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Issue #3 MAY 2009

A British Council green champions publication

Planet Post Let’s Change the World Together

s an er ost i ewslett P t e n n a e Pl al ish The onment the Brit pions r i env uced by n Cham e prod cil Gre n u Co ece e - Gr

S W IN E F L U

o e you want t Be the chang e world! see in th

Th e

G R E E C E - M O N T H LY E - N E W S L E T T E R

lth Food and hea

Bad for the Environment! Bad for You!

The E n viro n me n t a n d H u man He al t h

GREEN DEVELOPMENT? AN UNKNOWN CONCEPT FOR THE GREEK GOVERNMENT The government announced measures last month to support the construction industry at the expense of ignoring environmental obligations and energy efficiency regulation in buildings. The Ministry of Finance has taken a rather narrow-minded view of dealing with the real estate market. Their current aim is to focus on construction without taking environmental or energy saving factors into account. A greener approach would reduce carbon emissions while providing thousands of new jobs.

New EU Standards

T

here has been incessant coverage of the outbreak and potential pandemic of Swine Flu recently. For those of you who are unaware of the facts so far - At the time of writing, over 100 people are dead from the disease in Mexico, travel plans to North America have been cancelled and it has hit four continents. However, there is something else to note about Swine Flu - It developed and has spread because of some of the most environmentally damaging human practices.

New environmental standards have been set out by the European Union. The move aims to reduce the dependency of 27 countries on natural gas from Russia. The EU claims that it is committed to reducing carbon dioxide levels below that of 1990 by The truth of the matter is that what is bad for the environment is bad for human 2020 and hopes that the new impetus health and vice versa. Human livestock growth, modern livestock production, from the US will pave the way in worldwide agricultural food networks, wild animal trade and great changes in the addressing climate change. Sights way we travel have opened up a multitude of risks with regards to ourselves and the have been set on Copenhagen in December so watch this space. animals we share our planet with.

PLEASE DON’T PRINT ME

Our reliance on factory farms for meat supply mean cramped living space, unsanitary conditions and plenty of human-pig contact - ideal for the spread of viruses such as this one. They also generate millions of tonnes of waste and pollution, contaminating water supplies, not to mention animal cruelty and the need for increased antibiotic resistance because the animals are injected with antibodies. More and more people are getting their cheap meat from such places. In addition to this, food is now shipped all over the world and this type of distribution affects the environment adversely. Food packaging and shipping take up resources and the rise in greenhouse gas emissions is much greater compared to producing food locally. To top it all off, we are now more mobile than ever - limited only by the cost of a plane ticket. Disease can spread without worrying about passport control or border guards. How can we help avoid this in the future? Simple - less travel and a change in consumption to local, organic food.

h t n o M This 22/5 International Day of Biological Diversity The UN has proclaimed 22nd of May as The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB). Its aim is to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This year’s theme is Invasive Alien Species. Click here for more details.

Check out Yiayia’s organic recipe this month on page 2


Our Oceans need a Rest! Over 30% of the World’s Oceans Need a 20 Year Fishing Ban Experts are now saying that the world’s oceans need a 20% fishing ban in order to recover.

and a dramatic cut in fishing among its series of measures, but Roberts believes these will not work without the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs).

animal life and health, proving that the strategies work when enforced. But of course, there is the massive fishing industry to contend with, which This proposal comes in means that the ocean's the wake of a green paper recovered health won't be calling for radical reform Right now, only about a goal immediately or of the common fisheries 0.7% of the world's oceans easily realised. policy, which EU ministers are under marine admit has failed. It reveals protection. The areas that (source: Treehu#er.com) that 88% of European have been protected have Union stocks are seen dramatic rises in overfished (against a global average of 25%), while 30% are "outside safe biological limits", meaning they cannot GO PUBLIC reproduce as normal Decongest urban centers. One bus because the parenting can carry the same number of population is too people as 25 cars. Tube carriages, depleted.

p i T n e e Gr

trams and trains hold even more. For every mile you travel, public transport uses around half the fuel of a private car.

The European Commission suggests a reduction in fleet size

Preh Coo eat Ove n k Mak ing Tim : 200°C es:4 e ser v : 45 min ings ute

Y i aYi a’ s Or g ani c s

Aubergine Puree (Melitzanosalata)

PLEASE DON’T PRINT ME

2 large firm organic aubergines, 1 small organic onion (finely chopped), 1-2 organic garlic cloves (crushed), 1 teaspoon of organic white wine vinegar or the juice of 1/2 an organic lemon, 1 tablespoon of organic mayonnaise or strained yoghurt, 4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin organic Olive Oil, sea salt, freshly ground organic pepper and a few Organic Kalamata Olives.

Did you know that the aubergine is botanically classified as a berry and that it is a close relative of tobacco? Any suggestions for The Planet Post? Email: michael.pazinas@britishcouncil.gr

Bake aubergines in oven for 45 minutes. When cooled, peel off skin, cut off stalks and chop. Mash the aubergines with a fork and blend in the other ingredients with a pestle and mortar. Mix the puree with a fork just before serving with a drizzle of olive oil and a few olives. Serve with hot pitta bread (organic of course!)

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