5th September – South Court Environmental

Guest Speaker Peter Nalder

We enjoyed a fascinating and eye-opening talk on the 5th September from the extremely knowledgeable (and irrepressible) Peter Nalder from the South Court Environmental group showed just how they have got to work over the last 25 years on their three themes of biodiversity, Community and Land and Organic Food.

Members were impressed with what SCE is achieving in their work with volunteers and with older people as part of the Community thread, the informed work sustaining biodiversity in their two orchards and their gardens where (Local) they grow Organic food.

The closely related Aims and objectives (by any other name) of the SCE and TTN together with the shared conviction that local action is the way to go to truly make a difference, as SCE clearly are, opens up the possibility of a closer relationship between SCE and TTN in the future.

Peter invited TTN to consider becoming a Group Member of SCE and that is something we will consider carefully with a view to bringing this to a future meeting for discussion.

South Court Environmental have a host of events coming up, including

Fruit Fools Day on the 28th September

There’ll be a dozen different fruit fools to sample. How it works is that you ‘compose your own’. Mix this fruit with that fruit (if you like). Add herbs or spices (or not). Add sugar or honey (or not). Add various creams and custards (or not). Then try again, a different combination. Which will be your top fruit fool?

This is for all ages and all-comers. It costs you £2 to join in but there’s no limit on the combinations you can try. Or come with the children – just £1 for them or less if they’ve already eaten!

Apple Day on 21st October

There’ll be thousands of apples of many many different varieties to try. With your help we’ll be juicing the apples too so there’ll be bottled juice as take-homes. Bottled sunshine! Maybe some bottled pear juice too. There’ll be honey and jams etc. on sale as well.

And events such as ‘Apple Bobbing’ and ‘Longest Peel’ and apple games to play

Spuds & Sparklers Friday 2nd November

This is SCE’s annual ‘junior’ Guy Fawkes and Community Fire Ceremony. So bring the children. (Note that all children you bring should be under 85 years old.) Our advice is that you come with wellies, warm clothing and a torch or, better still, a lantern. There will be fireworks – nothing too scary – and of course a Bonfire.

Transition Town has been invited to South Court Environmental’s End-of-Year ‘Bash’

Wednesday 19th December

‘For this year’s bash we’re in collaboration with Transition Town Northampton. They’ll be there too. Yule-tide has a long and rather topsy-turvy history and we’ll be celebrating that strangeness with you joining in on it e.g. > Ancient and lesser-known carols; our Mumming Play; some Victorian Games and Puzzles; Music and Magic. Apart from that there is of course the food, the drink and the chat. £1 in the tin if you please.

2nd May – Electric Cars

On the 2nd May, we welcomed Trevor Larkum from Fuel Included. Trevor brought his fully electric car for us to look at and kindly did a Q & A session for us.

As you might expect we covered all aspects of owning an electric car, including range, recharging points, costs, carbon footprint from manufacture to recycling and all the other essentials.

Perhaps more interesting for me was the move into home battery storage for night time power supply. The systems are now available to store unused daytime PV electricity instead of feeding it into the grid. With the reduction of Feed-In Tariffs (they will go all together on new installations) this goes a long way to improving the payback time especially when this is coupled with the reduction in solar panel costs! Use of a ‘Green Energy’ electricity supplier is as always, a key part of reducing the carbon footprint of any system.  Of course, nothing beats using less energy so improving insulation to in the home is a top choice.

 

Study reveals your nitrogen footprint – and who it is impacting (Guardian)

You’ve heard of managing your carbon footprint. But how about your nitrogen footprint? Emissions of reactive nitrogen into the environment have increased more than 10-fold over the past 150 years, contribute to deaths from air pollution and water pollution, and have countless other impacts including acid rain and degradation of ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef.

Now, for the first time, researchers have calculated the average nitrogen footprint of people from 188 countries, as well as where exactly they cause that pollution, helping pave the way to policy that could help the world reduce its emissions of reactive nitrogen.

Almost 80% of the atmosphere is made of nitrogen in the form of N2. But in that form it hardly interacts with other chemicals – so it is not useful for humans or plants, and it is not harmful either. And for most of Earth’s history, pretty much the only way N2 could be turned into a reactive form like ammonia or nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) was either by bacteria, lightning and legumes.

Energy at an industrial scale

Driven by rapid expansion in developing countries, new installations of carbon-free renewable power plants in 2014 surpassed 100,000 megawatts of capacity for the first time, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report. It appears that renewable energy is now entering the market at a scale that is relevant in energy industry terms – and at a price that is competitive with fossil fuels.

For more read the full article on Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/apr/20/renewable-energy-global-trends-solar-power