Our proposal bench at the community garden

Last Sunday, in less than half a day, our team of eager volunteers put together a beautiful garden bench. We created a ‘Proposal Bench’ for the #JaneEyreProject which takes place in St Leonards from Feb 21 to March 7.

We are inviting visitors to the garden to sit, enjoy the space and write a proposal.

So come down to the garden at St Leoanrds Warrior Square (north platform), see what we’ve been creating and write some words.

 

East Sussex Pension Fund members urged to make their voice heard on fossil fuel investments

The East Sussex Pension Fund – which is administered by the County Council – currently has an estimated £172m invested in fossil fuels. In April, Hastings Borough Council – a member of the Pension Fund – passed a unanimous cross-party motion, calling on East Sussex County Council to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuels.

Now members of the East Sussex Pension Fund can use the new web tool (available online at http://tinyurl.com/divesteastsussex) to contact the chair of the East Sussex Pension Committee, Richard Stogdon, and urge the Committee to divest the Fund from fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas).

Read more at Fossil Free Hastings.

Co-wheels short-term car hire service launches in Hastings

Two new low emission cars are now available for residents to hire in central Hastings, as part of a ‘pay-as-you-drive’ car club.

Co-wheels logo CMYK PNG-01 copyHastings is the latest car club location to be launched by Co-wheels, the UK’s only independent car club operator, which runs successful car sharing schemes in over 60 locations across the UK. The scheme allows residents to have short term access to vehicles in an affordable and convenient way.

Residents and businesses can join the car club for a one-off fee of £25, which then allows them to quickly book cars online, and unlock them with a smartcard. Keys are kept in the car, and mileage and bookings are tracked with an on-board computer. At the end of the booking time, the car is returned to its bay.

The car club in Hastings has been brought about demand from environmentally-minded residents and community groups who have used car clubs elsewhere, and have campaigned to bring the service to Hastings. The council are not financing the scheme, but have provided two parking bays in Russell Street Car Park, where the cars have permits.

The two Toyota Aygo cars in Hastings can be hired from 30mins up to several days at a time, and are charged at £4.50/hr + 15p mile, which included insurance and fuel. This enables huge savings to be made on the cost of driving compared to car ownership, and studies show that anyone driving less than 6,000 miles per year could save money by switching to using a car club.

Car clubs also help to lower emissions and improve air quality in towns, as well as adding social value by providing access to cars for those unable to afford their own, or who need a second car occasionally.

Richard Falconer, Managing Director at Co-wheels said

“We are delighted to be expanding our service in response to demand from residents in Hastings. The car club will enable a new level of transport flexibility in the town, whilst encouraging people to think differently about car ownership.”

Residents can find out more about the scheme, and claim £10 free driving credit at www.co-wheels.org.uk/hastings

Household sustainability talk

It’s quite hard to get your head around which of our actions create the largest CO2 emissions. Also how much do we need to reduce to keep temperatures from rising by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels?

Ian Smith’s talk on Household Sustainability at Nico’s Kitchen last Saturday provided some answers. Many thanks to Nico’s Kitchen for hosting.

The talk, which you can download below, encouraged us all to consider our personal contribution to global carbon emissions.

Did you know that travelling on a cruise creates more CO2 than flying in a plane?*

Also, turning your thermostat down by 1°C could save 8-10% on your heating consumption?*

However, we all need to make big changes to our lifestyles to reach the ideal target of 2 tonnes of CO2 a year!

Download Household sustainability presentation file.

*Statistics above and in the presentation come from Carbon Conversations.

We’d really like to hold some Carbon Conversations for local residents. Please get in touch if you are interested in getting involved.

Energy meeting minutes – Thursday 28 Jan

It was very inspiring meeting and underlines what a broad range of interest and expertise there is in the community.

The minutes are quite detailed – mainly because we covered a wide range of potential local projects that we could promote, preferably with the backing of Amber Rudd (A divestment fund for energy, a school booklet, a Big Switch, a District Heating or Hospital scheme, an Open Homes event…).

more “Energy meeting minutes – Thursday 28 Jan”

Jeremy Leggett talk on The great global energy transition

There was a great turn out on November 26th at the Observer Building to hear Jeremy Leggett talk about the ‘great global energy transition‘.

The donations collected online and on the night raised over £400 for Solar Aid!

Thanks to OST Energy and Energise Sussex Coast for sponsorship, Dublin and Holland for giving the Observer Building for free and doing a great job setting up the event.

You can view or download his presentation here.

Download Jeremy’s book for free.

Waste Meeting Minutes 24/9/15

As many more new people attended we introduced ourselves and what our interests are:

SM- Too much packaging on food! Discussed the over use of plastic bags and so HEN campaign was mentioned. Hastings Environmental Network wants to start a Takeaway Packaging Campaign.  Also, legislation will be passed on Oct 5th to have supermarkets charge for plastic bags. Food compost-where to put it? (Presently keeps it in freezer and a friend takes it away in bulk!) Would like to lobby HBC for food waste collection.

GH- Interested in everything TT/waste. Part of the problem is we’ve been brought up thinking a throw- away society was good, it created jobs etc.

FL- Just moved here as a HBC (Hastings By Choice), used to live in Germany where they had 9 bins outside for various recycling bits! Then lived in Manchester centre where there was no recycling at all…Interested in food waste collection too and in the sense of utilising left over but perfectly good food. Would like to form a partnership with COOP maybe, to use their food waste? (Rose Ratcliffe?)

KD- As an architect, interest in energy waste in buildings. Would be up for giving energy saving advice on old buildings.

David Almer- Interested in solar panels and other forms of renewable energy.

Tom- aerobic digester, small ones cost approx. £5,000, the problem is where to put them? Discussed how Government subsidies for renewables are being cut by about 90%. This will effect people’s investment in it in terms of buying into renewable energy and will impact the industry as many envisage their businesses ‘going under’.

AC- Heard on radio was saying Gov. subsidies too expensive as renewables have been so popular and proving efficient so too many people want the subsidies. (Wasn’t that the point!!).

William- Impressed by the book Waste by Tristram Stuart, William knows him and I thought we should connect him and Chris Coverdale together? Discussed how people are using old cooking oil to re-use and generate energy. Some guy from Rye is selling oil to takeaways, paying them back a bit to take away the used oil and then selling it on again as bio-deisel!!!

KD- talked about how to get oil tanks around Hastings for people to put their used cooking oil in, but it wouldn’t be enough for just residents it would need to be on a larger scale or not viable. And how would you police it? Someone will chuck something else in it. Talked about asking Southern Water to donate as they have problems with people putting oil down the sink-but it has to benefit people’s pockets for them to bother doing it?

Campaigns
Discussed Food compost campaign and talking to HBC
Discussed No Plastic Bags Campaign/helping HEN with theirs?
Discussed using food waste from supermarkets

Eco schools in Hastings

Did you know that there are ‘Eco schools’ in Hastings and St Leonards? In a recent transition town energy group meeting Linda Jeal lead a discussion around the subject.

Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.

Generally the concept is working better in primary schools. Castledown school now has an ‘Eco-School green flag’ and other local schools are moving in the same direction.
Schools typically will do such things as energy audits that link up with science subject teaching.

Find out more by contacting the team.