Compost Giveaway on May 10

Hounslow Council is celebrating Compost Awareness Week by giving away free compost on Saturday, 10 May, 2014. Bring a shovel and a maximum of four containers to pick up your compost at Hounslow Heath Nature Reserve, TW4 5RB (access via Frampton Road car park) from 10am to 1pm.

And there’s more. You’ll have the chance to learn about home composting, how to obtain a subsidised home-compost bin and how to make biodegradable newspaper plant pots for your seedlings. Be sure to bring the kids along to meet our mascot, Composting Claire.

Compost helps to improve soil structure, holds moisture in the soil and adds valuable nutrients to the soil – all of which helps your plants to grow.

Break The Bag Habit!

An estimated 10.6 Billion single-use bags will be given out before the government implements new single-use bag legislation in 2015.

A shocking 10.6 billion single-use bags will be handed out at shops in England before the bag charge comes into force on 1st October 2015. The average person in England uses 133 bags per year. In an effort to offset the environmental impacts from this unnecessary delay in implementing the bag charge the Break The Bag Habit coalition are launching new website to encourage supporters to pledge to stop using single-use bags. www.breakthebaghabit.org.uk

Break the bag habit Continue reading

Air Quality Survey from TfL

In recent years, a number of studies have established the link between poor air quality and health in urban areas. Road, air and rail transport, shipping, domestic, commercial heating, industry and power generation all generate polluting emissions; while natural sources including wind-blown sea salt, sand or soil also contribute to air pollution levels. Continue reading

The Fracking Files

In December New Internationalist  decided to put the entire main story of the current issue online for everyone to read and share for free. Like many of you, NI is concerned that the industries behind fracking are putting the countryside, water and health at risk.
NI would like the facts and information that have been put together to play their part in the resistance. It’s time that we sort the myths from the reality.

Saving Elmo: Why we fought to protect one urban tree

When a tree that stands in the city’s way is designated for the chop, many of us just stand by and watch it fall. We shouldn’t be so resigned

IT BEGAN with three large letters: R.I.P. Normally on such a freezing night I’d have rushed straight by in my hurry to get home, but something caught my eye. Pinned to the trunk of a tree I had passed countless times was a scrap of paper – and those three letters.

I hadn’t taken much notice of the tree before. It stood tall and solitary at the edge of a notorious roundabout, a welcome living thing in a sea of tarmac. It was a large elm with deeply fissured bark and sturdy upswept branches. I stretched my arms around its trunk: they scarcely reached half way. What did that ominous message mean? Continue reading

Screening of “More Than Honey”

Sunday 15 September, 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road. Ealing W5 5RH.

Ealing Transition and Ealing Friends of the Earth will host a screening of More Than Honey, the new documentary by Oscar-nominated Markus Imhoof.

The multi-award winning film tells a provocative yet touching tale of what might happen if our bees became extinct. It takes an in-depth look at honeybee colonies, examining what’s behind the current bee crisis and why we rely on bees for so many things.

“…filled with gorgeous cinematography and fascinating details about bees’ complex behavior and anatomy” Washington Post.

In recent years many species of British bee have been declining, placing our food supply and economy under threat. Research by Friends of the Earth shows that without bees, it would cost the UK at least £1.8 billion every year to hand-pollinate our crops.

After the film, Friends of the Earth will say a few words about their Bee Cause campaign, and beekeepers from Ealing BKA and Ealing Transition Community Bee Project will be on hand for discussion over tea, coffee and cakes.

All welcome

Free entry (donations to help with the costs of the screening appreciated)

Climate Radio

 Climate Radio is back in 2013 with a new monthly programme. The first two shows are available now to listen online, download or subscribe to in iTunes. You can also check out the programmes on the New Internationalist website.
 
 
Starting the series in our traditional way with a look at the science, we speak to Professors Tim Lenton and Peter Wadhams about the surprising rate of change we are now seeing in the Arctic’s natural systems.
 
“In the absence of urgent action on climate change, there may be a number of tipping points in climate-driven systems in the Arctic, which threaten to rapidly escalate the danger for the whole planet. A collapse of summer sea-ice, increased methane emissions from thawing permafrost, runaway melting of the Greenland ice-sheet, and a collapse of the thermo-haline circulation, may all be approaching in the Arctic and will have disastrous consequences for global climate and sea levels. These together comprise a wake-up call to reinvigorate efforts to tackle climate change. A lack of consensus on precisely how fast any tipping points are approaching in the Arctic should not be used as an argument for inaction.” (Environment Audit Committee, Protecting The Arctic, September 2012, p.21).
 
 
Where scientists see warning signs, oil companies and their friends in government see only economic opportunity. Last September a cross-party parliamentary committee of MPs in the UK called for a moratorium on drilling in the Arctic – concerned about the potential impact on climate change and about the lax safety regime surrounding this high-risk activity. In January this year, the UK government rejected the committee’s key recommendations using old science to suggest that Arctic drilling could be compatible with avoiding dangerous climate change. At the same time a Freedom of Information Act request discovered the government had been lobbying against EU legislation designed to make Arctic drilling safer.
 
Over the course of 2012 Shell’s claims that they were “Arctic Ready” collapsed after a succession of calamities while investors and other oil companies started getting cold feet. We look at how Shell’s Arctic drilling plans pose a risk to your pension and what you can do about it. Featuring Joan Walley MP (Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee), Charlie Kronick (Greenpeace), Louise Rouse (Fair Pensions) and James Marriott (Platform).
 
Full descriptions of the programmes can be found at: http://climateradio.org/
 
You can follow Climate Radio on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClimateRadio
 
Many thanks to Artists Project Earth for their support for these programmes

The Big Tree Plant

The aim is to support community, not for profit, groups to plant one million trees in towns, cities and residential areas throughout England over the next four years (2011 to 2015).
Grants of between £500 and £25,000, for up to 75% of costs, are available to projects that:

  • plant trees in neighbourhoods in England where people live and work;
  • involve the local community and provide benefits to people in the neighbourhood;
  • plant individual street trees, small groups of trees in greenspaces, or other neighbourhood tree planting; and
  • have in place a method for ensuring the trees are cared for in the future.

 

The fund can cover the costs of goods and services such as: trees and material for tree planting; preparatory work such as utility searches, test pits, and planning applications; local community engagement; contract labour for running the project and undertaking works; time of staff spent on running the project; expert advice; hire of machinery; and small items such as tools or protective clothing for tree planting – however, these must remain the property of the group or organisation.

The closing date for applications is 15th March 2013

For more information and to apply click here

Hedgehog population in dramatic decline

The once common sight of hedgehogs in gardens could become a thing of the past, with the spiny species having suffered a dramatic decline in recent years on a par with the loss of starlings, red squirrels and other British wildlife.

Ecologists this week published figures suggesting hedgehog numbers declined by over a third between 2003 and 2012.

Read full article on Guardian website