Environmental group discuss award winning ‘Trashed’ film

We are really pleased that the St Albans and Harpenden Review published a news report about our successful screening of TRASHED at our Open Meeting in July. You can read it here, or click to see original article.

10:52am Wednesday 23rd July 2014 in News

By Beth Cherryman

Environmental group discuss award winning ‘Trashed’ film

Louise Palmer from St Albans District Council Recycling team took part in a discussion with an audience of 30 residents following a screening of the award winning film, Trashed.

Louise palmerThe film was shown by Transition St Albans (TSA), a local not for profit community group helping the city become more environmentally sustainable.

Louise Palmer answered questions about the recycling of beverage cartons – tetra-packs – for which there are several recycling points about the city, and about plastic film, for which there is currently no facility provided by the council.

In a recent survey carried out by Transition St Albans, the issue of waste came up as the top priority for its members.

Jack Easton, a steering group member of TSA, said: “We wanted to provide an opportunity for residents to see an informative and galvanising film and to discuss waste issues with the council.

“The real solution to the waste issue is for us to live a sustainable lifestyle that reduces the amount and harmfulness of the waste we inevitably produce.  Meanwhile this film also reminded us of the potentially devastating effects of the throwaway society and the need to clean up our act.”

Following the meeting a number of people have set up a Transition St Albans working group to consider what can be done to address waste issues in a local context, and to explore the idea of a ‘Zero Waste’ strategy.

If others want to find out more about this group they can email gail.jackson@transitionstalbans.org.

To find out more about the work of Transition St Albans visit their website at http://www.transitionstalbans.org.


TRASHED – a film about global waste

Wed 16th July 7.30pm at Fleetville Community Centre

We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it.

We keep making things that do not break down.

Does anyone think about what happens to all the trash we produce?


In this evocative film, narrated by Jeremy Irons, we see the problems and degradation of waste issues across the world. At the end of the film Irons turns his attention to the solutions being created to the problems. This is a meticulous, brave investigative journey that takes us from scepticism to sorrow and from horror to hope.

Louise Palmer, St Albans and District Recycling Team – will be speaking after the film.

There will be a discussion of the issues raised.

Entrance £3/£1 conc – refreshments available. All Welcome.

TRASHED – a film about global waste

We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it.

We keep making things that do not break down.

Does anyone think about what happens to all the trash we produce?


Wed 16th July 7.30pm Fleetville Community Centre AL1 4QL   £3/£1 conc

We invite you to come and see this award winning and galvanising documentary: Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution.

This is a meticulous, brave investigative journey that takes us from scepticism to sorrow and from horror to hope.

To find out more about the film including trailer click here

7.30pm TRASHED Screening

9.15pm Speaker: Louise Palmer, from St Albans and District council recycling team.


All Welcome – £3/£1 concession. The film running time is 98 mins. There will be a short interval and there will be refreshments.


Sun 13 July 3-5pm OpenFoodGarden – today!

Be Inspired!

Sat 13th July 3-5pm 

24 Oaklands Lane


Be Inspired with this Open FoodGarden – full of fruit and vegetables and  reclaimed materials - lazy Sunday afternoon seeing how others do it with this sustainable garden!

This large garden on the eastern outskirts of St Albans is described by its owner as a ‘Learn as You Go’ garden, which is constantly evolving. It is divided into sitting, recreational and food-producing areas.


Jim shows visitors around the garden

Vegetables (which include runner beans, asparagus, potatoes, onions, carrots and beetroot) and some fruit are grown in four large raised beds, while other fruit is grown in the side borders. The fruit grown includes apples, peaches, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and rhubarb.

A major feature is the use of reclaimed materials in the structure of the raised beds, fencing, supports for runner beans and pathways. The garden, which backs onto open land, attracts a variety of wildlife.

Parking near the house is limited; bikes can be brought into the garden. Several buses going towards Hatfield run along the nearby Hatfield Road. Wheelchair access to the garden is restricted. No dogs please except guide dogs.

Suggested donation of £2.00 for over 16s; all proceeds go to TSA funds.

Be Inspired! Join the HomeGrown Food movement

Sat 5th July  – drop in between 3-5pm

Be Inspired to grow your own herbs, fruit and vegetables – get design and growing ideas – without the chelsea crowds!

Visit the first of this month’s OpenFoodGarden - the unique experience where you can wander around someone else’s garden, admire and reflect and gather ideas and inspiration on how to grow your own food at home.

herbs and flowers

herbs and flowers

Whether you are looking for new design ideas, or want to plant flowers among the lettuces and wonder what it would like, or just fancy an hour’s visit to see how another garden does it…

Come along to No 2 The Almonds (off the Poplars) AL1 1UZ (click for map) this Saturday 5th July anytime between 3-5pm.

Donations appreciated £2; wheelchair access restricted, no dogs except guide dogs.

Be Inspired! Join the HomeGrownFood movement

OpenFoodGardens Summer Programme Sat 5th July 3-5pm

Explore sustainable food growing: fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Be Inspired! visit this informal food garden this Sat 5th July

Come along for half an hour and have a look around as part of Transition St Albans’ OpenFoodGardens summer programme. We aim to inspire and motivate people to think about new ways of growing their own food by seeing how other gardeners are doing it!

2 The Almonds, off The Poplars, St Albans, AL1 1UZ –

In this informal garden the owners decided that they did not need a lawn and instead built a curved raised bed in the centre of the garden where they grow a variety of vegetables, fruit (strawberries and blueberries), a selection of herbs, salad leaves and tomatoes. These can all be picked as needed from just outside the back door.

The garden also has flowers to attract insects, a pond and a bog garden.

herbs and flowersExtensive use is made of recycled materials (wood chippings to form paths; compost bin made from recycled pallet wood); there are several water butts, compost bins and reclaimed containers used for food growing.

Please note when visiting: Parking near the house is limited; bikes can be parked on the drive. Several buses run along London Road (5 minutes’ walk away). Wheelchair access to the garden is restricted. No dogs please except guide dogs.

We look forward to seeing you! Free, with suggested donation of £2. See more by clicking on the image and go to our website.

Herts Ad on Food Smiles, OpenFoodGardens and Skills Sharing

FoodSmiles FoodSmiles

Becky Alexander
Thursday, June 19, 2014
10:45 AM

I visited the FoodSmiles community growing project last week over near Hammonds End Farm, on the edge of Harpenden, and we were surrounded by trees, with horses playing in the fields near by. It was an idyllic, relaxing place to be, yet it has also been a hive of activity in the past few months.

Kick started by some members of Transition St Albans and Candice Luper, the sustainability officer at St Albans Council, FoodSmiles St Albans developed from a steering group of keen growers. The idea is that members help with whatever needs doing, whether preparing the beds or tending seedlings and plants, and in return, share in the harvest. There are similar Community Supported Agriculture schemes around the country, but this is the first in our area.

The site near Hammonds End was chosen as it was the right size for the group, and farmers Stuart and Howard are very supportive of the scheme. Work started in April to clear and plough the land.

Site coordinator Naomi Distill gave me a guided tour and explained how the site had been divided into 22 beds ready for planting, along with three polytunnels. The group received donations from Aylett’s Nursery of tools, wheelbarrows and water butts which has really helped them make swift progress.

The seeds and plants are grown organically, and the group make their own organic compost. We could see rows of plants starting to thrive, along with further seedlings in the tunnels. Inside the tunnels we spotted tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and courgettes, and the herb beds nearby were looking very healthy too.

The group plans to focus on vegetables at the moment, but fruit bushes and trees may follow at a later stage. I asked Naomi why she had got involved, and Naomi explained that although she already looks after an allotment, she wanted to help with the initiative to get it going and to “grow a true new source of local food”.

Naomi explained that they may take on another site in St Albans in the future. At the moment the group has about 10 spaces left for new members – email the secretary at foodsmiles.info@gmail.com or follow them on twitter (there is no website).

Members pay an annual fee of £50 or £100 and commit to one or two working parties on site each month, on Wednesdays afternoons and evenings until dusk and on Saturday afternoons. FoodSmiles aim to be at the St Albans Farmer’s Market on July 13 if you would like more information. You can also follow what the planting is, and the daily tribulations and successes are on twitter @FoodSmilesStA. They are also on Facebook at foodsmilesstalbans.

Open Food Gardens

Now in its fifth year, this event is always very popular. This is a wonderful chance to visit local gardens to see how you can grow fruit, vegetables and herbs, in whatever space you may have.

You can ask for advice, and seek inspiration. Organised by Transition St Albans, the aim is to encourage more people to grow their own food and it’s an enjoyable way to meet your neighbours. We have taken the children along in the past and we have been inspired to grow vegetables for the first time this year, alongside our rampant fruit bushes and herbs. If we can do it, anyone can.

Parking can be tricky near the open gardens, so walk or cycle if you can. Sadly, dogs (except guide dogs) are best advised not to go along and wheelchair access is restricted as some of the gardens are tiny with narrow paths.

Skills Sharing

You may also be interested in the informal monthly drop-in sessions on garden skills sessions run by Heather Teare and June Whetherly from now till September (see transitionstalbans.org for more info).

Open Food Gardens 2014 programme Each garden is open 3-5. Suggested donations of £2 for adults. Saturday, July 5, 2 The Almonds (off The Poplars), AL1 1UZ, Sunday July 13, 24 Oaklands Lane, AL4 OHR, Friday, August 15, 23 Gresford Close, AL4 OUB, Sunday September 7, 104 Marshalswick Lane, AL1 4XE