Highlights of the week ahead – join in!

Sustainable st albans week is off to a great start!

Sandridge Family Walk

Sandridge Family Walk

It has been a busy weekend start to the weekend with over 150 people attending events this weekend and we invite you to come along to an event this week.



See an updated list of all the events on the website http://www.sustainablestalbans.org.

IMG_3787 (1)

some walkers at Tyttenhanger Lakes

The website has all sorts of information, including things you can do at home, yourself this week. You can also see some lovely examples of the #Postcards2Paris that local schoolchildren have been creating to send off to the Global Climate Change talks next week.

Litter finds in Verulamium Park on Saturday

For one week only!  Come and join in. Below we highlight a few events that we hope will catch your imagination – see you there!

carbonMon 23rd November: Cutting your Carbon Footprint  St Albans 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Come along to find out about practical actions that individuals and households can take to cut their carbon footprint. Talk and discussion. 7.30pm – 9.30pm  The Parish Centre St Michael’s Street,
St Albans AL3 4SL Organised by Transition St Albans. Free


sustainable economyWed 25th: How To Create A Sustainable Local Economy In St Albans District  7.30pm

How can we take an alternative approach to our local economy for the benefit of St Albans District? Talks and discussion. See more and book here.  Free 7.30pm – 9.30pm Marlborough Road Methodist Church, St Albans AL1 3XQ Organised by St Albans Sustainable Economy Group.


Thurs 26th Stories of Then and Now 3 -4 pm

Come listen to tales for adults: tales of destruction; tales of hope for the future. In the (back) Dining Room at The Courtyard Café, 11 Hatfield Road, St Albans AL1 Organised by Davina Malcom Transition Streets Kimpton 3RR Free


carbonThurs 26th: Cutting Your Carbon Footprint Harpenden 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Come along to find out about practical actions that individuals and households can take to cut their carbon footprint, including training to use our Harpenden thermal imaging camera. Talk and discussion. Park Hall, Leyton Road, Harpenden AL5 2LX Organised by Transition St

posterThis Changes Everything_colourFri 27th: This Changes Everything’  Film and panel discussion 7.30pm

A film about climate change – provocative, compelling and empowering.The film asks: is confronting the climate crisis the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world? After-film panel and Q&A on Climate Change: How should we respond? Organised by the Divest Herts campaign. Maltings Art Theatre, 7.30pm. Book online:

https://v1.bookwhen.com/this-changes-everything.   Suggested donations: £6/£3 conc


RepairposterpicSat 28th: Repair Event 10am – 1pm

Zapped a zip? Your toaster’s toast? Laggardly laptop? Broken bike? DIY disaster? Don’t despair – repair! Bring along anything you can carry for our experts to examine, offer advice, and if possible, repair. Experts in needlework and DIY will be on hand, experienced fixers from The Restart Project will be undaunted by anything electrical or electronic, or get a free bike check from Cycle Tech Herts. Refreshments available. 10am – 1pm in the Foyer, St Albans City and District Council Offices, Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, St Albans AL1 3JE. Organised by St Albans City and District Council’s Waste and Recycling Team, Cycle-Tech Hertfordshire and with volunteers from The Restart Project. Free


Nunnery2Sat 28th Sopwell History Walk – the Norman Connection 1.45pm – 3.30pm

A simple 2/3 mile walk, led by one of Sopwell’s most knowledgeable residents, Chris Pudsey,visiting Sopwell’s historic pointers of interest. Participants will discover how this area of St Albans has been able to maintain a strong ‘rural’ element whilst being part of the residential area of southern St Albans. Meet at Mandeville Drive next to Mandeville JMI School, AL1 2LE. If you intend to come, please contact Jennifer: rykjen@aol.com or 01727 835747 Organised by Sopwell Residents Association. Free

Loads more events online – walks, talks, films, events! www.sustainablestalbans.org

Christmas Lights Switch On Sunday – come and say hi!

Source: Christmas Lights Switch On Sunday – come and say hi!

Christmas Lights Switch On Sunday – come and say hi!

The Sustainable St Albans team are a little crazy with enthusiasm this week.  Not content with  interviews on Radio Verulam and BBC Three Counties radio they also started making a film, and have been collecting over 1,000 Postcards to Paris from local schools. They were also more than a little excited about the double page spread in the Herts Advertiser after all, with over one hundred separate events they need to make sure everyone in the district knows about the week.

Pick up your Programme 100+ Events!

marketstallYou’ll be familiar with the annual Christmas Lights Switch On in St Albans High Street? It’s happening again on Sunday 15th November – with a difference! This year our very own Sustainable St Albans Team – with volunteers from Transition St Albans and St Albans Friends of the Earth – are running a stall with free give-aways – they’re giving away free copies of the Programme of 100+ Events for Sustainable St Albans Week 21-28 November. There are only limited numbers of these printed programmes so please come along early to collect your copy.

While you’re visiting the stall you can also write your own Postcard to Paris to the Paris Global Climate Change conference #COP21- after all – the reason the week is happening because we care about climate change – see what 10 year old Riley has written here…

BHheypicYou may know about the week, but did you realise it is all run by local groups: each one of the businesses, community groups, faith groups and schools are organising their very own event related to environmental sustainabilty.

Whether you want: to have a trial ride in an electric car (Alban Arena Sat 21st, discover the historical past of Sopwell (Sat 28th 1.45pm), treat yourself to a free hand massage at the LUSH talk (Mon 23rd 8pm), be inspired by the Green Fashion Event (Wed 25th 8pm Civic Centre), to explore the very current topic of creating a sustainable economy (Wed 25th 7.30pm), to find out about Real Nappies at the Tots Playgroup with  free starter kit worth over £100  (Fri 27th 9.30am) , or to see the film ‘This Changes Everything’ or ‘The Journey of the Universe’ film or ‘Cowspiracy’ showing at the Odyssey, …

and so much more….

CllrChiversLitterPIck…all the events are organised by existing local groups with an interest in a sustainable future for the district.



It is an ecletic week, as Nick Coffer of BBC Three Counties radio, pointed out (hear the interview here at 2:38:10) so there really is something for everyone – from Natalie Bennett Leader of the Green Party talk, guided nature walks, Community Litter-picking, children’s story-telling…But with so many events taking place, and all in the space of one week – you need to plan now if you, family and friends want to take full advantage of this week of learning and fun.

SSAlban&Stephen infants“We love everything : your creativity, ambition, the links you have made with businesses, the efforts to engage and the fabulous brochure” Kate Newton St Albans CVS

Launch Day

clock-tower-jrIf you can’t make it on Sunday, then set aside Sat 21st November for the Launch Day when the week is officially opened by The Mayor of St Albans at 10.30am at The Clocktower, St Albans High St.

The Civic Society have opened the Clocktower as a special occasion so you can climb the ancient steps. Or, with the help of Computer Friendly work out your carbon footprint and surprise yourself. With music from the local ukelele supergroup Katie’s Jumping Fleas there are things to do and stalls on recycling, water-saving, GreenSpaces and more…

And, in the afternoon of Sat 28th from 12.30pm for a more leisurely trip take the family along to the Nude Tin Can Gallery to see the innovative and fun ‘Don’t Forget to Flush’ Art Exhibition with entries from both children and adults on the theme of the UN’s World Toilet Day – to raise awareness of our global neighbours who lack adequate sanitation.

Booking your Annual Leave

In all, there are so many interesting things to do during the week you might as well take the whole week off as Annual Leave – it’ll be your commitment to environmental sustainability! And, if the boss disagrees, invite her over to the Sustainable Business Breakfast Briefing on Tues 24th Nov at 8am organised by local business AECOM – that should get her interest!

And if Becky Alexander (Herts Ad @localfoodie) says “I am really impressed by the amount of events organised” then we reckon you should be too! Have a peep at the website to see if we’re right www.sustainablestalbans.org



DIY Fixers Wanted!

Are you, or anyone you know  interested in how things work, like tinkering or fixing stuff or helping others to do so, and would like to extend their skills into new areas, particularly electricals and reparidiy2electronics. Or if you just have organisational skills but are passionate about avoiding waste, then read on!

One of the final events of Sustainable St Albans week is to be a Repair Event in the foyer of the District Council offices, on Sat 28th November 10am – 1pm to which members of the public are invited to bring anything they can carry which needs fixing, and we’ll see what we can do.

The event is taking ideas and inspiration from the Restart Project, a London-based charity which runs Restart Parties across London at which volunteers tackle all manner of electrical and electronic goods. Several Restart Project volunteers will be on hand lending support with their skills.

repaireventFirst things first: if you are a DIY whizz, have a few tools of your own, and would like to help out on the day the Repair Event organisers would love you to get in touch. Even skills advising people on what tools do which job and giving some tips and advice would be useful! 

(Ed: You may think everyone knows their hammers from their screwdrivers but let me assure you they don’t! Your everyday DIY know-how is much more valuable than you imagine!)

If you think you could help please email louiseDOTpalmerATstalbans.gov.uk (you need to put a . where it says DOT and a @ where it says AT)

The Restart Project fosters the creation of similar initiatives further afield, with Restart Parties now running in over 20 locations worldwide, and dozens of other organisations and groups interested in the concept (see map).

There is no reason why our repair event in St Albans couldn’t be the first of many, but it would need a small band of local volunteers to make it happen:

To start, we would need an organiser who needn’t be particularly technical but would need to put in a few hours logistical preparation and publicity for each event, and to act as an event host. The Restart Project has produced an excellent package of supporting materials for this role.

reparitoasterWe would also need a group of fixers with basic electrical, electronic or software skills. Again, the Restart Project provides support with skill-share and social events in London, and an online wiki and discussion group to help you extend your skills. In addition, many of the London Restart Parties are easily accessible from St Albans, where you could meet and learn from other fixers as well as participating yourself.

If you or anyone you know could get excited about this then do drop by on Saturday 28th November, speak to some of the volunteers, and leave your contact details. Alternatively, contact Philip Le Riche (philipATblueskylark.org).

Changes to Feed in Tariffs on Community Energy projects

solarlewesCommunity Energy England have published their report click here  showing the disastrous effects on community energy projects of the government’s changes to Feed in Tariffs (FiTs).  So far, the report is mentioned in the Daily Mail and The Guardian

80 societies (including our local Grand Union Community Energy – GUCE) contributed to the CEE report, out of a total 190 community energy groups and findings are summarised here (click here). At least £127 million of projects most likely won’t go ahead, with adverse impact on jobs and volunteer morale, as well as the loss of renewable energy generation and carbon savings.

Please consider signing the UK Parliament Petition click here about reviewing the decision on FiTs. With over 25,000 signatories, this is already 1/4 of the total needed by Feb 16 to have the issue debated in the Commons.

Post – with thanks to John Ingleby, Secretary, Grand Union Community Energy Ltd

Thermal Imaging Camera Harpenden training Mon 19th oct

Are you a Harpenden resident? You can borrow our Thermal Imaging Camera for free and tackle the heat leaking from your house!

Borrowing the Camera
Before borrowing the camera, residents need to attend a training session.
The next training session :
Monday 19th October
From 8pm-9pm in central Harpenden.

To book or for more information email energy@transitionstalbans.org

identifying energy loss in Harpenden homes

What is a Thermal Imaging Camera?
A thermal imaging camera is a special camera that enables you see heat leaking from your house or cold air coming into your house by taking colour coded pictures highlighting temperature differences. Insufficient loft insulation, gaps in floorboards, draughty windows and badly fitted loft hatches can all allow precious warmth to escape from your house. The camera helps you to identify the most significant areas of heat loss in your house.

 Further information about the Thermal Imaging Camera is available at http://transitionstalbans.org/thermal-imaging-camera

SuStAinable StAlbans Week Training Session
A further training session is on Thursday 26th November at Park Hall from 7.30-9.30pm, as part of Sustainable St Albans week.

This session, ‘Cutting your Carbon Footprint’, will look at ways of cutting your carbon footprint and will include a training session on the camera, there is no need to book for this event, just come along!

Open Meeting Wed 21 Oct – all about SuStAinable StAlbans Week

All about…


Wed 21st October
7.30pm – 9.30pm
Fleetville Community Centre
Royal Rd, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 4QL

  • See presentation all about the Programme and the week’s events
  • Write your Postcards to Paris
  • Meet the groups taking part
  • Collect publicity materials for your event – you can pick up fliers, posters, and blank “Postcards to Paris”
  • Learn how individuals and families can get involved
  • Hear about individual volunteer opportunities during the week
    Pick up a draft programme
  • All welcome – refreshments available

P2Pyellow card onlyThis meeting is to find out more, network and meet others taking part in this amazing week. It is open to anyone interested in the week: groups and individuals.

We are looking for volunteers to help out on our stalls at the market on Sat 7th and Sun 15th November, as well as help during the week.

We also need volunteers for our Celebration Event on Sat 28th to help organise people and refreshments, and photographers to take photos during the week. All skills needed!