Solar Together Cambridgeshire: DEADLINE MONDAY 5 OCTOBER!

Solar Together Cambridgeshire is a group-buying scheme run  by Cambridgeshire County Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council to help people buy high-quality and competitively priced solar panels and battery storage systems for solar panels.  It is is an excellent way for people who have thought about having solar panels in the past, but never looked into it, to get started.

So far, around 1,000 households across South Cambridgeshire have registered their interest in the scheme.  It is an important programme as it promises to make a small but significant dent in the district’s CO2 emissions which need to halve by 2030 to be on track for zero carbon by 2050.

However,  you have to register your interest before 6 October – so don’t delay!

 

 

Helping us to use less plastic

Introducing the Bristol-based campaigning group City to Sea , ‘an environmental organisation on a mission to stop plastic pollution.’  They aim to do serious things in a fun way.

Recent campaigns have included advice on reusables during the Covid pandemic; stopping PPE plastic pollution; plastic-free cotton buds and period products; and ‘Refill’, ‘an award-winning campaign’ to make it easier to reuse and refill water bottles, coffee cups, lunchboxes, groceries, cleaning products and toiletries.

At the foot of the main page linked to above you can sign up for their newsletter, which they describe as ‘a monthly dose of optimism’.

Green Alliance Blueprint for a resilient economy

The reports are coming thick and fast now!  See the Green Alliance Blueprint for a resilient economy, published 29 June, here.

They say:

“We set out the five essential building blocks that would support new long term employment opportunities, thriving businesses and a healthier, fairer society, whilst protecting against the potentially devastating future impacts of climate change and nature’s decline:

1. Invest in net zero infrastructure
2. Restore nature
3. Stop wasting valuable resources
4. Ensure clean air and healthy places
5. Make the recovery fair

Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Change – interim Covid-19 report

The UK Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Change was created by MPs last  year.  It has just published an interim briefing on Covid-19, recovery and the path to net zero.

The briefing looks at Economic Recovery and Lifestyle Changes.

Key findings

●79% of assembly members ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that, “Steps taken by the government to help the economy recover should be designed to help achieve net zero.”​​

●93% of assembly members ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that, “As lockdown eases, government,employers and/or others should take steps to encourage lifestyles to change to be more compatible with reaching net zero.” ​

Note: Climate Assembly UK was commissioned by six cross-party Select Committees of the UK Parliament to explore how the UK should reach its legally-binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The assembly’s 108 participants are together ​representative of the UK population​ in terms of demographics and levels of concern about climate change.

The final report will be published in September.

 

Greenpeace ‘Speaker Shorts’ Events in June

(Taken from the Greenpeace website)

Join our ‘Speaker Shorts’ talks in June

Throughout June Greenpeace is running an exciting new programme called Speaker Shorts. These are free 15 minute talks followed by an interactive Q&A on areas that Greenpeace is campaigning on. From protecting our forests and oceans, to plastics and the climate crisis, Speaker Shorts will give an introduction to the topic and simple things you can do to help!

Speaker Shorts talks will be delivered by members of our Greenpeace Speakers network – passionate and knowledgeable volunteers who know a lot about our work.

The talks will run as a Zoom webinar, which is a secure and private way for you and your family to participate in these fun and interactive talks. You’ll need to download Zoom for free in order to join.

Find out more about each talk and register at the links below:

Family friendly:

Young people and students:

Adults and general audiences:

Home Composting

Home compost needs a 50/50 mixture of ‘green’ (nitrogen rich) and ‘brown’ (carbon rich) materials:

Green: fruit and vegetable peelings, tea leaves and coffee grounds, old flowers and grass cuttings.

Brown: cardboard egg boxes, small amounts of scrunched up newspaper, used bedding from vegetarian pets, shredded paper and garden pruning.

Meat, fish, dairy and cooked food cannot be home composted, but they can go in your green food waste bin that the Council collects as this goes through a different process.*

The Council provides free kitchen food waste caddies to S Cambs residents to collect food waste in, before putting it in either your green bin or your own composting heap.

( *Note: Compostable or biodegradable ‘plastic’ corn starch liners, such as BioBag, cannot be accepted in green bins, even if they are EN13432 certified or display the compostable seedling logo.  These do not compost quickly enough for the council’s fast composting process.)

Edited extract from the SCDC Zero Carbon Communities newsletter, issue 2.

South Cambs District Council: latest on Zero Carbon plans

South Cambridgeshire’s Zero Carbon Strategy was adopted on 21 May 2020.  It outlines how Council will support the district to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and reduce them to zero by 2050, including delivering a reduction in their own carbon footprint of at least 45% by 2025, (on a 2019 baseline), and at least 75% by 2030.

More details here.

S Cambs publishes a  quarterly Zero Carbon Communities newsletter with the latest news about climate change action both at the Council and within the District.  The second issue (with a link to the first) is available here.

See an edited extract from the newsletter about home composting.

World Localization Day 21 June

Local Futures is an organisation seeking to promote local economies which put the well-being of people and planet first.  They produced the film The Economics of Happiness which 2G3S showed in 2016.
Now Local Futures is organising World Localization Day, an online global festival taking place on June 21, 2020.
Organised in response to COVID-19, World Localization Day will feature eye-opening talks, interviews, music, short films and even comedy to inspire and empower individuals as we work to create a happier and more sustainable world going into the future.  HH The Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky have both prepared special messages, and other contributors include Vandana Shiva, Joanna Macy, Alice Waters, Johann Hari, Iain McGilchrist, Gail Bradbrook, Charles Eisenstein, and many more. 
Detailed event information can be found on the World Localization Day website: https://worldlocalizationday.org.

 

Built-in Obsolescence

See this article from The Guardian which talks about built-in obsolescence, especially of digital equipment.  It doesn’t mention this, but I understand that when the first filament light bulbs were invented, it would  have been possible to manufacture them to last indefinitely – but it was decided that that wouldn’t be good for business, and so a limited lifespan for each bulb became the norm.  So ‘built-in obsolescence’ is not a new concept, but shocking nonetheless given the mountains of waste we are creating at a time of shrinking resources.

Good to see the reference to Repair Cafes!