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.

 

Transitioners Down Under!

News from a Wilmslow Transitioner now living in Western Australia

Living smart

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.

Job Done at the Community Garden

Seedling Swap at The Temp Community Garden 14 May 2016

Thanks to all who took part – seedling swappers, raised bed diggers, veggie planters, cake makers, fire makers, composting gurus and all those who just came along to have a look and a chat!

Please come along to the event next year.  Or if you would like to lend a hand looking after the vegetables seedlings we have planted this year do please contact us transitionwilmslow@gmail.com

BEFORE PLANTING

BEFORE PLANTING

PREPARATION

PREPARATION

WILLING HELPERS

WILLING HELPERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUNGEST HELPER!

YOUNGEST HELPER!

SWAPPING SEEDLINGS

SWAPPING SEEDLINGS

 

TALKING COMPOSTING

TALKING COMPOSTING

 

HEATING UP THE APPLE JUICE

HEATING UP THE APPLE JUICE

ENJOYING REFRESHMENTS

ENJOYING REFRESHMENTS

JOB DONE

JOB DONE

 

Sign up to Earth Hour

Will you switch off your lights and switch on your social power for The Official Earth Hour 2016?

Saturday 19 March, 8.30-9.30pm


 

Will you also join Transition Wilmslow for a

‘Special Earth Hour’? Friday 1 April, 8.30-9.30pm

Still switching off the lights, and having a really good sing – song, by candlelight, with Doug MacDonald at the piano.

Please note the change of date!

Earth Hour 2016 flyer

 

 

Wilmslow Community Energy scheme at risk by Government apparent attacks on solar generation

North East Cheshire Community Energy (NECCE) fears their community solar scheme cannot go ahead due to the Government’s proposed plans to savagely cut support for rooftop solar energy systems.

Before the last election its parent group, Transition Wilmslow, was encouraged by Government support to start a community benefit society to invest in local energy generation and provide funds to plough back in to the wider community. This would build on the work Transition Wilmslow has done with Wilmslow Town Council doing household energy surveys, using a thermal imaging camera.

NECCE has been working hard for the last 9 months to identify suitable community buildings, raise awareness and set up the right structure, engaging with students who were keen to reduce costs for their school. They were particularly excited about getting solar panels on Wilmslow High School as it was spending over £100,000 per year on its power bill.

The benefits would be:

  • cheaper electricity for the school
  • a rate of return to people who invested in the scheme
  • income for a community fund.

In August, our local MP, George Osborne said:

“I am happy to support you wherever I can.”

Andrew Backhouse acting chair of NECCE has said that many people have been very keen to invest into something local that will:

  • pay them a level of interest
  • reduce our carbon footprint
  • help local schools generate their own electricity
  • help children learn about this in the process
  • and cut their costs.

This is now unlikely to happen!

The expected policy change is going to stop any chance of progress. We understand that the Government might want to reduce the cost of energy in the short term – but they should be thinking long term to cut carbon emissions further, taking advantage of local investment, and doing more to boost local community involvement.”

Here’s what Caitlin a sixth form pupil at the local school said

“I think it’s disappointing that the government has changed their stance on the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) considering their huge positive effect on the UK’s energy supply. The initiative’s removal has had a major impact not only nationally but also locally. Our school could really have benefited from solar panels, both environmentally and financially, not to mention the valuable learning resource that would have been created”

The community group have written to George Osborne asking him to support their cause and back subsidy for solar, but so far he is awaiting a response from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

If you want to know more about community energy locally, or to ask for help in reducing your energy consumption, contact Andrew on Andrew.backhouse@phonecoop.coop or 01625 537087

More details of NECCE  are on – http://necheshirecommunityenergy.org.uk/

Also see http://keepfits.org/news//we-should-call-community-energy-the-mailman

 

Transition Network Newsletter

The latest edition of the Transition Network Newsletter – worth a read here

It includes details of:

  • their new publication -’21 Stories of Transition’
  • how a community responded when overwhelmed with refugees
  • news of Transitioners from around the world going to the Global Climate Conference which takes place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris.