Saturday 28 May 2011

No Impact Man - what other people thought of the film

Green on the Screen are showing No Impact Man on Wednesday 2 June at Moors Bar,  Park Road.  Food is available from 7pm and the film begins at 8pm.

Here are some thoughts on the film from Alexis Rowell from Transition Belsize.

It was great to see so many of you at this week’s film screening of “No Impact Man”. I thought the film raised some important questions. For example, “How far can you go with greening your life before you drive your family and friends crazy?” I know that’s been a hard one for me over the last five years!

But in terms of Transition Belsize I felt the big question was: “Are we thinking hard enough about our wider impact?” By far the biggest impact any of us are having is flying. If you fly, then there is nothing else that comes close in terms of your contribution to climate change. That’s partly because of the carbon emissions of jet engines, but mainly because of the water vapour trails left in the skies which act as greenhouse gases and make the overall impact of flying 2.7 times greater than just the CO2 emissions.

Should we be talking about the big impact stuff like flying? And what would be the Transition way to have that discussion? The intellectual underpinning of Transition is a community attempt to find solutions to climate change, the end of cheap fossil fuels (“peak oil) and the fragility of the financial system. But the way we attract people to our cause is by organising events which are fun, useful or sociable. We try to focus on imagining and planning for a better, greener future and inspiring people to take small steps to reach that vision.

So how do we start a positive conversation about the high impact stuff like flying? Do let me know if you have any suggestions.

 See below for all the actions No Impact Man and his family took:

Food and drink
No meat (18% of the world’s carbon emissions according to the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation); no coffee because of the distance it had travelled; no bottled water or drinks in aluminium cans - only reusable glass or metal water bottles; no individually wrapped food purchases; no food waste – they used a wormery; no takeaway food or restaurants because they couldn’t be sure where the food came from; they only bought milk in reusable containers; they took old egg boxes to buy eggs; they only bought local, seasonal fresh food from within 250 miles ie farmer’s market or allotment; and they bought dried food from bulk bins ie no packaging.  They forgot to talk about their dog food though!

No planes; no car; no taxis; no tubes; no buses; no elevators; no escalators. But they did take a train to go and visit a farm!

Energy and appliances
No television; no dishwasher; no washing machine – they washed by hand or foot using borax and castile soap; no refrigerator – they tried and failed to use a ‘pot in a pot’ Nigerian sand and water cooler; no lights – only candles; and, after about six months, no electricity for anything except they rigged up a solar panel for the computer. But they didn’t mention the gas they were using for cooking or, presumably, for hot water! Nor did they mention their mobile phones!

Consumption and entertainment
Maximum recycling and no waste; junk mail preferences checked; they gave away anything they didn’t use; only reusable nappies; old clothes for household rags not paper towels; no shopping for new products – only borrowing, buying used or renting; no new clothes; no disposable products; no magazine or newspapers; no throwaway razors; no cosmetics; no haircuts in hair salons because of the energy and the chemical products used; homemade shampoo; no toxic cleaning products - homemade cleaning products (borax, castile soap, white vinegar, baking soda); no toothpaste - using baking soda to brush teeth; no gym – they walked up stairs instead; no cinemas – they played parlour games instead; and no toilet paper! But there was a lot of discussion about Mrs Beavan wanting a second child without any discussion of the environmental implications. Having a child is probably the second highest impact thing you can do after flying!

Monday 23 May 2011

Steering Group Minutes (16.05.11)

Steering Group Meeting, 16th May 2011, 8.00pm at The Maynard Pub
Present:  Steering Gp: Rebecca, Andy, Gillian (chair), Tilly (minutes)
 Amanda, Brad, Kristen, Pamela, Jacki, Fred, Kate
and  Anna O’Brian from Transition Network
Minutes from last meeting (14-03-11) agreed. Bike Power Workshop (Gillian)
This is going ahead:
Saturday 11th June 10.00-5.00pm at Green Lens Studio, 4a Atterbury Rd, N4 1SF
cost: £40.00. To book a place call 07931840771
There may be funding for one of our group to go, contact Gillian.
Agenda Items
1) Meadow Orchard Project- MOP (Kate Allerdyce)
Kate reminded us of all the different activities now happening at the Meadow Orchard. The regular day for anyone who wants to go along to volunteer is Saturdays, 11.00am onward.
Saturday 9th July is MOP Open Day with talks, workshops, activites
Tuesday 19th July is the MOP AGM, details to follow
2) CSA Community Supported Agriculture Project- Church Farm  (Gillian)
Current collection point for the Farm veg boxes is 6.00-7.00pm at Haberdashery cafe,Middle Lane.
Gillian is arranging for  another collection option, which will be starting soon at Hornsey Vale Community centre (HVCC). The plan is to have an outside area at the front  of the Centre, where the boxes can be stored securely for later collection. Further details from Gillian.
Camping sessions are also offered at the Farm- details form Rebecca.
3) Green on the Screen (Fred, Rebecca, Tilly)
The last screening on 4th May was another success,with over 40 people attending.
Gillian suggested we should do a write up after each film and post it on the TCE website.
GOTS Planning meeting: Weds 25th May evening; further details from Rebecca/Tilly/Fred.
4) Hornsey Vale Community Centre  HVCC (Tilly, Gillian)
Transition Garden:The new Spring Newsletter for HVCC is out now and features a picture of our Transition Kitchen garden at the Centre. We plan to start on stage two of our garden, ie building a first raised bed over the summer and autumn.
HVCC May Gala 2.00-5.00pm 30th May: Last year we helped run the cafe at this event. For the last two years we have had a Transition Crouch End stand at the gala- and also volunteered help with the event. We need to decide if we can have a stand this year, if there are enough of us able to participate. Contact Gillian if you can be involved.
September Reuse/ Recycle/ Tabletop Sale event  Date to be confirmed.We will run this event jointly with HVCC. From a Transition perspective we can plan on how to use the day to raise awareness about reusing, recycling materials etc. Tilly hopes to approach Hornsey Girls School to see if they would like to take part.
Contact Tilly if you would like to help.
Apple Day 15th October  This will be our third Apple day- our biggest public event. Agreed that the sooner we start planning for this day, the better we can make it. 
5) Haringey 40/20 Event (Kate Allerdyce)
Initiated by Friends of the Earth, Haringey Council will hold an event on
 Saturday 11th June, Sixth Form Centre, White Hart Lane
Many agencies are involved and the Council welcome input from all groups.
6) North London NLETS (Andy)
Andy gave a quick introduction to NLETS the local trading scheme, which covers Highbury, Islington, Enfield and Barnet. This scheme has been running for 10 years and promotes the Transition principle of keeping value within the local economy. The trading unit is called a Pledge. Pledges are used instead of money and can be used to buy goods and services. There are now a wide range of services on offer, including woodwork,opticians, gardening, solicitors and complementary therapies.
Trading days take place 4 times per year.
Details from Andy
7) Transition Crouch End Communications Update (Gillian)
Our website is currently directed at the TCE Blogspot, administered and updated by Gillian, who also puts information on our Facebook page and Twitter (@transitionce) .
We are working with Ed Crompton who is helping us develop the website.
Gillian mentioned the transition gmail as another way we communicate with each other, details from Gillian.
Gillian also thought  it would be a good idea if we had a TCE monthly newsletter.
However, it was aknowledged that maintaining the Blogspot, Facebook and Twitter is already an essential but demanding, time consuming job for Gillian. Jacki kindly agreed to get involved and offer help with this area.
For general information on the Transition Movement go to or
8) Crouch Hill Development (Amanda)
Amanda mentioned her residents group are being consulted about the proposed development due to take place at Crouch Hill, in the area where it intersects with the Parkland Walk. Ashmount school will move to this location. Community and foodgrowing projects are also being discussed for this site, so it may be appropriate for TCE to get involved.
Further details from Amanda.
9) Foodcycle (Rebecca)
Rebecca is doing some work with Foodcycle. They run a cafe every Friday lunchtime, 12.00-2.30pm at the Mind Centre at Ferme park rd, near junction with Lancaster Rd, Parkland Walk bridge.
Next Steering Group Meeting: 8.00pm, Monday 13th June, Maynard Pub, Park Rd, N8.

Friday 20 May 2011

Crisis Meeting about Stationers Park 25 May 7-9 at Hornsey Vale Community Centre

The Friends of Stationers Park have organised a meeting to discuss the state of Stationers Park. 

Details of the Meeting

Wednesday 25 May 7-9pm
Hornsey Vale Community Centre
60 Mayfield Road

 In case you haven't noticed how it has deteriorated, have a look at the photos below.  For a suggestion about how to address the problem, click here.
A trolley has found its way into the water feature... be fished out by a local resident and Friend of the Park.

The flowerbed around the Green Flag, now gone to seed.

Algae is slowly taking over the water feature, with the odd plastic bag.

Monday 16 May 2011

Stationers Park

With the departure of Reg it is starting to be noticeable that the park upkeep is beginning to suffer.

The area where this is most noticeable is the water feature which is looking particularly shabby. Much of this is due to the algal blooms that are growing prolifically, particularly in the lower pond where the fountain is. This area also suffers from objects being thrown into the water which all contributes to the run down and uncared for look.

It is clear the level of care that was lavished on our lovely park is a thing of the past. This raises the question: what do we do about it?

We could moan at the council, but given the cash strapped state of affairs they are in, I doubt this would produce any satisfactory result.

The alternative is we start thinking in terms of taking on the responsibility for the park maintenance ourselves as a community. That way we can ensure the park management plan reflects the priorities of the community.

The Friends of Stationers Park have done a fantastic job in campaigning and raising funds to ensure a suitable successor to the play-fort is achieved. It would be a real shame if we end up with a lovely new play area surrounded by an increasingly neglected looking park.

I propose we start that dialogue now. What can we do as a community to take on the management of our park? How many members of the community would be willing to contribute? What resources are available to help with this?

I would like to bring this proposal to the next Friends of meeting to see what the appetite is for going down this route. In the meantime please add your comments and if you would be interested in getting involved contact me at

Friday 13 May 2011

All You Need to Know about Solar Panels

Many thanks to Muswell Hill Sustainability Group for their presentation on solar panels.  Please contact them if you are interested in following this up.

Growing in Haringey AGM on 15 May 2011

We would like to remind all interested in community food growing about forthcoming ‘Growing in Haringey’ AGM and network planning workshop on Sunday,

15th May 2011.


Sunday, 15th May 2011
From: 11am to 3.30 pm
Where: Wolves Lane Horticultural Nursery, Wolves Lane, Wood Green, N22 5JD, (off White Hart Lane).

Come and meet other community gardeners and plan together how we can make our projects bigger, better and stronger, by sharing resources, plans, partnerships and more.

The agenda includes:
11am - 12pm – Open Executive Committee meeting.

12pm - 1pm - Go-around of projects to introduce their work and aspirations, identify main concerns, wish list of support services and offers of help.

1pm - 1.30pm – Planning of summer events.1.30pm - 2.15pm - Lunch and networking.2.15pm - 3.30pm - Future role of GIH. Discussion about how to; use of available resources/support organizations, how to raise and manage funds for community gardens and many more important to community food growing issues.

Lunch will be specially provided for us by the Green Pepper Cafe (approx price £5/person, vegetarian and vegan options available).If you are planning to come we kindly request you to RSVP to and let us know if you would like to book the lunch.

It is very important to us, as the venue has been offered to us free of charge. Our lunch arrangement with Green Pepper Cafe is the only way to contribute to the venue hire costs .We also would like to ensure that we have a lunch booked for everybody.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Register your garden with Capital Growth to win £1000

Win £1000 for your project and get a free-gift just for trying!

The fantastic £1000 for 1000 competition closes this Friday, and with the competition only open to a limited number of projects, (plus a free gift for the first 100 entrants), the odds of winning are better than good!
For a chance to receive £1000 towards your project* (or runner up prizes of £500 and £300) and become our prestigious space number 1000, register with Capital Growth at  by Friday 6th May 2011.*