Aiming to tackle the big issues of climate change, peak oil, sustainability and scarce resources at a local level

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Seize Your Pension Power To Save The Planet

Your pension can change the world
Right now, it's funding climate change…

On December 9th we are running an event with Share Action looking at how the gazillions sloshing around in the UK's pension funds are invested in fossil fuel companies and other high-carbon industries which are driving the world towards dangerous climate change.
This is our money and we should have a say in how it is used shouldn't we? 

By taking back control over the cash invested in pensions, we can make sure it’s supporting a better future.

This workshop will cover the basics of how your pension is invested and how pension savers can take action to effect change. Join us for the evening to learn about your pension power can save the planet!

Tuesday 9th December 2014, 7-9pm at Mushkil Aasaan, 222 Upper Tooting Rd, SW17 7EW [poster to download]

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Insect Hotel Wk3 - The Rising!

Often with our work with Gatton, we'll augment the sessions with the students with extra hours to maintain momentum as well as keep us on track. These augmenting sessions usually happen during normal garden hours on a Sunday, 11am to 1pm. So come down if you specifically want to contribute to this project. Send a message via transitiontowntooting@gmail.com

Week 3 saw the Insect Hotel rise-up from raw timbers to an upright structure - a great moment. Luckily, we had a couple of load testers to immediately make sure it was suitable for grubs to climb up!

1. Preparing the ground  

2. Building the frames
The timbers used were the
ones Gatton School had
cut in preceding weeks
3. Laying flag stone foundations









4. There she rises! With two eager 
climbers waiting in the wings















5. Bang on level...







The timbers used to be a fence that passed across the site - a  priority for us is to re-use as much as possible.

The team on the day was Diana (with the level), Gerard (with the sideburns) Benji with the yellow coat and Dominic with the smile! Jenny is on the camera and that's me in the hat!

6. Here come the load testers
Click below to read about how Gatton continued the build...

100 children in the Garden: hunting for minibeasts and for bears in mid-November

In the past fortnight we have hosted two year groups of 50 children each with staff and parents from Gatton School for two special mid-November outdoor learning sessions, Tooting style.

Year Four actively searched the garden's diverse habitats for minibeasts as part of a curriculum day on the natural world. They found worms, woodlice, centipedes, snails, spiders, beetles, and more.

Year One went step-by-step through an active version of We're Going on a Bear Hunt - a super experience of literacy, creativity and using their imaginations outdoors.

What did Year 4 do?

They dug energetically
They peered under the roof













Clipboards came out with the sun
They inspected everything

Year One's Bear Hunt was thrilling.....
...click below to read on

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Tooting's Air Quality - community meeting Wednesday 26th Nov

We'll share the results of this local and practical 'citizen science' project to measure local air quality, and hear from knowledgeable speakers who are involved with this challenge.

All welcome to take part in this urgent discussion, look at the issues in depth, and consider: 'what's to be done?'

When: Wednesday 26th Nov, 1930-2100 
Where: Tooting United Reformed Church, Rookstone Road SW17 9NQ

Speakers:
Samantha Heath - CEO, London Sustainability Exchange
Rex Osborn - Borough Councillor, Graveney Ward
Houda Al-Shafiri - Head of Public Health, Wandsworth Borough Council
David Thorne - Co-Chair, Transition Town Tooting

TTT has been running a campaign on air pollution locally in collaboration with London Sustainability Exchange and with Battersea and Wandsworth Trade Union Council. We have carried out ‘citizen science’ measurements around Tooting, and our surveys have produced some interesting results.
See a graphic summary of the local results by clicking here.
  • Some parts of Tooting High Street record levels of nitrogen dioxide that are 2 to 3 times higher than the European safe exposure limit
  • The Mayor of London’s ’ultra-low emission zone’ does not include Tooting. 
  • Around 4,250 people die each year from long-term exposure to fine particles in London
  • Those affected lose 11.5 years of their life on average
  • Much more needs to be done to ensure Tooting has a clear bill of health!
To see our recent leaflet on local Air Quality, click here
To see the event poster, click here

For more information, please email us

Change Picture

Air Quality in Tooting

Starts
19:30, Wednesday 26th November
Ends
21:00, Wednesday 26th November
Location
London | Wandsworth | Tooting
Tooting United Reform Church, Rookstone Road SW17 9NQ (map)
Workshop
You are attending this event (change)
Created by Charles Whitehead

About

We'll share how we have been involved in a practical 'citizen science' project to measure local air quality
Transition Town Tooting has been running a campaign on air pollution in Tooting in collaboration with London Sustainability Exchange and Battersea and Wandsworth Trade Union Council by carrying out ‘citizen science’ measurements around Tooting. Our surveys have produced some interesting results:
  • Some parts of Tooting High Street record levels of nitrogen dioxide levels that are 2 to 3 times higher than the European safe exposure limit
  • Around 4,250 people die each year from long-term exposure to fine particles in London
  • Those affected lose 11.5 years of their life on average
The Mayor of London’s ’ultra-low emission zone’ does not include Tooting.
Much more needs to be done to ensure Tooting has a clear bill of health!

This event will look at the issues in depth.
Speakers:

Samantha Heath - CEO, London Sustainability Exchange
Councillor Rex Osborn - Graveney Ward, Wandsworth Borough Council
Houda Al-Shafiri - Head of Public Health, Wandsworth Borough Council
David Thorne - Co-Chair, Transition Town Tooting
To see our recent leaflet on local Air Quality, click here
To see the event flyer, click here
- See more at: http://www.projectdirt.com/apps/event/32292/#sthash.Sd6nVmrX.dpuf

Change Picture

Air Quality in Tooting

Starts
19:30, Wednesday 26th November
Ends
21:00, Wednesday 26th November
Location
London | Wandsworth | Tooting
Tooting United Reform Church, Rookstone Road SW17 9NQ (map)
Workshop
You are attending this event (change)
Created by Charles Whitehead

About

We'll share how we have been involved in a practical 'citizen science' project to measure local air quality
Transition Town Tooting has been running a campaign on air pollution in Tooting in collaboration with London Sustainability Exchange and Battersea and Wandsworth Trade Union Council by carrying out ‘citizen science’ measurements around Tooting. Our surveys have produced some interesting results:
  • Some parts of Tooting High Street record levels of nitrogen dioxide levels that are 2 to 3 times higher than the European safe exposure limit
  • Around 4,250 people die each year from long-term exposure to fine particles in London
  • Those affected lose 11.5 years of their life on average
The Mayor of London’s ’ultra-low emission zone’ does not include Tooting.
Much more needs to be done to ensure Tooting has a clear bill of health!

This event will look at the issues in depth.
Speakers:

Samantha Heath - CEO, London Sustainability Exchange
Councillor Rex Osborn - Graveney Ward, Wandsworth Borough Council
Houda Al-Shafiri - Head of Public Health, Wandsworth Borough Council
David Thorne - Co-Chair, Transition Town Tooting
To see our recent leaflet on local Air Quality, click here
To see the event flyer, click here
- See more at: http://www.projectdirt.com/apps/event/32292/#sthash.Sd6nVmrX.dpuf

Friday, 21 November 2014

Restart Party, Wed 3rd December - let's get stuff fixed!

Do you have an electrical or electronic item that needs fixing and don’t want to have to throw it away? 



After a fantastically successful evening in September we are delighted to announce that the Restart Project, a London-based social enterprise that encourages and empowers people to use their electronics longer, have agreed to run a second “Restart Party” with TTT in Tooting next month.
  
Sound interesting? Then come along to the event. 

Restart Party at Mushkil Aasaan

220 - 222 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW, 

Wednesday December 3rd from 6.30 - 9.30pm.

 

Challenge the culture of built-in obsolescence and take back control of all your electronic stuff! 

Do note that Restart Parties are a community self-repair space where you take responsibility for your own gadgets and data, so please do not forget to take any back-ups beforehand, if relevant – and if possible arrive during the first two hours to allow time for fixing!


See great reports of our last event here and on How We Get to Next here.

Could we have a Tooting Restart Group so that we could hold more regular local Restart Parties?  If you are interested in the idea do come along on the night - or if you can't make it contact Hilary Jennings on transitiontowntooting@gmail.com

You might also be interested to know that Restart hold regular skillshare get togethers http://therestartproject.org/skillshares/


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Growing, jenga, community energy and wellbeing at St George's Community Open Day, 15th Nov.

Thanks so much to St George's Healthcare NHS Trust for the invitation to have a stand at the Open Day last Saturday - our third year running.
And thanks to all who came to talk, share ideas, participate in the games for all ages, and sign up to our email lists to keep in contact. 


We chose three areas of what we do locally to share with visitors:
  • The Tooting Community Garden
  • Sustainable living and wellbeing games
  • Our sister project, the Furzedown Low Carbon Zone

Some high points included:
 
Playing with the planet: 
plotting the sources of common foods on the world map







Giant jenga, with green living tips

There were twelve volunteers on the varied activities through the day, and there was a lot of preparation...


Sometimes action takes over
...the most valuable aspect of the day was having the time to talk to visitors about plans and ideas.



Making drinks carton wallets


Rhubarb on the St George's Allotment


Doing the day together as a team was also special.








TTT and the Furzedown Low Carbon Zone have some great events happening in the next month - see our Events Calendar on the top right of this blog homepage.  

All welcome!


  

Plus: we are discussing future projects with St George's
We'll share news soon..

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Week 2 of the Insect Hotel

 On Tuesday 11th November, we enjoyed the second session of our Insect Hotel Project at the Community Garden, with Year 6 from Gatton Primary School in Tooting.

 Each week there is a new group of 10 students from the two classes of Year 6, so it's always good to welcome them to the garden before cracking into our project work. Charlie showed the 4000 yr old flint tool and the sea urchin fossil - found when the original veg beds were dug, only 3 years ago. Come along to witness them yourself.

Can you spot the eco-system Engineer?
It's always good to ask the simple questions for any TTT project we undertake and our schools work is no different.

 So why build an Insect Hotel? This week's group thought it would help the insects, give them protection and shelter and be a place to hibernate - all good, thoughtful points we reflected on for the rest of the session.

Cutting the corner posts for the Hotel
The measure...
...the cut...














 Each group of 3 students figured out how to mark out before cutting. In the session, we completed work on our 4 main supporting posts, made from re-purposed fence posts. 

...success!

  This engages maths, logical  thought and, of course, safe tool  use with every child using the  saw.

 Our group were brilliant -  engaged and enthusiastic  throughout.

St.Bug's Hotel!


Exploring Insect Habitat 

 Each week, we're playing with habitat by making a quick and dirty floor level hotel to inform the habitats we will place in the final structure. This weeks theme was crevices - nooks and crannies to encourage invertebrates and ladybirds - and was mostly built with tiles, twigs and an earth mound for our master ecosystem engineers - the humble worm. 

 So come along to the community garden, see the Insect Hotel emerge and explore the temporary accommodation the students of Gatton are creating! The Garden is open every Sunday, 11am to 1pm at 5 North Drive, Tooting, SW16 1RN.

Friday, 14 November 2014

'Growing Tooting' - the third theme for our stand at St George's tomorrow


We're keen to help more people - individuals, families, groups and clubs, enterprises - grow healthy local food in Tooting. Come and have a chat on Saturday at our stand at St George's about how we might do this together.

We'll be on the 1st floor in the Lanesborough Wing, in the Ingredients Restaurant.

We are so lucky to have the Tooting Community Garden, where we have enjoyable sessions every Sunday.

We also want to reach out to more people:
  • who can't get to the garden on a Sunday, 
  • or who would like to start their own growing space, 
  • or who have a garden and would like some ideas and advice, 
  • or who grow on a balcony and window box and want to be successful  'vertical gardeners'
  • and others...
 ...and including coming to join us at the Community Garden on Sundays, special project days, or at the Open Day in June..






We're calling this 9-month project 'Growing Tooting'




Between now and the Foodival in September '15, we'll offer and arrange guidance and workshops on many aspects of growing.
  • We'll encourage people to volunteer and get involved with others locally to look at many practical aspects of successful growing
  • We'll get to grips with Tooting's soil and conditions, with home composting and waste reduction, with choosing what and when to grow and harvest, plus sharing recipes and cooking - maybe cooking together outdoors over the summer.
We're not replacing the Community Garden - we want to widen the impact of what we are all trying to achieve in there.

We hope there will be more gardens flourishing in Tooting after these next months - we have some contacts already who have space and potential energy. If you come and chat at St George's tomorrow, we'll ask if you have some ideas for locations and groups who would like to garden and grow.

A successful Foodival will be a great milestone for the project as for the past seven years it has always drawn together many aspects of community growing - gardening and plants, social contacts and relationships, ideas and surprising achievements, enjoyment, fun and teamwork.



There are many diverse growing skills that we can share in Tooting!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Green living & games: a second theme for our St George's Open Day Stand

A theme we'll be looking at with our stand in the hospital at St George's all day on Nov 15th is green living, with games and activities to explore home and personal sustainability. Living green is a practical response at family and community level to global climate change.

Professor Chris Rapley's play / lecture called 2071 'explores the future of life on earth and climate change' this week at the Royal Court Theatre. Some of us from TTT saw the play today, and one of the conclusions is simple and powerful:
  1. Global population will probably stabilise - say at c9.5 billion
  2. That population will need energy
  3. That energy must be carbon-free for us to have a successful future
Blunt words.
Getting rid of 'carbon' in energy and production is not the only key to being sustainable and happy...but it's a core step. TTT have found the practical focus on everyday carbon reduction has been successful in the series of Carbon Conversations meetings we've offered locally since 2011. To see a recent run through of our 2014 series in six blog posts, click here - and we will be happy to talk about the meetings with visitors on Saturday.

What about games?



We know playing games is a simple (and sophisticated) way of understanding a new subject or rehearsing larger-scale challenges.






 
In Carbon Conversations, there are a lot of games - for example on our choices in managing home energy, and on travel options, and on 'where is the carbon in the food we use?'



Come along on Saturday and we guarantee you will enjoy our games for all ages: Giant Green Living Jenga, Food Mapping, Food Footprints, and making a Drinks Carton Wallet.

We've been making these wallets in Tooting since 2010 (last seen at the 2014 Foodival, where dozens were hidden around Tooting, each with a local chilli pepper and an invitation inside...).

Like to see a step-by step guide to make 
them at home?
1 First squash your carton, with a concertina fold in each side:
2 Fold into three and then....
  ...well, come along on Saturday and find out! 


Here are some finished wallets:
 












We look forward to seeing you all day on Saturday 15th at St George's, and all ages are welcome to come and play.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Sustainable, Healthy and Resilient Tooting

We're hosting a TTT stand at St George's Community Open Day, this Saturday 15th Nov from 10:30 to 4pm. The event is held throughout the hospital and medical school . Do come and chat with us, and catch up with what we're doing - and we'd love to hear your ideas on what a more sustainable Tooting would look and feel like.  
We'll be upstairs on the first floor of the Lanesborough Wing, in the Ingredients Restaurant.

We're painting a new banner
We can talk about TTT plans, and about sustainable living, and about the Furzedown Low Carbon Zone. We'll have some fun on the stand too: we'll have games, activities, and things to make for all ages: so all are welcome.

We're doing three daily blog posts for the rest of this week to lead into the St George's Open Day, on three themes that make a green thread running through our activities:
  1. Enjoying the outdoors in Tooting
  2. Sustainable living and low-carbon games 
  3. The 'Growing Tooting' project
Please read on as we explore these themes, and come and chat about them on Saturday.