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Plastic Free Swindon – Aims

Plastic Free Swindon is a campaign to eliminate plastic pollution. It is designed to help facilitate change by engaging with the people, organisations, institutions and representatives of Swindon. We seek to understand barriers to change in order to implement solutions. When we set up the campaign, we drew up a detailed plan and have been working on different aspects of that. Swindon Climate Action Network are the affiliated Friends of the Earth group in Swindon, which means we are one of the organisations that form the global Break Free From Plastic movement. Plastic Free Swindon is one of many plastic-free town and city campaigns across the UK. And efforts to reduce plastic pollution are happening in groups like ours in countries all over the world. Together we can end plastic pollution, all of our actions do matter! By working together, through simple local actions, we can affect the necessary changes.[…]

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Refill Swindon – play our online quiz

Over the summer, we ran a Refill quiz on our stalls with 3 questions. The first prize was a Chilly’s reusable bottle, the wooden spoon prize, a book called ‘How to go Plastic Free’. Here are the 3 questions: How many single-use plastic water bottles are used in Swindon per day (based on a population estimate of 220,000)? Show answer 70,400Source: Refill How many plastic water bottles were used per minute by Coca Cola in 2017? Show answer 200,000That’s 3 million tonnes of unnecessary single-use plastic packaging!Source: Ellen McArthur Foundation What percentage of plastic pollution in the oceans is made up of single-use plastic bottles? Show answer 33.3%Source: House of Commons Environmental Audit Report: ‘Plastic Bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’ Reset quiz

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Equality and the Environment – Swindon Equality Group

‘Equality matters in terms of health and happiness, but surprising new data reveals that it is also better for the environment – in the more equal rich countries, people on average consume less, produce less waste and emit less carbon.’– Danny Dorling: Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford. Author of books on equality such as ‘The Equality Effect’. The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world. Besides causing enormous suffering to people / communities / society (see the research published in ‘The Spirit Level’ book), the effects of inequalities on the environment are increasingly being realised. Check out this article, ‘The Rich, Poor and the Earth‘ by Danny Dorling, for an overview. Swindon Equality Group (SEG) are affiliated to the Equality Trust. They campaign locally to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing socio-economic inequality, of vital importance for[…]

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Eastcott Historical Tour Litter Pick

Sunday 6th October, 2-5pm. Swindon Climate Action Network and Eastcott Community Organisation organised this litter pick with a twist. The Eastcott area is steeped in history. Andy Binks, of Swindon Society and Swindon Heritage, provided us with some cultural and historical information as we restored some cleanliness and pride to the local area. Eastcott, like other areas of Swindon, has problems with litter. We covered a good area including the park by Savernake Street Social Hall, and alleyways that attract rubbish of all sorts, large and small. We finished the litter pick in Radnor Street Cemetery, resting place to 30,000 people! We looked around the old chapel in the centre of the cemetery, which has memories of Swindon’s past, especially the world wars. In the warmer months, Swindon Society put on tours of the cemeteries, including Radnor Street, where they share information on the lives of people buried in the[…]

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Nude Foods in The Core, and next steps for Swindon Zero Waste Initiative.

The following was released by the Swindon Zero Waste Initiaitve on the 28th May 2019: ‘Our zero-waste shop, Nude Foods, has now been open for 6 weeks. Thanks to all who have come to shop and support us so far. If you haven’t tried us yet, please do. We hope to see you soon! In realising our project, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Kris Talikowski, the owner of The Core. Allowing us a free space in his Juice Bar has meant the difference between reality and just a dream! If you visit our shop, please do consider partaking of some of the wonderful healthy juices and snacks available at The Core. Well worth a try and a nice way to show our thanks for the support! Also, a huge thank you and appreciation to all our fantastic volunteers. We wouldn’t be here without you. Please do keep[…]

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Write to your MP – plastic legislation

Friends of the Earth have produced a Plastic Pollution Bill to phase out plastics. It forms effective legislation to ensure the phasing out of plastic pollution, ensuring three commitments: Now: Begin phasing out unneeded plastics, making exceptions for essential uses such as in medicine and those vital to the quality of life of disabled people. ASAP: End pollution from hard-to-replace plastics (like from car tyres, clothing etc). Aim for near zero plastic pollution by 2042. The first action to take is to sign Friends of the Earth’s petition and use their template letter to write to the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, asking him to support the Plastic Pollution Bill. The second action is to write to your local MP. We have a template letter that you can cut and paste. If you’re not sure who the MP for your area is, please use this search tool. For South Swindon residents,[…]

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Ecobricks Tips

Here’s a few tips that we hope that you will find useful: Watch the videos on the ecobricks website. Only use clean, dry, non-biodegradeable plastic. Any organic material can cause the bottle to explode. No metal / foil, as used in some crisp packets and sweet wrappers. Again, see the ecobricks website for further detail. Start with smaller bottles, if you have them. They are easier to get right. Intersperse the lighter plastic with the more rigid plastic to maximise the density. Start with lighter / easily crushable plastic. Scrunching it up a few times first makes it easier to compact in. Cut the more rigid plastic up and insert it in small layers. Weigh your bottle frequently to ensure that you achieve the correct density. If you are filling a bit at a time, make sure you compact the partly filled bottles again before you start adding more plastic,[…]

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CHEESE at Penhill – Warm Homes project at the Community Cafe

Tuesday 26th February, 1-3pm at John Moulton Hall, Penhill Drive, Swindon SN2 5DU. The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) was at the Penhill community cafe to share the results of the CHEESE thermal image surveys taken from inside a couple of Penhill properties. The findings were discussed as well as ways to reduce fuel bills / conserve energy. Discussion was had as well about how to facilitate that for the local community. Draught-proofing is the most important and cost effective way to save energy in most houses – cold air leaking in through small cracks can replace the warm air in a room or house quite quickly. But finding where the cold air is coming in can be challenging. There is a lot more that can be done. Spreading information is a big part of the process of change. CHEESE (Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts) was started by someone I[…]

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Personal Actions In Context

This chart is a useful illustration to give a quantitative idea of the relative benefits of different personal life choices. Not everything is on there, and of course the relative importance of medium impact actions in an individual case depends on how much travel, energy and food consumed. However for an average household, most of the things that have the biggest effect on climate change and the attendant environmental degradation are represented. It is based on research at Lund University: for more detail see here: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-effective-individual-tackle-climate-discussed.html The main thing missing I think for a typical UK household is halving heat wasted in the home: but the ‘buying green energy’ bar gives an idea of the relative importance. It’s also important to note that ‘buying green energy’ means buying it from a supplier who only invests in green energy, not just using a ‘green tariff’ – see their full report for[…]

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