Author Archives: Al

Things to Share

Transition Redhill is about developing a stronger and more resilient community – not just in Redhill though. We like our neighbours and there are many interesting things going on around us that we can chose to support and be part of. Many people will be taking part in street parties and community events over the Jubilee weekend, hopefully you’ll all enjoy yourselves whatever you are doing.

There are other things going on around us too. Can you support the Merstham bicycle recycling project? Operating from the Hub at 28 Portland Drive, Merstham, it is a scheme that is going to use unclaimed bikes, given by Surrey Police, to help local disadvantaged and socially excluded young people.

You might also be interested in the Eden Valley Eco Fair. It will be on Saturday 22nd September, in Stangrove Park, Edenbridge. You have plenty of time to put it in your diaries – its a new event to promote sustainability and local community involvement and will include local businesses and community organisations, clubs and societies.

Have you heard all about Rio +20 United Nations conference on Sustainable Development? Fancy going, but not got the cash from a trip to Rio? How about going to the alternative Rio + 20 conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at University College London? its on over the weekend of 16-17 June, and run by the Campaign Against Climate Change and SOAS Development Studies Department.

Whatever you do decide to do, tell your neighbours and friends about it too, and have a good time.

Climate Jobs Caravan 24 May 2012

One million climate jobs nowTransition Redhill invites you to visit the Climate Jobs Caravan in Redhill on Thursday 24 May 2012.

The Climate Jobs Caravan is coming to Redhill as part on a tour of Britain that will take in 25 towns and cities across the country to promote climate jobs. The tour, organized by the trade union arm of the Campaign against Climate Change, starts in London and Edinburgh on 12th May. (http://www.campaigncc.org/climatejobscaravan)

In Redhill the Climate Jobs Caravan can be found in the town centre alongside the market. The message of the tour will be simple: the creation of climate jobs can help solve both the economic and climate crisis. It will be promoting jobs in areas like public transport, home insulation and renewable energy. It will argue that one million climate jobs could be created, cutting CO2 emissions by 80%. It will be calling for the Government to set up a National Climate Service (NCS) to invest in climate jobs.

Suzanne Jeffery, Chair of the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group, said, “Investing in climate jobs would be a win-win situation. It would help solve both the economic and environmental crises. With 2.5 million people unemployed and climate change threatening the future of our planet, we are dismayed that the Government is refusing to seriously invest in climate jobs.”

Transition Redhill supports the Campaign against Climate Change and the visit of the Climate Jobs Caravan to help raise awareness of climate issues and interest in climate related jobs to benefit the local community.

What is it all about?

What is Transition Redhill all about? If you have heard of Transition Towns before you will know that they are all about sustainability. They are about towns becoming more self-sufficient in the face of peak oil, increasing food prices and water scarcity (despite the rain!). But that is not all. Transition is not only about worthy sensible things. It’s also about community and fun. Transition Redhill is a group of people who care about Redhill, who want it to be a good place to live, not just to shop or work. To help you understand what the Transition movement is all about we are showing the Transition Networks new film, In Transition 2.0 – see the previous post about the event here: http://tiny.cc/4zjldw.

It’s going to be a great night, and the get you in the mood you can see a trailer here: http://tiny.cc/83jldw

Come and join us at the Garland at 8pm on 17 May for In Transition 2.0. Get yourself a drink, pull up a seat and find out what its all about.

To put you in a good mood, you could also join “Action for Happiness” too. “Action for Happiness is a movement for positive social change. We’re bringing together people from all walks of life who want to play a part in creating a happier society for everyone.” Sign up at the Action for Happiness site here: http://tiny.cc/3ikldw. What does Action for Happiness have to do with Transition? Both are about building community, strengthening society through positive action.

Feeling philosophical? Why not visit the School of Life: http://tiny.cc/31kldw. Learn how to be cool (http://tiny.cc/mnlldw), how to make a difference (http://tiny.cc/8olldw) and see lots of other creative and thought provoking articles and seminars. Bring the ideas back to Redhill and make our community a thriving and engaged place to live.

New Report on People and the Planet

For those who like to understand the current state of knowledge, you might be interested to see the new report on People and the Planet from the Royal Society. Rapid and widespread changes in the world’s human population, coupled with unprecedented levels of consumption present profound challenges to human health and wellbeing, and the natural environment.

The combination of these factors is likely to have far reaching and long-lasting consequences for our finite planet and will effect future generations as well as our own. These impacts raise serious concerns and challenges,  us to consider the relationship between people and the planet. It is not surprising then, that debates about population have tended to inspire controversy.

Although globally focused, the report highlights implications for health, education, consumption and use of resources that will have relevance at a local level. Many recommendations are aimed at National Governments, but there are issues that might best be tackled locally. For example, Recommendation 2 suggests that the most developed and the emerging economies must stabilise and then reduce material consumption levels through: dramatic improvements in resource use efficiency, including: reducing waste; investment in sustainable resources, technologies and infrastructures; and systematically decoupling economic activity from environmental impact.

These sound big and hard to deal with, but are exactly the issues that the Transition Network seeks to tackle, making our Towns more sustainable, and our lives better, through community participation in the delivery of the things we all need for comfortable and satisfying lives.

 

Energising Redhill

April’s Transition Redhill meeting was a great opportunity to learn all about local initiatives to help people better understand their energy consumption and the possible options for local, sustainable, energy production. Jonathan Essex talked about a local project that involved training 20 unemployed young people to carry-out home energy audits.

Transition Redhill are running a “Personal Carbon Footprint Monitoring Project” (details below, or here: http://tiny.cc/azz7cw). There are also other local organisations offering a range of advice. For example, Action Surrey (http://www.actionsurrey.org/) provides a range of information on energy monitoring, energy audits, energy saving with insulation and solar energy production and feed-in tariffs.

We also learned about local work to consider the types of sustainable energy options that could be applied locally to produce local power to our community. These options covered:

  • Anaerobic digestion and gas production
  • Passive Solar energy
  • Wind generation

Anaerobic Digestion is a technique that takes domestic food waste and produces methane gas that can be used for heating or electricity production.  The Borough current plans to ship food waste, via a £10 million “Transfer Site”, to a “Digestor” at Shepperton in West Surrey http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-17319163.  The large scale proposal is not popular locally, with increased pollution and traffic the main concerns about the plans. Transition Redhill discussed the merits and viability of smaller scale “Digestors” across the county. More information is available on Anearobic Digestors (http://tiny.cc/tqz7cw) and community schemes (http://www.localunited.net/).

Other significant sources of local energy production that could be developed at a community level are solar and wind production. Two mappting exercises have been carried out locally to identify;

  1.  the extent of suitable flat or south facing roofing around Redhill, and
  2. the best locations for wind generation, taking account of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (http://tiny.cc/8oz7cw)

All these energy production methods have clear potential for community based energy production schemes that could help Redhill and Reigate reduce dependence on centralised and carbon-intensive energy production, enable the towns to be more sustainable and resilient, reduce our CO2 production and generate money for the benefit of our community.

A Transition Redhill group to further consider community based energy production is being developed. If you are interested you should contact Derek Smith at derek.redhill@gmail.com.