Single use Plastic

Plastic jellyfish out of waste (TK)

Our echo chat on 11th April is planning to continue discusing 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

9 really good alternatives to plastic

Greenpeace

Surfers Against Sewage

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

Saving the albatross: ‘The war is against plastic and they are casualties on the frontline’

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

The Time for LED is now

The original low energy light bulbs are compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). These are four times as efficient as the incandescent light bulbs they replaced. They have several problems:

CFL
CFL

They can take time to switch on and minutes to get to full power.

Over time they get less bright, especially when just turned on. This together with, I think, over optimistic labelling of the wattage of the incandescent they replaced has made us think they are not a good as incandescent light bulbs.

They contain Mercury.

New low energy light bulb are now available, LED bulbs. LED stands for light-emitting diode. These are now available as standard bayonet (B22) lamps for about £7 in local shops and on line. LED bulbs have the following advantages over CFL lamps.

They are even more efficient the CFL, using at least 30% less power for the same brightness.

LED
LED

They are instant on. They do not need time to warm up.

The do not contain Mercury.

They should last 3 times longer than CFL lamps and 25 times that of a standard incandescent bulb. Like CFL LED may get less bright over time but at least 3 times slower than CFL.

brightness

How is the brightness of a lamp measured? In the old days when we only had incandescent light bulbs they we measured by the power(electricity) they consumed in Watts(W). This was OK when there were only one type of bulb, and for incandescent it was a good enough measure. When CFL came along they were described by the wattage of the incandescent equivalent. In my view some what optimistically. Now LEDs and other bulbs have come along and we are stopping using incandescent equivalent as this has got ridiculous, so now bulbs are described by how bright they are, this is measured in Lumen. They still also state the power in Watts they use. So the efficiency of a bulb can be measured by lumens/watts.

The standard B22 LED bulbs that are common now come in two brightnesses 450+ and 800+ lumens. These are equivalent of the old incandescent 40w and 60w, I think now pessimistically rated. I tried an 810 lumen LED light in my landing and it was too bright.

Conclusion:

I am not sure there is an argument for replacing existing CFL with LEDs ahead of when you would replace the CFL. But due to the longer life and less electricity consumed by LED bulbs, for both economic and environmental reasons we should stop buying any more CFL bulbs and buy LED bulbs. And LEDs are better bulbs.

Halogen bulbs

Above I was talking about standard bayonet bulbs, but the most inefficient in our houses these days are normally halogen bulbs. These are another form of incandescent light bulbs they are found in GU10 spot lights, normally in kitchens and bathrooms.

GU10
GU10

LED GU10 have been available for a few years and given that LED are more directional than halogen they only need about 1/8 the electricity to produce the same effective light. Some of the early LED GU10 were a bit dim. But any current LED GU10 over 400 lumen (5W) should be a good replacement for 50W incandescent. Given that LEDs last at last 10 times longer than halogen the conclusion is again only buy LED bulbs, but with halogen there may be an economic and environmental argument to replace existing bulbs with LED.

Another reason to replace all halogen with LEDs is that a lot of them are on when the electricity demand is at it’s highest, 6pm on a winter’s evening, and the reduction in peak grid demand would save building at least one new power station.

Halogen bulbs are also found in outside flood lights and these can be replaced by LEDs.

Notes on LED bulbs:

Not all LED can be used with dimmers but ones that can are available sometimes at a slight extra cost.

LED bulbs can come in different colours warm white or bright white. And if you pay more any colour you like and some even changeable by remote control.

This article first appeared in our March to June 2015 Newsletter and on iccaldwell.com

Resource Efficient Worcestershire

A message just in from County Hall

I work in the sustainability and economic sections of Worcestershire County Council and thought that this information may be of interest to Transition Malvern and to help raise awareness of the Resource Efficient Worcestershire programme. Below is a little more about the programme:

Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce’s programme of support called Resource Efficient Worcestershire is for small and medium size businesses (in Worcestershire), to help become more efficient and reduce the costs and usage of energy, water, waste and raw materials (and improve environmentally too!). The Resource Efficient Worcestershire programme offers free assessments (worth two days of support) which could lead to grants to small medium sized enterprises. Firstly we offer a free assessment and following this a business can apply for a grant of up to £6,750 (45% of project costs) towards any of the recommended improvements. The grants can be used for activities such as more efficient lighting, heating, processes and equipment to reduce waste, water management, more in depth feasibility studies, plus more…

It’s aimed at SME’s who are business to business, particularly manufacturing. Unfortunately retail or agricultural businesses do not qualify, due to the criteria set out be our funders at the European Regional Development Fund. So far we have 25 businesses registered on the programme at various stages of completion and there has been a diverse range of advice, some examples have included looking at why 30% of one manufacturing company’s energy costs (and over 9K) are being consumed during weekends and evenings, when there was no operational activity taking place – Improved controls of furnace temperatures will drastically reduce this. Another business is being helped to find an outlet for recycling its vast amount of plastic waste and the assessments have also identified that a water leak has been costing a business an additional 2k over several months, which can be repaired very easily. Another business is exploring using waste heat from an industrial oven to heat it’s warehouse. We have just awarded our first grant to a business seeking to improve its lighting.

I hope this information is useful to you and more details can be found at www.business-central.co.uk or by calling (01905 822833).

MALVERN HILLS REPAIR CAFE

The third Repair Cafe was held on Saturday 16 March at the Malvern Cube and was the most successful to date!   A total of 60 visitors registered and the team of  repairers successfully fixed almost 70 broken or damaged items.   These ranged from walking sticks to a crystal candlestick to a DVD player.   Tool and knife sharpening were also very popular.  

Many thanks to our team of committed and loyal repairers and to members of the general public who are continuing to support the Malvern Hills Repair Cafe. 

Malvern Hills Repair Café has a March date

DO YOU WANT TO SAVE SOME MONEY? THEN
DON’T BUY NEW BEFORE YOU VISIT THE REPAIR CAFE!

Bring your damaged furniture, electrical and electronic appliances and broken household items to the Malvern Hills Repair Café and have them repaired or get the repair advice you need. FREE.

Toy and garment repairs and blade sharpening also available

The Repair Café is where people meet in a friendly café environment to repair things together and receive FREE expert advice and assistance
Come and see for yourself!

Voluntary donations welcome.

Saturday 16th March  10am to 2pm
Malvern Cube, Albert Road North, Malvern, WR14 2YF

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