Sunday, 7 November 2010

Community Gardening Give it A GO!!!!

The Westgate Community Trust (Canterbury) have with permission taken over the 'garden' surrounding the hall. The above picture would be better if we had taken a before and after shot!!  but believe me those shrubs were blocking out the light to the downstairs windows of the hall.

We also got some plants and bulbs from Meadow Grange Nurseries to improve little uncared for weedy patches around the hall.

So basically look at what you can do for the community, what we achieved above cost us nothing but 15 volunteers time, we got a SERCO man and a van for free to take the mounds of vegetation we had cut away & free plants so support your local community & get some community spirit going!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ecobuild 2010 - biggest showcase in the world for sustainable design

The biggest event in the world for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, there’s a wealth to see and experience at Ecobuild. The event is running this year from tuesday 2nd March until 4pm Thursday 4th march at Earls Court. This year there is a debate on Copenhagen which you can see at but have a look at the rest of the website if you cant make the event as there are loads of interesting companies & contacts on it

Microgeneration & Feed in Tariff Campaign for Existing Generators

See article below from Good Energy

Dear Good Energy supporter

Fair deal for energy entrepreneurs: Please join our campaign

We'd like you to sign a petition and write to your MP about the unfair deal that early adopters of microgeneration are getting from the feed-in tariff. Here's why:

Good Energy has a long history of campaigning to help grow renewable generation in the UK. We're really proud that one in every 25 of our customers generates their own renewable power and we're committed to getting the best deal for them.

For several years we were part of the campaign to get a feed-in-tariff - or FiT- to reward renewable generators with a payment for their electricity. We pioneered our own, award-winning HomeGen scheme which pays generators 15p a unit for all the electricity they generate. And we were very pleased when the government recently announced the terms of its FiT scheme starting on April 1st 2010.

BUT - there is a major flaw in the scheme.

For the pioneers who installed their microgenerator before July 15th 2009 the government is offering much lower payments - just 9p a unit - than those available to new generators, who will get up to 41.3p a unit. We think this is wrong.

The UK microgeneration industry owes its existence to the early adopters who installed their own generation equipment because they wanted to make a difference to climate change. Many invested their life savings in such schemes because they believed it was the right thing to do - and they deserve to be recognised and rewarded for their entrepreneurial attitude, not penalised. We believe that green energy entrepreneurs should not be worse off under the new scheme.

So we're campaigning for a change in the legislation to ensure they get the recognition they deserve.

We're delighted that the Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael has endorsed our campaign and tabled an Early Day Motion on this issue. As he says, "If the government is serious about wanting people to develop small scale renewable energy projects then they will have to treat everyone fairly instead of punishing those who demonstrate initiative and commitment."

You can support the campaign in the following ways:

Sign a petition Please sign the petition about this on the Number 10 website -
Write to your MP If you are an existing generator who will be affected by this, please write to your MP telling him about your concerns and asking him to sign the Early Day Motion. We've drafted a letter you can use, which you can download from our website. To find out who your MP is, please visit Cross Party support is important, so please write to your MP whatever his political party.

If we work together, we can make a difference and help our energy entrepreneurs get the fair deal they deserve for helping set the UK on the right path to reducing its carbon emissions.

Yours sincerely

The Good Energy Team

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Sustainable Innovation Help

30 organisations will benefit from the GreenThink! © programme, a free personalised innovation and advice service provided by experienced consultants at The Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD). This includes a workshop process using a range of unique creativity techniques to maximise high quality idea generation. CfSD will produce a report highlighting recommendations from the workshop and then provide follow-up research and advice related to sustainable product design and development, innovation, funding, marketing and commercialisation.

Support can help with:

  • greening of existing products or services
  • development of new greener products or services

 This might include:

  •  identifying opportunities to reduce costs through environmental improvements
  • identifying new market opportunities
  •  developing new product and service concepts
  •  identifying the implications of product-related environmental legislation
  •  exploring opportunities related to low carbon product or services


Friday, 16 October 2009

Green Space is Good For You!!

There is more evidence that living near a 'green space' has health benefits.Research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health says the impact is particularly noticeable in reducing rates of mental ill health.

The annual rates of 15 out of 24 major physical diseases were also significantly lower among those living closer to green spaces. One environmental expert said the study confirmed that green spaces create 'oases' of improved health around them.

The researchers from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam looked at the health records of 350,000 people registered with 195 family doctors across the Netherlands.

Only people who had been registered with their GP for longer than 12 months were included because the study assumed this was the minimum amount of time people would have to live in an environment before any effect of it would be noticeable.

Health impact

The percentages of green space within a one and three kilometre (0.62 and 1.86 miles) radius of their home were calculated using their postcode.

On average, green space accounted for 42% of the residential area within one kilometre (0.62 miles) radius and almost 61% within a three kilometre (1.86 miles) radius of people's homes.

Coronary heart disease
Neck, shoulder, back, wrist and hand complaints
Depression and anxiety
Respiratory infections and asthma
Migraine and vertigo
Stomach bugs and urinary tract infections
Unexplained physical symptoms
And the annual rates for 24 diseases in 7 different categories were calculated.

The health benefits for most of the diseases were only seen when the greenery was within a one kilometre ( 0.62 miles ) radius of the home.

The exceptions to this were anxiety disorders, infectious diseases of the digestive system and medically unexplained physical symptoms which were seen to benefit even when the green spaces were within three kilometres of the home.

The biggest impact was on anxiety disorders and depression.

Anxiety disorders

The annual prevalence of anxiety disorders for those living in a residential area containing 10% of green space within a one kilometre (0.62 miles) radius of their home was 26 per 1000 whereas for those living in an area containing 90% of green space it was 18 per 1000.

For depression the rates were 32 per 1000 for the people in the more built up areas and 24 per 1000 for those in the greener areas.At least part of this 'oasis' effect probably reflects changes in air quality

Professor Barbara Maher, Lancaster Environment Centre
The researchers also showed that this relation was strongest for children younger than 12.They were 21% less likely to suffer from depression in the greener areas.

Two unexpected findings were that the greener spaces did not show benefits for high blood pressure and that the relation appeared stronger for people aged 46 to 65 than for the elderly.The researchers think the green spaces help recovery from stress and offer greater opportunities for social contacts.They say the free physical exercise and better air quality could also contribute.

Dr Jolanda Maas of the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, said: "It clearly shows that green spaces are not just a luxury but they relate directly to diseases and the way people feel in their living environments."

"Most of the diseases which are related to green spaces are diseases which are highly prevalent and costly to treat so policy makers need to realise that this is something they may be able to diminish with green spaces."

from bbc news website

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Green Grants Machine

A Green Grants web site you can join to sign up for a newsletter on green issues and funding information is Green Grants Machine part of the company J4B's funding consultancy in the UK. Not a huge amount of information but a useful update.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Crossways 'Zero Carbon Home'

Designed by Richard Hawkes, Crossway is one of the first zero carbon houses in the UK. The building explores the uniqueness of 'place' as well as harnessing solar energy to generate all its own electricity and thermal energy.

The building demonstrates how contemporary design can celebrate local materials and crafts and integrate new technologies to produce a highly sustainable building that sits lightly on the Earth

The earth piled onto the parabolic arch has just been sown with wildflower seeds taken from local Kent sources including Marden nature reserve to give it the correct flora and perhaps even eventually Orchids may be found growing on the roof!!

PV-T Photovoltaic Thermal heat & electricity generating system supplied by the Carbon Free Group

Main Bedroom with bathroom!

Photo a little dark but shows the inside of the main structural arch faced with locally sourced clay tiles

Above and below various architects models used during the design process

A X section of the triple glazing units

Visit Hawkes Architecture for more information

The building featured on Channel 4's 'Grand Designs' programme and full details of the build can be seen here