Local Environmental News and Projects

Climate Change News & Initiatives

 

The government is again allowing the use of deadly, banned neonic pesticides to protect sugar beet crops. The crops need protecting but alternative, less harmful pest management needs to be introduced. Please support the Wildlife Trust’s campaign here.

If you would like to reduce the carbon footprint of your home, find out about Newbury Building Society’s GoGreen Further Advance Mortgage or GoGreen Self-Build Reward.

• Newbury Building Society is offering free Sustainability Courses for local secondary schools years 7 to 9.

• Calculate your parish’s carbon footprint and compare it to the national average.

Food

Did you know the methane emissions of rice cultivation has the same climate impact as aviation?

 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

• According to Oxfordshire Recycles, the carbon impact of food going to waste is bigger than the impact of the plastic packaging. 

• 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

 Anyone can use the Olio and Too Good to Go apps to rescue local food going to waste.

Wildlife

Reminder of why it’s important to record your local wildlife.

• Hedgehog campaigner Hugh Warwick needs our help to reach 1.5 million signatures on his petition and also to gather crucial data on wildlife in the new Mammal on Roads survey

 Why Wild Bees Matter – Roselle Chapman from Wild Oxfordshire

• Dung Beetles in the Downs by farmer & ecologist Sally-Ann Spence in Ashbury.

• 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. 

 Interesting discussion about the benefits of re-introducing beavers to help manage wetlands

Green Homes & Buildings

• The National Self-Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon offers great impartial advice on retro-fitting your home to make it energy efficient.

• If you would like to reduce the carbon footprint of your home, it’s worth finding out about Newbury Building Society’s GoGreen Further Advance Mortgage or GoGreen Self-Build Reward

 How to check if your solar PV system is working correctly

 Choices of renewable energy suppliers

• Green Mortgages are available to people who buy environmentally-friendly homes or make energy efficient home improvements. To find out more see here.

• Carbon Neutral Aldbourne group have negotiated a discount on solar panel installations for Aldbourne residents

Transport, Electric Cars & Tech

• The 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 engine 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.

• Ingenious kite invention turns wind into electricity in Scotland.

 Hungerford’s Fuel Cell Systems – at the cutting edge of hydrogen train and plane testing

Trees and Carbon Capture

• Hampstead Norrey Community Shop is planting its own orchard of heritage fruit trees

 West Berkshire’s Lockdown Woods projects in Hungerford and Newbury initiated by Newbury Friends of the Earth

 Environmental benefits of timber as a construction material.

 Transition Marlborough oversees the Community Orchard in Marlborough.

 HS2 refutrees find new home in Lambourn

 Trees for Schools – free saplings and resources from The Tree Council.

•  Fight for our remaining woodlands like Piggy Wood in Thatcham which is under threat from developers.
 
• Scouts’ woodland diversity and pre-school energy efficiency projects received Newbury Town Council’s first climate change grants

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..

 

An explanation of plastic recycling by Dr Peter Cox

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Guide

This Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Guide was kindly compiled by Dr. Pat Watson in partnership with Hungerford Environmental Action Team motivated by COP26 and David Attenborough’s report of biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas and single use plastic pollution.

Clothes

• How to take a more sustainable approach to your wardrobe…without buying a single thing by Victoria Lochhead from Frankie & Ruby Dress Agency.

Water Quality

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 use of harsh cleaning chemicals

• 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.

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).

 
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2 Responses

  1. Finding the “Local Eco News and Projects” section very helpful as I find myself constantly questioning/puzzling over and exploring green issues. Huge thanks, will keep following along.

    “Making clothes washing ‘soap’ from conkers” link currently broken?

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