Swindon Street Reps Supporting Plastic Free Swindon

Swindon Street Reps are a group of volunteers who are passionate about making a difference in their local community. Started in 2015 by Swindon Borough Council Housing as a way of engaging tenants and residents in better communication with the council, the role evolved into a more active and diverse range of activities. One of the first and on going activities Street Reps engaged in was community litter picks. Litter is a real issue on the estates, especially off the main roads where it may be missed by clean up crews. Litter causes many issues to the environmental well being of both people and wildlife, plastic especially as it doesn’t break down. Street Reps sought to tackle this by running ‘litter pick parties’ where a group would focus on a few streets at a time and clean the area. They would also aim to inform and educate people on proper[…]

Read more

Plastic Free July

Imagine a world without plastic waste. That’s the mission of www.plasticfreejuly.org – to build a global movement that dramatically reduces plastic use and improves recycling, worldwide. You can also find them on Facebook here. ​Will you join us and give up single-use plastic this July?  As part of our ongoing campaign to reduce the use of plastics, we will be challenging the people of Swindon to sign up to Plastic Free July and encourage others to do the same. Going plastic free is important in reducing demand for products that incorporate plastic – reduce the demand, reduce the supply.

Read more

Support for Plastic Free Swindon campaign from RSPCA

RSPCA North Wilts is just one of the organisations backing Swindon Climate Action Network this month, in their Plastic Free Swindon campaign. Plastic and other waste products pose a very real threat to wildlife, birds and other animals, creating a serious issue for local animal charities like RSPCA North Wiltshire. Nationally, the RSPCA receives more than 5,000 calls a year about animals affected by litter. Spokesperson for Swindon’s local branch Katie North tells us “We are thrilled to get behind SCAN to raise awareness on this really important issue. I don’t think many people realise just how big the problem of littering is in terms of the threat it causes to wildlife and other animals”. Everyday objects that may seem perfectly safe, if found accidentally by animals can be very hazardous when not disposed of correctly. Plastic waste like carrier bags and plastic can holders can be extremely harmful with[…]

Read more

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.

Read more

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[…]

Read more

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[…]

Read more

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[…]

Read more

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 🙂

Read more

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[…]

Read more