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

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

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.

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.

Energy group minutes – February 2018

Energy group meeting ~ 8th February 2018

Building stronger communities
Sarah talked about Sustainability week initially being a smaller weekend event – a Saturday or Open house activities and a Sunday on the Stade Open Space – dates to be confirmed.
Building Stronger Communities is encouraging applications in Hastings for £1,500 fund for orgs with income below £50,000. Last meeting the group come up with ideas. Deadline is early March. more “Energy group minutes – February 2018”

Don’t miss the bus on climate change: make pensions fossil free!

On Saturday 23 September campaigners from across East Sussex will be boarding one of the Big Lemon’s sustainable buses for a one-day tour of East Sussex, taking the message about fossil fuel divestment – and the Divest East Sussex petition – to Hastings, Bexhill, Hailsham, Eastbourne, Seaford, Crowborough, Uckfield and Brighton.

If you’d like to come and see us off on the day – and take part in the photo call, featuring one of the Big Lemon’s sustainable buses – then please meet us by Hastings pier at 9.15am on Saturday 23 September.

“If we want to avoid 2C, we have very little time left. The public should be very concerned.” – Adrian Raftery, co-author of the recent scientific paper ‘Less than 2 °C warming by 2100 unlikely’, Nature Climate Change, 31 July 2017.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

We’ve already seen global warming of over 1 degree centigrade.

The resulting climate change is now leading to increasingly severe impacts – from rapidly melting sea-ice at the poles to 50 degree heatwaves in India and drought in California. The UK is also seeing serious impacts – with increasingly severe flooding in almost every region and country in the UK in recent years – and it’s going to get much, much worse.

Unless, that is, we take action NOW to ensure that most of the known deposits of fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) are left in the ground unburnt, and replace them with cleaner sources of energy.

LET’S NOT MISS THE BUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) currently has £150m of local people’s pension monies invested in fossil fuels. These investments are a disaster for the climate as well as a financial risk for local people’s pensions.

Hastings Borough Council, Lewes Town Council and Brighton & Hove City Council have all called on ESCC to get rid of these investments (‘divest’).

Add your voice to the calls for divestment by signing the petition to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund and join us on 23 September if you can (see below for our schedule).

Together we can send a strong message to the ESCC that it’s time to move our money away from the problem and into the solutions.

More info here.

Save the date! 1066 Energy Campaign Launch

Join us for our Big Happy Sun-day on Sunday 10th September 10am–4pm, outside the Stade Hall in Hastings Old Town. A day of family fun and celebration as we launch the 1066 Energy Campaign for Local Energy.

The jam packed day will include free interactive games for children such as solar boat making, cycle powered smoothies, toy car racing and our solar cinema! This will run alongside fun for all the family such as a morning salute to the sun yoga session, music, singing, massage, giveaways and more.

Transition Town Hastings is part of the group launching the 1066 Energy campaign for local energy to power the local economy.

Contact kate@energisesussexcoast.co.uk for more details or visit www.energisesussexcoast.co.uk

Our visit to Hollingdean Materials Recovery Facility


A truly fascinating and educational morning was spent by 14 Transition Town Hastings folk at the Hollingdean Materials Recovery Facility in Brighton last week.

We found out they don’t actually recycle Hastings and Rother recycling waste – it goes to Crayford in Kent!


Before the sorting begins

We did get to see how they process all of Brighton’s recycling, as well as fly tipping and commercial waste and learn about what they do and don’t recycle.

They employ  a team of people to sort waste as well as relying on machinery to filter out paper, steel and aluminium. Machines suck up paper and steel cans get pulled away by magnets. They mostly sell on paper, steel and aluminium made into large bails and sometimes shipped to China!

Seems we need more industries in the UK prepared to buy recycled materials to manufacture products. At present, more than 50% of materials recycled in the UK are exported and often manufactured into down-graded products – instead of becoming raw materials for UK industry.

According to our guide at Hollingdean many food companies are reluctant to use recycled plastics because of fears that people will not buy their products (like plastic milk bottles that look slightly grey).

Non recyclables collected at Hollingdean end up in the Newhaven Incinerator down the road where energy is generated and fed into the National Grid.

Also at Hollingdean and other Veolia sites they are working with a new (and secret) technology to recycle coffee cups.

We think every school pupil in the country should visit these sites to find out what really happens to our waste.