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Manchester based Carbon Co-op is an energy services and advocacy co-operative that helps people and communities to make the radical reductions in home carbon emissions necessary to avoid runaway climate change.

They have held a series of webinars on retrofitting homes to reduce their carbon footprint. They have now released records of the webinars here. I would recommend the one on "People Powered Retrofit – a neighbourhood model for new retrofit markets"

Here are the links that were shared in chat during the eco-chat meeting on 4th August 2020:

Carbon Co-op's "People Powered Retrofit – a neighbourhood model for new retrofit markets": https://carbon.coop/carbon-co-op-webinar-programme/#ppr-neighbourhood-markets

Cat's Whole House Eco-Retrofit: https://www.cat.org.uk/info-resources/free-information-service/eco-renovation/eco-retrofit/

Government survey on decarbonising transport: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WF1I3C/

Worcestershire County Councils Local Transport Plan LTP4 http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/downloads/download/1198/local_transport_plan

Cycle Rack Audit: https://cyclemalvern.wordpress.com/resources/

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.

Due to the Virus Crisis these meeting are now being held online using Zoom. For information on how to use Zoom see here.

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

The next echo chat has not yet been planned

The bike is a Emotion Easy, Neo City. It is a good sturdy bike. The owner lived in West Malvern and it handled all of Malvern's hills well. The bike has a new console fitted and two battery chargers are included. But the bike itself needs some work, the wheel rims have gone, so it needs new wheels and a new chain. The battery has about half it's life left, so hopefully there's another year or two life in it yet. The bike is being offered on the basis of 'spares or repairs'.

If you are interested please fill in your email below and we will pass it on to the owner.

Aura Power is proposing a solar farm on land to north of Broad Lane, near Bishampton, Worcestershire. The proposed location falls within the district of Wychavon, and the parish of Bishampton. The solar farm will generate enough electricity to power 11,650 homes, thereby saving 14,300 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.

As well as generating renewable energy, the proposals also include measures to improve biodiversity and ecology at the site, sheep grazing to manage the land, and a community benefit fund to be spent on local educational, social and environmental projects. Aura is particularly keen to find out from local people what projects might benefit from the funding.

They are having a online public consultation webinar and Q&A session on Tuesday 28th July 6pm

See https://www.aurapower.co.uk/bishampton-solar-farm/ for more information.

On 30 June we are coming together for a virtual lobby, inviting you, and thousands of others to ask MPs to put people, climate and nature at the heart of our nation’s recovery. 

The UK is at a turning point. As we build back from the current health crisis, we have the opportunity to rebuild a resilient economy that benefits everyone in society and tackle climate change and nature’s decline, creating jobs and protecting the most vulnerable in the UK and around the world. Or we can let the moment for change pass us by, go back to old ways and wait for new crises to hit. 

Using our voices to call for action is more important than ever. Have a virtual cup of tea with your MP on Tuesday 30 June and tell them that #TheTimeIsNow to put a healthy, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild from the Coronavirus crisis. 

This is organized by The Climate coalition. See https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/virtual-lobby for more information.

Or

Recycling is not a magic bullet

For a long time, the 4Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle have been used to get us to “go green”.

But there are at least 7Rs:

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Repurpose, Rot and Recycle.


Refuse:

Just say No. The best way to reduce the environmental impact of an object is not to create it in the first place. If we do not buy it then they will not produce it.

Reduce:

Buy only want you need. If you are not going to use it do not get it.

Reuse:

Were possible always get stuff that can be reused and reuse it.

Repair:

It an item is repaired then we do not need to get a new one and with do not have to dispose of it. A win win. The repair café movement is important.

Repurpose:

If we no longer need an item for its original purpose that can it be used in some other way and given a new lease of life. The in phrase for this is upcycle but that does not start with an R.

Rot:

When an item gets to the end of its life. If it is properly biodegradable, then we can give it to nature to recycle it. The emphasis is on properly biodegradable. See my earlier article “Is plastic ever really biodegradable?”.

There are two good ways to rot things, first as compost and the other is via biodigesters. Biodigesters have the advantage they produce carbon enteral energy. So if you have the choice, it’s probably better to send to a biodigester.

A not so good way to use Rot as a way of disposal is just to give it to nature to let it handle your waste.  If this is just throwing an apple core away during a walk this is probably OK.  But normally this is littering. But if the item littered is properly biodegradable then is will be less of problem as nature will eventually take care of it.

If you have the choice should you rot or recycle? This choice only applies, I think, to paper and cardboard. If it is good quality, then I think it will best recycled. But, if poor quality or contaminated with food then rot. 

Recycle:

The last on the list


Recycling is not a magic bullet

Many people think if they recycle then they have done their bit for saving the planet. But doing some recycling will not on its own stop the climate crisis. The climate crisis is caused by us putting green houses gases into the atmosphere. In general recycling does reduce the carbon footprint but not by much. There are many things you can do that will reduce your carbon footprint more than by recycling. But you should do them all. See my Climate Breakdown what I can do slides.

Recyclable is a word I hate. Making packaging recyclable will not solve the blue planet problem. The blue planet problem is a problem of littering. If all the plastic now in the oceans had been put in land fill or incinerated, it would not be in the oceans.

To put it simply:

This post is by Duncan Bell of the Transition Worcester energy group.

Draught Busting

Draughts waste energy and money by allowing warm air to escape homes and cold air to entre.

It is relatively quick and easy to stop problem draughts, compared to the large amount of energy that they waste.

Draughts are almost universally found around doors, windows, and chimneys, but not limited to these places.

Some draughts can be simply felt using a damp back of the hand, or dusting likely draughty areas with fine powder such as custard powder or corn flour, and watching to see if the powder moves from where you put it.

Some ventilation is essential for a healthy home, but most homes have many more times the level of draughtyness than is necessary.

Other draughts can only be found using more specialised equipment, contact us or Transition Worcester for help once lockdown ends.

Once you’ve found a draught, it is time to seal it.

Self adhesive draught strips can be cut with scissors and stuck directly to (ideally clean) painted or plastic surfaces. A good way to clean surfaces before sticking is to wipe them with rag dampened with meths.

Many low cost draught proofing products are available from local DIY stores or delivery from national DIY and building supply chains likes Wickes and Screwfix. Just search using the term "draught".

As well a buying products you can make some draught excluder gadgets:

  • Make your own internal under door draught excluder for free using roll of old blanket, clothes, etc.
  • Make your own Chimney Draught Excluder for free using a bundle of plastic bags, old blanket, etc.

SupaSoft

SupaSoft is an easy to handle and environmental alternative to standard nasty itchey fibreglass wool insulation.

SupaSoft is excellent for insulating lofts.

Transition Worcester energy group have used SupaSoft, and we found it effective insulation and a joy to work with, no fibreglass itchyness.

Fire safe, we took a sample of SupaSoft to the garden, poured petrol over it and lit it. The petrol burned as expected, the SupaSoft melted but didn't burn once the petrol was used up.

Conclusion, SupaSoft is less of a fire risk than the usual cardboard boxes and household junk already found in most lofts.

SupaSoft is manufactured in the UK from recycled plastic waste.

See NaturalInsulations.co.uk for more information.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling - their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few.  They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

Arundhati Roy, War Talk