Celebrating sustainable practices at The Big Green Fair

Transition Town Hastings will be exhibiting at the Big Green Fair this Sunday.

We have been working on a new festival launched this month called Sustainability on Sea bringing together local groups and initiatives working to make Hastings and St Leonards a more sustainable place to live. They are tackling important issues like single use plastic, a need for affordable housing and cheaper energy bills, healthy eating habits and growing our own food and using cleaner forms of transport.

The festival closes with The Big Green Fair, an all day event at the Stade in Hastings Old Town which takes place this Sunday, 30 Sept between 11-4. Entry is free.

Expect a variety of stall holders selling eco wares as well as information stalls and activities for families from Source BMX, Bike Lab Hastings, Co-wheels car sharing scheme, Refill Hastings, Plastic Free Hastings, Hastings Furniture Service, Hastings Fermentory, Hastings and Rother Beekeepers Association. Energise Sussex Coast, the organisers of the fair, will have information about how to save energy and money on your energy bills.

Bring along your bicycle to get a free bike check from Bike Lab Hastings. Kids can try out BMX bikes from Source BMX, play solar powered retro arcade games, make pompoms with plastic bags, plant seeds and have a go on bikes that generate electricity. There will be information about ways to make electricity from sunlight, wind, flowing water as well as some unusual ways such as used on Mars, electrostatically, from bent crystals and from lemons (yes, lemons!). The East Hill Sunshine Band and comedian Helen Keen will provide entertainment alongside a solar powered cinema.

Drop by for the programme of talks and demos on composting, plastic recycling, sustainable housing, Alexander Technique, Transition Town movement and permaculture in the garden.

Something for everyone young and old!

Visit the website for more details: http://www.sustainabilityonsea.org.uk

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Launch of Hastings Refill

Project aims to save people money and reduce plastic pollution

Saturday 22 September, 10am – 4pm, St Mary in the Castle, Hastings: Hastings Green Party and Transition Town Hastings [2] will be launching a new water bottle refill scheme for Hasting next Saturday (22 September) at the Ocean Symposium [3] at St Mary in the Castle.

Over fifty local businesses in Hastings have already signed up to the scheme.

Julia Hilton of Hastings Green party said: ‘The Hastings Refill scheme [4] is part of a nationwide initiative to reduce plastic pollution and save people money by encouraging them to carry and refill a water bottle rather than constantly buying plastic water bottles [5]. Wherever you see one of the blue ‘Free Tap Water Available Here’ stickers on display, you’ll know you’re welcome to ask for a free refill. Or you can download the app from https://www.refill.org.uk, which makes it quick, easy and free to find out where to refill on the go.’

Sarah Macbeth of Transition Town Hastings added: ‘We’ve all heard of the phrase; reduce, reuse, recycle. Often recycle is where the focus lies. But with this scheme, we’re going straight to the heart of the matter: reduce! According to recent research British households are failing to recycle as many as 16m plastic bottles every day – nearly half the total used [6]. By refilling bottles we can help reduce this waste while also taking away the need for recycling, itself a complicated process when it comes to plastics.’

Any café, restaurant or business with easy access to water can sign up to be part of the scheme, either using the online app at https://www.refill.org.uk or by emailing refillhastings@gmail.com.

NOTES

[1] https://hastings.greenparty.org.uk
[2] http://www.transitiontownhastings.org.uk
[3] The Ocean Symposium will run from 10am – 4.00 pm at St Mary’s in the Castle on Saturday 22 September. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-ocean-symposium-2018-and-marine-exhibition-tickets-46801977976
[4] https://www.refill.org.uk/refill-scheme/refill-hastings

[5] https://www.refill.org.uk
[6] ‘British households fail to recycle a ‘staggering’ 16m plastic bottles a day’, Guardian, 15 October 2016,https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/15/british-households-fail-to-recycle-a-staggering-16m-plastic-bottles-a-day

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Sustainability on Sea festival this September!

Transition Town Hastings and Energise Sussex Coast are jointly coordinating a new festival all about sustainable practices in the local area.

Join us on Sept 21-30 for some inspiring events including nature walks, talks, demos, debates and tips on reducing plastic, a DIY solar workshop and more. We are also proud to promote events by local groups such as Sussex Wildlife Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, OVESCO, Hastings Furniture Service and Pier to Eternity.

The aim is to promote a sustainable future encouraging positive behaviour change and supporting and promoting those who are playing their role towards this goal.

The festival finale event is a Big Green Fair on the Stade Open Space, Stade hall and Classroom on the Coast. The day will include talks, demos, art workshops, food workshops, bike checks, music, local information stalls and eco products for sale. Not to be missed!

See www.sustainabilityonsea.org.uk for more details.

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Refill scheme in Hastings

Along with Surfs Against Sewage we’re establishing a Refill scheme in the Hastings area. We’re asking venues, cafes, bars, restaurants etc if they will agree to refill water bottles for free in an aim to reduce the amount of single use plastic being used.

The Refill Scheme is taking the country by storm! Refill recently won Gold at the Global Good Awards for ‘Best Environmental Behaviour Change’. There are now over 1600 Refill stations across the country and that number is set to rise steeply as London joins the movement with the support of Thames Water and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Refill now have a new promotional video which had 150,000 views on Facebook in its first few days.

Refill Hastings now has 23 stations signed up and we will continue to sign up more. We are now receiving support from a newly appointed regional coordinator who is helping us with the formalities and a promotional plan.

We’ve just set up a Refill Hastings Facebook Page  so do give us a like!
Don’t forget to download the Refill App to find all refill stations or to add one yourself! If you want to sign a venue up to the scheme do let us know and we’ll give you a sticker for the window and the necessary info.

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Cohousing Talk presentation

On May 11th Julian Howell gave a short talk about cohousing projects and a very clear ‘how to’ to help groups to get started. Julian Howell is a founder member of Sussex Cohousing a Brighton-based community in the making.

After the talk there was a lively discussion about what people were interested in doing locally.  There was an interest in finding ways to live together in a supportive and collaborative way or living with a deeper connection to nature by sharing land. We hope the conversation continues and cohousing projects or land sharing projects can be realised in and around Hastings, a town where good quality affordable housing is hard to find.


Download Julian’s talk here:

About cohousing 2018 – Julian Howell


Sign up to the Hastings Cohousing discussion if you are interested in joining a conversation about cohousing in the Hastings area  – a closed group on Groups.io.


New Economics Foundation have recently published this guide to help groups looking to build community-led, affordable housing development in their area overcome one of their greatest obstacles: acquiring land.

 

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Help keep Hastings Pier in community ownership

Friends of Hastings Pier have been pushed into a corner by an Administration process that is unsuitable for a community-owned asset. They have put forward alternative plans which are exciting and realistic but been told that they won’t take the bid seriously unless we have £1M available. That’s why they’re pushing this crowdfunder. Raising half a million pounds now from individuals and organisations will keep us ‘in the game’ and encourage other funders to invest alongside you to make our Pier a success.

Hastings Pier has been a beacon of community-led regeneration, a pioneer in the world of community shares, and an inspiration to community groups across the country. The hazard faced is not just for Hastings; if the People’s Pier fails perceptions of community ownership will be badly damaged, even though community ownership was never the problem and is definitely part of the solution.

Please help in any way you can – most obviously and most immediately by clicking the link and then spreading the word.

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fohp2018

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Helps us win Tesco’s #BagsofHelp fund

Our new project Meet you by the Mosaic has been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s #BagsofHelp initiative!

We want to work with the local community and a local artist to develop a mosaic near the front of St Leonards Warrior Square station.

Please vote for Meet you by the Mosaic in stores during the months of March/April to help us secure a grant of up to £2,000.

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New funds for our community garden

Great news. We were successful in our application for a Sustainability & New Economy Grant from Quakers UK.  We will receive £200 to help fund the development of our community garden at St Leonards Warrior Square station, specifically around the water collection.

There is no water supply close to the garden and we so for the past few years volunteers have been carrying buckets of water across the foot bridge to top up water needs over the spring and summer months. We’re really excited to be able to take control of the water supply by purchasing some large water butts for the north platform. These will allow volunteers to spend more time focusing on planning,  designing and planting.

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1066 Local Energy newsletter out now

Read all the latest events and news from the 1066 Local Energy Campaign, including upcoming training events such as draught excluder making and solar panel workshops, energy advice events and an inspiring video interview about the difference a local energy system could make for our community. Read the newsletter here and sign up to the mailing list too!
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Your Plants Will Grow High Next Spring When You Use These Autumn Gardening Tips

By Clara Beaufort

Horticulture knows no such thing as time off. There’s work to do right now if you want your flowers and vegetables to enjoy lush, healthy growth when warm weather returns. Use the tips in this post as your guide to gardening success.

Clean up the Dirt

Start your autumn chores by removing dead or dying plants from your garden beds. Give the remains a close look-see for evidence of mold or blight. If you see such signs, then burn the infected plants. If you don’t, then add them to the compost pile so they can work for you all winter long. Remove any foreign matter and give the soil a good, deep raking or tilling to break up clumps and aid aeration. Taking these steps now will lay the groundwork for next year’s harvest, according to the experts at Mother Earth News.

Mulch in Moderation

Too much of anything is a bad thing; that includes mulch. You should add a thin layer to your beds on top of 1-2 inches of compost. Anything more can actually work against you by preventing the cold from killing mold and blight.

While you’ve got your hands in the dirt, remove the roots of weeds like Bermuda grass and nutsedge. Otherwise these pests can overwinter in your garden to menace you next year, according to the gardening gurus at DIY Network.

Water Ahead of Time

Hard winter soil can block rain and melting snow from nourishing the roots of your trees and shrubs, according to Better Homes and Gardens. So get the jump on frost by giving these plants a generous watering now. This will act like the hump on a camel’s back, providing much-needed moisture throughout the cold season.

Don’t Forget Your Lawn

Autumn is for fertilizing your grass. Turf can store nutrients over the winter, digesting them in a gradual process that will help to ensure greener results next spring. You should aerate your lawn before winter cold sets in.

Consider Planting Cover Crops

Plants like hairy vetch and cereal rye can safeguard your soil over a long, severe winter, making them good choices for cover crops. Just make sure you till them into the ground next spring before they go to seed. This is a favorite trick of organic gardeners, according to Rodales. The seeds are small and even modest rainfall can help to establish them in the soil, making this idea almost effortless to implement.

Handling Hardscape Maintenance

The term “hardscape” refers to stone walkways, retaining walls, and other non-organic elements of a garden or landscape design. While less fragile than living plants, these structures do need annual care. This should include:

  • An autumn inspection to correct imperfections that could lead to trouble down the road. For example, a crack in a walkway might seem like a small thing. But it may become a trip hazard should water enter it and freeze, forcing the stone or masonry to expand. You should also look, not only for cracks, but for soil or stone cavities alongside or under hardscape. Otherwise wintertime precipitation could fill the gap and turn to ice, creating a problem called “frost heave” which can damage or even destroy hardscape.
  • A general sweeping to remove foreign matter, followed up with a washdown from a garden hose or pressure washer. This will discourage the growth of mold or mildew, which can deface hard surfaces.

Performing these needed steps will protect your garden and your landscape features from winter’s wrath. So give it your best, then brush off the dirt off your pants and start planning for next spring.

 

Guest blogger: Clara Beaufort

Gardenergigs.com

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