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Environment News



to our April 2021 issue 

Welcome to the joint newsletter of Kingston Environment Centre and Transition Town Kingston. Spring is here, lockdown is easing a bit, with further relaxations possible, though "not before 12th April" - so we can hope, though it remains difficult to plan with any certainty!

As always, there is plenty to do or read below, and we've made it easier for you to find what you want by adding a Contents list below - though you may find more interesting things via serendipitous scrolling. 

Do 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 please use this newsletter to promote new local green groups or enterprises – and also to check what is already happening locally and 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 May 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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April 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
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 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 - and there are always green issues to campaign on. At the 2019 Great Green New Year Gathering, hosted by TTK and Kingston Environment Centre, campaigning came top of the suggested joint activities, 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; air pollution; trees and local biodiversity; getting shops to close their doors in winter; supporting active travel, making cycling (and cycles) safer; divesting pensions etc from fossil fuels; recycling bins in public spaces; reducing waste plastic, other...? Please tell us what you’d like us to take up, and help others to join in by providing useful evidence and web-links.

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?

Update on the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

100 Members of Parliament, including both Kingston MPs, now back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. They are the #climate100​, visionary MPs from 8 political parties coming together to demand decisive action on the climate and nature crisis by backing the CEE Bill. On behalf of the individuals, groups, and businesses supporting the Bill, the CEE Bill Alliance thanks them. Find out more about the Bill here

Pressure pays - Cumbria coal mine public inquiry after government U-turn 
A public inquiry has been announced into plans for the first new deep coal mine in the UK for decades. The government had previously decided not to intervene in the project but ministers have taken control because of "increased" controversy. Green campaigners say the mine would increase carbon emissions and send the wrong signal in the run-up to a UK-hosted climate conference in October. so we need to keep up the pressure – you can sign a Greenpeace petition here.

From The Climate Coalition (TCC) 
TCC remind us that the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) is coming our way next year, hosted by the UK in Glasgow on 1st to 12th November. TCC is planning ahead, thinking how to explain the issues and engage the public in the build-up to this important conference. One idea is a Climate Festival of events around the country and a lobby of MPs next summer. TCC will be providing ideas for events big or small – watch this space and get ready to participate and organise in Kingston. Could it perhaps be combined with a revived GreenZone (as in Kingston Carnivals, 2018 and 2019) see KEF event below?  In the meantime, please add your name to the 1000s who've already signed TCC's Declaration.

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
Sunday, 4 April, 11.00am - 4.00pm. outside KEC

Give and take seeds, and/or donate seeds in advance. Donation points around the borough, including community gardens.

Regular events at KEC and on-line

Socially distanced gardening on Saturdays
Hoping to restart soon
Check the Kingston Environment Centre Facebook page
Stitch and Chat on Wednesday evenings 
Virtual sessions on Zoom. 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
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram



"Seed funding" for TTK's Big Seed Giveaway
Kingston Council has awarded TTK some Community Funding for a Covid-safe project: giving away vegetable seeds to novice gardeners to encourage more local people to try growing edibles. During April, 67 free packs containing two varieties of  easy-to-grow seeds, along with some advice about growing, will appear around the borough. That's a lot vegetables, or seeds to share with a friend, though not very many packs, so check the News item on TTK website for more info - and tell your non-gardening friends  to look out for our mini-display boxes (pictured on the left) and get growing.

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.

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 already 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?

Would you like a Library of Things in Kingston?
If you’d like to borrow useful, well maintained things or sponsor a LoT or suggest a suitable venue, please find out more and register your interest on the Library of Things website.

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


On the left, our Nissan electric van with recently added signage.

Wonderful news!
An anonymous donor has gifted us over £10,000 to reach our target of £15,0000. Thank you to each and every donor for enabling us to reach our target. We are at present searching for a van but have decided to leave the fundraising campaign page up as we will need funding to maintain and run the van when purchased, plus it gives anyone an opportunity for to view the history of the campaign.  Keep up with, and donate towards, Save The World Club's excellent work during the pandemic here. 

What's on at The Circulator

Regular events

If you’d like visit the Circulatory or borrow Stitch in Time sewing resources, please contact Des to make an appointment to ensure that physical spacing is maintained, and bring hand sanitiser to use before and after using any kit. 

TTK's Stitch in Time is still waiting for Covid-19 restrictions on indoor activities to be relaxed (May? June?) - watch this space... 


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. Marilyn from KEF gave a brief presentation to the March Steering Group meeting on the need for more green spaces in Kingston – you can read it + a lot of useful notes and references here. This led to a new sub-group putting together a speedy application to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund (deadline mid-April).

We publish occasional updates and useful links on the KEF website

The newly published London Plan 2021 covers many of the areas of interest to KEF: green infrastructure, sustainable infrastructure, transport... and will influence what happens in Kingston.  Read it here. What do you think of it?

NEW: Events

Nudged and assisted by some keen local environmentalists, KEF is piloting a couple of on-line events on the cross-cutting local green issues of general interest that an umbrella group like KEF is well placed to feature. If those go well, we hope to run quarterly discussions, 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. We begin with:

Introducing K-PACE, Kingston's Peoples Assembly on the Climate Emergency    
Wednesday 28 April, 6.30 - 8.00pm(ish), free, on-line via Zoom
In October 2019, Kingston Council declared a Climate Emergency – an ambitious and bold local step towards creating a sustainable way of living. But what next? Bob Bollen and Simon Sinclair will talk about one way forward, Kingston's Peoples Assembly on the Climate Emergency (K-PACE) and answer your questions. After the main presentation, at about 7.30pm, there will be an opportunity to share other local environmental news and updates. Come along to learn more and support or participate or help.  Find more info about the evening and register here to be sent the Zoom link nearer the time.

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

Local green groups enjoyed GreenZone in 2018 and 2019, and missed it greatly last year. Could we revive it later this year? We hope to host a discussion on how, and to harvest your ideas and offers - it can't happen without a lot of energy and help!  As at all KEF events, there would also be an open forum for sharing other local environmental news and updates. Keep the date free and watch this space for more details nearer the time.
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
Facebook Facebook

Local sowing and growing

Kingston community garden news  

Hogsmill Community Garden 

Hooray, spring is here and we will be opening on Saturday 3rd April (maximum 6 people on site). See our page for COVID protection guidelines and risk assessments. The project with Kingston architecture students to build an outdoor shelter and kiddies' den will soon be launched - more info on HCG Facebook age as it progresses, with funding opportunities for costs of materials. See a lovely video about our story and the transformation of our space here.
On Swan Path, Vineyard Close

Canbury Community Garden

Preparations for spring planting have continued, and we will be welcoming more helpers as and when Covid restriction ease. We are also planning for when chicken lockdown ends - though they have plenty of room in their run, they do miss scratching around the yard and we miss their help with raking and weeding.
Muddy Toddlers 2021 at Canbury Community Garden: on 19th March, we held a well-attended, socially spaced meet-up for parents and carers hoping to restart the informal Muddy Toddlers play-group as soon as permitted. The outdoor toys are still there and we plan to have a core group ready to spring into action  - .we are currently discussing how and when in a new Facebook group.  
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. Contact us to check when we are open.
Knollmead Allotments, Tolworth KT5 9QP
Website - Edible Forest Garden Website - Edible Forest Garden
Facebook - KPR Facebook - KPR

Coming soon

Good to Grow Day 2021 
23 - 26 April, somewhere near you
A weekend of action for community gardens and growing networks to celebrate and prepare for the new growing season, promote their activities and encourage to volunteers. Register for Good to Grow Day to access a free resource pack of ideas and materials to help community gardeners run online and in-person events, plus a chance to win £100 with our #GoodtoGrow2021 photo competition.


Regular gardening sessions

Contact gardens via their Facebook pages for times or to make an help. It can be difficult to keep regular sessions going with Covid rules changing so frequently so please check before turning up.

Useful resources for gardeners           


Share your thoughts about Tolworth’s green spaces 
There's still time to respond to Community Brain's community survey to help us understand how you feel about Tolworth's green spaces, what you use them for and if your relationship with them has changed over the past year. 
Website Website
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KBN exists to highlight and promote local conservation work in Kingston. 

Coming up

Urban Rewilding
Wednesday 14 April 


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

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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Instagram Instagram

 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
Facebook Facebook
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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

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                        

Engine off. Every stop.

Kingston Council is encouraging residents and visitors to support Idling Action London’s ‘Engine Off Every Stop’ campaign. Idling Action London, jointly led by City of London Corporation and Camden Council, is a Mayor’s Air Quality Fund project that sees 30 local authorities and City of London Corporation working together to tackle engine idling as a source of avoidable air pollution. Read more on the Council website.  

Electric chargers
Following resident feedback, the council is installing more electric vehicle chargers in the borough, having teamed up with JoJu Charging to provide a network of electric vehicle chargers after a consultation in 2020 asked residents where they would like to see charging points in the borough. The new chargers will use existing street light columns and allow users to charge their electric or hybrid vehicle by plugging a standard charging cable into the column itself. The charge points are being installed with financial assistance from London’s Go Ultra Low Cities Scheme. You can still send in suggestions for further locations to  
Breathing new life into Kingston town centre
Kingston Council is starting to work on plans to renew the historic town centre. As part of this, they are proposing to deliver a brand-new, modern community leisure, well-being, and cultural destination on the site of the Kingfisher Leisure Centre, as well as reviewing the Cattle Market and Guildhall campus. The survey closes on 25th April and you can have your say via or  or emailing
Reimagining the high street  
The Council is keen to hear your ideas about the future uses of high streets across the borough - and it would be nice to have lots of green suggestions. Ideas can be posted at Let's Talk Shop, which will be open for at least three months, with an initial review at the end of March. 
England’s first sewage-powered heating scheme planned for Kingston
More than 2,000 Kingston homes could be heated in opening phase of England’s first low carbon heat scheme for homes; using energy recovered from sewage treatment process, part of ambitious plans from Thames Water to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and Kingston Council to be carbon neutral by 2038. Read more on the Council website.

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.

See the Council's recently redesigned website for the latest news.

 Money, money, money... 

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   

Park larks in the news
BBC London Evening News featured the Friends of Richmond Park’s new video about skylarks, reminding visitors to stay on main paths and keep dogs on leads in the sensitive areas where these popular but threatened ground-nesting birds breed. Watch the film on YouTube
Richmond Park traffic update
Last year The Royal Parks launched a series of traffic-related trials across five parks to reduce the impact of cut-through traffic, improve the park visitor experience and open new spaces for park visitors to enjoy. When they consulted the public at the end of the year, results varied across the parks but overall they indicated support and a desire to see less cut-through traffic in the parks, so the measures will remain for the coming year while TRP monitor additional data before determining whether they should be made permanent. Read the report here. 

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.
National Park City and Front Gardens
National Park City aims to make cities greener, healthier and wilder. As most people's nearest local green space, front gardens have a vital role in this. Find out more.
London National Park City Wiki
The London National Park City is a place, vision and movement. The purpose of this wiki, a collaborative guide to all aspects of the London National Park City, is to benefit readers via a freely accessible guide to the London National Park City. Use it to better understand, enjoy and contribute to the National Park City. Read more on the 11 Pillars of this wiki.

Parklets are what happens when parking spaces are transformed into community spaces, e g, with benches, seats, planters, etc. A London-wide campaign, supported by London Living Streets and by Chris Boardman, promotes parklets as a way of improving public space, reducing pollution, supporting active travel and greening/supporting biodiversity. Find out more/create a parklet somewhere near you.

A reading list from 5x15’s March  Earth Convention discussion on Biodiversity, Natural Capital and Oceans
Planet Paper 5: The economic ecosystem – how businesses, societies and investors can work together 
- Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of the World's Most Mysterious Continent by Gabrielle Walker 
What Nature Does For Britain by Tony Juniper
What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees by Tony Juniper

Nature talk

Bird is the Word with Helen Macdonald, Sam Lee and Bill Bailey
Fri 9 April, 7.30pm, on-line

Three authors share their fascination with birds as part of The British Library’s springtime season on environment The Natural Word. Find out more and book.

Useful websites and apps for nature-lovers

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.

Plastic packaging: which supermarket topped this year’s league table?
Supermarkets still aren't doing enough to reduce plastic - but who's making the most progress? And how has the pandemic changed things? Find out where your supermarket ranks in the latest plastics league table.

Tesco to start recycling soft plastic packaging
The supermarket chain is aiming to establish a nationwide recycling network for harder to process plastics such as crisp packets, pet food pouches and bread bags at stores in England and Wales. Currently most soft plastic ends up in landfill. The recycled material will be used to package food, household and beauty products, Tesco said. Other supermarkets are trialilng similar schemes. Read more.  

See also item on rubbish in Reviews.

"Biodegradable" plastic bags survive three years in sea
Do "biodegradable" plastic bags really biodegrade? These scientists examined the degradation of five of these bags. This is what they found out. Find out more about compostable bags and the difference between compostable and biodegradable bags

Energy news

MPs call the masterplan to help people upgrade the UK’s homes “botched”
The environmental audit select committee says the Green Homes Grant (GHG), which offers people up to £10,000 for insulation, is so inept that it is actually damaging the building sector, and must be urgently overhauled.  It adds that 19 million UK homes are poorly insulated with the UK’s housing stock accounting for 20% of its carbon emissions through heating, hot water and cooking. The MPs  accuse ministers of “failing to grasp" the challenge, and warn that unless urgent action is taken to improve energy efficiency of homes this decade, the UK will fail to meet its climate targets. Read more on BBC News.
See also item on Solar Together in Kingston Council news.

Climate crisis updates


Climate Resilience Needs Community Roots
This “first iteration of the Democratic Climate Model... highlights how strengthening governance, participation, and civil society can unlock climate resilience in cities and regions, now and for future generations.”  Read more here.
Polluters should pay 
Making polluters pay for their emissions is the fairest way to reach net zero at a price society can afford. Zero Carbon is petitioning the Government to put a proper price on pollution, and to use the revenues to support people through the low-carbon transition. 
Scientists need to face both facts and feelings when dealing with the climate crisis
“I was taught to use my head, not my heart. But acknowledging sadness at what is lost can help us safeguard the future...” writes professor of sustainability science Kimberly Nicholas in The Guardian 

Sir David Attenborough's speech to the UN Security Council
Sir David Attenborough outlines the action needed by all countries at COP26 to tackle the threat of climate change - watch here.

How to get to Zero Carbon
The Centre for Alternative Technology’s Zero Carbon Britain research reports show that we can create a zero carbon Britain using only proven technology. Reports include: a technical scenario modelling energy and land-use; a summary of low- and zero-carbon case studies from around the world; an exploring of the cultural, social and political barriers to change and how these can be overcome; and an in-depth look at food and diets. Read them here

25 Opportunities to Save the Planet After COVID-19
TCC's annual reports on how to save what we love from the worst impacts of climate change. Read them here.

Interview with Michael E Mann
The author and eminent climate scientist talks to The Guardian about the deniers’ new tactics, the dangers of doomism, and why positive change feels closer than it has done in 20 years

Will tech solve the climate crisis – or make it worse?
Elizabeth Kolbert interviewed on the question of the century. Robots on coral reefs, vast barriers to hold back the glaciers, simulated volcanic eruptions to offset global heating ... Can technology repair the mess we have made? Environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert is not convinced. Read The Guardian interview.


Trees and the Climate Emergency
Wed, 14 April, 2.30 – 3.30pm, on-line

The UK’s political parties support the planting millions if not billions of trees across the country. How will we make this a reality? This debate considers the Government’s vitally important policies for trees with a keynote talk by Lord (Zac) Goldsmith (tbc), and presentations about the scientific benefits of trees as well as the key role of voluntary organisation. Find out more and book here.

Possible’s Climate Cabaret
Thursday 15 April, 7.30pm
An online extravaganza to break the climate silence in style
Tickets £5 - £20, find out more and book here.

Falling through the Net: how Net Zero covers up climate inaction
Monday 19 April, 6.30– 8.00pm
Speakers from Action Aid, Biofuelwatch and others, hosted by Campaign against Climate Change.  Find our more and book.

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.

News from NEF: The future of farming is agroecological
Chris Williams outlines the problem with our global food system - and how to fix it.

Don’t waste food – taste it or share it
With the average UK family throwing out £730 of surplus food items a year, eco-conscious consumers are recommended not to rely on “best before” but to “sniff and taste”- and there are also hi-tech ways of sharing food via anti-food-waste apps. “Television chef Nadiya Hussain said: “Wasting food is a major contributor to climate change. And it isn’t just the leftovers on our plate to consider but the many resources that go into producing our food, like water and land. If we each make small changes, we’d dramatically reduce the amount of food that ends up in the bin.”


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. 

Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
This new book is a very different animal from the author’s multi-award-winning debut H is For Hawk, which mined a deep seam of grief following the death of her father. Instead, Vesper Flights is a congregation of poised, self-contained observations on the natural world. Yet readers will recognise Macdonald’s extraordinary ability to dissect her environment with scientific precision, while managing to retain a strong sense of magic, mystery and awe. As such, it’s must-read for any nature lover. But be warned, the theme of loss that ran so deeply through H is For Hawk is ever-present. This time, though, she’s mourning the loss of habitats and the flora and fauna within them, as well as humanity’s rapidly disappearing collective knowledge. From that perspective, it’s a sobering read. Catherine Whyte
Value(s): Building A Better World For All by Mark Carney 
Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and Prime Minister Johnson’s Finance Adviser for COP26, “draws on his unique experience of running two central banks to offer original and thought-provoking solutions to the world’s biggest challenges – from Covid to climate change.” Gordon Brown
Small Gases, Big Effect by David Nelles and Christian Serrer 
“This book, written by two young people, manages to summarise a wealth of complex scientific findings - the knowledge that we urgently need to shape our future”  Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founding director of the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
“Small Gases, Big Effect explains climate change with the help of more than 100 scientists, presenting complex science in a way that everyone will find easy to understand.” New Scientist
The Hot Topic: How to Tackle Global Warming and Still Keep the Lights On by Gabrielle Walker and David King
Published in 2009 but still relevant, The Hot Topic goes beyond a statement of the problem to address in detail what can be done to answer the challenge on a personal, social, national and international level. 

Under a White Sky by Elizabeth Kolbert
"A damning survey, drawing on skilful and subtle reporting, that tracks the spiralling absurdity of human attempts to control nature with technology." Ben Ehrenreich in The Guardian and read a review by Will Hutton in The Observer

Loved Clothes Last: How the Joy of Rewearing and Repairing Your Clothes Can Be a Revolutionary Act by Orsola de Castra
The title says it all really, but this is a useful critique of both high and fast fashion, with sound advice about how to look after your clothes sustainably.


Dirty Truth About Your Rubbish
C4's Dispatches looks at how millions of tonnes of household recycling end up incinerated, hiking carbon emissions, with councils locked into long and expensive waste contracts. Our comment: incinerators are unpopular and problematic but it would be nice to know of better, greener alternatives, if there are any, for dealing with the mountains of rubbish that we put into our bins. Watch here - available for just a few more days.  

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   

  • For when we are allowed to roam again: Who owns England? , a blog exploring one of the most closely-guarded secrets in the thousand-year-old history of this country; and Slow Ways, a project mapping a network of walking routes that connect all of Great Britain’s towns and cities.
  • Material Economics Publications - an economic and business view on natural resource questions - themes include the economic case for decarbonising cities, the circular economy, green hydrogen...
  • EcoWatch online environmental news, also on Facebook  
  • YES! Media, a nonprofit, independent publisher of solutions journalism.
  • Hubbub’s collection of easy tips and ideas that are good for you, your wallet, and the environment.  
  • Past issues of Kingston Environment News, in case you've missed other good things.    

What else is happening soon?

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.  

Earth Month Eco-Challenge
April, wherever you are

Connect the dots between your values and your actions. Find out more and sign up for the Eco-Challenge, create a team, and see how 30 days of action can add up to a lifetime of positive change for you and the planet.

The Global Just Recovery Gathering
April 9 -11, on-line, free

Recharge. Rebuild. Reconnect - in a three-day online event for the climate movement to reconnect and reimagine our future in interactive workshops, cultural sessions, and hands-on trainings. Build your skills, strengthen relationships, and hear from a powerful line-up of climate leaders, artists, and musicians in every corner of the world. Find out more.

The Earth Convention - Sustainable Cities
Wed, 14 April, 6.00 – 7.00pm, free, on-line via Zoom

A panel discussion presented by 5x15 and Rathbones. Register here.
All previous sessions of The Earth Convention are now available on YouTube
Earth Day 2021
Thursday 22 April, Planet Earth
“When life around the globe returns to normal, our world cannot return to business-as-usual... We have the solutions, both natural and technological… we just need the will." Earth Day started over 50 years ago - join over 1 billion participants around the world to take action with this April.

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.
Give Earth a Rest Day
Saturday 5 June 2021

An anti-waste campaign started in Kingston 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.

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.  

Kingston Voluntary Action events and training
Affordable / free training, designed specifically for the voluntary sector - topics from First Aid to Crowdfunding. KVA also offer free easy to use websites to community groups. Find out more here.
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