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40% of UK carbon emissions come from households. Get active - 10 things you can do now that will make a difference.

  • Make sure lights are switched off and doors are closed in rooms that are not being used.
  • Put on an extra jumper and turn your heating thermostat down by 2 degrees.
  • Have a ‘no car day’ once a week.
  • Talk about climate change with family, friends and work colleagues.  Share your thoughts and ideas.
  • Create a wildlife friendly garden, encourage bees, birds and other wildlife. Don’t use pesticides or herbicides, look for eco friendly alternatives.
  • Support local wildlife trusts/groups.
  • Think twice before buying clothes or goods - do you really need them?  Malvern Repair Cafe can repair most things for a donation. 
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle everything where possible.  Request non plastic packaging on your online purchases. Malvern and Worcester have a shop to refill your household cleaners, soaps and dried foods, bring your own containers.
  • Buy local foods wherever possible. We are lucky to have Greenlink in Great Malvern and Natural Choice in Barnards Green that sell local produce. Cut down on your meat eating.
  • Be positive, you can make a difference.

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 normally 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. 

The next echo chat has not yet been planned

Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) will consider a motion to declare a climate emergency on 23th July. 

The meeting will take place at the Worcestershire County Council chambers due to renovation on the local MHDC chambers.

Please come along to support this motion. 

You can join us at the WCC chambers at 7:00pm, or you can take the 5:09pm train with us from Great Malvern to Worcester Foregate Street, where XR will hold a march through Worcester city centre to the WCC offices on Spetchley Road, Worcester WR5 2NP. It is about a 2 mile walk. Bring banners.

On 11th February we are holding a film night at Malvern Cube, starting at 7:45pm.

The main feature will be "What now? Next steps on climate change" A lecture by Christiana Figueres. Christiana Figueres is a Costa Rican citizen and was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010-2016.

The supporting feature will be the classic "the Story Of Stuff"

All Welcome, entry is free but donations will be welcome

Links to the films we intended to show

We have updated our display at the Malvern Tourist Information Centre. We are now back to our roots with a display based on the theme:

Climate Breakdown now is the TIME TO ACT

The poster in the from is a from Clean Slate The journal of Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). CAT is also the home of Zero Carbon Britain.

The wind turbine is kindley loaded by Mike of Green Link

Below are the message we are displaying in the window

Here are the links from the messages

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a new report SR15

If the global temperature rises by 1.5°C, humans will face unprecedented climate-related risks and weather events.  Currently we are on track for a 3 degrees or more of warming if we do not change course.

It’s the final call; the most extensive warning thus far on the risks of rising global temperatures.

Zero Carbon Britain the flagship research project from the Centre for Alternative Technology, has produced a report  Raising Ambition.

Why is this important? The plastic pollution highlighted by the Blue Planet TV Program is plastic that was not recycled or incinerated or put in landfill. If it had been it would not be in the oceans. It’s litter. The same applies to litter in Britain. I believe that the only solution it to make sure that packaging is fully biodegradable. But that leads to problem of what to we mean by biodegradable. There is a lot of Greenwash in this area.

Let’s start with a definition.

Biodegradable: capable of being broken down especially into innocuous products by the action of living things such as microorganisms[1]

The problem is that capable does not mean it will breakdown. To quote Jacqueline McGlade, chief scientist at the UN Environment Programme. “It’s well-intentioned but wrong. A lot of plastics labelled biodegradable, like shopping bags, will only break down in temperatures of 50C and that is not the ocean. They are also not buoyant, so they’re going to sink, so they’re not going to be exposed to UV and break down”[2]

If they need to get to 50oC that will also not happen in the British countryside, not even this Year.

Is compostable an alternative term? Again, this may only work at temperatures above ambient. So, I think compostable can be as misleading as biodegradable.

So, what is the alternative. The best solution is to eliminate single use packaging. But this is utopian. So what alternatives are there.

For some uses paper bags are a good solution. Where paper bags do not work there are alternatives which claim to work but the question I ask is do they breakdown in the environment be that the ocean or the countryside, or even the city.   These alternatives include cellophane and “plastic” made from corn or potato starch.

Searching the web finds lots of products but are they really the solution. I do not know. The term “Home Compostable” look promising but I fear it could become greenwash.

Greenpeace have a useful video here on plastic packaging.

For the more technically minded one informative link is The truth about bioplastics by Renee Cho, Earth Institute, Columbia University  from Phys.org

Ian Caldwell