City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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Friday, November 11, 2005

FEATURE: Poyzer Parlay Finale

Image hosted by TinyPic.comAnd now, the end is near, so we face, the final curtain. Well not quite but we are delighted to present the final part in our three part interview with Penney. Part one of the interview can be read here and part two can be read here.

City Hippy: Hi again Penney. We have a question for you from Japan, from Diane Clark.

Diane Clark, Japan: Hi Penney, sadly I haven't seen your show - wish I could! I'm wondering about a recommendation you made on the show that was mentioned by CityHippy, about reusing plastic water bottles (refilling bottles you've purchased with your own tap water and refrigerating them).

First of all, wouldn't it be more eco-friendly not to buy the bottled water in the first place (unless you're out and really in a bind)? I'm asking this question in part because of all the recent news about chemicals leaching from plastic, even plastic that is designed for food and drink. For example, plastic margarine tubs are not to be reused, even for cold food storage. Plastic containers often used to reheat foods in the microwave are apparently not healthy, either. I have read that the bottles used for bottled water are "one use only" as well. Even if they turn out to be minimally dangerous, my recommendation would be to buy one of the great reusable water bottles on the market - the Swiss company Sigg makes colorful bottles with inert liners, in a variety of sizes and colorful patterns.

Also, the company Klean Kanteen makes all-stainless water bottles which are very affordable. These bottles can be washed out every evening, refilled with filtered tap water, then put in the refrigerator to be ready for the next day.

My thanks to you and to CityHippy for all you're doing to help people live greener lives!

Penney Poyzer: Dear Diane, Konichi wah! That's my Japanese exhasted.... I agree wholeheartedly with you - bottled water is a stupid waste of resources and I never buy it. Plastic is not as stable a material as we have been led to believe and tap water in the UK is excellent. A simple water filter will remove any serious trace elements and indeed, bottled water contains far more bacteria than tap water.

Stable, reusable containers such as stainless steel - which is of course very recyclable are the best. I am trying to wean people off buying bottled water but you have to be pragmatic and encourage people through intermediate steps - such as reuse of empty bottles, before you can fully get them to 'buy out' of the bottled water hype that has been so cleverly, and relentlessly sold to us through health messages.

I would never recommend that people ever use plastic of any description as a container in which to re-heat using microwaves. This method of cooking destroys nutritional content anyway, so I'd stay away from them. Eat more raw food that does not require any form of cooking - and better for you too!

Namaste Diane

City Hippy: Good answer Penney. We agreed with Diane and you and actually went out and bought a couple of Sigg bottles recently. They are superb and so lovely to look at too! We also agree with you that it is about a slow progression to help people change their lifestyle. Our next question is a simple one: What is your favourite: Book? Movie? CD?

Penney Poyzer: Oh no! Can't I have 10 of each?

Book - Food For Free by Richard Mabey (Collins £9.99) This book lists over 240 edible species and is the wild food forager's bible. It also has recipies and nutritional tips.

Movie - well, it is not widely available, but it would have to be a documentary rather than a movie. 'The Coconut Revolution' is the story of the islanders of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea and their survival against invasion and naval blockade when they decided that they no longer wanted their island to be mined by Rio Tinto. They lost 10% of their population through war but survived through learning how to live sustainably and by wasting nothing. They became a nation of gardeners. Truly an inspiration. Available for a tenner at buy it and share it with everyone you know!

Movie - but if are asking for a movie - then it would have to be Requiem for a Dream, confusing, powerful, harsh but amazing performances.

CD - this is very very difficult, could have been The Prodigy, Fat of the Land but I guess I will have to go with Massive Attack and Mezzanine. Still fresh everytime I play it. I saw their homecoming concert in Bristol and it was amazing - with lots of environmental references on the graphics.

City Hippy: Cool Penney...the Coconut revolution sounds amazing...will get hold of a copy for sure...and Food for Free too...what a great sounding book. You are clearly quite the tunester, Prodidy is great and we particularly loved their Music for the Jilted Generation CD back in the day.

OK next question. Is a second series of 'No Waste Like Home' on the cards? What does the future hold for the UK's Queen of Green?

Penney Poyzer: No re-commission for No Waste Like Home!! No idea what the future holds. I am developing some programme ideas but who knows? Could we start up a lobby with the BBC?

I have lots of plans to write, to hold training courses and speak at events and to share whatever knowledge I have with whomever wants to hear it! Me and my husband are planning to set up an eco community so this will take a lot of planning time.

I trust the Universe and the course she has set me. It will be exciting I know that much.

City Hippy: Cool...well hopefully the BBC will get the point...but c'est la vie...sounds like you have your hands full being pregnant and thinking about starting up an eco community. Keep us all posted whatever you do though. Next question is from Vicky Stevens who runs an ethical media company called Make Hay in your part of the UK, Nottinghamshire.

Vicky Stevens of Make Hay: Hi Penney, I really believe that if everyone gets stuck in and does something then a real difference can be made but so often I hear people say "What difference will it make if I do it, I'm just one person and there are billions of other people who don't care and don't make an effort". That makes me feel like AAARRRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!

If we can all convince one person each to change their habits, that would be a lot of people converted and often the best way to promote something is word of mouth.

So Penney, how can we convince friends and family who are cynical about doing all the practical things to save energy, create less waste etc to join in and do it? What can we say to convince them?

Penney Poyzer: Hi Vicky. Simple. By showing them.

By the way, you are practically my neighbour Vicky! Whereabouts in Notts do you live? Love the website - have sent you a message.

If I hit resistence, then I ask them the following question. If your energy bills were £100 a month, would you take action to reduce them? If they say yes - and who can afford THAT kind of money, then point out to them that gas per therm has DOUBLED in one year and that it is projected to rise by another two thirds in the coming year. Every increase on a barrel of oil results in a increase in all other fuels - including green sources, because the global energy market is all linked to increases in oil costs. Then ask them, why wait until then?

If they have kids, grandchildren, nephews or neices, tell them, shock them with the news that if we don't take action NOW that when those small people they love reach 50 years old that there will be only 10 years left of gas and oil reserves TOTAL. The lack of clean water and rising sea levels will have resulted in the loss of at least 2 billion lives. If they can live with leaving them that kind of legacy, then so be it. But if they love them and of course they do, then they need to save resources and take their heads out of the sand.

And if all that fails, give me their address and I'll go and sort 'em out!

City Hippy: Hahaha nice one Penney, can just see you charging round there...god we so need to produce clones of you!!! OK next question for you is another dream type question for you.

Tony Blair calls you up for advice (sadly it is only a dream although with the recent humiliating defeat of his terror bill lord knows he could do with some decent advice). He wants to make the UK greener and asks you to suggest three things the government could do to make that happen. How do you reply? (No swearing please).

Penney Poyzer: I would say #@*%$, @@~#%*&, #@&^£" and he replies, yeah, sounds good, you ~@##@£$&!!!

No apologies for not limiting myself to 3 ideas - you pick the best!

First off, I would tell him to vastly extend the Clear Skies Scheme, which provides grants to householders and NGOs to install renewables. This programme - now sadly coming to a close...was hugely over subscribed. They put in £10m, they should put in £500m and make it so cost effective to install renewables that millions of people would take it up. For example, until recently you could get a grant of £500 to install solar thermal panels, which meant you could get them installed by an accredited installer for around £1500. I would increase the grant to £1000 so it would cost the householder less than a grand. Most people waste that on a crappy holiday! With energy prices on the increase, producing energy at home makes more and more sense and is increasingly cost-effective.

2) Number 10 is an environmental nightmare - I would tell TB to make it the greenest dwelling possible, which would be a positive legacy for the next lot and might make the people of the UK think he was serious about the environment. As part of that, I would make it mandatory that every public building reduced energy use by 25% and produced at least 25% of remaining energy needs. With no get out clauses.

3) I would tell him to slash the cost of train travel by at least 50% to get commuters out of their cars.

4) I would tell him to pass legislation which made it illegal for packaging not to be either fully and easily recyclable OR to be 100% biodegradable. This is achievable now.

5) Air travel - don't build terminal 5 at Heathrow and tax air fuel. Use money to fund railway expansion and subsidised fairs.

6) Re-open the entire canal system and give tax breaks to companies that use it to move freight. Just think, a fleet of photo voltaic powered barges!!

7) Give renewables grants to all landlords to make it easier for tenants to green up their energy use and save money. This could apply to business tenants as well.

8) Make it mandatory for businesses to put their waste products onto a national waste exchange database: one company's waste is another's raw material.

9) Mayer Hillman had a great idea - to introduce an individual CO2 limit - which would become more stringent year on year. This would make CO2 emissions personal! Would love to see this happen.

10) Ken Livingstone for Prime Minister - move over Tony.

I could go on and on and on....

City Hippy: Cool...we buy all of that...even the Ken for PM...he has so many enemies...and to be honest...that is a good thing...he is not part of, and does not support the status quo. PLUS he made a Green Assembly Member his Deputy Mayor!!! Sadly it is so not going to happen though...sigh! Then again...never say never eh!

OK Penney you get the last word...any final thoughts?

Penney Poyzer: Dear City Hippys

Use less and do more for yourselves and each other. Treat your neighbour as you would wish them to treat you. Stop flying. Stop making excuses for change and embrace the process. Learn new practical skills. Learn to cook. Give yourself a personal challenge to reduce the number of food miles you consume. Buy Fairtrade. Buy secondhand. Do you really need to buy anything new? Join the Karma Army and get used to giving random acts of kindness. Put your ego to oneside and learn to listen to your true self. Work towards your highest good. Live as lightly as you can. Stop worrying and learn to live in the now. It takes less energy to be happy than to be angry, so be happy. Love your planet more everyday.

Namaste to everyone

City Hippy: Awesome Penney....what a finish...thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us. We have learnt loads and we look forward to a brighter future because of people like you leading the way. Namaste.

So there you have it folks...we promised you an interview with Penney Poyzer and what an interview...nothing held back! Penney Poyzer in the house. Round of blogplause for Penney [sound of riotous clapping and whistling etc].

But it needn't end there!

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If you can't concieve of a life without Penney then why not invite her into your home? Her new book No Waste Like Home, which accompanies the BBC series, is now available.

If you click the above link or the image to the right and buy it via Amazon then you will be supporting City Hippy at the same time. Hurrah!

We promise you it is a cracker of a book filled with superb advice on how to go green in loads more practical and cheaper ways than just buying organic. To be honest, with this book you will probably end up saving money going green. If you take the plunge be sure to give us a review.

Hope you enjoyed speaking to Penney as much as we did. Thanks for all your questions. Until next time.



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At 12:37 AM, Blogger Peter said...

See what Einstein has to say about what our world needs for today at Enviroman Says

At 3:31 AM, Blogger Transmogrifier said...

Hi CH,
Really enjoyed reading all the 3 interviews with Penny. I liked her answer regarding nuclear power being proposed as a clean alternative (part2). I don't think it is clean, especially because of problems with waste disposal. Also security and vunerability to attack makes it even less attractive. Conservation and local production! truly great ideas.

I have also heard people ranting about wind turbines "tarnishing" the beauty of the natural landscape. I guess some people prefer some really beautiful smoke stacks and cooling towers. :-)

Thanks for this series.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Charles Orton-Jones said...

Ken Livingstone for PM? The man who replaced Routemaster buses (13 miles per gallon) with those vile bendy buses (4.5 miles per gallon). Who quadrupled running costs on the tube?

Pah! The man is a buffoon.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Johnny K said...

I managed to miss this in my feed reader for some reason. Great post, I didn't see any of Penny's show on the Beeb at all, bugger!


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