Let’s get the negative bit out of the way first. Last Monday I did one of my regular litter picks with my 3 year old grand daughter along Crock Lane and we were really disappointed by the amount we collected.
In a mere 20 minutes or so we picked up one broken beer bottle, numerous drinks cans, cigarette packets and butts, empty dog poo bags, chocolate and other confectionary wrappers, numerous pieces of miscellaneous plastic and the inevitable disposable masks. The yellow bottle you can see at the top of the bag had once contained engine oil.
The worrying thing is this is at a time of year when the area is pretty much visitor free. Which begs the question who are the locals who feel it is OK to drop their rubbish on the streets?
Bridport Litter Free Street Champions are doing a fantastic job in keeping on top of the litter on the streets where they live but there is always more that can be done and plenty of streets have yet to be adopted by a champion.
If, like me, you feel it is important to try to do something positive about litter rather than simply sitting back moaning about it, consider becoming a Bridport Litter Free Street Champion and look after the street where you live. Contact: [email protected] to find out more.
HIGH SHERIFF’S RECEPTION
On Saturday afternoon the Mayoress and I attended a reception at the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester hosted by The High Sheriff of Dorset, Michael Dooley.
The reception was held in the splendid Victorian Hall where many of you may have been to see Dippy in February 2018. As you walk into the hall your eyes are naturally drawn up to admire the beautiful ceiling and painted wrought iron work.
But it is beneath your feet that the most amazing features lies, because you are standing on Roman mosaics around 2000 years old.
Like our own wonderful Bridport Museum in South Street, the Dorset Museum has recently undergone a major refurbishment and is a fantastic place to visit. There is something there for all ages and an excellent cafe. To plan your visit click https://www.dorsetmuseum.org/
TOM DALEY’S – Red Nose Day cycle ride through Bridport
Diving superstar, knitter extraordinaire, and all round good bloke, Tom Daley cycled through Bridport as part of a marathon fundraising journey from the 2012 Olympic Stadium to his home swimming pool in Plymouth. He was rowing, running, swimming and cycling for Tom Daley’s Hell of a Homecoming Red Nose Day journey.
The streets of Bridport were filled with people, including Town Crier, John Collingwood and myself all cheering him on his way as he sped past. We had located ourselves beside the Town Hall traffic lights in the hope that they would turn red as he approached and John would be able to give a quick cry of support. Sadly, the lights failed to play ball and he was past us in a flash.
All I can say is what a herculean effort it must have been negotiating all those hills with the wind in his face. Well done Tom.
The only thing we all need to do now is give generously via Tom’s Donate Page
Members of the Plastic free Bridport team paid a visit to the home of Baboo Gelato to find out all about how it is made and distributed. We were given an insight into just how simple in principle, yet extremely precise and complex the whole operation is by Sam Hanbury, who also showed us round the factory. We now know why the ice cream made by Bridport’s Baboo Gelato tastes so good. It is all down to the ingredients.
At Baboo they use only the best quality organic milk from Holy Cow in North Perrott, Somerset, and real fruit and nuts, the majority of which are also local grown. Every July, a van arrives from Forde Abbey loaded with freshly picked strawberries which they puree for their extremely popular Strawberry Gelato. Add to this plums from North Perrott Fruit Farm, pears from Ellwell Fruit Farm, elderflowers from the local hedgerows, damsons from their own garden, and blackcurrants and gooseberries from Forde Abbey.
Real milk combined with real fruit and nuts equals really good tasting ice cream.
Why gelato? Gelato is not simply the Italian name for ice cream. Although it feels very smooth, gelato is made using more milk than cream, and so is much lower in fat than traditional ice cream. There is also less air in gelato, which means it packs more flavour.
All this is unlike the majority of commercial producers of ice cream in this country who use a concoction of artificial flavourings and compressed air to give that light and fluffy texture, Basically what this means, if you buy commercially produced soft scoop ice cream you are buying a lot of air.
There are no short cuts to making fabulous artisanal ice cream. Baboo make everything from scratch in small batches, from pasteurising the raw milk in order not to cook it twice (which would destroy its fresh flavour), to pureeing the fruit to get the freshest flavours, and to making their own ripples and toppings. Baboo use state-of-the-art artisanal machinery imported from Italy.
When it comes to distribution, Baboo is currently available from their own kiosks at West Bay, Lyme Regis, Weymouth and Morcombelake, with a new one due to be opened in Swanage very
soon. This accounts for around 70% of their business with the remainder coming from restaurants, cafes and other outlets.
The Plastic Free Bridport team were particularly keen to hear about how Baboo are on a constant journey to make the packaging their ice cream is distributed and sold in, even more environmentally friendly. The ice cream that leaves the factory that is destined for their kiosks, goes out in stainless steel containers which are returned cleaned and reused again and again. This was music to our ears. Once the ice cream has reached the kiosk, it is portioned out to customers in paper based tubs which meet the best biodegradable and composting standard currently available. So much so, that the tubs are starting to biodegrade within hours of being handed over to customers.
Unfortunately, the same type of paper based packaging cannot be used for the larger tubs sold for home consumption and storage in a domestic freezer – it would degrade much too quickly. The packaging used for these products, although still paper based and biodegradable, have a more robust extremely thin plastic lining in order to preserve the ice cream safely. They may not be plastic free but they are a whole lot better than being made completely of plastic.
Take a look at the image on the left. If you were handed one of these two cups could you tell which one is better for the environment? At first glance they look exactly the same but closer examination reveals one pack of cups is supplied in a paper wrapping and the other is encased in plastic.
Then if you read the small print on the cups you will find that:
- one is made from paper from a sustainable source, and the lining is made from paper not plastic, and is fully recyclable.
- the other is made from paper from a sustainable source, and this cup is PE and PLA free, so is fully compostable and recyclable.
But which is which?
Baboo, like ethical manufacturing companies across the globe, are on a never ending journey to become ever greener and by switching from one hot drinks cup to another they are able to make one more positive step on that journey.
Even the cleaning products used to ensure that everything meets the highest standards of cleanliness required for food production, can play a part in the battle to reduce Baboo’s environmental impact by replacing single use plastics wherever possible in their manufacturing processes.
To that end, Baboo is in the process of moving from the plastic bottle of cleaning fluid to paper packaged tablets.
These are the kind of decisions we at home can also look to making as we do our shopping.
We are fortunate to live in an area with such a rich array of locally produced food. Baboo Gelato is a shining example of the ethically produced food available to us and I, for one, can’t wait to dip my spoon into another wonderful tub and feel the flavour explode in my mouth as it melts away.