Protecting this precious resource for the future.

22 March 2012 is World Water Day. Through Charity Pot we support grassroots organisations around the world that work on issues that affect water and we thought now was the perfect time to tell you all about it!

During the past two decades, the expansion of different types of industrial monocultures in agriculture, such as soy bean and tree plantations and particularly the use of genetically modified crops, has resulted in the widespread pollution of an increasing number of water courses. Such pollution is the consequence of an industrial agricultural model that requires the use of thousands of tonnes of chemicals in the form of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers. As a result, water has been polluted, causing the massive death of native fauna, including fish, frogs, birds and many small animals. Pesticide Action Network Uruguay works to empower local people to challenge the use of chemicals in agriculture.

You may not have heard about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, since it has only just started creeping in to the UK. Fracking is a high risk extraction process involving cracking impermeable rock by pumping large amounts of water, sand and chemicals underground in order to release gas. Apart from causing environment harm and climate change, the process also results in toxic water pollution and up to 10 million litres of water is used to frack a single well. Fracking is common in North America, the film Gasland documents the struggles communities have faced there, including gas coming out of their taps! Groups like Frack Off have been busy educating people about fracking and campaigning to stop it before it gets started here in the UK. There are also extensive plans for fracking in Argentina, where CEPPAS is working with local communities to educate them about environmental and social issues associated with fracking and mobilising them to take action.

Hydroelectric dams, which use the power of rivers to generate energy, are used across the world. Damming rivers have massive consequences; an estimated 40 to 80 million people have been displaced by dams (and many more affected by other human rights abuses), they also affect biodiversity, block fish migration, cause climate change (through deforestation) and increase water-borne diseases. Volta Basin Development Foundation is working with local communities in Ghana to build a federation to tackle this issue, Alianca Tapajos Vivo educates people in the Amazon region to help prevent the many dams planned for the area and Colectivo COA works with communities affected by the Zapotillo dam in Mexico.

Other groups we’ve supported working on water issues include Surfers Against Sewage, who tackle marine waste, UK Tar Sands Network who campaign to end the Canadian tar sands which cause pollution of water and other environmental issues, Sea Shepherd takes direct action to save marine wildlife and Hippo Roller provides large, rolling containers to communities in South Africa so they can more easily transport large volumes of water.

Article Written by the Lush Charity Support Team

 Hello All! Thanks so much for all your entries for the Article Competition! It’s been really tough trying to decide who should win and we couldn’t decide between two, so both winners will be receiving the following: 
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Word To My Mother
a perfect Mothers’ Day

My Mum would always tell us that she didn’t want anything big for Mothers’ Day. If pushed, she might admit to wanting a nice card or some flowers - but she always maintained that her ‘best present’ would be to go just one day when us kids managed not to fight. And we would manage. Sort of.

My brother, sister and I would start the day with the best of intentions,getting up early and gathering in the kitchen for Mission: Breakfast in Bed. Unfortunately good intentions can only get you so far - somewhere between one of us burning the toast, someone else spilling the tea (and let’s not forget the inevitable showdown over who got to carry the tray) - the mission would end in chaos and the operatives would have to be separated.

But you know what? Mum never complained. She realised that we were only bickering because we were trying to make things absolutely perfect for her. Although they never were, that was OK too; it was the fact that we were trying that mattered. Not to sound too cheesy, but in a way that’s what makes Mums so brilliant - they don’t need you to succeed, they love you for trying. Which is kind of nice, don’t you think?

This year I want to let my Mum know just how great she is. Because she made me want to try to do things, even when they proved hard, I’ve quite often ended up succeeding. And if I haven’t - well, I can always try again. A Mum who inspires you like that needs spoiling, don’t you think? She still doesn’t like big presents so this year I’m giving her some much need relaxation time instead. I’m thinking along the lines of a lovely Madame Butterfly bubble bath and, in a nod to the old days,maybe a Peace massage bar. And, of course, breakfast in bed.

Indeed, now we are in our 20s, I think my siblings and I can even manage to make breakfast without an argument - tray duty and all. Because that’s all my Mum really, truly needs: a bit of recognition and for us kids not to fight. Or, if you like, a word to my mother and for us to be nice, nice, baby.

Happy Mothers’ Day, Mum!

Anonymous on website

Compost corner!

What we do with our organic compost

Over 220 tonnes of organic compost a year- what do we do with it?!

We produce lots of organic compost due to using FRESH ingredients in our products. All the banana skins, avocado peel, papaya stones get put into a big skip. We also add our own products. When filling the moulds all the spills, and scrappings can go in our skip too.

Where does it go?

It goes to ‘thisiseco’, a local composting company which takes garden waste, compost, soil, old pallets etc.. and turns them into wonderful useful products.

What next?

The compost is placed on a moving heap that is turned for three months. The heap aerobically (using oxygen) breaks down, and gets up to 70 degrees in the center! It is monitored to make sure it doesn’t get too dry (they will then spray with liquid) or too wet (they add sawdust from the chipped pallets). At the end of the 3 months it is sieved to remove any unwanted items. A large magnet extracts any metal. This is then used on acres of land around the site to grow turf!

Why don’t we just send it to Landfill?

In the UK we throw away around 8million tonnes of food waste. The waste that goes to landfill creates methane gas, which is a green house gas. By ensuring it is turned down into compost it is being used again as an important addition to soil, for structure, microbes and fungus!

Do your bit

Do you have space for composting at home? Local councils have different schemes to help you get started, and then you can produce your own compost for you garden! Some allotments also have composting bins. Otherwise most councils offer a food waste bin. By making sure you add your organic waste to this it stops it going to landfill and instead makes a great product good for the environment!