In a talk on 23 November, Duncan Catchpole* ran through his ‘Top 10’ food sustainability considerations:
- Try to eat less meat and dairy. Not just for animal welfare and carbon emissions: animals are fed more food than they produce for human consumption, so inefficient. Growing animal feed is also a major cause of deforestation.
- Minimise food waste: food waste alone causes 10% of greenhouse gases. Needing to feed the growing world population is seen as a justification for more intensive food production – but we should have enough anyway: a third of food currently produced is wasted (not just by consumers – there is systemic waste in food chains).
- Look out for sustainable production methods: eg organic, biodynamic, permaculture – these help look after the long-term quality of our soil.
- Healthy eating: ‘5 a Day’ still a good maxim, both for your health and resulting impact on resources such as NHS. And is your diet sustainable in 3 main ways: environmentally, socially and economically?
- Consider food miles: energy, emissions, refrigeration costs.
- Avoid highly processed food: commodification of food leading to lower production standards, long supply chains, reduction in nutritional value.
- Avoid big corporates: their motive is profit, not keeping people fed and healthy. They push out small, local providers.
- Seasonal food: eat what is available each season.
- Sustainable Fish: 85% of global fish stocks now depleted. Look for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) endorsement .
- Packaging: try to buy food with minimum packaging, or where you can, refill containers. (Green Weigh just opened in Sawston; also Organic Health in Hauxton; Full Circle and Arjuna shops in Cambridge; and of course the various local organic veg box companies, including Duncan’s own: Cambridge Organic. See below for details).
*Duncan Catchpole is the founder and owner of Cambridge Organic (formerly Cambridge Organic Food Company, or COFCO) and has over twenty years’ experience in the sustainable food and drink sector. He is a founding committee member of Cambridge Sustainable Food and since its inception has been leading CSF’s headline project of creating a Sustainable Food Hub for Cambridge – a local network of food growers, producers, and consumers.
Address/contact details of local no-waste shops as at November 2020 Contact the shops to see what online / delivery / click and collect facilities are currently available.
Green Weigh 60 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3BG tel 01223 971240 (Website pending: www.greenweighshop.co.uk) Open Tue – Fri 9 – 5, Sat 9 – 2.30.
Organic Health: 87 Church Rd, Hauxton, Cambridge CB22 5HS tel 01223 870101 No website or email. Current opening times: Fri 1 – 5, Sat 9.30 – 12 and 1 – 5
Arjuna Wholefoods 12 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 2AD tel 01223 364745 Open Mon – Sat 9.30 – 6.00.
Full Circle: 9 Norfolk Street Cambridge CB1 2LD tel 01223 353158 Open Tues – Sat 10 – 5; Sunday 10 – 4.
Cambridge Organic (Formerly Cambridge Organic Food Company) box delivery service tel: 01223 873300
Because of the pandemic, there have been no face-to-face Repair Cafes since March.
Circular Cambridge, who co-ordinate our local Repair Cafes, are unfortunately not anticipating face-to-face Cafes returning before 2021. However, possible developments in the meantime include repair tutorials on YouTube, and online public-facing skill-sharing sessions. Excitingly, they are also forging links with the community workshop Makespace, in Mill Lane, Cambridge, which has space and equipment where repairs could potentially be carried out.
For a record of a conversation (3 November) introducing Repair Cafe people to Makespace and a virtual tour of Makespace facilities, click here. For a response from local repairers and a description of the Repair Cafe process from a repairer point of view (10 November), click here.
Meanwhile, 2G3S is seeking a person or persons to help organise future Repair Cafes more locally – if you might be interested in being part of the team contact us at moc.l1610986267iamg@1610986267ssssp1610986267uorgn1610986267eerg1610986267, or join us at the AOM on 7 December.
For up-to-date information on Repair Cafe developments in Cambridgeshire go to the Circular Cambridge Repair Cafe page and follow the links.
from Linda Whitebread
Cambridge XR members Jenny and Derek Langley talked to us about Extinction Rebellion and answered questions. They stressed the need to act now on the threats to life on earth; the usual democratic means (via Parliament, petitions, letters, demonstrations etc) are not working quickly enough.
Key XR principles:
- Non violent
- Respect for other people even if you disagree with them
- Acceptance of responsibility for the consequences of your actions
- Shared mission to create a world safe for everyone: respectful, compassionate, sustainable, equable, connected
- No alcohol, no drugs
- No shame, no blame
- Decisions decentralised and ideally reached by consensus
(LW: this is a personal take on what was said: to see a full list of XR principles and values visit their website)
Afterwards Jenny sent us the following information and follow-up links:
Science/Info about Climate and Ecological Crisis
Science and biodiversity loss – there is loads online and I’d point you towards the XR ‘Heading for Extinction and what to do about it’ (Larch Maxey talk on YouTube).
Cambridge Climate lecture series (Especially the second one 21st Feb 2019 Professor Schellnhuber ‘2100: A Climate-Space Odyssey’ – a really good overview of the climate science)
WWF Living Planet Report 2020
Absolute Zero. A collaborative research programme led by Julian Allwood, Professor of Engineering and the Environment at Cambridge, aims to cut the UK’s emissions by 2050 by placing resource efficiency at the heart of future industrial strategy. Very good on practical aspects of what has to be done to achieve zero carbon by 2050.
Extinction Rebellion – useful websites
Cambridge XR including divestment campaign
Sign-up for newsletters: (bottom of page)
Rebellion Academy: (online training and info for lots of roles in XR)
The only regular action that is happening in Cambridge at the moment is Silent Rebellion, a meditative action, online 9.30 and at Christ’s Pieces 11.30 every Saturday, organised by the Buddhist Affinity Group. They are keen to spread Silent Rebellion – you could start one of your own!
Anthony Browne held another Environment Forum on 8 October, which several 2G3S members attended. The notes of the Forum can be found
If you would like to be kept up to date with details of forthcoming Environment Forums (he has offered to do them quarterly), email us at greengroupssss with the heading ‘Anthony Browne’.
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!
A Newsletter Extra with details of the Environment Forum with Anthony Browne on 8 October, plus reminders of other upcoming events.
Download your copy here.
2G3S have responded to a ‘Green Infrastructure Survey’ organised by LUC (environmental management consultants) on behalf of SCDC and CCC. You can see our response here. We also submitted a map (based on Stapleford and Great Shelford Neighbourhood Plan recommendations).
Many thanks to Yasmin who co-ordinated the work on this.
Earlier this year, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council appointed LUC to provide evidence informing the creation of an enhanced and expanded green (and blue) infrastructure network in Greater Cambridge (defined as the combined area of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire districts).
The project specification includes a number of related work strands:
- Assess existing network
- Identify priority areas for enhancement
- Identify refined priority areas and identify deliverable opportunities for enhancement
- Policy development advice
- Further potential work, including provision of expert advice to Plan Making and Development Plan Examination.
The work, which will extend to January 2024, will form part of the Councils’ development plan-making process in relation to green infrastructure and biodiversity, and will also identify green infrastructure opportunities that could be delivered outside of the planning system. The current survey is part of that process.
Cambridgeshire County Council has had a Green Infrastructure strategy since at least 2006. The strategy demonstrates how green infrastructure can be used to help to achieve four objectives:
- To reverse the decline in biodiversity
- To mitigate and adapt to climate change
- To promote sustainable growth and economic development
- To support healthy living and well-being
Overall around 14,000 people signed up to the lobby nationally, and up to 270 MPs held meetings throughout the week. The mass lobby had been arranged at fairly short notice so that it could precede the Chancellor’s statement early this month; so all in all an amazing effort by all concerned.
We had our meeting with S Cambs MP Anthony Browne on Monday 29 June. There were 40 people at the Zoom meeting, of whom about a quarter were 2G3S newsletter subscribers – well done everyone!
Mr Browne had asked for questions to be presubmitted; people could also submit questions on the day via the ‘Chat’ facility. He read the questions out himself and managed to get through 20 questions in the hour he had allocated. Inevitably there were several questions that were not reached, including all the follow-up questions.
Sam Hall, Director of the Conservative Environmental Network, was also present and gave some supplementary answers.
A couple of us took notes and you can read our full report, as accurate as we can make it, below. How well or satisfactorily Mr Browne answered the questions is for you to decide.
TTIN SCambs Q&A Anthony Browne 29.6.20docx
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 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.