Divestment Discussion

On Sunday 22nd April, we held an intimate but very engaged discussion around divestment. We were joined by Dr James Smith from Fossil Free Cambridgeshire, who brought us all up to date on what divestment is, how the campaign developed and where we currently are in our progress.

We ended the discussion on what we can all do now, going forwards. It was clear there is a strong need to get out into our communities and talk to our family, colleagues, neighbours and anyone else that may be interested, to help spread the word on divestment.

We will be in Cambridge on Monday next week (8th May 17), engaging with local council workers, and then in Peterborough on Friday (12th May 17) doing the same. If you want to get involved, or have any questions, please do get in touch.

Useful Resources

https://gofossilfree.org/uk/ is the UK campaign group website, full of facts, figures and resources.

The following page lists all the current groups around the country, so if you are not in Cambridgeshire and would like to join your local group, you can search and make contact: https://gofossilfree.org/uk/local-government/

We shared a councillor briefing document that you can send to your councillor, which can be found here: https://gofossilfree.org/uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/09/Fossil-Fuel-Divestment_v2-1.pdf

GBY Christmas Fair

To celebrate the festive season, we attend The Green Backyard Christmas fair yesterday. Our main focus at the event was gathering Eco Christmas Tips and decorating our Christmas tree. There were some great ideas:

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Buy all your Christmas presents from charity shops
Wrap presents in pretty material and ribbon to save waste and refuse
Make homemade decorations (popcorn tinsel, dried fruit tree decs, paper chains)
Use Christmas cards for next years gift tags
Buy artificial christmas tree rather than a real one and take good care of it to make it last
Collect people’s Christmas trees and reclaim the wood
Make turkey stock from the bones (freeze in portion size if not all needed at once)
Cook meals from scratch rather than buying ready meals (can do the same for sweets and cakes)
Make homemade presents
Buy a present for someone that has nothing
Give the gift of time (an event simply time spent together)
Buy christmas cards from recycled paper
Give money to a charity instead of buying a present, as the present
Reuse your wrapping paper for next year.

What’s your favourite tip? Do you have any more? Feel free to share below.

In addition to this, we were also joined by Fossil Free Cambridgeshire, gaining more momentum for the energy project, gathering signatures for the petition (https://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/fossil-free-cambridgeshire-divest-now) and sharing information regarding the project and Transition as a whole.

Finally, we wish you all a very happy festive season!

Discussions

We have held a number of talks across the the past few months starting with our fringe event as part of the PECT Green Festival, a discussion titled ‘Consumerism: What we buy and the alternatives’. It was a very healthy turnout and a very healthy discussion, with lots of input from the attendees and lots to take away and think about. We covered the topic from the angle of the individual consumer, looking at buying habits when it comes to food. Do we shop locally in the market and the butchers or do we go to the supermarket? Do we buy organic? Do we buy in season? We also looked briefly at the fashion industry, both in terms of clothing and in terms of buying for the home. Is it really a taboo to buy second-hand? In the second half we changed tactics, and looked at consumerism as a societal model. Are we just pawns on a chess board? Do we really have a voice? Sadly we had to bring it to an end for the day, but as the enthusiasm and passion was clear, we have decided to run other discussions like this in the future; looking at specific situations like consumerism of the new parent, and revisiting topics which we just scratched the surface of like social structures. If you have any ideas on topics you would like to discuss, please get in touch and we can add them into the mix.

In September 2016, as part of the International Picnic held at The Green Backyard, we held a discussion on Food and Globalisation. Again, it was a very healthy turnout with a really active discussion. We looked at what different cultures across the world would typically eat and how much it would cost. Generally the west were eating the processed packaged diet with the highest price tags and the developing countries eating food in much more natural states, with fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses and grains, which were also the cheaper options, although we did discuss if this was due to choices and availability. Those in attendance mostly commented that they have a fairly natural diet, however were aware they had processed and packaged food too, and aware on their privilege to have this. We also touched on the topic of where our food was coming from, local independent stores or supermarkets, whether to buy organic or not and so much more.

In October, we partnered with Metal for the Lucy + Jorge Orta: Food exhibition for the Waste Not Want Not discussion. This saw people from inspiring grassroot movements from across the country give presentations of their projects and raise awareness about the amount of food that is wasted and what we can do about it. From asking our supermarkets to only bake the bread they know they can sell, to being more accepting of oddly shaped fruit and vegetables. In addition, they spoke about the differences between best before and use by dates and the fact that what is most important is to use our senses to be our own judge about what we eat.

We do plan on holding some more discussions in future, and if you would like to hold a discussion, you do not need to be an expert, just an interest in talking about an issue, please do get in touch.

Carbon Conversations Group

Carbon Conversations offers a supportive group experience that helps people reduce their personal carbon footprint. Their sessions engage with the difficulties of change by connecting to values, emotions and identity. The groups are based on a psychological understanding of how people change.

The group will meet every second Friday evening, from 6.30 – 8.30pm, in Peterborough Environment City Trust (4-6 Cowgate, Peterborough, PE1 1NA) on the following dates:
Friday 17 April
Friday 1 May
Friday 15 May
Friday 29 May
Friday 12 June
Friday 26 June

The six meetings create a non-judgmental atmosphere where people are encouraged to make serious lifestyle changes. The groups offer:

  • space for people to explore what climate change means for themselves, their families and their aspirations
  • permission to share their hopes, doubts and anxieties
  • time to work through the conflicts between intention, social pressure and identity
  • reliable, well-researched information and practical guidance on what will make a difference
  • support in creating a personal plan for change

The meetings use professionally designed, reliable materials to cover climate change basics, ideas for a low-carbon future and the four key areas of the footprint – home energy, travel, food and other consumption. Discussions of practicalities are woven together with discussions of how people feel and what these changes mean personally. Carbon reductions of 1 tonne CO2 are typically made by each member during the course, with plans developed to halve individual footprints over a 4-5 year period.

The cost of joining the group is £15 to cover the handbook and materials. There are two facilitators, who are not paid, and there is no cost for the venue.

There is only space for 10 people in the group. So to confirm a place, please get in touch early.

If you are interested please contact Rich Hill (rich_hill44@yahoo.com) and cc Ben Cuddon (bencuddon@gmail.com)

The Ceilidh returns!

Ceilidh cover photo

It’s Back!

Please join us for food, fun and dancing at the second Peterborough in Transition Ceilidh. This will be a very special event with live folk music and a caller to guide you through all of the dance steps. Ceilidhs are brilliant fun and a great way to meet new people, and for that extra feelgood factor, all proceeds go to supporting The Green Backyard. Read on to find out how you can get your tickets.

Date: Saturday 15 November 2014, 7.00pm-11pm
Venue: St John’s Hall, Mayor’s Walk, Peterborough

Featuring:

The Jumping Beans Ceilidh Band
Local tasty food
And a Fairtrade wine and real ale bar

Ticket prices (includes food):

£15 Adult

Limited concession and child tickets available:
£10 Concession
£5 Child
To book your tickets please contact the Peterborough in Transition events team at:

E: transitionpeterboroughevents@gmail.com
T: Karen 07753160316 or Rich: 07946577630

All proceeds go to supporting The Green Backyard!