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Sustainable Wantage
July 2018 Newsletter

The Mix logoToday!! SCOOP - zero waste Pop-Up at The Wantage MixScoop zero waste pop-up

Sunday 1st July 10am - 2pm

Fight plastic pollution and come and refill your own containers with a selection of dry goods and whole foods. Detergent refills also available from The Mix’s own SESI detergent refills.

All our goods are sold by weight or volume so you can buy exactly what you need in any tub or container, reducing food waste, packaging waste and saving you money.

Don’t have any spare containers? Don’t worry we’ll have a small selection for you to use on the day.

For more info visit the Facebook event here.

In The Mix in July:
Sun 1st Scoop zero waste pop-up - bring along your own pots, tubs and jars to buy dried foods without the packaging!
Tues 3rd Monthly craft night
Sat 7th Repair Cafe (morning) and Food Hygiene training (afternoon)
Mon 9th Drawing and painting with wine (evening)
Wed 11th French conversation and Coffee (morning) and Mindfulness meet-up (evening)
Sat 14th July Trev's Silver Jewellery workshop (morning) and International Club (evening - may be a picnic in Manor Road Park if it's sunny!)
Sat 21st Crochet - the next stitch, workshop for improvers
Mon 23rd Drawing and painting with wine
Wed 25th Green Drinks
We'll be having a quiet August, ready to go again in September. There are Upholstery courses, Mindfulness, Build your Resilience toolkit, Beginners knitting and Crochet for beginners already lined up - for more info on any of these contact Jo.
A big thank you to the Low Carbon Hub who have offered to contribute to energy efficiency improvements in The Mix, we are hoping to fit cavity wall insulation, secondary glazing on the single glazed windows at the back, and ... hold your breath... HEATERS! Whoop whoop!
For more info or to book on any of the courses or workshops at The Mix, email Jo, call 07768 767787, visit the Mix
The Resource Bank logo
We are looking to gather the following by 16th July:

* Acrylic paint
* Tissue paper and papers for collage (e.g.old wrapping paper)
* Sparkly bits
* Wool and ribbon
* Old t-shirts (for ripping up and plaiting to make bracelets, so bright colours with big logos work best, but any would be fine)

Contact Jo or call 07768 767787. 
Bee orchidBee Orchid
Orchids in Wantage

Bee orchids have been flowering in the field behind the health centre, where there are about 20 plants. There are also pyramidal orchids nearby. The council will not be mowing this area this year so that they will be able to release seed. Thanks to SW member Juliet for spotting these and getting on the case! 

What is... BackcastingQuestion mark
We are familiar with 'forecasting', which takes recent trends and assumes that they will continue, in order to predict the future. The downside of this is that we risk our situation being a product of the past, rather than a cause of the future - we wouldn't always choose to follow 'business-as-usual'. 
Backcasting takes a desirable future as a starting point, and works backwards to identify Hindsight - Image in car wing mirrorthe steps needed to reach that position. It involves imagining the future that we want to see, and working out what we need to do to make that future more likely.

Jonathon Porritt describes his vision of a desirable future in the book 'The World We Made'. Here he is speaking as time-traveller
Alex McKay from 2050, describing his society from the future.

Children with solar panelsCommunity Energy Fund – new share offer

The Low Carbon Hub has opened a new share offer with the goal of putting solar panels on more schools across Oxfordshire. They want to install as many solar PV arrays as possible before the end of the Feed in Tariff. They have already installed panels on 27 Oxfordshire schools, plus 5 businesses and 2 community organisations.

minimum investment is £250, and the deadline is 31st July - they are trying to raise £1m altogether. It is forecast that across the lifetime of the current project portfolio, £2.4m will go into a fund for commmunity benefit. The Mix has recently been given a grant from the LCH for energy efficiency improvements.

Find out more about the excellent work of the Low Carbon Hub by watching this video or by visiting the LCH website.


Wantage and Grove FoodbankChild eating spaghetti

A shocking statistic provided by the ‘Food Standards Agency’ is that
21% of the population in Britain are ‘Food Insecure’ - that is they do not have sufficient money to feed themselves or worry about being able to feed themselves and their family adequately.

The Wantage and Grove Foodbank can provide some support for individuals or families in the area. They will provide an
emergency food parcel for those in need, with sufficient food for approximately 3 days. Further parcels can be provided if needed. In order to receive a food parcel a client needs to be referred by an agency such as ‘The Wantage Independent Advice Centre’, who can then give additional advice and support. It is situated in the town centre and their telephone number is 01235 765348.

Last summer, the national press publicised that
many families struggled in the school holidays to provide for their children when school meals are not available. Foodbank will this summer provide special food parcels for these families, if they contact the Independent Advice Centre for a referral.

The Wantage and Grove Foodbank is organised by volunteers from local churches and food is most generously donated by the public. They
welcome donations of food at the special food collection points in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Cornerstone Café in Grove and the King’s Centre in Wantage. They are only able to accept non-perishable foods such as tins and packets, dog / cat food, and hygiene, laundry and sanitary products.

In Brief
MothChris Packham warns of 'ecological apocalypse' in Britain. According to Packham, British people have normalised a “national catastrophe” and only see a wealth of wildlife in nature reserves, with the wider countryside bereft of life. He commented on the absence of insects during a weekend in the New Forest - he did not see a single butterfly and said he rarely finds craneflies or moths in his room unlike when he was a boy. A recent report found that at least one in five wild mammals in Britain faces a high risk of extinction within a decade and overall populations are falling.  UK Bioblitz - Chris Packham and his team will be doing a ten day audit of the nation's wildlife from 14th-23rd July. They will visit 48 nature reserves. You can follow their progress online.

Spoon with waterDavid Attenborough's Recipe to Help Tired Bees - If you see a tired-looking bee, try putting out a spoonful of sugar solution - mix one tablespoon of water with two tablespoons of white granulated sugar.  
Plastic litterBlue Planet II: The Clean-Up It is six months since Sir David Attenborough broadcast a heartfelt message to the world about the future of our oceans. What has happened since the TV series Blue Planet II was transmitted? And what does Sir David think about the response? In a video message, Sir David said "I've been absolutely astonished at the result that that programme has had. I never imagined there would be quite so many of you who'd be inspired to want change. The strength of your response has not gone unnoticed in the corridors of power or business boardrooms. The actions of any just one of us may seem to be trivial and to have no effect, but the knowledge that there are hundreds of thousands of people who are doing the same thing, that really does have an effect."
India plans to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022. McDonald's will switch to paper straws in the UK next year, after nearly half a million people called on the company to ditch plastic straws (the switch does not apply to its restaurants in other countries). A new UN report details what countries are doing to reduce plastic waste. It found that there has been a surge of new regulations about single-use plastics coming into force, as shown in this graph:
Graph showing increase in regulation on single-use plastics

New research shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, they use 83% of farmland and produce 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing meat and dairy consumption is one of the most effective ways to reduce environmental impact. Cross and flower

Tenants of the King - Operation Noah has launched a new study guide to help conservative Christians to make the connection between caring for creation and faith. Tenants of the King is one of the first courses written on this topic that is rooted closely in New Testament teaching.
The government has proposed a relaxation in planning laws for fracking for shale gas. Under the plans, preliminary drilling could be classed as permitted development - the same law that allows people to build a small conservatory. Friends of the Earth has set up a petition to oppose this.
By the end of this year, London's historic 'Square Mile' will run on 100% renewable electricity.

Out and About in July
Sun 1st - Guided Walk at Chimney Meadows nature reserve. This part of Chimney Meadows is not freely accessible to hte public, to minimise disturbance. 10am-12:30.
Wed 4th - Climate and Anxiety - film screening and discussion. Oxford, OX1.
13th-15th / 27th-29th  Teach Earth - training weekend for teachers wanting to help students connect with nature.
Sun 15th - Poultry Keeping for Beginners, in Hook Norton.
Thurs 19th - 4pm. Mo Belal from Mirico will talk about Methane Monitoring at the Harwell Green Club. To book a place (as you'll need to be registered on the access system to get in) contact John Vandore.


Green Drinks Sustainable Wantage SocialGreen Drinks

Wed 25th July
7:30pm - 9pm in The Mix, Mill Street
Bring your own tipple. All welcome.

Sustainable Wantage

Images: Orchids, by Juliet Teare; question mark by Innovate Impact Media on Flickr; Black and White Hindsight #1 - 2883 by Tim J Keegan on Flickr; Black Rock Solar Field Trip  to the Children's Cabinet with Zephyr Cove Elementary on Flickr; Child eating spaghetti on pxhere; Moth Insect Lepidoptera UK, by Illuvis on Pixabay; Spoon water, by Propria on Wikimedia Commons, ocean beach, march 6, by Kai Schreiber on Flickr; Graph about plastics regulations on single-use plastics, from UNEP; Cross and flower from pxshere.


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