About us.....

Abingdon Carbon Cutters is a Community Action Group formed to help reduce the carbon footprint of Abingdon in response to climate change, and to promote a sustainable and resilient lifestyle for our town as fossil fuel stocks decline. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at St Ethelwold's House, which is here.

At some meetings, we have guest speakers to present various topics, and at others we discuss our own personal actions to address climate change. The group has a focus on encouragement, both of one another, and of the town community.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Weds Feb 17th How to Farm for the Future

After our very successful meeting on How to Green our Homes, our next meeting will be a showing of Rebecca Hosking's fascinating film "A Farm for the Future".
This is very topical – Hilary Benn of DEFRA was in Oxford earlier this month promoting buying local food and eating seasonal veg. We are in the Hearth at St Ethelwolds as the Garden Room is booked. We hope to get several local farmers to view the film and join the discussion afterwards. Come early to get a seat!
And do print out a poster and put it up anywhere you know of.

PS Philip Waddy has very kindly let us have a copy of the slides from his talk "How to Green Your Home" on CD. This will be added to our eco-library and will be available to borrow at the next meeting. Let me know if you would like to borrow it before then.
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CAG Newsletter

Here's the first CAG newsletter of the year...

CAG e-Bulletin - February 2010


Welcome to the first ebulletin for 2010. This year started with a number of CAG activities being cancelled due to the adverse weather, although Deans Court CAG battled ahead with a successful swap shop on 9th January and Longworth Environment Network held their tree shredding event despite the snow! Well done to you both.

The ebulletin is for the exchange of information between CAGs and those who have an interest in CAG activities. Please feel free to forward this bulletin to those you feel would be interested.

Welcome to two new CAGs

Kidlington vs Climate Change
KvsCC has been running for a while now and meet on the first Tuesday of the month at The Dogwood pub in Kidlington. Founded by Anthony Simpson in July 2007 the group had held a number of events including a very successful Sustainability Fair in June 2009. KvsCC aims to:
• raise awareness of climate change, its causes and what they can do about it, in Kidlington and the surrounding area;
• bring people in the Kidlington area to the point of willingly deciding to take action on climate change, in their lives, their work place or in the wider community.
Contact kidlingtonvsclimatechange@yahoo.co.uk

Burcot and Clifton Hampden Community Action Group
The aims of the Burcot and Clifton Hampden Community Action Group are to enhance the local environment and to promote actions that will contribute to reductions in global warming and climate change, including recycling and reducing the use of fossil fuels. B&CH CAG will be holding monthly 'how to...' workshops in the village hall, starting with 'how to reduce your food waste' on 10th February. Contact philipkoomen@yahoo.co.uk

Kidlington Fair

Anthony Simpson at the Kidlington Fair in June 2009

County Wide Swap Shop

Over 1200 people were out exchanging goods at the County Wide Swap shop on 23rd January. With nine events taking place around the County there was plenty of choice for people to go to their local event. Wallingford, and Wheatley swap shops offered to test electrical items. This is proving very successful as many people have working electrical items they no longer require. A number of CAGs are now able to test items before they can be reused, those that fail the test are sent for recycling.

The Woodstock event attracted people from nearby villages as well as Woodstock and the organisers were very pleased that the new Sue Ryder shop took most of the items left over.

Canalside Swap Shop

Canalside Environment Group had a special swap shop run by members’ children. Heaps of goods just seemed to vanish from the tables. The kids could also learn to make a bird feeder and with the winter being particularly cold, the birds need all the help they can get.

CAG training event

Leading, motivating and working with your group
There is still time for CAGs to sign up to this training event on Wednesday 24th February at the West Oxford Community Centre. The content of the course includes:
• How to lead a group and ensure all members feel involved
• How to get best out of members of the group
• Gaining an overview of group activities without getting over involved
• How to delegate and ensure you have enough members to undertake an activity
• Getting the most out of a meeting
Contact Simon.Kenton@resourcefutures.co.uk to confirm your place.

Members training event

CAG members took part in a training event on how to recruit and maintain volunteers n February 2009

Oxclean - Spring Clean 2010

Friday 5 & Saturday 6th March in Oxford City
Two-hour litter pick at a time and place of your choice. Register now and order up to 5 free litter pickers for use during Spring Clean and throughout the year. Register your event at www.oxclean.org.uk

Dean's Court CAG has already signed up. What about your group?

LEN take part in a litter pick

Members of Longworth Environment Network took part in an autumn litter pick.

Real Nappy Week

26th April to 2nd May 2010
CAGs are encouraged to take part in national events taking place such as Real Nappy Week. ‘Go Real’ will launch the Go Real Community: a global gathering of parents sharing ideas, lending support, building friendships and promoting the environment through the benefits of Real Nappies.
For details of Real Nappy Week 2010, call the help line 0845 850 0606 or visit www.goreal.org.uk

Alternatively why not find out more about the series of events that Barracks Lane Community Garden’s nappy-free baby group is hosting, the next one is on 26th February from 2 to 4pm. The group is a natural parenting group which helps parents ‘tune-in’ to babies in order to lessen nappy use. See more details at www.nappyfreebaby.co.uk or contact Amber Hatch at amberkhatch@yahoo.co.uk

Other forthcoming national events of interest:
Compost awareness week - 2nd to 9th May www.compostawarenessweek.org.uk
Recycle Now Week - usually at the end of May or early June (dates to be confirmed) www.recyclenow.com


Barracks Lane Community Garden use their yurt for events.

Love Food Hate Waste

Save cash and reduce waste, use your freezer
With over 8,000 people across Oxfordshire having already pledged to Love Food Hate Waste, campaign researchers say there is still more we can do to reduce food waste.

Wasting food has a huge environmental impact, producing, storing and transporting uses lots of energy and resources, as well as rotting food in landfill producing methane, a greenhouse gas. The amount of food thrown away in the UK is the equivalent of at least 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s like taking twenty five per cent of cars off our roads!

Getting to know how much to cook is important as the waste resulting in preparing too much is costing the nation £4.8 billion per year. Using your freezer wisely can be a really smart way to reduce waste and save a fortune on shopping bills.

To find out more about the Love Food Hate Waste campaign and to get a free recipe book visit www.oxfordshirewaste.gov.uk

Free Training - All welcome
Oxfordshire Waste Partnership has offered to give free training on WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste Campaign. It has become apparent that some people would like to do more to promote the Love Food Hate Waste campaign within their local community. The training will give a good background to the campaign and explain what is happening locally in Oxfordshire and let groups know how they can get involved to spread the word. If you are interested please contact Paul Mocroft at OWP Paul.Mocroft@Cherwell-DC.gov.uk

Pedal P{ower at Big Lunch in Charlbury

Charlbury Area Waste Action Group hosted a zero waste Big Lunch and promoted local food in July 2009. The Big Lunch is happening again this year. Why not be part of the celebration and organise a local food event for 18th July.

Why recycle batteries?

Recycling batteries is important for a number of reasons. Batteries can contain chemicals such as lead, mercury or cadmium. When disposed of in normal rubbish, most will end up in landfill where the chemicals they contain may leak into the ground. This can pollute the soil and water and potentially harm human and animal health. Recycling recovers some of the materials used to make batteries and these can be used again to make other products. Recycling also saves some of the earth’s natural resources and save on CO2 emissions by reducing the need to mine new materials.

Battery Recycling Legislation Comes Into Effect
The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 came into effect on 1 January 2010. Under the regulations producers placing more than one tonne of portable batteries onto the market in a calendar year are expected to have signed up to one of the seven batteries compliance schemes that were approved by the Environment Agency in September 2009.
recycling batteries

WOOD Festival

WOOD happens on 21st - 23rd May at Braziers Park - it's quite possibly Britain's greenest festival. Powered completely on renewable energy, harnessing the power of the sun, the wind and even the people who attend the event (through a cycle-powered cinema and disco) and there are also composting toilets and music across two stages. WOOD is full of opportunities to learn more about sustainable living issues through talks and debates - as well as participating in a plethora of workshops.

The organisers want to offer CAG members a £5 discount to say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work that CAGs are doing - email drew@Thisistruck.com and you will be sent a secret link. For more information on the festival www.thisistruck.com . Feel free to circulate this discount offer around your group members - it could be a great spring get together.

CD recycling

Polymer Recycling Ltd offers a method of DVD, CD and CD-Rom destruction that recycles 100% of the compact disc, case and packaging without the use of chemicals, in a totally secure environment provided that the sender pays postage or delivery. Send to Polymer Recycling Ltd, Peninsula Business Park, Reeds Lane, Moreton, Wirral, CH46 1DW.

Important Change of email addresses
Due to a change in IT service provider, the CAG Project staff can no longer receive emails addressed to oxfordshire.gov.uk. Please update your email address to the following:

Contact the CAG Project:

E: simon.kenton@resourcefutures.co.uk
M: 07793 647190

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Hiring a thermal imaging camera.

I am hoping to hire a thermal imaging camera sometime over the next few weeks and was wondering if anyone would be interested in having some photo’s taken of their houses for a small fee to cover the cost of the camera hire, etc.

If anyone is interested please e-mail me and I will arrange the hire and book times, dates and sort out a cost.

Regards, Paul.

Paul Buckingham.
Sustainable Lifestyles.
2 Benson Road,
OX14 1LN.
e-mail paulsustainablelifestyles.co.uk
Tel 01235 550540
Mobile 07802 935827
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Scientists for Global Responsibility

Scientists for Global Responsibility have been having an on-line discussion on a new model for economics which won't cost the earth. This email from Stuart Parkinson, the director, mentions (among other reads) a fascinating one called "The Great Transition" which you can download or buy. Has anyone read it? If not do have a look.

----- Forwarded Message ----
Following on from Kate Macintosh's comments, there is some excellent work being done on the issue of consumerism, our flawed economic system, and the potential for alternatives by a range of like-minded think-tanks. I would especially recommend:

- New Economics Foundation
Kate mentioned some of their publications - I would also recommend their recent report, 'The Great Transition' - see

- Sustainable Development Commission
They published a report last spring entitled 'Prosperity not Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet' which has just been published as a book - see:
It has sent ripples across senior policy circles both in the UK and abroad, so is well worth a read.

- Worldwatch Institute
This US think-tank publishes the annual 'State of the World' reports. The 2010 one is due out next week, entitled 'Transforming Cultures: From consumerism to sustainability' - see:
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