Skip to content

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

The Malvern Festival of Cycling at the Malvern Cube is back for its second year. Last year we had an amazing day which was filled with stall holds, bike fixers, circus performers, cafe workers, beer sellers and tricycle riders plus it was great to see Geraint Howell Thomas bring the Yellow Jersey home at the end of the day.

The date is set for the Malvern Festival of Cycling at Malvern Cube Sunday 28th July from 2pm until 8pm.

As well as showing the final day / ceremony of the Tour de France on the big cinema screen we plan to host an afternoon/evening of bike related activities, live music and fabulous food.

READ MORE

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)

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.

If you are reading this then you are looking at our website on our new host.  This has now completed. Our address remains transitionmalvernhills.org.uk.

Since the start of Transition Malvern Hills, John Howes has been hosting our website as part of his own hosting. John has now rationalised the web hosting and we have moved to a commercial hosting solution. We thank John for the hosting he provided.

As part of  the move we have taken the opportunity to updated the structure of the site. The main change is that we have removed working groups as Transition Malvern Hills no longer has active working groups.

This is the report given by our chair, Ginny Lee to our Annual Network Meeting 28th, September 2016.

This year has been a reflective 12 months.  The core Transition Malvern Hills group, (Myself, Robin, Ian and Dinah) has been investing the time in looking at ‘where next’ for TMH.  We started this process by organising 6 weekly workshops, to discuss potential new projects, these were led by Richard Priestley, who has a wider vision and knowledge of low energy projects that are happening on a global as well as a local scale. The idea of the workshops was to reconcile the work of TMH within the Malvern area with the initiatives that have  happened in the area.  The conclusion was that many of us are now working on existing successful initiatives not leaving the manpower to begin new projects.

Our next step was to take an overarching view of our work since the grassroots Transition movement was brought to life in Malvern in 2007.  Some of us remember those early days when we had a blank slate to work with - The question being ‘What was to be our first low carbon initiative?’ Much of it was about creating a medium to highlight the issues we will be facing with Global Warming being very much a reality that would affect us all.  Hence the creation of the TMH calendar, this was distributed throughout Malvern advertising films, talks and projects led by founder volunteers.  In 2009 our calendar had the following events:

  • Transition Roadshow
  • Pudding Club - Bring your favourite pudding to share & swap recipes
  • Transition Drinks
  • Breakfast on the Beacon
  • Colwall Car Club meeting,
  • Malvern Community Forest: Nest boxes for Spring
  • Films
  • Malvern Mulchers
  • Network Meeting
  • Gardener’s Question Time
  • Malvern Community Forest: Nature Trails and Footpaths
  • Alternative Energy Talk
  • Transition Quiz
  • Transition Tavern - Open Mic - Food & Drink to Share
  • An illustrated talk on the problems caused by light spillage from poorly designed street lighting, floodlighting and security lighting,
  • Fun activities for the young people at Malvern Youth Centre.

This stirs up a dose of nostalgia.

Ok, so where are we now?

Within Malvern we have, a Car share club, Electric bike hire scheme, Gas Lamp project to upgrade and reduce their gas use, a community centre (Malvern Cube), Raised Vegetable Bed project, Community Energy Company, Energy Tracers, Garden Share, Inner Transition, Repair Cafe, Malvern Food Alliance, Malvern Community Forest, Abundance, could there be more…

Next door in Colwall we have, Colwall Orchard Group

The work and energy that has gone into these sustainable projects is something we should all celebrate.  Transition Malvern Hills is proud to have initiated some of these ideas and have supported the others that have grown from the need to recognise that a low carbon life style will benefit us all as well as protect our environment.

TMH would like to continue as a mouthpiece to promote and inspire others to continue to develop and grow new low energy projects, also to sign post existing and new initiatives.

How will we do this in the coming year?  By continuing with our newsletter.  We need help with this…  Please let us know if this idea is something you would like to offer some of your time to help with and support.

 

Ginny Lee (Chair Transition Malvern Hills)