May 2021
LCEO newsletter - May 2021

In this edition:

  • Date of next meeting
  • Electric Vehicles Q&A online event
  • Thank you to Tabitha!
  • An opportunity for a story-maker
  • Housing development in Iffley Village
  • A cycle route to the Kassam vaccination centre
  • A brief intro to two local green spaces
  • Home Energy Saving Mini Projects #2: Hot Water

Next LCEO meeting will be Tues 1st June, 8pm

Here's the zoom link for the next meeting.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84005105863?pwd=c0dEVTBrUWxKamJhYVQ5bGdtYUVDZz09

Meeting ID: 840 0510 5863

Passcode: 133921


LCEO meetings are on the first Tuesday of the month, and we nearly always keep them to 45 minutes!  Everyone is welcome!
 

At the next meeting...

We will be hearing more about the latest developments regarding the proposed new Low Traffic Neighbourhood from The Plain to Howard Street.  We'll also be planning upcoming installments in our home energy saving series, and deciding what should be our next steps. 

Early this year we decided that our next few projects should be based around the four things that David Attenborough listed in his programme about climate change as being the most effective actions that individuals can take to tackle the climate emergency: eating less meat and dairy; eating all of the food that you buy; reducing how much energy we use in our homes and for travel; protesting and lobbying for change at government level.  If you've got any ideas about how we can communicate these ideas to our East Oxford community, or how we can support you to achieve these goals, then do join us at the next meeting, or email us!

Electric Vehicles in East Oxford Q&A on Tuesday 15th June, 8pm

Have you ever wondered about buying an electric car, or using one via a car club? Would you like to know more about how it all works? Here's your chance to hear about the experience of two local electric vehicle users and to ask them lots of questions!

The Q&A will be online, on Tuesday 15th June, from 8pm to 9.30pm. Entry is free.  To sign up, go here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/qa-electric-vehicle-use-and-ownership-in-east-oxford-tickets-156218629125

We’ve asked a couple of East Oxford residents to share their experiences of using electric vehicles, including how one family reached the decision to purchase their own EV and the costs and logistics involved, the practicalities of on-street and local charging, how it works to use an EV through a car club, and how to manage charging on longer journeys.  There will be plenty of opportunity for your questions too.

The evening will also include a short clip from Anthony Simpson's video about the environmental impact of electric cars.  If you're interested you can watch his whole talk here before the event: https://everybighelps.org/talks/

If you already know what burning questions you have about electric vehicle use and ownership in East Oxford then send them in to us before Friday 11th June, so we can make sure we can answer them!  Email questions to together@lceo.org.uk

A Big Thank You!

We want to say a huge "Thank you!" to the marvellous Tabitha Whiting for all her hard work for LCEO over the past few years. She has been instrumental in launching LCEO in its new, refreshed, phase of existence.

From Robin, Liz, Ruthi, Hinny and all of LCEO, very best wishes for your next exciting chapter!

Do You Love to Weave a Story?

LCEO is taking part in an exhibition at the Old Fire Station and online, called 20 Stories, by sharing some videos and photos of past projects.  There is an additional opportunity for a keen person to collaborate with some of the artists involved to weave more of a storytelling piece around our images.  If this calls to you and you’d like to get involved, email together@lceo.org.uk

Friends of the Fields Iffley 

As many of you may know, there is a proposed housing development on a green field site in Iffley Village.  We at LCEO fully acknowledge that this is a complex issue and so are not advocating any stance or action, but if you are opposed to the development then you can find out more, and sign a petition, here:  https://iffleywoods.org/

For an idea of what might be a possible alternative for the site, have a look here: https://iffleywoods.org/vision/

Cycling to get your vaccine

Isis Cyclists (http://www.isiscyclists.org.uk/) have put together a cycling route from town out to the Kassam Stadium and back, for anyone who’d like to bike over there to get their jab (or go to the bootsale).  Here’s the route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35708843 

Hope and Trees!

Scattered around East Oxford there is a growing number of wonderful green havens, places where trees are being planted, nature is being valued and protected, and people are forging ever stronger community bonds.  Even if all of these places are already well known to you, it can be heartening to linger for a moment in happiness that they exist, and that we, our friends and our neighbours have put time and energy into creating and maintaining them.  For all that is currently wrong in this world, there are some things which are just right. 

Here are two of our lesser known local gems, worth a visit if you’ve not been before:

Marston Forest Garden, at Court Place Allotments
These guys are using a technique of growing food crops in a way which mimics natural woodland.  This increases yield, makes the garden more sustainable in the face of climate change, and is low maintenance.  They welcome newcomers and have monthly work parties.  They don’t yet have a web presence, but if you’d like us to put you in touch with them you can email us at together@lceo.org.uk.

Community Orchard and Tiny Forest at Meadow Lane Nature Reserve
This tiny riverside nature reserve is home to a small community orchard, planted by local residents in early 2019, and also a very new Tiny Forest, planted earlier this year.  The trees are all doing well, despite the fact that only a couple of inches below the surface of the soil is a rubbish dump which was in use until around the 1970s.  It’s testament to how much trees and plants really want to grow!

We'd love to hear about your favourite green oases in and around East Oxford!  You can get in touch via email, or on facebook or twitter @LCEOxford.

Home Energy Saving Mini Projects #2:  Hot Water

There are some great alternatives to gas boilers available, like solar hot water panels to go on your roof, or for small flats electric boilers could be suitable (and can be green if you’re signed up to an eco electricity supplier), and air or ground source heat pumps for central heating.  There’s even a microwave boiler being developed!  The only problem is that they’re all very expensive.

If you do have the cash then we’d heartily encourage you to swap your hot water system for something lower carbon, but we know that it’s not an option for most, whether because of money or because you’re renting your home.

So what can you do?  Use less hot water!  Every bit of hot water you don’t use will save you money and cut emissions.  Here are LCEO’s tips:

  1. You can save energy by reducing the amount of water your shower uses.  Water-saving shower heads are easy to swap on, and Thames Water has even been giving these away free (you can do this water-usage calculator to find out if you can get a freebie: https://www.thameswater.co.uk/help/water-saving/water-saving-calculator).  
     
  2. Cheaper and easier still, for saving water in the shower, is a kitchen timer set for five minutes (or less), to rouse you from your shampooing daydreams and oust you from the shower!  
     
  3. If you are someone who uses conditioner, then swapping to one which you spray in after your shower (or using 2-in-1 shampoo) can help cut your showering time and save even more water and energy.  
     
  4. Become an expert on ‘spot washing’ your clothes, so a small toothpaste mark doesn’t require a go in the washing machine.  Google will find you more info on stain removal than you ever thought existed.
     
  5. Only wash clothes when they need it - a sniff test will tell you when it’s time.  Some fabrics stay fresh longer than others.  Wool and denim are both excellent choices for minimal washing.  For inspiration, here’s a fun article about a company challenging people to wear one of their wool dresses for 100 days straight! https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2021/may/02/could-you-wear-a-dress-for-100-days
     
  6. When you wash your hands, is the water only just getting warm by the time you’ve finished?  If so, the heat from the boiler has only warmed the pipes - you might as well use the cold tap and save energy, money and emissions.
     
  7. When it comes to personal washing, you can swap a shower for a washcloth and a basin of warm water.  This technique has a varied, huge and wonderful selection of names.  At the last LCEO meeting we knew it variously as ‘French wash’, ‘quatre points’, and ‘top and tail’!  What do you call it?  Tell us on our social media! https://www.facebook.com/groups/lowcarboneastoxford/ or on twitter @LCEOxford 

That's it for now!

That's it for this month's newsletter. If you'd like to see something included in next month's newsletter or have an idea for a campaign we could run in east Oxford, send us an email to comms@lceo.org.uk - we'd love to hear from you.

Best wishes,
The Low Carbon East Oxford Team
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