Fingers in the Sparkle Jar

Jun 9, 2017   //   by Nicholas Milton   //   Blog  //  No Comments

April 2016

FISJI hadn’t spoken to him in years but now he was angry. I held the mobile phone away from my ear as it was getting hot. I’d clearly hit a raw nerve but that was that was never my intention. Now I had to try to retrieve the situation but it would be hard.

‘I really wish you’d have spoken to me first. You haven’t read the book. You don’t know what’s in it. So how could you write that?’

I’d known him for 30 years. I’d worked hard to keep in touch and had followed his impressive career with interest. And over the years we’d met up and done some good pieces together. I was delighted when he got the role fronting ‘Springwatch’ telling him to make sure the BBC paid him what he was worth. So it troubled me greatly that it had come to this.


Fair trade on International Women’s Day

Mar 8, 2017   //   by Nicholas Milton   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Practical ActionToday is International Women’s Day which also falls in Fairtrade Fortnight. One of the most important ways of lifting women and girls out of poverty in developing countries is to promote fair trade. According to the Fairtrade Foundation a quarter of all farmers and workers in fair trade are women. Of these just under half work on plantations and just a quarter are members of small farmer organisations such as co-operatives. In contrast the United Nations calculates around 70% of agricultural work is done by women. So why the difference? The answer is men still own most of the land and transport crops to market meaning they control the household income. Recognizing and investing in women farmers is good for development as many are catalysts for change in their communities. The Fairtrade Foundation is addressing this gender gap through a variety of projects. You can also help by buying fair trade from your local Co-operative store who are the largest independent supplier of fair trade products in the UK.

The energy cost of Christmas

Dec 23, 2016   //   by Nicholas Milton   //   Blog  //  No Comments

turkeyLooking forward to the Strictly Len Goodman special tonight? According to a great piece by the Guardians environment editor Adam Vaughan Len “will provide one of Christmas TV’s top challenges for the people tasked with keeping the lights on. When the judge finishes reminiscing over 12 years of Strictly Come Dancing on Friday night, kettles will be boiled, lights switched on and water company pumps powered up as toilets are flushed across the UK”.

Christmas is a challenging time for energy companies because demand is much more difficult to predict. So how much does Christmas cost us in energy? The figures are quite amazing. According to GoCompare Energy cooking Christmas dinner costs the UK £15m and leaving the Christmas lights on costs an incredible £3.75m a day.

All this means the average household can spend up to £50 extra on gas and electricity in December.



Nicholas Milton

I am a marketing and communication expert with over 20 years experience. Over this time I have campaigned on issues I feel passionately about - conservation, climate change, racial equality, land reform, rural poverty and most recently international development. I am also a successful freelance journalist and have been published in the Guardian, Times, Daily Telegraph and the Independent.

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