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If you're planning your holidays, here's a quick reminder about the wonderful "The Man in Seat61" website that has helpful advice about how to get just about anywhere without flying. And if you like being in the great outdoors, WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a great way to meet new people while helping out on a farm in exchange for food and accommodation (UK website here). Let us know your low carbon holiday ideas/experiences and we'll post more ideas here!
14 Apr 2015
The Real Farming Trust are seeking a "Just Growth" Programme Manager to work part-time (3 days a week) fromJune 2015 to December 2016 (this is a paid position). "We are seeking a skilled and experienced Programme Manager who will enjoy the challenges and opportunities of setting up and running a pilot project, Just Growth, and is committed to supporting the development of new and innovative approaches to community finance for “real farming”. The project is part of Funding Enlightened Agriculture (FEA) which was launched in 2012 at the Oxford Real Farming Conference (also a project of The Real Farming Trust)." Full information is available on the Real Farming web-site here. Closing date for applications: May 4 2015. (Editor's note: we know that these job adverts are popular and can result in a lot of people applying - so if you are hiring, or see a "Transition-y" job advertised somewhere, please send it our way and we'll advertise it.)
14 Apr 2015
There are only 2 days left to help Brighton Permaculture Trust scale up the scrump and build THE FRUIT FACTORY in Stanmer Park. They're so close to their £12K target and every donation can make a big difference. Read more and donate here. Brighton Permaculture Trust’s Fruit Factory is all about local food. Across Sussex huge amounts of fruit is left unharvested and goes to waste. Turning unwanted fruit into jams, chutneys and juices, The Fruit Factory will create delicious produce. The Fruit Factory will also educate and share with all what seasonal and environmentally sound food looks (and tastes!) like. Help them scale up the scrump! Thank you.
30 Mar 2015
The Gleaning Network UK is looking for an East of England Gelaning Coordinator - full info here. There is more information on the Gleaning Network here and you can also read about this opportunity on facebook. The role is voluntary and part-time but with expenses paid. The deadline is 2nd February.
21 Jan 2015
Daily Bread Co-operative, packer & seller of ethically-sourced wholefoods, has a vacancy for a full-time prospective working member. This is an opportunity to learn about and be involved in running a successful independent Christian Worker's Co-operative. Please ring 01223 423177 or e-mail us to ask for an application pack. Closing date 6th February. More...
13 Jan 2015
For days out exploring the countryside on foot or bike, let the BikeBus Explorer help you on your way! See the website for guide maps, fares and more information about how to use the BikeBus Explorer. More...
09 Jan 2015
A local Transition volunteer has compiled a new community website for the South area of Cambridge. This includes Trumpington (which extends far enough North to include the Centre for St Paul’s!), Queen Edith’s and Cherry Hinton.
The aim is to inform residents about places to meet, groups, events in the area and also public consultations. The purpose is to avoid politics and support community projects. The website administrator is delighted to receive updates & events via website. No charge and no adverts. More...
07 Jan 2015
The Carbon Trust have put together some top tips for a sustainable low carbon Christmas - read them here!
15 Dec 2014
Cambridge County Council are downsizing and surplus items (furniture, equipment, etc.) will be made available to charities, free of charge, on WARP-IT.co.uk.
Recipients must be a charity, social enterprise or community group to join. For more information or to browse the inventory, see the website.
24 Nov 2014
Want to meet your neighbours, get to know them, then borrow their stuff? Or do you have unused stuff you want to give a new home? If you answered yes to either question, then you need StreetBank. More...
20 Nov 2014
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is calling for proposals to conduct research into public health and climate change. This project aims to assess the extent to which climate change issues are being addressed through the public health agenda at the local level and the implications for policy and practice development locally and nationally. The project will seek to assess the extent to which the shift of public health into local government in England is supporting joined up solutions to tackle climate change at the local level. The project will also be expected to develop recommendations for national and local policy. More...
06 Nov 2014
RE:FIT is a national scheme that improves the energy efficiency of existing public sector buildings, to cut costs, achieve substantial guaranteed energy savings (typically about 28 per cent a year) and reduce carbon emissions. Local Partnerships, working with Department of Energy and Climate Change, is building on the success of the London RE:FIT scheme to support public sector organisations outside London implement RE:FIT across their buildings portfolio. More...
06 Nov 2014
Have you got some great sustainability ideas that are working well and you would like to share? Did you measure the impact the interventions had and would they work elsewhere? The Sustainable Development Unit of the NHS are starting a project to summarise sustainability interventions looking at environmental, social and financial impacts. If you have good evidence on some sustainability interventions and have measured their outcomes then please get in touch with our Lead Analyst, Imogen Tennison.
06 Nov 2014
Are you new (or new-ish, or even not new at all) to Cambridge? The Ethical Guide to Cambridge 2014/15 has all the best ethical restaurants and shops in town, and is a comprehensive guide to local organisations, student societies and social enterprises changing the world from right here in Cambridge. More...
27 Oct 2014
Volunteers needed for orchard maintenance, including tree planting, pruning, weeding and general maintenance. They are also seeking people with particular skills in specialised gardening, wildlife/fruit tree knowledge, fencing/hedge laying through to more creative skills like wood working, map design, artist's drawings. Organised by Sarah Harris, MCP Community Orchard Project. More...
24 Oct 2014
Ever thought how much more social, helpful and rewarding it would be if you could easily talk, share and plan with your street? Streetclub did too - so they created Streetclub to connect you & your neighbours with a private 'on-line community noticeboard' that's easy and safe to use. Why not start a club, talk, share and plan with those around you, and bring back a sense of community today! More...
22 Oct 2014
If your CSA or community growing group wants to grow UK native species in a way which inspires people to come together and connect with nature, then your project could be awarded up to £4,000 by Grow Wild. Find out more here. The deadline is 2 December 2014.
From: CropShare 21 Oct 2014
Upcoming events advertised via Greeniversity in Cambridge include “Cambourne Community Orchard Apple Day 2014” on 25th Oct, “Dormice and their reintroduction into Brampton Wood” on 29th Oct, and “Fascinating fungi - an introduction to mycology” on 26th Nov. See the Greeniversity web-site for more information on these and other events in and around Cambridge. If you are organising a local skillshare, you can advertise it via the Greeniversity web-site, which also provides a booking system if you would like to use it. Events should be free, by donation or very low cost, and should be in some way "green" i.e. environmentally aware or related to sustainable skills.
13 Oct 2014
Fixers UK who are linked to ITV and funded by the Big Lottery invites 16 - 25 year olds to creative a media resource – a film, poster, play, website, t-shirts to raise awareness of issues they feel passionately about. For further info. They have a partnership with ITV and can cover selected projects in our 3 min news slot on ITV Anglia. Organised by Nina Bailey, Fixers UK.
06 Oct 2014
(The following is borrowed from the Cambridge News.) "Do you and your family want to save £50,000 by living rent free for a year? Leading local housebuilder Hill is looking for Cambridge’s family of the future, to live rent free for a year in one of the city’s most sustainable houses. The four bedroom house, located in a sought-after area of Cambridge, will include state-of-the-art green technology and will not only reduce carbon emissions, but also aim to improve the health and well-being of the occupants. The selected family will be part of a wider initiative to promote the construction of more environmentally friendly homes and encourage the widespread adoption of more sustainable lifestyles." Entrants must have at least 2 children and be willing to diarise their year-long stay in the house. Find our more here!
22 Sep 2014
Read Kate Paterson's article about the Mill Road Feast this Sunday and the Farming, Food & Wildlife Festival on 28 September at Lark Rise Farm in Barton, as well as several other exciting events in and around Cambridge, on the Local Secrets web-site.
01 Sep 2014
Schumacher College are offering a Masters course in "Economics for Transition - achieving low carbon, high well-being, resilient economies". They have recently received some extra funding allowing them to offer some more places with bursary money. They also offer lots of other interesting courses! Read more here.
31 Jul 2014
Embercombe is currently recruiting 5 apprentices for its year-long bespoke learning programme starting in September.
The apprenticeship at Embercombe is an extended leadership programme for people who imagine a life of making a difference. It is an adventure and can be tough at times. Almost every apprentice who has ever come to us has discovered that walking the 'twin trail' of leadership is never easy, sometimes frightening, frequently testing, and ultimately rewarding. A strong camaraderie develops between the apprentices as friendships are formed which may last a lifetime, they learn to surf the turbulent waves of our multi-faceted social enterprise, and they dream awake a life of their choosing. Kitchen, garden, land and site management apprenticeships all available. Visit www.embercombe.co.uk/apprenticeship. Or if you have experience in marketing and communications, we are looking for a 1 year MarComms volunteer. These are all live in positions. Visit www.embercombe.co.uk/volunteering for a full job description and apply today!
20 May 2014
We are "Pretty Nostalgic", an indie British bi-monthly publication which encourages creative and sustainable living inspired by the past. Our founding motto is Spend Wisely, Waste Less and Appreciate More. We even encourage our readers to sign our pledge showing their commitment to hands on, sustainable and local ways of living (see here. We are committed to only being sold by independent shops - we have from the beginning only ever featured or promoted genuine vintage, hand crafted upcycled or British artisan-made products, but mostly our features are original, well researched and beautifully written and about homes, gardens, food fashion, crafts, communities. Previous features have included national abundance projects, community preserving, woodland gardening, homeopathy, building your own eco homes, upcycled gardening, potting meat and using left overs (most of these have been related to Transition!). You can order on-line (cost £8) or they have offered us a discount if Transition does a group order (let us know if this would be of interest, you'd probably need to commit to buying for a certain time period and picking up e.g. from the Transition cafe).
14 May 2014
Have you heard about the CamBuntingTdF project? The Tour de France races through Cambridge in July, and it's more than just a race, it's a celebration of Cambridge. There's a plan afoot to show off and greet the cyclists and the world's cameras with colour. Knitted, crocheted or fabric bunting in Tour colours is the plan, that and colourful wheels to decorate the route. The knitting and crochet patterns are simple ones which take two to three hours to make and it would be brilliant if it inspired people to pull together with friends and get crafting. A full info pack will soon be ready, so this is just a first heads-up about the project. There's some preliminary info here. People can use any type of yarn for the bunting including from unravelled sweaters so long as it is white, yellow or green. (The pattern calls for a DK but if people want to use thicker/thinner they just need to make them the right size: approx 17cm tall including a 1cm collar, sleeves 3cm tall, 18cm across arms and 11cm across body.) For wheels, people can go crazy and do rainbow colours in any pattern, Anglesey in Stitches has some great inspiration, covering small hula hoops or making wheels from pipe lagging and parcel tape works wonders. What will happen to them after the event is not quite decided but they won't be binned. More info soon with the patterns!
15 Apr 2014
The vacancy is for an Energy Assistant working with the The Environment and Energy team to develop and implement long-term plans to improve the University's performance across a wide range of areas of environmental sustainability, including carbon emissions, energy use, waste, travel, water, sustainable construction and sustainable procurement. The deadline for applications is 9th April 2014. Visit the University Job Opportunities website for full details.
31 Mar 2014
Cambridge Sustainable Food City is looking for a media and communications admin assistant for one and a half days per week for 3-6 months, with at least one half-day based in the Cambridge Carbon Footprint office and some home working. We need someone who can help us develop the content of our website, including data input. This could also include developing our social media, depending on the skills and experience of the successful applicant. If you think this could be you, please send a CV and a letter saying why you would like to do this job to Bev Sedley. Deadline for applications 12 noon Friday February 28th.
10 Feb 2014
The Tree Council has funds available to assist schools and community groups proposing to undertake well-planned orchard planting projects during National Tree Week, 29 November to 7 December 2014. The fund is open to projects where the total tree planting costs are between £100 and £700. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2014. For more information and to apply, please visit the Tree Council website.
10 Feb 2014
The Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL) is looking for a Project Manager to join their small team in Cambridge who manage the Natural Capital Leaders Platform. This global business initiative helps companies collaborate with each other and with academics to understand and reduce their impacts on the services provided by nature. Our current work plan focus on three issues identified as priorities by Platform companies, reducing impact on soil, water and biodiversity. Full details here. Application deadline 10 Feb.
04 Feb 2014
This week is the Big Energy Saving Week campaign run by Citizen's Advice Bureau. They will be posting daily video blog posts on the ShapeYourPlace website featuring some energy saving tips and local community projects that work on sustainability and green energy. Here's one from Councillor Paul Saunders, the mayor of Cambridge, on cutting draughts around doors and windows, and there'll be more this week, including some from Transitioners.
26 Jan 2014
Experience how fun and easy it is to live a more sustainable lifestyle! The One World Challenge is a team competition, which last for three weeks, between 10 February and 3 March. You will learn easy actions that reduce your carbon footprint and have fun at the same time! Team up with 3-6 people, exchange ideas, challenge other teams and win a weekend holiday for your whole team. Join the growing number of people who already know how easy and inspiring it is! Register today!.
26 Jan 2014
The Woodland Trust is offering free trees for community groups and for schools. The packs range in size from small (30 saplings) to large (420 saplings). Applications need to satisfy various criteria. There needs to be community involvement. The trees will be appropriate for the area. Applications need to be submitted by 14 January 2014. More...
29 Nov 2013
Joss Cutler, Cambridge Carbon Footprint's excellent Volunteer and Events Organiser, is going on maternity leave mid-January. So we're recruiting someone to cover her role while she's on leave for up to a year - to organise and support our teams of volunteers and work with them to devise and deliver a varied programme of Carbon-reduction events. The role is 3 days per week, £19,500 pro rata pa, and you can find more details here. The closing date for application is Monday 2nd December, and interviews will be held on Monday 9th December.
26 Nov 2013
Following some revisions in Spring, the European Commision is pressing forward with a new law to regulate the sale of all seeds, plants and plant material. Every single variety of vegetable will have to be registered on an EU list, otherwise it will be illegal to sell it. To be registered on the list, seed varieties have to pass a series of tests demonstrating what is called DUS "Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability". It costs nearly £3000 to test & register just one single variety of seed for sale. Although we have had a system like this for many years, there have been much simpler and cheaper options for what are considered ‘amateur varieties’ for home gardeners, and the rules have never been strictly enforced in the UK. The EU wants to get rid of these simpler and cheaper rules for ‘amateur’ seed, and make sure that every country enforces the rules 100%. Although they say there will be exceptions, in current drafts of the law these are very, very limited. The effect of this new legislation will be to massively limit the choice of vegetable varieties available to home gardeners. Read more about this issue and what you can do on The Real Seed Catalogue's page - the deadline for amendments is 4th December, and options include writing to our MEP and contributing to the UK government's consultation on this issue. More here.
25 Nov 2013
STIR Magazine is a quarterly magazine that promotes community-led, co-operative and environmental alternatives. It looks at how co-operative and community-orientated ideas can transform our food and energy systems, our educational spaces, technology and engineering and other important aspects of our lives. Each issue they feature a 'Transition' column written by contributors from different Transition initiatives in the UK. They've just published their Autumn issue with the "The Future of Money" as a theme, and they're now working on the next issue which will be published at the beginning of January and is generally themed around land issues, eco-villages, community farms and the environment. They've been in touch to let us know that they are running a special offer of free postage and packaging on the current issue for UK Transition initiatives and members. If you'd like to take them up on this offer, you can buy the issue here (costs £3.95). See the Stir to Action web-site for more information about the organisation.
11 Nov 2013
Mill Road Winter Fair already has a full line-up of stalls this year! It will be on 7th December along most of the length of Mill Road. If you live in the area and would like to volunteer, the organisers (all volunteers themselves) need some help with delivering brochures to nearby residents, stewarding on the day, putting up posters, organising venues, making banners, and helping to decorate and liven up the street. If you can help with any of these tasks (or something else), please get in touch with them.
28 Oct 2013
Ethex (an organisation which advises on ethical investment) has just released a report which gives the top 10 places for 'positive investors', i.e. the postcodes where they live. Cambridge is in at number 10 - in particular they highlight CB1, CB3 and CB4 - West Chesterton, Market, Romsey and Queen Edith's. See map on page 17 of the report (pdf). There was also an article in the Guardian here.
22 Oct 2013
We are starting the next full Permaculture design course at the Apricot centre on the 26th/27th October, and then once a month till June 2014. We are offering an Introduction to Permaculture as the weekend of the 26th/27th October at £50. The course structure gives the participants time to read, watch films and meet up with smaller groups imbetween the sessions. We have found this creates really strong networks in the groups and the region. The Apricot centre is a fully established Permaculture site demonstrating the principles on many levels, we include livestock and commercial systems on the course as well as practical sessions. More details here.
13 Oct 2013
Cambridge Carbon Footprint is delighted to announce that, following nearly two years of successful sustainable food challenges, we are teaming up with Dr Marie-Ann Ha, a nutritionist at Anglia Ruskin University, to look at the food we eat from an environmental, ethical and financial as well as nutritional perspective. Participants will compare their usual food choices with their meals during a two-week sustainable food challenge. There will be three or four meetings with the researchers over the month of the project and participants will need to keep food diaries for a total of eight days spread over the period. If you are interested in participating in this research, please contact Alana.
16 Sep 2013
Sites around Cambridge and nearby villages are being planned for housing and commercial development. The Councils will be finalising their Local Plans by the end of the year. Only a small fraction of the Local Plan is based on Green Belt land and its use can be avoided. Sign the petition to protect the Greenbelt. More...
16 Sep 2013
Cambridge Carbon Footprint are looking for an enthusiastic Project Coordinator 2 days per week fixed contract to March 2014, to manage the promotion, development and implementation of our new Warm Homes Plus Project. The project will provide tailored and practical advice to households in fuel poverty. The Project Coordinator will be working with referring agencies, such as GP surgeries, social services and voluntary organisations in order to reach people experiencing fuel poverty and with local workmen to provide a handyman service for those who are unable to do small-scale work themselves. They will also be responsible for promoting the project to residents, partners and stakeholders. For more information including a detailed job specification and how to apply please see the CCF website . Applications must be submitted by no later than 5pm on Thursday September 19th.
09 Sep 2013
Cambridge Hub have just finished the new version of the Ethical Guide to Cambridge and it looks great!
Check it out here. We'll try to make sure we have some paper copies to give out at our events too. (This alternative link may be easier for some people to access - it can take a little while to load up.)
02 Sep 2013
Upcoming events at the Cambridge Sustainability Centre include an apple pressing day on 12 October - come along and help pick and press the apples, then take some juice back home with you - and various "Shamanics" courses with Melanie Tomsett on 22nd September, 14th October, and then a year-long course of 12 monthly workshops starting in November. Shamanics is a form of deep spiritual, personal development and healing, based in nature. The Shamanics workshops are a contemporary distillation of Northern Hemisphere (northern European, Amerindian, Hawaiian Kahuna and Doaist) Shaman knowledge that is based in the common truths held with all these traditions but without the dogma or ritual. For more information and to book on these courses and other activities at the Cambridge Sustainability Centre, see their web-site here.
02 Sep 2013
From Alana Sinclair at Cambridge Carbon Footprint: Are you looking for office experience? Do you have a keen interest in environmental issues? Could you volunteer your time 3 half days a week for a small, friendly environmental charity in Cambridge? We’re looking for an admin volunteer to help out us out in the Cambridge Carbon Footprint office. All necessary training provided! Click here for more information on the role. To apply please email your CV and a cover letter to Alana Sinclair before 5pm September 12th.
02 Sep 2013
“Funding Enlightened Agriculture” is a group of social entrepreneurs, ethical investors, bankers, farmers and growers, NGOs, and academics who seek to help new enterprises to get off the ground – enterprises of the kind that truly are intended to “provide good food for everyone without wrecking the rest of the world”. We have already helped a few with business advice, and with raising funds – not least through the crowdfunder, Buzzbnk. But there are plenty more in the pipeline – there should be an endless stream – and now we need a COORDINATOR to keep track of all the projects so far and to find new ones that need and deserve support and to explore setting up a fund. This is a challenging job, varied and complex, requiring financial acumen and social skills to deal with a wide range of people – but for the right person, it would be eminently fulfilling. So if you think you have what we are looking for – please apply! Applications need to be in by August 25th for an early September start-date. Details of the Project Coordinator position and more information about the project can be found here.
31 Jul 2013
Are you interested in sustainable food? Cambridge Carbon Footprint is in the process of expanding its sustainable food blog to include a large variety of different food-related issues and we are looking for volunteers to contribute to the blog on a regular basis. We’re looking for people who are interested in low-carbon living, particularly food; enjoy writing and can commit to writing regular pieces for the blog (such as once a week/fortnight/month); perhaps you already have a blog about low-impact living and would be interested to do a regular or one-off guest blog post. For more information go to our volunteers page or email Elaina here.
31 Jul 2013
Colin Clews writes: As you may be aware, Marshall's will be operating an extra 50 flights a week from from Cambridge Airport from September. If you're wondering why there hasn't been a public consultation on the impact of this (e.g. safety, community and environmental issues) then you should be aware they already have permission to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Work is planned next year to 'strengthen' the runway to better accommodate the new planes. At present there seems to be little political will to put any kind of control measures on Marshalls: the only constraint on flight numbers would appear to be the airport's physical capacity to accommodate them. If this, as well as the apparent lack of public debate, concerns you as much as it does me, please make your feelings known to your local councillors. In particular, County Councillor Paul Sales, e-mail address email@example.com, is the representive on Marshall's 'Consultative Committee'. Thanks. Colin Clews.
21 Jul 2013
Cambridge Hub (a student group) is in the process of writing a guide to sustainable and ethical living in Cambridge for new students. They would love to hear your pro-tips for getting involved in volunteering, campaigning and social enterprise (particularly in ways that are accessible to students) as well as ways to reduce your carbon footprint and get more involved with local projects. If you think you can help, even if it's just a few lines, drop them an email.
15 Jul 2013
From 4th - 31st July 2013, Cambridge BID Limited in partnership with Cambridge Edition is proud to deliver Independent Retailer Month 2013. Working with retailers in the city centre, there are a whole host of offers, competitions, prizes and much more for you to enjoy throughout July! Click here for more information.
15 Jul 2013
You are warmly invited to participate in a survey about the motivations of people who take action to combat climate change, and to let others know who might be interested. The questionnaire asks about concern about climate change, actions that people may be taking to combat it, and motivations for action, including any significant life experiences that have led to concern about climate change and engagement with the issue. Here is the questionnaire. Participants can choose to submit their email address to be entered into a draw for a chance to win one of five £50 vouchers (type to be chosen by winners). The survey is anonymous; email addresses (if submitted for the draw or to receive a report of the research findings) will be kept separate from the data.
If you would like any more information about this study, please do not hesitate to contact the researcher, Rachel Howell, at Aberystwyth University (by email or phone: 01970 622608).
From: Rachel Howell, Aberystwyth University 04 Jul 2013
Marshall's Airport are planning 50 more flights per week, starting in September (article here in Cambridge News). Colin wrote to us suggesting that anyone who would prefer there to be less rather than more flights coming out of Marshall's could bring the matter up with their local councillor, or write to Marshall's or the Cambridge News expressing your views.
01 Jul 2013
From Oliver Swingler: "More than 340 different green, environmental, conservation, organic, wildlife, recycling organisations – including the Friends of the Earth Czech Republic, Christian Ecology, Fossil Free Yale, BBC Gardeners World, Organic Council of Ontario, Sumo Wholefoods – in 31 countries like the lyrics to the Global Warming song – now it’s on YouTube! Here is a performance by the Making Waves choir The words are given under the video clip in "show more" and are printed on the screen so you can sing-a-long! You are very welcome to broadcast, and ‘like’ it, and share, share, share the link as widely as possible via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter ..." Here's the 1st verse, sung to the tune of "What shall we do with the drunken sailor?": What can we do about global warming? (x3) Shrink our carbon footprint! 1. Walk, cycle, bus and train; Car share, avoid the plane; Holiday at home, learn to love the rain; Shrink our carbon footprint! ...followed by several more verses along similar lines...
01 Jul 2013
Here's the Cambridge Woodworks summer newsletter, including their Open Saturdays, their "made from waste" projects, a "kinetic barn" (a large, wall-mounted sculpture using only recycled wood) and more! Read it here.
01 Jul 2013
The village of Gamlingay (about 17 miles west of Cambridge) has just installed a 330 kW capacity wind turbine. It’s a community project, with 100% community investment from local residents and businesses, giving priority to smaller investors. 10% of the net income will go towards village projects, which should provide an income for 25 years. From an energy point of view, they estimate that it provides the equivalent of 10% of the domestic consumption of electricity in the village. For more info, take a look at their site
Gamlingay is building on earlier success. Also in the village is the Eco-hub community building – which has a rating of ‘A’ for its energy performance certificate. The design and construction include plentiful insulation, photovoltaic panels, solar thermal and ground-source heat pump for heating, maximising the use of natural light and rainwater harvesting. More info here
23 May 2013
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.)
20 May 2013
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.
17 Feb 2013
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.
11 Feb 2013
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.
From: Cambridge Carbon Footprint 11 Feb 2013
'Green Catz' have put together a great listing of green events in Cambridge in February - available here!
11 Feb 2013
Whether you are an aspiring vegan, or just curious to find out more about the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet, why not join Cambridge Carbon Footprint's first EAT Vegan! challenge. No meat, dairy or other animal products for one week. How hard can it be…?
The challenge will start on Monday 25 February, but of course you’ll need to plan ahead for success! We will be adding links and resources to our website in the coming weeks to help you plan, so watch this space! We will also host a bring-and-share vegan meal / social on Friday 1 March in central Cambridge for all participants.
Already vegan? We would love to hear from you with practical ideas and mouthwatering vegan recipes that we can share with challenge participants.
Email Helen to take part in the challenge, or to share your top tips and ideas.
From: Cambridge Carbon Footprint 31 Jan 2013
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...
From: Ellie Crane 30 Jan 2013
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.
27 Jan 2013
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...
14 Jan 2013
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.)
13 Jan 2013
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.
03 Jan 2013
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.
16 Dec 2012
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!
04 Dec 2012
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...
28 Nov 2012
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.
12 Nov 2012
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.
12 Nov 2012
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.
12 Nov 2012
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.
From: The Humanitarian Centre 05 Nov 2012
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...
08 Oct 2012
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.
24 Sep 2012
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.
24 Sep 2012
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.
17 Sep 2012
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.
06 Aug 2012
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.
23 Jul 2012
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.
16 Jul 2012
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.
15 Jul 2012
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.
09 Jul 2012
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).
09 Jul 2012
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.
19 Jun 2012
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.
10 Jun 2012
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.
31 May 2012
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.
From: Cambridge Carbon Footprint 30 May 2012
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.
07 May 2012
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!
30 Apr 2012
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.
26 Mar 2012
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!)
25 Mar 2012
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...
From: The Green Register 06 Mar 2012
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.
13 Feb 2012
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!
05 Feb 2012
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.
05 Feb 2012
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.
24 Jan 2012
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.
24 Jan 2012
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.
24 Jan 2012
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...
From: Peter Bates 22 Jan 2012
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.
28 Dec 2011
'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.'
14 Nov 2011
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.
07 Nov 2011
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.
From: Cambridge Carbon Footprint 06 Nov 2011
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!
27 Sep 2011
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.
12 Sep 2011
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...
04 Sep 2011
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.
From: Eastern Regional Green Party 09 Jul 2011
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.
03 May 2011
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: ivan 13 Mar 2011
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.
28 Feb 2011
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
27 Feb 2011
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!
31 Jan 2011
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.
31 Jan 2011
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.
29 Jan 2011
For those of us who are trying to wean ourselves off using a car, car share schemes make the transition to being "car-free" a bit easier. If you only use your car occasionally, it's generally cheaper to hire one than to pay car tax, insurance and repairs. Cambridge now has two car share schemes, Streetcar and Whipcar. Whipcar is based on renting your neighbour's car or offering your car for your neighbours to rent. Find out how it works from their web-site here. The more people that join, the more useful it becomes - and it can also work in the villages... It's cheaper than hiring a car, and Whipcar sorts out the insurance side of things. There are already 7 cars available in Cambridge and Cherry Hinton. Sounds a great idea!
13 Dec 2010
If you are a young person between the ages of 14 and 18; have thoughts and ideas on how to change agriculture to produce better food and lead to better health; and are enthusiastic and creative, then you are invited to participate in IFPRI's youth writing contest. Use your writing skills to produce an essay, short story, poem, open letter to a national leader, short play, or other text on the following question:
How can we use agriculture to produce more food, generate food of better quality, and improve people's nutrition and health?
This competition is organised by the International Food Policy Research Institute. The deadline for entries is 13 December 2010. More...
29 Nov 2010
From Stephanie: The city council is planting a number of new trees on Midsummer Common and Jesus Green, and consultations with the public are open from November 19 to Dec 2. I thought it would be great if we suggested some of these be fruit trees, to add a new source of local food to Cambridge. It would be cool if they got a bunch of people suggesting the same thing, to get the idea planted (pun intended) in their minds! Feedback is by email or post. More...
29 Nov 2010
The IEA has acknowledged that production of conventional oil is never again likely to regain its peak from 2006, although demand will continue to rise. ''Unconventional oil is set to play an increasingly important role in world oil supply through to 2035, regardless of what governments do to curb demand....Unconventional sources of oil are among the more expensive available: they require large upfront capital investment, which is typically paid back over long periods. Consequently, they play a key role in setting future oil prices.' More from www.energybulletin.net and from World Energy Outlook 2010 executive summary.
From: Nicola 29 Nov 2010
The aim of this project is to show how typical family homes can be refurbished affordably while being kinder to the environment and cheaper to run. Huntingdonshire District Council has transformed two houses in St Neots and St Ives into environmentally friendly eco-homes. The doors to the houses will be open to residents, home owners, businesses and traders from 6 November. A series of open days have been planned where visitors will recieve practical and inspiring ideas on how to make their own homes warmer, brighter and cheaper to run whilst reducing their impact on the environment. They want to encourage as many visitors as possible to the houses over the coming months - see their web-site for dates in November (generally Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday). There's also a treasure hunt for children! See their web-site for more info.
08 Nov 2010
Cambridge Cycle Campaign have created a great interactive map that allows you to plan your cycle journeys around Cambridge - have a look here. It gives directions, shows the way, shows how busy the roads are, the slope of the roads, and it even calculates how much carbon you save by going by bike instead of car. Worth a look!
08 Nov 2010
Here are some interesting mock-ups of what London might look like post-climate change!
08 Nov 2010
Ever wondered how one person could save the planet from the effects of climate change? A British-made computer game on trial release on Monday creates different ways of doing just that. 'Fate of the World' puts the Earth's future in players' hands, placing them in charge of an international environmental body which could save the world from the effects of rising greenhouse gas emissions or let it perish by continuing to rely on emissions-heavy fossil fuels. Through different scenarios, players can explore options such as geoengineering and alternative energy sources to save the planet from rising temperatures, dwindling natural resources and a growing population over the next 200 years. A rough cut of the game will be followed by a three-month feedback period from players, with final release due in February next year. Created by Oxford-based games developer Red Redemption, the game departs from more mainstream action games by using data from real climate models and advice from scientists and economists in Britain and the United States. Read full article from World Environment News or go straight to the game web-site.
08 Nov 2010
FSA Publication – ‘Food and climate change: A review of the effects of climate change on food within the remit of the Food Standards Agency’ This review, carried out by the University of East Anglia for the Food Standards Agency, examines the impact of climate change on areas including food safety and nutrition. The survey findings are based on
interviews with experts and a review of existing research into climate change. The review suggests food risks will be increasingly unpredictable as agricultural methods adapt to climate change and food is sourced from alternative producers. The incidence of foodborne infections may alter. However, it says mechanisms are in place to detect such changes and to respond to protect public health. Areas
requiring further research have been identified, including: How climate currently affects food safety; likely effects of climate change on food prices and availability in the UK; how climate affects food choice, and what this means for future climates; how specific groups of consumers will respond to food price fluctuations and rises; and, life cycle analysis of foods and food waste. More...
08 Nov 2010
Cambridge Carbon Footprint are piloting a new project in four streets in Cambridge: Darwin Drive, Perowne and Emery Streets, River Lane, and Rock Road. The project is a City Council partnership project. Our vision is a community-led project, supporting the residents of these streets to implement sustainable initiatives in the home, in the street and in the community. So if you would like to meet your neighbours, make your street safer, make your house warmer, cut pollution and waste, and you live in one of these five roads please get in contact with us!
04 Oct 2010
"Liftshare" week runs from 4-8 October - . If you’re not sharing yet, you can search for others going your way on their web-site. You have to log in, then register your journey and hopefully someone else is going the same way at the same time. There are now over 250,000 journeys available for sharing. If you’re already sharing with someone, why not fill the car further and save even more? And if the company you work for doesn’t have its own car-share scheme, ask if you can display some posters round the office (you might even find one or two more people to share your own commute!). More...
04 Oct 2010
lourish.com is a new website which allows people to swap their surplus home-grown fruit and veg with others near them. The idea is to promote low food-miles by allowing people to exchange things that they have a glut of so they don't waste their fresh produce and enable others to avoid the supermarket! It's instigator is based locally, near Impington, so please take a look and get involved! More...
10 Aug 2010