If recycling boxes or wheeliebins are cluttering up your porch or garden, consider constructing a home for them with a green roof. This one is made from the slats and legs of an old bed and planted up with sedum varieties.
It keeps the recyclate dry, frees up space in the home and feeds a host of insects. Win-win.
It was great to be able to share some of the thing we are planning to do in our new Reading Climate Emergency Strategy last night. Many thanks to Michael Bright, and all at Reading Town Meal, for organising the event and for keeping things going despite the Covid restrictions.
The first draft of our food waste fermentation and composting advice is available and we’d love some feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org whilst the graphically capable amongst us make it look pretty for the real thing. Does it help? What’s unclear?
This is a reposting of my final interview with the wonderful Ayo Sokale. Ayo asks me to talk about ‘Climate Change and Class’, which is a subject of real concern to me. Underlying this question is the issue of Climate Justice, particularly the disproportionate impacts that climate change will have on more vulnerable communities. We are used to hearing about the impact of extreme weather on poorer communities in other countries but the risk is very real for us here in Reading as well.
The interview was filmed in June 2019 when I was the Chair of the RCCP.
The early Spring meant the earliest average emergence of butterflies in the last 20 years. . Please spend just 15 minutes on a sunny day (don’t choose boiling hot at midday weather) to count butterflies in your garden or on your daily exercise route so that Butterfly Conservation can understand how the changing weather patterns affects populations.
You can download an app to identify and count butterflies on the move, or scribble in a notebook to enter the data later at the butterfly count website
You ‘ve probably noticed that Reading Borough Council is leaving a number of grass verges and roundabouts to grow longer this year rather than having their normal 6-7 cuts a year. This is part of their commitment to the climate action plan and biodiversity action plan, but monitoring is needed to review the impact of these changes, both good and bad. You can help with this if you record your interesting sightings on their rewilding page (deer already seen on one), which is where to go to read more about this action and the location of rewilding sites.
Run by the Energy Managers Association (EMA), the awards recognise and celebrate outstanding work in the energy management and sustainability industry.
Dan has led the University of Reading’s Sustainability Services team since 2011. Some of the team’s main achievements during this time include:
Ensuring the University met its 35% carbon reduction target in 2016 (compared to its baseline 2008/09 emissions)
Achieving a 40% carbon reduction earlier this year – keeping the University on track to deliver on its current 45% reduction target by 2021
Introducing a campus-wide refillable bottle scheme in partnership with Coca-Cola in 2017, helping to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles on campus by more than 150,000
Recycling more than 100,000 coffee cups since March 2018
A major expansion of the University’s solar panel programme, with more than 1,000 individual panels now installed across campus
The EMA judges said: “The winning candidate has overseen an impressive reduction in the organisation’s carbon footprint which has put the organisation as a leader in their sector. The candidate has developed a number of tools which are used to monitor planned operational changes and identify the potential of energy and carbon savings in buildings. His drive is encouraging others to learn from the experiences and promoting the industry to future energy and sustainability professionals.”
Commenting on the award win, Dan said: “As a university with extensive expertise on climate change it is only natural that sustainability is at the heart of everything we do.
“Support and investment from the senior leadership of the University has enabled us to put many of these initiatives and practices into place, but it is participation of our staff and students that have helped us to achieve the fantastic results we have.
“It is very encouraging to receive this recognition from the Energy Managers Association. The University will continue in its efforts to make Reading a greener, more sustainable place to study.”
The award was presented at the EMA’s annual Energy Management Exhibition at Excel, London on 27 November.
Then help climate scientists understand past rainfall variations and improve models for future flooding events?
The UK has an amazing repository of rainfall records from the last 200 years, but most of this is handwritten and not that easy to use in the current era. The Rainfall Rescue Project is seeking volunteers to transfer all these old handwritten pages of rainfall data into online spreadsheets.
It’s easy to do a few tens of records a day without getting bored to tears, but I recommend that you choose the option to transcribe local records because it is easier to read the handwritten locations if you recognise the place names!