Tree planting / conservation activities *updated 6th March’ 2020

*Penhill tree planting is now confirmed. Trees play a vital role in the health of our planet, providing habitat, allowing us to breath, storing carbon dioxide, preventing flooding… SCAN support Friends of the Earth campaigns to double the amount of tree cover in each region of the UK, and to make our towns and cities ten times greener. The UK is the second least wooded country in Europe (after Ireland). In Swindon, we need to create more green spaces. We currently have 8% tree cover. The more urban areas of Swindon fare worse. This compares to Bath 20%, Salisbury 19.8%, Newbury 22%, Abingdon 16.3%, Oxford 21.4%, Gloucester 13.6%, Cheltenham 12.8%, Bristol 18.6%. SBC has introduced a 30% target but it is difficult to see how that will be achieved as trees continue to be cut down for housing developments. There are tree planting and other conservation activities planned around Swindon.[…]

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The SCAN environmental general election guide

There is a lot of conflicting information and narratives out there. Who to believe? Facts are difficult to dispute, such as the voting records of MPs and political parties. So, we have produced this article with links to that information. Friends of the Earth have gone through the manifestos of the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and Green Party, as well as pledges that each party has made throughout the campaign. They have then scored each party on ‘tackling the climate and ecological emergency’. For the Plastic Free Swindon campaign, we have written to all local parliamentary candidates to ask for commitments to end plastic pollution. This article provides a simple summary as well as full details for those who want them. ‘Swindon Climate Debate: Action or Extinction?‘ was held at New College. Each candidate was asked what their party’s plan is to deal with climate change, followed by[…]

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Plastic pollution commitments from Swindon’s parliamentary candidates

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** We wrote to all local general election candidates asking them for commitments on phasing out plastic pollution; two simple questions:1. Do you and your party support the aims of the Plastic Pollution Bill?2. Do you and your party support a permanent ban on fracking? Show full letter Dear (candidate), Plastic Free Swindon is a campaign to help phase out plastic pollution as soon as possible. It is one of the many plastic-free campaigns around the UK and part of the global Break Free From Plastic organisation. The campaign launched for Plastic Free July 2018 and has been very active in Swindon. The campaign so far has included the introduction of the Refill campaign to Swindon, the launch of Nude Foods (zero waste shop), litter picks around Swindon, an ecobricks group, education, lobbying, articles, art, music, and engagement. For further information, please[…]

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Central Swindon North Parish tree planting – Ferndale area, SN2

‘My name is Hakan and I am an allotment officer in Central Swindon North Parish Council.  I am proud to say that the parish is focusing on planting lots of trees, looking after our green spaces for future generations.  I have been asked to organise a tree planting session on Tuesday the 10th December 2019 around Cobden Road, Ferndale Road, Iffley Road and Wembley Street, SN2.  We have around 550 tree whips (60-80cm tall) of different species to plant. I have been asked to get as many people as I can with tree planting on the day.’ To get involved, please contact Hakan on 07741 849106 or by email. Please bring suitable clothing for all weathers, including boots. And please, if you can, bring a shovel. Children to be accompanied by a responsible adult(s), thanks. Here’s a list of the species that will be planted, with links for further info:10x[…]

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Refill Swindon – play our online quiz

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** 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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Eastcott Historical Tour Litter Pick

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** 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[…]

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The Time Is Now – collective lobbying event at Parliament

The climate crisis has become more prolific in the news recently aided by the Extinction Rebellion protests. These were followed by the publication of the UK Committee on Climate Change report – which proposed net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and the UN’s assessment of how quickly we are losing natural ecosystems on which we all depend. You can read more in these articles by the Committee on Climate Change and the UN. According to both sources, ‘transformative changes’ are urgently needed. Those changes are possible but we need everyone to play their part, including governments around the world. So here’s one thing we can all do: ask our MP to support the proposals of the Committee on Climate Change for a zero carbon UK. On 26th June some of us will be going to Westminster to meet our MPs. Do join us! You can register through the[…]

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Zero waste shop launches

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** Swindon’s new zero waste shop, Nude Foods, launched on Wednesday 17th April 2019. Many people from the local community were there to celebrate and see the new shop in The Core. Nude Foods currently has 43 products for sale, all dry goods. It has taken 5 months to set up the shop, a co-operative / Community Benefit Society (CBS), serving the local community. Local media covered the launch including the Swindon Advertiser.

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Green Drinks – Town – March 2019

7-9pm Tuesday 12th March at The Roaring Donkey, 6 Albert Street, Swindon, SN1 3HJ. Our monthly social. Plenty of local activity to talk about:– April is to see the opening of the new zero waste shop in Old Town.  Some of those involved in its organisation will be at Green Drinks.  More info coming soon…– The Ecobricks Swindon group has had a couple of meetings.  A demonstration was given at the recent zero waste shop meeting.  Ecobricks are a positive way that communities can deal with non-degradable plastics.– SCAN have aspirations for the town with regards to energy conservation.  We were recently in Penhill with the Centre For Sustainable Energy giving energy advice and discussing how to get an initiative off the ground.– And much more… We are a friendly bunch. Hope to see you.  Or, if you prefer, please come along to Penhill Green Drinks.

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Penhill Green Drinks – March 2019

Tuesday 5th March, 7-9pm at The Deer’s Leap pub, 141 Penhill Drive, Swindon, SN2 5DX. We were pleased to head to the newly managed and renovated Deer’s Leap pub for our new monthly social, Penhill Green Drinks.  It was well turned out and a vibrant evening with people, some cross-pollination at the home of the Beez Roadzz. Penhill is rich in community environmental projects and groups such as The Bee Roadzz Swindon, Penhill Haven, Swindon Street Reps, and Powering Up Penhill, an energy conservation project with collaboration by The Centre For Sustainable Energy and SCAN.  And, April sees the launch of Naturehood in Penhill, a project by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.  In addition, there are lots of cool local projects to Swindon such as TWIGS, the Zero Waste Initiative, Swindon Cycle Campaign, Plastic Free Swindon and Hreod Burna Urban Forest. Penhill Green Drinks is the first Tuesday of the month, 7-9pm,[…]

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