Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Why You're Here: Ethics for the Real World

Recently I won a copy of Why You're Here: Ethics for the Real World (John G. Stackhouse, Jr.) on Goodreads.  Martin found it really exciting and has written the following review of it.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

A lovely Saturday

Yesterday was a fun day :-)

Martin and I had our first go at bottling mussels.

2kg mussels ready to go

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Buying fish for human rights: salmon

Last year I blogged about how Martin and I try to shop in ways that support human rights.  We do that by:
  1. Preferentially buying things produced in low income countries;
  2. Buying things produced under the best labour conditions available;
  3. Trying not to buy things produced by child or forced labour.
The reasons behind these principles are explained in more detail here.

At the time that was written I was uncertain which (if any!) fish or seafood we could buy that would accord with those principles.  We had become aware that slavery was rife in the fishing industry.  People were being forced to work without pay both on the boats and in processing factories, child labour was being used, and there were plenty of disturbing stories of rape and murder, too.  It was all pretty sobering.

A year later, I have good news!  There are companies taking this stuff seriously, and there are brands you can buy in confidence :-).  I have been in discussions with a number of companies over recent months and am keen to share what I've found with you.  I'm hoping this will be first of a series of blog posts covering different sectors of the fish and seafood industry, but I'm starting with one of my favourite things: salmon.

In summary, here's what I've found:
  1. To buy salmon that provides employment to people in low-income countries, you should (surprisingly) buy salmon farmed in New Zealand where possible (the salmon feed tends to include fish meal produced in such countries);
  2. To buy such salmon produced under the best labour conditions available, you  should choose products from New Zealand King Salmon (which produces the brands Regal, Southern Ocean and Ora King) as they only buy feed from suppliers that are certified child and slave labour free;
  3. To avoid supporting child or slave labour, you should restrict your purchases to the following brands:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wTJ4EQjLNGQsWPLnpfDLzXRtxh-9hlje
Click to download as a pdf to take with you as you shop :-)

Read-on to learn why I came to these conclusions.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

20kg of CO2e

I've been playing with some numbers and have come up with a list of things that all give about the same amount of carbon emissions (approximately 20kg CO2e):
  • 5 days of average Kiwi household power use (100kWh) - if hydropower
  • taking the bus from Auckland to Palmerston North (500km)
  • driving from Auckland to Huntly (100km)
  • 10kg of dry fertiliser (20% nitrogen fertiliser)
  • 80 standard loo rolls
  • a 3L steel saucepan (1kg of saucepan)
  • a pair of cotton undies
  • 3 square metres of wool carpet
  • 2 square metres of vinyl flooring
  • 1.5 square metre of window glass (single glazing)
  • 1/2 a square metre of driveway concrete (10cm deep)
  • a square foot of house (just the shell, typical Kiwi construction)
  • a square foot of solar panel (monocrystalline)
  • 44kg fruit or vegetables grown organically or in New Zealand
  • 33kg conventionally grown imported fruit or vegetables
  • 20L milk
  • 13kg lentils
  • 5kg chicken
  • 2kg cheese
  • 1kg of beef
Certainly brings out how different things have different impacts - and not always in the ways you'd think!