It was a good day for ‘Plastic Free Wilmslow’ at the Artisan Market Saturday 21 April 2018. Many people visited the stall, saw the alternatives on offer and wrote pledges to cut their consumption of single-use plastic items. It was encouraging to hear from market goers who are already cutting their use of plastic. Some stall holders came on board too with palm leaf plates, cardboard cartons and wooden cutlery. All proving that it can be done. We just have to set our minds to doing it!!
Don’t think disposable – think re-useable!
Many groups in Wilmslow are agreeing that we have to do SOMETHING to reduce the amount of single-use plastics.
We all know it is bad for the environment, bad for our wildlife – in fact
A TOTALLY BAD IDEA ALTOGETHER
to throw away plastic items used just once.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Transition Wilmslow is leading the campaign locally and have many voluntary groups on board as well as Wilmslow Town Council.
Come to the meeting on Tuesday 27 February 2018, 7:15pm, at Wilmslow United Reformed Church and you will meet up with other like-minded residents wanting to achieve full accreditation as a ‘plastic-free’ town. We would like to form a ‘Plastic-free Wilmslow Steering Group’ and also make plans for our stall at the Artisan Market on 21st April 2018 to publicise the adverse impact of plastics in our environment.
We are sure people will have lots of ideas!
Many campaign groups are now enjoying greater publicity since the BBC series ‘Blue Planet’ highlighted the amount of plastic waste in our oceans. You can find out more at:
Surfers Against Sewage If this doesn’t convince you – nothing will!
Less Plastic – plenty information here with an on-line shop to buy water bottles, sandwich bags etc.
Transition Wilmslow have raised the plastics issue in the past
Don’t think disposable – think re-useable!
We are delighted to announce that Pippa, Chair of Transition Wilmslow has been awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year Honours List for services to Stroke Medicine. Pippa has recently retired from a distinguished career, engaged in pioneering work as Consultant of Stroke Medicine at Salford Royal Hospital and Professor of Stroke Medicine at the University of Manchester, researching developments in the treatment and rehabilitation of stroke patients.
But of course we know and love Pippa as our Chair of Transition Wilmslow!
We are ably led and encouraged by her enthusiasm for the aims of the world-wide Transition Movement – “communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world for a sustainable future.”
Pippa stresses the importance of participating in our local communities in both physical and social activity, coming together in common purpose to find ways to improve our environment, to make better lifestyle choices and so benefit our all round physical and mental health.
Here she is at work in our award winning community garden and orchard
James Wood from Totally Wild Foraging took us on a Foraging walk in The Carrs on 21st May. We tasted grasses, yarrow, daisies, hogweed seeds and stems, knotweed and hawthorn flower, and talked about rose bay willow herb asparagus. We learned what to do with elderflowers and elderberries when they are available, and ended up with a fantastic picnic of nettle soup which even the youngest children really enjoyed! Who knew what delicious treats there are hidden in The Carrs! James’s Cookbook, for those who are interested, (The Foragers Cookbook) is available on Amazon, and his blog is a great source of seasonal tips.
Join us with James on a Mushroom Day on November 4th: details will be on the website in due course.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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.
News from a Wilmslow Transitioner now living in Western Australia
Transition is really taking off in Australia. Of course they have very similar problems to those in the UK but there are some stark differences too:
- the weather – it’s a lot hotter and good for generating solar power
- there’s a lot less water – months of no rain and bush fire problems
- the soils here, particularly here in Western Australia are very poor, in fact Perth is really one big sand dune
- it’s BIG so things are very spread out and people drive a lot more
The Living Smart Programme
The whole idea started out in Fremantle 2002.
The Living Smart course is a 7 week affair (3 hours every Tuesday evening) consisting of ten key modules: Water Power Waste Simple Living Gardening for Food Transport Healthy You Gardening for Biodiversity Healthy Homes Community
It’s about training people to understand what can make the difference to living sustainably. Importantly, it includes behavioural change techniques that provide participants with the skills and knowledge to take action in their own homes to improve their quality of life and reduce their environmental impact – so critical to getting more of what people learn in the course implemented. See more at the Living Smart Website
Here is Marianne’s account of one of the sessions.
Tonight we did a great ice breaker – called “Sustainability Bingo” where we had to find people who did something in each of the categories (these were things like “use your own shopping bags” “cycle to work or shops” “drive a small economical car” etc.). Then we were asked in small groups to declare why we were there (and write it down) and then assess which things individuals in the group had in common. This was followed by an interesting discussion about behavioural change and how important goal setting is (a way of talking to your subconscious as well as a way of recognising and breaking down barriers to change). The course involved being very hands on with lots of activities, tonight mostly focused on what we wanted to know, why we were interested and the behavioural change stuff.
We hope to bring you more news from Marianne soon.