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Environment News



to our May 2021 issue 

Welcome to the joint newsletter of Kingston Environment Centre and Transition Town Kingston

More is happening locally, especially outdoors, as the weather improves and Covid rules relax (the next stage of relaxation could be announced by mid-May), so scroll down or use the Contents column below to find something green and interesting to do in Kingston. But please continue to check websites before setting out for an activity, stay safe and help others to stay safe too. (Check the current Covid rules for Kingston here.)

Next issue

We look forward to hearing about more environmental activities, on-line or in the real world of Kingston, as and when possible - we try to give local news and campaigns top billing, so do please keep them coming in. Do use this newsletter to promote new local green groups or enterprises – and also to check what's already happening locally to avoid clashes.
     In any case, please send us your environmental news and updates in good time to feature in the next newsletter which will go out on or just before 1st June. According to Mailchimp, 58% of our 800+ readers frequently click the links in this newsletter and 23% do so sometimes, a good number of engaged readers worth reaching.
     If you normally contribute items to this newsletter, or would like to, and haven’t heard from us recently, please subscribe to our contributors’ list via this sign-up form to get our requests and reminders - and make sure they are not disappearing into your spam folder!  You can update your own contact details in this list or unsubscribe at any time. 

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May contents

This is our standard list of contents, with links to local green groups and events near the top and more general ones further down - not all are live every month and occasional extras may be added! But don't miss out on interesting items by skipping too selectively!

Campaigning together
Kingston Environment Centre
Transition Town Kingston
Save the World Club
Kingston Environment Forum + Green Volunteering
Local sowing and growing
The Community Brain
Kingston Biodiversity Network
Habitats & Heritage
Berrylands Nature Reserve
XR Kingston
Kingston Council news
Money, money, money
Nature notes
Have your say
Waste matters
Energy and transport news
Climate crisis updates
Food, glorious food
More things we like this month
What else is happening soon?

Campaigning together

"The future is written nowhere…you have to write it."
Amin Maalouf

Covid-19 needn't stop you campaigning - there are always green issues to campaign on, and so until there is nothing left to campaign about (we wish!) this section will remain at the top of every issue of this newsletter. Please tell us about other local green campaigns we should highlight in this section. 
     Take your pick from the issues highlighted below, have a look at the Have Your Say  and Kingston Council sections, look out for Megaphone Man for more opportunities, and please take action. If not us, who?
     We focus on London-wide issues this month in time for the London elections.

Make green jobs, clean air and other environmental concerns issues in the London elections on May 6th - and don't forget to vote!

When walking increases, emissions decrease

Mayoral and London Assembly elections give us the chance to elect the people who will determine which path we take now. Living Streets say: “We need a new way. And elections like these are crucial to making the changes our streets, environment and our health are all crying out for.” Ahead of local and regional elections on 6 May, please tell your candidates about Living Streets’ London Manifesto For Walking.
Demand a future filled with wildlife
The RSPB asks us to write to our candidates to demand a future filled with wildlife for all to enjoy via this link
Get air quality to the top of the London agenda
Use the British Lung Foundation’s simple tool to tell candidates you want your next Mayor to fight for clean air.

Useful resources for campaigners


Find contact details for your councillors, MP, MEPs, and LA members at  Rather than repeating our advice on writing every month, we have saved it here on the TTK website.

Info on Citizens’ Assemblies: Participo offers info on the research on and practice of innovative citizen participation – useful and interesting for anyone interested or involved in planning Citizens’ Assemblies.


Seedy Sunday in April was outdoors, sociable (at a distance) and busy.

Stitch and Chat moved outside last month, and are participating in a project to knit panels to be displayed at COP26. 



Seedling Saturday
Sat 22 May,  11 am onwards

Regular events at KEC and on-line

Socially distanced gardening on Saturdays
Check the Kingston Environment Centre Facebook page for times. 
Stitch and Chat on Wednesday evenings 
See photo above and email Pat if you would like to be included or to find out more.

Listen or catch up with previous shows on Mixcloud..

See the KEC website calendar for info and updates on events and activities at Kingston Environment Centre, 1 Kingston Road, New Malden, KT3 3PE.
Facebook Facebook
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Instagram Instagram



TTK's Big Seed Giveaway - going, going, gone...
The seed packs we deposited across the borough went very fast, with some display boxes emptying within hours - we hope that those who took them enjoy growing them and eating their vegetables in due course. We also hope they'll keep in touch with TTK, share photos of their progress on our Facebook page, and join in our (virtual?) harvest festival, when there will be prizes, kindly donated by Save the World Club.  Check the News item on TTK website for more info.

Any competent stitchers out there?
When TTK’s Stitch in Time project resumes, possibly on the evening of Thursday 3rd June, we would welcome a few helpers who understand sewing machines (and can thread them up) and can show other people how to repair, alter or adapt clothes and other textiles that need a bit of TLC or imagination to keep them out of landfill. Please keep an eye on the TTK website and Save the World Club’s section below for updates on restarting at The Circulatory once indoor meetings are permitted.
      In the meantime, you might like to repair what you wear: “Repair What You Wear is a unique, free to access website that teaches and inspires anyone to easily mend their own clothes. At a time when people are increasingly aware of the importance of reducing waste as well as saving money, Repair What You Wear gives people easy to use techniques and skills to mend their own clothes.” Just like Stitch in Time but on-line!
      Or you might like to watch BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee for imaginative ideas for transforming and upcycling fabrics.

TTK Energy Group members continue to participate in the Council’s Transition to a Green Economy Workstream. The EG meets monthly - if you'd like to join their discussions please email Peter
     Thinking about installing an air source heat pump? Damon of the Energy Group has put together a lot of useful information, including questions to ask a supplier and a case-study on a Kingston house. 

Mapping Kingston's green assets
TTK’s Paul is working on a project to build green asset maps for the borough of Kingston. It’s work in progress, but has already been useful for the Big Seed Giveaway. If you have any good photographs of our green spaces and would be willing for them to be used in the green maps, please contact Paul

TTK Bouncing Forward 
Look out for updates on the TTK visioning project that our award from Lottery-funded Transition Network Bounce Forward seed-funding programme will enable. We hope we can come together in person later this year to really play, explore and dream what we might create together across Kingston. What if we built a city in which all citizens and our living environment could thrive? What would your dreams be?

Kingston Green e-Directory needs you!
This is a long-term TTK project, and we do need consumers and businesses to keep us up-to-date. Do you know any new green businesses or groups in or around the borough that should be listed? Are you one? Have you spotted any entries for businesses or groups that no longer exist? Would you like to help us keep this website updated? Please let us know.

Transition news and events

The Transition "What Next?" Summit 
The Summit proved a fantastic two weeks of inspiring events on a multitude of topics with 1000s of participants,  You can watch videos of all talks and workshops online for free here.

Transition London & SE Hub Online Meet- Ups
Keep an eye on their Facebook page for further interesting and encouraging meet-ups in 2021.

Find out more about the wider Transition Network.  
Find more Transition activities and events in London and the S E on Facebook

Regular TTK events


TTK management team meetings 
Last Tuesdays of the month, from 6.00pm, on-line
Details will be posted on the TTK Facebook page. 

We hope to see you at  Green Drinks and other TTK meet-ups or events as and when things return to normal - click an icon below to find updates on events and ongoing TTK projects, as well as new sources of funding, fascinating news snippets, encouraging ideas and discussions of Transition themes such as resilience, energy-efficiency, sustainable living… on our Facebook page. Do have a look and join in.
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter


The Circulatory is now open for browsing (see our cornucopia on the left!) from 4.00 – 8.00pm, Sundays to Fridays. Restrictions on the number of people in the building at any given time still apply and masks must be worn indoors.  We would like to remind you that our policy for “buying” items is donation based, so if you feel an item is worth something, please do donate - donations help us keep the space open and care for those who have been hit hard during the pandemic.  

Keep up with, and donate towards, Save The World Club's excellent work during the pandemic here and/or make sure you don’t miss any news from us by following us on Facebook.

What's on at The Circulator

Regular events

TTK's Stitch in Time
1st Thursday of every month, 7.00 - 8.30ish, starting on 3rd June, we hope

We will confirm once Covid-19 restrictions on indoor activities are relaxed - please watch this space. When we start up again, we may have to restrict numbers and will probably still need to space ourselves out safely, use hand sanitizer and wear face masks. We would welcome a few volunteers who could help other people with their sewing projects as well as getting on with their own and enjoying sociable stitching.

A little bit extra to STWC -

AmazonSmile customers can now support Save The World Club. Simply turn on AmazonSmile whenever you shop with Amazon, select Save The World Club as your chosen charity, and a small percentage of each purchase is then donated automatically to STWC.

The Circulatory, Unit 5, Chiltern Way, (at the bottom of Chiltern Drive), adjacent to Berrylands Railway Station
Website Website
Facebook Facebook

A network of local environmental organisations covering a wide range of blue and green issues in Kingston 


KEF in Kingston's Covid Recovery Task Force 
The Communities Task Force and its various sub-groups continue to meet roughly monthly, with KEF represented in the Steering Group, and in the Volunteering and Health and Wellbeing subgroups. We publish occasional updates and useful links on the KEF website

If you represent a local green group that would be interested in collaborating with others on issues such as funding applications, please get in touch.

April webinar: Introducing K-PACE, Kingston's Peoples Assembly on the Climate Emergency    
The Zoom event was not without its glitches, but as a first attempt it went well and we, the organisers, learned a lot and hope that participants did too.  Bob Bollen and Simon Sinclair talked about the context and concept of People’s and Citizens’ Assemblies, beginning the evening with a poll that indicated that most participants were very concerned about the climate crisis and worried that government was not doing enough and that the usual form of democracy wasn’t helping – so everyone was interested in the potential of People’s or Citizens’ Assemblies as a better way forward.  The evening was an excellent example of local green collaboration, provided some interesting questions and comments for the speakers to respond to and mull over, and was sufficiently successful as a pilot to encourage us to plan more KEF events – see below. You can read a fuller account of the webinar on the KEF website, including some relevant websites that came up in the discussion and the open forum at the end.

Green volunteering

Volunteering of all kinds comes up a lot in Covid Recovery Task Force meetings, and as many of our readers are experienced volunteers, organisers of volunteers, novice or aspiring volunteers... we are passing on some of  the information we gather. 
Covid restrictions and volunteering – a useful summary from DCMS/KVA
Coronavirus restrictions changed on 12 April at Step 2 in the Roadmap. Exemptions from restrictions remain the same for volunteering, which means:

  • People can meet in groups of any size, indoors or outdoors, while volunteering, and can meet in groups for activities necessary for their volunteering roles, for example recruitment and training activities.  
  • Volunteering which cannot be done from home can continue in a closed business or venue while it remains closed to the public.

As ever, people should follow social distancing guidance while volunteering outside the home, or COVID-secure guidance if in a workplace. While travelling to volunteer or while volunteering, people should follow the safer travel guidance on GOV.UK. GOV.UK guidance setting out how volunteering can be done safely during coronavirus is up to date with the current restrictions. This includes guidance for volunteers and for organisations/groups which involve volunteers in their work. 
Volunteering Summit
Wednesday 19 May, am, hosted by KVA 
This will be an opportunity to celebrate and thank local volunteers, especially new ones and informal ones, for their hard work, and to inspire and connect volunteers with each other and with local projects that started during Covid, or are about to start once we are out of lockdown. If you or a volunteer in your green group would like an invitation to this Summit, please ask Marilyn for more details. 

KEF Events

Our second pilot discussion on cross-cutting local green issues of general interest is a timely one - if local green groups are to organise a GreenZone this year, we will have to start planning and act soon. After this, we hope to run quarterly discussions (avoiding the months when KBN hold theirs, so the next on will probably be at the end of August), maybe even IRL, with the aim of bringing us together, communicating and coordinating with each other better, and reminding ourselves of what we share as a community. Ideas for themes and offers of speakers welcome.

GreenZone 2021?
Wednesday 26 May, 6.30pm - 8.00pm, free, on-line via Zoom 

Local green groups enjoyed GreenZone in 2018 and 2019, and missed it greatly last year. Could we revive it later this year? A panel of GreenZone experts and enthusiasts, led by Alison Whybrow of Transition Town Kingston, will initiate an on-line discussion on reviving the one-day GreenZone event. Come along to join in with ideas and offers. There will also be an opportunity to share other local environmental news and updates in an Open Forum at the end, and the evening will end at 8.00pm at the latest. Book your free place via Eventbrite and you will be sent the Zoom link shortly before the event. 
Local green organisations, please make sure you are still members of the KEF website and that someone interested will pick up our messages, so that you can contribute and be consulted as and when relevant. New organisations and/or new group representatives are welcome to join too, by clicking the Join Website button at the top of the KEF Home page. And have a look at the website and Facebook page occasionally - there may be a question or issue for you to take up. 

Individuals, there is almost certain to be an organisation or person in the group who can answer your eco-questions or take up local environmental issues or send you in the right direction, so do use the Facebook page to share these. If KEF (or one of the organisations that feature in this newsletter, many of which are KEF members) can’t help, we almost certainly know someone who can. And you don't need to join KEF’s website to access its useful information and resources. 

If you’d like to write something on a green theme that is too long for this newsletter or too broad for more specialist green groups, please send it to us for possible publication in KEF’s blog. 
Website Website
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Local sowing and growing

Kingston community garden news  

Hogsmill Community Garden 

We're fundraising for an exciting collaboration with architecture students at Kingston University to design two spaces: a sheltered workspace and a children's den/hideaway. Design work will be complete by summer, and installation planned for Spring '22. With the design and labour taken care of, we need to raise money for materials. All donations, no matter how big or small, will help turn the drawings into reality. We are hoping to hold and Open Day soon.
On Swan Path, Vineyard Close

Canbury Community Garden

There's been a surprising need for watering this spring, so we are delighted to be able to welcome a few more helpers, including the ever-helpful GoodGym, as and when Covid restriction ease. We will also need to do some work on our pond soon.
     The chicken lockdown has also eased a bit so we now have their help with raking and weeding on a couple of empty raised beds (see left). We are hoping to re-home some rescue chickens soon.
Muddy Toddlers 2021 at Canbury Community Garden: we hosted two well-attended, socially spaced meet-ups for parents and carers eager to restart the informal Muddy Toddlers play-group, and their first messy play session was on 26th April. There is a new Facebook group and a WhatsApp. group just for Muddy Toddlers' parents and carers. 
Between Canbury Gardens, Kingston Riverside [tennis] Club and Kings’ Passage - current access only via our Canbury Gardens gate near the bandstand.
Facebook - Hogsmill Community Garden Facebook - Hogsmill Community Garden
Facebook - Canbury Community Garden Facebook - Canbury Community Garden

Kingston Permaculture Reserve/ Edible Forest Garden

is a food forest planted for the long term with perennial edible flowers, veg and fruit, details on our website. We are there most Sundays and a weekday evening when there's light - please contact us to check as the gates to the allotment site are locked.
Knollmead Allotments, Tolworth
Website - Edible Forest Garden Website - Edible Forest Garden
Facebook - KPR Facebook - KPR


Eco-op/Mencap socially distanced garden working party
Sat 8 May, 10.00am – 2.00pm, Searchlight Community Centre garden,
Kingston Road, New Malden KT3 3RX

If you would like to help, please register your interest with Leeni on 07730193694 or Chris on 07947574123, bring your own gloves, boots and mask. Covid regulations will be observed. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, donations of seeds or tools welcome. Find out more about Eco-op.


Regular gardening sessions

See Facebook pages to confirm times and numbers allowed before turning up.

Useful resources for gardeners           

We believe in giving people ‘permission’ to be brilliant because everyone can be brilliant if they are given the support and encouragement.  This permission enables people to create the futures they want to see for themselves and that of their communities, on their own terms. 
A recent project is this mural on the Tolworth roundabout
Website Website
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KBN exists to highlight and promote local conservation work in Kingston. 


Urban Rewilding discussion in April 
Ben from Citizen Zoo and Adam from Davies White gave two fascinating talks on rewilding - KBN thanks them and everyone who attended. If you missed it or would like to watch it again, here’s the video.

Click on an icon below for news of more conservation activities around Kingston - get involved or set up a project of your own.

Coming up

The next KBN meeting will be on the 14th July.

Regular events

Every Wednesday is Wildlife Wednesday on the RBK social media feeds, with a  small factoid about local wildlife recently on those winter visitors, redwings.  
Every Monday there’s a Reading Nature session with the Library Service on their social media - a short video encouraging people to go outside and explore green spaces to find wildlife

See the website or Facebook page for other KBN activities
Website Website
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Habitats & Heritage acts for the natural and historic environment in south and west London. In a time where the health of our environment and each other has never been more important, and never more interlinked, we invite readers to support our work by signing up to join the new Habitats & Heritage Supporter Scheme today for just £10 a year.

Small changes can make a big difference to how warm your home is and how much energy you use, helping you to play your part in reducing CO2 emissions and reducing your bills. We've put together some tips for you to download and share
Click on the icons below for news and information from Habitats & Heritage, and sign up for our newsletter to hear about all the news, opportunities and events from the Habitats & Heritage community. If you were signed up for SWLEN's newsletter, your subscription will be transferred.
Website Website
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 Berrylands Nature Reserve


Read our blog: after every event or when there is some exciting news about our nature reserve or local green space, we try to write a quick blog post to let everyone know. We love feedback and ideas so please do keep in contact by emailing us  or via social media. 

Regular events 

See website and Facebook page.
Website Website
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Instagram Instagram

XR Kingston   



For XR Kingston meetings, actions, film shows coming up check Events on the Facebook page. 

News from the XR network

Jury acquits Extinction Rebellion protesters despite ‘no defence in law’
Six activists cleared of causing criminal damage to Shell’s London headquarters in 2019. One of the accused commented: “This is such a significant victory for the consciousness of the British people when it comes to the huge, immediate threat of climate change and the absolute failure of our government to do anything meaningful about it.” Read more.

The UK Rebellion Of One team has decided to  move the action date to 1st May, the second anniversary of the UK Parliament declaring a Climate and Environment Emergency.

News from global Extinction Rebellion here. Read the latest London XR news and sign up for the e-newsletter here.  
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Kingston Council news                        

Let's Talk 
Now on Kingston Council's Let's Talk portal, a consultation on local grass verges / wildways. 

Business Vehicle Survey: Calling all Kingston businesses!
The Council want your views on vehicle tracking systems, electric vehicles and e-cargo bikes. The information gathered will help the Council bid for funding and grants to help us all make the transition to sustainable transport methods. Take the survey.

Go Solar Together
Do you want to save on your energy bill and generate your own clean electricity? Having your own solar panels can be an intelligent investment; not only can you save on your energy bill, but you will be powering your home with clean energy. Kingston Council are working in partnership with the Mayor of London to make the transition to clean energy as cost effective and hassle-free as possible, as is part of Kingston Council’s commitment to climate action. Visit to find out more and register for free to receive a highly competitive, personal recommendation for this newly launched group-buying scheme.


Transition to a Green Economy: Business Growth Opportunities
Tuesday 11 May, 10.30am - 12.30, on-line

Roundtable discussion hosted by Kingston Council  - find out more and register here
See the Council's recently redesigned website for the latest news.

 Money, money, money... 

The Boost Choose Now Change Lives programme
Grants between £1,000 and £10,000 to support a range of community groups and organisations. Open to all non-profit organisations, They are calling for all community sports clubs, community action groups, youth work, music groups and food banks to nominate themselves. Find out more, deadline: 9 May, 18 July or 26 September. Other funding opps via Semble.

DPD Eco Fund
The Eco Fund is funded by DPD's circular economy initiative to protect the environment. Anyone can apply for funding from the DPD Eco Fund, although we particularly encourage schools and educational facilities across the UK working on green projects with their students and start-up companies working on developing environmentally friendly products to apply. The Eco Fund has donated over £200,000 to worthy sustainable projects since it started in January 2020. Scroll down here to get details of the DPD Eco Fund and apply.

Nature notes   

Love your local trees? Become a tree warden  
Play an active role in conserving and enhancing the trees that you see and enjoy in your community - if you would like to get more involved in looking after your local trees, find out more here

Welcome to Pallets2birdboxes
A new enterprise in Kingston "Pallets2birdboxes recycles pallets and creates handmade wooden bird boxes for various species of bird, hus reducing waste and helping nature at the same time."

A More Natural Capital
In May London elects a new Mayor and Assembly; London National Park City has teamed up with other leading London organisations to call on candidates to get behind a joint manifesto, A More Natural Capital.
Plant trees
Trees for Cities urge us to join their campaign to build #HealthierCities, and remind us that “urban trees are superstars: they’re havens for wildlife, clean our air, provide shade, improve our mental wellbeing and so much more...During lockdown a lot of people found joy in rediscovering nature and enjoyed less trafficked and polluted roads, but air pollution is still a huge problem in the UK. Sadly, about six million people aged over 65 in England are at high risk of lung damage and asthma attacks because of toxic air, according to a new report

Rewild My Street provides guidance for people wishing to adapt their homes, gardens and streets to encourage wildlife - and stop cities going grey. Find out more.  

News from the verge - what’s happening where?
Plantlife’s  map highlighs the positive progress being made on our verges. …and for greenspaces, check out the No Mow May page and join the 2021 Great British Wildflower Hunt. Lots more on Plantlife’s website.

UK’s native woodlands reaching crisis point, report warns
The drive to plant more trees will count for little if existing woods are lost, says Woodland Trust.


 No Mow May
All May, somewhere near you, we hope
Join legions of gardeners and say “no” to the mow this May to help our bees, butterflies, wildlife and us! Plantlife’s #NoMowMay campaign doesn’t ask you to do much. In fact, it asks you to not do anything at all… Just lock up your lawnmower on May 1st and let the wild flowers in your lawn and on our grass verges bloom, providing a feast of nectar for our hungry pollinators. And if you’re really keen and want to rewild all summer, try #LetItBloomJune and #KneeHighJuly

National Hedgerow Week
Sat 29 May – Sun 6 June
The Tree Council says: "The past year has highlighted to many of us just how essential our local green spaces are, and hedgerows are an oft-overlooked natural treasure. They are wonderful wildlife habitats, provide uplifting greenery and can even help tackle climate change. But to thrive, they need our care and attention. Join this nationwide celebration and get access to resources, inspiration and activities that we can all do to close the gaps in our urban and rural hedgerows. Save the date and stay tuned to find out how to get involved! The Close the Gap hedgerow programme is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund."

Useful websites and apps for nature-lovers

Friends of Ham Lands work with local naturalists to preserve and enhance the natural habitats of Ham Lands, a Local Nature Reserve right next to Kingston. You can read the latest issue of their newsletter here and previous issues on the Newsletter page.
Citizen Zoo - a social enterprise dedicated to rewilding in the UK – sign up for their newsletter highlighting lots of lovely rewilding news and events.
The London Natural History Society Virtual Natural History Talk series brings together naturalists, experts and specialists via Zoom. Talks are recorded and you can catch up with them here
The Seek app uses your smart phone to identify the plants and animals all around us, and can make the daily walk much more interesting.  
BirdNET can identify 984 of the most common bird species of North America and Europe. from song recorded on your phone.
UK Bird Sounds
Backyard Nature.

Waste matters

NEW: Surbiton Virtual Charity Shop
Donate and find useful stuff on-line, in aid of the Woodland Trust.
Welcome to two new zero waste enterprises in our borough
Sage's Health Store, Brighton Road, Surbiton, and Refillogic, Ewell Road, Surbito, “ a reasonably priced zero waste shop with plastic free, reusable and refillable ... beauty, kitchen and home products in store, carefully selected to be sustainable, toxin-free and ethical."

Retask the Mask - in Kingston
Retask the Mask is designed to tackle Covid-19's growing mountain of PPE waste and to give a new purpose to single-use facemasks (all too familiar to Kingston litter-pickers!) by recycling the plastic into litter-pickers (the tools, not the people), initiating a global clean-up effort. You can now drop off your used, single-use facemasks at Wilko's, Kingston, where there is a dedicated box on the left as you walk into the store.
Recycle those pill packs
TerraCycle now collects pill packaging for recycling into reusable raw materials using its unique recycling process – preventing empty blister packs spending a lifetime in landfill. Find out more and find a collection point.
While you're waiting for Stitch in Time to return...
You might like Repair What You Wear "a unique, free to access website that teaches and inspires anyone to easily mend their own clothes. At a time when people are increasingly aware of the importance of reducing waste as well as saving money, Repair What You Wear gives people easy to use techniques and skills to mend their own clothes.” Just like Stitch in Time but on-line!

Greenpeace petition on exporting plastic waste 
The UK produces more plastic waste per person than almost any other country in the world - second only to the USA. But because we can't cope with it, the government is allowing it to be dumped on other countries - and they can't cope with it either. Greenpeace asks us to call on the government to stop dumping our waste abroad and fix the plastic crisis


Lush Litter-Pick
Saturday 15 May, all day, join in whenever suits you, Kingston Market Place

For litter-pickers, regular or novice, who’d welcome company (it can be a rather solitary pursuit!) Lush is organising a community litter-pick in central Kingston. If you can bring your own rubbish bags and/or litter pickers that would be ideal, but anyone needing gloves on the day can get some from the Lush Kingston store, where there will also be handwashing facilities. You can tag @lushkingston on Instagram while photographing the litter-picking to encourage others to participate. Lush will be posting about it leading up to the event and on the day.

Energy and transport news

Another blow to Heathrow expansion?
Business travellers are planning to cut future flights, a poll reported in The Guardian found: only a third of business flyers expecedt to return to same level of air travel as before coronavirus pandemic.

France has moved one step closer to banning short-haul flights in an attempt to fight the climate crisis as a bill prohibiting regional flights that could be replaced with an existing train journey of less than two and a half hours was passed by the country's National Assembly in April. Read more. 

Good news on the Local Energy Bill
The Local Electricity Bill recently reached 250 supportive MPs - so over half of all backbench MPs are now on board, with the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats officially backing the Bill. Read more: Streets could become their own energy companies by sharing solar panels, under plans being looked at by MPs.

Help to promote community energy projects
Repowering London has started a research project with London South Bank University to find the best ways to talk about our community energy projects. Please take 5 minutes to fill in this anonymous survey to help us to understand how to promote projects in the future, and share the link with your friends. 

A US Green Grid by 2035?
A new report, featured in Bloomberg Green, says the US is halfway there.
Star-gazers pinpoint light pollution and wasted energy
CPRE’s annual citizen science event showed a 10% drop in the worst light pollution during lockdowns – and more of us enjoying truly dark, star-filled skies. Check out the light pollution levels in Kingston (we didn’t do very well) on CPRE’s interactive map that shows how your local star-hunters got on.
See also item on Solar Together in Kingston Council news.

Energy event

Free Webinar – Renewable energy: community and commercial
5 May, 7.30pm, on-line

CAT hosts commercial renewable energy expert Bethan Edwards and community energy expert Rod Edwards offering insights from the ground on how we can power a Zero Carbon Britain. 
Find out more and book.

Climate crisis updates  


'Every choice matters': can we cling to hope of avoiding 1.5C heating?
The Australian Academy of Science warns that limiting global heating to the Paris goal is now ‘virtually impossible’. Is it right? Read on (and the next item provides one reason).  
China’s coal use offsets global cuts

A big increase in coal-fired power stations opening in China offset all the closures in the rest of the world last year, a report says. Coal plants with a collective capacity of 37.75 gigawatts were retired globally last year, with the US shutting down 11.3 gigawatts and the European Union 10.1 gigawatts, according to analysis by Global Energy Monitor, a group that monitors fossil fuel trends. The total reduction was close to the record of 37.8 gigawatts that closed in 2015.

The climate mitigation gap
An academic article explores the gap between education and government recommendations and the most effective individual actions.  
CO2 levels in the atmosphere
Weekly averages: 4 April 2021: 419.28 ppm; this time last year: 416.64 ppm; 10 years ago: 393.00 ppm; pre-industrial base: 280; safe level: 350
Atmospheric CO2 reading from Mauna Loa, Hawaii (part per million). Source: NOAA-ESRL
     Scientists have warned for more than a decade that concentrations of more than 450ppm risk triggering extreme weather events and temperature rises as high as 2C, beyond which the effects of global heating are likely to become catastrophic and irreversible. Read more about The Guardian’s weekly carbon count.

Useful resources

Recommended by The Climate Coalition
The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, “a non-profit organisation that supports informed debate on energy and climate change issues in the UK.”
 Carbon Brief “ UK-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy. We specialise in clear, data-driven articles and graphics to help improve the understanding of climate change...”
CarbonCopy's brilliantly designed map showing us the level of climate ambition from councils across the country - from places that have not yet declared a climate emergency to places targeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Off-set your carbon footprint...
It is estimated that an average UK household emits around four tonnes of CO₂ each year. Even if you’ve pared your carbon footprint  down to the minimum, there will still be carbon dioxide emissions associated with your everyday life. The World Land Trust Carbon Balanced calculators enable you to calculate how much – and then offset it with a donation towards tree-planting and conservation projects around the world. If that’s not your thing, there are other ways to offset – tell us your favourites.

What is COP26, How does it work, Why is it important? A short explanatory video on YouTube

Climate Outreach’s How to have a climate change conversation – Talking climate.

Want to take action on climate change, but don’t know where to start? Possible has divided their campaigns across five key areas where we can all take action to tackle the climate crisis. Click the buttons on Possible’s website to find out what you can do right now to help.

Food, glorious food...

The Good Food Co-op
A Kingston not-for-profit enterprise championing local, spray-free, ethically sourced, seasonal, healthy food for all. The profits from every full price veg or fruit box subsidise a box for someone local in need. Find out more and order a veg or fruit box.

Look out for this new sustainable grain
Chef Ángel León has discovered that seagrass seeds have 50% more protein than rice – and the plant stores carbon far faster than a rainforest. Read more.


We read the reviews so you don’t have to... (We haven’t read or watched everything in this section, but we think they all sound interesting.) 


The spring edition of Kingston's magazine for ethically-minded people who live, work and play in the borough and the surrounding area is just out. Look out for it around Kingston, or read it on-line by clicking on the picture on the right. 

The Fragile Earth: Writing from the New Yorker on Climate Change
Read an interview with the editor David Remnick or watch an interview on YouTube on why climate change is even more devastating than the pandemic. 


The mainstream media focus on the climate crisis in two new series:
Climate Change: Ade on the Frontline, BBC 2
Ade Adepitan travels to the frontline of climate change, discovers how life is being affected by what he aptly calls our “cycle of self-harm”, and seeks potential solutions. Catch up here.

Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World, BBC1
Greta Thunberg takes a year off school to explore the science of global warming and challenge world leaders, by calling for more action, fewer words, on climate change. Her world tour brings her very close to Kingston in the second episode, when she meets Sir David Attenborough at Petersham Nurseries! Catch up here.

The Year Earth Changed, Apple TV+
Sir David Attenborough's new documentary on the impacts of lockdown on nature. Find out how to see it here.

Gresham College lectures on Intergenerational Justice
“Edmund Burke's remark that ‘society is but a contract between the dead, the living and those yet to be born’ has a potentially radical edge as both COVID-19 and climate change protests have shown us...” Three lectures by Prof Martin Daunton consider how different societies over time have grappled with these issues, and point to solutions. 



39 Ways to Save the Planet

BBC Radio 4, in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society, presents 39 ideas to relieve the stress that climate change is exerting on the planet. (and on us!). In each 15 minute episode Tom Heap meets the people behind a fascinating idea to cut the carbon. Find out more.

Dare to Repair
Radio 4's new series Dare to Repair explores why electronic gadgets and household goods don’t last and are hard to repair and what’s being done to fix the problem, and how UK citizens have become the worst consumers in Europe of single-use goods.

5 Gyres on Plastic Pollution 1: Slander, Distraction, and Mission Drift
To celebrate Earth Day/Month, 5 Gyres has launched a new podcast to explore ideas and stories from the plastic pollution movement. You can to listen in on conversations with some of the leaders in our industry as we uncover new ways to tackle this global issue. Listen to the first recorded conversation, on Slander, Distraction, and Mission Drift

Regular updates on all things environmental 

Most of them will send environmental news direct to your inbox:
The Independent environment news  
The Guardian environment news and The Guardian’s weekly Green Light email.
The BBC environment news
The Ecologist, currently celebrating its 50th year; its impressive archive includes the landmark A Blueprint for Survival (1972) outlining the need for a serious economic and environmental overhaul
Fix the Planet - New Scientist’s monthly dose of climate optimism


More things we like this month   

What else is happening soon?

National Walking Month
May, wherever you are

Living Streets wants everyone to pledge to #WalkThisMay, and to let them know how many short journeys (of around one mile or 15-20 minutes) you plan to walk each week during National Walking Month. They’ll then show you how many miles you'll walk, how many calories you'll burn and how much CO2 you'll save across the month compared to driving those trips. Find out more and enter the prize draw.

Stir to Action’'s Spring 2021 New Economy Programme
Mid-March to mid-June, on-line

Featuring more than 20 webinars and workshops - find out more here.  

George Monbiot: Dying from Consumption
Monday 17 May, 7.00 – 9.30pm , YouTube

An evening with George Monbiot in association with Resurgence & Ecologist magazine and The Ecologist including talks, music, video... Find out more and get tickets.
The Science Museum
Open from Wednesday 19 May 

If you would like to visit this summer, book a free ticket in advance. You might like to visit the exhibition on the technology and nature-based solutions being developed to trap carbon dioxide—from conserving ancient woodlands, to installing processes that prevent carbon dioxide leaving power stations and factories (but, oh dear, the exhibition is sponsored by Shell - so is it just greenwash?).

How To Build a Better World For All
Mark Carney In Conversation with Matthew d’Ancona
Tuesday 25 May, 6.30pm - 7:30pm, on-line

“The former Bank of England governor has created a ‘handbook for 21st century leaders, policymakers and everyone who wants to build a fair and sustainable world” (Christine Lagarde). He joins 5 x15 to share his insights on the three major crises of credit, climate and Covid, and set out a framework for the change needed for an economic and social renaissance in a post-Covid world. Tickets and Info here. 

Give Earth a Rest Day
Saturday 5 June 

An anti-waste campaign started in Kingston and rapidly expanding, with a Facebook page where people share ideas about living less wastefully. Get ready – what changes could you make for the day?  Whatever and however many, please share them on the GEAR Facebook page – it will give others some ideas and make it more likely that you stick with your plans! Find out more here.

The Big Lunch
Weekend of 5 - 6 June, somewhere near you

The Big Lunch is your chance to celebrate community connections and get to know one another a little better  - join in online, on your doorstep, or over the fence. It's on. Sign up for a pack of tips and ideas from the Eden Project on hosting your own event in whatever way you want to do it. 

Clean Air Day 2021
Thursday 17 June

For the fifth year, the theme for the campaign is “protect our children’s future... leave the car at home, hold knowledge sharing online events, share information and inspiration on social media and ensure that the demand for clean air is heard across the media to protect our children.” Find out more and join in.  
The Great Big Green Week
 18 - 26 September

The Climate Coalition invites  communities like ours to host thousands of events and activities across the UK, an opportunity to raise the profile of climate change and how it is impacting the people and places we love here in Kingston and across the world. Together we can show our communities, local decision makers and the UK government that it’s time to step up. Find out more.

Kingston Voluntary Action events and training

Affordable / free training, designed specifically for the voluntary sector - topics from First Aid to Crowdfunding + some tailor-made ones just for you.  KVA also offer free easy to use websites to community groups. Find out more here.
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