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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SCAN Needs You!

Amid the recent flurry of activity we’re once again in need of some help with our meeting notes – if you can spare a couple of hours every month (or even every other month) to capture the notes during our monthly meets, we would love to hear from you! Many thanks 🙂

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Climate Cafe – The Brutal Logic of Climage Change

We would like to thank Dr Aaron Thierry of the University of Sheffield – who was the speaker at our second ‘Swindon Climate Cafe‘ on ‘The Brutal Logic of Climage Change‘. The even took place on Friday 24th November from 7 – 9pm, at Darkroom Espresso – many thanks to our friends at Darkroom for hosting us once again. The talk and Q&A / discussion comprised an overview of the latest science of climate change and made explicit the connections between the physical and ecological changes already taking place, with their impacts on human welfare. Dr Thierry highligthed the lack of ambition in the current emissions targets if we are to avoid extremely dangerous alterations to our environment, and showed the areas of opportunity where change could be made. If you missed it – you can see a version of his talk on YouTube at http://bit.ly/2nOD2RL Thanks to everyone who came to hear the talk and took part in the discussions which[…]

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Film Showing – ‘Tomorrow’

One of a number of films in the pipeline for the coming year, it shows the power of community action in a changing and challenging climate! Thank you to everyone who came along – SO happy to hear how it inspired some of you and to report that action is brewing as a direct result… watch this space 😉 Don’t worry if you missed it, look out for future screenings in Marlborough and Wroughton – both our Wroughton friends and Tansition Marlborough are keen to share this in the future too. A little bit about the film… “Showing solutions, telling a feel-good story… this may be the best way to solve the ecological, economical and social crises that our countries are going through. After a special briefing for the journal Nature announced the possible extinction of a part of mankind before the end of the 21st century, Cyril Dion and Mélanie[…]

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Swindon shows the love in 2017

A number of events took place in Swindon this year in support of this on-going The Climate Coalition campaign. These were among the more than 500! opportunities to get involved across the UK this year – which ranged from green heart sticker collection points, to craft sessions, community meals, demos, flash-mobs and even building of hearts that could be seen from the air – all to #ShowTheLove of the things which could be affected by climate change! #ShowTheLove Community pot-luck meal – 9th Feb SCAN hosted a community ‘potluck’ meal on Thursday 9th February at Swindon’s Central Community Centre.We were joined by a number of residents from across Swindon, who all brought good food to share and joined the conversation about the things they love that could be affected by Climate Change. It was also a great opportunity to meet new people and to just sit down and talk. Green[…]

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This Changes Everything

Filmed in nine countries over four years, This Changes Everything re-imagines the vast challenge of climate change. Arranged jointly by SCAN and the Swindon Film Society, this film was shown in the Central Library on 28th January. Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can use climate change as an opportunity to transform our failed economic system into something much better. Over the course of 90 minutes, viewers will meet: Crystal, a young indigenous leader in Tar Sands country, as she fights[…]

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What is climate change?

Fossil fuels contain carbon which has been buried in the ground for millions of years. When burnt, the carbon is released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide , a colourless odourless gas. Carbon dioxide is one of the gasses known as greenhouse gasses , so-called because they trap the sun’s heat within the atmosphere in much the same way as the glass in a greenhouse traps the heat. As the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere increases, the global temperature rises. The effects of this are wide ranging, and include: Melting of polar ice caps and glaciers in mountainous regions Desertification Rising sea levels due to melted ice Reduced albedo of the planet due to melted ice Flooding due to melting of glaciers Flooding due to increased sea levels More extreme weather, like Hurricane Katrina Collectively, these effects are known as climate change. Our planet exists in[…]

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