Hungerford Environmental Action Team – November 2021 News

HEAT aims to reduce the carbon footprint of Hungerford and support any local residents with environmental initiatives. If you would like to contribute or get involved in any way please look at the HEAT information board under the railway bridge in the town centre or contact us here:

Website: hungerfordenvironmentalactionteam.com
Facebook: Hungerford Environmental Action Team – HEAT
Instagram: heat_hungerford
Twitter: HEAT43152028
Email: heat_hungerford@yahoo.com

Monthly Zoom HEAT Action Meeting, 7-9pm, last Wednesday of the month. Everyone is welcome to attend on either a regular basis or as and when time permits, with no obligation. Drop us an email for the online Zoom link.

November 2021 News

As COP26 kicks off in Glasgow this week we have our fingers crossed for progress to tackle climate change at the international level. 

It is exciting that there are two Hungerford people from St Lawrence Church, who are giving talks at
COP26 – Dr Mike Morecroft, Head of Natural England and Sophie MacFarlene Smith on the Use of Nuclear power to reach Net Zero energy.

There is plenty we can do at the individual and local level too.

Individual Action

Finding out about our own carbon footprint is a good way to start thinking about what we can do personally to reduce our impact. There are plenty of apps about to help us measure our own carbon footprint – so we can track own progress, such as: footprint.wwf.org.uk and calculator.bulb.co.uk/footprint.

These may help to identify which changes will have the most impact. 

Here are some ideas:

1.  Car Usage

Try to minimise car journeys by walking, cycling and taking public transport. Anyone thinking about getting an electric vehicle might give this ev8 App a try – it observes your car use for 2 weeks and recommends EV choices. 

Tesco in Hungerford now has a notice to say that EV points are coming soon. This is great news for anyone unable to charge an EV car at home.

2.  Domestic Energy

If you are considering switching to a heat pump, installing solar panels or improving your insulation. The National Self Build Centre in Swindon is a great place to find out more about making your home more energy efficient.

There are events on the 12 and 13 November where you can learn more.

3.  Recycling

In addition to the kerbside collections and the recycling skips by the station, Tesco have now re-instated the collection point for soft plastics just inside the store where you can recycle any plastic bags, crisp packet, food and pet food pouches and any plastic film.

4.  Diet and Food Waste

There is plenty of evidence that moving towards a more plant-based diet will help fight climate change. This recent BBC article explains more and points out that emissions from all the food wasted from field to kitchen bin accounts for a huge 8-10% of all global emissions! See bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49238749

Check out the HEAT website for more ideas.

Local Action

1. On Sat 6 Nov, Global Action for Climate Day, HEAT volunteers will be on the High Street under the railway bridge to give out information and discuss environmental concerns of local residents.  

2. Heat is organising a tree planting day on 20 November, we are expecting more than 800 trees which need to be planted , if you can help even for an hour or two, contact HEAT

3. We would like to hear from you about the issues you feel are important in Hungerford to tackle climate change. Email or join our monthly Zoom meeting on the last Wednesday of the month.

Contact HEAT by email: heat_hungerford@yahoo.com

October 2021 News

Help is needed in Hungerford over the next few weeks:

· Pollarding willows on the morning of Thursday 7 October. Please contact vicar@stlawrenceshungerford.org.uk

· Planting trees on Saturday 20 November

· Picking apples and/or pears to prevent waste and enable the fruit to be made into juice

If you can help with any of these please contact HEAT for details

Recycling in Hungerford – what goes where ?

At the Station Car Park  (on the Tesco side) there are six collection containers for:

  1. Cardboard
  2. Paper
  3. Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays
  4. Beverage cartons and plastic cups, juice cartons, paper cups, milk cartons, paper coffee cups, soup tomatoes and other food cartons
  5. Small electrical appliances
  6. Clothing and shoes

Outside Tesco (to the left of the entrance) they are collecting soft plastics ie any plastic bags, crisp packets, food and pet pouches, plastic wrappers and any plastic film.

Wider Eco Issues

Making your home more energy efficient – Eco workshop 13 November NSBRC

The National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC) at Swindon runs regular Eco workshops and the next one – scheduled on Sat 13 November is focused on how to retrofit your home. The aim is to explain the options and advise on everything 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.

Find out more and book your free ticket here: www.nsbrc.co.uk/eco-workshops

Take Action

At the same time as the government is promising to take the lead role in climate change, machinery is on its way to drill a huge new oil field in the North Sea. The Cambo oil field will create climate pollution equal to 16 coal-fired power plants running for a year.

Find out more here about the campaign to cancel Cambo and how to get involved.  

Where are the birds?

Thirty eight million birds have been lost in the last 50 years. The RSPB is running a campaign and petition to highlight the loss of habitat and the threat to our world from the loss of nature.  To find out more and to add your name to the petition see the details of the RSPB campaign visit revive-our-world.rspb.org.uk

Green Mortgages

Green mortgages are mortgage deals available to people who buy environmentally-friendly homes or make energy efficient home improvements. To find out more see: www.which.co.uk/news/2021/05/could-you-save-money-by-taking-out-a-green-mortgage

Idling Cars and Pollution

Did you know that leaving your car running when stationary is not only bad for the environment but also illegal?

It is quite common to see cars idling in Tesco car park and around the schools – exactly the places where the resulting air pollution can be the most harmful.

Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK. Every minute, an idling car produces enough exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons with harmful chemicals, including cyanide, NOx and PM2.5.

Turning off the vehicle engine when stationary for more than 10 seconds uses less fuel than leaving it running as well as improving air quality. Reducing air pollutants can help cut heart disease, lower the risk of lung cancer and prevent asthma attacks. Pollution affects everyone and children are the closest to exhaust fumes.

Find out more here: publicprotectionpartnership.org.uk/environmental-health/air-quality/vehicle-idling/

Petition to stop single use plastic

From the beginning of July, countries right across Europe have implemented a collective ban on single-use plastic items including cutlery, plates and polystyrene.

The ban was agreed two years ago, when the UK was still part of the EU, but now the UK government has yet to open a consultation on the issue which means a decision, or a ban could be months, or even years away.

Packaging from take-away food and drinks is a huge cause of plastic pollution and items like plastic cutlery and take-away containers are consistently in the top ten most pollution items found on beaches around the world.

Environmental campaign group City to Sea have set up a petition calling on Environment Minister Rebecca Pow to match the rest of the EU and ban the most polluting single-use plastics.

Find out more and add your name to the petition here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/the-uk-must-match-the-europe-wide-ban-on-single-use-plastic

Hungerford Harvest at Pickets Mead Orchard

A small miracle of survival is the Orchard on the A4 as you approach Hungerford from Kintbury. Owned by the Town and Manor, this is like a ‘secret garden’ with rare species of apples, pears, and plums dating back many years. Volunteers have been busy picking the produce which has gone to the Food Bank or been made into Apple Juice. The cows grazing on the common get left-over pulp to supplement their diet.

Town and Manor are seeking people to care for the Orchard longer term. Might this be you?

What will happen to the produce?
The majority of the produce will be donated to West Berkshire Food Bank for distributing to those in need. The fallen apples and pears will be used for juicing. All volunteers are welcome to take a selection of produce home too.

What’s in the orchard?
Over 100 trees – several rare and unique varieties. These include:
• Around 25 mature apple and pear trees
• Plum and greengage trees
• Walnut trees

Contact
If you would like to help with picking or if you are interested in getting involved with the orchard longer term, please email HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

Cycling

Have you re-discovered cycling during the lockdown? Have you views on how Hungerford can be more cycle-friendly?

August 2021 News

Hungerford Repair Café

The first Hungerford Repair Café event on 25 July proved to be a great success.

The event was organised by the Hungerford Rotary Club, The West Berkshire Rotary Club and HEAT.

The idea is that rather than throwing away items that are broken (and buying new), they can be brought to the café where they will be repaired, sharpened or restored by a very able group of volunteers.

Bruce Mayhew, President of Hungerford Rotary Club was delighted “The Repair cafe was hugely enjoyed by all the repairers and their customers alike. About 70 items were repaired although a few were beyond us or needed spare parts. Certainly many items escaped the waste dump and live for another day, which was the main objective of The Repair Cafe.

The aim is to hold a regular event in Hungerford.  The first event was so well attended that the organisers are looking for a bigger venue for the next one – on Sunday 19th September. Hopefully this will include a sit down café area too. Look out for posters.

The volunteers give their time to the event and visitors are simply asked to make a donation. It’s a great idea and hopefully will save lots of items going to the tip and being replaced.

Apple Harvest

Do you have an apple tree that produces more fruit than you can pick or need? Apple trees are wonderful but can leave lots of mess if the apples are not collected and it’s such a waste if they are not used.

Each autumn, HEAT organises an Apple Pick around Hungerford. Volunteers pick the fruit and deliver them to My Apple Juice where they are juiced and bottled. We give some bottles to the food bank and sell others at HEAT events to raise funds. It saves the fruit going to waste, produces delicious juice and supports worthwhile causes.

If you or someone you know would like us to come and pick your apples this autumn please email heat_hungerford@yahoo.com and we will be in touch nearer the time.

July 2021 News

Electric Vehicle Show, Sat 3 July

Our Electric Car event on Saturday 3 July at the Croft in Hungerford was a great success (see video here). The rain held off for the entire event and several hundred visitors attended to find out more about owning an electric vehicle.  Around 30 electric vehicles gathered (very quietly) on the Green together with electric bikes and motorbikes.

There were also electric bikes available to test drive around the Croft as demonstrated by Helen and Henry from HEAT.
Helen Simpson, Mayor of Hungerford opened the event and later declared it  “a huge success!. I heard so much positivity as I walked around.” Other visitors have said that the event has convinced them to chose an EV when they next need to buy a car.

We would like to thank everyone who brought vehicles, John Downe for a great feat of organisation, all the HEAT Team and the Hungerford Club for the refreshments and BBQ. If you missed the event, please see this Beginner’s Guide to Electric Vehicles.

Hungerford has eight EV charging points in Hungerford: two in Charnham, two in Park Street and four in the High Street. 

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