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
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
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.
Free entry (donations to help with the costs of the screening appreciated)
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
This fantastic infographic was made for an American audience but has lessons for us all to learn.
It comes from the Education Online blog and hat tip to Allison Morris for pointing it out to us.
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.
Cindy Gardener, Waste and Recycling Officer at Hounslow Council, was presented with BRAG’s third Green Champion award at last month’s AGM. Cindy, the liaison officer for communications between Hounslow Council and BRAG since 2010, was honoured for her commitment to recycling and the initiatives she has spearheaded in her work at the council.
Last year, for example, Cindy’s team introduced a service for schools whereby food waste produced in the kitchens of the borough’s primary schools is collected and sent for anaerobic digestion rather than ending up in landfill. The food is collected on the same vehicles as the food waste from nearby homes, saving unnecessary trips by the recycling fleet.
Another initiative, launched this year, is a programme for mothers and mothers-to-be aimed at reducing nappy waste. Mums and pregnant women are being offered a free ‘taster pack’ to give them an idea of what it would be like to use washable nappies instead of disposables. As a result, 16 mums so far have made the switch to cloth nappies and said good-bye to nappy waste.
Cindy’s Green Champion prize was a hamper of (mostly) locally produced goodies, including a cotton shopping bag made by BRAG member Rukmini West; jams from Abundance London in Chiswick; chocolate honeycomb, apple-and-chilli jelly, apricot-and-cashew biscotti, and bay leaves from Brentford’s Hen Corner; apple chutney from Chiswick farmers’ market; green tomato chutney and Ealing honey from Angela Malik in Acton; Brentford Dock honey; Ringden Farm apple juice; Richmond blackberry jam; and some Turkish Delight labelled “Brentford Delight.”
BRAG reckoned that the prize was a chance to showcase the abundance of fine products available in and around Brentford as well as to honour Cindy for her efforts.
With characteristic humility, Cindy said the award had taken her by surprise. She added that every member of BRAG was a Green Champion in her eyes.
How our habits have changed – presentation (ppsx)
Rubbish Duck is a sculpture made out of more than 2,000 plastic bottles, all collected from the Thames and Regent’s Canal. It can be seen at various locations on the canal, on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/RubbishDuck or on Twitter @rubbishduck.
Canal & River Trust (@CanalRiverTrust) October 18, 2012