Monday, 6 January 2014

Cambridge Carbon Footprint: Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first CCF newsletter edition for 2014! We hope you had a great time over the Christmas/New Year period. January is looking to be an exciting month for green events with loads going on through CCF and across Cambridge generally.

Very importantly, we encourage you to book now for the fantastic Food for a Greener Future conference on Saturday February 8th. There are some excellent speakers lined up, such as Duncan Campbell from WWF who can give a global as well as a UK perspective. Mike Small of The Fife Diet has turned a Scottish local food initiative into a national phenomenon and we are really looking forward to finding out how he did it. Dan Iles from the World Development Movement will be speaking about Food Sovereignty campaign, which is about social justice in the global food market. And there are several more speakers, including the wonderful Tine Roche of the Cambridge Cookery School, who will be giving a demonstration of how to cook local food in February! Here’s the full programme and you can book online using the same link. Remember that the conference fee (£15 or £10 concessions (and free to volunteers!)) also covers refreshments and a fantastic locally sourced sustainable lunch, so it’s really good value!

1. 'Eat local' challenge begins next week
January 13-26, 2014
Are you keen to start the new year with a rewarding resolution? It's not too late to join the group of brave and adventurous souls who are committing to sourcing all of their food from within a 30-mile radius of Cambridge for three weeks in January! Check out the CCF website for all the info you need and to take part in the challenge and join up with other local eaters please email

2. Thermal imaging training
January 14, 7.30pm - 9.30pm, CCF Offices, Citylife House, Sturton Street, CB1 2QF

Thermal imaging is a great way to identify the best ways to improve insulation and air tightness, and at CCF we’re lucky to have not one but two thermal cameras! You can find more information on the benefits of infrared surveys on our thermal imaging page, but if you’d like to use one to see where your home is leaking heat sign up for our free training session?

Participants in the training session will learn not only how to use our thermal imaging cameras, but more importantly how to interpret the results. Once trained participants will be able to borrow our thermal imaging cameras to survey their own homes (and those of others if they’d like) and identify any trouble spots.

If you’d like to come please email to book your spot. Be warned, there’s only 12 spots available and they book out quickly!

3. Get (and stay) motivated towards a low carbon life
January 23, 7.00- 8.30pm, the Centre at St Pauls, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 1JP.

Sandra Boegelein, a psychologist with the world-renowned Tyndall Centre for climate change research, will give an interactive talk on what motivates people to lead a low carbon lifestyle, focusing not just on what gets us motivated in the first place but also on what keeps us engaged with this issue. Sandra has been working with Cambridge Carbon Footprint recently, trialling the effects of different messages on people at our Mill Road Winter Fair stall. The talk is free and you don't need to book. Don't miss this great opportunity!

4. Swishing, Fabric and Craft supply swap
January 25, 3.00pm (on the dot) until 5.00pm at St Andrews Street Baptist Church, CB2 3AR

Come along to refresh your wardrobe in the new year as well as your hobbies! Swap your clothes, fabric and craft supplies in the Upper Hall of the St Andrews Street Baptist Church. Swishings are a great way of scoring yourself some new clothes, without costing anything, especially not carbon!

Please note it's in a different venue than last time, this one is close to the centre of town on St Andrews Street, CB2 3AR. See you there!

5. 'Local Food Roots' film and a bring and share meal...
January 28, 7.00pm - 9.00pm, Friends meeting house, Jesus Lane CB5 8BA

'Local Food Roots' is a new film celebrating the local food movement in the UK over the last 30 years. It runs for 35minutes, info and the trailer can be found here:http ://localfoodfilm . org . uk/
As watching all that yummy food being grown, shared and eating is sure to inspire an appetite, please bring along a plate of food to share with others after the screening.

To book, please email

6. Food For a Greener Future Conference
February 8, 9.30am - 5.30pm, Emmanuel United Reformed Church, CB2 1RR

As many of you know the main event of the Food for a Greener Future campaign will be the amazing sustainable food conference on the 8th of February! The conference is gearing up to be super interesting and bookings are limited, so secure your place now using the above links.

7. Carbon Conversations
Keen to kick-start your low carbon life in the new year? Carbon Conversations is 6 sessions in a small group to help you do just that! 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

We're setting dates/locations for groups to start in February. Please email and let us know if you'd like to join a group, or if you have a group and would like our facilitators to come to you!

8. Eco-coaching opportunity
Are you interested in becoming an eco coach? Would you like to help shape and develop CCF's new eco-coaching programme? We’re keen to recruit and train a few key volunteers to deliver one-to-one coaching to people seeking a more personalised, in-depth approach to carbon reduction. For further details, contact Training will start in mid-January 2014.

9. Food, glorious food! (by Bev Sedley)
Fascinating food facts
Food makes a major contribution to our carbon footprint and it’s also something we can all do something about. Now that I’m doing so much with the newly-formed Cambridge Sustainable Food Network, I’m constantly on the look-out for useful information on food. I’d like to recommend the following:
• A great new short cartoon from WWF which shows in an engaging way how our eating habits affect the planet (and also points to what we can do about it). If you want to read the WWF research that is behind this cartoon, I highly recommend their 2011 reportLivewell: a balance of healthy and sustainable food choices which shows how we can reduce our carbon footprint and eat more healthily at the same time (based on the Government’s Eatwell Plate nutritional recommendations).
Zero Carbon Britain 2030, which came out in July 2013, has an excellent chapter on land use, including agriculture, which sets food production in the context of overall land use and shows how we can make changes which will not only allow us to produce more of our own food and eat more healthily, but also allow us to devote more of our land that is currently used for livestock to carbon capture and biofuels. The end result would be that we would actually produce negative emissions, helping to balance out other emissions, enabling us to become a zero carbon country. All this without cutting out meat and dairy entirely, just reducing it –their suggested weekly diet looked pretty good to me! It’s section 3.2, page 81 ff.
• True cost accounting in food and farming. The Sustainable Food Trust organised a wonderful conference on December 6th that several of us from Cambridge went to. We all found it really inspiring, hearing about the work that is going on all over the world to make farming more sustainable and to incorporate the true environmental and other costs into the cost of the food we eat. Rob Hopkins of the Transition Network has written up a really good summary of it.
• The Eating Better newsletter. I’ve recently signed up to the Eating Better newsletter, which has a lot of really interesting information. (That’s where I got the WWF cartoon from!) This is a new organisation – there really is a lot happening in food!
• Cambridge Sustainable Food Network. We have our second meeting of the Cambridge Sustainable Food Network in a couple of weeks, so I should have lots of news about that soon! We have signed up to have a big stall at the huge Eat Cambridge food fair at the Corn Exchange on May 17th (help welcome!) and we will be putting our Cambridge Food Charter out to consultation from February 8th.

10. Meeting Passivhaus Standards for Retrofit Schemes
January 15, 2014, 5.30-8.00pm, The Technology Partnership, Melbourn Science Park, Melbourn, Hertfordshire, SG8 6EE

Passivhaus standards are set very high for new builds, but how can we bring our existing building stock to Passivhaus standards? Achieving Passivhaus certification for retrofit projects is possible so join us on the day to hear about case studies and some solutions for retrofitting our existing building stock. There will also be the chance to visit Integrity Buildings Cambridge Passivhaus showcase from 4pm.

This event is being run by Cambridge Cleantech Building Technologies SIG and their events often sell out fast, so book your place here now!

11. Seedy Sunday, coming up soon!
January 19, 1.30-4.00pm, Trumpington Village Hall, High Street, Trumpington CB2 9HZ

Trumpington Seedy Sunday is a regular annual event for grow-your-own fans in the local area. You can:
* bring self-saved seeds to exchange
* exchange bought surplus seed
* take seeds in exchange for a small donation

If you don't have any spare seeds, don't worry - there are always plenty to go around.

* Speaker: Keith Jordan - The Joy of Seeds (2:00pm)
* Film: Seeds of Sovereignty (3:00pm)
* Stalls include: Trumpington W.I. refreshments, Thomas Etty Seed Merchants, Trumpington Community Orchard, Trumpington Allotment Society
* Children's activity - Fun with Seeds!
* Student Networking Session - Grow your Own

Entry costs £1.50 for adults (children free). Check out the webpage here for more details or contact the organisers at

12. Green Enterprise: Bev Sedley on the Cambridge Sustainable Food Network
January 27, 7:30-9:30pm, Friends Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8BA

Bev will discuss the recently launched project to turn Cambridge into a “Sustainable Food City”. This is part of a new national network to help businesses, the public sector, communities and NGOs make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live.

Immediate plans for Cambridge include setting up a website to promote all local sustainable food activities, launching a sustainable food charter and, in the longer term, establishing a local Food Hub as a base for a range of organisations. Nearly 40 local organisations are already on board with this initiative, including public and private caterers, suppliers and growers, as well as Cambridge City Council and several community food groups. This session will be of interest to anyone who cares about our access to healthy, sustainable food.

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.

13. The Work that Reconnects
February 2, 10.30am-5.30pm, The Community Room, Newnham Croft Primary School, Chedworth Street, Newnham, Cambridge CB3 9JF

The Work that Reconnects is a process designed by Joanna Macy to help us find our energy to bring about positive change in the world. It is a chance to connect with the issues that we care about, explore our feelings about these issues, and possibly decide on some first steps to engage with the issue. It can also be a place to face difficult feelings that we may feel when we look at the state of the world, and to help us move through these to find a bigger vision of the world we'd like to create. The day will consist of a variety of experiential exercises, including some time alone in nature. The workshop will be facilitated by Anna McIvor, Liz Serocold, Bev Sedley and Kate Honey. The cost of the workshop is likely to be around £10 to £20 (to cover the cost of the venue hire). To book, please send an e-mail to Anna with your name, e-mail and phone number, and we'll send you more information closer to the date.

14. Gardening in January - Looking back, and forward (by Keith Jordan)
Another growing season is on the horizon, after the expected January/February cold period - unless this is to remain a mild, wet winter. It would be difficult to recreate 2013’s almost-perfect weather conditions for many fruit trees – apples in particular. My garden tree, an old Essex variety, had its best crop for 22 years (‘since records began’) and at picking time I found it difficult to find enough safe (mouse-free) storage places for the fruits to last until the end of April/early May (being a long-storing variety). Keep checking any stored fruits and veg as one rotten specimen can spread fungal spores to its neighbours.

January 2013 started dull and mild – before the temperatures plunged and snow started around the middle of the month. Snow was coming down on Trumpington’s ‘Seedy Sunday’ seed swap day (the date is the 19th this year, at Trumpington Village Hall, 1:30-4:00pm). A cold winter period is just what temperate fruit crops need, and this is just what we had in 2013 with snow, sub-zero temperatures and freezing easterly winds persisting into March and Easter time! The dormancy triggers fruiting bud production, so as long as the weather improves at flowering time and pollinating bees and other insects appear all is set for a good harvest. Some earlier-flowering pears and apple varieties, like the ones on my allotment, may have been affected by the end of the cold spell. Looking forward to the new season, it’s time now to prune any old/neglected fruit trees (except stone fruits like plums, gages, etc – best in growing season). Thin out crowded shoots, remove dead and diseased material and set the main shape of the tree. In future years it’s then best to (late) summer prune, enhancing those special fruiting buds. For the future, it’s now a great time (mild conditions) to plant all fruit trees and bushes.

And to celebrate the coming harvest with fellow fruit/orchard lovers, Trumpington Community Orchard’s traditional Wassail is coming up on 12th Jan (http ://trumpingtonorchard . org) - a traditional ceremony to celebrate the apple trees and encourage them to bear a good crop in the year to come!
Spot the odd one out below! Keep checking fruits in storage for rots and mice damage.

Cambridge Carbon Footprint
www . cambridgecarbonfootprint . org
01223 301842

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