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

Waste Not in Devon!

The Issues and Options Consultation is the first formal public consultation stage of the Waste Core Strategy. The Issues and Options Consultation Report highlights the main waste planning issues facing Devon and the potential options for addressing them. It is vital that members of the public and interested organisations provide their views during the consultation in order that the County Council can develop the direction of the Strategy accordingly.

The Issues and Options Consultation Report is being published on 28 April 2011, with the consultation period extending to 21 July 2011. The Consultation Report, together with supporting documents, will be available from 28 April on the County Council’s online consultation facility, which allows responses to be submitted easily online.

Bridport Mayor Axes Prayers!

David Rickard

NEW mayor David Rickard has come under fire from church leaders after axing prayers at council meetings in Bridport. Coun Rickard, 66, has insisted upon a short time of quiet contemplation at the full meetings of Bridport Town Council instead of the Lord’s Prayer. Read the full story here.

Here’s another report on it – Mr Rickard said he was surprised by the reaction. “After all, it’s not a religious service, it is a council meeting,” he said. “I personally find it anachronistic when the majority of people no longer go to church.

Stop Mattel destroying rainforests for toy packaging

Barbie, it's over. I don't date girls that are into deforestationHeard the news? Ken has dumped Barbie! He’s discovered that his long time lover is destroying Indonesia’s forests for those pretty pink boxes she likes to wrap herself in. You can’t blame Ken. As you can see in the , he’s just seen the results of the latest Greenpeace investigation which shows how Barbie is threatening the future of endangered species and the stability of our climate. The paper used in Barbie boxes – like palm oil which Greenpeace has campaigned about in the past – comes straight from the rainforests of Indonesia, home to rapidly vanishing creatures such as orang-utans, and Sumatran tigers (pictured below) and elephants.

Sumatran tiger (c) FotosearchOk, maybe it isn’t all Barbie’s fault. Mattel, the company behind the malevolent mannequin, is the one responsible and this new global investigation has uncovered the links between Mattel and our old friends, the notorious Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). Which is why activists dressed as Ken have scaled Mattel’s headquarters in Los Angeles, while back in the UK Greenpeace has helped spread the word about Ken’s announcement with a guerrilla advertising campaign launched in Piccadilly Circus and with adverts on bus stops and tube lines.

By analysing the fibres in Barbie packaging and digging into the commercial links between various companies, Greenpeace has been able to link the carbon-rich forests and peatlands of Indonesia with the packaging of toys on sale in shops around the world. The trail leads directly from Mattel to APP and its suppliers in a chain of destruction that spans the globe.

And it’s not just Mattel; catch up with how Greenpeace has exposed Hasbro, Disney and Lego for also using paper fibre from Indonesia’s rainforests here.

DRU YOGA IN HONITON

This article is by Imogen Groves – who runs yoga classes in and around Honiton and can be contacted on 07530060067 or by email on imogengroves@gmail.com

Dru yoga is a graceful and potent form of yoga, based on flowing movements, directed breathing and visualisation. With its foundation set firmly in ancient yogic tradition, Dru works on body, mind and spirit – improving strength and flexibility, creating core stability, building a heightened feeling of positivity and deeply relaxing and rejuvenating your whole being. Designed to be practised by people of all abilities, all fitness levels and all age groups, Dru is a style of yoga that can be quickly dipped into or learnt in more depth over a lifetime.

The classes usually follow a pattern of fun ‘activations’ to warm up, a flowing sequence to release tension in the joints, a couple of postures with ‘body preparations’ (warming up specific muscles) and modifications where necessary, and a lovely long deep relaxation at the end. Recent comments from new students were, ‘I slept all night for the first time in 5 years’ and ‘The day after the class my back was saying ‘Thank you’ to me all day’.

“Dru yoga makes me feel amazing and I want to share it with others!”

Imogen Groves (member of the Professional Register of Dru Yoga Teachers)

Little Green Gathering

Bookings are now open for the Little Green Gathering, organised by Hampshire Green Parties members and held at the Sustainability Centre on the South Downs near Petersfield on 15-17 July.  Great for chilling out, green politics, music and arts and crafts – plus a wonderful setting with sustainable camping and all veggie food.  This far, confirmed attendees include: Seize the Day, a waggon load of Green Councillors; an MP, MEP, the Lord Major of Oxford and Professor Fiddlesticks – What’s not to like?

There are more than sixty activities in several places around the wooded site.  We have singing and drawing workshops, camp-fires, wildlife “safaris” and lessons on herbalism and Target-to-Win; a theatre group, artists, a harpist and poets in residence; performance music, theatre, art and poetry; games and teas for kids; banner-making in a yurt (come away with your new local party banner); debates on NVDA, carbon-counting, the “Left” and Trident; a real-nappy fashion show … and a man who is going to tell us how to design eco-domes.
Numbers are limited so book now.  See http://southeast.greenparty.org.uk/region/southeast/little-green-gathering.html for more details and a downloadable booking form or contact Tim Dawes at tim@nineveh.co.uk or 02392 470592

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

THE GREAT GREEN CABARET

Proudly presents

Matt Harvey

And many more astounding acts

Refreshments

Totnes Civic Hall

Friday 28th January

7.30pm (Doors open 7pm)

Tickets : Advance/concessions £6 On the door £8

Available from Bishopston Trading, 79 High St. Totnes

& Rhythm & Light, 47 High St. TOTNES

Or phone 01803 865166

A South Hams Green Party Fund Raising Event

Greens back campaign against Nocton mega-dairy

The Green Party has reacted strongly to proposals to construct a 3,770-cow dairy in Lincolnshire. Nocton Dairies last month submitted proposals for a “mega-dairy” on Nocton Heath, sparking protest from animal rights and sustainability campaigners. The 38 Degrees petition opposing the plans has so far gained over 50,000 signatures, you can add your name here http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/factoryfarm

North Kesteven District Councillors are due to vote on the proposals in January, after the public consultation period closes on 11th January 2011. Adrian Ramsay, deputy leader of the Green Party, said in response to the plans:

“This industrial scale dairy would be a bad move for agriculture, for animal welfare and for the environment. It will lead to the demise of smaller and more environmentally sustainable farms at a time when many farmers are already struggling to make ends meet. The Green Party has been calling for a reform of supermarket buying practices for many years so that farmers receive a fair price for their produce.”

Mr. Ramsay, who is a Green councillor in Norwich, continued:

“Grazing is natural for cows. A large number of scientific studies have shown that cows kept on pasture are healthier. With Nocton’s cows eating no fresh grass, there are major animal welfare concerns about this proposal. There are also major environmental concerns because the cows will instead be eating food grown on land that could have been used for food production for people.”

Adrian Ramsay concluded:

“The Green Party believes that cows belong in fields and will therefore campaign to ensure that this proposed ‘super’ dairy does not go ahead. We also need wider reforms of our agriculture to ensure better animal welfare and protect rural livelihoods and the countryside.”

Animal Aid & Viva are also running a campaign against the super dairy and I’ve emailed the planning authorities direct. You can object too – it takes 5 mins & needs to be done before 11th January so not long – do it today and keep the cows out of these intensive indoor units and on the fields like this happy cow below! http://www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/mega-dairy/object.html


Italy bans plastic bags

Really pleased to hear a positive story about the environment this morning on the news. Italy is banning plastic bags from tomorrow – 1st January 2011. Apparently it has taken ten years for the country to gradually bring this in, allowing businesses to have the time to adapt and provide the alternatives – paper, cloth or biodegradable plastic bags. Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said the decree marked “a key step forward in the fight against pollution and it makes us all more responsible in terms of recycling.”

Other countries are also addressing the problem of plastic bags. For example, a new law has come into effect in Mexico City giving the authorities the power to fine shops which give away free plastic bags to their customers. In the US, San Francisco became the first city to ban plastic bags from large supermarkets and pharmacies in March 2007. Several months later the rest of California passed laws requiring large supermarkets to take back and recycle plastic bags.

Since the Republic of Ireland passed a law in 2002 charging shoppers for every plastic bag, use of the carriers has plummeted by 90% and France plans to impose an outright ban by 2010.

I think we’re lagging behind here in the UK. The town of Modbury in Devon became the first place in Britain to outlaw plastic bags in April 2007. Apparently others plan to follow suit but perhaps government should be bringing in laws like the one in Italy which would make businesses adapt and use alternative materials. What do you think? Add your comments below.

Read more here on the BBC site.