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!

Earth Day April 22 2020

The celebration of ‘Earth Day’ began in the US in 1970 when Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat Senator and governor of Wisconsin,  proposed April 22 as a day for Americans to speak out about the environmental crisis.  See him speaking here.

Since then Earth Day has been observed not only in the US but around the world.  In 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day when the historic Paris Agreement on climate change was signed into force.

2020 represents the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day and the theme for this year is climate change.  It is ironic that on the one hand events to mark the day will this year have to be digital because of the coronavirus pandemic (arguably itself a result of our cavalier and exploitative approach to the natural world) while on the other hand environmentalists may be welcoming the fact that the price of American oil has just gone negative for the first time ever.

For more information, and how to get involved, visit the Earth Day website.

Proposal for a Cambridge Great Park to encircle the city

From ‘The Cambridge Independent’, 14 April 2020:

“Campaigners who want to see a new Cambridge Great Park for the city to protect green belt land are asking the public to add their own ideas to the proposals.

Led by retired architect Neil Ruffles, the group has already submitted an outline idea to Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council to be considered as part of their next Local Plan.

Now they want to hear from anyone who has a suggestion about how they could link up local green spaces into one huge green space that is open to the public and what they would want to see in the park………

……….to submit your ideas, email *protected email*.”

See the full article for more details.

Ask the County Council to reduce mowing of verges

The charity Plantlife are urging councils to reduce verge cutting.  They say:

“Roads have fallen quiet as lockdown is observed, as has the drone of many councils’ mowers. Councils are under considerable pressure due to the Coronavirus crisis and many have understandably reduced grass cutting down to essential management to maintain visibility and ensure road safety. There’s hope that reduced cutting frequencies might be a silver lining for verge wild flowers, giving once-familiar flowers, such as white campion, betony, greater knapweed and harebell, the chance to grow, flower and set seed. 

As well allowing precious wild flowers the opportunity to thrive, reducing cutting and adopting a more wildlife-friendly management regime will also help tackle the climate crisis. Over 300 local authorities have now declared a climate emergency, so sustaining reduced cutting regimes will also help councils bring down carbon emissions.”

You can sign a petition to the county council here

What next after coronavirus: conversations about ‘The Flip’

People might remember the 2009 film ‘The Age of Stupid’, an independent film which looked at how we were ignoring the signs of the impending climate crisis.

Franny Armstrong, who directed the film, is now making a series of videos in which leading thinkers discuss how we can ‘flip’ from corona virus to climate safety in just a few years.

In the first of these conversations, hear George Monbiot, Caroline Lucas and Faiza Shaheen discuss what is ‘the flip’, what they would like to see flip, how to make good flips stick, what the dangers are and what happens next. About 45 minutes.