Greener gifting

Green gifts?

Green gifts?

I love Christmas. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, putting Christmas decorations up, and making my great grandmother’s Christmas puddings. But I find Christmas stressful too. It’s difficult finding gifts I know my family will love, but which don’t make me feel bad because I know they have high carbon emissions. Continue reading

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An inspiring week

CCF waits for the climate march to begin

CCF waits for the climate march to begin

I am writing this at the start of the Climate Change talks in Paris after an inspiring week that has left me hopeful that we can overcome the huge challenges we are facing from climate change.

On Monday night I joined over 80 other interested people from Cambridge Continue reading

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Paris here we come

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Anne & I will be in Paris from Thu 3 to Tue 8 December, attending some of the numerous fringe events. We hope to learn and share ideas with people and organisations like CCF from all over the world. Continue reading

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Cambridge Carbon Message

CCMessage signing (641x360) .jpgTom Bragg, CCF Chair

Signing the Cambridge Climate Message, on behalf of CCF, felt like connecting with the bigger picture: the Paris Climate talks, the coming low-carbon Cambridge and the people & organisations working for it.

The message is:
“We, the people and organisations of the city of Cambridge in the UK, support local and global efforts to take action on climate change. We recognise the serious threat which climate change poses to everyone everywhere. Continue reading

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Climate Change – What Can You Do?

Veggies

John Turner, CCF Volunteer

I recently read a fascinating article from The Guardian who asked ten green leaders at the forefront of the climate movement for simple steps ordinary people can take in the fight against climate change. The answers ranged from political activism and support for government initiatives through to lifestyle changes you can make in your daily life. Continue reading

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Why do pumpkins need rescuing? The Cambridge #PumpkinRescue Festival

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Bev Sedley, Chair of Cambridge Sustainable Food

Everyone loves pumpkins and at this time of year pumpkins are the belle of the ball – Halloween is the UK’s second largest retail festival after Christmas –so why on earth do pumpkins need rescuing? Continue reading

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Hosting Open Eco Homes

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Anne shows off her DIY demountable window awnings

Anne Miller
(Home F, in Open Eco Homes 2015)

When Tom suggested last year that we should be an Open Eco Home, I was a little nervous: Did we have enough to show people? Would they criticise my standards of housework? Looking back, those fears seem rather irrational, but they were real at the time, and I suspect quite common amongst other Open Eco Home hosts.

We’ve steadily been improving our home (an Edwardian terrace) since 2001, and this has had a substantial impact on our energy use. Our gas consumption is a quarter of what it was Continue reading

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I am a newcomer to politics…

Oscar Gillespie at the WI and CCF stall at the Strawberry Fair 2015

Oscar Gillespie

I am a newcomer to politics – I have been involved with CCF and Transition for a few years but it felt to me that things were not happening quickly enough. The environmental crisis is building and building, and despite “the sixth great extinction” being caused by human actions, we seem to stay in the same destructive, unimaginative rut.

I decided that the best way to make a difference was to volunteer for the Green Party, and I went to a social in 2013 with the idea of giving out leaflets. I agreed to stand as a candidate, and in 2014 I stood in Abbey Ward, coming second. I did my share of deliveries as well, giving out the Green World magazine in Castle Ward, but it was unsatisfying to visit all these houses and not to have a discussion with the inhabitants. Market Ward was our best result in 2014, and when the time came to throw our hats in the ring for the contest, I made a bid for Market Ward. I live just outside the ward, but spend a lot of time there, being a member of the Buddhist Centre community.

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Nearly at the end!

WWII Rationing Challenge: Week 4

Ann Mitchell

 Rationing Feast

The last week of rationing has more challenging, as we have restricted ourselves to what is available locally and seasonally as well sticking to rationed items. So no bananas, oranges, lemons, olives this week. Lunches have been salads with some bread and Marmite or chutney, evening meals have been easy because the range of vegetables and soft fruit available has given us lots of variety, but breakfast! Oh dear! Porridge oats (uncooked because I do not like porridge) with just a spoonful of jam or cooked soft fruit and milk are decidedly soggy and unappetising, and I reverted to wholemeal toast with a scraping of marmalade for two days.

Continue reading

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Joining the WWII Rationing Challenge

Ian

Having been away for the start of the challenge, coming back to England on the ferry from Hoek in Holland, I decided to partake of a substantial early supper on the ship.  Unfortunately it was dreadful and mostly inedible, so I started the austerity a little earlier than planned.

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Into week 3

Woolton pie

Ann Mitchell

WWII Rationing Challenge: Week 3

Our household is back to normal this week, and Ian has done most of the cooking. We tried Woolton Pie, which can either be mashed potato or pastry top. We used a recipe where the pastry is made with wholemeal flour, vegetable suet and mashed potato, with mixed root vegetables making the filling. It was delicious and very filling. Here is the link for the recipe.

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One week finished!

Mince slice with seasonal vegetables

Mince slice with seasonal vegetables

Ann Mitchell

WWII Rationing Challenge: Week 1 Day 7, Sunday 7th June

I can’t believe how fast the first week has gone. Time to take stock and plan for the next week.

Other than two rashers of bacon, I ate no meat until Friday, when I went to my local butcher and asked what I could get for £2.20  (which is what 1s 2d is worth just about these days). I came away with a small handful of mince and two sausages. So I consulted the internet and came up with two ideas. Continue reading

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Getting started

carrot roll

Carrot Roll, gravy and fresh seasonal vegetables

Ann Mitchell

WWII Rationing Challenge: Week 1 Day 3, Wednesday 3rd June

I am very excited about taking part in the World War 2 food rationing challenge, because I think it will give me the opportunity and the incentive to make changes to my diet that will benefit my health, and also reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the food I eat. It is also rather daunting, as, like most people, I am used to being able to choose what I eat from an incredible range of different foods.

So on Monday morning I measured out my rations Continue reading

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Today is World Biodiversity Day

Polar bears snuggling

Polar bears in the snow

Elisabet Zottl

From ecosystem level to species, down to genes and sequences, everything in nature is interconnected like a woven web. A fruit needs pollination, the soil needs bacteria to degrade plants, fish need plankton etc. Biodiversity underlies all ecosystem services such as water purification, disease regulation and fuel provisioning too.

This day is all about raising awareness of biodiversity. But how is biodiversity linked to Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Climate Change? Continue reading

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Post Election Blues?

'Time to Act' 2015

‘Time to Act’ 2015

Anne Miller

We now know that rather than the coalition everyone was expecting, we will have a Conservative led government for a second parliamentary term. We’ll also have a new MP for Cambridge in Daniel Zeichner (Labour), who beat Julian Huppert  (LibDem) by just 599 votes.

Some may be disappointed by this, others will be relieved, but whatever your political leanings, some things transcend politics, Continue reading

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