November 2011 newsletter: Exciting new opportunities in November!

Cambridge Carbon Footprint is looking to recruit, find more information below for your chance to join our great team of staff and volunteers!

Evenings are getting dark and days rainy, so now is a good time to crawl under a blanket and read a good book. Join the CCF reading group for ideas on what to read and a lively discussion afterwards. Or face new, low-carbon cooking challenges by joining the dairy-free group for six weeks.

CCF is looking for a Volunteers and Events Organiser

Beejal Parekh has been co-ordinating CCF volunteers and organising events since September 2010, but at the end of November she’s stepping down to concentrate on her MSc studies at CAT – we’re really going to miss her enthusiasm and skill.

Now we’re recruiting a Volunteer and Events Organiser (3 days/week) to engage, organise & support CCF volunteers and arrange public events with them, etc.

Does this appeal to you, or suit someone you know? Find out more here.

CCF is looking for an Admin Intern

Emese Gengeliczki, our dedicated administrator volunteer, now has a new job at NIAB. Many thanks Emese for all your creative hard work!

“I improved my skills and learned several new ones. I’m sure that these four months have helped me to give my best at my work interview.”

Can you volunteer with us: 1½ – 2 days a week for 3-6 months?

  • Research & update our Local Resources Handbook
  • Communicate with volunteers & enquirers by email, letter & phone
  • Help arrange meetings & events, update our website… etc.

Work in a vibrant, friendly environmental charity, with expenses, training and mentoring. Applications by Tuesday 15th November, please. More details here.

Ro Randall: ‘Behaviour change: solution or diversion?’ 23 November

Wednesday 23 November, 7.30 – 9.30pm, Wesley Methodist Church, corner of Kings Street and Short Street, Cambridge


Behaviour change is currently a key government policy for dealing with climate change. In this talk Rosemary Randall will discuss the rationale for behaviour change policies, present some key criticisms of the approach and offer an alternative psychological model for engaging people in change. Find out more on our website.

Underfloor Insulation 30 November

Wednesday 30 November, 7 – 9pm, St Barnabas Rd, Cambridge

Un-insulated suspended wood floors are common in pre-1900 houses in Cambridge. They often result in ground-floor rooms that are cold, draughty and expensive to heat. They can be insulated, but there are a variety of technical and practical challenges that need to be addressed.

This event will be hosted by a family that has just undertaken this work for themselves and will include a brief presentation on risks and how to avoid them, a look at the finished product and the opportunity to examine it for yourself with a thermal imaging camera.

Numbers limited to 12 so booking essential: Tel: 01223 659962 or email the office.

Second CCF book group successfully launched! Join us!

Jane Heal recently hosted a most enjoyable discussion of Tim Jackson’s book “Prosperity without Growth”. This group welcomes new members. Next meeting: Wednesday evening January 11th to discuss Mark Lynas’s “The God Species”. (Mark Lynas is a leading (and controversial) climate change writer. Some of you may have read his “Six Degrees: our Future on a Hotter Planet” or “High Tide: How Climate Crisis is Engulfing our Planet”. If you are interested in joining this group, email Jane Heal.

6-week challenges – Dairy-Free Group

A group of us are going dairy-free for 6 weeks, starting Sunday 13th November – and so just finishing by Christmas. I’m partial to cheese and like milk in my hot drinks, but dairy products are high-carbon, like meat, because they come from animals that are usually fed cereals or occupy land that could be more effectively used feeding us directly. Also the methane that cows burp and fart is a potent greenhouse gas. The FAO estimates that dairy products account for 2.7% of the global carbon footprint.

So it’ll be good to have support and ideas from others to try going dairy-free and to find enjoyable alternatives. We plan to blog about our progress in a similar way to the recent Eating Local group.

If you’d like to join us, please contact Tom Bragg.

Carbon Conversations for Transition Cambridge

Following the very popular Transition Carbon Conversations group last January, we (Liz and Bev) are very happy to announce we are running another Transition group in Cambridge (near the station) on Thursday evenings between January and March (fortnightly, starting January 19th).

As many of you know, Carbon Conversations is a wonderful course, and this is a great opportunity to share more about sustainable living with like-minded people. Jade Cawthray, who participated in the January group, says “This course is sensational, it is the best educational experience I have ever encountered.”

If you want to find out more about Carbon Conversations, visit the website. If you are interested in this group, email Bev. We look forward to hearing from you!

FEED-In Tariff changes

Greg Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change, has announced a “consultation” on Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), the subsidies for solar electricity. Businesses that make and install solar PV expected a reduction in FITs, as their take up, and so cost, has been more than anticipated. But the proposed slash, from 43.3 to 21p/kWh, starting on 12th December, rather than April as expected, is sudden and ferocious. The “consultation” finishes on Dec 23rd, after its proposals come into force! The fledgling solar industry and its customers need steady support with gradual changes, to make and realise their plans for a green future, which included 17,000 new jobs this year. The industry is fighting the changes with its Cut Don’t Kill campaign: do have your say.

If you’re considering a solar PV installation or have started, here’s some clear information. For anyone generally interested saving home energy, Which has a good guide.

On the day of Greg Barker’s announcement, he was in Cambridge, opening SmartLIFE Low Carbon and was invited to add to a pledge tree: he pledged to “make this the greenest government ever”, which now sounds like a tired slogan.


Safe Spaces

The idea of the ‘safe space’ is crucial to psychotherapy. What relevance does it have to climate change?

Read Ro Randall’s full article at

Cambridge Zero Carbon Society – Careers Showcase for a Low Carbon Economy: Corporate 7 November

Monday 7 November, 7.30 – 9pm, Trinity Hall Lecture Theatre

The Cambridge Zero Carbon Society is holding a Careers Showcase to explore how the environmental, political, legal and economic impacts of climate change are affecting the field of work, and the opportunities and challenges the low carbon economy will present to future careers. The first event will focus on the corporate world and will host a panel of high profile speakers with a diverse range of expertise.

Hugh Parnell – Director at NW Brown Group
Jonathan Grant – Sustainability & Climate Change, PwC
Ruth Findlay Brooks – Senior Advisor at the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership

Come along to an evening of presentations, Q&A’s and networking over free food and drink, and discover how businesses are leading the green transition. For more information about the event, including profiles of our speakers, visit our website or email us.

Transition Cafe: Forest Gardening – dvd and discussion 10 November

Thursday 10 November, 7 – 9pm, CB1 Cafe, Mill Road

Come along to the café to learn more about forest gardening – whether you’re an enthusiast or just a bit curious about it…. We’ll watch Martin Crawford’s inspiring dvd ‘A Forest Garden Year’, which is based at the 15-year-old forest garden he has created; and there will be time to talk afterwards. Rosie, who’s organising the evening, says: “To me forest gardening is common sense gardening. It encompasses organic, edible, high-yield, wildlife-friendly, low-maintenance no-dig, companion gardening. As well as producing food it can meet our needs medicinally, provide fuel, fibres, dyes and please our aesthetic tastes considerably.” The cafe opens at 7.00, the dvd will start at 7.30. All welcome, free.

Climate Change Supper 16 November

Wednesday 16 November, Gather 7pm for 7.15, Aidan and Clare’s, 19 Iver Close, Cherry Hinton CB1 3JG

Have Supper with us and hear all about how climate change loans from the World Bank will force poor countries further into debt.

Cambridge WDM would like to invite members and friends of Cambridge Carbon Footprint to our Bring and Share LOAF (Local, Organic, Animal friendly and Fairtrade) Supper on Wed 16 Nov 7pm for 7.30pm. to hear from a WDM expert about campaigning to prevent poor countries incurring more debt as a result of climate change loans from the World Bank.

Come and join us to hear Kirsty Wright of WDM HQ in London who will be briefing us of Cambridge WDM, & any who care to join us, in readiness for our action the following Saturday in Cambridge Market Square in the run-up to the Durban climate talks. The thrust is likely to be this:

Around 70 per cent of all carbon emissions have been made by these rich countries in the north. Meanwhile, 80 per cent of climate change damage will be felt in the global south. Yet the UK and other rich countries are forcing poor and debt burdened countries to face the effects of climate change using loans from the World Bank — like burning your neighbour’s house down and then making them accept a loan on your terms to rebuild.

RSVP to Clare Baker.

Transition Cambridge Community Garden Day 19 November

Saturday 19 November, 2 – 5pm, Junction of Madras and Marmora Road, off Mill Road

At our next community garden day we’ll finish laying the path, improve the base under the shed, and dig over the area where we’ve been growing vegetables. We may also do some more work on the compost heap and the nature area. Everyone is welcome, cakes provided, and if you have some tools and gloves, please bring them (we have some spare too). Children are also welcome. Romsey Community Garden is a joint project with Ad-Lib and lots of local residents.

Reducing heat loss through your walls and windows 24 November

Thursday 24 November, 7.30 – 9.30pm, St Lukes Church, Victoria Road

Does your house leak heat from walls and windows? A chance to quiz the experts and discuss with householders how best to reduce heat loss and lower your bills. See Insulating your Walls and Windows for more details.

Green Enterprise Community Meeting Monday: Tony Juniper: Working towards sustainability 28 November

Monday 28 November, 7.30 – 9.30pm, Friends Meeting House

Having spent a lifetime working towards sustainability, Tony Juniper, has been described as one of top ten environmental figures of the last 30 years. Most well known as former Director of Friends of the Earth, Tony will talk about what he’s now doing and why. He will share his views on the strengths and weaknesses of alternative methods of creating a more sustainable society, whether campaigning at FoE, consulting for corporations, in politics or other sectors. We’ll have the opportunity to discuss his sense of where progress is being made, or where there are real opportunities for people interested in green-enterprise to make a difference.

Cost £5. More info here.



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