Frack Off. Why fracking is bad and how to stop it.

The message is clear: fracking is bad. The general public in the UK seems to think so, yet the government isn’t listening.

In blockbuster films, it’s always clear who is the baddie, in real life it doesn’t tend to be so black and white. Unless we’re talking about fracking. Fracking is bad, there is no debate.

Here is why: Fracking is a way of extracting oil or gas from tiny fissures in shale rock underground. It involves drilling deep down and then pumping water, sand and chemicals down at high pressure to push apart the tiny fractures in the rock and release the gas. This is bad news for two main reasons: first of all the process of fracking is dangerous, it can cause seismic activity, contaminate water and is a potential health threat. And secondly we need to move away from a fossil fuel economy, not find new ways to extract it. I’m sure there is still plenty of oil and gas to be found around the world, but if we want to meet climate change targets it is vital that we leave it where it is.

Instead of spending fortunes developing technology for new techniques like fracking, we need to be spending it on developing renewable energies, reducing energy consumption and the storage of energy. Politicians are quick to defend fracking by saying it will boost the economy, yet we can also boost it by investing in green energy and creating green jobs.

So what can we do? We need to be constantly pushing back, letting the government know we don’t want fracking to happen, ever, anywhere. Any petition you can sign, sign it, and if it’s happening near you, look out for groups you can join. You can switch your electricity and gas providers to a 100% renewable energy one (see previous article). If there is no demand for oil and gas they will stop looking for it! And you can spread the word. The more people that know about fracking and understand why it’s bad, the more pressure the government will be under to ban it once and for all.


Switch to a 100% Renewable Energy Supplier


Sometimes making a small change can significantly help the planet, but it can also save us money. What I found surprising when looking into changing energy providers to one that would be 100% renewable, is that price comparison websites said it would save me up to £300 a year compared to my current provider. Looking into both tariffs, the rates were definitely lower from the green energy company, but I remain skeptical on it saving me that much. I will let you know in a year! Either way, it’s cheaper, and it’s better for the planet, so it’s a no brainer.

I used this website to compare the different renewable energy providers in my area . In the end I went for Bulb, and through their website it only took 10 minutes to switch.

Green energy is electricity that comes from renewable sources, that don’t contribute to global warming. It can come from wind farms or solar panels, hydro power, wave power, tidal power and more. And Bulb get most of theirs from UK providers. Energy that travels less is even better. 

And more good news, the government is changing rules over the next few years which will not only help save energy overall, but give people more potential to make money from energy they produce. On BBC news last week they reported “New rules will make it easier for people to generate their own power with solar panels, store it in batteries and sell it to the National Grid.” Wonderful.


The Microbeads App You Need

Unfortunately when it comes to new legislation protecting the environment, the urgency of the situation doesn’t seem to be reflected in the speed of its implementation. In September 2016 the government announced its plan to ban microbeads from cosmetic products. But like the 5p charge on plastic bags, announced in September 2013 and put in place in October 2015 (that’s 14 billion bags not saved), the elimination of microbeads is likely to still take some months, if not years. On the up side, some brands are voluntarily phasing them out, and some retailers are planning to stop selling products containing them without waiting for legislation to change. But in the meantime, we can do something better, stop buying them. If there is no demand for microbeads, there’s no production. If you’re unsure whether your products contain microbeads, use the Beat The Microbead app. I love it, and I use my St Ives face scrub knowing it doesn’t contain any plastic (just walnut shell!).

One thing though, if you have an unfinished product that contains microbeads, I can’t figure out if it’s more environmentally friendly to chuck the rest of it in the bin or finish it… Any opinions?

Get Beat The Microbead App here

Turn your engine off… pretty please and thank you

Is it ever acceptable to ask someone to turn off their engine if they are not moving? Or am I asking to be punched in the face?

I realise no one likes to be told what to do, and I’m trying to avoid being the preachy type. But really, on my run yesterday I counted three vehicles that were parked up with their engines running. If they don’t care about the air we’re breathing or their generous contribution to global warming, surely they must care about their money?! Apparently if you are not moving for 5-10 seconds it’s more economical to switch your engine off.

So can I knock on someone’s window and ask?

Would there ever be a valid reason to leave it running? If you’ve got it on to keep warm then nip into the nearest shop. They blast out so much hot air I assume they’re trying to grow their own tropical forest. Cheers for the reforestation but I don’t think the city streets is where the jungle is most needed.

In true British style, I gave the drivers a glare but decided against confrontation just yet. Until I pluck up the courage I will just hope they stumble across this blog post I’m hiding behind. 



While I was working in my flat one morning this week, I could hear an engine running outside. After a few minutes it didn’t stop so I looked out the window, and a big van was parked up. I could see that the passenger was reading a newspaper and the driver filling out forms. I was debating whether to go down and say something, thinking as usual, that I probably wouldn’t and would hope that they would go away quickly. But after another five minutes the pointless emissions were becoming too annoying, and I wondered if they needed their engine to be on for anything, or if they just weren’t thinking. So I plucked up my courage and headed down. I was polite and asked them if their engine needed to be on. Before even answering, the driver had turned it off and apologised. I did make a point of saying it wasn’t for the noise but the pollution that I was asking, as it struck me then, that maybe it isn’t that they don’t care about polluting, it seemed like they just hadn’t thought about it.

I wondered if this would have any impact on their attitude to having their engines on generally, but I was trying not to kid myself too much. But happily, the next day when I left the flat, I saw that the van was back, the driver in his seat, and I hadn’t heard the engine all morning. Small win.