Monday, 4 February 2013

Cambridge Carbon Footprint: Opportunities And low Carbon Cooking In February

Open Eco Homes is on again on 15th and 23rd June, and we are already looking for people willing to open their homes! We're looking for houses that have undergone significant renovations or have been designed and built to be environmentally friendly. Homes should preferably be in Cambridge itself. Information about the event and last years homes are available at www . openecohomes . org.

The dates for the Milton Road Carbon Conversations group have now changed and it will run Wednesdays on February 6th, 20th, 27th, March 13th and 27th from 7.30pm - 9.30pm with the date for the 6th meeting to be decided by the group. If you would like to experience Carbon Conversations, which the Guardian called one of the ‘best 20 climate solutions’, get in touch with the office.

We have several exciting volunteer vacancies available, so if you can spare a couple of hours a week and would like to join our friendly team, read more below or on our website.

Cambridge City Council and the other Cambridgeshire Councils have been awarded funding to provide a limited number of free Green Deal Home Energy Efficiency Assessments to residents. Find out more below.

1. Sustainable Local Food Networking Night 12 February

Tuesday 12 February, 7.30 - 9pm, Emmanuel United Reform Church, Trumpington Street.

Are you someone contributing to sustainable local food, or looking to be more involved?

This is an evening especially for local food leaders, producers, distributors, shop owners, and volunteers to get to know each other better and make connections to strengthen Cambridge’s local food system.

Booking is required as space is limited. Email or call01223 301842 to book.

2. Warm Homes in Trumpington: DIY workshop 19 February

Tuesday 19 February, 7.45 - 9pm, Trumpington Pavilion, Paget Road, CB2 9JF

One of the most popular parts of our successful Warm Homes in Trumpington day on November 10th was the DIY workshop by Tom Bragg, which focused on straightforward ways we can reduce our carbon emissions and energy bills ourselves, through simple things such as fitting foil behind radiators, lagging hot water pipes and fitting draught excluders. Tom has already been invited to run this hands-on workshop in other places and Trumpington residents who missed the day are keen to have another chance. Two of Tom's handouts are available as downloads on our website for people who are unable to attend the workshop:
  • Do it Yourself - low cost energy savings that you can do
  • DIY checklist with sources
Because the workshop is very practical and interactive, numbers are limited, so book now to reserve your place. The workshop is free but a small donation to cover the cost of the hall hire would be appreciated. To book, email or phone01223 301842.

3. Join our EAT Vegan! challenge 25 February - 4 March

Whether you are an aspiring vegan, or just curious to find out more about the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet, why not join our first EAT Vegan! challenge. No meat, dairy or other animal products for one week. How hard can it be…?

The challenge will start on Monday 25 February, but of course you’ll need to plan ahead for success! We will be adding links and resources in the coming weeks to help you plan, so watch this space. We will also host a bring-and-share vegan meal / social during the challenge (date TBC) for all participants.

Already vegan? We would love to hear from you with practical ideas and mouthwatering vegan recipes that we can share with challenge participants.

Email: to take part in the challenge, or to share your top tips and ideas.

4. Vegetarian Cooking Workshop: Super Salads 4 March

Monday 4 March, 6.30 - 8.30pm, CCF office, Milton Road

Think salads are just lettuce? Discover a whole new world of possibilities, from mexican bean salad with tortillas to lemon cous cous salad. These quick, easy and delicious vegetarian and vegan salads will make you want to have salad every night!

Materials will be provided, and the workshops will take place at our office off Milton Road (for directions and map, see here). Donations are greatly appreciated to help cover costs (recommended £5/person).

The second in our ongoing series of low-carbon cooking workshops, this workshop has 10 places available, so please email us at or call 01223 301842 to book. Please let us know if you have any particular allergies or intollerances in advance.

5. Eat Cambridge Festival 9 March

Saturday 9 March, 10am - 4pm

CCF is excited to be a part of Eat Cambridge, a new annual event aimed at local people and showing off our local producers. More details will be coming soon, but you can find more information at http ://www . eat-cambridge . co . uk and mark the main date of a major food and drink fair, 9th March, in your diary. We will need stall volunteers!

6. Second Hand Style Event 15 March

Friday 15 March, 7 - 9.30pm

Join us for a glamorous evening dedicated to the release of a new photo collection produced by Cambridge Carbon Footprint, with funding from Wear it Love it Share it. The photos will feature some of this year’s biggest fashion trends created entirely from second-hand clothing and accessories, a real demonstration of how great reusing and restyling clothing can be!

To celebrate our new photo collection, the evening will feature a fashion show of our amazing second-hand outfits and a swishing!

There is no need to book for this event, and it will be free (though donations will be greatly appreciated!).If you’ve never attended a swishing before, you can read all about it in this Style article featuring one of our past swishings, or see the photos from our last swishing here. To particpate, just bring a few items (anything from 2-5 is fine!) of clean and good condition clothes, shoes or accessories. We’ll organise the lot while you enjoy the fashion show, and then the racks will be open for everyone to browse and find a few new treasures to take home.

Models wanted! There is still time to apply to be a photo shoot and/or fashion show model. Send an email to about you, a couple photos and why you want to be a model for us!

7. Continuing Carbon Conversations group starting in February

Continuing Carbon Conversations is a small group of Carbon Conversations graduates that meet every two months to talk about the highs and lows of low carbon living, and to share a practical tip or two on how to do it. The atmosphere is usually friendly and informal, with meetings held in someones home and the topics for discussion left open for the group to decide. We ask people to commit to attending at least four sessions, although some people enjoy it so much they like to do more! Spots are limited and we've had quite a bit of interest already so if you would like to join the group please email or phone 01223 301842.

8. A couple of places in CCF book group!

There are a couple of places in the CCF book group, which meets every two months in people's houses to discuss books related to climate change. (Last time we read (and were enraged by) Felicity Lawrence's "Eat your heart out" about the global food scandal and next time we will discuss "Confessions of an Eco-sinner" by Fred Pearce (much more enjoyable than the title would suggest!).) We also enjoy a bring-and-share meal. Normally people have done a Carbon Conversations group before they join, but it isn't compulsory. The next meeting is Monday 18th March at 7pm off Chesterton Road. if you are interested.

9. Ro Randall: The Green Deal – great offer or another example of denial at work?

The Green Deal is the government’s latest offer on climate change. Is it a good offer or another policy that colludes with people’s desire that climate change shouldn’t really affect their lives?

Read more at www . rorandall . org

10. Do you own an Eco Home?

We’re looking for home owners of environmentally friendly new builds or retrofits, preferably in or close to Cambridge, who are willing to open their homes on either one or both days of our Open Eco Homes event, 15th and 23rd June.

For those who volunteer their homes we’ll work with them to produce a double sided A4 case study of their house. We’ll also handle all the bookings and provide all the support and tips needed to run the visits.We will be finalising our homes in the next few weeks.

So if you've ever been interested in being an Open Eco Home now is the time to get in touch! If you would like to be an Open Eco Home, or would like more information please email us at or phone us on 01223 301842.

11. Exciting volunteer opportunity as Food Blog Coordinator

CCF are looking for a volunteer who can work 3-5 hours a week in our office supporting our popular food blogs. If you are interested, please see here for more details.

12. Open Eco Homes Admin Assistant

CCF is looking for an enthusiastic and detail-oriented person to assist with admin related to Open Eco Homes 2013. You would join our friendly office team one half-day a week (flexible).

Duties would include:
  • making minor adjustments and updates to the website (training provided),
  • helping to edit case studies, press releases and other materials associated with the event,
  • posting the event information online, on Local Secrets,
  • posting information to recruit volunteers online,
  • possible help with putting up posters around Cambridge,
  • assisting with the organisation of June launch event,
  • taking bookings for home visits,
  • other sundry tasks as required.
Training will be provided for all aspects of the position, and you will have resources from 3 previous years of this event, as well as support from our office staff. Reasonable expenses will be covered. If interested, please send your CV and a cover letter to We are looking to recruit someone as soon as possible.

13. Food and hunger: Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign

A big campaign (you have probably heard about it) Enough Food for Everyone IF was launched last week by a large group of organisations, including Oxfam, aiming to reduce global hunger by focusing on the fact that there is enough food in the world now for everyone, if
  • countries paid the aid they had promised
  • big corporations stopped grabbing farm land in places like Africa
  • big corporations paid their taxes in the countries they get food from
  • there was more transparency from governments and corporations about their role in the food system
I've signed up to this campaign because I think it is great that such a high profile is being given to land-grabbing, tax-avoidance and transparency. But why am I writing about this in a newsletter about reducing carbon emissions? Two reasons:
  1. The practices of global agribusiness are not only causing hunger on a large scale but are also driving up greenhouse gas emissions from food - if you tackle one aspect of the problem, it helps other aspects. (Read Eat your heart out by Felicity Lawrence if you want to find out in detail how the global food system works - it's one of the books recommended in the chapter on food in "Carbon Conversations" and can be borrowed from the CCF library.)
  2. It is clear now that, although many people are concerned about climate change, it is not one of the top issues for most people at present. It has been suggested that perhaps we should be focusing on issues which have a wider resonance, will catch people's imaginations and make them more aware of the global economic system which is causing so many problems, including climate change. (At her interesting talk on Climate Science in the Media for CCF recently, Dr Rosie Robison was suggesting that we can perhaps more easily catch people's attention through wider issues.)
So I would encourage you to think about signing up to this campaign, which, among other things, is going to lobby David Cameron at the G8 talks, where important decisions on this issue could be taken. It's a shame that this campaign omits another important reason for world hunger: food speculation. The World Development Movement (WDM) is campaigning about this - you can get involved here.


14. Free Green Deal assessments

Cambridge City Council and the other Cambridgeshire Councils have been awarded funding to provide a limited number of free Green Deal Home Energy Efficiency Assessments to residents.

Cambridge City Council is seeking any Cambridge resident who would like to have a free assessment carried out to register their interest. In return for having an assessment carried out residents will be asked to give their feedback, in the form of an interview or questionnaire, on the assessment process and whether they would be interested in taking up a Green Deal improvement plan. Residents are not under any obligation to carry out work on their property.

This work is being carried out to inform the Cambridgeshire Councils on the opportunities and barriers for the Green Deal and to provide evidence to shape locally focussed promotional material.

From having a free assessment carried out, which has a market value of around £150, residents may be able to take advantage of up to £1000 cash back from the Governments Green Deal Cash Back scheme if improvements measures are taken forward.

See here for more details and an application form.

15. Eat Local blog on the Cambridge News website

Why Eating local means less waste? CCF volunteer Helen Karapandzic explores the issue in her latest blog post.

16. Helen Cranston: Do Sunny Holidays = Water Poverty? 4 February

Monday 4 February, 1 - 2pm, Anglia Ruskin University, Coslett Building, room 406

Talk by Helen Cranston of the Makhad Trust. Part of the Global Sustainability Institute's Seminars Series.
Just turn up. Lunch provided.

17. Peter Bakker: The Revolution of Capitalism 6 February

Wednesday 6 February, 6 - 7.30pm, Lecture room 0, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street

Talk by Peter Bakker, Chief Executive of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Ambassador Against Hunger, World Food Programme.

Peter Bakker is a distinguished business leader who until June 2011 was the CEO of TNT NV the Netherlands based holding company of TNT Express and Royal TNT Post (formerly TPG Post). Under leadership of Mr. Bakker, TNT became a leader in Corporate Responsibility with a ground-breaking partnership with the UN World Food Program, ambitious CO2 reduction targets from its Planet Me initiative and multiple year leading positions in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Mr. Bakker is a respected leader in Corporate Responsibility. He is the recipient of Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2009; SAM Sustainability Leadership Award in 2010; and the UN’s WFP Ambassador Against Hunger in 2011. In addition he is the Chairman of War Child Netherlands. Mr. Bakker holds a masters degree in Business Economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam and a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the HTS Alkmaar.

18. Transition Cafe: Communicating sustainability 7 February

Thursday 7 February, 7.30 - 9pm, CB1 Cafe, 32 Mill Road, Cambridge

Jade Cawthray is currently studying for a Masters in science communication, having completed an internship working at the Garden Museum in London. Come along to hear what she's learnt about how to communicate sustainability to a range of audiences. All welcome, free!

19. Stapleford Warm Homes Event 9 February

Saturday 9 February, 1 - 4.30pm, ACE Foundation, Bury Road, Stapleford, CB22 5BP

Talks, stalls and practical sessions to help you make your home more energy efficient. Organised by the Stapleford Environment Group. Free entry with tea and cake.

20. Permaculture Group meeting: 'Obtain a Yield' 9 February

Saturday 9 February, 1.30 - 3.30pm, Marguerite's house

Open Day at Marguerite's permaculture garden: the theme will be 'Obtain a Yield.' We will look at the variety of fruit trees, perennial vegetables and herbs and self seeders in the garden, including a volunteer peach tree which produced wonderful peaches for the first time in 2012, and also at the water butts and watering system, although this is a work in progress. Email Ceri and Dave for location details.

21. Jobs-rich and low-carbon - Britain's Green economic future 15 February

Friday 15 February, 7.30pm, Emmanuel URC, Trumpington Street,Cambridge

Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party in England and Wales talking on "Jobs-rich and low-carbon - Britain's Green economic future",

No booking required.

22. Grow Your Own Session in Trumpington 16 February

Saturday 16 February, 10am - 1pm, Trumpington allotments

Join experienced allotmenteer Dave Fox on his plot in Trumpington. These sessions are ideal for novices and people with any amount of practical growing experience - it's more of a mutual sharing than a lesson! In the February session we will be preparing beds for early crops, and hopefully sowing, depending on conditions. We will also do some formative pruning of the new fruit trees in the forest garden. I'm a bit scared of this, so expert pruners please come and advise:) Book soon as spaces are limited. Link for more information.

23. Transition Cafe: Food Sovereignty 21 February

Thursday 21 February, 7.30 - 9pm, CB1 Cafe, 32 Mill Road, Cambridge

Ceri Galloway and Sue Woodsford will talk about Food Sovereignty. Read more about Food Sovereignty here. All welcome, free.

24. Sustainability in NW Cambridge 25 February

Monday 25 February 7.30 - 9.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge

Our speaker is Sam Archer, Associate Director of Aecom and head of sustainable design for the £1B development of 3000 homes NW Cambridge. This aims to be one of the UK’s most sustainable developments, so in addition to very efficient buildings and heating systems, they are also keen to encourage other aspects of sustainability, for example cycling, local food, and residents’ behaviour. Sam is also leading work for the UK Government on the “Path to Zero Carbon” (ie all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016). As usual in Green-enterprise events, the evening will be participative and will include plenty of time for discussion with the speaker and other participants. Do come and share your ideas.
Cost £5

25. Practical help for growing your own 28 February

Thursday 28 February, 7.30pm, the Friends’ Meeting House, Jesus Lane

Want to grow your own fruit and veg, but daunted by the amount of work to set up your growing space? Transition Cambridge are running the Grow Zones project this spring for the third time. A group (usually about 6 households) forms with the intention of helping each other to sort out their growing spaces for the growing season, and works in each space till the cycle is finished. The work could be anything from planting fruit trees to constructing raised beds to clearing a patch of weeds and brambles…And the work is followed by a bring-and-share lunch which is usually delicious and offers an opportunity to chat. Previous participants have said: ‘It’s great, really practical, and I have had lots of harvests from the raised beds! I also learned lots about growing.’

You can find out more here. Do come along to the introductory session on Thursday 28th February to find out more.

Cambridge Carbon Footprint
www . cambridgecarbonfootprint . org
01223 301842

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