Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Cambridge Carbon Footprint: Stylish Spring In March (Newsletter)

Interested in gaining some valuable volunteering experience? We are currently looking for two volunteers, one to administrate our famous Open Eco Homes project, another to help run the CCF office couple of mornings a week. Find out more below and get in touch soon!

Our exciting spring fashion event Second Hand Style is happening on 15th March, so come along and bring your friends, too! If you get interested in second hand fashion and creating your own style further, we also have a sewing workshop in April, find out more below.

1. Eat Cambridge Festival 9 March
CCF is excited to be a part of Eat Cambridge, a new annual event aimed at local people and showing off our local producers. CCF will be in attendance at the main food and drink fair on 9th March at the Guildhall with a stall from 10:30am-4:00pm, as well as a talk on Local Sustainable Food at 1:20pm.

There are lots more events scheduled as a part of Eat Cambridge. Go to www . eat-cambridge . co . uk to check it out!

We urgently need stall volunteers! Email stephanie@cambridgecarbonfootprint.orgif you can help out!

2. 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 fashion show model. Send an email about you, a couple photos and why you want to be a model for us!

3. Book group meeting Monday 18 March
We will be having another of our popular book group meetings on Monday March 18th from 7-9pm in 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

4. What’s in a footprint? 20 March
Wednesday 20 March, 7 - 9pm, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane

As part of the Cambridge Science Festival, we invite you to experience a taste 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! Come along and try out some hands on activities with our experienced facilitators.

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

Pre-booking is required. To book your place, email

5. 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.

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

For both sessions you can choose to learn about either hand sewing skills (such as small repairs, buttons, hemming), OR make a tote bag on a sewing machine to pick up a few simple skills that useful in altering clothes (great if you’ve got a machine you never get around to using or are thinking of buying one). 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 to or call 01223 301842 to register.

Both sessions are free and will be held at our office off Milton Road (address here), 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.

6. 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!

7. Office Admin Assistant
Are you looking for office experience? Do you have a keen interest in environmental issues? Could you volunteer your time 3 mornings a week for 3 to 6 months for a small, friendly environmental charity in Cambridge?

You would be:
Dealing with events bookings
Dealing with phone and email enquiries
Inputting data
Managing newsletter sign-ups
Maintaining parts of our website (for which training would be given in WordPress)
Occasional postering around the town
Other sundry tasks as required

We are looking for someone:
Reliable and committed
With good communication skills, both written and verbal
Basic IT skills (we can provide some training)

You would be working alongside our Volunteer and Events organiser and the CCF Co-ordinator, plus our board of five Trustees.

Previous Admin Assistants have found appropriate paid work (at Addenbrookes, The Green Party, Oxfam, and the Marriage Foundation), following on from their useful experience with us. Here’s a quote from a former Admin Assitant: “I improved my skills and learned several new ones. Volunteering at CCF was a brilliant way to get life and personal experience. It means that I am now more open to learn from others, to meet a diverse range of people and it made me more confident. I am sure that these four months have helped me to give my best at my [successful] work interview.”

If interested, please send your CV and a covering letter to Alana Sinclair (

Deadline: Close of business Thursday 7th of March.

8. 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.

9. Nearly a year of Living Well with Less Stuff!
Some of us have been doing our best to Live Well with Less Stuff for nearly a year now and we are soon going to be meeting up for a final get-together to share how we all got on. We are planning to have an open event in May to celebrate the year and focus on different ways we can learn to live full and enjoyable lives without the need for new purchases all the time - we'll let you know nearer the time. In the meantime, have a look at a couple of recent posts by Fiona and Rod: Fiona finds an unexpected bonus from her charity shop purchases and Rod really starts getting into sharing (as well as giving us some excellent links to research on why we need to be cutting our consumption).

10. Vegan challenge a great success!
We had double the number of usual participants for our week-long vegan challenge and everyone found it really stimulating to do and easier than expected. We had an incredible feast with bring-and-share dishes near the end of the week - read Helen's description of the sumptuous food and see the pictures here.

We will be running another sustainable food challenge very soon - if you are interested in participating or finding out more, email

11. Gardening in March – “On your marks,….get set,…..GO” – New gardening year commences!
The season of Spring seems to have resumed in recent days (early March) with a few pleasant sunny, mild days after seemingly weeks of cold, dull, uninspiring weather. It’s difficult to believe that the first summer migrant songbirds (Chiff Chaffs) usually arrive in Cambridge around the 21st of this month on their journey from southern Europe and western Africa! As with plants, their spring progress is influenced by the weather.

Read Keith Jordan’s full article on our website.

12. Ro Randall: How our unconscious memories of bullying help the corporate thugs РElectricité de France and the No-Dash-for-Gas activists

Were you alarmed by the recent news that Electricit√© de France (EDF) plans to sue the 17 protestors who last October occupied one of its power stations in protest at the government’s new ‘dash for gas’? I was. It was a kind of low-level fear in the gut. 5 million pounds – how could ordinary people ever find such a sum? I found my mind turning to my house, my pension, my income, all the material things that make life feel marginally safe. Better be careful, I thought.

Read more at www . rorandall . org

13. 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.

14. 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.