Earth Day in Gib

Another of those days. This time it’s Earth Day today. Given the greed and selfishness of a vast percentage of the world, I think more than one day a year is required.

Apparently Friends of the Earth in Gib is asking everyone to make a simple pledge to do something positive to help the earth, eg:

stop using plastic bags, to drive less, recycle glass, to re-use items and not send them to the dump, and buying second hand instead of new.

Erm, I think I do all those.

Here is my suggestion. Not that it affects me remotely. But how about teaching precious Monica and Fabian to walk to school or take the bus instead of driving them five or ten minutes in an SUV?

And if they are too small then escort them yourself, or get another responsible adult to do that. If I could travel five miles each way on the bus at age not very many at all, and later walk home, sometimes across the fields, then your over-protected/idle offspring can manage it too.

However I realise I am ranting uselessly on this one, as most of my dear readers are far too old to have small offspring. Those with small offspring are probably driving them around all over the place and too busy to read sensible helpful blogs.

FoE Gib is also publicising the idea of ‘handprint’ which is*:

based around the idea that concentrating on our carbon footprint is a negative idea that cannot motivate people and in fact only serves to de-motivate us into thinking we can’t do anything to help the earth or to change it. On the other hand, the idea of a ‘handprint’ reverses this notion and wants us to focus on the positive we can and maybe already do.

I think that is a good idea. Only because focusing on negative PR is usually counter-productive as it racks people off being told what NOT to do. Personally I would like to see a large handprint campaign for those greedy global industries. While the rest of us are diligently plugging away at recycling, not wasting things, driving less etc etc it is hardly encouraging to see the multi-million dollar companies of the world pissing all over our efforts.

To end on a brighter note though. Some photos from the Alameda Gardens taken this morning on Earth Day. While everyone else is posting glorious photos of spring trees in bloom and beautiful flowers, we don’t seem to have anything special at all! Just a few papery sort of flowers and a lot of evergreen stuff. Eso va la vida.

The Dell, no not Dingly Dell, just the Dell, a favourite place for weddings. See those huge fish in there?


Bougainvillea – probably blooms all year round.


No idea what this one is?

blue flower...

Cheerful poppies.


Public transport up the rock – the Cable Car. See the scary ladder for the maintenance staff on the right hand side?

cable car

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* the handprint is the idea of Gregory Norris, from Harvard School of Public Health.


64 comments on “Earth Day in Gib

  1. agree completely…its annoying that while we put all our efforts in the smallest and biggest bits to help make the earth be more green, the giants get away with everything in the name of driving the economy, with the same economy driving and promoting a culture that is so non-green. and I guess the solution only comes to going back to our roots and making people more aware. a long way to go yet….


    • to be fair, I think if more people made an effort it would make a big difference, but – while ever big companies are burning up energy at a horrific rate and polluting the atmosphere and the environment, I can see why people think ‘what difference can I make?’

      The solution needs to be resolved in three ways – people being less extravagant, companies being ethical and responsible, and governments (let alone banks!) occasionally putting principles and ideals before the big corporate players. It won’t happen tomorrow.


  2. Oh, don’t get me on my soap box AGAIN!!
    Apart from the kids being bone idle, it’s a status thing by the parents as to who has the biggest, the newest motor etc.
    Mine walked to the junior school, which was just under a mile away, and bused it to the high school, 2.7 miles away, I know that exact distance from when I applied for school bus passes, and was told they could only have one if they were 3 miles away. I never even considered taking them in the car.
    That papery flower is amazing, it really does look like tissue paper, and the bottle brush, I didn’t realise they grew in Gib, I’ve plenty of pics of them taken in Oz.


      • I’m wondering where the drive-to-school mentality came from. Too much publicity of child molesters. That never existed before? Or murderers? Scout leaders abusing their troops? It’s always happened.

        Going to school on the bus meant swapping homework, meeting boys and chilling out – who would want to be driven?

        And who wants to be protected when you can learn early independence?

        @ V – you’ve probably told me about Oz before but I’ve forgotten. Pix needed on your blog!!

        There was something about my bus pass that involved mileage. Anyway, I got one so that was great :)


      • That is spot on!!
        As roughseas has said, it’s always happened.
        Just modern day technology allows us to be informed almost instantly of every tragic event.


      • Busy at work but had to say something! Anyway, all these comments, they have said it all. But since you ask;

        Isn’t it time FOE found a new message? They have been coming out with the same bright ideas for 20 years at least. They need a new ‘ideas’ person. How about rainwater harvesting, don’t buy crap packaging, mulch to prevent water loss, ….

        My views on the school run:

        The Dell looks gorgeous and blue flower looks like …

        Handprint, footprint given me an idea. :)


        • In which case I appreciate you taking the time to comment, if only briefly, from the pen. And, while all the points are valid, there are always more to make – as you have done now. Like most organisations they need ideas people and PR people that can work together – because the ideas are no good if you can’t get the message across in the right way. If they were very lucky they could get one person who could handle both aspects. The real challenge is trying to get into people’s heads who aren’t interested in it. Take the vid you posted with posh woman in 2020 – that’s going to have zilch appeal to person on benefit/working at supermarket/young person driving flash car etc etc.

          Just re-read your school run poem again, and thought it was great all over again.
          I like the Dell and the gardens generally. I’m trying to remember to go more often to capture different times of year. It’s looking pretty tat at the moment! Needs weeding. Yes, I think the conclusion of my worthy commenters is that it is aquilegia. Having looked it looks a bit like the alpina variant which would be a bit odd here, but maybe not.


          • You see, I agree … again. The vid of 2020 is one of a series on green sauce tv I think. They are all pretty cool but, as you say only appeal to a minority, probably those who already think that way anyway.

            Never been to Gib, I imagine not much in the way of open spaces for guerilla gardening, is that right?


          • I think the phrase is winning hearts and minds or some such crap is it not? Changing someone’s mind is not an easy job. At all. I defy anyone to change mine!
            That would be right. Not too bad if you are a privileged balcony person, but I’m still working out how to sneak in a window box..


          • Ahh the old hearts and minds. You know that’s a British Army invention. The US Military variant is ‘grab them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.’ Sort of says something fundamental really.
            As for changing minds, I would not wish to try and make you change your mind, but I am sure your mind is open, not closed like a spring trap. It is not possible to change a closed mind, only encourage and inform an open one.
            Feel quite tired after that better go for a lie down!!


          • Love the Americanism!
            I don’t think anyone would encourage me to eat meat in a hurry.
            I’m torn between food, a nap, and writing a blog post! You’ve already beaten me on one of those.


  3. Love the flowers. And while blossoms on trees are rather lovely, your greens are refreshing, too, and extravagantly providing oxygen. so all is well. Anyhow, the beautiful blue flowers are columbines, or more formally Aquilegia. Since I don’t want to end up in your spam box, I will not post a link, however Wikipedia has an informative post on them if you would like to look it up. :)
    Vancouver has a great recycling program, and in more recent years a compost program as well, I am pleased to share. Some of the streetside trees provide more leaves in autumn than can be used for mulch or composting, and it is nice to be able to ‘recycle’ egg shells, coffee grounds, teabags and the like without contributing to the landfill. We usually have very little official ‘garbage’ (rubbish) to put out curbside (kerbside). I used to buy our milk at the local dairy for years – yes the last existing dairy within city limits, albeit without cows, and that came in recycled/reusable glass bottles. The milk was so much tastier than that which comes in plastic jugs.
    Ironically the cows reside on farms which required their milk to be motored into town, not overly green – which I didn’t think about at the time. But I could not imagine how many plastic jugs were avoided by using those recyclable glass bottles during the 20 or more years of getting milk there.
    Anyhow, the dairy has since sadly shut its doors and relocated outside the city in a rather out of the way location, so it’s back to buying milk in plastic jugs at the local grocery store. Apparently some local stores carry the bottled milk, but I have not yet seen it in the stores I visit.
    One thing I appreciate is the use of reusable bags for carrying your groceries. I noticed that this has been done in many places in Europe, but there were far too many plastic bags at my end. But in the last few years, people do bring their own to stores. Every little bit helps.
    All that being said, Happy Earth Day!


    • Ah thanks for the aquilegia thing. They did remind me of the multi-coloured ones my parents once grew, but so many years ago and not blue, so figured I would run with ignorant and some bright person would illuminate me.

      Dairies? Milk? Bottles? No, I can’t reply on that here, my reply would be even longer than yours!! And plastic bags? Also for another post.

      Thank you, in fact it has been a lovely idle day. Recharging our personal batteries.


  4. On Earth Day media seems to recycle the same old suggestions that the ones that care already do – and the others that don’t, probably won’t read anyway. A lot of just for show anyway…like the efforts here to monitor and fine small boat owners/sailboat for through hull discharges of heads while the tankers, large boats, and ships were not included in the fines and monitoring. (And why don’t they stop all those chemical lawn treatment companies – the yard should be planted with native plants so they don’t need so many chemicals which usually wash off into the waterways. UGH!)
    For Earth Day we got up early to enjoy the rare cool morning to walk the dog (already pottied in yard – so no messy walkie cleanup) to the lake to watch the morning bunny feed and listen to the early bird calls – all before humans disturbed the quiet. Then home to open windows to trap cool air instead of running AC…and using light from windows to do things. If people just didn’t use lights when they weren’t needed it would help. Small things do add up.
    Great pictures! My bougainvilla is more pinkish. Always love the poppies


    • Extremely good points (only what I would expect from you of course). Don’t even start me on pesticides….

      I backed off on the early morning dog walk, I think Partner was out around sevenish with Pippa, and then we – hangs head in shame – drove to the shops to pick up the cheap beer offer which expired today. But we won’t be getting in the vehicle for another week. And then I wandered around the gardens, but the sun hadn’t come over the top of the Rock which is why my pictures are somewhat pale.

      One of our windows is permanently open, has mosquito netting over it, for air circulation. No A/C. I like the get up when it is light, and go to bed when it is dark approach – where practicable.

      Thank you.


      • A real concern is this disease killing bats…if we lose bats by disease or by pesticides, or wind turbine hits, people will become aware of where food comes from and how nature is interconnected.
        I really hate AC but here with the high humidity and extreme summer temps it is deadly not to use it. Grew up without it, but buildings weren’t so dense then, (and they were built with windows to use prevailing breezes – now no windows). The noise of AC gets tiring after a few months – indoors and outdoors!
        We live in a very walkable community – not all are. No buses for kids within a certain mileage radius in TX. Usually weather is ok and kids walk/skateboard/bike around here – but some areas it really isn’t safe due to traffic, kidnappings, and high numbers of sexual predators that are paroled to half way houses in Harris County from the state prisons. Sad. Kids end up losing that freedom and fun of walking to and from school.
        We watch the beer specials here, too. Must celebrate – any reason is OK…Hmmm Cinco de Mayo is coming up


        • I was reading about bats today wandering around the gardens, but haven’t seen any yet :(
          In our pueblo, there was a sudden glut of air conditioning systems being installed when people had money. They were putting them into old houses – built for the climate – which had never had them. Why?
          Secondly, why not design houses that don’t need it? Oh, wait, I know, because people NEED it. Having said all that, your climate sounds hotter and more humid than mine. And we are pretty hot.
          Your crime posts freak me out. It is low here in gib – no need for it. Similarly in Spain (less driving there).
          Cinco de mayo no existe aqui. What is it – pico de gallo or something?


  5. Love the poppies!
    I feel EXACTLY the same way about parents shuttling their children for 5 minute drives here and there when they live well within walking distance! I see this, daily, as we live about 10 minutes from my kids’ school. We walk and are slowed up by the endless barrage of cars (of our neightbours!!) blocking the crosswalks and streets on the way to school – it’s extremely irritating! Our school has a website…thought ot post that small bit of your post there, annonymously and see if folks get the hint :P
    Happy Earth Day!


    • Thank you.
      You’re welcome to post my comment however you want. It’s not healthy for anyone for the world to be driving five or ten minutes away.
      Enjoy your day too, ours will soon be tomorrow. And tomorrow always brings another day. Hopefully.


  6. It seems to me one downside of living in Gibraltar full time, is that if you want to go anywhere you’re probably going to have to fly and often starting off in the wrong direction. So, if you fancy a long weekend in Paris for example you end up flying Gib->London->Paris->London->Gib which is somewhat long winded and generates a lot of unnecessary carbon dioxide. Hopefully there maybe some better flight options out of Gib one day soon.


    • Seems to me one of the advantages of living in Gib is being in mainland Europe. One can travel by bus or train to Madrid and from there get the overnight sleeper to Paris. Rather less unnecessary CO2 and a much nicer way to travel. Of course it probably works out more expensive. Principles or pennies? As I doubt the flight options out of Gib will be changing in a hurry.


      • Its more expensive to take the train from London to Paris than to fly, however I think its my dislike for airports and Ryan Air and their ilk, as much as principles, coupled with the convenience of arriving directly in Paris, that has me on the train.

        I think I’m right in saying there are no trains in La Linea, so you have to do the 3 hour bus ride to Malaga or bus to Seville to join the rail network ? I’ve not been on a bus/coach for many years, I don’t remember them being very comfortable, certainly not the UK ones.



        • I missed this!! So sorry. I know it’s more expensive, believe me, I did the Málaga-UK run enough times to know the price. (The cynic knows the price of everything etc etc). I’ve never flown RA or Sleazy and by the sound of it, I don’t want to. If I reluctantly have to fly it will be BA/Iberia or similar.

          Nearest train is Algeciras. A forty minute bus ride from La Linea. Or Estacion de San Roque, which I had forgotten about until interfering partner mentioned it, which is even nearer. Best bus would be to Cordoba to get to Madrid, a similar journey but shorter on the AVE trip. Long distance Spanish buses are good, cheap, and comfortable. No worries there. People often use them in preference to taking their car because of just that.


  7. I live in suburbia and your notes on the reckless use of gasoline via parents toting children to school that could realistically walk irritates me. I kid you not, my next door neighbor drives her son 2 blocks to catch the BUS. Huh? We as a people can be quite blind to our ways that are aiding in destroying this lovely planet..
    On the bright side of your post, the gardens are quite lovely.. thank you for adding some beauty to harsh realities.


    • Sadly enough I believe you about your neighbours. The example I had in mind when I wrote the above was similar. We could all see the school a stone’s throw away from our streets, and yet, our neighbours insisted on driving their children there through busy streets, traffic lights, no-parking zones …. to what advantage for anyone?

      Thank you. I thought it was appropriate to remind us all what we should be striving to save.


  8. There’s nothing like a good rant to send a zing through the cobwebs! Sometimes I feel optimistic about our future on this precious planet, other times I’d just as soon the planet exacted revenge and put a stop to our destructive tenure altogether. But that wouldn’t be fair on the innocent creatures we’ve not managed to eradicate. Umm. That feels better:) Thanks for visiting today. I’m going to enjoy getting to know your world – and you too, of course.


    • Indeed. I am pleased to say I have a number of educated blog readers who have told me the same. We had them in our garden, but only for a year I think, perhaps they got too much white fly or looked too straggly for my parents’ liking. But they were multi-coloured, which confused me when I saw these in the gardens. I do think everything should be labelled in botanical gardens though.


  9. Buy second hand is my favorite of the recommendations. As I was clearing out my flat in England, I put a basket of half-used shampoos etc out on the street, along with a box of squeaky clean recycled jars – with lids – in hopes someone would pick up and take home and use. To be honest, can’t remember the last time I bought something new – ahh yes, a laptop bag two weeks ago in Hove. Having transported my MacBook for 5 years in recycled laptop bags I decided it was time to buy a new one – now that the laptop is dilapidated and cracked from being lugged about wrapped in bubble wrap! But I bought my weighs-nothing-at-all carry on luggage from a charity shop for a mere £3 while the new laptop bag was haggled down to £17 from £20. What surprised me was that no one bought my bed or my sofa – both of which were excellent! They went to charity shops. I don’t get why people have to have everything new. I get tremendous satisfaction from buying something old, or finding something old and making it new with a little love and creativity.


    • They probably have too much money, would be one answer. Certainly more money than sense. I try and avoid buying anything at all unless necessary. I’m looking at an ironing board in the flat that belonged to my mother for as long as I can remember, and the other one I have belonged to my great aunt. They don’t exactly fall apart (newer models might though) so why buy a new one?

      I suspect the other answer is back to your other comment on the gay rights post. It’s about snobbery and status, we don’t like to accept hand-me-downs = poor. Or if something isn’t new it’s ‘dirty’. Are you actually back home now??


        • Bit late for buen viaje but good luck with your new life back home then. I thought your idea for the series was really inspired, even if you did decide to up sticks half way across the world in the midst of it. Not sure if I have missed a few posts so I need to check them out.


          • I decided to up sticks before I started it – and it was for that reason I chose the topic :) Many places not written about. Think I will do food from places I’ve lived next :) People do like reading about food :0


          • Ah right! Don’t think I have lived in as many places although I was thinking about that as a topic this morning can’t remember why. Food would be a good one, you’re right.


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