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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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Report from the Eco Fair

In case you don't see the reports on the Eco Fair in the press, here's the post-event press release.

For Photos, look at the Abingdon Blog

Climate smiles on Abingdon’s first Eco Fair

11.10. 2010

The climate smiled on Abingdon’s first Eco Fair as hundreds of visitors learned how to live well and save money without damaging the planet.

Over 400 visitors spilled out of the Guildhall onto the lawn where adults and children helped crush and press donated windfall apples into delicious juice, to demonstrate how nothing need be wasted. The apple press was bought with a donation from Culham Environmental Insitutute.

Town mayor, Duncan Brown, opened the proceedings, telling of his commitment to helping the environment before introducing the choir of his old school, Dunmore, who captivated a packed Abbey Hall with their eco-friendly songs. .

New MP, Nicola Blackwood, showed great interest in all the stalls, which focussed on five key areas; Energy, Food, Waste, Travel and Biodiversity

“What’s Up Folk”, a band of pupils and teachers from John Mason School, and folk group “Flowers of the Quern”, got visitors’ feet tapping in the entrance hall, while the lively choir from Carswell Primary School delighted an appreciative audience in the local-food cafe with their harvest and eco songs.

Highlights included the following:


This area focussed on the delights of local produce

· a cafe served locally grown food and drink including soup & cakes throughout the fair

· spare apples, even windfalls were turned into delicious apple juice with the Carbon Cutters own apple mill and press.

· Bakers from Abingdon Country Market helped visitors make bread rolls from local flour from the Wantage Mill

· The Oxford Garden Project demonstrated how to grow your own vegetables – even if you don't have a garden

· The “Grow Your Own Veg Group” run by Bridget Thurley invited new growers to join her at the allotment on Peachcroft Farm on Thursday mornings

· Abingdon Carbon Cutters launched their new “Local Food Directory”, showing where you can buy locally grown and organic produce to help cut food miles and pesticide use

· Local shop “Added Ingredients” offered samples of locally-produced food and drink

· The Vegetarian Society gave out information on how to reduce the carbon footprint of your food by eating a more healthy, plant-based diet


This area helped us discover more about the natural world around us

· Kids of all ages made “bug hotels” from waste materials

· the Green Gym showed how to get fit while helping the local environment

· “Friends of Radley Lakes” showcased their new nature reserve now managed by the Northmoor Trust


Every time we buy something new and throw away the old one we are increasing our carbon footprint. Why not give it a refurb instead, or at least recycle it?

· The Wild Waste Bus from the Northmoor Trust at Little Wittenham was parked outside the Guildhall for a fun take on waste for all ages

· The 8th Abingdon Guides showed off how to use our shiny new recycling bins

· The Pathway Workshop had a fantastic display of toys and garden furniture, all made from recycled wood by disabled young adults


This area showed that how we choose to travel can also waste or save fuel. Find out about alternative options which can slash your fuel bills while helping the planet.

· Freewheeling, Abingdon’s new cycling club, was there to enthuse old hands and new recruits about the joys of cycling for pleasure and fitness

· CommonWheels, a car-share club in Oxford, was exploring the possibility of a similar scheme in Abingdon

· Andy Brewin of Bike Support had his mobile bike repair workshop on the Guildhall forecourt


· Several solar power suppliers showed how solar panels on your roof can help you heat your water and generate electricity

· “Sustainable Lifestyles”, a local consultancy run by Carbon Cutters member Paul Buckingham, gave top tips on cutting electricity usage at home to save on bills

· A working model was on show of the new Abingdon Hydro scheme to harness the power of the Thames at Abingdon Weir. This should make enough electricity for at least 200 homes.

· Local eco-renovation home owner Brigid Sondaram showed plans of her new Eco-home in Norman Avenue

The Eco Fair was organised by a group of local residents, the “Abingdon Carbon Cutters” to showcase traditional and state-of-the-art ways we can use less fossil fuel, whilst maintaining or even improving our quality of life.

Pensioner Christine Whild, one of their oldest and most active members, said: “I want the world to be liveable for my great grandson who was born this year. At my age I don’t know how much time I have left, so I want to make a difference now”.

Paul Buckingham has been studying for an an MSc in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and now runs an advice consultancy, Sustainable Lifestyles. He says, ““With rising energy prices and all the concerns about climate change, this is a great way of showing people what is possible for everyone to do to make a difference!”

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