Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Apply for a role at Transition Town Tooting!

Join an evolving and collaborative team making change in how we live, where we live, in light of climate change. 

There’s a spirit of celebration and creativity in everything we do, be it south London’s biggest sustainable food festival, urban growing in the community garden, carbon reduction workshops, restart parties or neighbourhood planning. 

We open up spaces for local people to connect with each other, imagine possibilities and make positive changes for the community and the environment.

Want to get involved?

Join in as a volunteer, join the Core Group who coordinate projects, or apply to become Co-Chair or Co-Treasurer and help shape and re-imagine our activities and impact over the next two years.  You’ll be joining a great team.

Read on for more information about the Co-Chair and Co-Treasurer roles.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Rewilding in Tooting - a new storytelling event to explore environmental thinking with children

Children from 5 to 8 years old and accompanying adults are welcome to join this new event which explores rewilding and environmental thinking in a fascinating and participative way - right here in Tooting on Saturday 8th April.

All welcome to come and explore our themes:
Play - Learn - Dream 

We're thrilled that Andres Restrepo and Emily Duizend are running this imaginative free event based in the Tooting Community Garden.

 












We hope you're intrigued and want to join us on the first weekend of the Easter holidays. Adults welcome if accompanying children, and together we'll be look at nature, use our senses and imaginations, focus on what's special about our surroundings, appreciate Tooting as a place - all from angles that may be new to us.

When? Saturday 8th April, from 11:00 to 1:00. And it's free
Where? Tooting Community Garden, 5 North Drive SW16 1RN
For who? Children aged 5 to 8 years old
Details? Children need to be accompanied by an adult
Flyer? Click here for a copy of the flyer
How to book? Contact Andres by email to book and for more details

We want to inspire children and adults to 
explore how the outdoors can be experienced right here in the city


All welcome on Saturday 8th April - please book in and we'll see you there!

Carbon Conversations series postponed to start on 30th March

TTT's tenth series of local Carbon Conversations is going to start on Thursday March 30th, not on Thursday March 23rd. 
We promise you will enjoy and also find a lot of practical value in this exploration of your own 'low-carbon living' choices and opportunities. 

The outcome of the series is an action plan for reducing your own carbon footprint by understanding the impact of what's in your own control - home energy, travel, food and purchases.

An active game about the carbon footprint of food
You'll find it friendly, fun & surprising













For all the details, please click here. 
And for our recent blog post (including the new dates) - click here.
Don't hesitate to get in touch with Ben (see the details) even if you can't make every date over the series of 6 meetings. 
We look forward to seeing you!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Restart and Sewstart - fixing and mending on Saturday 1st April

Do you have electrical or electronic items that you don’t want to throw away?

Or a sewing machine that is broken or you’re not sure how to use? 


Have a favourite piece of clothing that needs mending or altering and you’d like to learn how?

Or simply good at fixing and mending stuff?

Maybe you just fancy a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a chance to find out more about Transition Tooting and what we get up to?




Come and join our next fixing and mending workshop on 

Sat 1st April - 2.00 - 5.00pm

Mushkil Aasaan, 220 - 222 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW (next to Nando’s)    

If you can't make it in April put these dates in your diary for future events...
Wed 19th July -   6.30 - 9.00pm
Sat 21st October - 2.00 - 5.00pm
                                                        
(Restart Parties are a community self-repair space where you take responsibility for your own gadgets and data, so please don’t forget to take any back-ups beforehand, if relevant – and if possible arrive during the first two hours to allow time for fixing!   More info about Restart including details of regular skillshares at www,therestartproject.org)


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Design Workshops for Pollinator Paths Wandsworth project went well - thanks to all!

Twenty people joined in this partnership project's Design Workshops held on 10 & 11 March: connecting, analysing, sharing, debating.

We did just what we needed to do. We were a mixed group of experts, the interested and novices navigating explanations, challenges, concentration, humour and insights:

We analysed the diverse settings that local gardeners are using - from back gardens to paved patios to balconies.



We explored the potential benefits to pollinators
"Would the planting make a difference to individual targeted species or should we focus on a broad group of pollinators?"

We shared our own knowledge and experience about the pollinating plants to select for the different settings - and we found new resources too.




We met new colleagues and connected across the borough  "I never knew there were so many other people locally who are interested in the same things as me..."




We looked forward at the shape of the project, and some new opportunities - for example "shall we include making the planting containers using re-purposed materials?"

We finished the second workshop feeling optimistic together about the project, with plenty of homework from the 2 afternoons and much to plan.

Thanks to all including the visiting experts, plus Lizzy and Hannah from London Sustainability Forum for facilitating.




The next formal event is the distribution of plants in May at the hub gardens - accompanied by creative and fun activities as part of the Wandsworth Fringe.
Before then we will be reaching out to find gardeners who want to take part. Please email us anytime if you would like to join in.

All welcome to join the Pollinator Paths Wandsworth Facebook page for info and updates.
Or email Charles at TTT to get involved.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Pollinator Paths Wandsworth - Design Workshops Friday 10th & Saturday 11th March

Are you looking forward to gardening for wildlife in 2017?
We recently announced the exciting new Pollinator Paths Wandsworth project, and we've been posting updates on Facebook and tweeting.

The next step is to run the two free Design Workshops this week  One this Friday, one on Saturday. This is where the discussion will take place about what insects the project will aim to benefit, and therefore what plants to recommend to encourage them. And more about plant habitats and microclimates.

The workshops are not identical - there will be a flow over the two days, and they will also work as stand-alone events. All welcome!

Once 'beneficiary bugs' (actually, probably moths and a bee species) and forage plants are agreed, then the later process of enlisting local people to grow them on and observe can start. Plant distribution will be May 21st in the Tooting Community Garden (and at other local gardens on other weekends). We hope that lots of novice and expert gardeners will to be involved over the summer! 

Here's the flyer including info with the Design Workshops at the top:


Tooting Workshop timings and location:
2:00 - 5:00 pm on Friday 10th March at Mushkil Aasaan, 222 Upper Tooting Road SW17 7EW

Wandsworth Workshop timings and location:
2:00 - 5:00 on Saturday 11th March at Penfold Centre, Neville Gill Close, Wandsworth SW18 4TJ

And the poster for the whole project:

We look forward to seeing you at the design workshops - let us know if you are coming by signing up here.  

All welcome!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

New series of free Carbon Conversations workshops starts March 30th

All welcome to join our Tenth Series of free local Carbon Conversations!
Do you want to make some changes to reduce your carbon footprint, save energy and save on your bills, but you're not sure how or where to start?

Join a group of local residents in a series of 6 meetings to explore how small changes can make a big difference.
You'll assess your own carbon footprint, then together we'll look at home energy, transport and travel, food, consumption and waste to help you make changes that fit your situation. We'll help you make an action plan of practical steps to take. The workshops are free.

When?
  • Sessions will take place on Thursdays between 30th March - 11th May 2017
  • Specific dates are 30th March, 13th April, 20th April, 27th April, 4th May, 11 May
  • they will run from 7:00 - 9:00pm
Where?
  • At 43 Woodfield Ave, SW16 1LE (near Tooting Common).
What do we do in the sessions?

For a start, they are enjoyable!
We discuss what's important to us about 'low carbon living' - our values as well as technicalities. We're meeting in the home of one of the facilitators, so it's a friendly atmosphere and you can bring cake or samosas...!
We play some creative and instructive games, which lead to more discussion and planning. This one is about making travel choices.





We look at technical information, too. 
In this example we're exploring where heat loss occurs in a normal house.




For all the info on the workshops, download the series flyer

Please email Ben to join in, express an interest, or ask any questions. 

We ask for a voluntary contribution of £16.00 per participant to cover the direct cost of “In Time for Tomorrow?” the excellent Carbon Conversations handbook published by The Surefoot Effect.


To read personal blog posts by participants in an earlier series of meetings, click here and scroll down all six (they are in reverse order as we posted them live after each session).

All welcome - you do not have to be an expert!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Gardens of Refuge project - February 2017 monthly update as we start with a Family Activity Day

After the long haul of communicating near and far for voting in the Aviva Community Fund last year, winning funding in January, and getting on with the planning for 2017...we've begun the project!

Our first session with the CARAS refugee and asylum-seekers has been a Family Activity Day on Valentine's Day..
It was a familiar mother-and-children event like many repeated all across Britain when it's half term, and that everyday normalness was exactly the point: creating a safe and friendly space for some fun and practical family time together as a community.
That's the purpose of Gardens of Refuge: to create with asylum-seekers and refugees a therapeutic sense of wellbeing and feeling at home, plus growing activities and meeting members of the wider local community.

Run by CARAS staff and volunteers, plus more from TTT, by 11:30 the church hall at All Saints Tooting was transformed with friendly faces and drop-in games and toys for all ages.

Egle from CARAS ran a 90-minute programme while lunch was being prepared:
  • In a circle of chairs: welcome, introductions & ground rules for inclusion and safety.
  • In a big burst of energy - playing 'fruit salad' to get us all interacting, adults and children alike.
  • At 3 tables: looking at images from the Tooting Community Garden and saying which kind of activities individuals would like to try out this year- gardening, picnicking & cooking on a fire; garden crafts; and enjoying nature. Everyone had 5 votes to distribute using sticky stars...results to be shared.
  • Continuing at the tables to decorate flower pots using stickers, feathers and pipe cleaners.
Carefully writing a plant label
  • Transplanting growing pots of supermarket herbs (donated by Waitrose Balham). Each pot was divided into 5 or 6 smaller pots, so the roots of basil, parsley, coriander, and greek basil have room to grow on windowsills back at home, and so they could all be shared out between 45 people.  

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Pollinator Paths Wandsworth - a new project for 2017 linking gardeners across the borough to experiment with planting that benefits insects

This is a new and imaginative project that is being launched now and will run throughout 2017.

Pollinator Paths Wandsworth is all about encouraging local gardeners to establish small patches as wildlife havens. Several community gardens are involved, so there will be plenty of support. It's going to be a good project to strengthen growing links across the borough.

We'll encourage many gardeners to grow selected varieties of plants which in turn are good forage for insects.
Spinach moth image by Roy Leverton, Butterfly Conservation.


We're mixing growing with citizen science: we'll research the 'microclimates' of London plots, balconies and windowboxes both for growing and for insects, we'll share the results and we'll take part in a fascinating and fun practical experiment together.

Individuals, families, schools can get involved - anyone with a plot even if it's small - and beginners are welcome as we'll share all the how-tos.

Why benefit insects? Maybe it sounds backwards to plant for the benefit of insects, but suitable habitat and forage are both reducing across London. Click here for the flyer.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Love Wandsworth Food free & fun family event Tuesday February 14th

All the family is invited:

  
All invited to this  fun half-term event on Tuesday 14th February, 2:00pm-4:30 pm.
Location is The Venue, Park Court, Battersea SW11 4LD
Please sign up on Eventbrite for free here: https://love-wandsworth2017.eventbrite.co.uk

There will be lots of activities and good ideas to share on the day, all about locally grown food, eating well and reducing waste.
You can read and download a pdf of the event flyer by clicking here

TTT celebrates local food and participation in our weekly sessions at the Tooting Community Garden, and of course at the annual Foodival

This year it's going to be our 
tenth Tooting Foodival!
Sept 16th & 17th in the heart of Tooting

 
We're planning now, and if you have ideas you'd like to try out, or resources you would like to contribute, or if you would like to volunteer, come and help make it special:
  • we can chat at the Fun Day on Feb 14th
  • come and chat at the next Tooting Green Drinks on February 15th, 7:30-9:30pm at The Selkirk, 60 Selkirk Rd,  SW17 0ES
  • come to our monthly open meeting on February 23rd, 7:00-9:00 at Al Farah Cafe, 137 Mitcham Rd, SW17 9P
  • or email us at transitiontown tooting@gmail.com 
We'd love to hear from you

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Vegetanuary

Chuck's Kale
So some of us went vegetarian for the month of January and, for me, it proved surprisingly fun to try an alternative, more mindful way of feeding myself. 80 people shared experiences and recipes on the Vegetanuary facebook group and a celebratory feast was held at Vegan Express last week. 
Vegan Express Celebration
Dipa's vegetable pastilla with feta
It would be great to try this again, maybe even risking Veganuary or Veganpril and I am sure there must be a recipe collection in here somewhere???  It's also a great way to kick off thinking about the 10th Foodival later this year.  

Well done Richard for organising this inspriring initiative and thanks to everyone who or joined in. Not sure I'll ever salivate over a bacon sandwich in quite the same way again!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Urban Heat Research Report Published

Today the Policy Studies Institute publish their research report Urban Heat: Developing the role of community groups in local climate resilience. It's a readable, accessible and expert report.


TTT are proud to have been able to contribute to this valuable piece of work, hosting and facilitating community conversations, mainly in 2015, about the increasing risks posed by localised heat in cities - including neighbourhoods like Tooting - in our warming climate.

Cold weather challenges are much better recognised by most of us, including health and social care professionals, in terms of individuals' vulnerability. So it was useful to be part of research showing that urban overheating is a significant risk, and we can take action to reduce its impact.

We commenced the project in a cold spell in winter two years ago, when the priorities seemed very different. It was hard to visualise that later the same summer we would hold a workshop near Tooting Broadway on the hottest day of 2015. Very appropriate!

Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Urban Heat project examined the potential role of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the development of local climate resilience.

In Tooting the research engaged with over a dozen relevant community organisations with diverse services and areas of focus: health care, social care, low-carbon living, community development. A number of local individuals were interviewed as well. Finally, a group of Wandsworth local authority and statutory organisations also explored the impact of Urban Heat.

To read our past TTT blog posts about the whole project since its inception, please click here.

Other partners in the Urban Heat research programme explored the same topic in Hackney and in West London, all co-facilitating alongside the Policy Studies Institute team.


Finally, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded a sister research project at the same time, about 'Climate Resilient Communities'. This was developed in the context of local flooding in the Scottish Borders, mostly rural, but much of the experience and lessons are relevant to all communities working proactively with practical climate challenges. We'll share that report when it is published.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Pop-up Cinema in Furzedown on Fri 27th January: Naomi Klein's 'This Changes Everything'

Join the Furzedown Low Carbon Zone screening of Naomi Klein's 'This Changes Everything' The film explores the global fight against climate change, the role of capitalism and what citizens can do.
The film has been described as "purposely unsettling...ultimately encouraging".
When? Doors at 7:00 for film at 7:30 on Friday 27th January
Where? The Furzedown Project, 93 Moyser Road SW16 6SJ
Tickets cost £5 for waged and £2 for students / unemployed - including wine, soft drinks and our famous popcorn
  
All welcome!
Please reserve tickets by emailing us at furzedownlowcarbonzone@gmail.com 
Your ticket entitles you to a 50% discount on the purchase of low-energy LED light bulbs for use in many parts of the home. 
We're making this LED offer available via our bulk purchase, to enable you to start saving money and reduce your home's carbon footprint.

Friday, 13 January 2017

'Gardens of Refuge' project wins 2017 funding from the Aviva Community Fund

We are thrilled that Gardens of Refuge, the 2017 project working with Tooting refugees and asylum-seekers, has been awarded funding by Aviva. The project application was made by the local charity CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum-Seekers) and TTT are the partners along with The Grange respite centre in Norfolk.

Thank you for all your votes and support! 

Here's our vision for the Gardens of Refuge project: please click here to read

This funding award lets us look forward to a fascinating 2017, developing and delivering the new project and building on our learning and experience from our previous project together.  

We want to do some things that we know work well, and also some new things.


Plus we'll invite ideas (and resources) from the many well-wishers who voted for Gardens of Refuge last November.

A new feature that will add value is the new CARAS Youth Council. This governance group will help provide a voice for project beneficiaries in the youth club.
We'll also be working with other members of the CARAS community.

We all expect to learn and benefit. One of our first reactions, apart from joy at the award and making the project real, is that this award gives profile and visibility to the fact that refugees' lives matter, and that they have much to contribute in our shared communities.


We'll post more information on project plans as they develop.
Yes, we all worked hard to get to this stage, so it's great to have the affirmation from the Aviva Fund judges.
It took us a while to be sure on announcement day: students of communication will be interested that Aviva made the 'Project Winner' info available online and by twitter...and it was 24 hours before CARAS received a direct email saying 'You've won!'. By then we'd taken the public messages at face value and trusted that it was all true.

And there are some extra surprises - such as a reception at Parliament in late January where all the funded projects can meet each other and their constituency MPs.

We've worked since early 2015 with CARAS - that was on the 'Rooting in Tooting' project, supported by the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Greening Grey Britain' campaign and by Sir Walter St John's Educational Charity - more info here. That project brought new volunteers to CARAS & TTT; we're really delighted with that.

Thanks again for all your interest and support - 
this is a very motivating start to the New Year!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Producing A Steak Takes A Lot Of Water

One of the reasons some of us are trying vegetarianism for January is the environmental impact of keeping animals for human consumption. The practice of rearing animals to provide food for humans is an ancient one and has been going on for at least 10,000 years. I'd argue that this has only really become a serious problem in the modern age when world human population has increased massively, ever larger swathes of land have been set aside for animals to graze at the expense of forest, and industrial production of animal product has become central in the human food chain.
Components of agricultural water footprint (from SAB Miller and WWF, 2009)
Some of the effects are obvious: more carbon emissions, fewer carbon sinks, excess water usage, changing climate. Taking just one of these factors I'm amazed to see that according to Mekonnen and Hoekstra (2010) the water footprint of bovine meat is 15,415 litres of water per kg, compared to 322 litres/kg for vegetables. For beef cattle 98% of the water used up is with respect to their feed.

For more info on Vegetanuary, check out the facebook group.
Chuck's Vegetarian Risotto Tonight