This weeks big event is the Eco Renovation Question Time on Wednesday evening. This is the ideal place to get practical advice about your energy-saving DIY projects as well as to find out about The Green Deal: a new method of financing energy saving home changes with no 'up-front' cost. Later in the month, on the 19th May, we'll be celebrating our 4th birthday with a screening of 'Transition 2.0', a Q&A and a big cake - please come along and join in!
20:00-21:30, Hot Numbers Cafe, Unit 6, Dales Brewery, Gwydir Street, Cambridge
Our next meeting is a chance for you to help shape the vision for CamBake, our community supported bakery project. Bring your ideas, inspiration and diaries, we have more exciting bread baking projects in the pipeline! More info here.
19:30-21:30, St Paul’s Centre, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 1JP
Open Eco Homes kicks off this year with a question time event organised jointly with the Transition Cambridge Energy Group. The panel to answer your questions include builders and architects as well as householders whose homes you can visit later int the month. They have experience with new build homes and retrofit, with solar panels, underfloor heating, heat pumps, rainwater harvesting, insulation both internal and external, double and triple glazed windows, draught proofing ... this is your chance to ask what its like, both during the work and afterwards, do they really make a difference. Also Peter Thom will be able to answer your queries about the Green Deal, which is coming real soon now. The Green Deal means you will be able to install energy saving features in your home with no upfront cost. The chairman for the evening will be Energy Editor of The Guardian, Terry MacAlister. This event is free entry, donations will be welcome. More details here.
19:30-21:00, CB1 Cafe, Mill Road, Cambridge
Want to grow your own but don't know where to start? Or just late getting going this year? This week we'll be planting some salad and veg in pots for people to take home with them. Seeds, soil and pots provided, just choose what you'd like to grow! The cafe opens at 7, and we'll start at 7:30. Free!
18:30-20:30, The Emperor pub, 21 Hills Road, CB2 1NW (upstairs room)
This is the regular meeting of the Food Group - we will be talking about our plans for stalls etc over the summer as well as our projects!
20:00-21:30, Judith's house on Leys Road
We will be planning our next event, plus other events coming up and blue sky initiatives. Contact Nicola for details of venue.
19:30, CB1 Cafe, Mill Road, Cambridge
Over the next few months we'll be helping to set up Greeniversity in Cambridge - Peterborough already has a Greeniversity, and we're aiming to set up something similar. In a nutshell, Greeniversity is about people getting together to learn green skills from other local people who have skills they are willing to share. It offers a range of free or low cost sessions taught by ordinary people. These range from how to grow your own veg, to how to knit or customise charity shop clothes, to riding (and servicing) your bike, and even how to insulate your loft. You could take a one off lesson or a five week course – Greeniversity is very flexible. It’s all free and the idea is to have fun and meet new people while you learn how to be a little greener. If you'd like to be involved in setting this up, e-mail us for more details!
16:00-19:00, Arts Picture House, Regent Street, Cambridge
This is the new film from the Transition Network and is a great way of finding out what the Transition movement is all about! (Film review here and here's some more info about the film with some short clips.) The film will be followed by a short question and answer session with some current members of Transition Cambridge, and then everyone is invited to help us celebrate our 4th birthday with a big cake in the Stoneyard Centre next door to the cinema. Book your tickets early! (Normal cinema prices apply, and tickets will be available for booking through the Arts Picturehouse web-site.)
19:00-20:30, NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0LE
Join the food group for a trip to NIAB on the evening of Tuesday 22nd May. This will give an opportunity to see the development of a range of plants on the farm. About NIAB: "NIAB is a pioneering plant science organisation based at the heart of the Cambridge science, technology and university communities and a thriving UK agricultural industry. With over 80 years experience in the agricultural and food sectors, NIAB has an internationally recognised reputation for independence, innovation and integrity. Our traditional activities have always focused on science-led plant variety and seeds characterisation, evaluation, quality control and knowledge transfer." Please book your place with Helen if you would like to come, and she will send details of where to meet nearer the time. There will be a small charge so please bring a donation.
19:00-21:00, Ross Street Community Centre, Ross Street, Cambridge
What do we want Cambridge to look like in 2030 and what role will Transition Cambridge play in bringing that vision to life? This will be the first of two events* leading to the creation of Transition Cambridge's Energy Descent Action Plan. Bring your ideas and dreams for a sustainable Cambridge to this exciting landmark event! Facilitated by Transition's own Liz Serocold and Jane Brown. (*the second event is scheduled to take place in June and will deal with backcasting and creating a timeline for achieving our vision).
10:00-13:00, Trumpington allotments
Join experienced allotmenteer Dave Fox on his plot in Trumpington. These sessions are ideal for novices and people with any amount of practical growing experience - it's more of a mutual sharing than a lesson! In the May session we will be planting tomatoes, tending established outdoor and polytunnel crops, harvesting lettuce and other salad crops (bring a bag!) and hopefully building another raised bed. If you'd like to join in, see our web-page here, and book soon as spaces are limited.
19:00, St. Lukes Church Community Centre, Victoria Road
This event is all about generating ideas for making transport in Cambridge more sustainable. There will be stands including some commercial providers of sustainable transport options, short talks with questions and answers and a discussion session where everyone can contribute their ideas. More details to follow.
19:00-21:00, Emmanuel URC on Trumpington Street
If you want ideas on how to reduce your energy use at home, this event is for you. Insulation, renewable energy, energy monitors - come and talk to a range of commercial suppliers as well as charity/non-profit organisations offering independent advice. There will be more details coming soon. In the meantime, do save the date.
The Garden Share project is looking for another co-ordinator (or maybe 2), to make a small group to share the work and keep the project alive and kicking. The project involves updating the spreadsheet with new registrations, visiting participants, arranging introductory meetings and following up partnerships from time to time, as well as publicity via leaflets and events. If you could spare an hour or two on a regular basis to help, Ann Mitchell would be really pleased to hear from you. If you're interested, e-mail her. It's a wonderful way of promoting veg growing and community!
The Garden Share project is looking for more volunteer gardeners or garden owners - we would especially welcome registrations from garden owners near the centre of the city, and volunteer gardeners nearer the outskirts (or who are willing to cycle a little way to the garden). So if you've got a garden that you'd like to offer, or you're looking for somewhere to grow things, then register on the Garden Share web-page and we'll try to link you up with a grower/garden owner near you!
Mary Geddes, the friendly and efficient Coordinator at the hub of CCF, is standing down at the end of June. She wants to catch up with her own work and to carry on in CCF, but without a work hat on. So we’re looking for someone else to coordinate our work and to:
The job is 3 days per week, £19,500 pro rata (ie: £11,700). The closing date for applications is noon on Thu 17th May More details here.
Once again, Cambridge Carbon Footprint is organising Open Eco Homes - on 12-13 and 26-27 May. This year there are 25 homes in Cambridge and surrounding villages - a wide range of house-types, renovation measures and budgets. You can find out which homes are open when on the website - the most popular get booked up quite quickly, so get your skates on if you'd like to visit a particular house. More details here.
13:00-14:00, Helmore 201, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road
This is one of the Global Sustainability Institute's lunchtime seminars. The speaker is Professor Clare Griffiths, from the University of Chester. Lunch is provided. More details here.
12:00-14:30, Alison Richard Building (ground floor), CRASSH, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP
GreenBRIDGE Seminar series, Cambridge University. Kerry Sykes from University of Cambridge will provide an overview of the Energy Dashboard Project. George Bartley, Managing Director, Building Sustainability Ltd, will then outline the features of the Energy Dashboard solution at the University. This will include a case study from the Gurdon Institute involving staff engagement. This session has been organised to review issues in building refurbishment procedures and workplace monitoring, with a focus on the University pilot scheme. All are welcome - no need to book - arrive at 12 noon for coffee for a 12:15pm start. Contact Margaret with queries.
Friday 4th May, 4:00pm, and Saturday 5th May, 9.30-12:00am or 12:00-3:00pm. FoodCycle collects surplus food from local food retailers and uses it to cook delicious, healthy meals for people in need in the community. We currently cook a three-course lunch at the Centre for St. Paul's every Saturday. This is a great, practical project that helps to minimise food waste. There are three ways to get involved: collecting the surplus food on Friday afternoons at 4pm; cooking delicious, vegetarian meals from surplus ingredients from 9.30am-12.00 on Saturday; helping to serve, chatting to the community and clearing up after the meal 12.00pm-3.00 on Saturday. If you are interested, email Cambridge Foodcycle for more details, or sign up here!
10:30-12:30, outside the shops in Wulfstan Way, St James Church and Queen Edith’s Chapel
Do you have unwanted stuff that you never quite got around to throwing away? Would you like to find it a new home? Then bring it along to the take it or leave it stall. Quite simply, it works like a cashless car boot – you leave it and someone else takes it, or you can take something someone else has left. Anything remaining at the end of the day will be given to charity or recycled. So don’t bin it - bring it (or just come along and see if there’s something you want). REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE. For more information please contact Caroline.
12:30-13:30, Kings College Backs (grass next to Queens Road behind the college)
Bring yourself, friends, and some picnic food if you'd like to join us to have a picnic! So what's this Climate Dots thing about? Has it struck you that more things - like floods and droughts - have been happening recently around the world? Have a watch of this 2-minute film made for 350 . org's upcoming Climate Impacts Day (sorry it's a bit depressing!). It can be , and that's what the Connect the Dots campaign is about. They will weave together stories from all over the world - tackling the fact that it's hard for us to see that what's happening is all connected - to create a potent call to action, and will channel that call directly to the people who need to hear it most. Cambridgeshire - along with many other parts of England - is currently in drought but has also seen more severe and frequent flooding in recent years. We'll be doing a photo stunt related to that, we'll have a picnic if it's sunny, and it should be a really memorable event so do come along! Find out more.
09:30-16:00, Depart from Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge
Come and enjoy all the fun of the 800 year old fair with a Maypole, rides, beer and food tents and entertainment. We'll follow National Cycle Network route NCN51 all the way to Reach Fair, arriving by midday. Departures will be from the Guildhall from 9:30 till 10:00. You can join the ride at any point on the route. Then there'll be departures from the fair at 2pm and 2:30pm from the cycle parking area in Reach via Tubney Fen and NCN 11 through Lode to Bottisham, arriving back in Cambridge at around 4pm. Full info here. Organised by Cambridge Cycling Campaign, Bike Week and Bike Friendly Cities.
10:00-16:00, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, CB1 1PT
Social enterprises from across the East of England are being given the chance to become more business-minded at a free event. The workshop will provide current and prospective social enterprise leaders and managers with the tools and inspiration to help them build effective business plans. Run by Professor Roger Mumby-Croft of Anglia Ruskin, Martin Clark of Cambridge-based Future Business, and businessman and marketing consultant James Cashmore, the day will cover the “why, what and how” of business planning through a combination of taught sessions and group work. Professor Mumby-Croft said: “Business planning is a vital tool for social enterprises and indeed all businesses. It assists navigation through a fast-changing world, and keeps the business on course towards its long-term goals. This workshop has been specifically designed for leaders and managers in social enterprises and values-driven businesses – from start-ups to established community businesses. This includes companies, co-operatives, and charitable trading arms – in fact all organisations that trade for a purpose beyond profit.” Lunch will be included. Places are limited so please book by contacting Rober Mumby-Croft.
18:00-20:30, The Martin car park, off Grantchester Road
A chance to discuss farming, crops and countryside management. Meet at the Martin car park, off Grantchester Road. Free, donations appreciated. Organised by Cambridge Past Present and Future. Read their newsletter here.
19:15, Impington Village College, New Road, Impington CB24 9LX (the Brackenbury room)
Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables. Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees. Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found. This film is presented by the Histon and Impington Climate Change Action Group. Cost £3. Arrive 7:15 for 7:30 start. More info here.
10:00-12:00, Cambridge Sustainability Centre
In this hands-on course you will learn how to build an oven out of the earth beneath your feet. You'll find out how to test for the right soil mix, how to shape the oven and build the walls, how to fire it and cook in it. You'll get to bake a pizza for your dinner, and learn how to use cob. We hope you'll leave feeling empowered that pretty much wherever you go in the world you'll be able to build an oven with what you find around you! More details here.
18:00-18:00, Cambridge Sustainability Centre
Forest Gardening is a way of using the natural systems and layers of a woodland to create a food-producing environment with minimal effort. An edible forest garden is made up of fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes, perennial vegetables and herbs, and can be tailored to fit any space. This weekend course will provide a theoretical overview of how to design, implement and maintain a temperate forest garden, including working on a practical planting design for a forest garden on the farm. More details here.
From Cambridge Carbon Footprint: 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!
Hope to see you all out there!