Local Climate Change News & Initiatives
• Global Day of Action for Climate Justice on Sat 6 Nov: how to get involved.
• Paper tubes with metal ends (eg Pringle tubes) can now be recycled in West Berks.
• Have your say on Wiltshire’s Climate Strategy – deadline is 17 October.
• National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NCBRC) in Swindon is running a Retro Fit Eco Solutions Workshop on Sat 13 Nov about practical measures to make existing buildings more sustainable and energy efficient from achieving air tightness, insulation requirements and design considerations, to ventilation issues and how to choose between the array of windows and doors that are on the market.
• Calculate your parish’s carbon footprint and compare it to the national average.ccc
• Price comparison between food shopping at Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Marlborough versus the supermarkets
• Did you know the methane emissions of rice cultivation has the same climate impact as aviation?
• It is commonly accepted now that meat (especially beef) production creates a lot of carbon. But you also have to take into consideration carbon emissions of fruit and vegetables that are flown around the world
• Local honey suppliers in your area
Reducing Food Waste
Wasted food contributes 8–10% of total man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and roughly one third of food produced around the world is wasted.
• There are lots of food saving tips on the lovefoodhatewaste website
• There are several community fridges and larders (in Thatcham, Newbury, Wantage and Marlborough) available to anyone who wants to reduce food waste.
• Lambourn Valley residents can share food for free on this facebook group
• Thirty eight million birds have been lost in the last 50 years. Please support the RSPB’s campaign to highlight the loss of habitat and nature here revive-our-world.rspb.org.uk
• BBOWT (Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust) facebook page has lots of advice on supporting wildlife and making your garden wildlife friendly. They have a lovely guide to looking after wild bees in your garden.
Green Homes & Buildings
• Green Mortgages are available to people who buy environmentally-friendly homes or make energy efficient home improvements. To find out more see here.
• Carbon reduction work in three schools and a community building funded by half a million pound grant
• Carbon Neutral Aldbourne group have negotiated a discount on solar panel installations for Aldbourne residents
Transport, Electric Cars & Tech
• The new Enterprise Car Club in Newbury has membership offers for West Berks residents starting at £1/yr (saving £59). Electric and hybrid cars can be rented for an hour up to 7 days.
• Did you know that leaving your car running when stationary is not only bad for the environment but also illegal? See more here.
• According to this league table by Dr Ivanova, the biggest impact on emmissions can come from the amount and way we travel.
Trees and Carbon Capture
• Hampstead Norrey Community Shop is planting its own orchard of heritage fruit trees
• Transition Marlborough oversees the Community Orchard in Marlborough.
We share the water on the planet with wildlife. The more water that is tied up in homes and sewage systems means lower river levels so we need to be careful how much water we use. There are also a lot of chemicals we use in our homes that are not caught in the sewage system but end up in our waterways, threatening beneficial insects and inverterbrates that are at the bottom of the food chain.
What we can do to help:
• Reduce harsh cleaning chemicals by making clothes washing ‘soap’ from conkers
• Please do not let your dog swim in rivers or ponds soon after it has been treated for fleas, ticks etc as the chemicals in the treatment will harm the beneficial insects and inverterbrates in the water.
• Make sure chemicals, plastics and pathogens don’t spill into surface water drains which flow directly into our watercourses including. It should only be rain that goes down these drains.
• Don’t put wet wipes in your toilet or cooking oil down your sink as they create ‘fatburgs’ in the sewage pipes the blockages will cause untreated sewage to enter our rivers.
Plastic & Recycling
• We can all help fight climate change by recycling because recycling currently saves 18 million tonnes of CO2 every year, which is the same as taking 12 million cars off the road. But 55% of households still put recyclable items in the general rubbish bin, including aerosols, plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles and cleaning and bleach bottles, not forgetting plastic tubs and trays that can be taken to local recycling centres.
• West Berks finally recycling range of hard plastics including yoghurt pots and punnets.
• According to Oxfordshire Recycles, the carbon impact of food going to waste is bigger than the impact of the plastic packaging. A wrapped cucumber lasts 3 times as long as an unwrapped one! However, 79% of all plastic items ever produced are still in the environment and having an impact on the planet.
• Recycling Hive website explains where everything can be recycled in Newbury, Thatcham and Wantage areas.
• Thatcham & Newbury plastic free, recycling & zero waste facebook group answers a lot of questions about where things can be recycled locally
• Tescos stores (including Newbury, Hungerford, Marlborough, Swindon) are now collecting these soft plastics for recycling: cling film, bread & salad bags, pet and baby food pouches, crisp packets, fruit and veg packaging.
• Packshare website allows you to donate packaging materials to local companies.
• Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Marlborough is successfully reducing single use plastic.
• An explanation of plastic recycling by Dr Peter Cox
Clothes & Shopping
• How to take a more sustainable approach to your wardrobe…without buying a single thing by Victoria Lochhead from Frankie & Ruby Dress Agency
• It was inspiring to chat with Karen Kirton from Berkshire on a Budget about her progress and ongoing plans for a No Spend 2020 including testing free offers on food apps, free pampers and make-up samples, free music lessons and computer support. Listen here:
Local Environmental Groups
Please consider joining a local group to meet likeminded people in your community and learn more about actions you can take to reduce waste and fight climate breakdown. (Please leave a comment below if you would like to have your group featured here).
- West Berkshire Green Exchange
- West Berkshire Climate Action Network facebook group
- Thatcham Against Plastic
- Thatcham & Newbury plastic free, recycling & zero waste
- Newbury Climate Strike
- Hungerford Environmental Action Team
- Pangbourne and Whitchurch Sustainability Group (PAWS)
- Sustainable Wantage
- Extinction Rebellion Devizes & Marlborough
- Transition Marlborough
- Carbon Neutral Aldbourne
- Wild Oxfordshire
- West Berks Natural Environmental Meet-Up Group – sign up for monthly zoom talk
- GreenFest YouTube Channel has a range of interesting talks and workshops to watch