Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Cambridge Carbon Footprint: The hot issue of home energy - September Newsletter

1. Book Your Open Eco Homes Visits + extra energy saving events!

Sun 14th & Sat 20th Sept, various locations around Cambridge

Choose between 17 homes to visit on Sun 14th and Sat 20th September, where householders will show you how they save energy and keep their bills and carbon emissions low. Learn from their experience and decide what would suit your home or plans.

There’s a wide variety of Open Eco Homes:
• retro-fitted & new-build
• low cost & really stylish
• simple & high tech
• rented & owner-occupied

Most older Cambridge homes have solid walls that are difficult to insulate. Grants of up to £6,000 per property are now available from the Cambridgeshire Solid Wall Insulation Fund. Three of the open homes are applying for and using this funding.

Book now

“Wonderful. Brilliant idea – seeing the theories in practice.”

5 Follow-up Events will give practical advice on turning your inspiration into reality, improving home energy-efficiency and comfort.

2. DIY Lotions and Potions – skillshare

Tues 23rd Sept, 19.30–21.00, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, CB5 8BA

This is a fun and experimental workshop on how to make DIY lotions and ‘potions’.

Commercially made lotions, creams and balms are often made from a list of chemicals which are harmful to the earth, made in all sorts of energy intensive ways, shipped a long way, and bottled in single-use containers. We can do better! Participants at this workshop will learn about the harmful ingredients in shop bought body products and how to choose ingredients to make their own that are good for the environment and their skin. The workshop also includes two fun DIY’s, and everyone gets to take home their own lip balm and body butter. Please bring two small jars with you. Please book a place at this popular evening by emailing

3. Swish Afternoon Tea Party with the Cambridge LadyBirds WI

Sat 27th September, 14.00-15.30, St Andrews Street Baptist Church, 43 St Andrews Street, CB2 3AR

Roll up! Roll up! For the September swish & tea party!

This event, run by CCF in partnership with the Cambridge LadyBirds WI is a wonderful opportunity to reinvigorate your wardrobe, without costing the earth. Just bring along your unloved clothes and swap them!

To take part simply come along at 2pm on Saturday September 27th and drop off 1-5 items of good quality clothes, shoes or accessories. Then just sit back and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and some home made cake while we sort them into an organised swap shop. The clothes swap will then commence at 2.30pm.

Entry is free – though donations are very welcome (the event is a fundraiser for the LadyBirds 2014 speaker fund). All excess goods and 10% of donations (after costs) will go to Arthur Rank Hospice.

4. Cambridge Sustainable Food volunteer: website development and newsletter

Our wonderful summer intern, Emilie, is starting work in London and we are looking for someone to carry on some of the great work she has been doing for Cambridge Sustainable Food (CSF). CSF is hosted by Cambridge Carbon Footprint, and is looking for a volunteer to work on our website development for a period of three to six months, for three half-days per week (with two thirds of this time in the CCF office in Hooper Street and the rest working with CSF chair). The CSF website uses WordPress and the work will involve:
• Liaising with CSF members and others to create content (particularly regarding the member profiles and description of sustainable food businesses and projects)
• Inputting and updating content
• Researching national information on sustainable food that will be of interest to our members

The volunteer will also be responsible for editing and sending out our monthly e-newsletter. Some training in the use of WordPress and Mailchimp (for the newsletter) will be given, but the volunteer should already be familiar with website work of this kind.

You can see our website here: www . cambridgesustainablefood . org and look here for an example of our newsletter.

If you are interested, please contact Bev Sedley on email at or phone 07773 862982 for more information.

5. Gardening in September

By Keith Jordan

Alas, summer is on the wane and many signs of autumn are already apparent! The seasons seem to have romped ahead this year with fruits ready a week or two earlier than normal. It’s good to remove any netting you may have put over plants like strawberries and soft fruits to keep birds off as netting (especially the flimsy plastic types) pose great problems for birds, hedgehogs and other wildlife ...once legs, beaks, prickles get trapped they become death traps, like mist traps used in Mediterranean areas. I once removed a dead Whitethroat (a migratory warbler) from netting and often see birds trapped in netting on my allotment site. Hedgehogs can become trapped in loose netting and susceptible to infection or fly strike (maggots or fly eggs). Seek urgent help from Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital if you come across a Hedgehog in distress.

I think it is preferable to use more rigid netting for fruit cages and covering plants in general. The flimsy types also rip once weeds or other plants grow through them. If you use netting on a fruit case or frame it needs to be made 100% bird proof...not 95% or 98% as birds in search of food will find the gaps, but once in get startled, and then can’t get out! If growing brassicas (Brussels, broccoli, cabbages, etc) it is best to keep them protected with netting or fleece as wildlife will see them as a food source provided for them! Use fleece or netting but, once again, take steps to make it wildlife friendly and remove it as soon as the need has finished.

6. Solar Farm Planning Applications

Light Source Renewables have made planning applications for 2 big solar farms East of Royston, each capable of generating 31MW peak or powering about 9,000 households. (See their PDF which outlines their proposal.) This project would significantly add to local renewable electricity generation, with minimal environmental impact. It’s easy to revert to farming, if required, after the planned 25-30 years of collecting solar energy.

Do make your comments to the planning applications:
Black Peak Farm, ref: S/1902/14/FL
Muncey’s Farm, ref: S/1898/14/FL
(Comments section at the bottom of the text box.)

7. Greeniversity: Card Making with Recycled Materials

Sat 9th Sept, 11:30-13:30, Waitrose Trumpington

Have fun making cards out of recycled materials. Learn the simple techniques needed to create attractive cards. All materials will be provided - a voluntary donation of £2 to cover costs would be appreciated. Contact tutor Shirley Flowers on 07581055492 for further information, or book here. All welcome. This class is organised by Greeniversity.

8. Transition Cambridge: Mill Road Feast Cropshare stall

Sun 7th Sept, 10:00-15:00 Gwydir Street car park, off Mill Road

Visit the CropShare stall at Mill Road Feast to find delicious fresh organic seasonal produce from Willow Farm, grown by farmers Paul and Doreen and the Cropshare crew over the season! More info about Cropshare via their excellent blog.

Mill Road is already known as a great place to find independent outlets and food from many, many cuisines. At the quarterly food fair, you can also find something for lunch as well as cheese, meat, cakes and other local produce.

9. Cambridgeshire Cycle Challenge

15th Sept – 12th October

The Cambridgeshire Cycle Challenge is a free web based competition to see which business can get the most people cycling. It’s a fun way for businesses to help increase the uptake of cycling and involves logging rides, leaderboards, various apps and the chance to redeem bike miles pedalled for rewards. Outspoken is one or the local organisations partnering with Travel for Cambridgeshire to organise the challenge. For more information and to register please see the Cambridgeshire Cycle Challenge website.

10. Cottenham Repair Cafe

Sat 20th Sept, 10.00–14.00, Cottenham Community Café, High St, Cottenham, CB24 8RZ

Repair cafes are springing up all over the world, from Royston and Cambridge to Berlin, Brazil and Australia. Chris, the organizer of the first Cottenham Repair Café (and repairer extraordinaire in CCF’s opinion!) points out that repairs can save money, resources and help minimise CO2 emissions “But above all, Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is.”

The Cottenham event is inviting the public to dig out anything that needs repairing and bring it along (for free) to a team of experts who will try to fix it. They will have a go at most things – from smartphones and hifi’s to lamps and vacuum cleaners! Booking is preferred – more details at http ://bit . ly/TQqTHt. Please email the organiser with details of what you hope to bring along at

11. Transition Cambridge: Community Garden Open Weekend

Sat 20th & Sun 21st Sept

Did you know there are at least 16 community gardens and orchards in and around Cambridge? To coincide with the Sustain’s national ‘Edible Gardens Open Day’, local volunteer community gardeners are inviting all to drop-by and find out what they are up to at Cambridge's first Community Garden Open Weekend. For a full list of spaces, a programme and a map please visit www . communitygardening . org . uk or contact for more details.

Transition Cambridge and Cambridge City Council are supporting this event. If you would like your garden or orchard to be included please get in touch at the above.

Cambridge Carbon Footprint
www . cambridgecarbonfootprint . org
01223 301842

Twitter - http ://twitter . com/CCFcambridge