevent any unwanted breeding occurring and can also reduce the cost of a pet insurance policy, albeit marginally.

Getting Insurance For Your Animal

There are different ways to go about insuring pets. You have to look at what is cost effective for you and the kind of animal you own. The most popular pets in Britain are dogs and cats, followed by rabbits. All pets however need to be considered when it comes to those hefty vets bills. Some will require more specialist insurance, such as horses and ponies. You need to check you are covered for public liability insurance, accident cover and if appropriate, horse boxes. Looking at the small print is vital, rather than just going with the cheapest provider. Check your pet is covered for:

* Type or breed of animal
* Travel
* Age of the animal
* More than one pet
* Kennel or cattery fees
* Death
*Accidental damage

You will also need to get the right policy. If you will need long term care for a pet with medical problems, you’ll need a high level cover.

Ethical Pet Insurance

You may feel that investing in your pet is costly, but it is best to be prepared if the worst happens. If you don’t have money put aside, insurance will protect your purse and your pooch. Going with an ethical provider can mean a percentage of the net profit goes to animal charities so you can be involved with helping out other animals in need. When looking for ethical insurance, you can take into consideration how much it will cost you to insure your pet, and how much is donated to charity. For example, the Animal Friends insurance group have so far donated over one million pounds of their profits to welfare charities in the UK and worldwide. They also offer good value insurance.

There are many ethical providers of pet insurance. Some are considered to be eco-friendly as they donate some of the profits they make to help endangered species. Some also contribute to conservation organisations which help to conserve natural habitats for wild animals. These include wetland and wildlife areas as well as protecting plant life. Some of the insurance organisations donate their profits to various animal welfare charities both nationally and internationally. The Co-Operative bank have declined finance from businesses who do not meet animal welfare standards. They will not promote animal testing, blood sports, the fur trade or exploitation of great apes. This means only accepting finance from companies who are not involved in these trades. They are also against intensive farming, which involves farming caged animals.

When deciding on an ethical insurance company, you may consider which to go with on a number of factors. This may depend on which charities the profits are donated to, how eco-friendly they are or which ones contribute to climate change. Some may be clearer on their investments than other companies, so you will know where the money goes.

Also, the cost of the insurance and excess and getting the right kind of insurance for your particular pet is important.

Alternative Ways to Afford the Vet

Saving enough money to put aside for emergencies can have it’s advantages and disadvantages. Using an easy access savings account can help when you need some cash for your poorly pet. The downside would be that you would have to have enough money in your fund in case you need it. If your pet needed an unexpected visit to the vet, you will need some funds to hand.

However, you may to decide not to ensure your pet. The advantage would be if your pet stays well, and you’ve saved money you would have otherwise spent on insurance.

It is a good idea to get a good deal for your savings account, or if you need a low interest loan to use for vets bills. There are ethical ways to save money with mutual savings banks. They are set up by depositors and borrowers, and all the profit is reinvested in itself. Also known as credit unions, joining the scheme is an alternative.

The credit unions are non profit organisations and so you can put away as much as you like into your savings account. The credit unions pay a yearly dividend, meaning you get money back at the end of it on a percentage of what you saved. If you use this as an alternative to pet insurance rather than putting money into insurance, you are also saving. So, if your pet doesn’t require a visit to the vet that year, you have your savings and any extras on top. It could come in handy if anything happened to your beloved companion.

_____

Missi writes on behalf of one of the UK’s largest consumer advice and information portals. She specialises in pet health and insurance topics. She grew up in Southampton, PA but is spending most of 2013 in Manchester, England where she has family.

Sustainability Spring Fair – Q and A

logoHere is an interview with Barbara Street and Lorraine Cookson, organisers of the Sustainability Spring Fair in Birmingham.

What is the Spring Sustainability Fair about?

The Sustainability Spring Fair is an entertaining, creative, educational and sustainable fun day out to celebrate Climate Week 2013. The Fair is being held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Saturday 9 March from 10.00am – 4.00pm. This year, we’re having two stage shows featuring local bands and dancers, magic and fun to keep everyone entertained, a fair-trade and ethical market, Love Food Hate Waste cooking demonstrations and people will have the chance to sign up for the Birmingham Green Deal at the energy road-show. There are plenty of activities for the kids like making things from “scrap,” learning to juggle at the Circus workshop or having a go at sumo wrestling and playing giant games out on the lawn.  And of course there are the beautiful grounds, glass houses and aviaries of the Botanical Gardens for everyone to stroll around and enjoy for free!

A smooth(ie) ride!

Entrance to the Fair and Botanical Gardens is FREE with a printed copy of the flyer available here.

Who funds this event?

This event is sponsored by the Botanical Gardens, Carillion, and Co-op Membership with a lot of support from Fair-trade Association Birmingham volunteers and many other green practitioners who want to get their message out. Birmingham Botanical Gardens are a hub for Green events and initiatives in Birmingham and will be a Green Deal Beacon for Birmingham in the near future. This event is kick starting a new phase of this re-development.

What is your role in the event – what do you do from day to day?

I am a joint organiser of the Fair with my colleague Lorraine Cookson. Lorraine Cookson is the Sustainable Living Initiatives Officer and we both deal with Behaviour Change Engagement and events to promote Environmental Sustainability.  We are also being helped by Malcolm Currie from Globally Local who’s setting up the Fair-trade and Ethical Market and Tom Hyland from The  Stage Bus who is directing the entertainment.

band playing
Music to your ears...

My day to day role is as Partnership Support Officer to the Climate Change and Environment team and it varies from setting up meetings, events, conferences, workshops and visits by European delegations to minuting meetings right through to doing publicity for events like the Fair.

Have you got any advice for people running similar events?

Leave plenty of time to set up your event and try and think of every eventuality!  Although of course you can’t and something will always catch you out! Put as much inside as you can with a contingency plan to put things outside at the last minute. Promotion is key send as much promotional material as you can to as many people as you can.

anna talking to a customer
Our stall last year...

Ethical Pets will have a stall at the Sustainability Spring Fair where you can come and buy lots of sustainable products for your pets (inducing spring essentials such as a herbal wormer and a fox poo remover!)


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Joeys Animal Facts V3 – Tall and Loud!

Joeys Animal Facts

Last month we looked at the largest animals in the world, a list dominated by the whales and sharks. Keeping with the theme, this month we will learn about some of the tallest and longest animals – but this time staying on dry land (I think we have all had enough of water for now, what with all that snow and rain!). Here at Ethical Pets we have quite a menagerie of cats and dogs – but none of them are very tall. The tallest dog in the world was a Great Dane, measuring 7 feet and 2 inches (218.44 cm) from head to tail. On the feline side, the Savannah cat rises above all else – with the tallest so far measuring 17.1 inches (43 cm) from shoulder to toe. The tallest land animal is of course the Giraffe, which can grow up to 20 feet tall (just think of a two story terraced house) but the longest of all animals is the Bootlace Worm, which has been recorded as measuring 55 meters long (wow!). Now lets checkout the loudest animals. The loudest insect is the Cicada which is similar to a grasshopper: they sing during the mating season, and the bigger the cicada the louder its song. The loudest measured cicada song was 106.7 decibels, that’s louder than a subway train! And it seams that size really does matter when it comes to noise, as the loudest of all animals is also the biggest – the Blue Whale. Along with Fin Whale, Blue Whales can make a foghorn blast of up to 188 decibels – that’s louder than  a rocket launch.

Have you got a question about animals? Email Joey and ask away!

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