Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Cambridge Carbon Footprint - March 2012 Newsletter

This Friday is set to be a busy day for CCF! First up, Tom Bragg and Jane Heale from our outreach team will be running a workshop on "Low Carbon Choices" at the Climate Change and Sustainability Forum at 1.30pm. The forum will bring together a range inspiring talks, interactive workshops and plenty of opportunities to network with the speakers, guests and other organisations. Our exciting sustainable fashion event Second Hand Style is also happening this Friday, starting from 7pm! With a second hand fashion show and clothes swap, as well as cupcakes, canapes and refreshments it's sure to be a great evening!

Our first Eat Vegan! challenge was such a success that we are planning to run another week-long challenge starting Monday 18th March, which means we will have finished by Easter! No meat, dairy or other animal products for one week. How hard can it be?

Scroll down for the full details on all of these events and more!

1. CCF at the Climate Change and Sustainability Forum 15 March
Friday 15 March, 8.45am - 5.30pm, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ

The Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Forum has an exciting programme of talks and workshops on climate change, with the theme: “Local Action. Global Change?” Will technological breakthroughs lead us to a sustainable future? Or will it be individual action that drives the change we need?

Jane Heal and Tom Bragg of CCF’s Outreach team will be running a workshop at 1:30pm on "Low Carbon Choices".

Other speakers from the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University will be touching on what research is being done with regard to climate change mitigation, while local and national organisations and student societies will share stories of their successes and the challenges they encountered.

Look forward to inspiring talks, interactive workshops and plenty of opportunities to network with the speakers, guests and other organisations. This promises to be one of the highlights of the sustainability calendar – a must for anyone interested in tomorrow’s world! Tickets available here.

2. Second Hand Style Event 15 March
Friday 15 March, 7 - 9.30pm, Arbury Community Centre, Camkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2LD

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.

3. By popular request: Second Eat Vegan! challenge 18 March
Our first Eat Vegan! challenge was such a success that we are planning to run another week-long challenge starting Monday 18th March, which means we will have finished by Easter! Our first group was a real mixture of vegetarians wondering how they would cope without dairy foods, meat-eaters, “never tried vegan before” people and one or two who had been wanting to try for some time. Some of us met for a bring-and-share meal (vegan, of course), which turned into a veritable feast – read about it here!

So, what does the challenge involve? No meat, dairy or other animal products for one week. How hard can it be…? (We are also trying to buy local, seasonal vegetables, too, although of course we need to have imported foods such as beans and lentils to make sure we get enough protein.)

The challenge will start on Monday 18th March, but of course you’ll need to plan ahead for success! You can find some useful links on vegan eating on the resources section of our website to help you get started. We will also host a bring-and-share vegan meal / social during the challenge – date TBD.

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. CCF in Cambridge Edition
Ian Colllins CCF trustee in charge of Open Eco Homes did an interview for the Cambridge Edition. The article (titled "Green Houses") not only has a sneak peak of Ian's home (a beautiful new eco build), but also looks at whether it's best to improve the fabric of your home first (making it more cosy and energy efficient) or if we should be investing in renewables. It's a good read, with lots of interviews with other Cambridge homeowners and home energy experts. Make sure you check out the full article on our website.

If Ian's home sounds interesting, you'll soon have the chance to check it out in person! Ian has signed up for Open Eco Homes 2013 and will be opening his house for visitors on the 15th and 23rd of June. More details of the other homes opening their doors and how to book are coming soon to the Open Eco Homes website.

5. Talking Climate: climate change communication
Some readers of this newsletter will be interested in the latest research about climate change communication and I recommend the Talking Climate website, which has lots of suggestions for effective communication. You can also sign up for their regular emails, which give you summaries of recent research – the latest one had some interesting research from Wales, showing how much greater concern (and willingness to act) are among people who have directly experienced the effects of climate change (in this case flooding). Another interesting nugget of information this time is that research shows that you can’t use the same pictures to raise concern about climate change and at the same time encourage people to feel able to act (eg pictures of floods raise concern but don’t encourage people to think they can act, while pictures of positive actions encourage people to think they can do something, too).

6. Book group meeting Monday 18 March
Monday 18 March

We will be having another of our popular book group meetings on Monday March 18th from 7-9pm at Jane's house. There is room for a couple more participants - you just need to read the book, which is the extremely readable "Confessions of an Eco-sinner" by Fred Pearce (not off-puttingly finger-wagging in spite of the title, but you will never view some of your household objects in the same way again!). The book group meets every two months over a bring-and-share meal. Contact the office if you are interested in joining

7. What’s in a Footprint? 20 March (FULLY BOOKED)
Wednesday 20 March, 7 - 9pm, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane

As part of the Cambridge Science Festival, we are hosting a 'taster' of our six-session course Carbon Conversations, which the Guardian called one of the ‘best 20 climate solutions’, developed right here in Cambridge. You might be surprised at what contributes to a carbon footprint!

For more Cambridge Science Festival Events, see the Festival programme here.

8. Beginners Sewing Workshop 13 April
Saturday 13 April, 11am - 3pm, CCF office, Milton Rd

Did you know that around 30% of clothing in UK wardrobes has not been worn for at least a year, most commonly because the clothes no longer fit? Extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints made by clothing!

Learning to alter and repair your own clothes is a vital skill that will allow you to bring new life to your clothes and cut down on waste. Towards that end CCF is offering a sewing workshop on 13th April consisting of two optional sessions.

Session 1: 11am to 12:30pm
Break: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (bring your own lunch if you’re staying for the second session)
Session 2: 1:30pm to 3:00pm

For each session you can choose to learn either hand sewing (such as small repairs, buttons, hemming), OR learn some simple machine sewing skills by making a tote bag (this will teach some techniques that might be useful for alterations). If you’d like to learn both, you can sign up for both the am and pm sessions to get the full experience, or just pick what you’re most interested in for one session.

Booking is very essential as space will be limited. Send an email or call 01223 301842 to register.

Both sessions are free but small donations to help cover costs would be helpful! Bring along any clothes you might have that need a bit of repair or hemming for practice, we’ll have some as well. For the tote bag/sewing machine session, the machine and materials will be provided.

The workshops will be led by expert sewers and clothing upcyclers Lesley Guebert and Fiona Riggall.

9. Climate Friendly Homes surveyor training 16 April
Tuesday 16 April, 7.30pm - 9.00pm, CCF office, Milton Rd, Cambridge

Interested in making homes cosier and more energy efficient and keen to help others? Why not come to this training and become a surveyor for CCF’s Climate Friendly Homes Project?

Climate Friendly Homes provides a free service to householders to help them make practical plans to reduce their carbon emissions.

Surveyors will learn how to:
create an individualised report offering suggestions and advice about what can be done to cut the carbon footprint of a home
provide information tailored to individual circumstances on grants, suppliers and discount
give home owners advice and support

If you would like to book a place on the training please email

10. Goods and Experiences Fundraising Auction 27 April
Saturday 27 April, 7.30 - 9.30pm, St. Andrew’s Hall, St. Andrew’s Road, Chesterton

Get ready to scoop up some amazing items and experiences at our Fundraising Auction this April! The evening will include both silent and live auctions of fanstastic prizes donated from businesses and individuals around Cambridge. Not only will we have great items on offer, but unique experiences and services donated by CCF volunteers and supporters as well.

Watch this space nearer to the auction to see more details of what will be on offer on the 27th of April!

11. Sustainability and Retrofit Challenge
GreenBRIDGE and the Living Lab are hosting a Sustainability Retrofit Challenge with £1,000 in cash prizes on the table.

If you have an interest in sustainability in the built environment, this is the perfect chance to experience retrofit design on a real building in Cambridge! You may enter teams of one to four people and put your creative and technical skills to the test. Your entries will be evaluated on the basis of sustainability, originality, and feasibility, for the chance to win great cash prizes.

Participants will have the opportunity to take part in a building tour, as well as a series of four skills seminars designed to expand your knowledge of green retrofit principles as well as help guide your design process.

The Retrofit Challenge leads up to a closing event in which you will have the opportunity to present your designs to a judging panel of leading academic and industry professionals.

For details and registration email or visitwww . greenbridge . org . uk.

12. Transition Cafe: Saving and investment for a time of uncertainty 7 March
Thursday 7 March, 7.30 - 9pm, CB1 Cafe, 32 Mill Road, Cambridge

Peak oil and the collapse of global finance are a "perfect storm" of converging phenomena that threaten to sink our age of prosperity. Does it any longer make sense to save for retirement? If so, what kinds of savings or investments can offer the prospect of relative safety without making the world's problems even worse than they already are? Are there ways to overcome the aversion many of us feel to planning for our financial futures? Come along to discuss these issues. If there's enough interest, we'll set up a few meetings to explore the options in more detail with a view to enabling us to make informed decisions.

13. Film: "97% Owned" at Transition Cafe 21 March
Thursday 21 March, 7.30 - 9pm, CB1 Cafe, 32 Mill Road, Cambridge

When money drives almost all activity on the planet, it's essential that we understand it. Yet simple questions often get overlooked - questions like: where does money come from? Who creates it? This film, made by Positive Money, explores these questions. The film will be followed by a discussion, possibly including some discussion of a local currency for Cambridge. All welcome, free.

14. Green Enterprise, David Jones: Wildlife Trust 25 March
Monday 25 March, 7:30 - 9:30pm, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge

David will share with us the Wildlife Trust's new ‘Living Landscape’ approach to conservation which aims to benefit local communities, while protecting wildlife and reconnecting people with the natural world. One of the first and most exciting ‘Living Landscape’ projects is The Great Fen, between Cambridge and Peterborough. He will also discuss how the Wildlife Trust works as a organisation, the implications of their federal "hyper-local" approach, and discuss how they're addressing the challenges of fundraising in a recession. It should be a fascinating evening for anyone who is interested in how to fund green projects, or just wants to hear the story behind one of the UK’s most important new conservation projects.

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