Category Archives: Energy

“It takes a community to make change”

 “..this playfully made exposé should be required viewing for anyone wondering what they could do to pitch in and save the planet”

This fast-paced, optimistic film TOMORROW  is showing as part of St Albans Film Festival. Click here to book tickets  for
  • Thurs 6th July 7.30pm  at Spencer Sports Hall, Sandridge – Bar available.
  • Sat 8th July at St Paul’s Church, Blandford Road, St Albans -refreshments available.

“In most cases, it’s a question of communities taking power back from governments and corporations — a form of horizontal activism which.. may be the best way to undo the top-down policies that have set us on the fast track to destruction.”tomorrowpic7

 

#TOMORROWfilm is a fast-paced doc packed with articulate expertise and stories from business and communities.

It shows ” how farmers, teachers, researchers and small-town participants have found their own methods for combating issues like global warming, food shortage and general economic meltdown”

The latter three chapters — Economy, Democracy, and Education — are really where “Tomorrow” takes flight. … Its curiosity ranges from the very minute and specific — to the extremely general and basic, as in, “Where does money come from?” (The Answer May Surprise You!) Continue reading

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

 

 

Biodomes, Community and coffee beans

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Big Lunch Extras is Cornwall’s  Eden Project opening it’s doors, all expenses paid, to hundreds of community movers and shakers up and down the country, with several events taking place over 2014/5.

This weekend I have joined the event for four days -meeting people from Northern Ireland, Scotland and across England to hear inspiring speakers, explore the amazing Eden Project landscape and share conversations with a range of extraordinary people involved in local community action.

Memorable was the community artist, Sue Hill, who has spent a lifetime transforming the way people express their love for the places they live in. She had worked with the residents of Port Talbot helping them to put on a Passion Play engaging memories and histories to express the power of the dispossessed community.

In war savaged Kosovo, her positive energy and thirst for learning from the people she worked with had led to a remarkable project with young refugees returning to their country to build a peace garden in their home town. To find out more about her work go to www.peteandsuehill.co.uk

Later, on a tour around the sweltering Eden Project tropical rainforest biodomes we learnt that each coffee bean fruit produced just two beans, and that your morning cup of coffee required over sixty of these beans! As the coffee beans on the plant ripen at different times it requires intensive labour to pick the beans at the optimal stage. If any of us needed persuading this was a strong argument to ensure we buy only Fairtrade coffee where pickers are paid decent money for their labour. How much effort would you put into picking fruit for your morning cuppa coffee?

Despite anticipating chilly December weather with everyone geared up with woolly hats and scarves we seem to have arrived on a sunny June day with the skies blue and the air still. It was warm enough to have a long lunch outside on the balcony overlooking the glistening white caps of the eerie biodomes.

Back for a good night’s sleep in the brand new cosy Snooze-boxes – courtesy of YHA – and waiting to see what surprises Sunday brings!

see more at Big Lunch Extras website click here and Big Lunch Extras  twitter #BLENovimage

Transition Streets Celebration – one year on!

Wed November 20th 7.30pm at Fleetville Community Centre

Streets Project: over 100 people across St Albans engaging on energy, waste, transport and food issues

Streets Project: over 100 people across St Albans engaging on energy, waste, transport and food issues

come and join us for A celebration and information event and party to mark one year of Transition Streets in St Albans!

The first year has seen over one hundred participants across all the Transition Streets groups take part in the programme, including a group of pupils at Sir John Lawes school.

Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more about the Transition Streets programme and see what participants are finding out, and how things might have changed in their households. Have energy bills reduced? What changes have people made to water use, recyling, food or transport?

Free food and drink will be available- donations welcomed.

Jan 13′ Open Meeting

Thanks to everyone who made it out on a cold dark night to come to our open meeting last night, especially the new members.  We watched two thought-provoking TED talks:

And then Jack took us through some key points about Peak Oil.

Each workgroup then outlined what it does and how people can get involved

  • the Home Grown Food Group
  • the Energy Group
  • Transition Streets
  • the Awareness-Raising Group

The open discussion at the end was wide-ranging and interesting (how TSA could  engage local businesses more, whether fracking changes anything, and ideas for starting a community garden).

To find out more about fracking, check out this illuminating and engaging website that illustrates the whole fracking process: http://www.dangersoffracking.com

At our February meeting, all about planning what we want to achieve next year, these ideas and more will be fed in, including all the ideas that were raised at our November film screening.

Consumerism and the importance of values

October’s Open Meeting was about “Consumerism”: Why do we consume so much? And is it really all that bad?

We started with a Think-and-Listen exercise to reflect on how we each see the consumerist society we live in. At the end, everybody was asked to write down on a post-it something negative and something positive we associate with consumerism. The word cloud below shows what was written (positives have a plus sign in front).

The answers seem to reveal our dilemma: we know well what’s not good about consumerism but the problem is big and we are worried about our economy (mentioned equally as positive an negative) and, most of all, about employment. Continue reading

‘Down with energy bills’ – Meeting Report

We were swamped (pleasantly I hasten to add) with ideas by everyone present at our Energy meeting this week on Wednesday 21st September. The topic was Open Energy Houses (known also as Eco Open Houses) and the meeting started with the following questions:

  • What would you like to learn about energy in the home?
  • What would you expect to find out when you visit a house?
  • In what form would you like this information?

Three groups were formed and a brainstorming session began. There was then a talk by Andrew Allen on his experience of Brighton Eco Open Houses 2011. A great deal of ideas were generated which have all been recorded and will contribute to a follow up session at the next Energy meeting on the 17th October.

If you did not attend this meeting or for those present who would like a recap on the issues raised in the presentation on Brighton, a copy can be downloaded here: TSA Open House Brighton Talk (PDF – 6.9MB).

Results from the brainstorming session will follow. If you would like to know more about this exiting new project, email energy at transitionstalbans.org or for further information on what we are trying to achieve at Transition St Albans go to the contacts page or tap on this link https://transitionstalbans.org/contact/.

We look forward to seeing you at the next Open Energy Meeting or at Green Drinks if you can make it. See events for more information or tap on this link https://transitionstalbans.org/events/.