Shopping without Plastic Bags?

This is written by Andrew Jameson, initially for the Quaker newsletter.

David Attenborough’s television series The Blue Planet has had great success recently in drawing attention to the menace of waste plastic in our rivers and seas. The problem is that our brilliant scientists have invented an extremely useful INERT material which nature is unable to recycle by the usual natural processes. The actual offending items range from the extremes of microbeads which are added to e.g. toothpaste and skin products to give a “scrub” action, to the millions of “free” supermarket bags we used to see blowing across fields and hanging off trees.

What can we do to lessen our use of, and dependence on, plastics? Here are a few modest proposals.

  1. Natural Choice in Barnards Green, Malvern (used to be Hunts Greengrocers) is a traditional family business, vegetables and fruit are all in “loose” displays, with different sized paper bags available. Also stocked: Seville oranges, Yorkshire pink rhubarb, local ice creams, dairy products, Teme Valley sausages and more. Home delivery free in Malvern. 01684 567467.
  2. The Cheese Board (opposite Natural Choice) has local English wines and ciders as well as cheese and cooked meats. I recommend the Hereford Hop cheese. Cheese is cut to order and wrapped in paper. 01684 891900.
  3. Green Link, 11 Graham Road, Malvern has large containers of Ecover washing up and laundry liquid etc, bring along your Ecover bottle and refill it. Melanie and I have used these for years with no ill effects! Ecover detergents are less harsh than other products. 01684 576266.
  4. Cotteswold Dairy, based in Tewkesbury and the Welsh Marches, is an independent family owned firm. Cotteswold offer a traditional doorstep delivery in Malvern using glass bottles which are collected and re-used daily. http://www.cotteswold-dairy.co.uk/. 01684 298959.

Single use Plastic

Plastic jellyfish out of waste (TK)

Our echo chat on 7th March is planning to continue discing 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

Best in glass – can the return of the milkround help squash our plastic problem?

Malvern seed and plant swap

The Malvern seed and plant swap will take place in the  Lyttleton rooms, Saturday April 14, 2018 10.00am – 3.00pm

A chance for you to start growing / diversify what you grow / share excess seeds / find new plants / meet like-minded people / contribute to a good cause.

  • Come and find seeds and plants for garden, patio, or pot.
  • Give your divided plants, excess cuttings and seedlings a new home and find something different for yourself.
  • Bring surplus seeds (in date and divided into small quantities) and swap; we have a variety of self saved 2017 seeds, really interesting new varieties from Tamar Organics and flower / veg offerings from Thompson & Morgan and Sarah Raven.
  • Donate unwanted / broken manual tools, sewing machines, good garden sundries.
  • Have some tools sharpened (noon-3pm)
  • Munch a home-made savoury muffin or cake and have a drink while browsing.

Proceeds to Tools for Self Reliance – tools for sale on the day.

Can you help on the day or offer cakes / savouries? if  so contact: Caroll Murphy caroll.a.murphy@gmail.com or  MaggieJo St John mjstj@me.com

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 March 2018

    Topic: Our campaign to reduce plastics.

  • 11:00 on Wednesday, 11 April 2018

    Topic: Our campaign to reduce plastics.

Community Resilience

This is copy of an article by Robin Coates, first written for Malvern Hillistic in September 2017.

Transition Malvern Hills & Malvern Youth & Community Trust – Community Resilience.

When the Transition Towns initiative was set up it was recognised that helping individuals reduce their Carbon Footprint needed to go hand in hand with supporting the development of community resilience. As this would assist individuals and communities feel more able to face the challenges ahead.

Sadly we now regularly see extreme weather events from around the world on the news and of course more each year as global warming increases. We can see how devastated communities can be. Also there are many examples of how communities get together to create enhanced conditions and possibilities in times of need but not devastating crisis.

In this article I want to talk about what felt to some of us a local crisis and has been turned into being a wonderful local resource, doing great things daily. It is a story of great collaborative effort by Malvern residents committed to supporting the Community.

In 2012 Transition Malvern Hills heard of Worcestershire County Council’s plan to demolish most of the Youth Centre on Albert Rd North and it was decided to join the group that was emerging to support the campaign to save the building as a Youth and Community Centre. After much sweat and tears by all the campaign team our efforts succeeded in WCC leasing the building to the organisation we helped to set up, the Malvern Youth and Community Trust. Whilst the lease didn’t require us to pay a rent it didn’t come with any support and we are responsible for all the costs (running, maintaining and developing what was a very dilapidated building). This meant the building had to be used extensively by the community to generate sufficient funds to at least pay the running and minor maintenance costs (approx. £75,000 per annum). In addition there would need to be a major effort submitting grant applications to charities and potential donors for all the repairs and development of the building and projects.

The centre’s new name was the Malvern Cube and we have recently had our 5th birthday.

What a vibrant place it is serving over 3,000 residents a month. Where else in Malvern can you see/partake in the variety of activities and support groups on offer and go to a café that has all ages and all abilities sharing the space.

Whilst many residents might just come for their Bridge Group, French Lesson, a favourite band or wellbeing group many will notice the enormous variety of offers and people using the Cube. When we encounter difference in a relaxed and friendly environment it helps us break down our stereotypes and reduce any tendencies we have to isolate ourselves. This together with joining, engaging, learning with others and supporting one another are a key part of creating resilient communities. Unless we have the meeting spaces where we “bump in” to difference rather than stay in our same grouping this doesn’t happen. (To get a snapshot of what goes on see the calendar of events on www.malverncube.com).

The Malvern Cube is designed to be such a space with Jon the welcoming manager, a café, 7 different sizes of meeting rooms and a building slowly developing and improving. The Volunteer Trustees group and all the volunteers, so essential to making the place work are very proud of what we have created, for and with the Community, which of course we are all a part of.

Have you visited lately, this August and September after lots of grant applications we were able to resurface the Basketball court/car park, improve the disability access to the rear Theatre entrance with an automatic door, lay new flooring and decoration to the entrance lobbies, bring the Theatre floor it back to its former glory and install energy efficient windows to the back stage rooms and toilets.

Over the 5 years we have spent over £250,000 improving the building. The grant giving organisations and local businesses who have supported us are listed on our website.

In line with Transition Malvern Hills energy reduction aims we have dramatically improved the energy efficiency of the building replacing one of the boilers and heating systems, insulated the wall and installed new windows. The Co-op we created (Malvern Community Energy Co-op) enabled 60 local residents to raise the £40,000 needed to install 120 PV panels on the roof. They generate the same amount electricity that the Cube uses altogether (but because they only generate in daylight hours this provides half the Cube’s consumption and balancing the import and export with the grid).

We mustn’t forget to mention the lovely garden with the community vegetables in their raised beds, the Quaker Peace garden, the Connect learning disability beds and the new Pizza oven. All helping to remind us of our connection with Nature, the wider community of life.

If you would like to find out more so you can use/benefit from the Malvern Cube or offer help as donations or volunteering contact www.malverncube.com or Jon White  manager@malverncube.com, also transitionmalvernhills.org.uk/wp/events/ Robin Coates robin@robincoates.com

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: