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.
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;
- the extent of suitable flat or south facing roofing around Redhill, and
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.