Letter Writing

As part of on-going campaign work, SCAN keeps in touch with our local MPs, and sometimes other decision-makers, to ensure that the subject of climate change remains on their ‘radar’. We held a letter-writing workshop in the run up to the last General Election and sent these to each of the candidates standing for election.  Further workshops will be announced and will be open to anyone who would like to write to their MP on sustainability or climate change issues. They are a great opportunity to share knowledge about the current key sustainability issues and to get help with facts or format for your letter. Please let us know if there is a pressing issue that you think we should address, either by email – or by coming along to one of our meetings, Green Drinks or other events.

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Want to work with SCAN on one of our priority issues?

Our Network Mapper, Jo, has been working hard to identify other groups in Swindon with whom SCAN could collaborate on the 3 key issues we plan to focus on this year – those of Home Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Transport, and Sustainable Food. Her sterling work has already raised a number of possibilities – but if you are an individual or member of a group which has an interest in any of the above three areas we’d love to hear from you so do please get in touch by email or via the facebook page.

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Swindon Climate Cafe – Healthy Homes

The third in the Climate Cafe series took place place on Monday 29th January 2018 at Darkroom Espresso. This demo, talk and Q&A explored the Healthy Homes project, which has been a collaboration between Passive House expert Mike Neate, SCAN and others. The audience heard how to prevent heat leaks in your home by improving it’s air-tightness on a budget. And had the chance to ask Mike any questions they had on how to improve the energy flow within their homes. The Swindon Climate Cafes are a series of free talks and workshops focusing on all things ‘eco’ and environment, from the science, to the very hands on and practical. We hope you’ll join us for the next one!

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We’re Moving!

Welcome to our new home on the web. We’re moving from the old site at www.swindonclimate.org.uk to the snazzier, shorter and much, much, easier to remember www.swindonclimate.org. OK, not a huge difference to the address but there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes, and we hope that you like the new look. We hope to be bringing you plenty of fresh, new content to go with the redesign, so watch this space. If you’d like to get involved by contributing an article, please do get in touch!

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SCAN Reaction to Kingshill Road Traffic Pollution Problem

Now that traffic pollution in the Kingshill Road has been shown to exceed acceptable limits, posing a risk to public health, Swindon will look to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in a bid to tackle poor air quality. Organisations like SCAN have been warning about the harmful effects of air pollution for many years. That’s not just the worldwide damage from greenhouse gasses and global warming but the local damage being done to the environment and human health. We used to talk about the ‘acid rain’ caused by nitrogen oxides from the burning of fossil fuels. That included the emissions from car exhausts, power stations and industry. Now we know much more about the effects of these gases, not just their direct impact on the environment and health but how they react in the air to produce other harmful side-effects such as the creation of ‘fine particles’. According[…]

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Free film showing – ‘Vegucated’

SCAN organised a showing of Vegucated at The Victoria 12th February, 2018. Vegucated is an award-winning, guerrilla-style documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. There’s Brian, the bacon-loving bachelor who eats out all the time, Ellen, the single mom who prefers comedy to cooking, and Tesla, the college student who avoids vegetables and bans beans. They have no idea that so much more than steak is at stake and that the fate of the world may fall on their plates. Lured with true tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover hidden sides of animal agriculture and soon start to wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. Before long, they find themselves risking everything to expose an industry they supported just weeks before. But can their conviction carry them when[…]

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Shop differently – 5 simple tips

Reduce, reuse, recycle is the basic mantra of sustainable living, but we all have to buy *some* stuff to get by. Even on our weekly shop the choices we make can make a difference to our environmental impact. You might already do all of this, but just in case you don’t, here are 5 simple tips to help reduce your environmental impact as you shop… Stick to your list. You’ve probably said this to yourself before, and you were right. We often chuck a few extra things into the basket, thinking they might be handy later, but how often does that little bit extra end up in the bin when you discover it in the back of the cupboard weeks later, long past its use-by date? Only buy what you need. Everyone likes a bargain, and very often a ‘family pack’ or a 50% extra deal looks like a great[…]

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One person’s trash is someone else’s treasure – 10 freecycling tips

Who doesn’t like free stuff? One person’s trash is someone else’s treasure is something that is shown to to be true every day in Swindon, courtesy of the local ‘freecycling’ groups. The point of Freecycling is to stop things going to landfill, by enabling people to pass on things they no longer want to people who need them. Users can either offer items they want to get rid of, or request things they need. It’s a win-win as the old item gets a new home rather than heading off to the tip and there’s no need for someone to buy a new one. You might have heard of the original Freecyclers over at www.freecycle.org. They started up back in 2003 and now have more than 9 million members in 110 countries. Then in 2009 a group of UK Freecyclers founded Freegle, www.ilovefreegle.org. Both organisations run groups in Swindon. The range of stuff[…]

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Reduce the meat you eat!

Rather than growing food to feed to animals, so that we can then eat the animals, wouldn’t it be more efficient to cut out the middleman, growing food and then eating it ourselves? Industrialised meat production is responsible for devastating deforestation in the developing world to make way for animal feed crops. We need those forests to recycle the  CO2 we produce and keep the carbon cycle working, and to maintain the biodiversity still being discovered in the areas which haven’t been turned over to monoculture or abandoned as deserts yet. For more information about this, read Planet on a Plate (free PDF), an excellent introduction to the problems wrought by the traditional Western meat-based diet, and the increasing role that factory farms play in exacerbating an already dangerous situation. The production of large numbers of farmed animals under incredibly cruel circumstances has lead to air and water pollution, a huge[…]

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What is a Carbon Footprint ?

Carbon Dioxide, or CO2, is a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change. It is produced when anything containing carbon is burned, such as coal, natural gas, petrol and other oil derivatives. In order to avoid climate change, we need to reduce the amount of CO2 we produce, both directly and indirectly. Although some suggest that all we need to do is implement some technical fixes for climate change and carry on as normal (see Climate Engineering: A critical review of proposals, their scientific and political context, and possible impacts), the only long-term solution is to cut our CO2 emissions. The average person in the UK produces around 11 tonnes of CO2 a year.  Many climate scientists believe that we must try and reduce this to around 2.5 tonnes a year if we are going to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Your carbon footprint is a measure of how[…]

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