What does Sustainability mean to you? Have your say!
Dear Martinstown Resident,
A small group of us, living in Martinstown, are considering ways that the village could become greener and more sustainable. This questionnaire is to gather YOUR IDEAS of how to make Martinstown sustainable, to see what level of interest there is for such a project and to know what level of involvement or commitment you could make.
There will be a prize draw for: 1) a £50 voucher to spend in the village shop 2) a curry for 2 at The Brewers Arms, for those that return the completed questionnaire.
Entries from our young Martinstown Residents (younger than 25 years) enter the draw fora TOGETHERBAND from togetherband.org for Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. To enter this draw, please include your age if you are a young Martinstown Resident.
How to return your questionnaire?
It can be returned to the box in the shop.
Alternatively, the questionnaire can be downloaded and completed HERE:
We can also collect it from you – Please phone 01305 889433
Greens on the Green! We are having a picnic on 4th September
As a way of sharing the results of the questionnaire we would like to invite you to a socially distanced picnic on the green from 5.30pm on Friday 4th September. The draw for the prize will be made at 6.30pm.
Please bring your own food. The Brewers Arms will provide their mobile bar.
The event is weather dependent. Should the long-term forecast be for rain we will let you know of postponement by August 24th.
Renewable energy is the “cheapest source of electricity”, says IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency
One of many suppliers of Renewable Energy is Octopus Energy. Octopus Energy claims to be ‘doing energy better' – and the Which? expert analysis suggests it's living up to expectations. It's a Which? Recommended Provider for the third year on the trot.
Ashton Hayes in Cheshire is a village just a little bigger than Martinstown with a population of just over 1000 (Martinstown has approximately 850) In January 2006 they decided to try to make their village the first carbon neutral village in England.
Among many other benefits, they now have an array of community owned solar panels supplying the village with electricity, a pool of electric cars for villagers to use and much much more. Here is a link to their website, a mine of useful information. http://www.goingcarbonneutral.co.uk/
This is from their website:
“Five surveys have been carried our since the launch in 2006 and these reveal that the community has managed to cut its carbon emissions by 40% through behavioural changes such as switching off appliances and changing to low energy light bulbs. Some people have cut the costs of their energy bills 50% by focusing on improved insulation and careful energy use”
There are many examples of other villages, towns and even cities wanting to go carbon neutral, in the UK and around the world. Here are a few examples.
Cumnock Cumnock is a mining town in Ayrshire, Scotland. It has been deemed to be the perfect size for a experiment in which they are attempting to create a carbon neutral town.
‘Cumnock – which was previously a mining community – has 1800 residents, an amount thought to be perfect to test the project’s different renewable technologies on a mass scale as well as a new smart grid and metres, a high speed communications network, new carbon neutral buildings and a series of cycle paths and electric vehicle initiatives.’
They have received funding and advice from Scotland’s Towns Partnerships. Who describe themselves as ‘Scotland's Towns Partnership is Scotland’s national towns’ collective; representing and promoting the diversity of our towns and places, and supporting those organisations and groups that have an interest in or ownership of them’?
Nottingham Nottingham is a small city of about 321,000 people, wanting to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city. It has already cut its carbon foot print by 39%, having started the project in 2005.
‘Nottingham could become the first carbon neutral city in the UK after the City Council set itself an ambitious target to achieve this by 2028.The city has already met its Energy Strategy target early – a 26% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 – and reduced emissions by 39% since 2005. Nottingham is also on track to meet its 2020 target of 20% of energy generation from low carbon sources, due to a combination of a reduction in the City’s energy demand and its renewable energy projects program.’
‘Meenangadi’s carbon-neutral project was officially launched last year, on June 05 2018—the World Environment Day. We will “conserve and expand our forests, plant more trees, reduce carbon emissions from households, promote self sustenance through organic farming, and recycle our waste.”
‘Living close to the land, they knew the value of solar and wind power and using water efficiently. When they rebuilt, they took those values to heart in a new way. The result: Greensburg is a truly green burg. It is a model of sustainable living and a standard for rural communities everywhere.’
Here are some ways to save plastic, from Sustainable Dorset website.
More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year! Packaging accounts for just over 40% of total plastic usage. Over 100 billion plastic beverage bottles are sold in the U.S alone each year. Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each with a “working life” of a mere 15 minutes.
Here are some simple ideas for you to adopt to reduce your plastic usage and waste:
•Take your own bag to the shops •Drink tap water and carry it in your own stainless steel bottle •Don’t buy body scrubs – those tiny beads are usually made of plastic •Choose fruit and vegetables that are not wrapped in plastic •Don’t use ‘single use’ plates, knives, forks etc. wash up after you eat. •Wherever you can, choose liquid products that can be re-filled rather than bought new etc. •Refuse plastic straws in your drinks, try stainless steel or paper. •If you can’t find an alternative to single-use plastic, make sure you recycle it •Don’t celebrate with balloon releases, the chances are the balloons will land in the ocean, choking seabirds, turtles and marine mammals. •Use crystal deodorants – they last far longer, are more effective and some even come with no plastic packaging at all. •Use good old-fashioned soap – it works as well as liquid soap and lasts longer •Buy butter wrapped in paper instead of in a plastic tub
Solar car ports/parks This is such a simple idea and of benefit in many ways. Not only do the solar panels generate electricity that can power the needs of the car park, charge electric vehicles and power offices nearby, for example, but they act as a sun-shield in the summer and a rain shield in the winter. Keeping the car cooler in summer and dryer in winter! Happy parking!
Conserve Water An estimated 50% of all household water usage is wasted. It goes down the drain while we wait for it to warm up, so why not collect it and use it in the garden or for watering houseplants? In an era when our fresh water supply is diminishing due to pollution and drought, it's important to conserve all the water we can, as well as learn about and put to use greywater recycling practices. Here are 120 ways to conserve energy!
Save money and energy in the Garden by: 1) Making a home made compost bin. The compost is good for pots, flower or vegetable beds, and saves collection and processing of waste. http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/soil_makecompost1.shtml 2) Collecting rainwater with a simple diverter on the downpipe. This gives you pure water for the plants but also saves money on the water bills. 3) Growing your own vegetables. Why not try a few in a tub or make a special bed for them if you have the space? It is so rewarding to pick what you have grown yourself. It is good to know how things grow and is good for you! 4) Taking your own cuttings and saving seeds is very easy and provides new plants for free! 5)Swapping plants, cuttings and seeds with friends and neighbours. It's fun and builds friendship – and it is free! 6) Make your own fertiliser from nettles soaked in water for a couple of weeks. Smelly but it works! 7) Grow your own herbs in a tub outside the back door.
Friday, 07 08 2020
An initiative from residents for residents
On 22 April 2020, ‘Earth Day’ celebrates its 50th anniversary. However, this year, ‘Earth Day’ should be far more than just a day.
It should be a historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call, a call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery we need to meet our climate crisis and to seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future. Instead, we are spellbound by a pandemic. One that could have been avoided if humans respected nature better. One problem currently overshadows the other, although ultimately, they go hand-in-hand. Yet, as we have seen over these past weeks, even though faced by overwhelming challenges, societies have shown they can work together as part of a larger, global community.
The pandemic has brought with it harm and tragedy. The future is uncertain. But the lockdown has also given us time to evaluate our lifestyles, if we choose to do so. Inspired by success stories from other villages across the country, a small group of Martinstown residents have been discussing the possibility of developing an initiative to make Martinstown a ‘green’ sustainable village.
Talking with others has sparked even greater interest. Now seems an appropriate time to hold a public meeting, so everybody in the village has the opportunity to participate and contribute. Unfortunately, the situation with the COVID-19 virus has put a temporary hold on publicising a date for such a meeting. However, ‘going green’ starts with the small things that each of us can change in our daily lives and routines.
Here are some ideas for those interested in a more sustainable lifestyle. In many cases it is also cheaper.
We hope to see you at the public meeting which will be held at the village hall, to kick off ideas for a Green Martinstown initiative.