News and Events
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This page is for news items relating to transition issues such as peak oil, climate change, local food, renewable energy etc, including links to media articles.
The local currency in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, south-west France, was featured in BBC Radio 4's "From Our Own Correspondent" (currently on iPlayer, it's the 2nd item, starting at 12m 41s). It's called the Abeille (meaning "bee"), and you can also read about it here on wikipedia. 1 Ab = 1 EUR, but it depreciates after 6 months, by 2% (demurrage). (We're still thinking about a local currency for Cambridge - get in touch if you're interested in either helping set this up or if you're a local business that would be interested in accepting a local currency.)
CCF is looking for a volunteer and events organiser, three days per week. Deadline 16th May. See here for more details, including job description. Email your CV with references and a covering letter to Alana Sinclair. CCF runs a wide range of activities and events which support people wanting to live more climate-friendly lives. The successful applicant will join our full-time co-ordinator and team of committed volunteers.
The Low Impact Living Initiative promotes sustainable living. They are committed to the principles of permaculture and are here to educate and help people and groups achieve this through information on our website, running permaculture courses across the country, and producing a series of DIY guidebooks which can be found on on their website and on many on-line retailers. They hope that you can find some useful information on their website and can find and book a course with them. (LILI is based near Milton Keynes.)
An opportunity has arisen for a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow to join the Global Sustainability Institute (GSI), at Anglia Ruskin University, on the Cambridge campus. Formed in 2011, the GSI plays a critical role in bringing together academic disciplines with business and government organisations to develop practical solutions to sustainability challenges. Our core research questions are focused around (i) personal motivations and (ii) systems change, set against the challenges of sustainability. This post will be expected to focus on the first of these, with the opportunity to be involved in an exciting new collaboration with researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Surrey exploring the use of digital tools to facilitate energy reduction. The GSI is looking for an outstanding individual with an interest in this area and we are ideally looking for a candidate with a background in energy use (including science/engineering) and/or behaviour (including psychology/sociology/the use of digital technologies). You will have a PhD and evidence of an excellent qualitative and/or quantitative research track record. Strong statistical skills and/or experience of computer programming would be desirable. Further details here.
Here is an interesting report, "In Place of Growth: Practical steps to a Manchester where people thrive without harming the planet" developed by Steady State Manchester. They write "How do we create a society with local prosperity and justice? How do we prepare for the challenges that climate change and other aspects of the ecological crisis are already bringing? In June 2012 members of what became Steady State Manchester were involved in discussions with Manchester City Council about the idea of a Steady State Economy. While these discussions were open and amicable, we decided that more work was needed to articulate the arguments for Steady State in ways that were appropriate and practical for Manchester. We also wanted to broaden the discussion to include other stake-holders from business (both private and co-operatively run), civil society and academia. This report is a first step in meeting both these aims." Download here.
Cambridge City Council is offering 100 free Green Deal Assessments (£150 value) for those intending or hoping to make their houses more energy efficient. Here is the 'Pioneering Places' brochure which includes an application form, and the Cashback information offering up to £1020 towards the cost of various works. To take part, you need to be prepared to let others see the results of the works, to help promote the Green Deal. This is not only for house owners, but can be proposed by tenants to their landlord. The City is particularly interested in a full range of housing types, including flats. The TC Energy group web-site has more information on the Green Deal here.
Cambridge Carbon Footprint is looking for homes in Cambridge to take part in their popular Open Eco Homes event, back for it's 4th year! If you've done renovations or built your home new to create an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly home, why not show it off and inspire others to do the same? See the homes that were included in last year's event. Open Eco Homes will take place on June 15th and 23rd this year. There are 4 visits to each home available throughout these days, with up to 8 guests per visit. Visits are pre-booked to keep addresses confidential and to ensure only up to 8 people on a visit at a time. Homeowners can opt to do both days or just one, and to have a volunteer from CCF to assist you as well. If you are interested, or just want some more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. More info here.
'Green Catz' have put together a great listing of green events in Cambridge in February - available here!
Every seven years the European Union decides what to spend our money on. A big chunk of that budget is for agriculture. And a tiny amount of that pays for nature-friendly farming schemes that help keep wildlife in our countryside. It is also one of the only sources of funding that protects nature conservation sites. Please sign this RSPB petition to tell David Cameron we want a budget that protects our wildlife and helps secure a sustainable food future for Europe. More...
The fourth West Norfolk Permaculture Design Course will take place during 6 weekends over 6 months at 6 different inspiring venues across the region. This course provides an introduction to the design methods, tools, principles and ethics that underpin this sustainable design system. It is a unique opportunity to meet other people in the area who are exploring more sustainable ways of living and to visit some exciting projects already employing the principles of permaculture. The first weekend (April 13/14) is an introduction and participants can come to this as a stand-alone weekend. For those who wish to explore further, there will be five additional weekends on 11/12 May, 8/9 June, 13/14 July, 10/11 August and 14/15 September. Our aim is for the course to be accessible to all so if you have any questions or concerns about the dates or the price please do contact us. Cost £60 for introduction weekend and £250 for the rest of the course (concessions may be available). For more information and to book a place e-mail the organisers. This is an initiative of Downham and Villages in Transition.
The local plan for Cambridge (which covers the years up to 2031) is currently being revised, and there’s an opportunity for public consultation until 18 February. The link below takes you to the City Council's website. You can give your comments online – just click on the appropriate link; there are other channels too. There’s also a travelling exhibition, visiting various community venues and schools in Cambridge and South Cambs until 14th February – check under the heading ‘Exhibitions’ to see dates and venues. More...
Real Christmas trees can be taken to Cherry Hinton Hall car park for recycling until 20 January, or to the recycling centres off the A10 near Milton or off the A505 near Thriplow. Alternatively, you can cut up your tree and put it in the green bin (making sure the lid will close). (Information taken from a council leaflet.)
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) has launched a new website called “Big Facts”, which presents a set of robust facts and figures on climate change, agriculture and food security. Data and graphics presented on the website range from topics such as undernourishment and population to fisheries and forestry. The website is intended as a source for fact-checking and offers scientifically reliable facts and figures from related reports, advocacy materials, and other sources. Each page includes downloadable infographics that are sharable on a blog, as well as links to Twitter and Facebook. See their website here.
Sew it Forward
Give a gift of your sewing skills this Christmas. Got to www.thegood.wardrobe.com, click on ‘blog’, then ‘Sew it Forward gift voucher’ to download and print a gift voucher for a loved-one, ticking boxes for any or all of the following skills you’d like to offer them: sew, knit, crochet, darn, hem, embroider, other. The Good Wardrobe is the brainchild of Cambridge-raised, sustainable style guru Zoe Robinson – now living in London – and has lots of fun eco-style stuff to explore.
Cambridge GreenZine – a new on-line magazine bringing you green news and events – has published its first issue this week. They say: “Just like the Cambridge 'green' scene itself, there's something for everyone. We've got LOCAL news - the good news about Cambridge brownfields, news from local groups & societies and a directory of Green Groups. We've got LIFESTYLE tips and ponderings - about food, fashion, Christmas and more. And we've got THOUGHT articles - from the Romantic Poets to 'Plant Passports,' to some thoughts on seasonal overconsumption.” They’d also love to hear from you if you’d like to write something for their next issue coming out at the end of January. Have a look here. And thanks to Sue Woodsford for contributing an article about Transition Cambridge!
On this adult learning course at Sawston village college we will explore how to feed ourselves well without it costing the earth; we will discuss fish fights and fair trade, reducing food waste and lowering our carbon footprint through our shopping baskets. We will share ideas, recipes and taste some samples. Participants will become aware of some of the principles, data and arguments around sustainable food; they will learn how to reduce their carbon footprint through food choices. Starts Monday 14 January 7.30 - 9.00 £35 for 5 weeks. To enroll telephone 01223 712424 or email Sawston Village college More...
You may have heard of Ken Banks, an award-winning social entrepreneur who is best known for his work creating FrontlineSMS, a highly successful text messaging platform used for a wide variety of development applications throughout Africa and beyond. He is also behind the cash mob concept. He is currently working on a new idea, and to do so he needs to connect with the widest range of people possible at this point.The new project seeks to leverage everyday technologies to help people reconnect with local business, local resources, and each other. As the current economic crisis demonstrates, cycles of turbulence and disruption are now part of everyday life. Means of Exchange seeks to help buffer people from economic shock, and to help build resilience among communities. Find out more about the project here http://www.meansofexchange.com, and read the full message from Martin at Future Business here, including details of how to register interest in getting involved.
The Vinery Road Permanent Allotment Society has several half plots available on our Burnside Site. If you know of anyone who is interested in taking on an allotment please get them to contact us. Potential plot holders can find out more here.
The available plots are generally over grown but now is an ideal time to get them dug over ready for the spring. Half plots are approximately 5.5 m wide by 18 – 20 m long.
If you feel as if you'd like to do something to make a difference and help to create change in our banking system you might be interested in "Move Your Money" campaign. The Ethical Consumer magazine has joined forces with other organisations such as UK uncut, The New Economics Foundation, Co-Operatives UK and others to support a new national campaign – "Move Your Money UK" aimed at drawing attention to ethical banking behaviour and calling on people to move their money to more ethical alternatives. The Ethical Consumers contribution is central to the project providing research to help everyone to understand which banks are the most sustainable so that they have an idea about where to move our money too. This special issue contains four buyers guides on: current accounts, mortgages, cash ISA's and saving accounts it also offers lots of information about the campaign, a raft of interesting contributions about banks and building associations, choosing a new direction for banking, Islamic banking, etc and their own analysis on these issues. If you'd like a copy of the magazine Ceri has 20 Free copies available. Please send a correctly stamped A4 addressed envelope to 124 Foster Road, Trumpington, CB2 9JP.
The Humanitarian Centre is launching a year-long programme of events and activities that focus on poverty and sustainability. We are a Cambridge-based charity that connects academia, business, policy-makers and charities to more effectively work together to address global poverty and inequality. The programme for the year will be designed through open participatory planning meetings, to ensure that the events and activities add value to pre-existing work, and are current and influential. If you have an interest in issues of environmental sustainability, sustainable development or international development, please join us for the participatory planning meetings and share your ideas on what the Humanitarian Centre could do that would be interesting and important on this theme. Please register to attend here. Please contact Anne Radl with any questions.
Microgenius is a new way to raise funds for small community energy projects or to make small investments. It works nationally but it was developed and is based locally. Currently it has 3 community energy projects on its books: a hydro-electric power installation, a company for turning tree trimmings into useful stuff and a company installing wood fuelled boilers. Take a look, if you would like to invest or if you would like some inspiration. More...
Cambridge City Council is holding public consultation events across the city to seek ideas from local community groups and residents about local amenities (such as parks and open spaces, play areas, sports facilities and community centres) that could be provided or improved by making use of developers' financial contributions (also known as Section 106 funding). There is more info here. The North Area event is on Sat 6 Oct and the South Area event is on Thursday 4 October. If you would like to come along to the area workshop in your area, please email or phone 01223 457200. If you are not able to attend but still have suggestions about possible capital projects for new or improved facilities, please send your ideas to the same email address. A summary of the comments and ideas raised at this consultation event will be reported to the Area Committee in November, which will be able to prioritise which projects to take forward within the S106 funding available. If you would be willing to go along as a representative of Transition Cambridge, please get in touch.
As many of you will be aware, the Energy Bill is coming before parliament in early November, and the members of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition are campaigning on this (more info here). We want a clear target for zero carbon electricity by 2030, but, with the government backsliding on its green promises, there is a danger that instead Osborne will use the Bill to push gas and nuclear. Cambridge is a key constituency, so Greenpeace volunteer Fran Boait is coordinating a lobby of Julian Huppert in October. For more details see Fran's message here. If you might be able to join in, do let Fran know.
The following is part of a HM Government official petition against the expansion of airports. "In 2011, the Government accepted that an oil supply “crunch” if not a peak in production was very likely before 2020 and promised to develop energy policies for a resource constrained future. Plans for airport expansion continue, despite studies indicating a shortage of aviation fuel by 2026." For more info and if you feel moved to sign, go to this link.
Cambridgeshire County Council is now consulting on issues for a new transport strategy for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire. They say: "Growth is being planned and we need to explore how best to accommodate this while improving accessibility and reducing congestion." Their consultation document highlights some of the main issues and challenges for transport in the area and seeks views on what approach we should take in developing a new transport strategy over the coming decades. The closing date for feedback is 28 September 2012. You can also attend various public meetings to find out more. More info here.
Local Secrets are advertising lots of interesting courses over the summer, including a book-binding workshop on Sat 11 August and a Sock Knitting Masterclass with the Sheep Shop on 4 August.There are also several art and printing classes, a workshop on using social media for business, and more besides. Full info here.
The Industry Food Waste Audit Proposal is a research project, supported by a range of organisations including Foodcycle, Forum for the Future, Fabian Society, BRASS, Love Food Hate Waste, Kerry McCarthy (MP Bristol East). The project will be mentored by Geoff Tansey and supported by Sean Roberts of the Food Ethics Council. In a nutshell, the aim is to measure perceived costs and/or savings of introducing an industry wide food waste audit. The project will interview focus groups of food experts in industry, to gauge responses to the idea of introducing a mandatory industry wide food waste audit. The IFWAP project will inform future This is Rubbish campaigns. We are looking for three people to join the team: a Research Consultant, a Research Coordinator and a Project Intern. All roles are part time - have a look at the website for Job Descriptions. Closing date 30th July. Contact Rachel if you have any questions.
Cambridge City Council are inviting responses to the current consultation on the draft Cambridge Climate Change Strategy & Action Plan 2012-2016. In 2008, the Council produced a four-year Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and it is now time to revise it. We would love to hear your views, comments and suggestions on the draft of the new strategy, which you can view here. If you wish to submit a response to the consultation, please download the form from the same link, and either email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a hard copy to the postal address provided. The deadline for response submissions is Wednesday 5th September. If you would like to be part of a joint Transition Cambridge submission, please get in touch.
Patrick Chalmers gives an insider's account of our media's complicity with power. An ex-Reuters reporter, he relates how getting into and out of conventional journalism opened his eyes to the realities of his chosen career. On the way he found how mainstream media, including his former employer, were far from being the public watchdogs of power they like to pretend. Quite the opposite – the bulk of their work blinds people to their powerlessness in the face of modern politics, at every layer of government. Yet this is a hopeful story, including a plan for how people can make their own media and lay claim to their political voices. Amongst other topics, he considers the failed politics and media coverage of climate change, leading into what people can do locally to try to remedy the situation (see his recent blog post on this topic). For more info, see Patrick's website http://fraudcastnews.net/ (where you can also download his book for free), his blog, Facebook page or follow him on Twitter @Patrick Chalmers.
If you didn't hear it, it's worth trying to catch yesterday's Food Programme on BBC iPlayer. It's about regenerating high streets through food markets and locally produced food produce outlets, as well as an item on Incredible Edible Todmorden. It's also worth checking out the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England's web site, which has just produced a report on local food - you can also take part in their local food challenge, and have a look at their local food mapping project (article on this here).
This may be of interest if you are concerned about the future of Cambridge. Ten years ago residents of Cambridge were asked to comment on the Local Plan, the document that guides all new building and open spaces in the city. Many failed to comment, but complain today about the quality of change in recent years. The next Local Plan is being drafted now. If you are interested in what Cambridge will be like to live in ten years from now then do get involved this time. Otherwise more vocal and determined interests will shape the future of this very beautiful city. The City Council is keen to involve residents in the process and is working with the Federation of Cambridge Residents' Associations (FeCRA) to achieve this. This is your chance to have your say. More info here. If you would like to submit your comments as part of a Transition Cambridge submission, please e-mail them to us, and we will invite you to a meeting where we combine people's comments and create a joint submission.
Each year Embercombe invests a year in the development of a small group of people with the potential to be leaders who will take forward their mission and inspire committed action for a truly sustainable world. The programme embodies the 'twin trail' of leadership development: the inner path of personal development and the outer path of action. Leadership, facilitation and practical skills training are all provided. At least 3 months of the year are spent in personal development, with action learning sets with our founder Mac Macartney, challenge from expert coach Jonathan Snell and a personal mentor and each Apprentice assigned to an area of responsibility within Embercombe to gain a deep immersion in the skills required to run a social enterprise. There is a small stipend with full board and accommodation at Embercombe. Full details here.
From Bev: Having read the book The Spirit Level by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, I think this film is one that could really make a difference in the world, in the way that Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth did for climate change a few years ago. The book gives evidence from around the world to show that inequality of income is at the bottom of many seemingly unrelated evils of the modern world (and more equal societies are more concerned about issues such as climate change, poverty and justice). The Equality Trust is trying to raise the funds to make this film and one way they are doing it is for people to pre-buy a copy of the film within the next four weeks - it only costs $12 (i.e. £7.75 - don't be put off by the American payment website - the project is a UK one and I found it very easy to pay over the internet). This book really impressed our Cambridge Carbon Footprint book group last year! More info here and here's the link to pre-buy the film.
Time to spare? Would you like to come and work in our friendly office in Milton Rd three mornings a week for three to six months? Full details on our website.
Cambridge Woodworks May newsletter is out - read it here. You can see some of the things they have made from reclaimed timber here. They currently have 2 part-time vacancies and lots of volunteering opportunities.
From Cambridge Carbon Footpring: This May we need some enthusiastic people who want to get behind the scenes and provide a support role to home owners during our biggest event of the year. Open Eco Homes allows access to eco homes around the city with 4 guided tours a day for two weekends. Many of these homes require Stewards who can provide a little extra support to the home owners, checking to make sure there is signage on the house, a donation bowl on display, making sure visitors stay on the official tour area, and generally assisting where needed. In being an OEH Steward you’ll be learning the ins and outs of eco renovation while getting to know and support pioneering, enthusiastic, passionate people who have loads to share.
Stewards are needed for shifts from 10am to 4pm on both Open Eco Home weekends (May 12/13 and 26/27) at various locations around the city. All volunteers will be briefed at our Volunteer Briefing on 8 May at 7:30, CB2 café (upstairs).
For more info or to sign up please contact our volunteer coordinator by 01223 301842 or email her here. Thank-you!
Defra’s Green Food Project is seeking to identify how food production can be increased while enhancing the environment. It will be looking at how to improve growth and competitiveness in the farming and food industry; increase food production in the UK and consider our role in global food security and protect and enhance the natural environment. Comments on the project are invited until 3rd April and will help inform the report, to be published in the summer. More info here.
Old computers and printers can be recycled at Reboot in
Waterbeach. Reboot is a local social enterprise (i.e. a charity) which refurbishes for sale donated computers and printers, or failing that it dismantles and recycles component parts. They boast that nothing goes to landfill! They also sell refurbished computers, see www.thecovergroup.org.uk/reboot. (This information was borrowed from the Camlets newsletter, thanks to Helen Gilbert for the information!)
The Green Register is offering 1 day training courses around the country, including some at the SmartLIFE Centre here in Cambridge. They are designed for construction professionals, based around actual case studies, and will give you all the information you need to advise your clients on sustainable refurbishment of their homes.
Also, seminars cover details of the Green Deal financing mechanism. More...
Here at The Wildlife Trust, February is fast becoming our favourite month; we have dusted off our New Year blues, love is in the air and we are excited to announce the launch of our Garden Watch survey for 2012. We need local residents to start or renew their nature quests in their gardens, allotments or on their balconies to report to us the whereabouts of certain species throughout the year. To kick start this year’s survey, we have chosen the common toad as the species to seek in February and March. As February warms up, the courageous common toad will wake up from its winter slumber in its cool dark home and begin the perilous and daring journey to the nearest pond to find a mate. Once they arrive, often en masse, the males will warm up their voices to gently coo at the females to find a mate. To find out more information on this fascinating creature and to submit a sighting, please visit the Garden Watch webpage or call the Wildlife Trust on 01954 713500.
In 2011, we received thousands of new wildlife records which helped the Trust immensely in its work to map the distribution of species and their movements across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. Later in the year we will be asking for records of butterflies, birds, mammals and spiders so keep an eye on the website for the latest news. To find out more about the Trust please visit www.wildlifebcn.org.
Are you passionate about growing food locally and does food waste make you go tomato-red? Are you passionate about ensuring all children learn this life skill for the future? Do you believe in the power of local community and sharing? Do you want to make a difference in creating a more sustainable world? Do you want to help nurture a new generation of Food Philanthropists? Do you have a big heart? You do?! Read on!
Foodshare (foodshare.org.uk) is looking to build it’s core team of superheros! Foodshare HQ is a small team of enthusiastic volunteers dealing with a rapidly growing charity that is capturing the nation’s imagination. We are currently are looking for dedicated individuals who have lots of time to spare and bags of enthusiasm and passion to become one of our Regional Co-ordinator as Foodshare roles out nationally. If this role is what you are looking for, and you can dedicate a minimum of 15 hours a week for at least 12 months, please email us!
V3 Power run courses on renewable energy - they helped us to run the wind turbine making course in Cambridge last year. They are looking for someone to come and work with them for two months from the middle-end of February to the end of April with the possibility of staying longer-term. The initial two months work will be unpaid but there will be heavily subsidised accommodation and food in a nice shared house. They are based in Nottingham. Please get in touch if you are interested to discuss further! Email them or call 07969783353.
Defra are funding several pig-keeping and goat welfare workshops around the country over the next few weeks - full details here: Defra hobby pig keeping workshops and Defra Goat Welfare Workshops. Organised by ADAS.
Do you want to make the world a better place this summer? Silly question, here’s your chance to become part of a sustainable mobile community. Pedal across the UK visiting schools and youth clubs, organic farms, fascinating sustainability projects and plenty more. Join an inspirational team of other volunteers, excited to share and learn all about environmental and social sustainability. Get skilled up in everything from bike maintenance to consensus decision making and learn lots about sustainable and group living. This year we’ve got three thrilling tours including Tastetastic! – a three week food-themed extravaganza open to anyone over 18. Totally Coastal and Western Quest will spend six weeks on the road in the classic performing, workshop facilitating and cycling Otesha style (age 18-28). Find out the what, when, where, why, who and how – and apply here. It’s first come, first served for these tours, so get your application in soon to avoid disappointment!
Also Tour Liaison Internships: We're also on the look-out for six dedicated, organised, fun-loving tour liaisons. These fabulous folk will have some extra responsibilities, for things like team dynamics, ensuring performances and workshops are as good as possible, and health and safety. They'll also get a couple of weeks' office experience, helping with some last minute tour planning. The deadline for this internship is 27th January at 5pm. Contact Iona Collins for more information and an application form.
The People’s Supermarket (in Hackney) wants to provide a more ethical alternative to the big boys. They offer the convenience of a normal supermarket but in all their activities they want to have as positive a social and environmental impact as possible. For example in their ‘people’s kitchen’ they make takeaway meals from food past it’s sell by date (but which is still perfectly fine!). The kitchen also provides training and vocational experience for members of the local community. They want to raise money to upgrade their kitchen (at present they are still using a donated domestic kitchen!). They also want to install a lift and disabled access toilet. This will make the members area more accessible and help them to be a more inclusive community.
Can you help them with a donation? Anything from £5 to £25,000 would be amazing and would really help them build on their success!). Donate here.
Although completed in 2003 this feasibility may still have some relevance. "Wood heating for homes: a local feasibility study". It examined whether it is feasible to operate a biomass heating scheme that enables households that are off the gas network to switch to high-efficiency wood-fuelled heating systems.
I would be interested in any other research or other feasibility studies. Peter Bates Email: email@example.com More...
Here is an excellent blog entry discussing the issues behind peak oil. As well as the familiar Hubbert peak diagram and discovery rates versus production rates there is an extremely convincing graph showing that oil production rates are now pretty well static despite increasing prices, even when unconventional sources are taken into account. Hence whether or not we have peaked it is clear that production is not able to keep up with rising demand. I have huge respect for this blog ("Do the Math" by Tom Murphy) and though the writer does not have a transition perspective his arguments are highly relevant. Read the post here.
'My name is Amber, I'm 16 years old and I've been inspired to set up my own campaign to the government to lobby them to ban the plastic bags. In August this year I set up an online petition on the government's petition site and have been working with my local environmental group, Deal With It, who are trying to get 'transition' status. I'm really passionate about this and care very much for the marine life that actually end up getting suffocated, strangled and even killed by plastic bags ending up in our oceans. Not only that, but the littering of plastic bags spoils our beautiful environment and the pollution from the bags is something I feel many people don't know or understand. My national campaign really needs a lot of help and attention because in the next 10 months we need a massive 100,000 signatures to get it debated in Parliament. Here is my campaign and an article in Deal Mercury newspaper and here's my 1st video.'
If you are thinking of installing solar photovoltaic panels in the near future, be aware that the government is proposing to drop the feed-in tariffs on solar PV systems installed after 11th December 2011 to 21p per unit, and this will also be subject to meeting new domestic energy efficiency requirements. Here's some info from the Energy Savings Trust.
A group of us are going dairy-free for 6 weeks from Sun 13th Nov - Sat 24th December, supporting each other and sharing ideas on enjoyable alternatives. I enjoy cheese and milk, but dairy products are high-carbon, because they come from animals that are usually fed cereals and occupy land that could feed us directly. Also the methane they burp and fart is a potent greenhouse gas. The FAO estimates that dairy products account for 2.7% of global carbon emissions. If you’d like to join us, please contact Tom at Cambridge Carbon Footprint.
Four people from Cambridge Carbon Footprint are trying to eat only local food for six weeks - follow their ups and downs on their blog and post a comment if you want to join the debate!
Cambridge City Council has recently introduced several new recycling services for city residents. You can now recycle small household batteries by attaching them in a bag to your green bin (don't get confused if you live in South Cambs - the villages have this collection with their blue bins!). There are new recycling banks at various sites around the city for recycling plastic pots, tubs and trays (e.g. margarine tubs, yoghurt pots, fruit punnets); books, DVDs, CDs and videos; and small electrical items (e.g. hairdryers, kettles, phones). To find out which sites have the new banks visit www.cambridge.gov.uk/recycling and look at the recycling points map. It is now also possible to recycle plastic wrapping from bread, cereal liners, toilet rolls etc in the carrier bag recycling bins provided by Asda, Co-op, Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons.
Do you use much oil for cooking? How do you get rid of the waste? Would you be prepared to take it to a local pick-up point for recycling if there was one? If so, how much oil do you have to recycle and can you suggest some potential collection points? More...
Planning for this conference in Feb 2012 is just getting started. It is being organised by the Green parties in Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and the Eastern Region, and Ceri would like to invite Transition Cambridge members to get involved too. The key idea is that at present, the underlying question on today's media and political agenda is "how do we get back to economic growth", yet this level of economic growth has led to overuse of finite resources internationally, increased injustice for indigenous peoples and caused resource wars and poverty in Asia and Africa. This way of working does not help to develop resilient local communities or support individuals to grow and have a sense of well-being. The conference will bring together prominent speakers, activists and people nationally who have begun to address these issues and help us to plan for the future.
Ways to get involved include joining the steering group, helping with admin leading up to the event, cooking lunch, and finding speakers/facilitators. Also please let Ceri know if you would like to attend. Contact Ceri on 01223 840602 or email her for more info.
Vitae (the Careers Research and Advisory Centre, Cambridge) has a page on their website on Social Entrepreneurship with links to interviews, discussions and debates covering: What a social enterprise is; Interviews with Social entrepreneurs; Running a successfull social enterprise; Thoughts on Social enterprise; and a case study of the Ketso Project, covering sustainable development, ecological design and active community learning.
Do 'listen again' to the BBC Radio programme "Global Business" from 13th Mar - an interview with Lester Brown, founder of World Watch Institute. He explains how depletion of natural resources, especially water from aquifers, will have a massive impact on food price in the near future. It gives a real sense of urgency to our work in Transition Cambridge. (His recent book 'World on the Edge' can be downloaded free from the Earth Policy Institute.) More...
From the council web-site: Residents are invited to have their say in developing a new tree strategy for Cambridge. The strategy will guide the council’s management of trees in the city. This work on the tree strategy is at an early stage and as part of this process, the council is holding interactive workshops on 15 March (12-7pm, Cherry Hinton Village Centre), 21 March (12-7pm, the Meadows Centre), and 23 March (the Guildhall, 12-8pm). Residents are invited to drop into any of these sessions and talk to council officers about different aspects of tree management in areas like new neighborhoods, local nature reserves, and parks and open spaces. Council officers will collect residents’ thoughts and ideas and use these to develop the strategy. As part of these events, the council is organising specific slots for round table discussions and these sessions will be held at 2.30pm and 6pm. Please let us know in advance if you would like to attend one of these round table sessions, or if you would like to be kept informed of events and progress by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Environmental Audit Committee has launched a wide-ranging inquiry into the environmental and social consequences of the way the food we eat in the UK is produced, distributed, marketed and sold. The Committee wishes to examine how Government policy can be used to promote more sustainable practices in the UK food industry and more sustainable behaviours from the public. As part of this, the Committee will examine the Coalition Government's proposals to develop new food policies. The Committee welcomes written evidence that looks at several themes of the inquiry (see link below for the different themes). The Committee invites organisations and members of the public to submit written evidence, setting out their views on these issues. More wide-ranging responses are also welcome. Submissions should ideally be sent to the Committee by Monday 28th March. More info here
The future of almost half of England’s ancient forests, many of which are in dire need of restoration, is threatened as the government decides whether to sell off 20,000 hectares of its forestry estate. Ancient woodland is our richest wildlife habitat and is totally irreplaceable, but covers only 2% of the UK. The Woodland Trust urgently needs support to help stop any further disappearance of this precious natural asset. If you agree that selling off our natural heritage in this way is unacceptable, The Woodland Trust have an online petition.
There is also a slightly more assertive petition on the pressure group site 38 degrees. Don't delay - sign the petition today - the forest's future is in our hands!
In partnership with RECAP, the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is running the Love Food Hate Waste Community Action Fund. Grants of between £100 and £500 are available from the Love Food Hate Waste Community Action Scheme to voluntary and community groups in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The grant can be used to pay for an event or activity (which must involve more than 12 people) which, by engaging with a target audience, tries to encourage people to reduce their household food waste.
Applications are invited until 20 March 2011 - although the funding available will be allocated on a first come first serviced basis so late applicants may be unsuccessful. Applicants will be required to have attended an informal workshop which will provide participants with access to the information and support that RECAP can offer to grant funded projects. The next workshop is on 17 February, 10.30 - 1.00 at the Arbury Community Centre, Campkin Rd, Cambridge CB4 2LD. To book on the workshop e-mail us stating your name and the name of your group.
If you have any questions about the Love Food Hate Waste Community Action Scheme please visit our website or call Florence on 01223 410535.
This report, by the New Economics Foundation, sketches out how, in the light of the challenges we face both nationally and globally – consuming beyond our planetary limits, untenable inequality, growing economic instability, and a breakdown in the relationship between ‘more’ and ‘better - things could ‘turn out right’ by 2050 through the process of a ‘Great Transition’. Whilst primarily focusing on the UK, many of the solutions proposed in the report apply globally. Initially presenting the case for change, the report goes on to discuss some of the steps required for such a transition, including a Great Revaluing, Redistribution, Rebalancing, Localisation, Reskilling, Economic Irrigation, and Great Interdependence. It concludes with a discussion of two big challenges that need to be addressed before such a transition can be achieved, but also sets out steps that can be taken straight away to start the journey. More info.
Archived news 2010