Archive for the ‘Home’ category

A visit and residential course at the Centre for Alternative Technology

September 26th, 2012
WISE Building

The WISE Building at the Centre for Alternative Technology

Since hearing from a friend who is doing her Masters there, and reading their Clean Slate magazine, I’ve wanted to visit the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), near Machynlleth in Wales. CAT is a world renowned eco-centre with interactive displays and practical examples of the following:

  • sustainable living
  • renewable energy
  • and organic gardening.

To make the most of my train trip to Machynlleth, 3 miles from CAT, I combined a visit with a three day residential course: “Introduction to renewable energy systems”.

» Read more: A visit and residential course at the Centre for Alternative Technology

Insulating a catflap or similar

August 12th, 2012

What do you do once you’ve picked the low-hanging fruit of sustainable household improvement? Let’s say that (like us) you’ve already had your loft and cavity walls insulated, and all your windows are double-glazed. Where do you go next? The two main directions are: think big (replacement boiler or wood burner, triple glazing, solar water heating); or think small (changing habits, draught exclusion.)

» Read more: Insulating a catflap or similar

SW meeting, last Wednesday

May 26th, 2012

We had a meeting at the Fleece last Wednesday. There was a lot to discuss:

  • Refashion: Saturday 3 November is the date that Refashion comes to Witney! This will be all about clothes upcycling, and includes workshops and a “swishing” event.

    We agreed a few new actions, including getting in touch with local charity shops and independents for clothes seconds; because the Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (including OCC and WODC) are directing a lot of the event, it takes most of the strain of organizing off us!

  • Car club: Kevin has been doing sterling work getting together funding, in order to take advantage of the suggestion from a not-for-profit that they might trial a Witney car club. However, the organization has recently said that they’ll only help out in a franchise arrangement – so we would have to set up a company, employ a fleet manager for the cars etc. – and we don’t have the time available to do that.

    However, the work hasn’t all been in vain: we’ll be putting everything together, along with documentation of the foibles we’ve worked out, in case the right people make themselves known to run such a company; and we’ve also made contact with commercial providers. So there are still possibilities in the future and we’ll keep pursuing them.

  • Carbon conversations: these are intentionally small workshops – around half a dozen attendees – where people can share knowledge and skills to reduce their own carbon footprints. The idea is also that perhaps one in ten of these attendees go on to run their own workshop elsewhere.

    The first series, starting in late June, are already booked up; we’ve also got 3 or 4 people for the second round of workshops. If you’re interested in getting involved, then get in touch.

We also discussed possible awards applications for Sustainable Witney, and events for Bike Week in just under a month’s time. The Bike Week schedule should appear on this site soon!

The next SW meeting will probably be in a couple of months – register as a subscriber if you want to receive alerts!