Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

New series of free Carbon Conversations workshops starts April 20th

All welcome to join our Tenth Series of free local Carbon Conversations!
Do you want to make some changes to reduce your carbon footprint, save energy and save on your bills, but you're not sure how or where to start?

Join a group of local residents in a series of 6 meetings to explore how small changes can make a big difference.
You'll assess your own carbon footprint, then together we'll look at home energy, transport and travel, food, consumption and waste to help you make changes that fit your situation. We'll help you make an action plan of practical steps to take. The workshops are free.

When?
  • Sessions will take place on Thursdays between 20th April - 25th May 2017
  • Specific dates are 20th April, 27th April, 4th May, 11 May, 18 May, 25th May
  • they will run from 7:00 - 9:00pm
Where?
  • At 96 Besley St, SW16 6BD
What do we do in the sessions?

For a start, they are enjoyable!
We discuss what's important to us about 'low carbon living' - our values as well as technicalities. We're meeting in the home of one of the facilitators, so it's a friendly atmosphere and you can bring cake or samosas...!
We play some creative and instructive games, which lead to more discussion and planning. This one is about making travel choices.





We look at technical information, too. 
In this example we're exploring where heat loss occurs in a normal house.




For all the info on the workshops, download the series flyer

Please email Ben to join in, express an interest, or ask any questions. 

We ask for a voluntary contribution of £16.00 per participant to cover the direct cost of “In Time for Tomorrow?” the excellent Carbon Conversations handbook published by The Surefoot Effect.


To read personal blog posts by participants in an earlier series of meetings, click here and scroll down all six (they are in reverse order as we posted them live after each session).

All welcome - you do not have to be an expert!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Gardens of Refuge project - February 2017 monthly update as we start with a Family Activity Day

After the long haul of communicating near and far for voting in the Aviva Community Fund last year, winning funding in January, and getting on with the planning for 2017...we've begun the project!

Our first session with the CARAS refugee and asylum-seekers has been a Family Activity Day on Valentine's Day..
It was a familiar mother-and-children event like many repeated all across Britain when it's half term, and that everyday normalness was exactly the point: creating a safe and friendly space for some fun and practical family time together as a community.
That's the purpose of Gardens of Refuge: to create with asylum-seekers and refugees a therapeutic sense of wellbeing and feeling at home, plus growing activities and meeting members of the wider local community.

Run by CARAS staff and volunteers, plus more from TTT, by 11:30 the church hall at All Saints Tooting was transformed with friendly faces and drop-in games and toys for all ages.

Egle from CARAS ran a 90-minute programme while lunch was being prepared:
  • In a circle of chairs: welcome, introductions & ground rules for inclusion and safety.
  • In a big burst of energy - playing 'fruit salad' to get us all interacting, adults and children alike.
  • At 3 tables: looking at images from the Tooting Community Garden and saying which kind of activities individuals would like to try out this year- gardening, picnicking & cooking on a fire; garden crafts; and enjoying nature. Everyone had 5 votes to distribute using sticky stars...results to be shared.
  • Continuing at the tables to decorate flower pots using stickers, feathers and pipe cleaners.
Carefully writing a plant label
  • Transplanting growing pots of supermarket herbs (donated by Waitrose Balham). Each pot was divided into 5 or 6 smaller pots, so the roots of basil, parsley, coriander, and greek basil have room to grow on windowsills back at home, and so they could all be shared out between 45 people.  

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Pollinator Paths Wandsworth - a new project for 2017 linking gardeners across the borough to experiment with planting that benefits insects

This is a new and imaginative project that is being launched now and will run throughout 2017.

Pollinator Paths Wandsworth is all about encouraging local gardeners to establish small patches as wildlife havens. Several community gardens are involved, so there will be plenty of support. It's going to be a good project to strengthen growing links across the borough.

We'll encourage many gardeners to grow selected varieties of plants which in turn are good forage for insects.
Spinach moth image by Roy Leverton, Butterfly Conservation.


We're mixing growing with citizen science: we'll research the 'microclimates' of London plots, balconies and windowboxes both for growing and for insects, we'll share the results and we'll take part in a fascinating and fun practical experiment together.

Individuals, families, schools can get involved - anyone with a plot even if it's small - and beginners are welcome as we'll share all the how-tos.

Why benefit insects? Maybe it sounds backwards to plant for the benefit of insects, but suitable habitat and forage are both reducing across London. Click here for the flyer.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Love Wandsworth Food free & fun family event Tuesday February 14th

All the family is invited:

  
All invited to this  fun half-term event on Tuesday 14th February, 2:00pm-4:30 pm.
Location is The Venue, Park Court, Battersea SW11 4LD
Please sign up on Eventbrite for free here: https://love-wandsworth2017.eventbrite.co.uk

There will be lots of activities and good ideas to share on the day, all about locally grown food, eating well and reducing waste.
You can read and download a pdf of the event flyer by clicking here

TTT celebrates local food and participation in our weekly sessions at the Tooting Community Garden, and of course at the annual Foodival

This year it's going to be our 
tenth Tooting Foodival!
Sept 16th & 17th in the heart of Tooting

 
We're planning now, and if you have ideas you'd like to try out, or resources you would like to contribute, or if you would like to volunteer, come and help make it special:
  • we can chat at the Fun Day on Feb 14th
  • come and chat at the next Tooting Green Drinks on February 15th, 7:30-9:30pm at The Selkirk, 60 Selkirk Rd,  SW17 0ES
  • come to our monthly open meeting on February 23rd, 7:00-9:00 at Al Farah Cafe, 137 Mitcham Rd, SW17 9P
  • or email us at transitiontown tooting@gmail.com 
We'd love to hear from you

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Vegetanuary

Chuck's Kale
So some of us went vegetarian for the month of January and, for me, it proved surprisingly fun to try an alternative, more mindful way of feeding myself. 80 people shared experiences and recipes on the Vegetanuary facebook group and a celebratory feast was held at Vegan Express last week. 
Vegan Express Celebration
Dipa's vegetable pastilla with feta
It would be great to try this again, maybe even risking Veganuary or Veganpril and I am sure there must be a recipe collection in here somewhere???  It's also a great way to kick off thinking about the 10th Foodival later this year.  

Well done Richard for organising this inspriring initiative and thanks to everyone who or joined in. Not sure I'll ever salivate over a bacon sandwich in quite the same way again!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Urban Heat Research Report Published

Today the Policy Studies Institute publish their research report Urban Heat: Developing the role of community groups in local climate resilience. It's a readable, accessible and expert report.


TTT are proud to have been able to contribute to this valuable piece of work, hosting and facilitating community conversations, mainly in 2015, about the increasing risks posed by localised heat in cities - including neighbourhoods like Tooting - in our warming climate.

Cold weather challenges are much better recognised by most of us, including health and social care professionals, in terms of individuals' vulnerability. So it was useful to be part of research showing that urban overheating is a significant risk, and we can take action to reduce its impact.

We commenced the project in a cold spell in winter two years ago, when the priorities seemed very different. It was hard to visualise that later the same summer we would hold a workshop near Tooting Broadway on the hottest day of 2015. Very appropriate!

Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Urban Heat project examined the potential role of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the development of local climate resilience.

In Tooting the research engaged with over a dozen relevant community organisations with diverse services and areas of focus: health care, social care, low-carbon living, community development. A number of local individuals were interviewed as well. Finally, a group of Wandsworth local authority and statutory organisations also explored the impact of Urban Heat.

To read our past TTT blog posts about the whole project since its inception, please click here.

Other partners in the Urban Heat research programme explored the same topic in Hackney and in West London, all co-facilitating alongside the Policy Studies Institute team.


Finally, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded a sister research project at the same time, about 'Climate Resilient Communities'. This was developed in the context of local flooding in the Scottish Borders, mostly rural, but much of the experience and lessons are relevant to all communities working proactively with practical climate challenges. We'll share that report when it is published.