Electric vehicles

2G3S member Janet O’Boyle attended the Green Living event in Cambridge on 22 September, advertised in our last newsletter. She found some interesting facts about electric vehicles; here is her report:

 

‘At the Cambridge Green Living Event I was interested in the electric scooter display, a vehicle I hadn’t heard of before. An electric scooter is faster and goes further than an electric bike, and costs less than £3000. So it would be suitable for journeys that are too far for a bike (like my 12 mile commute) but it uses less energy and takes up less road space than an electric car. You can charge it overnight from a 3-pin socket. Further details at www.supersoco.co.uk.

 

There was also an electric car stand, promoting a tie-in between an octopus energy tariff specifically designed for economical car charging, installation of a home charging point, and lease of a choice of electric cars (from Leaf to Jag) at less than dealer rates (they said). More details at www.octopus.ev.com.’

News from the August meeting

2G3S meeting held 30 August 2018
We discussed various ideas for future events, including ways to progress our campaign against single-use plastics.  As part of this we are publicising the Eco Living Festival in Cambridge on 22 September.

There are also important events being held by other groups in the near future, including the international ‘Rise for Climate’ action on Saturday 8 September.

Also Camcycle, formerly Cambridge Cycling Campaign, are holding a month of cycling events in Cambridge throughout September.

Back to 2G3S: we are hoping to hold an Apple Day next autumn, possibly as part of a wider event.  The idea is to combine apple pressing for juice, which we have done before, with talks and activities on how to use your apples (making chutneys, cakes etc).

We will almost certainly hold another Repair Café, and are considering ideas for winter evening activities – something on plastics? green finance and investment?  Let us know what you would be interested in.

Fracking: we plan to be part of a delegation to our MP, Heidi Allen, urging her to vote against the government’s proposal to bypass local democracy and planning processes to fast-track fracking.

Photos!
We are looking for photos for our new website.  If you would like to send in a photo (as jpg format please) that illustrates either our general Mission Statement, or a particular type of 2G3S event, we would be delighted to hear from you.  We especially welcome submissions from young people.  So please send your photo, plus your age if you think it relevant, to greengroupssss@gmail.com.  Photos are welcome at any time, but we shall be making our initial selections by the end of December, and awarding a small prize to the best (ioho!) of those we publish.

Financial  help for other groups
Finally, we are a small group of activists.  We always welcome more people to our meetings!  But we have also decided that one way of advancing our aims is to give financial help to other organisations who wish to put on events.  So if you or your group want to stage an event in the 2G3S area which complies with the 2G3S Mission Statement, and need some funding for pump priming, you can apply to us for up to £75.  If at the end of the day you can give some or all of this back, that would be great, but is not essential.  Contact us for more information.

Summer 2018 Newsletter

Here is our Summer 2018 Newsletter as a download.

As well as reports of our most recent Repair Cafe and dates for future cafes, it contains updates on campaigns and lots of information about other green events locally, and green news from the wider world.

Palm Oil reduction

As with plastics, campaigns to reduce palm oil consumption, based on a concern for the loss of forests in Indonesia and elsewhere with its drastic effect on air pollution, global warming and indigenous peoples’ lifestyles, have been boosted by the much publicised ‘collateral damage’ to the orangutans who are losing their habitat and being killed in the process.  In 2017 the EU voted to ban biofuels made from vegetable oils including palm oil by 2020.  And some retailers are taking action – in March the supermarket chain ‘Iceland’ announced it will stop using palm oil in its own-brand products by the end of 2018.  But earlier this year there was a report that the UK is pushing for a deal to boost palm oil imports in defiance of EU trends:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/09/uk-defies-eu-over-indonesian-palm-oil-trade-leaked-papers-show

Partly in response to this, Rainforest Rescue have set up a petition against a free trade agreement on palm oil – go here if you want to sign it:

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/petitions/1132/no-to-free-trade-with-palm-oil?mtu=326768568&t=4023

Plastics Campaign

There has been a huge increase in awareness of plastic pollution, due in no small part to publicity such as David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet’ programme.  We have seen victories both small and large, from PG Tips resolving to remove plastic from their teabags (did you sign the petition featured in our last newsletter?!!), and the pub in Bristol whch is switching to using drinking straws made from pasta; to the government commitment to introduce a deposit scheme for single-use drinks containers (plastic, glass or metal), and the UK Plastics Pact whereby in April companies responsible for 80% of plastic packaging in supermarkets pledged to crack down by 2025.  And more people are signing up to get their milk delivered in glass bottles – must have read our November newsletter!  Will 2G3S save the world, we ask ourselves?!

Local action on packaging

There have been several responses to my suggestion in the last newsletter that you let us know of positive initiatives by local shops:

We said that Barkers butchers, Great Shelford are very happy if you take a Tupperware container in when buying ham, sausages, cheese etc.  It turns out that Searle’s butchers in Sawston do likewise.

Shelford Deli are now using degradable materials for their takeaways.

Dorrington’s Bakers in Sawston will give you your sliced loaf in a paper, rather than plastic, bag if you ask.

Slightly further afield, Arjuna on Mill Road, Cambridge, routinely allow you to use your own containers for herbs and spices.

2G3S survey – packaging and local sourcing

We have decided that we are going to do a more systematic survey of local food retailers and eateries to find out their policy on plastic packaging; and while we are at it we shall ask them to what extent they source their food locally.  We hope to collate the results in time for the summer issue of this newsletter.

Trips to Waste Treatment plant

Do you know the difference between an MRF and an MBT?!

In April we organised a couple of trips to the Amey Waste Management Park in Waterbeach.  On each occasion about a dozen of us toured the site, took part in a light-hearted quiz and a ‘which bin?’ exercise, and were given the opportunity to find out all we’ve ever wanted to know about recycling in Cambridgeshire!

We all came home having learned lots about what happens after our wheelie bins get collected, and how important it is not to put inappropriate things in any of the bins.

A visit here is recommended to all – unless you have a very sensitive nose, as the whole site does smell quite rank! Well done to our ten-year-old visitor with the acute sense of smell who endured it throughout and asked some of the most insightful questions.

Jon Crisp, the Information Officer at Amey, is going to have a stall at Shelford Feast on Sunday 15 July, where he will not only have answers to all your recycling questions but also games and quizzes for your enjoyment.

Discussion evening: “Sustainable Food?”

2G3S, Greener Sawston, and Sawston Free Church present a discussion evening (part of the Sawston ‘Your Village – Your Voice’ series) covering different aspects of Sustainable Food, including:

  • Sustainable Food for the UK: options after Brexit
    (Ian Hodge, Professor of Rural Economy, University of Cambridge)
  • Growing your own organic food: barriers to change
    (Simon Saggers, organic smallholder)
  • An introduction to Cambridge Sustainable Food and latest news about establishing a Food Hub near Sawston
    (Bev Sedley, Chair of CSF & Duncan Catchpole, leader, Food Hub task force)

There will also be a display on recycling, including how to use left-overs; and kitchen caddies for waste food to give away – see item on Recycling Champions, below.

Admission free; donations welcome: any profit to Cambridge Sustainable Food

7.45pm Weds 22 November, at the Free Church, 1 High St, Sawston CB22 3BG