Friday, 4 October 2013

Cambridge Carbon Footprint: October Newsletter: A Tasty Sustainable Feast!


We're very excited that tickets are now available for the launch of our Food for a Greener Future Campaign at Fitzbillies restaurant. We'll be celebrating the best of local, sustainable, delicious food with a menu specially designed by Fitbillies first-class chef, Rosie Sykes. Booking is available through the event page on the CCF website.

As part of the Food for a Greener Future Campaign we're also challenging you all to eat local in November! The goal? To source all of your food from within a 30-mile radius of Cambridge for three weeks. How hard can it be? Click here for lots more info on the challenge.

And if the thought of tasty sustainable food excites you, do check out our sustainable food blog if you haven’t seen it recently. There are some great posts from our regular contributors (even when we don't have a challenge going on) – and also some delicious recipes!

Last chance! - Now is your last chance to book for our Carbon Conversations group starting next Wednesday! It's a wonderful opportunity to find out more about low carbon living and to really kick start your low carbon life. We have a few spots left, so email alana@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org to book now.

1. Carbon Conversations: Kick start your low carbon life!Carbon Conversations is starting next week! It's a great opportunity to connect with others and learn together about how we can live lower carbon lives. There are 6 sessions in all and each session is a supportive space to:
Learn about the impact of our food, travel, consumption and energy use
Share ideas and create plans
Talk and meet new people
Begin to get a grip on climate change

Meetings will be held fortnighly on from 7.30pm October 9th.

To register for this course, or your interest in attending any future Carbon Conversations groups please email your full name to alana@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org, or phone the CCF office on 01223 301842.

2. Festival of Ideas, 28 October28 October 2013, 7.00-9.00pm, St Lukes Church, Victoria Road Cambridge, CB4 3DZ

We all want to do something about climate change in light of the idea that it poses a real threat to humanity. But what can we personally do? This workshop for the Cambridge University Festival of Ideas looks at our current levels of consumption, energy use, global travel and food sourcing and asks, ‘Are the solutions within our reach?’

Participants will have the chance to compare their lifestyle expectations with lifestyle expectations as recently as 40 years ago and consider what it would be like to redraw the boundaries we have set to create a more sustainable lifestyle for ourselves. A lifestyle that would be fulfilling, enjoyable and exciting while at the same time lower in carbon.

The workshop will provide participants with a taste of the Carbon Conversations course we also run, which is a series of six engaging meetings helping participants to halve their carbon footprint.

For bookings email info@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org or call the CCF office on 01223 301842.

3. Warm Homes Mill Road, 2 November 2 November, Mill Road Area & Ross Street Community Centre, CB1 3UZ

After the popularity of our Warm Homes Trumpington event, CCF have put together a whole day home-energy event for the Mill Road area, including a morning of visits to local houses with energy-saving improvements, as well as an afternoon at Ross St Community Centre with:
talks and workshops by home energy experts
videos of local homes and homeowners talking to energy experts
stalls with reliable local suppliers and installers
expert advice about you can do to save energy in your home including tailored advice for tenants
DIY improvements
Getting the best out of your house at no extra cost
latest information on loans and grants, including the Green Deal

Check out the full timetable of activities at the Ross St Centre (pdf)

The main focus will be on the many pre-1920s houses in the area (and throughout Cambridge) which have solid walls and are therefore more difficult and expensive to insulate.

Please contact us for more information, bookings for home tours will be open soon.

4. Celebration of Sustainable Food at Fitzbillies, 21 November21 November, 7.00pm, Fitzbillies Restaurant 52A Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RG

Join us at Fitzbillies to celebrate the delicious and varied sustainable, local food around Cambridge, and to launch the new Food for a Green Future campaign. There will be three course sustainable set menu, including both vegan and omnivorous options. Tickets are £33 per person not including drinks.

Booking only through Cambridge Carbon Footprint. Click here for more info and to book your spot!

5. Eat local this November!4 November - 17 November

Roll up your sleeves, switch your brain into ‘inventive cooking’ mode, and get ready to go crazy in the kitchen! After a break over the summer, we’re once again once again gearing up for our next food challenge. Your goal? To source all of your food from within a 30-mile radius of Cambridge for three weeks, with an extra emphasis on reducing your meat and dairy intake.

It should also be mentioned that we do advocate the ‘five exceptions’ rule: that is, please allow yourself five ingredients (such as rice, tea, quinoa, spices etc) that are not local…just to ensure you are getting the proper nutrition and still enjoy your food!

Participants will also have the opportunity to write about their experiences on our sustainable food blog, and to meet other participants at a bring-and-share meal.

There's lots more information on the CCF website, but to take part in the challange and join up with other local eaters you just need to email elaina@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org.

6. It’s the ScienceBy Tom Bragg

Yesterday I was at DECC’s launch of the new IPCC climate science report, which provides a consensus view with unequivocal messages; most climate scientists actually think the situation is even more challenging, but it was uplifting to be with so many people who wanted to explain and act on the science.

For the first time, it describes a global carbon budget: to have a two-thirds chance of staying below a dangerous 2°C of global warming, humankind must add less than one trillion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere. By 2011 we’d already used half this budget, and unless emissions are cut rapidly, we’ll burn the rest in 30 years. The report also warns that this budget may be smaller, because of 'known unknowns' in the climate system, like methane emissions from permafrost.

Heeding this climate science implies that at least two-thirds of current fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground - a complete reversal of the rush to discover and burn more oil, gas and coal.

But with a General Election looming, politicians are falling over themselves to freeze fuel prices or fuel duty. Please oppose these and other short-term populist measures that feed climate change.

The hard truth is that fossil fuel prices will need to rise even further. We must strive to ease the effect of this on those who can’t afford it: a small example is CCF’s new Warm Homes Plus project to provide households in fuel poverty with advice and practical help to improve their homes’ thermal efficiency.

7. Gardening in October – Something in the garden is staying warm!By Keith Jordan

As October day lengths shorten and the sun is lower in the sky, temperatures are generally on the decline. This is a natural trigger for many animals and plants to make provision for storage and survival during the winter months. Jays and squirrels will be collecting acorns to bury, insects may be laying eggs, pupating or finding safe hibernation places. Many herbaceous plants die back, shed leaves or divert their energy reserves from leaves and stems to their roots, tubers or bulbs.

Associated with mass decomposition of plant material, well-made compost heaps will be warming up.
Decomposition involves millions of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) plus some larger organisms including earthworms, molluscs and woodlice. Under optimal aerobic conditions, composting proceeds through three phases:

1) Mesophilic phase (moderate-temperature), which lasts for a few days (look out for woodlice and worms). Composting will occur optimally if the mixture of materials is right – a good mix of greens (the wet, soft, green materials, high in nitrogen) and browns (the dry harder, absorbent materials high in carbon). It needs to be moist (water if necessary, but not too wet) and have enough air (some bulky, twiggy material provides this). Covering with old carpet will help to keep the heat in.

2) Thermophilic phase (high-temperature), lasting from a few days to several weeks depending on the time of year and material. Billions of bacteria (good species!) and fungi will chemically break down the variety of organic materials, using a broad range of enzymes, and generating heat in the process. You may have seen evidence of this exothermic process - steam rising from a heap of manure on a cold day. This is the basis of the old technique of hot beds used in the walled kitchen gardens of stately homes to raise plants in cold frames out of their normal season.

Larger, insulated compost heaps may heat up to 40-50°C and municipal scale compost systems to 60-70°C destroying pathogens, fly larvae, and weed seeds. It would be interesting to use a thermal camera to check yours! Mix grass clippings, straw or hay to kick start slow, cool compost heaps. Natural products high in ammonia can also help (e.g. poultry manure, waste water from an aquarium, etc.).
Lack of oxygen (if too wet or compacted/ perhaps too much soil added) results in anaerobic bacteria producing ammonia and hydrogen sulphide (smelly and no heat!).

3) Cooling and maturation phase, lasting several-months. Woodlice and worms carry on the process.
Turning material once or twice will help this stage. The result is nutrient rich organic matter, perfect material for adding to your soil, making potting compost and mulching around plants.

8. Public Meeting: The gagging lawLast month Tom Bragg wrote a piece in our newsletter about the upcoming gagging law. Many charities (including CCF) are concerned about the implications to their activities. To voice these concerns 38 Degrees have set up a public meeting in Cambridge, which MP Julian Huppert will be attending. Here's what 38 Degrees have to say:

Want to help stop the gagging law? There’s a public meeting happening in Cambridge on 17th October. Your MP, Julian Huppert, has already confirmed that he’s attending. But we need to pack the meeting with lots of his constituents. Can you come?

Here are the details:
Friday 17th October
Wolfson Hall, Churchill College, Storey's Way, Cambridge, CB3 0DS
7:30pm - 9:30pm

Your MP, Julian Huppert, is one of the MPs that we need to vote against the gagging law, if we’re going to stop it. 38 Degrees members voted to focus on public meetings as a way of persuading MPs to make a stand against the gagging law. We know it’s a very effective tactic. But we need to make sure the meeting is packed full to the rafters. To work, it needs to be big.

MPs will vote on the gagging law again on October 8th. Let’s make sure that for Julian Huppert MP, the thought of justifying the way he voted face-to-face with hundreds of constituents will be front of mind when he casts his votes. If we can get lots of people to turn out, it’s bound to impact on what your MP does as the law continues its way through parliament.

Everyone is welcome to come along, so please bring your friends and family. Even if you don’t want to ask a question, it will be interesting to hear what your MP, Julian Huppert, and the speakers have to say on the gagging law.

Visit our facebook event page and let us know if you can come. We need to show that as many people are planning to attend as possible, so please RSVP - and invite your friends too.

If you don’t have facebook, you can email emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk or leave a comment on our blog to RSVP.

9. Global Sustainability Institute Seminar: A Fevered Planet7 October, 1.00-2.00pm Lab 005 (Anglia Ruskin East Road campus)

Speaker: Prof Hugh Montgomery, UCL

The number of humans on the planet has grown at an extraordinary rate, and in a very short space of time. At the same time, the rate of technical and industrial growth has massively accelerated- as have the demands and expectations of each individual. The net result is that humanity has degraded Earth's biosphere at a rate which is unsustainable. On top of this, anthropogenic climate change acts as a force multiplier. For all too long, these combined impacts have been framed as 'academic', or at best distant and slow. They have also been framed in terms of tigers, polar bears, and tree frogs. But what does the environmental impact which humans have had on the environment mean for the environment's impact on humans?

Any questions, or to let us know you're coming (which is not essential) contactrosie.robison@anglia.ac.uk or julie-anne.hogbin@anglia.ac.uk, 01223 695107.

**Sustainable Lunch Provided**

10. Introduction to Permaculture with Claire White
12 - 13 October, 9.30am-5.00pm, Trumpington Pavillion 09:30-17:30

Permaculture is the underpinning philosophy behind Transition Towns. While Permaculture has it's origins in land use and growing systems that is only a part of Permaculture. It is a design system, not just for gardening but for all aspects of living sustainably, be that in our emotional lives, how we design and use our homes and much much more. This weekend course Costs £75 (£65 unwaged).

11. Global Sustainability Institute: Festival of Ideas event23 October, 5.30-7.00pm, LAB 027 (Anglia Ruskin East Road campus)

Title: Uncomfortable conversations... why discussing the big issues is so hard

Like politics, religion and money, climate change can be one of those topics it's not very comfortable to talk about with friends. It can provoke strong feelings, and judgement of people’s life choices, so isn't it more considerate not to mention it at all? In this interactive talk, speakers from the Global Sustainability Institute and friends will give their thoughts on why we avoid issues that it might be helpful for us to face up to, from climate change to our own health, and ask the audience to share their views and experiences. Led by Dr Rosie Robison and Julie-Anne Hogbin from the Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University.

15+, Free, Full access, Talk, Arrive on time, Booking not required

For more information see the Festival of Ideas event listing.

12. Green Enterprise: Carlos Ludlow-Palafox on opportunities in recyclingOctober 28, 7:30-9:30pm, Friends Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8BA

Carlos Ludlow-Palafox of Enval is successful entrepreneur who has developed a patented process and built a commercial scale recycling plant for recycling the formerly unrecyclable flexible laminate packaging (as used for toothpaste tubes, food pouches and coffee) Carlos is clearly skilled at navigating the funding maze, so this session will be of interest to anyone wondering about how to find funding for their idea, or the important topic of how we can convert landfill waste into valuable resources.

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. Cost £5.

Cambridge Carbon Footprint
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01223 301842

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