Author Archive


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Explore renewable energy technologies for your home, business or farm

Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Heat Pumps, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Water Power, Wind Power

Just wanted to share these great interactive diagrams created by MCS certified renewable energy installers Futurum Renewable Energy Systems who are based here in Dorset but cover much of the UK.

They are a really quick and easy visual way to explore what renewable energy options are possible for your home, business or farm – from Solar, Heat Pumps and Biomass Energy to Water and Wind Power.




Click on the diagrams to link through to their site to see more, or to explore technologies further go to:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Where the Parties stand on Green Issues for the UK General Election 2015

Category: Climate Change, Energy News for UK, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living, Wildlife & Nature
Tags: ,

Just a quick post as its Election Week to recommend you check out Friends of the Earth’s page on the Election manifestos: highs and lows to help you understand where all the parties stand on key environmental issues.

You can also check out then select ‘Environment’ under the issues which include; energy supply, climate change, flooding and air and water quality.

Hope this helps you to decide how to use your vote this week to help make a difference for the environmental and energy issues that will massively affect each and everyone one of us.

I also recommend checking out Animal Aid’s Vote for Animals website to find out your MPs policy towards wildlife, farm animals and pets on

3Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "There is one thing we can all do, take a look at this !!
    This report by a Duke University Professor interested me: “As Duke University Professor Drew Shindell noted recently: [D]amages from a typical mid-range gasoline-powered vehicle total nearly $2,000 a year. In comparison, annual damages associated with an electric vehicle are around $1,000 if the power comes exclusively from coal, about $300 if the power is generated using natural gas, and minimal if the electricity is from renewable sources.
    The World Health Organization estimates that around 7 million people die per year as a result of air pollution exposure, and, as organizations across the board are noting, ocean acidification that hurts fisheries is a threat to both local economies and the people who rely on the ocean as a food source” It means my electric car using my own renewable energy is almost carbon free. It also means that I’m not adding to air pollution which I believe to be one of the most serious threats to our health and the Planet. My own 2nd generation Leaf will soon be up for sale as I am upgrading so anyone who is interested let me know, I don’t wish to profit from a sale but it will need a good home and be at a very fair market price with no commissions etc "

    May 10, 2015 a 11:59 am

  • Anna Celeste comments:
    "Hi Karl, it is very disappointing news for our environment and animals too. I read a great response from Animal Aid though with regards to how its people that really change things – it relates to animal welfare but it can apply to green issues too, in that we can all support renewable energy at home and in our communities, and support green organisations who are fighting to protect our planet – its on "
    May 8, 2015 a 1:28 pm

  • Karl Bristol comments:
    "I fear the worst after today’s results; our environment is in desperate need of saving and it looks like this simply will not be happening "
    May 8, 2015 a 1:17 pm


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Ecotricity Founder talks about his politic donations for the 2015 General Election & greening up football

Category: Climate Change, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: ,

With less than 2 weeks to go before the UK General Election, we thought we should share this recent video of Dale Vince, Founder of Green Energy Suppliers Ecotricity, talking about his politic donations for the 2015 General Election, and greening up football…

Our Lets Get Energized and Dorset Energized team, predominentaly ran by volunteers, are obviously keen that we offer a non-biased political opinion, but of course green energy in the UK is so dependent on the decisions made by government that it would be silly to ignore politics altogether at such a time. I should point out that I myself have no political affiliations at all, so am just as ignorant to politics as most everyday members of the public!

It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that there is only one party fully committed to green energy issues as a key part of their agenda, and that is of course the Green Party, so it may come as a surprise to many renewable energy supporters (like it did to me) to learn that the Founder of Ecotricity has not donated to the Green Party, but to Labour AND also to the Liberal Democrats.

Ecotricity have however previously donated money to the Green Party, specifically Caroline Lucas’ campaign, and continue to do so via a partnership arrangement, where they donate up to £60 per sign up of any new green energy customer. This has apparently been hugely successful since the membership numbers have increased significantly.

Interviewed by Robert Llewellyn (Kryten from Red Dwarf!), Dale discusses the Green issues which he thinks need to get more air time in the election debate, his donations, and why he thinks there needs to be a leaders debate if we are to really tackle the environmental issues we face.

Soundbites include:

“The idea that we could run the whole country by renewable energy is not just a pipe dream, it’s absolutely possible”

“It seems to me that the Conservatives have made this a presidential election”

“A leaders debate would be the most useful thing for all of us in the country so we can make a better judgement about the qualities of the two people who are pitching to run the country”

“The conservative ideology is a failed ideology”

“We should have a ministry of carbon, whose job is to focus on the carbon emissions from energy, transport and food”


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Infographic: ECOnomic Benefits of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme

Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: ,

Just a quick one to share this great infographic that we have been sent by Adept on the Feed-in Tariff Scheme for UK homeowners.

Using data from Ofgem and the UK Government, this infographic shows some of the reasons why having an eco-friendly home can mean lower bills and a more sustainable future:

ECOnomic Benefits of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme Infographic

By Adept Concepts – ECOnomic Benefits of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme


Anna Celeste Watson says:
West Dorset Pro Wind Group gaining massive support

Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power

Last Saturday Stu and I were out in Dorchester and spotted a big sign in town saying ‘Yes to Wind’! We were so excited about seeing something so positive about local renewable energy we went over to chat to the people on the stall and were even more pleased to see they had lots of people gathered around, and a huge stack of signatures of people writing their comments with their support of the Slyer’s Lane wind farm proposal near Charminster here in Dorset to the West Dorset District Council Planning Department, including lots of families with small children who obviously care about the future of our area and want clean, safe and secure renewable energy.




I personally commented that in Dorset (as in all areas) we need to play our part in supporting a mix of renewable energy sources, and that I find wind turbines rather cool, beautiful and inspiring – although of course that is not the point! (Just as its not the point if people think they are visually obtrusive – nothing is as visually offensive as a gas station or electricity pylons for which no one ever protested over!).

In stark contrast, the anti-wind group down the road seemed to have little support, at least from what I saw and heard. In the interests of being fair, personally I would like to say that I do respect their views too and they also have a right to air those views, but it did visually illustrate to me that the anti-wind fraction really are a very small minority of people (usually in the more affluent villages where they have lots of money to mount their campaigns) who campaign to make their voice heard the loudest, whereas the large majority of people are for wind power, but usually just don’t feel strong enough to do anything about it. Its generally often groups that are against something that campaign (whatever the issue!). Even more reason why I can’t praise the West Dorset Pro Wind Group enough – they are getting out there to the people and making them actively take simple positive action!

Say ‘Yes to Wind’!

As well as getting lots of front page press for their campaign which Lets Get Energized have previously reported, the West Dorset Pro Wind Group were giving away posters and info too – so if you haven’t already got your ‘YES TO WIND’ poster you can do so by clicking the image below to download and print:


Support the Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm near Charminster Dorset

Here is more information from the back of the poster which shows just why we would should be supporting the Slyer’s Land Wind Farm Proposal:

Why is it important to support this proposal?

In the context of global warming and need to develop clean energy sources now, this is an opportunity for our community to benefit from a £24m investment in wind power capable of providing sufficient electricity for most of the homes in the Dorchester area. This local energy will be clean, safe and secure. Research confirms that a majority of the general popula!on support wind farms, but that those who oppose them tend to be more vociferous in making their views known. Planning officers need to have a full and objective picture in making their recommendation, so it is important that those who support the proposal for a wind farm write individually to record your opinions and reasons.

What are some positive reasons?

  • Wind turbines generate power 70-80% of the time.
  • One wind turbine supplies the same power as 20 acres of solar panels (10 football pitches).
  • Modern wind turbines do not create any significant noise problems.
  • RSPB supports wind farms; there are many other more serious hazards for birds.
  • UK is the windiest country in Europe.
  • Slyers Lane site has potential to allow school children to see the technology close up and so help inform this genera!on on their difficult future decisions re energy sources and costs.
  • A Community Fund @ £60k per year (index linked = £1.5m over 25 years) to support local community projects.

How valid are some of counter arguments?

  • Local house prices will fall – independent research on the development and operation of 3 UK wind farms of comparable size showed that local house prices followed market trends.
  • Wind farms discourage tourism – recent survey research for Cornwall County Council found this is NOT the case. Visitors primarily influenced by economic factors and holiday patterns.

Will the key issue be visual amenity?

Some welcome wind turbines as icons of good modern design; others as industrial monstrosities. Visual amenity is a very subjective opinion. Our countryside is always changing to reflect the times. It has seen windmills, water mills, the buildings and spoils of lead, tin and coal mines, quarrying, china clay workings, and rail and road developments but the countryside is resilient and adaptable.

Modern wind turbines have a design life of around 25 years after which they can be dismantled, so that a site can be returned to its natural state.

Why is it so important to record your support during the public consultation?

Research confirms that a majority of the general population support wind farms, but that those who oppose them tend to be more vociferous in making their views known.

Planning officers need to have a full and objective picture in making their recommendation, so it is important that those who support the proposal for a wind farm write individually to record your opinions and reasons.

Find out more about supporting the Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm Proposal and the West Dorset Pro Wind Group at:

Closing date for comments is 20th December

I literally just spotted the West Dorset Pro Wind Group out in Dorchester again this morning and they told me they have over 850 comments now so are hoping to get 1000 before the deadline this weekend.

You can also write a letter of support which MUST include your name, address and application number: WD/D/14/002611 and email to OR comment online at It doesn’t take long, after first registering with the Dorset For You website, it’s a breeze and literally takes a few minutes.

Find out more at:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Anna’s Top 10 Ecotopia Gifts for an Eco-Friendly Christmas

Category: Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,

In case you hadn’t noticed, Lets Get Energized are giving away another fab Ecotopia shop voucher worth £30 in our monthly prize draw here, and I couldn’t help noticing that they have lots of fab new products available this year, which I’ve got my eye on myself! So… here is my Christmas wishlist for some top eco gifts…

(Do check out our team’s wishlist from last year too here – Booja Booja chocolate truffles and Lush Comforter Bath Bombs are still on my list this year too – can never have enough of those!!!)


Human Being Womens T-Shirt

These supercool Human Being Not in danger of extinction tees are produced under the Global Organic Textile Standards (G.O.T.S) from 100% organic cotton using only renewable energy from wind & solar power and approved by the Carbon Trust (UK) for reductions in CO2 emissions.The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has audited the entire production chain for correct ethical labour practices.


6 Cupcake Bath Melts In A Box

Love the look of this box of natural bath melts. Apparently each will leave your skin moisturised and the aroma is described as simply divine! All made with essential oils and natural cocoa and shea butters each one is hand molded and decorated with flower petals or pressed flowers. I’m not the most girly of girls but most of us like a little pampering now and again!


Kabloom Butterflybom

Our butterflies need all the help they can come the Summer and I love seeing them in our garden (Peacock butterflies are my fave)! This little ‘bom’ contains a wildflower mix loved by brilliant butterflies and other pollinating insects. You trigger your seedbom by placing it in water until soaked. Then you throw the seedbom into abandoned and derelict ground and then it grows March til May. Seedboms are made with an expolsive mix of peat free organic compost, coir and a selection of flower seeds embedded in a recycled paper shell. They are handmade in the UK from recycled, organic, eco-friendly and biodegradable materials. The packaging is produced from 95% pre and post consumer recycled waste, is printed using vegetable based inks and is glue free.


Bike Fish Womens T-Shirt

More cool tees! The idea here is that alone we are little fish but together we will have our day! Another 100% Organic Cotton t-shirt, produced under the Global Organic Textile Standards (G.O.T.S) from 100% organic cotton using only renewable energy from wind & solar power and approved by the Carbon Trust (UK) for reductions in CO2 emissions.The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has audited the entire production chain for correct ethical labour practices.


Original Bat Box

Bats are in need of habitat as many of their roosting places have been lost over recent years. We have bats that fly around outside our house so they may even be living in our loft, otherwise the big lime trees along our road, but I would still love to help them out with a special cosy home! This high capacity bat box offers two chambers and a valuable high capacity roost for a variety of species. It will fit into any garden, woodland, or a house wall site. Made from solid, high quality, durable FSC timber it provides longevity and excellent insulation. The narrow entrance slot and strong timber help to discourage predators. A swing panel at the base allows for cleaning, if required.


Wooden Skittles Set

Bring the fun of skittles to your home! This looks like one game our small garden may actually allow us to enjoy! The aim of this traditional bowling game is to knock all the skittles down with as few attempts as possible. It can also be played indoors.


Rowan Bird Oilcloth Washbag By Susie Faulks

This vegan-friendly oilcloth washbag in an original Rowan Bird design is fully lined with a good quality waterproof lining and top zip fastening. Perfect for potions, lotions and make-up which is what I would use it for (for my animal-friendly make-up of course)!


Bamboo Charcoal Water Filters 8 Piece

Not the most exciting looking of the items on my wishlist, but I’d really like to try this! Bamboo charcoal is a refreshingly simple and natural way of filtering tap water. Just leave it in a jug filled with tap water and it will slowly filter out impurities such as chlorine and chloramines make your water tastier and free from typical tap water odour. Bamboo charcoal’s incredible filtering ability comes from its super porous structure – some may find it hard to believe but 1g of high quality bamboo charcoal has a surface area equivalent of up to 3 tennis courts. It works like a sponge and absorbs impurities into its pores. Other woods can be used to make charcoal for filtering water but the larger number of porous cavities in bamboo charcoal is considered to give it better filtering abilities – 3 times greater per gramme than wood charcoal. As a fast growing plant, supply is abundant and sustainable.


Me & My Birds Cake Kit Refill

I love feeding the birds in my garden and get very worried about them in cold Winter weather when they need extra help. The Me & My Birds refill is a pack of replacement feed and magic mix for the Me & My Birds Wild Bird Kit and has everything you need to make the bird food for your kit. Each refill will make about 12 cup cakes and also several log refills. If you fancy reading my blog for The Compassion Collective about Feeding the Birds this Winter do check it out on this link.


Water Powered Shower Radio

Last but not least, this is the world’s first shower radio powered by the pressure of the water alone! It never needs batteries, and costs nothing to run. The radio automatically starts when the shower is turned on, and is powered by an ingenious small hydro turbine. This coupled with a built-in rechargeable battery, allows energy to be stored as well as playing the radio, so it will to continue to play after the shower is turned off and the last station and volume level are automatically stored after use ready for your next shower. It’s incredibly easy to fit. Simply fit between the existing shower hose and tap – no tools required, just unscrew the existing fixings! Sounds good to me!

There’s lots more eco Christmas gift ideas at the Ecotopia shop here:

Make sure you order by midday 19th December though to get your delivery in time for Christmas!

Bon Noel : )

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Bah Humbug – not really!
    As we approach Christmas again I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. What do I say about the sort of Eco-friendly stocking fillers featured elsewhere in the blog? On the one hand I do like to give and receive gifts and there are some nifty things around with varying degrees of eco-friendliness. However should we advertise them? By labelling things as “must haves” etc we buy into the concept of consumerism, especially Christmas as a consumer fest, that is a major part of the problem we face today with an ever expanding economy in a world of finite resources. It is very hard to tell people that you don’t need to spend thousands on expensive gifts in huge numbers, many of which are really just a bit of fun and may not even be wanted by the recipient and then say that you really should be buying these fair trade, sustainably farmed, plant extract body washes etc. We saw the very worst of the Christmas consumerism in the Black Friday coverage. If you are happy in your relationships then lots of extravagant gifts might just get in the way of a good Christmas. How many parents are tired and irritable with their kids on Christmas Day because they dashed out of work early on Christmas Eve and spent half the evening fighting for that last special gift? If you are not happy in your relationships then trying to buy your way to happiness with gifts is very unlikely to succeed. In fact, as many relationships founder due to money worries, it is a vicious circle. More and more these days I am giving donations to charities as Christmas and Birthday gifts. The charities usually send you a card and a certificate you can wrap up and put under the tree and you know that the money donated will be used well by the charity of your choice. Encouraged by my better half I have also got over my previous embarrassment not to say snobbery over buying gifts in Charity shops thereby combining a triple whammy of virtue by getting a relatively cheap present that has been recycled and supporting another of my favourite causes. Have a merry, relaxed and low impact Christmas! "

    December 19, 2014 a 8:50 am


Anna Celeste Watson says:
If you watch 1 film to save the planet – watch “COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret”

Category: Climate Change, Energy Events in Dorset, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living


Saturday 8th November 2014 will see the new controversial, emotive and highly talked about environmental film “Cowspiracy” come to West Stafford Village Hall near Dorchester in Dorset for a special screening (and the DORSET PREMIERE!) of the US documentary that seems to be gripping the world with its teeth!

“COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret” is a groundbreaking feature-length documentary, which follows an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to discuss it.

It is described as a shocking yet humorous film which reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet, as the leading cause of global warming, water depletion, deforestation, species extinction, and ocean ‘dead zones’.

The film is being heralded as eye-opening as “Blackfish” and as inspiring as “An Inconvenient Truth”.

Louie Psihoyos, Oscar-Winning Director of “The Cove” has said that, “Cowspiracy may be the most important film made to inspire saving the planet.”

The voluntary animal welfare group that I run called Compassionate Dorset, who are based in Dorchester but active across the county (as well as having our creative online shop), have been granted special permission by the filmmakers to have this fundraising film night in aid of the leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming. The charity was founded by a concerned dairy farmer in 1967, who became appalled by the growth of intensive farming and the disconnect between modern agriculture and the well-being of animals and the environment. Compassion in World Farming are the only major charity who campaign solely on advancing farm animal welfare, and their mission is to end factory farming in our lifetime, for good.

Anya Pearson, our Spokesperson for Compassionate Dorset, says, “Following the success of our Moo Man Film Night in aid of Compassion last year, we are really thrilled to be screening another brand new thought-provoking farming / food / environmental film. We are particularly excited as this is one of only a very small handful of UK screenings so far confirmed.”

The film night will once again be held in the beautiful and intimate surroundings of West Stafford Village Hall where there will be a fully licensed bar with hot drinks and snacks including vegan-friendly cakes, farm animal and cow themed t-shirts, prints and accessories for sale, and a raffle with lots of fantastic prizes.

I haven’t seen the film myself yet as it only premiered in the UK last month, but from the reviews I have read it sounds like it will give everyone, whether a meat-eater, Meatless Monday supporter, vegetarian or vegan, a lot to think about in terms of how our everyday food choices impact the sustainability of our planet, which is a huge part of what Compassionate Dorset is all about.

It also seems rather apt that we have another cow themed film, as not only will we be celebrating ‘Moovember’ but our group will also be celebrating our 5th birthday, so it should be a very special night.

Booking Advised!

Doors open at 7pm and everyone is welcome. Tickets are available on the night on the door, adults £3.00 and children under 16 go free but booking is advised at there is only a limited number of seats available and last year for our “Moo Man” film screening we ended up as standing room only!

For more information and to book online visit:

We look forward to seeing you there : )

To find another UK screening near you go to


Anna Celeste Watson says:
FREE Dorchester ‘Try This…’ Festival 27th September – 4th October 2014

Category: Energy Events in Dorset

Great to see the Try This… festival in Dorchester Dorset is back this year!

Try This… celebrates people teaching other people what they know and what they can do. It invites you to open your mind a bit, explore something you’ve always wanted to learn or something you’ve never even heard of before.

Every session is FREE, fun, and anyone will be welcome to attend!

Here a just a few of the events that I think look of particular interest:

  • Sunday 28th September – Forest Schools Activities (green wood construction & how to make a camp fire) – Thorncombe Wood, 2pm – 4pm
  • Wednesday 1st October – Energy Saving at Work and Home – Dorchester Corn Exchange, 1pm – 2pm
  • OR Wednesday 1st October – Local Plants and Medicine – Dorchester Borough Gardens House, 1pm – 2pm
  • Saturday 4th October – Poultry Keeping – Dorchester Community Farm Poundbury, 9.30am – 10.30am
  • Followed by Saturday 4th October –  Beekeeping – Dorchester Community Farm Poundbury, 10.30am – 11.30am

Most sessions have a maximum number of places available, and although booking is not essential it is highly recommended if there are some sessions that really catch your eye.

To view the full list of events or to book your place visit:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Wildlife Friendly Gardening for Wild About Gardens Week 2014

Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Wildlife & Nature
Tags: ,

Bee on Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

I was going to blog this week about how my partner Stu and I are planning on applying for the Dorset Wildlife’s Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Garden Award Scheme, and talk a bit about how now is a good time to think about wildlife friendly gardening when we are tackling our gardens this Autumn for the Winter, when I discovered that it is actually Wild About Gardens Week!

Wild About Gardens Week

According to Wild About Gardens, over the past 50 years we’ve seen declines in two thirds of our plant and animal species, so Wild About Gardens is a joint initiative by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts to encourage people to support local biodiversity in their gardens.

The massive decline in the UK’s animal and plant species is for a range of reasons including loss of habitat from housing developments and farming. Many of our common garden species – hedgehogs, house sparrows, starlings and common frogs, for example – are becoming much less common. This is where gardeners can make a difference, by making their own gardens and the green spaces in their communities more wildlife friendly.

Community Grass Free Lawn Event in Dorset

Sat 20th September at Poundbury Garden Centre, Dorchester (9am – 6pm)

Here in Dorset, you help to create a Grass Free Lawn of low-growing flowering plants to be installed in the Dorchester Borough Gardens on Easter Monday next year 2015.

Pop along to the Poundbury Garden Centre to collect your free seed trays, peat-free compost and seeds, plant each different species in a separate seed tray, look after them at home and bring them along to the Borough Gardens for the Grand Planting Day next year.

Or find out if there is a Wild About Gardens Week event near you at

Provide a sanctuary for wildlife this Winter

From hedgehogs and butterflies to birds and bats; it’s time to join forces and do something to help wildlife in your garden! For example, stems and seedheads provide habitats in your garden border so go easy on cutting back (which means less work for us too, hooray!).

Watch some ideas on how to encourage beneficial wildlife to stay in your garden through the coldest months:

Find out lots more about what you can do in your own garden at and make sure you visit The RHS and The Wildlife Trusts for more tips on how you can make a difference this autumn.

The Wildlife Friendly Garden Award Scheme

Creating a wildlife-friendly garden (at any time of the year) makes a valuable contribution towards conserving your local wildlife and can form a vital patchwork linking urban areas with the wider countryside.

The Wildlife Trusts say that garden acreage is at least five times that of all the nature reserves and national parks put together. Climate change is also a real threat for our wildlife and having safe havens with food and water all year round could help some of our more vulnerable species survive.

Here’s the current criteria for the Dorset Wildlife’s Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Garden Award Scheme:

You need to send photographic evidence to show you have five or more from the list below, to include at least one from each column A, B and C to be eligible for a plaque saying you have a ‘Wildlife Friendly Garden’.


  • Wildlife Pond
  • Bog or permanently wet area
  • Bird Bath
  • Bird Box
  • Bat Box


  • Wild flower Meadow
  • Climbing plants/Trellises suitable for nesting and feeding
  • Nectar rich flower border and bushes
  • Mixed Native Hedge
  • Mature Native Tree


  • Log pile and/or substantial decaying tree stump
  • Compost Heap
  • Long Grass area
  • No-go area
  • Slug pellet free

Stu and I have discovered we already more than qualify for the plaque, basically because we quite like wild gardens and are so busy working from home as Designers we don’t spend a huge amount of time gardening to be honest, although it is very grounding and satisfying when we do!

Apart from feeding the birds (and squirrels!) every day, making sure water trays are full for our frogs and resident hedgehogs, having a compost bin which our slow worms and smaller worms love, some bay trees which our lovely resident blackbird family sleep in, some runner beans that the slugs and snails love (we would NEVER dream of using slug pellets which can kill hedgehogs) and a couple of log piles left over from last time we gardened, we’d also like to actively create even more space for nature… so watch this space!!!

Find out more on and I’ll update you on if and when we get our plaque, hopefully soon!

Also check out Friends of the Earth’s 4 steps to a beautiful Bee World as we all know by now that its vital we have plants to feed the bees, as they are crucial to our whole ecosystem. Until next time… : )

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Natalie B. comments:
    "I love this article! I like events like garden week! There are many great ideas you can learn. I think it is very important to make your garden animal-friendly. I do everything I can to have many birds in the garden! Thanks for sharing! "
    October 15, 2014 a 10:42 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "This approach to helping wildlife by the way we garden is very close to my heart.
    My wife Lin has spent the last 25 years putting together a natural organic garden that we believe is a haven for wildlife of every kind.
    Our passion is seeing the bees and butterflies thrive and our ash, beech and silver birch trees grow ever bigger each year.
    2014 has been an amazing year with weather that appears to be perfect for the natural garden to thrive.
    If everyone of us changed our habits by allowing piles of garden rubbish to stay in situ the bees would thrive, hedgehogs, insects of all kinds and think of all the energy saved when big trucks don’t have to collect garden waste bags !! "

    September 18, 2014 a 5:37 pm


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Meat Free Monday – Climate Pledge Campaign

Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living

The Meat Free Monday team including Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters Mary and Stella, are encouraging people to take the pledge to skip meat one day a week, to reduce their carbon footprint and help tackle climate change.

The ‘Meat Free Monday Climate Pledge’ campaign (make sure you follow and use the twitter tag #MFMclimatepledge) will run during the build up to the UN Climate Summit that is taking place later this month.

Greg Barker, the Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, will be taking the signed pledge to the UN Climate Summit, where Global Leaders will be meeting in New York, on 23rd September 2014, to showcase support, and talk about the positive benefits for eating (and producing) less meat.

Did you know?


Meat production is responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization1, with some scientists saying the percentage is higher.


Skipping meat for one day a week can reduce your annual carbon footprint by as much as not driving your car for a whole month.


An area of Amazon rainforest the size of a hundred football pitches is cut down every hour to create room for grazing cattle.

The launch, held at vegetarian restaurant tibits in Mayfair, was attended by environmental NGO leaders and a host of supporters including Chrissie Hynde and Victoria Pendleton. During a delicious Meat Free Brunch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, WWF, Global Action Plan, Sustainability Hub and the Eating Better alliance came together to back the campaign and committed to encouraging their members and supporters to get involved too.

Greg Barker, who has personally supported Meat Free Monday since the start of the year said: “Giving up meat one day a week is more than just a symbolic act and, if enough of us do it, will send a very powerful and loud message to world leaders. Meat production is an increasingly large contributor to dangerous climate change so coming together like this may have a small but very real impact.”

The hope is for a million signatures by the end of this week so please pledge to go meat free for at least one day a week here:

For full details of the campaign follow this link:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
3 Recommended films to inspire you to action for Zero Waste Week

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Film/Video, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,

As Zero Waste Week continues this week, I thought I would share a couple of films I have been recommended on the subject of reducing waste. Perhaps this is something like me, you can add to your #ZeroWasteWeek pledge (i.e., watch the films and be inspired, or maybe prodded more likely, into action!) or maybe Dorset Energized will put on a screening sometime – please let us know if you want to get involved with a film night or know anywhere in Dorset screening these!

1. Trashed (Feature Film, 2012)

Trashed – No Place For Waste, starring Jeremy Irons, looks at the risks to the food chain and the environment through pollution of our air, land and sea by waste. The film reveals surprising truths about very immediate and potent dangers to our health. It is a global conversation from Iceland to Indonesia between the film star Jeremy Irons and scientists, politicians and ordinary individuals whose health and livelihoods have been fundamentally affected by waste pollution. Visually and emotionally the film is both horrific and beautiful: an interplay of human interest and political wake-up call. But it ends on a message of hope: showing how the risks to our survival can easily be averted through sustainable approaches that provide far more employment than the current ‘waste industry’. The film premiered in Cannes 2012 and has won 8 awards.

You can watch this online for a very modest download fee – just go to or watch the trailer below:

2. N0 Impact Man (Feature Film, 2009)

In No Impact Man, Colin Beavan decides to completely eliminate his personal impact on the environment for the next year. It means eating vegetarian, buying only local food, and turning off the refrigerator. It also means no elevators, no television, no cars, busses, or airplanes, no toxic cleaning products, no electricity, no material consumption, and no garbage. No problem – at least for Colin – but he and his family live in Manhattan. So when his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two-year-old daughter are dragged into the fray, the No Impact Project has an unforeseen impact of its own. Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein’s film provides an intriguing inside look into the experiment that became a national fascination and media sensation, while examining the familial strains and strengthened bonds that result from Colin and Michelle’s struggle with their radical lifestyle change.

You can watch this online for FREE – just go to or watch the trailer below:

3. The Story of Stuff (Short Film, 2007)

The Story of Stuff, originally released in December 2007, is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the Stuff in your life forever.

You can watch this short film online for FREE – just go to or watch the trailer below:


There’s so many more great looking environmental and food themed films out there I want to watch, but these 3 should do for now!

Please send us your reviews on these films and any other recommendations by submitting your Comments below : )


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Save water and energy for World Water Week

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,

HSBC/ WaterAid Partnership

As we celebrate Organic September and Zero Waste Week, this week is also World Water Week (31st August – 5th September 2014) and water is one thing we should never take for granted (although we all usually do of course – every day!)…

Global leaders gathered in Stockholm on 1st September for the 24th annual World Water Week, urging energy and water communities to work together to face some of the main challenges of our time providing clean drinking water and energy for a growing world population. The theme of 2014 World Water Week is “Energy and Water”.

In the UK, the excessive amount of water we all use every day at home is putting an unsustainable demand on our planet’s resources, biodiversity and people, and by using, and wasting, a lot of water we are also using, and wasting, a lot of energy (and money of course).

World Water Aid tell us that there is also a global water crisis, as every minute, every day, people in poorer countries suffer and lives are lost needlessly, simply because of a lack of safe water and sanitation. Most of us cannot even begin to imagine what this must be like, so we can at least make a small effort to save water and recycle it where we can, so as not to put a further strain on our fellow people and the Earth.

Eat less meat to save water (and help stop climate change too!)

As I mentioned here on the Dorset Energized blog last year for last World Water Week (where does the time go?!), it takes 10,000 – 20,000 litres of water to produce just 1kg of beef! This compares with around 1,200 litres for 1kg of maize and 1800 for a kilo of wheat. I have also read this week that to produce a day’s food for just one meat-eater takes over 4,000 gallons of water! Read more about water use in intensive factory farming on Compassion in World Farming’s RAW website (under Resource Waste).

According to the Vegetarian Society, farming accounts for around 70% of all freshwater taken from lakes, waterways and underground water supplies, much of it to produce meat. Waterways also run with manure, antibiotics and hormones washed in from the land and all sorts of pollutants from industrial fish farms.

We all know by now that we need to eat a lot less meat, and reports on how a plant-based vegan diet is the most eco-friendly and can help end climate change and reduce our impact on the environment, are all over the news and social media at the moment. I highly recommend visiting The Vegan Society website for more advice. I can vouch that being vegan makes you feel good too – on every level, and I truly feel it is one of the best decisions I ever made : )

Fracking uses millions of gallons of water

As one of our users previously commented on our blog – fracking uses a staggering 3 to 8 million gallons of water per frack. The water is also so toxic with chemicals and radioactive particles that it cannot be recycled and when the well leaks (as all wells do eventually) the water table will also be contaminated.

So yet another reason (as if any sane person needed one) to oppose fracking and support clean energy instead. Find out more at

Go Go Hydro Power!

Renewable energy is all about positively harnessing the power of nature to generate clean and sustainable energy, and hydro-electric power which comes from using water to turn a turbine, supplies around 20% of the world’s electricity and yet it is still barely being used at all in the UK even though apparently we have one of the highest wave energy potentials in Europe, if not the world!

For more information on how we can use water as a renewable energy source to make hydro-electricity, here in Dorset and the UK, see our section all about Water Power which also links to local hydro-power projects.

Use less water to reduce your water footprint

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has lots of information on their website on how you can save water and on their campaign to reduce the impact of humanity’s water footprint, such as:

  • Turn off the taps in-between brushing your teeth
  • Fix dripping taps
  • Take short showers instead of a bath
  • Install water-saving, low-flow shower heads
  • Collect rainwater
  • Collect rinsing water

You can also check out Waterwise’s Quick Tips and Facts on Saving Water.

And as always, remember that small changes in your every habits really can make a big difference – and it all starts with you and me!

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "What a fantastic set of news, campaigns and generally exciting opportunities for us all to get involved with.
    If everyone of us did just a small act within each sector, save some water, eat just a little less red meat and support renewable energy the effect to yourself, your family, to the UK and to the World is just huge.
    Come on join up and feel the success of doing something positive. "

    September 4, 2014 a 4:58 pm


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Take the Zero Waste Week Pledge

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living


This week (1st – 7th September 2014) is Zero Waste Week and they are calling upon us all to take a simple pledge this week as an opportunity to reduce landfill waste and save money.

Now in its seventh year, this year’s theme is “One More Thing” – what one more thing could YOU do?

Zero Waste Pledge Ideas include:

  • Ditch plastic carrier bags
  • Pack a zero waste lunch
  • Recycle your Tetra Pak cartons
  • Take clothes to a textile bank
  • Shop naked!
  • Declutter without landfill
  • Reduce food waste
  • Repair something
  • Spread the word!

You’ll feel good so live longer!!!

There’s a rather amusing post on the Zero Waste Week blog claiming that by taking the pledge you’ll feel good and therefore live longer! Okay, bit of a mad claim but they say, and I have to agree:

People who feel good about something are happy. Happy people are healthy. Healthy people live longer. You’ve been meaning to set yourself a goal, right? And that recycling bin has been tugging at your conscience. Now’s the time to get some support, encouragement and help to do what you’ve been meaning to do anyway.

This probably sums up the whole ethos of Dorset Energized too – getting involved with supporting renewable energy is naturally energizing, it makes you feel good, plus you can even save money especially by reducing waste and using less energy in the first place.

Sign up and find out more at:

Check out our own Energy Efficiency section for lots more ideas on reducing waste too.

3Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "I want to live lots longer so I am doing it all, come on it feels great just making an effort and knowing together the effect will be huge. "
    September 4, 2014 a 5:02 pm

  • Anna comments:
    "You are very welcome Rachelle – its such as great idea and hopefully will inspire lots of people! I’m also pledging not to use plastic bags. I always try and re-use bags and try to never to get plastic bags, but sometimes I forget to pack my bags when doing my food shop so somehow they keep accumulating and they are really not good thing so I will definitely try harder : ) "
    September 1, 2014 a 4:25 pm

  • Rachelle Strauss comments:
    "Hey there, thanks so much for the Zero Waste Week shout out and I’m glad you like my rather tongue-in-cheek blog post :D "
    September 1, 2014 a 4:19 pm


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Top 5 Eco Essentials for the Festival Season

Category: Eco Gifts & Gadgets

We’re truly into festival season now, so it’s time to get your wellies on and listen to some live music in a hopefully sunny but probably soggy field (well, let’s face it you can’t rely on the British weather and that’s a fact!).

In a bid to become Britain’s greenest festival this year Glastonbury encouraged all traders and festival goers to drink from reusable bottles rather than disposable ones. It’s also the fab Tolpuddle Festival in Dorset this weekend, so here is our top 5 list of products for ideas on how you can be as green as possible at festivals this year, and most are available online from Ecotopia so you can save on postage getting them all together too!


Essential Eco Festival Kit

1. Essential Eco Festival Kit Special Offer £28.46

Ecotopia’s Essential Eco Festival Kit is designed to see you through your favourite festival in true eco style. It includes Ecoleaf toilet rolls (how decadent!), a Bentley Organic Hand Sanitizer and a reusable Ohyo Water Bottle.


Outdoor Eco Festival Kit

2. Outdoor Eco Festival Kit From £21.99

Light up the Eco BBQ for some delicious food during your festival weekend. Make sure you’re eating free range, better still organic meat, or I highly recommend enjoying some meat-free burgers or veggie sausages if you really want to be eco – VegiDeli Meat-Free Quarter Pounder Burgers are my absolute favourite and are available in all good healthshops, and I don’t think you can beat Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages in a hotdog, (both are vegan-friendly) available at most supermarkets (I also recommend bbq-ed onions and smothering everything in ketchup and mayo!). If you’ve got the room and a chillbox then take salad, and ready-cooked baby new potatoes and corn on the cobs to bbq too, yum! If you don’t buy the Essential Eco Festival Kit above then this kit also comes with a wind up Collapsible Lantern to brighten up your evenings and you can avoid bites with the Natural Insect Repellent.


Freeloader Pico Solar Charger

3. Freeloader Pico £24.99

The Freeloader is a compact and lightweight solar charger for mobile devices and is great for people on the move (and at festivals!). Pico charges in 10 hours using the sun, 3-4 hours when plugged in, and comes with a number of connector tips for charging multiple devices. I’d like to think festival-goers could get back to nature in the great outdoors and live without their mobiles for a day or two… but most of us just can’t resist checking messages or sharing photos and videos on facebook so best to be prepared!!!


Spudcoat Biodegradable Raincoat

4. Spudcoat from £5.99

Okay it doesn’t look very cool at all but sometimes dismal weather calls for desperate measures, and it also doesn’t feel very cool getting soaking wet!!! Stay dry at festivals this season with the (not-so!) trendy Spudcoat. It can be worn over and over again, is made from potato starch bioplastic and has seeds embedded in it – so once you’re finished with your coat you can plant it in the garden and it will grow into cucumber or tomato plants – how cool is that!!! They are perfect for adults and children alike as they come in two sizes.



5. Compassionate Tees from £15.10 / £20.10 Organic

To counteract the possible threat of having to wear a Spud/Rain Coat (!) I recommend standing out from the crowd in one of Compassionate Dorset’s cow t-shirts, or their new ‘100% Organic’ t-shirt in you’ve guessed it, 100% organic cotton. All profits are donated to the leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming to help end factory farming which is the biggest cause of cruelty to animals and environmental destruction on the planet, so you’ll look cool and feel good too!


Have fun and please let us know which festivals you’ve gone to and how you get on with any of these products by posting your comments below, or recommend more eco festival essentials!


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Keep Warm This Winter – FREE Workshop in Weymouth 13th February 2014

Category: Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas


Picture from Dorset Community Action by kind Permission of the Dorset Echo

Are you struggling to keep warm this winter? Are you unsure about how to switch your energy supplier?

You are not alone; as we reported yesterday its Cold Homes Week and shockingly last winter someone died of the cold every 6 minutes. Many people are finding the combination of rising fuel costs, low income and poorly-insulated rural housing, a real problem.

Dorset Community Action, with sponsorship from Magna Housing, is running another drop in session for you to come along and discuss your individual needs and concerns, and get some advice on how to keep warm and save some money. You can find out about how to switch energy supplier over a cup of tea and biscuits provided by the Co-op, and receive a free energy saving appliance provided by our friends at Dorset Energy Advice CentreFirst Dorset Credit Union will also offer support and ideas for people suffering financial hardship.

Come along to:

Willowbed Hall
Putton Lane

Pop in any time between 2pm to 6pm and spread the word to those that would benefit from this help and advice.

No booking is needed. Find out more at:

If you can’t make it, there are lots of energy saving and money saving tips under our Energy Efficiency pages and information on how to easily Switch Energy Suppliers.


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Cold Homes Week – 3rd to 7th February 2014

Category: Energy Efficiency, Fuel Poverty & Security


Did you know that this week is Cold Homes Week?

Last winter someone died of the cold every 6 minutes

At least 9000 of these deaths were because people couldn’t afford to heat their home.

As part of Cold Homes Week Friends of the Earth are working with the Energy Bill Revolution to end the scandal of cold homes.

Tackling fuel poverty would mean warmer homes, improved health and lower carbon emissions. Investing in home energy efficiency improvements would also lower energy bills, so people can afford to heat their homes. It’s a no brainer.

Ask your MP to make UK homes super energy efficient

So far over 200 MPs have supported the campaign to make UK homes super energy efficient. Help them make it 400.

Please click here to ask your MP to back the campaign


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Stop Loosing Money While You Sleep Infographic

Category: Energy Efficiency
Tags: , ,

Here’s another great little infographic as its BIG ENERGY SAVING WEEK 2013 – this time from energy suppliers Ovo Energy showing how simply leaving your home appliances and devices on standby is wasting a lot of energy and burning a whole in your pocket!


Remember to check out Dorset Energized’s section on Energy Efficiency for even more energy saving tips to save lots more money!


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Energy Saving Tips at Home for BIG ENERGY SAVING WEEK 2013

Category: Energy Efficiency
Tags: , ,

As its the BIG ENERGY SAVING WEEK 2013 I thought I’d share this great infographic I came across on Pinterest that provides a visual guide to easy ways you can save energy and save money in your home:


This infographic was created by Juice Electric Supplies who sell a range of energy saving products and gadgets, with information sourced from The Energy Saving Trust.

Check out Dorset Energized’s section on Energy Efficiency for more energy saving tips as well!


Anna Celeste Watson says:
The Moo Man is coming to Dorset!

Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , ,


In keeping with today’s cow theme (!) and as its also World Food Day (16th October), plus we are also celebrating Bake With Compassion month…
I am very excited to present…

OCTOBER Saturday 19th, Doors Open 7.00pm

At West Stafford Village Hall, West Stafford near Dorchester, Dorset

Saturday 19th October will see the remarkable story of a maverick farmer and his unruly cows come to Dorset for a special screening of the British documentary film everyone is talking about!

The Moo Man is a film by Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier filmed over four years on the marshes of the Pevensey Levels. In an attempt to save his family farm, organic dairy farmer Stephen Hook decides to turn his back on the cost cutting dairies and supermarkets, and instead stay small and keep his close relationship with the herd. However farmer Hook’s plans to save the farm do not always go down well with his 55 spirited cows. The result is a laugh-out-loud, emotional roller-coaster of a journey. You will never see cows in the same way again!

Hailed as “The number one movie of the Sundance 2013 Film Festival”, the film is receiving rave reviews and recognition around the world.

The Moo Man is a heart warming, tearjerker of a movie about the incredible bonds between man, animal and countryside. According to Variety magazine it is “An endearing portrait of the kind of age-old family farm that’s becoming extinct”.

And as the Daily Telegraph say: “This story cannot fail to leave you moo-ved!”.

Local animal welfare group Compassionate Dorset have been granted special permission by the filmmakers to have this fundraising film night in aid of the farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming which was itself founded by a concerned dairy farmer, on a mission to improve the lives of farm animals.

There will be a fully licensed bar, cakes, a raffle and they will have their popular funky farm animal t-shirts for sale too.

The film will be followed by a short Q & A session headed by Compassion in World Farming where people can feedback on the film and its implications for farm animal welfare.

Remember to check out the Dorset Energized tips and links on food and farming on our Sustainable Living section.


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Reclaim power: FOE month of action on energy

Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living


11th October to 11th November 2013
A global month of action on energy is starting…

Friends of the Earth have joined with international groups to organise a global month of action on energy.

They say that we face a planetary emergency and are heading for catastrophic levels of climate change.

Around the world people are uniting to respond to the crisis – but we need to reach more people, link up and scale up our actions.

From 11th October to 11th November people around the world will be calling for:

  • A global ban on all new dirty energy projects
  • An end to tax payer hand outs to dirty energy companies
  • Support to be redirected to community and decentralised energy systems
  • Key dates during the month of action.

Key dates during the month of action:

October 11 – Actions calling for a stop to public subsidies for dirty energy companies.

October 16 – World Food Day: Day of Actions against Agrofuels.

October 19 – Global Frackdown Day: Day of Actions against Fracking. Our local groups will be hitting the streets across the UK inviting people to tell their council why fracking is a dirty word.

November 6 – Day of Action for People/Community Energy Alternatives – find out more on:

November 10 – Day of Action vs Oil (Anniversary of the death of Ken Saro Wiwa – Nigerian writer, environmental activist)

November 11 – start of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) climate talks in Warsaw, Poland.

For more information go to:

Dorset Community Energy

To find out how to join a Community Energy Group or Project here in Dorset see our Sustainable Living section or view all your home or business Renewable Energy options.

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