Single use Plastic

Plastic jellyfish out of waste (TK)

Our echo chat on 7th February is planning to discuss our campaign on  plastic waste and what we can do about it. We are planning to creating a installation to highlight how you can use less plastic.

This has become a very topical problem now that China has stopped taking our dirty recycling.

The following is a list of links on the problem:

What is single-use plastic

9 reasons refuse single use plastic

Greenpeace

Surfers Against Sewage

Eco-Chat, Thoughts and Action

Transition Malvern Hills (TMHills) continues to promote and support sustainable projects and initiatives in Malvern and the surrounding area.  We are organising regular meet ups, (under the title of TMHills Eco-Chat, Thoughts and Action), for individuals and groups to discuss how Malvern is making the positive changes needed to reduce our environmental impact.  There will be monthly meetings at Greenlink for all that wish to participate in these friendly discussions.

Below is the chats we have currently planned. To keep upto date sign up for our mailing list here. 

  • 11:00 on Wednesday, 7 February 2018

    Topic: Our campaign to reduce plastics.

Our Brian makes the news with his gaslamp that runs on dog poo.

One of the main members of Transition Malvern Hills Brain Harper has made the news in the Guardian with his gaslamp that runs on dog poo.

The Article is here 

Brain would also like to acknowledge  Methanogen (UK) Ltd who provided the Digester. This got edited out by the Guardian.

He was also on the BBC TV . And on Radio 5 Live, BBC Hereford and Worcester and BBC World service.

The story has also appeared in the Malvern Gazette and other newspapers

Build a wind turbine in one day! – Cancelled

This workshop has been cancelled due to receiving too few
paid bookings.

Get hands-on with a unique wind turbine making experience!

This one day workshop will be held on Saturday 9th December 2017 at The Cube, Albert Road North, Malvern, WR14 2YF.  Select here for a map. This is being run by V3Power.

They bring all the tools, materials and expertise. You leave with practical skills, an understanding of how and why wind turbines work, and a huge sense of achievement

The practical tasks are achievable regardless of skill and experience. The number and range of tasks means everyone stays interested and engaged throughout the day!

Different groups take different amounts of time to build the turbine but Tom the instructor says he allows for seven hours to build the turbine, and investigate it outside. Tom will define the start time nearer the date but either 9am or 10am.

Cost per person: £70. This covers the cost of the materials and parts used to build the turbine. Having made mistakes and wasted materials and money making my own turbines through trial and error this workshop tuition is value for money.

A lunch break will definitely occur but lunch will not be included in the booking fee. As the Cube cafe will not be open bring your own lunch, tea and Coffee will be provided.

The Cube has a visitors car park However, it is possible to walk to the cube from either of Malvern’s two railway stations.

We will build the turbine inside and weather permitting we will investigate the finished turbine in the garden.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask Tom at V3Power.

If you’d like to book a place for the workshop, please email: info@v3power.co.uk and tell Tom how many people you are and would like to book a place. Tom will then tell you his details so you can pay V3Power via either BACS transfer, or Paypal.

V3Power.co.uk have spent a decade teaching people how to build their own wind turbine using the reliable Hugh Piggott design and common workshop tools. Hugh’s turbines have powered homes worldwide from India, South America and Scotland.

V3Power have developed a new low cost demonstration wind turbine to teach the science and engineering of wind turbines. This turbine can be built in one day by just ten people.

What Happens?

Together, your group and the instructor build a wind turbine to generate electricity using simple materials and a range of hand tools. All participants carve a wooden turbine blade, wind a copper coil, and manipulate powerful magnets.

  • Blades; each person carves a wooden wind turbine blade with an aerofoil shape based on an introduction to fluid dynamics and blade design.
  • Mounting; each person cuts, shapes & drills a metal component to assemble the turbine mounting, and the group assembles roller taper bearings.
  • Electrical generator; after an introduction to electromagnetism each person winds a copper coil, prepares its output wires with solder and the group works together to connect them into a three-phase stator. Each person secures powerful magnets into a rotor to make up the other part of the generator.
  • Electrical system; the group learns about the different components that make up a safe wind turbine electrical system whilst wiring them together to make a battery charging circuit.
  • Assembly; the group bolt together the components to complete the turbine and learns about the importance of mechanical overspeed protection, blade balancing & maintenance.
  • Testing; the group connects the turbine to their electrical system, watch it spin and charge some devices!

Please note; although you are welcome to keep and reuse the blades that you make on the day, due to the cost of the other provided components the instructor needs to reclaim the rest of the turbine at the end of the day for other future workshops. However, during the day you will learn about building and erecting wind turbines, so you will be left with a set of working turbine blades, and all the theory to get you kick started on making your own wind turbine.

new Gleaning coordinator for the West of England

We have revived the following email:

Hello,

I’m the new Gleaning coordinator for the West of England, and I was hoping you could help me!

The Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers, farmers and food redistribution charities to salvage the thousands of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables that are wasted on farms every year across the UK and Europe, and direct this fresh, nutritious food to people in need. We also research and raise awareness about the scale of food waste on UK farms, and campaign for an end to this scandalous waste!

I need to get word of what I’m doing out to farms, specifically Orchards, so that they know to get in touch if they have any surplus. Can you help, either by word of mouth and letting any orchards in your area know about what I’m doing? Also, if you could tell me about any orchards you know of that would be really helpful, obviously any contact details would be even more helpful. Here’s some info for farmers.

Find out more and sign up to be involved as a volunteer here

Cheers and chickpeas!

Heather Mack
West of England Gleaning Coordinator
http://feedbackglobal.org/
westengland@feedbackglobal.org
Please note I work part-time, please be patient waiting for a reply.

Build a Wind Turbine

An update from Duncan:

This is a photo of the stator we’re making for our 1.8 metre diameter Hugh Piggott wind turbine. I thought you might like to see it.

For those of you who don’t know what this object is and does

Two weeks ago we laid the coils of wire we’d made in the plywood mould (also made by us) and poured in polyester resin to make the rigid stator casting. On Tuesday we opened our stator mould, removed the casting and got our first look at what we’d made.

The stator contains six coils of wire, now sealed in a disc shaped casting of now set and solid polyester resin. The stator is bolted to the turbine frame. A rotor disc mounted on ball bearings holds eight magnets and spins over the six coils. The movement of the magnetic field from the magnets past the coils generates electricity.

Long flexible wire “tails” lead out of the casting and connect the coils together to generate three-phase electricity.

The magnet rotor is bolted to, and thus turned by, the wind turbine blades.

Members of Transition Worcester are planning to build a wind turbine. They will be using a tried and tested design produced by Mr Hugh Piggott who has designed homemade wind turbines for people in many countries.

They would welcome anyone  who would like to join them in making this turbine.

Select here to download the poster.

If you would like to be involved or to know more about renewable energy please
contact us or the Transition Worcester energy group transitionworcester@gmail.com.

Sustaining the Energy

We will be holding our Annual Network Meeting on 19th June 7:45pm at the Cube,  Select here for a map.

The main talk will be by Jon Halle, who is the co-founder of Sharenergy Co-operative, which has helped over 100 community energy groups across the UK to get up and running – from solar in Somerset to wind on Shetland. The talk is Sustaining the Energy, How to keep building community renewable energy in turbulent times.

There will also be a talk on the latest Zero Carbon Britain report by Robin Coates.

Select here to download the PDF of the poster.

For the formal part of the Annual Network Meeting here are:

Making it Happen

This is copy of an article by Robin Coates, first written for Malvern Hillistic.

zcb cat IV

In February the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) launched their third Zero Carbon Britain (ZCB) Research based publication called Making it Happen. More about this below but let us first see how the story has unfolded.

The first CAT ZCB publication in 2013 Rethinking the Future, demonstrated that we could achieve a Zero Carbon Britain with minimum changes to modern living standards. We could do this using current proven technology for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency measures, rethinking our transport and changes to our diet and land use. They showed it was possible to this by 2030. It was a very comprehensive and well evidenced report full of helpful explanatory graphics. Transition Malvern Hills gave presentations in Malvern.

The main criticism levelled at the report was that their research did not take into account how intermittent renewable energy was, in the UK the wind doesn’t always blow and sun shine.

This prompted CAT to do an extraordinary research project, they modelled the weather records in hourly slots over a 10 year period and the power demand figures for all forms of energy use in the UK for the same period. This resulted in the publication of second report giving both the levels of intermittence and the energy storage that would be necessary to meet demand in the periods of low or almost no generation as well as the most effective ways to create the storage. Again this was well received and there has been a considerable increase in storage solutions since then with large schemes being built and domestic scale products now being sold.

CAT soon realised that demonstrating the solutions that would enable us to get to ZCB wasn’t enough. The reports and presentations were helpful but the change wasn’t happening fast enough or in an integrated way. They then started a multi-disciplined research project on the barriers that were stopping what needed to happen. This brings us to the third report just published, Zero Carbon Britain – Making it Happen.

Once again very well researched with great examples of how the barriers can be reduced or dissolved they go into detail on Politics and Governance, Economics and Finance, Psychology and Behaviour, Overcoming Carbon Lock-in, Changing Worldviews and Values and Communications.

The comprehensiveness of the interlocking issues explored demonstrates very effectively how we are so often trapped in a world view with its supporting structures and social norms that get us to believe the very opposite of what is in both our and societies best interest and often carry on doing things that we know in our hearts are not sustainable.

There are excellent summaries of psychological research, here is a helpful paragraph on our values and how we perceive others, there is more on how those negative perceptions are reinforced.

“Perceptions and misperceptions are fundamental to believing in the possibility of change. As described elsewhere in this report, research by the Common Cause foundation revealed how, regardless of age, geography, wealth and voting behaviour – 74% of people attach more importance to compassionate values – embracing justice, tolerance and responsibility – than to wealth, image and ambition – so called selfish values. But 77% of us think others hold dominantly selfish values. The contradiction might partly explain the lack of political enthusiasm for more shared, common, collective solutions to our problems. A shift in attitude and faith in each other matters far more than any post-facto, obsessively detailed platform of minutely priced policies.

This links to an excellent section on the underlying assumptions (about human nature) embedded in the Neo-Liberalism worldview that is currently so dominant and has led to so many of our current problems both environmental and social.

A very simple example linking politics and carbon lock-in is we are told that renewable energy subsidies are the problem leading to us having higher energy bills. We are not told about the massive tax breaks given to Fossil Fuel companies which are subsidies by another name but paid for by us indirectly. An IMF quote used in ZCB Making it happen illustrates this.

“Low carbon alternative technologies, infrastructure, services and behaviours are often more expensive than fossil fuel-based alternatives. This is because there is not a level playing field: there is a greater level of government subsidy given to the fossil fuel industry, and the societal or ‘external’ costs of the industry (for example, the health costs of air pollution) are not currently accounted for in their pricing (IMF, 2015).”

A recent example:

“Theresa May gives a £10,000-plus bribe if you live near a frack site. If you live near a wind farm, nothing …The asymmetry is amazing.” Barry Gardiner, Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary (Mason, 2016)

There is so much informative reading in this report and you can download a short summary or the full report at no cost from www.cat.org.uk we hope it stimulates you think and act with us on this major challenge of our times.

We leave you with a thought provoking quote

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs (29:18)

A Million Views for the the Repair Cafe

Malvern Hills Repair Cafe have been told by the BBC that the video they produced following their visit to the repair cafe  a couple of sessions ago has now been viewed on their website ONE MILLION TIMES !!!

Just in case you haven’t seen the video, and want to increase the viewer numbers even further, here is a link to it …

http://www.bbc.co.uk/…/uk-england-hereford-worcester-387178…

Our congratulations to the repair cafe, showing we can make a difference.

A new Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future

This article is from notes taken by Dinah Sage at the talk given to Rail and Bus for Herefordshire on 23 November 2016 by Professor John Whitelegg of the Stockholm Environment Institute.

Image by Laurent Mercat, Vélivert Intermodalité STAS, CC BY-SA 3.0

Professor Whitelegg has worked with community groups worldwide, saving pedal rickshaws in Calcutta, working with groups in Britain, saving the Settle -Carlisle Railway. He believes that railways should be accountable with a public service remit.

He is questioning why Deutsche Bahn’s excellent service and use of renewable energy has not be transferred to its subsidiary Arriva Wales. He is hoping his letter will be published in the German newspapers.

Good things

Freiburg – a German city similar to Hereford – has totally turned its transport system around in the last forty years. Only a quarter of journeys are by car. The transport system is integrated, with high quality bus, train and bike routes. When a large housing estate was planned, it was designed to be car-free, and the tramline to the city was put in first. Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands have similar systems. There is not one in Britain.

In Switzerland hourly buses connect Basle railway station to small towns and villages.

Tourists staying in the Black Forest are given a free transport pass. It gives a psychological boost to using public transport. The area has similarities to Shrewsbury to Hereford, and is booming.

Why is transport so bad in the UK?

The problem lies deeper than the integration of buses and trains

Decision makers on transport do not relate the problems to bigger issues.

Our transport system is regressive – it seems designed to take from the poor and give to the rich.

Highspeed rail, airports and roads do not address the problems faced by old people, those on limited incomes or children.

The funds allocated for an M4 relief road round Cardiff, supposedly to ease congestion and boost economic growth, could be used to create a South Wales Metro on the German model.

The connection between transport and social exclusion was examined in a Cabinet Office report in 2003. But the political system rejects evidence. The Implications for health and climate change are ignored.

Good public transport maximises economic activity.

If you want a city to be cheaper to run – have good public transport. High car use is very expensive. The International Organisation for Public Transport shows that a public transport system can be cheaper.

Opinion surveys are generally ignored by politicians. When asked if they would prefer more road and no buses, most people would say no.

The possibility that the social costs of looking after old people and children could be lower, and the population could be healthier are ignored.

Bad News

Climate change is worsening. According to the Stockholm Environment Institute, homes and manufacturing are becoming more efficient, but transport is out of control.

Public Health officials do not understand the impact of transport on health – contributing to obesity, cancer and lung disease.

There is no mention of an air quality action plan on the Herefordshire county website – even though it is a legal requirement. Particle emissions are not monitored.

The air quality in Hereford falls below acceptable levels. Councillors know this, but the leaders decided to build more roads – making the problem worse.

Road congestion near Hereford Cathedral is bad for road safety, and health – but so far no-one has been killed, so no attention is paid.

What do we do?

If there is a consultation or survey, or at the school gate, talk, argue, lobby to show that the situation can be improved.

The idea of change is thought ridiculous but ridiculous debates have happened before. Providing access to clean water and sewers for all was once considered too expensive. The society for the Protection of Slavery made a case for slavery being necessary to the economy.

We are really backward. 100,000 vehicle in London contribute to 9000 deaths a year.

  • Need to argue convincingly that this is wrong
  • Public health implications are appalling
  • Fiscal accountability would provide a different way of assessing transport costs
  • Cities become cheaper to run.
  • Helps to mitigate climate change
  • Transport needs to be seen in a wider context.

Can we raise the level of discussion?

  • Convince government to ensure fiscal policy aids investment in better transport systems.
    • This would help the environment
    • And mitigate climate change
  • Join forces, eg groups campaigning for speed reduction join groups trying to improve bus services, railways, provision for cyclists and walkers. As in Sweden’s’ Living Streets and Vision Zero (no more road deaths).
  • Use facts and figures – see CAT’s (Centre for Alternative Technology) Zero Carbon Britain and the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Vision Zero.

Good News

There are numerous examples of chipping away at negativity such as Energiewende in Germany. Deutsche Bahn has joined in – all its trains will run on renewable energy (except Arriva).

There are many groups in Europe arguing for the transformation of transport.

The New York transport commissioner has made several squares car-free.

Local groups with an interest in transport are working hard – campaigns for buses, railway groups, those interested in roads, cycling and accessibility of services.