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Environment News


January 2023

                        Welcome to this month's joint

Kingston Green Diary, JANUARY

A selection of upcoming local green activities - see also group sections for regular meetings and other activities.

31 January, Transition Town Kingston core group meeting + Green Drinks

4 February Transition Town Kingston Repair Cafe launch


Regular gardening opportunities

Regular conservation volunteering

What else is happening soon?

The pandemic is not yet over and there will be seasonal flu and colds as well, so we recommend that you continue to look at websites or social media before setting out to confirm that events are happening and to check requirements intended to keep you and others safe. Check the current Covid news and rules for Kingston here.

Wishing all our readers a happy and green 2023. If you've had enough of eating and drinking too much, scroll down or use the Contents list below to find something green and/or energetic to do this winter.

As always, local news and activities come first in the newsletter and within sections - and most of the local groups below have their own websites, social media and newsletters, so, if you are particularly interested in any of them, follow their links to find out more and join in their activities. If you'd like more news from elsewhere, try some of the sources listed here.

Notes to contributors

Next month's issue and events will probably clash with Christmas and New Year, so may well appear earlier than usual and be reduced in content, with less time for collating, reminding and editing - so please make sure your sections are updated and get your copy in promptly.

If you normally contribute items to this newsletter, or would like to, and haven’t heard from us recently, please (re-)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!  Make sure you receive the newsletter too by adding yourself to the subscribers list too - sign up here. You can update your own or your organisation's contact details in these lists or unsubscribe at any time.
     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 usually go out just before 1st of next month. 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 have problems viewing this newsletter, please click the link at the very top of this page to see it in your browser.


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!  Regular items in grey boxes change more slowly than News sections and may be of most interest to new readers. You can fast forward to the sections that interest you, but don't miss out by skipping too selectively! 

This is the monthly newsletter of:
Kingston Environment Centre and
Transition Town Kingston
Other local green groups: 
Save the World Club
The Kingston Hive
Kingston Biodiversity Network
Kingston Cycling Campaign
Full Cycle
Habitats & Heritage
Kingston Friends of the Earth
XR Kingston
The Community Brain
Ham United Group
Kingston Community Gardens
Kingston Environment Forum 
Sunray Recycle
Green themes and campaigns, local, national and global:
Campaigning together
Have your say
Green Volunteering
Climate crisis updates
Kingston Council news
Money, money, money
Nature notes & Events
Waste matters & Green ads
Sustainable energy and transport
Food, glorious food
Reviews & Updates on all things environmental
More things we like this month
What else is happening soon?
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram


Community Fridge
KEC’s communiyt fridge, thanks to funding from the Co-op, is open every Friday from 11.00am -1.00pm, helping to keep food out of landfill as well as providing some little extras when household budgets are being squeezed. The most common food items are bread, croissants, pastries, bananas, plus a small supply of fresh organically grown vegetables from our Hong Kong friends Yu Wing and Perle.  

Future plans
If you have any ideas for talks, workshops or other activities please get in touch. Likewise, if you would like to hire KEC for your own event you can hire the whole building (apart from the office and studio) for £15 per hour for non-members and £8 per hour for members - a real bargain!

Coming up soon

Usually at the end of January, tbc - keep an eye on KEC media.

Regular events at KEC 


Square 1 Café 
Saturdays, 12.00 midday – 4.00pm. KEC  
A free and friendly drop-in café for “social recovery from Covid-19 and life generally” started up at KEC in October - a safe, inclusive space, where everyone is welcome, and everything is free. If you have any questions, please contact Tony Williams

Stitch & Chat
2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings every month

Volunteer gardening at KEC
Thursdays from 9.30 - 12.00, Saturdays from 10.00am - 2.00pm. 

Any gardening volunteers, experienced or not, are welcome to join us - the Square1 café will supply any volunteers with a free lunch and drinks. For details of plant sales and ‘Pottering with Pots’ events see our Facebook page. If you see our side gate open (mainly on Thursdays and Saturdays) you are welcome to pop in and pick up something we have grown.

Kingston Cycling Campaign meetings
First Tuesday of the month from 7.30pm
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.


Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter

News and Events

TTK's Repair Cafe project group is now meeting weekly to undertake the many actions needed, including a booking system, organising kit and storage, risk assessments and insurance... before opening in Kingston Library's new community space on the first Saturday of February, and monthly after that. See occasional updates on our TTK repair cafe here and the international Repair Café website, which TTK has joined, to find out more about the repair cafe movement. And/or read this item from BBC News about similar projects in Wales,
     Do you like fixing things? if you or someone you know would be interested in joining others to share skills and experience and "do stuff" (to use Transition terminology) to help others in the community and keep usable items out of the waste system, please have a look at our information for volunteers. Repair Cafes are sociable events with tea/coffee and cake for volunteers and visitors, so we hope the sessions will be fun as well as worthwhile.

TTK Energy Group news
Members of TTK’ Energy Group have been busy this month: running three “Stay warm, Cut Costs” sessions at The Kingston Hive; and discussing “ Heat pumps and other scary (but energy-efficient) things...” with a small but very interested group in Kingston Library.
     They also highlighted the opportunity for more hydro-power schemes along the river in their response to the River Thames [flood alleviation] Scheme consultation. Their letter makes an excellent case for "the integration of small-scale hydro power generation at the Teddington and other weir structures within the River Thames Scheme, including Sunbury and Molesey". As well as submitting it to the consultation, they will be sending the letter to to relevant national and local government officials and copying it to local MPs, relevant councillors and others.. You can read the full letter here - feel free to support it wherever and to whoever you can! 
     Keep an eye on the Energy Group webpages and scroll down this newsletter for updates and useful links on keeping warm without breaking the bank. The EG was asked recently how to find reliable installers, maintenance services, energy advice...  and so we have recently updated and extended the EG’s web-page of advice on designing and retrofitting for energy efficiency.  

Regular TTK events and ongoing activities

TTK core group meetings, followed by Green Drinks 
Last Tuesday every month
 at 6.30pm,  with Green Drinks at 7.30pm, Spring Grove pub, Bloomfield Road, KT1 2SF: back on Tuesday 31 January.  
All welcome, but check TTK Facebook page for changes before setting out. We welcome new Transition ideas and projects, so if you have something you'd like to offer under the TTK umbrella please visit our website to see if your idea would fit into TTK's aims and ethos and do let us know. Notes from these meetings are normally published on the website once confirmed as accurate at the following month's meeting.

TTK Energy Group meetings
1st Tuesday morning of every month, some on-line, some IRL - contact Peter to find out more.

Canbury Community Garden
Weekend gardening sessions - all welcome, even in the winter, to come along for healthy outdoor exercise, to plant and get their hands dirty... See Community Gardens section below.

Kingston's green history
One project TTK started recently is to try to compile a history of environmental activism in Kingston. Green activities in our borough go back a long way, and we think it would be interesting and worthwhile to create a timeline to capture stories before they are lost, as well as helpful to current green groups as a source of inspiration and experience. Do please get in touch if you can share dates, photos, memories...

Helping the local community to find outdoor volunteering opportunities
TTK has begun to  create a draft web-page of outdoor volunteering opportunities in the borough, so that people can find somewhere near them where they can grow food in a community garden or look after nature in a conservation project, sharing skills while getting healthy exercise and meeting new people. If your project is there, please check that the information and links are accurate and send a logo or picture to include; if your outdoor project is not featured help us to complete the picture by sending the info listed here.  

Kingston Green e-Directory logoLooking for, or wanting to publicise, a local green enterprise? Try TTK's Kingston Green e-Directory. Local businesses and consumers are also invited to help us keep the Directory up-to-date and accurate.

Transition News and Events

Transition London & SE Hub Online Meet- Ups
more Transition activities, discussions and events in London and the S E on Facebook.

Transition Together web-links
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter

Campaigning together 

"If working apart we are a force powerful to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it." Sir David Attenborough, COP26.


Please tell us about local and national green campaigns we should highlight in this section. See the Have Your Say and Kingston Council sections and look out for Megaphone Man for more opportunities. Please take action - if not us, who? 

Living Streets Better Crossings campaign
"Living Streets believes that pedestrians don’t just deserve Better Crossings – we believe that they are essential to encourage more people to walk and wheel local everyday journeys. Our streets need to be designed around people not just vehicles - waiting time can be a relatively simple and effective thing to improve. Together we can campaign for changes to crossing times in 2023. If this sounds good to you, please support our Christmas Appeal by adding your name to our pledge."

Useful resources for campaigners


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

TheyWorkForYou shows what MPs have been speaking and voting on recently, with a page on the website devoted to recent votes and parliamentary business on the environment),

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.



The Big Move
The move to the warehouse at 18 Southsea Road seems likely to happen in the spring now. To support us, the groups looking for a new home with us, and all those in need in the community who are supported by us at this crucial time, please see our "Big Move" campaign.
Make sure you don’t miss the latest news from us - follow our Facebook page



Coming soon
- keep your eye on our social media or the events tab on our website for details of this and other upcoming events..  

A little bit extra to STWC -

AmazonSmile customers can 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 Works, Station Way, Surbiton, KT5 8LS. We are at the end of the driveway adjoining Berrylands train station - look for the big blue barn doors..



Exciting times – we're now open - and we have the space for a year!

Coming soon

You can see details of our growing and varied programme of events on our website. We'd love to see you at some of our events (calendar view here).


Regular events

Kingston Hive meetings 
Every Tuesday, 7.00pm, at The Kingston Hive

Drop-in sessions
Every Friday, midday to 6.00pm

Find us at Cyclehub, 47-49 Wood Street, Kingston KT1 IUJ (right by Kingston station).

Our core values are recycling and sustainability - we upcycle and recycle cycles.
KBN exists to highlight and promote local conservation work in Kingston. 
Click on an icon below for news of conservation activities around Kingston - get involved or set up a project of your own or see Green Volunteering below.



Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates and new events.
Monthly meetings at
Kingston Environment Centre
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 our Supporter Scheme today for just £10 a year. 


Sign up for H&H newsletters and keep an eye on H&H events for conservation news and volunteering opportunities in and around Kingston and neighbouring boroughs.

XR Kingston   


Join the Rebellion and help to make the politically impossible inevitable. Everyone is invited to rebel for life. Want to get involved? Here’s how!



Read news from Extinction Rebellion here
 Ham United Group (HUG) is a Community Interest Company (CIC) aiming to improve the environment and the quality of life for the people in Ham and Petersham, just next to North Kingston. HUG supports projects and groups that help make our community more sustainable. 


News and Events

For Friends of Ham Lands' monthly volunteering sessions see Green Volunteering or the HUG Events Calendar. You can subscribe to and read previous issues of our newsletter on the Newsletter page.
We believe in giving people ‘permission’ to be brilliant because everyone can be brilliant...


Ongoing activities

Tolworth Station Community Garden
All are welcome to join our upcoming volunteering sessions every Tuesday (10.30am – 1.00pm) and every first Sunday of the month (11.00am – 2.00pm). Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear. If you would like to attend please email Georgia  and check out our Facebook page for updates.

Take a walk - and discover Community Brain’s walking routes highlighting many of our beautiful local nature reserves and parks.

The local branch of FoE - everyone is welcome to help us work towards positive environmental change.


 If you’d like to join and campaign with us, please follow our social media or email us.

See FoE’s Climate Action campaign for info about how Kingston is doing on climate issues and for resources to support local action.

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



Invitation to local green groups
If your local green group is not a member of KEF, or your membership has lapsed for some reason, please contact KEF to (re-)join and help to shape this newly relaunched forum in which local groups can share their concerns and updates with each other and the Council.
KEF's website includes a history of KEF and some useful resources, including a list of local environmental groups. KEF's  Facebook page is for anyone to share environmental news, queries, discussions and campaigns.



See also Waste Matters below.

Regular events

SunrayRecycle volunteer days
Wednesdays, 10.00am - 2.00pm, KT5 9QP
If you would like to come along and sort some hard to recycle waste please send Janine a message on 07886552574 or find us on Facebook.
Plot 55, Sunray community allotment plot volunteer days
Wednesdays or Thursdays depending on lead volunteers' availability, usually 11.00am  - 1.00pm.
Please bring gardening gloves & drinking water. Basic tea making facilities are available. Toilets available on request, but sometimes unavailable. Please email Janine to find out more and follow us on Facebook.

Kingston Community Gardens

Sowing and growing in Kingston

Hogsmill Community Garden 

Winter clearing, tidying and getting muddy continue at the garden. 
For usual opening times, see our Facebook page. Combat winter blues and join us any time or contact Julie for more information.
On Swan Path, Vineyard Close

Canbury Community Garden

Flockdown continues and so our hens are still confined to their run and missing their daily exercise in the Community Garden. We carry on with winter weeding and tidying when the weather permits, and there are still parsnips to harvest.  
Off Canbury Gardens  - current access only via our Canbury Gardens gate near the bandstand and Canbury Secret cafe.

Kingston Edible Forest 2100

is 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


Kingston Environment Centre 

We will be working in the yard and on the community space outside Kingston Environment Centre every Thursday from 9.30 until 12.00 and on Saturdays from 10.00 - 2.00pm. Wear comfortable clothes and stout footwear See Kingston Environment Centre for updates.

Parkfields Community Garden                                                       

Based in a North Kingston allotment site, Parkfields offers a space for people to meet, learn to grow food, create habitats for wildlife, observe nature and play. It is a Permaculture design in progress. As well as an orchard the site has a polytunnel, food growing, skill share and natural play spaces. Volunteer sessions are most Wednesday afternoons and some Saturday mornings. Get in touch if you'd like to join us, and find us on Facebook and Instagram too.

See also

The Community Brain's new community garden in Tolworth.


Good homes for surplus produce
Kingston Crop Drop, the scheme enabling local gardeners, allotments and community gardens, to donate their surplus crops to deserving charities and community groups, is planning to restart soon. The community  groups can collect fruit and vegetables, but would also welcome help with collection and delivery. If you can help now or later please contact Kelvin Foote on 07885736836 or email him. 

Regular gardening sessions

Visit Facebook pages to confirm opening times and health and safety advice before turning up - and check the weather forecast!.

Useful resources for gardeners

Rather than letting this list become ever longer, we move older items to Growing Tips on Transition Town Kingston's website.

Green volunteering

Help TTK to map Kingston's outdoor volunteering opportunities if you run one by visiting the page here 

Berrylands Nature Reserve volunteer sessions
Find out more and sign up

Nature conservation volunteering with Citizen Zoo
Citizen Zoo - volunteer with us!  See also Tolworth Court Farm Field Recorder Days coming up in the next few months in Nature Notes Events.

Friends of Ham Lands volunteer conservation sessions
Come along to help improve the habitat for butterflies. Find out more.

See also -
Volunteering opportunities with Habitats and Heritage and in Kingston's community gardens.

Looking for volunteers? 
Volunteering Kingston is here to help! Volunteering Kingston is the volunteer centre for Kingston. If you are looking  for more volunteers to support your activities or advice on any aspect of involving volunteers we can help: we have a website where you can advertise volunteering opportunities and a resource bank with advice on a range of different topics; we can provide one-to-one advice on Zoom to support you on various topics such as recruitment, retention, reward and recognition, managing difficult situations, and how to organise volunteers when you are an informal group. Please get in touch any time via or 0300 365 9980.


Get Connected
Connected Kingston is a site dedicated to helping Kingston residents find local activities and navigate local services [and local groups to find helpers and participants]. It is run by the Royal Borough of Kingston Council and Kingston Voluntary Action in conjunction with local charities and statutory organisations. Special training is available to anyone who regularly comes into contact with people that may be struggling to navigate or find local activities or services. Our goal is to help residents of Kingston stay happy, healthy and connected to each other. Contact us here and/or register an activity or find something to do.

Nature notes    


Bee the Change for bumblebees this year! Discover lots of planting inspiration and other simple ways to help in the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s FREE resources.

The biodiversity crisis in numbers - a visual guide
Nature is under threat as never before, but what does that actually mean? The Guardian explains what is at stake – and why action at Cop15 (on biodiversity) is more crucial than ever. Read more here.
A UK tree provides hundreds of pounds in benefits a year, report finds
The huge value of trees standing alone and in small groups in the UK has been revealed in a new report, which found that they provide billions of pounds worth of benefits to people every year. The trees capture climate-heating CO2, reduce toxic air pollution and slow the flow of rainwater, cutting flood risks. More here.
See also information about the Tree Council's  Branching Out Fund in Money, money, money...

BBC Radio 4’s Tweet of the Day
“Discover birds through their songs and calls. Each Tweet of the Day begins with a call or song, followed by a story of fascinating ornithology inspired by the sound.” Catch up here

Upcoming events  

Outcomes of the UN Biodiversity Summit
17 January, 2.30pm, on-line
COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in Montreal, Canada in December under China's presidency. Listen to a panel of experts talking about the outcomes, Find out more and reserve your place

Wild City: Living with Urban Wildlife
18 January, 6.30pm, Conway Hall, WC1R 4RL, and on-line

City-dwellers, it’s time to meet your neighbours. Explore the city where red kites and parakeets thrive alongside bluebell and yarrow, peregrine falcons nest on the ledges of tower blocks and mosquitoes live on the London Underground. Join Florence Wilkinson and Meryl Pugh to consider the ethics of cohabiting and protecting the animal life of the city. Find out more here.  

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
27 - 29 January

Count birds from your balcony, or in your garden or local park to play a vital role in helping the RSPB understand how UK birds are doing. Sign up for your free guide and look out for birds together.
Forest School Leader and Assistant Training 2023 
Mon - Fri , 27 February - 3 March  (with 3 days practical assessment 4-6 months later).
Mon - Fri, 26 - 30 June  (with 3 days practical assessment 4-6 months later).
Mon - Fri, 16 - 20 October (with 3 days practical assessment 4-6 months later).
Wild Workshops for adults / CPD days in nature connection -  featuring special guests & hosted by Maria Sprostranova (Greenwise People).
Sun 22 JanForest School Skills Share with Maria Sprostranova, Forest School Trainer and founder of GreenWise People (Tools and Tarps - Knots, Fire and a splash of cooking over lunch! A day of enhancing all those Forest School skills for adults, empowering you to take groups outdoors and fine tuning all survival skills!)
Fri and Sat 10-11 Feb -  2-day Play Structures CPD with Jon Cree, author, international trainer and FSA Founding Chair (option to only book on day 1, or join only on day 2,  if you have already done day 1 with Jon, or are competent with knots/tools and wish to take things a step further including delving deeper into the Ludic process) 
Forest School for 5-11yr olds, February half-term 2023
16 - 17 Feb, 10am - 4pm, Ham Lands Nature Reserve
Led by Maria Sprostranova & our GreenWise People friends 
🌳Get in touch for more details!
Hang Out In The Woods For Teens & Tweens 10-16yr olds,  February half-term 2023
19-20th FEB 10-4pm at Ham Lands Nature Reserve lead by Maria Sprostranova & our GreenWise People friends 
🌳Get in touch for more details!
GreenWise People operates as a non-for-profit social enterprise and as such wish for all workshops to be inclusive and open to all. Please do get in touch if full payment in full is tricky for you at this particular time - we keep 2 free places for all workshops and keep a number of places at a discounted rate for those who really need the support.
🌳 Further or 07737 644 119 / 020 8541 0415 (Maria)
People’s Walk for Wildlife
Postponed to 2023
because of rail travel disruption. Find out more and join in.

Interesting websites and apps for nature-lovers

London Wildlife Trust protects wildlife across London. 
Surrey Wildlife Trust is a wildlife charity caring for over 6,500ha of land for wildlife in Surrey. 
 Nature on your doorstep - whatever your outdoor space the RSPB offers expert tips and tricks to make it a happier place for you – and the nature on your doorstep. 
Field Studies Council courses
Reading Nature - share your nature visits, experiences and photos from the diverse green spaces across Kingston.
Natural History Museum website - discover British birds and wildlife 
Butterfly Conservation can help you identify butterflies and moths
Froglife has useful information about wildlife gardening, building a pond and much more.
The RSPB’s advice on planting for nature
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 current and previous newsletters on their 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.

Have your say - 

See Campaigning Together and Council News, look out for Megaphone Man in other sections and make sure that environmentalists and nature-lovers are represented - if we don’t have our say the others - bike-hating car-lovers, “weed”-and tree- hating tidy gardeners - will...

On how Kingston should look and feel in the future
The public consultation on the first draft of the Local Plan has started and will run until 28 February 2023. It sets out a vision for the future of the borough up to 2041, including how the Council will seek to manage the London Plan’s housing targets, set by the Mayor of London and central Government policy, and  shops, offices and medical centres, our natural environment and cultural spaces. The documents are available to view and respond to via this link to Kingston Let’s Talk  and paper copies  are available to view at libraries across the borough and at the Council’s main offices at Guildhall 2. The Council wants to know if you support the policies and  if anything is missing or needs changing.

Waste matters


Don't throw it, donate it
Villiers Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre has a reuse container where you can donate pre-loved items rather than throw them away.  Book your slot to visit. And don't forget Freegle, Freecycle and local charity shops.

Recycling in the Bentalls Centre
- Clothing and textile recycling services in H&M and & Other Stories
- Glasses and sunglasses recycling service at Vision Express, which sends all products to the charity Lions Club International, which distributes them across their global network to those in need.
South London Partnership Zero Waste Map  
Find your nearest refill businesses, repair services, second-hand shops, recycling centres and drop-off points, and mending workshops. on the new SLP Zero Waste Map useful. It shows businesses, facilities and workshops within the sub-region that encourage the circular economy by eradicating waste packaging, encouraging reuse, upcycling and repair or offering facilities to recycle goods and materials once they have reached end of life. If you know a business in your neighbourhood that you can’t see in the map, let the SLP know by filling in this form

Ethical Consumer on Climate action: How to increase repairing, upcycling and buying second-hand
Repairing what we already own and buying pre-loved things is one of the best ways we can cut emissions when it comes to our consumption. Read more here - and look out for TTK’s Repair Café, coming soon.  

Support Restart’s Right to Repair UK campaign
Find out more here and sign the petition here.

Climate crisis updates  

COP27 focused minds and the media once again on the climate crisis - a few reminders and things you may have missed follow:


Council Climate Action Scorecards
The Draft Methodology recently published lays out how Council Climate Action will be marking and scoring all UK councils on the actions they're taking towards net zero. The methodology focuses on the actions that councils have control or influence over which have the biggest impact on carbon emissions and biodiversity loss. The Scorecards cover 7 sections, covering a total of 90 questions.
Climate Ed, a charity offering free education to children about climate change and carbon literacy -
is looking for volunteers to train as climate change educators for local schools. This role is ideal for members of local environmental groups. Training will be provided, the only things required are enthusiasm and good communication skills with kids. More info here, and/or email Climate Ed. 

Exeter experts react to COP27
Researchers from the University of Exeter have given their views on the COP27 climate change conference. Read more here

Useful resources

9 things you can do about climate change from Imperial College’s Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment

Climate science center 

Reports on climate change from the New Economics Foundation 

Global heating in graphic form

What is climate change?
The BBC’s really simple guide 
BBC’s Climate news
What is net zero? Plus other climate jargon explained by Positive News. Ever wondered what COP stands for but not dared to ask? Help is at hand.

Environment Now – the facts: the Earth is changing faster than at any point in human memory as a result of human-caused global heating and The Guardian is tracking the changes via the vital signs

What to do? Possible suggests five key areas where we can all take action to tackle the climate crisis.

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.” and 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.

Fossil Free News
There’s so much happening in the climate movement — it can be hard to keep up. Get highlights from campaigns everywhere working for a #FossilFree world, delivered twice a month.
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.

Environment Now – the facts
The Earth is changing faster than at any point in human memory as a result of human-caused global heating and The Guardian is tracking the changes via the vital signs, from carbon dioxide levels to Arctic sea ice, taken from data sources including Nasa, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

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.

See also our Reviews section and Campaigning Together.

Kingston Council news                                                    

The public consultation on the first draft of the Local Plan is open 

See the item in Have Your Say

And the town centre plan
There is still time to take part in the online survey on the 10-year plan for Kingston town centre and the surrounding area. This should be a community-led vision so the Council wants to hear what you love about Kingston and what you think needs to change and improve. Please visit the Let's Talk page. 

Keep warm
Check out the warm spaces page and the new map of warm spaces across the borough on the Council website.

London Mayor’s Warm Homes Programme - still open for applications
People on low income with low energy efficiency houses (find your energy performance here) can get free insulation, heating and ventilation improvements. This will keep your house warm in the winter, but also cooler in a heatwave (remember the summer!) and help tackle climate change at the same time, as houses are one of the biggest sources of emissions. There is also a free service for Kingston residents to help you complete the application process via ThinkingWorks: phone 0800 118 23 27 or email
Peddle My Wheels - try before you bike
The council has partnered with Peddle My Wheels to provide a ‘try before you bike’ scheme which lets people trial a new, or nearly new, bike for a small monthly fee before deciding whether or not to buy it (if you do buy it, you get the money back from the trial period). There is a range of bikes available, from traditional push bikes to electric bikes, folding bikes and cargo bikes.

See Kingston Council's advice on Energy efficient homes and retrofit, including: How to retrofit; Rented properties; Available funding; Where to go for retrofit advice; Success stories...
 See the Council's website for the latest news.

 Money, money, money... 



Tree Council ‘s Branching Out Fund  
If you’re planning to plant trees in your community this coming 2022-2023 winter season, then the Tree Council ‘s Branching Out Fund – deadline extended to 15 January - can help.

Fundraise for your local good cause
Use the Kingston Community Lottery. In the last 12 months good causes participating raised together over £13,000. To get support, please look at the website or use direct telephone contact at 02081 830105, 

The National Lottery Community Fund
Open to applications for grants of various sizes focusing on climate change and nature. "We’re looking for projects that focus on the link between nature and climate. We want to fund projects that use nature to encourage more community-led climate action. We expect these projects to bring other important social and economic benefits, like the creation of strong, resilient and healthy communities or the development of ‘green’ skills and jobs." 

Regular funding sources

Don’t miss funding opportunities for your green group
Got a good idea for a new green project or for improvements to an existing one? Keep an eye on Kingston Voluntary Action’s Funding page and regular Funding bulletins.

Community grants for local initiatives 
Kingston Council's Neighbourhood Community Grants Programme allows community and voluntary sector groups to apply for funding for projects in their neighbourhood or throughout the borough. Applications can be submitted throughout the year, rather than groups needing to apply by a specific deadline. Find out more.

Food, glorious food... 


Sustainable energy and transport

(and cleaner air) 

See TTK Energy Group's section of the TTK website for energy-saving tips - we think these will be increasingly useful as energy bills soar and the weather gets colder.


A hot topic in an energy crisis: how efficiently are you using your boiler?
Size matters, and making sure controls are set for maximum efficiency is key to big savings. Find out how here.

John Lewis and Waitrose to dim lights and cut temperatures to save energy
The John Lewis Partnership predicted that it would overspend on power by £18m without action such as its supermarket chain going to ‘half lighting’. Let’s hope other retailers and businesses follow their example. Read more.
Community Energy Peer Mentoring programme 2022/ 2023

Community Energy London’s Peer Mentoring programme will be running from November 2022 – January 2023, offering community groups and community energy groups in London the opportunity to benefit from free expert advice and support on a wide range of issues, from funding to renewable technologies to delivering energy advice. Find out more.
How organisations can connect the cost of living and climate crises
Messaging This Moment research offers communications tips on  how to talk about the cost of living and climate crises at the same time. Read the advice here.
One Home
“Climate Change is here now. Choices we make every day have an impact. One Home is full of ideas to help you make informed decisions that will benefit you and have a positive impact on the world around us... Visit the One Home website and watch their video on energy-saving tips.

Money Saving Boiler Challenge
Highlighting again this easy climate- and money- saving action. If 10 million households turned down the flow temperature on their combi boilers to 60°c or below this could wipe £1billion off UK energy bills and save 1.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions – the equivalent of nearly six million transatlantic flights. Find out more.  

Energy Saving Trust 
“An independent organisation – working to address the climate emergency” with plenty of advice on topics such as energy at home and low carbon travel. Visit the EST website

BBC advice on how to cut your energy bills
Have a look - there may be something you haven't tried yet. 
Energy-saving and warming homes - more advice
The following websites have a range of helpful advice for those looking to cut their energy use and costs:  CSE reports and energy advice available to download.

And finally - 
The government has at last produced its energy-saving advice, long after almost every other relevant organisation (see above).


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


Simon Schama meets Margaret Atwood, BBC i-Player
They discuss, amongst other things, “their shared admiration for writer Rachel Carson, who played a pivotal role in stirring public consciousness about our fragile relationship with the earth, and how we need to remember her voice now more than ever.” Catch up here.
Skyward, Guardian short film, on-line
"Young birdwatchers Mya and Arjun feel the pressure of climate breakdown and the biodiversity crisis. As two reserved teenagers on the cusp of adulthood, they find comfort in birdwatching... As their passion for nature inspires them to raise awareness of conservation and the climate emergency in their communities, they find themselves and their voices, emerging as local leaders among a new generation of conservationists." Watch it here.

Shed A Light: Rupert Read: "This civilisation is finished: so what is to be done?"
Rupert Read, environmental philosopher and Chair of Green House Think Tank, says it’s time to engage with climate realism, which means an epic struggle to mitigate and adapt, to take on the climate-criminals and, notably, to start planning seriously for civilizational collapse. Filmed at Churchill College in November 2018 - not exactly cheerful viewing but watch it here if you're feeling resilient.  


The Thriving Places Index
The 6th Thriving Places Index (TPI) was published recently and is worth a look. It consists of a set of indicators that measure the local conditions for wellbeing in local authorities throughout England and Wales, including easy-to-read diagrams and maps which show if wellbeing is being delivered fairly and sustainability. See A positive way to measure human flourishing, a full commentary on the TPI.


Unearthed: Journeys into the future of food
Kew's podcast explores our relationship with food: what are we eating? What is it doing to our health and the health of the planet? And how are livelihoods and agriculture changing before our eyes? Listen to episodes here.

Heating the homes of the future, BBC R4
Money Box takes a look at three innovative energy projects changing the way people heat their homes to try to improve efficiency and reduce bills. Listen here.

Regular reading on all things environmental 

Most of these will send environmental news direct to your inbox:
EcoWatch - a community of experts publish quality, science-based content on environmental issues, news,  causes, and solutions for a healthier planet; also on Facebook.
The Independent environment news  
The Guardian environment news and Down to Earth, The Guardian’s free weekly environmental email with the planet’s most important stories – the good, the bad and the essential.
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   

  • Green House think tank, which “aims to lead the development of green thinking in the UK by challenging the ideas that have created the world we live in and cultivating alternatives”.
  • Positive Tipping Points in Practice - resources, videos and useful links (e g, on Global Justice, Food, Business, Doughnut Economics...) 

Things we always like

What else is happening?  

Surviving the Future: The Deeper Dive
9th Jan - 5 Mar 2023
Sterling College's interactive, communal online course is back, led by TTK co-founder Shaun Chamberlin; joined by Rob Hopkins, Vandana Shiva, Mark Boyle and others.  Early enrolment recommended.  Details here.

Greener living: your guide to climate change and leading a more sustainable life
Online course, as and when suits you

This New Scientist expert-led online course shows you easy changes you can make to your life that will have a big impact on the environment and help tackle climate change. Cost £199, find out more.

Kingston Fairtrade Steering Group seeks volunteers
Many will have been aware of this group in the past but has now become dormant - if anyone is interested in restarting it, please contact Peter as there are a few legacy items that could be used

Kingston Voluntary Action events and training
For advice or advice or support for your community group, please complete this form, outlining your support needs and KVA will get back to you as soon as we can to set up a free 45 minute appointment with a relevant member of staff. Keep updated on KVA's training opps by getting onto their mailing list.  KVA also offer free easy to use websites to community groups. Find out more here.
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