Pre-heating the world?

I had this idea the other day when I was baking (random I know but stay with me!). Most recipes start with ‘pre-heat your oven to such and such a temperature’ don’t they while you then spend ten or twenty minutes preparing the food to go in the oven….

preheatovenI read something a couple of years ago in an environmental tips book or article that said DON’T pre-heat your oven…..as it’s really not necessary for most recipes. It will also a) save you money on the electric/gas b) save the planet by using less fuel.

So back to my recipe – I’m making scones with my thirteen year old daughter and we get to chatting about this. What if there was a campaign to educate people to stop pre-heating their ovens, this could surely save a hell of a lot of fuel and money on bills in the long-term. And there could be other environmental hints and tips too as part of this. Anyway it’s just an idea at this stage and would need investigating. It would be good to hear from some chef’s about the pre-heating idea. Treehugger.com says it’s a myth, an old wives tale to pre-heat your oven. The Energy Community takes my idea further saying switch off your oven 5 minutes before the recipe says too thus saving even more of that precious energy – genius!

So there are clearly websites out there with some great tips and advice us greenies love to read BUT how do we get these messages through to everyone? What do you think – I’d love to hear your comments, please add them to the blog.


Shout from the Rooftops!

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Reading the Zero Carbon Britain newsletter today….I wanted to share this with you.

We are still waiting for a vital amendment to the Energy Bill. A target to decarbonise the power sector by 2030 needs to be set. Alun James, Policy Officer for WWF Cymru says this about decarbonisation:

Even at a time when Western economies are in an economic slowdown, the World Metrological Office has announced that carbon dioxide levels have reached another new high – these are now 40% above preindustrial times. Ed Davey, Secretary Of State for Energy and Climate Change, has said that he will continue to fight for a 30% cut in emissions by 2020. That’s good news, but is the minimum we should do and we should be encouraging other countries to do the same. In fact, we should be shouting from the rooftops that we have to stop sleepwalking into a non-sustainable future where climate change will dominate our economic, environmental and social endeavours. There’s still time to change – we can all help by reducing our dependence on fossil fuel and living more sustainably – but we need to start now.”

Fruity Free-for-all at Community Market !!!

It’s just 5 weeks since our public meeting at Montgomery’s brought together enough like-minds to get a Transition Town group up and running here in Honiton. The steering group (Geoff, Chris, Charlotte, Colin, Rufus, Tina, Sharon, Michelle and Alison) are very pleased to announce the first little project – a fruity free-for-all.

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Transition Town Honiton will have a stall at the Community Market at the Mackarness Hall on Saturday 5th November. TTH will be giving away seasonal surplus fruit from the trees in and around Honiton between 9.30am and 12.30pm (or until we run out!). Everyone is welcome to come and make use of the fruit on offer to eat, juice or make into jams, chutneys and preserves. If you have spare fruit which you would like to give away, please bring it along on the day or contact Rufus on 07762 788206 to arrange to pick and collect. We also need a couple more helpers on the fruit stall on the morning – even for an hour, please get in touch with Rufus or contact me.

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We hope you can support the market which includes local food, wooden toys, jams, eggs, cakes, ethical clothing, jewellery, books, crystals & fossils and facepainting for the little ones. No entry charge and refreshments are available – free tea & coffee to all market customers!  Click here to read more about the market.

Transition Town Honiton – up & running!

As of today, our little town of Honiton joins 458 muller transition initiatives across 34 countries on planet earth! We are registered on the Transition Network site https://www.transitionnetwork.org/initiatives/honiton

Being a ‘muller’ means we are in the ‘mulling it over’ or planning stage of the transition process following a successful first meeting last night. 23 people came along to find out more and after a discussion and gathering of everyone’s details, 7 people stepped forward to run the steering group to get the whole thing going. The brand new steering group were very keen to meet next week and start planning some action.

There are 382 official transition initiatives and if we are successful in meeting the criteria set out by the Transition Network based in Totnes then we will become ‘official’.

Honiton making the Transition…

The first Honiton Transition Town meeting takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 28th September at Montgomery’s on the High Street (next to Ganesha Health Food Shop). We will have representatives from other local transition towns and hopefully a bunch of interested, enthusiastic local people.

We will be discussing the possibility of starting our own transition group and the way forward. I will be chairing the meeting and representing the town council, who agreed to support such an initiative earlier this year. Please add a comment below if you are able to attend, so we have an idea of how many people are coming and most importantly please pass on a link to this page to anyone who you thing might be interested. Montgomery’s is very kindly giving us this meeting space free of charge, so it would be nice if everyone bought a drink or two in order to support this local business which is kindly supporting us!

A Transition Initiative (which could be a town, village, university or island etc) is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction. For more info on the transition network, see www.transitionnetwork.org

World Carfree Day

Every September 22, people across the globe get together to swear off their cars – if only for one day – in a collective reminder that we don’t have to accept car-dominated societies, cities, or personal lives. Since its earliest incarnations in the 1970s and ‘80s, WORLD CARFREE DAY has grown into a massive global celebration of human focussed communities and people-powered transportation.

As the world tunes in to the fact that the climate is heating up, this is the perfect opportunity to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of oil-hungry automobiles.

Check out the links below for global resources on going car-free, first on September 22, and then in your everyday life. Let World Carfree Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look, feel, and sound without cars – 365 days a year.

http://www.carbusters.org/index.php
http://www.worldcarfree.net/
http://www.mobilityweek.eu/

This article is from the Climate Rush Website – see http://www.climaterush.co.uk/world-carfree-day

I’ve also found these UK website:

http://www.carfree.org.uk/

http://www.giveupyourcar.com/

Why is global warming An Inconvenient Truth?

Rosie Bawn from Whimple who attends King’s School in Ottery St Mary wrote to me recently about her GCSE project based on global warming. She says “In July I had a work experience placement in the business department at the Met Office, but had a particular interest in Climatology and Forecasting. I am especially concerned about global warming and the effects, and this concern has led me to begin a GCSE project based on global warming.

As a full-course GCSE RE student I have been given the opportunity to produce a ‘Higher Project’ on a moral issue of my choice. I have decided to study the question ‘Why is global warming An Inconvenient Truth?’; a question that is based on the famous Al Gore film on global warming.”

Here are Rosie’s questions – and my answers in bold:

Do you believe that global warming is happening? Yes, it is happening, which is why I felt motivated to join the Green Party just after the Copenhagen Climate Summit in autumn 2009 and do something about climate change through political channels.

Do you personally think it is a natural phenomenon (an inevitable part of the earth’s continuous cycle) or a man-made effect? Personally, after looking into it over the past two years, I’m quite convinced that climate change is man-made and it is our responsibility to try and slow it down as soon as possible.

What impact do you think the media has on people’s opinions on global warming? Inevitably the media has an impact on every issue, even the ones it doesn’t spend time on – as then people do not hear about them. With a Green MP and more Green candidates standing for elections every single year, this means the media can no longer ignore the issues we care about.

Should our attempts to overcome global warming go beyond party politics? Yes, they should and the grassroots movement is extremely important, for example the transition movement (which is apolitical). Politics, however is the route I have chosen (as opposed to Friends of the Earth etc) as I am hopeful I will be sitting on a local council come this May – which will then mean local decisions (planning etc) will have a Green voice in my town.

Do you personally believe that global warming is a high enough priority for people today? Unfortunately, global warming is not enough of an immediate problem for most people to grasp in their everyday lives. I don’t think most people can relate to something which could affect the world after they have gone. Fortunately there are enough of us to make a start, and if through local politics and the grassroots movement, we can change the way society functions then perhaps we have a chance of stopping the temperature rising to the tipping point after which we will not be able to reduce it! Some people believe we shouldn’t take the route of ‘shocking’ people into seeing how much of a global catastophe lies ahead. Personally I think most people are oblivious to the devastating results of climate change (already happening) because we do not tell them the inconvenient truth.

Sharon Pavey

Coordinator East Devon Green Party

Fundraiser South West Green Party

www.sharonpavey.org

Climate Change and Energy Talk in Ottery St Mary

Save Energy, Save Money, Live Better

Thursday March 24th 2011 at 7.30 p.m. The King’s School

Sustainable Ottery have organised a talk to coincide with ‘Climate Week’, on Thursday 24th March at 7.30 in The King’s School which will look at why it is imperative to become more energy-efficient from both an environmental and an economic stand-point. We are pleased to announce that taking part will be Derrick Ryall, who is the Head of Climate Change at the Met. Office who will talk about climate change, its causes, the most up-to-date predictions and the implications for us in the future. Also speaking will be energy advisors with help and tips on how we can reduce our energy consumption in the home and also transport i.e. reduce your fuel bills as well as your carbon footprint. We hope to have lots of information on hand to help you keep your bills down, what grants are available to help you make your home more energy-efficient, local car-sharing and lift-sharing scheme, renewable energy etc. If you bring along an idea of your annual gas and electricity usage (kW/h), then we may be able to calculate your carbon footprint on the night (wi-fi permitting!)


With larger-than-ever energy bills dropping through your letter box and petrol costing a day’s wage to fill-up the car, you can’t afford to miss this. For more details or if you require help with transport to the meeting, then please ring Jill Dixon on 01404 811067 or
info@sustainableottery.org.uk

Climate and Energy Talk Thursday March 24th at The King’s School.

As part of our commitment to reducing energy consumption, Sustainable Ottery has joined the Energy Savings Trust ‘Green Communities’ project. The aim is to try and establish a Carbon Footprint for the town and to identify areas where energy efficiencies can be made. This could result in extra grants to help with insulation, cavity –fill, double-glazing etc. and possibly renewable energy schemes for the town. To get the ball-rolling we have organised a talk which will look at why it is imperative to become more energy-efficient from both an environmental and an economic stand-point. Taking part will be Derrick Ryall, Head of Climate Change at the Met. Office who will talk about climate change, its causes, the most up-to-date predictions and the implications for us in the future. Also taking part will be a representative from the Energy Savings Trust with advice and tips on how we can reduce our energy consumption and importantly our bills as well as our carbon footprint. We hope to have a number of exhibitors there too who will advise on energy efficiency, car-sharing, renewable energy etc. We will have more details in our next newsletter but with bigger than ever energy bills dropping through your letter box and petrol costing a day’s wage to fill-up the car, you can’t afford to miss this.

7.30pm on March 24th at the King’s School in Ottery St Mary

Proposed Solar-Farm near Whimple

MO3 Power is a renewable energy solar photovoltaic (PV) developer that wants to build a 5 Mw solar farm on 30 acres of land at Strete Farm adjacent to the north side of the A30 dual carriageway near Whimple. It is holding a public consultation on Monday 21st February at 4.30-6 p.m. at Whimple Parish Hall, to  present its plans before submitting a planning application. It could generate enough power for 1,000 homes and save between 1,600 and 2,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. Come along and find out more.