January 2012 newsletter: An active start for 2012 in January!

Circular Cambridge is a season of events that celebrates progressive ways to design, manufacture, access, repair and reuse the things that we want and need in our lives. 

Cambridge Carbon Footprint is starting the year 2012 with an exciting program! This winter you can, for example, learn about seasonal cooking, get new clothes in an eco-friendly fashion or combine entertainment with climate change information with Danny Chivers, just book your place quickly as these events are very popular!

Our January eco-renovation tour is now fully booked (get in touch to join the waiting list), but we have another eco-renovation event taking place in February. Find our more below!

Carbon Conversations starting in January

There are still a few places on the five Carbon Conversations groups starting this month, but they are filling up fast! Carbon Conversations is the bedrock of everything we do in CCF, so, if you haven’t done one yet, book a place now! The course is incredibly informative and helpful, and also fun!

Alpha Rd group: Wednesdays, 7.30-9.30 fortnightly, starting on 18th January 2012

Fulbourn Manor group: Meetings will take place on Thursdays fortnightly, 7.30-9.30pm, starting on January 12th 2012

Transition Cambridge group: Hills Rd, Cambridge, Thursdays 7.30-9.30pm beginning on 19th January 2012.  This group is open to anyone involved with Transition Cambridge

U3A group: Thursdays 10.00 – 12.30, beginning 19th January 2012.  This group is open to all members of the University of the Third Age.  Details here.  (NOTE: we will not be charging the usual £15 for this group, because of the U3A membership fee. There will be a small additional charge for the handbook)

Trumpington group: Tuesdays fortnightly, 7.30-9.30, beginning 31st January 2012.  This group will be meeting in The Bakehouse

New Year Resolution with a difference!

After eating up all those Christmas leftovers, now is a great time to take up a New Year challenge with a difference: six weeks eating delicious local, seasonal food! And no, it won’t all be brussels sprouts and potatoes…… Winter is the best time for soups and stews, and there are plenty of seasonal ingredients for them.  We will be blogging again about the experience on the CCF website and would love you to join us. Email Bev if you are interested.

The Work that Reconnects 7 January

Saturday 7 January, 10.30am – 5pm, The Community Room, Newnham Croft School

Anna MacIvor, Liz Serocold and Bev Sedley will be co-facilitating this day-long workshop, which introduces The Work That Reconnects, an empowerment approach developed by Joanna Macy.

Deepening our feeling of connection with life, we will open up spiritual and psychological resources needed to face and respond to global issues. Through experiential practices we will explore how to use the energy of our emotional responses, reconnect with our passion to act for life and transform concern for the world into creative engagement.

Find out more and book you place on our website. Be quick, only two more spaces left!

Cosy Cottenham 14 January

Saturday 14 January, 10am – 2pm, Cottenham Community Centre

Cambridge Carbon Footprint will be having a stall at the Cosy Cottenham, a day of energy saving themed events. The event will take place in the community centre, opposite the Co-op. Drop by if you live in Cottenham, and if you would like to volunteer at the stall please get in touch with Stephanie.

Swishing Party! 28 January

Saturday 28 January, 2.30 – 4pm, Railway station/Hills Road (details provided on booking)

Love fab new clothes but not the price tag to your wallet or the planet? Swishing parties are the answer, one of the great ideas brought to you by Futerra.

If you’ve never been to one before here’s how it works: Attendees bring nice, clean, presentable clothes that are lurking unloved in our wardrobe, and other women fall in love with them and give them a good home. We’ve all bought things in the past that we’ve never worn or have outgrown one way or another, and now’s the time to swap them for something that you’ll love to wear! It’s the perfect opportunity to swap those unwanted Christmas gifts, pick up some new clothes for free and to learn about how to organise a Swishing party of your own!

If you’d like to come along:

– Please bring at least one item; you can leave with as many as you like
– All clothes must be clean and in good, ready to wear condition
– No money is exchanged – all Swishable clothes are free to whoever claims them first. Donations to CCF would be greatly appreciated though (suggested £1 per item of clothing you take)!
– Any items left over at the end will be donated to Oxfam. If people want to take things they brought back home with them that’s fine too.

Event free and open to all, but numbers are limited so booking is essential! To book please contact the office.

An evening with Danny Chivers – ‘Some good news about climate change’ 30 January

Monday 30 January, 7.30 – 9.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge

We’ve teamed up with the Cambridge World Development Movement to host an evening with Danny Chivers.

A fun interactive session for up to 40 people, looking at the latest climate science and politics but with a focus on the positive. It is still possible to achieve climate justice, and this session willhelp you to work out what role you can play in making it happen!

Find out more on our website. Booking essential – email the office to book or call 01223 659962. Admission free but donations always welcome.

The Economics of Happiness: Film Showing 7 February

Tuesday 7 February, 6.45 – 8.45pm, Arts Picturehouse

Cambridge Carbon Footrprint and Transition Cambridge are delighted to offer a screening of “The Economics of Happiness” by Helena Norbert-Hodge at the Arts Picturehouse, followed by a talk by renowned economist Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta. Set against a background of the lives of the people of Ladakh as their way of life is altered by contact with western capitalism, the film questions whether our current economic model is damaging our wellbeing.

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta is the Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, whose interests and writings include environmental economics. Tickets can be booked in the normal way through the Arts Picturehouse box office.

You can view the trailer and learn more about the movie here:www.theeconomicsofhappiness.org

Winter Cookery Demo 8 February

Wednesday 8 February, 7.30 – 9.30pm, Cambridge Cookery School (detailed directions here)

We have a very exciting prospect to warm us up in February! Tine Roche, founder of the Cambridge Cookery School, is generously giving a demonstration of how to cook gourmet food with local, seasonal ingredients in the middle of winter. Tine will cook delicious food for us to sample, so don’t eat too much supper beforehand! Most food served on the night will be vegetarian, although I understand there will be some wild venison, too, from Radwinter Wild Game Company! (Vegan, vegetarian and meat recipes for us to cook at home will be included.)

As usual with our events, we will not charge for this, but would be grateful for a donation of around £5 per head to cover our expenses. Booking is essential, as we expect this event to be very popular and there are only 30 places, so email the office to book early!

This event is in collaboration with CaSFA (Cambridge Sustainable Food Alliance) in conjunction with Transition Cambridge. Many thanks to Tine Roche and the Cambridge Cookery School for their generosity.

Behind-the-scenes on Building an Eco Home with Ian Collins 22 February

Wednesday 22 February, 7.30 – 9.30pm, Madingley Road (full address will be given upon booking)

An exciting chance to go behind the scenes on a newly constructed Eco House. Join the owner in his new home for the complete story of the building of a house in the back garden of his former home (dating from 1930), complete with comparison energy bills, graphs showing savings, thermal imaging photos. A tour and refreshements will also be included.

The house is single storey, built in an L shape around a 50 year old liquidambar tree. A passive solar design, it includes a ground source heat pump, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, rainwater collection and reuse, solar hot water heating, and lots of thought to the sustainability of the materials used in construction.

The house can’t accommodate more than 25 people, so booking is essential! Please contact the office to reserve your spot.

Sustainable Materials – with both eyes open

Sustainable Materials – with both eyes open is a new companion volume to David Mackay’s excellent Sustainable Energy – without the hot air. It’s full of invaluable information on the carbon cost of materials and products with interesting ideas on how changes to industry and design could make big improvements. . With steel and aluminium alone accounting for nearly 30% of global emissions, it’s important for more of us to understand this subject.
The book costs £25 or is free to download here.

Politics & Homes

With 2011’s financial crises, most governments didn’t prioritise solutions to the worsening climate change threat. December’s UN talks at Durban did agree to work for a binding global agreement by 2015, taking effect by 2020. It’s a decade too late and there are all the tough negotiations to come, but getting any global agreement is a step forward.

Meanwhile, let’s work together to create our own low-carbon lives and help build a sustainable society. There’s increasing acceptance that people’s well-being comes from shared values and action, rather than consumerism.

Making our homes snug and energy-efficient is key to building low-carbon Britain:
From October the Green Deal will offer UK householders loans for energy-saving improvements, like insulating walls, repaid over 25 years via the house’s electricity bill. The resulting energy savings should reduce bills overall, even with this repayment. Also the Renewable Heat Incentive will subsidise solar thermal, heat pumps and wood-burners. Full details of these schemes aren’t yet available, so it’s hard to know how effective they will be.

However you’re better-off using CERT subsidies now, if you can afford to improve your house without loans, or can do it by DIY. Those “£1 a roll of insulation” deals and grants funded by energy companies are expected to disappear when Green Deal replaces CERT in October. See the Energy Saving Trust’s Grants & Discounts Database for your eligibility or phone them on 0800 512 012.

Hoping your 2012 is happy and sustainable!

Vital signs – new year essential reading

Christmas is a time when environmentalists feel duty bound to have a quick moan about the way over-consumption is wrecking the planet. The reasons for over-consumption are complex and addressed in a variety of ways in this new book.

Read more at www.rorandall.org

Grow Your Own – Gardening in January

The first days of 2012 have begun with above average temperatures – enough for some plants to start growing if this continues. Already the small, but highly-scented flowers of winter-flowering honeysuckle are in bloom and the catkins of hazel bushes will be lengthening in the next few weeks, depositing their pollen into the wind. However every year is a ‘natural lottery’ when it comes to the weather and as

gardeners we have to prepare for every eventuality.

Read Keith Jordan’s full article on our website.

Grow Your Own sessions

For the last 3 years CCF have held sessions at Ross Street Community Centre for those wanting to pick up tips to extend their range and yield of home-grown produce. Before we plan activities for 2012 it would be useful to get feedback on these sessions and get ideas for how these could match your needs. Are the indoor sessions still relevant or do you have ideas for new activities or ways of sharing gardening knowledge? Send an email to the office to let us know what you think!

Science spot: Turning down the heating helps you lose weight

Over Christmas, New scientist reported on several studies that showed that turning down the heating will help you lose weight.  This is because as the temperature drops from 28C to 15C your brown fat burns off more calories  to keep you warm.  The catch is that if you’re not regularly exposed to cold your brown fat deposits shrink and are replaced by less useful white fat (so its more effective to reduce the temperature gradually)

Argentina: hope in hard time 12 January

Thursday 12 January, 7 – 9.30pm, CB1 Cafe, Mill Road

Come and watch the inspirational film: “Argentina: hope in hard times”. Many countries will see their economic environment worsen in 2012 and this will mean significant social dislocation but there will also be opportunities to redesign societies, economies and politics.

Parallels can be drawn with the 2001 Argentinean crisis: in the face of one of the largest government debt defaults in history and with soaring poverty rates, the film highlights how community spirit and solidarity helped rebuild society from the bottom up. Q&A to follow. All welcome. Free. The cafe opens at 7pm, film to start at 7.30pm.

Organised by Transition Cambridge.

Green Enterprise Community Meeting 23 January

Monday 23 January, 7.30 – 9.30pm, Friends Meeting House

Pilgrim Beart, founder of AlertMe, has 20 years experience in ground breaking, high-technology companies and has founded three businesses, the most recent of which is AlertMe, the smart platform for home energy monitoring, (and other smart grid services).

He will share the story of AlertMe and discuss the challenges they’ve faced and his vision for the future of this important and growing sector: helping consumers monitor and control their energy use.

Cost £5. More info here.

Seeds Sunday seed swap 29 January

Sunday 29 January, 1.30 – 4pm, Trumpington Village Hall

Come and swap unwanted seeds and get whatever seeds you need for 2012! There’ll also be talks on GrowZones (a fun way of getting lots of people together to give your garden a makeover) and on how to set up a seed circle (another way of seed sharing), a demonstration of how to chit seeds to see if the seeds you have taken are viable, seeds for donation from the Heritage Seed Library, tea and cakes from Trumpington W.I., and Heritage Seeds for sale from Thomas Etty Heritage Seed Merchant. Transition Cambridge will have a stall there (let us know if you’d like to take a turn on the stall). This is always a great event, so come along and bring your friends!

£1.50 entry. If you have seeds you have saved or packets you are unable to use up please bring them, but don’t worry if you don’t have any seeds to swap as there are usually plenty to go round. Full info here. Organised by Trumpington Allotments Society with help from Transition Cambridge.

Wood Burning Stoves: Advice on choosing and operating 15 February

Wednesday 15 February, 7.30 – 9.30pm, venue to be confirmed

If you are thinking of getting a stove, or if you have a stove and you have a question about how to make the most of it:

1. Read our Wood Stoves FAQ

2. Come on 15th February and ask our panel (David Ousby from Cambridge Wood Works, Chris Boulton from Ablewight (experienced chimney sweeps), experienced householders)

Find out more on the Transition Cambridge website.

Green Party Conference: Alternatives to Economic Growth 18 February

Saturday 18 February, 10am – 5.15pm, the Centre at St Paul’s, Hills Road, Cambridge.

The Cambridge Green Party has organised a conference on one of the hot topics of our time: how we can move away from the current model of economic growth which lies behind our disastrous overuse of resources and excessive carbon emissions. With leading speakers Tony Juniper, Molly Scott-Cato, Rupert Read and Miriam Kennett, the day will be a Day of Ideas, encouraging us to look at sustainable alternatives.

Find out more and book your place on the Cambridge Greens website. Places are limited, so booking early is recommended.



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