If you're looking for an eco-friendly Valentine's gift, we've put some ideas together here. This week there's a volunteering theme, with lots of events as part of the Cambridge Student Volunteering week, and some volunteering opportunities with Transition Cambridge and with two local credit unions. And looking further ahead, the Eat Cambridge local food and drink festival is coming up in March - book soon as some events get full quickly. Also this week is the last week to comment on the Local Plan, and if you want to get a free Green Deal assessment, apply soon as there are limited numbers available.
20:00-21:30, Judith's house
We will be review the Wood Stoves forum and discuss other projects for the year.Contact Nicola for details of venue.
19:30-21:00, CB1 Cafe, 32 Mill Road, Cambridge
Following a showing of the 'Growing Change' film, Ceri Galloway and Sue Woodsford will lead a discussion about the issues around food sovereignty. Read more about Food Sovereignty here. All welcome, free.
19:30, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, CB5 8BA
If you have dreams of growing your own fruit and veg, but need some practical help to get started, the Growzones project could be something for you. A group gets together to do a session in each person's garden or allotment - giving and receiving practical help as well as learning about growing. Come along to find out more, and how to get involved. All welcome. More details here.
19:30-21:00, CB1 Cafe, 32 Mill Road, Cambridge
Peak oil and the collapse of global finance are a "perfect storm" of converging phenomena that threaten to sink our age of prosperity. Does it any longer make sense to save for retirement? If so, what kinds of savings or investments can offer the prospect of relative safety without making the world's problems even worse than they already are? Are there ways to overcome the aversion many of us feel to planning for our financial futures? Come along to discuss these issues. If there's enough interest, we'll set up a few meetings to explore the options in more detail with a view to enabling us to make informed decisions.
10:30-16:00, The Guildhall, Market Square CB2 3QJ
Come and visit the Transition Food Group stall at the Eat Cambridge food and drink fair! You can meet some friendly Transitioners, learn more about about our exciting local food projects and how to get involved. If you'd like to help out on the stall, or if you can lend/donate fruit or veg for our display, contact us. And...Cambake will be on the stall next door, so you can pick up some delicious bread too! More details here.
If you're looking for an eco-friendly Valentine's gift, why not make your own chocolate hearts, or a bouquet of roses created from recycled coke cans. Or you could prepare a local-sourced meal, with heart-shaped ravioli and tomato-roses. Love poems are very low-carbon and usually much appreciated, and what could be more romantic than a moon-lit walk? Or perhaps a gift of your time, or a mystery trip? You can find all these ideas and more on our Eco-friendly Valentine's gift page.
As always, there are lots of volunteering opportunities within Transition Cambridge, and these are listed here - for example, would you like to help new groups get off the ground by acting as chair/secretary for their first few meetings while they find their feet? Or could you help us design or distribute posters for our events? Or perhaps you enjoy giving talks (we often get asked to do this)? Or could you help to reply to e-mails? We'd love to hear from you if you'd like to offer your time and skills!
The 1st edition of the Transition Free Press is out now, and is packed with inspiring articles on Transition-related topics from around the country. We have 200 copies for you here in Cambridge - you can get your copy from the Transition Cafe nights fortnightly on Thursdays (CB1 cafe, Mill Road, 7-9pm). We'll also try to make sure there are copies available at all our events and stalls. The paper will come out every 3 months initially. It's also on-line here and here's the Transition Free Press web-site. If you enjoy what you read, you can become a Friend of TFP - their crowd-funding campaign ends on Feburary 14 and would welcome a boost (<a href="https://www.buzzbnk.org/ProjectDetails.aspx?projectId=103">donate here</a>). If you prefer offline donations, please contact Jay Tompt. Thanks!
Thanks to support from Cambridge City Council, Cambridge CAB is working with the City's Volunteer Centre to promote Cambridge's two credit unions, Cambridge City and Cambridge Rainbow Savers, to local residents and workers. Credit Unions are organizations that try to make it easy for their members to make regular savings and give them access to low-cost loans. Volunteers are needed for a new project promoting credit unions, led by Cambridge Volunteer Centre, Monday-Friday 11am-3pm central Cambridge. Please contact Cambridge and District Volunteer Centre for more information, quoting CAD 1646 & CAD 1660. (Information taken from the Cambridge and District Volunteering Centre web-site.) (Note from Anna: We continue to think about starting a local currency in Cambridge - get in touch if you're interested in helping take this forward.)
From Guy Seaborn: "Do you have £10,000 that you would like to use to leave a legacy? My proposal is that if we could get 25 or 30 such people we could buy up 10 to 15 acres of land, and perhaps put it in a trust and use it for people to enjoy, walk, picnic etc. It seems to be a very similar approach to Wandlebury. It could be planted up as a food forest. Comments welcome. I appreciate £10,000 is a lot but it seems more likely and more community minded than finding just one benefactor."
From the Cambridge Hub: From the 11th-16th of February, we're celebrating Student Volunteering Week, a national event set up to celebrate and appreciate all the fantastic volunteering students do. Check out the Student Volunteering Week video to see what all the fuss is about, and follow SVW on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/StudentVolunteeringWeek">facebook</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/SVW2013">twitter</a> to hear about all the amazing things taking place up and down the country this week. The Cambridge Ethical Network has put together a whole host of exciting events and opportunities, including volunteering taster sessions, debates, talks, parties and more! This includes a "Green impact project assessment training" on Tuesday, a People and Planet "How to build a campaign" workshop on Thursday and an opportunity to get involved with Energise Cambridge. Everyone is welcome at these events!
Is your home as energy efficient as you would like it to ne? The Green Deal is a new government initiative to help you fix it up. There are two parts - a Green Deal assessment gives you an Energy Performance certificate (EPC) which also includes recommendations for which measures would be most appropriate for your home. Then if necessary you can use Green Deal finance which is a loan to pay for them. Together with grants from energy companies (now targetting solid wall houses in addition to households receiving benefits) even solid wall insulation becomes affordable. Cambridge City Council has funding for 50 free Green Deal assessment, but you will need to be quick if you would like one. More details here.
19:30-21:00, Emmanuel United Reform Church, Trumpington Street
Are you someone contributing to sustainable local food, or looking to be more involved? This is an evening especially for local food leaders, producers, distributers, shop owners, and volunteers to get to know each other better and make connections to strengthen Cambridge’s local food system. Booking is requried as space is limited. Email us or call 01223 301842 to book. More details here.
13:00-14:00, Dirac Room, Fisher Building, St Johns College.
This talk will be given by Laura Plant, an MPhil student in the Land Economy Dep't. Feel free to bring along your lunch to eat during the talk. Directions to the Dirac Room: After entering the St John’s main gate (tourist entrance), walk straight on until you cross the Bridge of Sighs. Take the second path to the right, and the Fisher Building is on your left (after going through the arch). This talk is organised by the Zero Carbon Society.
19:30, Emmanuel Church, Trumpington Street, Cambridge
Talk by Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party in England and Wales. No booking required.
19:45-21:00, Trumpington Pavillion, Paget Road, Cambridge CB2 9JF
One of the most popular parts of Cambridge Carbon Footprint's successful "Warm Homes in Trumpington" day on November 10th was the DIY workshop by Tom Bragg, which focused on straightforward ways we can reduce our carbon emissions and energy bills ourselves, through simple things such as fitting foil behind radiators, lagging hot water pipes and fitting draught excluders. Tom has already been invited to run this hands-on workshop in other places and Trumpington residents who missed the day are keen to have another chance. This event is very practical and interactive so numbers are limited. Book now to reserve your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 301842. The workshop is free but a small donation to cover the cost of the hall hire is appreciated. More details here.
11:00-16:00, Wandlebury Country Park (off A1307, past Addenbrookes)
From Cambridge Past Present and Future: In support of National Nest Box Week come and make a bird box to take home, learn more about garden birds and how to encourage them. Take a stroll up to our new hide. All tools and materials supplied. For information and booking contact Head Ranger. £10 per bird box (members £9). For other events, see the new-style newsletter from Cambridge Past Present and Future.
19:30-21:30, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge.
Our speaker is Sam Archer, Associate Director of Aecom and head of sustainable design for the £1B development of 3000 homes NW Cambridge. This aims to be one of the UK’s most sustainable developments, so in addition to very efficient buildings and heating systems, they are also keen to encourage other aspects of sustainability, for example cycling, local food, and residents’ behaviour. Sam is also leading work for the UK Government on the “Path to Zero Carbon” (ie all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016). As usual in Green-enterprise events, the evening will be participative and will include plenty of time for discussion with the speaker and other participants. Do come and share your ideas. Cost £5. More details here.
Eat Cambridge is a new festival of local food and drink put together by a group of local food enthusiasts to showcase local food producers, retailers and restaurants. There's a day-long event at the Guildhall on Saturday 9th March, and you can check out their website to keep up to date with current plans. **The programme for the festival is now out - it includes workshops on wild food and baking sourdough bread, local food tours, a street food market and more...! More details 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!
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 details here.
So there's lots on over the next few weeks!
Have a good week,