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Sustainable Wantage
March 2018 Newsletter
What Do You Think about Plastic Waste? Your Views Wanted! 

Drinking water fountain with girlPlease fill in our short survey about plastic in Wantage. It should take only a couple of minutes. We'd like to hear from lots of local people, so please do share the survey with friends and on social media.

Across the UK, hundreds of thousands of people have been taking action on plastic waste and signing petitions calling for change, as this video illustrates. People and organisations from the BBC and Glastonbury festival to the Queen, have promised to phase out single-use plastics. Yesterday PG Tips became the latest to commit to change, announcing that it will remove plastic from its tea bags.

A supermarket in Amsterdam has opened Europe's first 'plastic free aisle', while Wales is due to open its first zero waste shop this month. Friends of the Earth are asking people to commit to plastic free Fridays.

In this article, four people look at their plastic use over one week, and reflect on what can be done on a personal level.

Over the coming weeks we will be inviting Wantage businesses to be added to our list of 'refill friendly' places. The list will show where you can go to refill a water bottle, and where you can use refillable containers when buying food and other products. If you would like your business added to this list please email Zoe.

Daffodils at the Market GardenDaffodil Afternoon at Wantage Market Garden
Sun 18th March
FREE entry. Light refreshments available.
Come and visit the gardens and see the spring flowers.
The Charlton Centre, Charlton Village Road, Wantage, OX12 7HG.

Enquiries email Olwen, or call 07527 201559.
The site is not suitable for dogs.

The Mix logoIn The Mix in March:
Sat 3rd Repair Cafe
Tues 6th Monthly Craft Night
Thurs 8th Kicking the sugar habit - free talk
Sat 10th Pallet DIY - 2 places left!
Wed 14th
Reversible bags workshop
Sun 18th Make an A-line skirt
Sat 24th Silver Jewellery workshop (morning) Advanced crochet (afternoon) and International Club (evening)
Sun 25th Mosaic workshop
Wed 28th Green Drinks

For more info or to book on any of the courses or workshops at The Mix, email Jo, call 07768 767787, visit the Mix website, or the Mix Facebook page.

Resource Bank logo
We're looking to acquire a projector for The Mix , if anyone has an old / no-longer-needed one please get in touch with Jo.

Free Hayboxes! Haybox cooking

We have some insulated boxes to give away, with instructions on how to use them for haybox cooking. This method of cooking, which was widely used in the world wars, saves around 50% of the energy needed to cook by trapping the heat with insulation. Here are the
haybox instructions, including recipes, if you'd like to have a go. Contact Jo or call 07768 767787 if you would like a box.

River Itchen

WaterBlitz - Help Test Water Quality

On 23rd April volunteers will be testing the water quality of streams and ponds, using a free kit. To find out more, or to register to take part, click here.

Question markWhat is... A Smart Grid?
Using renewable energy technologies brings with it new challenges, due to the variability of the wind and sun. As we move towards an electricity grid based primarily on renewable sources of power, the system will need to handle more variability in electricity generation.

SwitchOne option is to have 'smart appliances' which could respond to changes in electricity supply. If we want a cup of tea, we need the electricity to be available at the right time. However, not all tasks are time-critical. It doesn't matter when a freezer is actively cooling, as long as it doesn't get too warm. Central heating, washing machines and dishwashers could also be set to run when there is plenty of electricity being generated.

Variable pricing could allow us to move some of our electricity demand to cheaper, off-peak times. Electric vehicles could also be connected to the smart grid and set to charge when electricity is at its cheapest. The government wants every UK home to have a smart meter by 2020, to allow the country to continue to match supply and demand as the energy mix changes.

For more information visit SmartEnergyGB.

In Brief

Earth Hour - from 8:30-9:30pm on Sat 24th March people all around the world will turn off their lights as part of Earth Hour. Here's a list of 60 things to do in the dark.

There are allotments available on most of the sites in Wantage (except Grove Road). If you're interested, call 01235 763459 for Wantage, or 01235 766599 for Grove.     

Planting seedsThe Wantage Gardeners Association is a friendly, not for profit garden club offering a range of garden products, seed potatoes at cost and discounted seeds. They are open on Saturdays from 9am - noon, in the hut behind the Scout hall in Springfield Road. The group also raises money for local charities through the sale of plants and second-hand garden tools. 

Global Seed Vault has now had over a million seed deposits. It is storing seed varieties to help protect crop diversity and give future generations the best chance of developing nutritious and climate-resilient crops.

Out and About

Thurs 1st March - Filey International - North Yorkshire's Bird Observatory (illustrated talk in Oxford, OX3).

Sat 3rd March -
Foraging and Campfire Cookery (Thatcham).

Mon 5th -
George Monbiot: Stopping climate breakdown means giving up meat. Talk in Oxford.

Tues 6th March -
History of a Beech Wood (talk in Pangbourne Village Hall). and Reptile Ecology and Adders on Greenham Common (talk in Kintbury).

Sat 10th March -
Inkpen Crocus Field. Visit Britain's largest population of wild spring crocuses.

Wed 14th
Greenham Common Bird Walk (Newbury).

Thurs 15th - 4pm. Mark Crittenden from Oxis Energy will talk at the Harwell Green Club about lithium sulfur battery technology. To book a place (as you'll need to be registered on the access system to get in) contact John Vandore.

Sat 17th - Open meeting about co-housing (this meeting is in Milton Keynes). Still Green are setting up a co-housing community in Bicester, aiming for environmental, social and economic sustainability. The buildings will be designed to Passivhaus standards. With high levels of insulation, no draughts and filtered air, the homes will be designed to optimise warmth from solar gain, requiring little heating to make them comfortable to live in all year around. Additional features include renewable energy generation and shared electric cars. The homes will be designed by the community. For more details email

Sat 17th March - Circular walk around Rushy Common Nature Reserve and Lower Windrush.


Green Drinks Sustainable Wantage SocialGreen Drinks

Wed 28th March
7:30pm - 9pm in The Mix, Mill Street
Bring your own tipple. All welcome.

Sustainable Wantage
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