Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Fun on the Veg Patch: Learning how to Grow your Own

Learning new skills is fun and easy when you do it with others! Our roving photographer, Elena Moses was out and about last week on a beautiful Spring Saturday at Trumpington Allotments, with our allotment expert and veggie growing guru,  Dave Fox.

He's back  to tending  his patch after a spell of illness and  loves  to share his passion and knowledge with new and more experienced growers.   From how to keep your precious soil where it belongs, to knowing your roses when it comes to sowing potatoes, there are some handy tips and tricks waiting to be harvested along with the last of the winter leeks and parsnips.  Elena has  compiled a photo essay about her experience, which you can see on our new Transition Cambridge Flickr page. To join in,  look out for Dave's next Grow your Own session in the Transition Bulletin. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Reasons to be optimistic

Are there any? If you look at the newspaper most days you will see nothing but bad news stories on climate change, from record high temperatures in the Arctic to cancelled funding for US climate monitoring projects (no thanks to President Donald Trump). So when I was asked to do a short ‘Optimistic Show and Tell’ at the Science Festival, my first thought was ‘you must be joking’. But then I had some second thoughts. There is actually quite a lot of good news too, only the media tends to bury it. Plus there is a lot happening under the radar right here in Cambridge. This is what I intend to talk about on Saturday.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Do you really need a car of your own?

Do you use your car every day? Every week? If you don’t need to use your car regularly, it can be cheaper to share and there are benefits for the environment too. In this post I present three different solutions, as described by three Transition Cambridge and Cambridge Carbon Footprint members: Liz shares a car with friends, Anne has joined the car club Zipcar while Dave and Ceri use a national car hire company for occasional long trips.
Liz (on the left) with friends Iain and Suzie and their family

Friday, 27 January 2017

From #RateMyPlace to #ShapeOurPlace: A Collaborative Enquiry

By Jacky Sutton-Adam

How often do we think about or actively, critically notice where we live?
'' I've been here for over 20 years, and the houses on my road have quadrupled in value. There are lots of tourists in the Summer. It's a nightmare getting to the train station. There are places where I feel unsafe walking at night. 80% of my work commute is over commons and green spaces – lucky me!''

Functional street furniture or urban clutter? 
These facts and opinions are like a backdrop scenery to my life in Cambridge. In the busy-ness of 21st century living, it sometimes recedes into an amorphous blur coloured by whichever emotion I happen to be feeling most strongly. The result? I sometimes experience extended 'sulks' about Cambridge and this is detrimental to my sense of well-being.

Last week's prosaically named workshop 'Place Standard Tool' could definitely do with a title makeover, but it really helped me to get a grip on what I felt and why, and to feel connected with others as we shared what we love and wish we could change about our city. I gained a sense of clarity about my opinions which was empowering.
 ''This exercise got me thinking deeply about the City I live in, and I found that as a group we interrogated each point from many angles, exploring many aspects of this diverse place. Some answers were expected, tho' many were surprising. '' - James

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

My tips for a sustainable Christmas holiday

I've been thinking about seasonal sustainable tips for a flyer for our Lush charity pot party (on the 18th of this month). These are the tips I used, with a bit more detail than fits on the leaflet. I am sure you can suggest more.

Lovely Leftovers
Leftovers make ideal convenience food. They are already cooked and need very little processing to turn them into a quick meal such as curry, hash, risotto, wraps, soups. Roast vegetables, in particular, are extra tasty and it would be an appalling waste to throw them away. They can be used over the next few days or put in the freezer for later.  (Cambridge Sustainable Food has some recipes here.)

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Organic Cycles

Paul Robinson of Fen End Farm has written a blog post for Cam Cycle on why he is so pleased about using Outspoken Delivery for delivering their organic veg around  Cambridge. He also talks about the Cambridge Cropshare gang coming to the farm by bike and returning at the end of the day with 'haversacks and panniers bulging with fruit and vegetables harvested that day'.  Finally there is the possibility of using bikes on the farm and incorporating bits of bicycles into new farm machinery. It's a nice story - do take a look.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

What is it like to drive an electric car? - our experiences

By coincidence, two Energy Group members acquired an electric car in January: Ian and James. However they have very different experiences: they have different cars; Ian bought his while James has a rental agreement; Ian mainly charges his at home from his PV panels while James’ car is mainly charged at work. They both agree that driving an electric car requires some planning and adaptation but they love to drive their new vehicles and have no regrets.

Hanna, Ian’s niece, demonstrates how to charge Ian’s electric BMW.