Rainbows on the Moss!

Thank you to Lindow Rainbows and their leaders who joined Transition Wilmslow on a special Lindow Moss Walk on 5th July 2016

We were blessed with evening sunshine and discussed how you work out the age of a tree, squeezed water out of moss, looked at sundew plants and enjoyed splashing about in the mud. This seems a great way to let children know a bit more about the wonderful heritage on their doorstep and we are hoping to do more walks with groups of youngsters in the autumn.  Contact us for more information here

Rainbows 01 Rainbows 02 Rainbows 03

Living Smart in Australia

The ‘Living Smart’ programme

Once again, Marianne (our Wilmslow Transitioner currently living in Australia) gives us news of the ‘Living Smart’ programme she is attending.  Here is Part 4

Water and Biodiversity

The focus was on water which is a big deal for the world, but a particularly acute problem here in Western Australia (WA).  The graph of rainfall for this part of the world was a worry (it is going down… a lot… decade on decade) whilst the population is increasing dramatically (it has doubled since I came to WA in 1999.)

We discussed what activities are most water intensive (watering gardens in WA!) and ways to save water from the very simple (showering standing in a bucket then using that to flush the loo etc.) to collecting rainwater from your roof in a tank and all the things you need to consider for that.  Ecoburbia (4 “apartments” sharing a house and utilities) can survive for most of the year in WA on only the rain water they collect!  Lots more interesting stuff about Ecoburbia at http://ecoburbia.com.au

We also discussed Biodiversity.  Perth’s population is set to double over the next 40 years.  Will wildlife manage to survive?  Perth straddles the Swan and Canning Rivers which wildlife need to access.  We discussed how to create habitats and corridors for native species.

‘Transport’ is the theme for Week 5

 

 

Living Smart in Australia

The ‘Living Smart’ programme; Part 3

Marianne (our Wilmslow Transitioner currently living in Australia) gives us news of the third session of the ‘Living Smart’ programme she is attending.

Power

We learnt about energy saving, use and generation.  This is one of the areas where the UK and Australia diverge dramatically.

What surprised me was that the things you do to keep your house warm in the UK are not the same things you do to keep your house cool in Australia!

Double glazing is no good for keeping heat out, but it is effective for keeping heat in.

We looked at making a dwelling ‘solar passive’ whilst making the most of winter sun, how to read an electricity bill, which things consume most power in a house and then how we could bring our electricity bill down dramatically.

FIVE TOP ACTIONS

  • Get a home energy assessment
  • Turn down your thermostat and insulate the pipes on your hot water system
  • Minimise how often you need to heat and cool your home
  • Turn off standby
  • Purchase or generate your own renewable energy

Meanwhile back home …….

Transition Wilmslow can help with advice on energy saving – and carry out an energy survey on your home.

For more information contact us at transitionwilmslow@gmail.com

The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan

What do you want Wilmslow to look like?

Transition Wilmslow is taking a part in this initiative

Help to make a difference – have your say!

You are encouraged to ‘think big’ and make some creative and innovative suggestions

Take the survey

Living Smart in Australia

The ‘Living Smart’ programme; Part 2

Marianne (our Wilmslow Transitioner currently living in Australia) gives us news of the second session of the ‘Living Smart’ programme she is attending.

Living Simply and Waste.

Australian research has shown that the greater our income the higher the level of our dissatisfaction.

Nearly two thirds of Australians say they cannot afford to buy everything they really need …….

……. and yet Australians are richer than ever and about three times better off than their parents in the 1950s!

Research also shows that people who focus on money and materialistic possessions are less happy and are more prone to negative mind states like depression.

In summary, material possessions are being used to communicate status and try to enhance our self-esteem. Our relationship with consumption is so complex we now buy things that we do not use!  Also high consumptive lifestyles have negative environmental consequences.  According to the Living Planet Report 2012 we are currently using 50% more resources than the earth can provide.

We discussed how to live more happily with less, the “buyerarchy” of needs and a (what I’ll call) “feel the fear” technique to counteract our reptilian brain that drives us to overconsume.  Think about the shop you find most irresistible, go to the shop, wander round and resist buying anything but be aware of what your “inner reptile” is saying.

buyerarchyStart from the bottom and take as few steps as possible up the ‘hierarchy’!!

Perth has some very big “waste and recycling” centres.  Our local one was explained to us.  Essentially we have all been doing it wrong!  The objective is “not to contaminate the compost/green waste bin with non-green waste” rather than “picking out the recyclables”.  The organic waste is turned into high quality compost for farmers, and the rest goes down a shoot that has a “magic eye” that can pick different kinds of plastic etc and send them off to different piles.  Apparently sometimes they can’t recycle e.g. glass depending on demand, so it becomes a “topper” for the landfill.  The crew are all set for “plastic free July” which is apparently an annual thing.  Much was discussed around this – too much to go into here but fascinating and useful (like how to cope in your bathroom – vinegar and bicarb make great shampoo)!

There is a website and you can enroll:  www.plasticfreejuly.org/

Next session is POWER!

Some books that were suggested reading:

Afluenza by Clive Hamilton,

Enough –  Breaking Free from the world of excess by John Naish

Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin.