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

Thursday, 26 March 2015

#TootingFuture Comments

Good to see that there has been some debate and reflection after last week's Electing The Future event. 

Low Impact's Dave Darby in this thoughtful piece reflects on the elephant in the room - the incongruity of constant economic growth on a physically finite planet, an erroneous assumption that he feels the main political parties continue to make.

Meanwhile LibDem candidate Phil Ling has blogged re his experience listing his party's five green laws to safeguard the environment.

On twitter @tomvwoodcock found the hustings inspiring, while Green Candidate Esther Obiri-Darko @GreenTooting commented on TTT showing real community activism. Labour's Fleur Anderson (@CllrFleur) and Conservative Dan Watkins (@DanWatkins) also weighed in with their observations.

What do you want for a #Tootingfuture?  Join the debate on twitter, tell us what you think via @tttooting.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

#TootingFuture Great Conversations

A successful Electing the Future event was held tonight at the USSR club. Loads of interesting discussion about Tooting past, present and future with local voices including some of the parliamentary candidates standing in Tooting.  Thanks to Dan Watkins, Phil Ling & Esther Obiri-Darko for attending and Fleur Anderson for standing in for an absent Sadiq Khan.
Esther, Fleur, Dan & Phil with Lucy on the mic
What a lot of great ideas around improving community, green spaces, better streets, controlling traffic & pollution, access to housing and independent retail environments to name but a few. Could we imagine Balham Boulevard or taking control of the Tooting Common Cafe or even just "More Green Beauty" in Tooting and around?
A full write up will appear on the blog in due course. A #Tootingfuture is just that bit more easy to imagine.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Electing The Future 18th March

With the general election just around the corner, TTT is bringing local people of all ages together, along with local businesses, parliamentary candidates, scientists and artists for an open conversation about the future of our area.
Electing the Future takes place next Wednesday 18th March at the United Services Club in the Balham High Rd and parliamentary candidates already confirmed include:

Dan Watkins (Conservative),
Esther Obiri Darko (Green),
Phil Ling (Liberal Democrat),
while the Labour Party & UKIP also promise a representative.

Parliamentary candidates confirmed so far are:
  • Dan Watkins (Conservative)
  • Esther Obiri Darko (Green)
  • At least one representative from Labour - names tba
  • Phil Ling (Liberal Democrat)
  • A representative of UKIP
- See more at:
What do you want these representatives to have on their radar?

Tackling air pollution & traffic, 20mph where we live, space for cycling, protecting green spaces, the effect of crossrail, conserving some of our wonderful old buildings, increased energy efficiency, community gardens, a more resilient connected community???  Something else???  Positive sustainable changes in how we live must be possible, right?

All are welcome to take part in what promises to be a lively debate. Book your free tickets at Eventbrite

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Make Something, Meet People

This month's Meet & Make is a sew fest! We have makes suitable for sewbies and sewsperts.
All materials, expertise and equipment is provided for free (we do collect small, donations for the venue) so you can just turn up, have a chat, sew some seams and perhaps go home with some new  hairbands, or a pair of slippers.
Date: 11th March 2015
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 (do join in later if you are working late or whatever)
Sprout Community Arts 76 Moyser Road
For more info please contact Jeni: 07944693015

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Time to Act on Climate Change - 7th March

A group of a dozen of us from Tooting went to the Time to Act march on Saturday in London. 

Why march? To express yourself, to be counted, to meet friends and strangers, to witness change in the making, to represent others, simply to be there. 

Making and feeling the weight of your message in your hands - it's unusual, active, and personal. Totally unlike holding a phone. 

The sun was hot; the wind blew the banners so they tugged like sails.
At one point in the march, between The Savoy and 
Charing Cross, everyone sat down on the warm tarmac of the Strand. 

For me that was a good moment - not quite touching the wild earth, but certainly feeling in touch with London, and valuing it as a physical place that shelters us. 

None of us wants to be preached to, and I liked these diverse messages -  direct and also complex; creative and calling up so many associations.
Why march, why do what we do locally in Tooting?

Naomi Klein from the introduction to 'This Changes Everything':
"We know that if we continue on our current path of allowing emissions to rise year after year, climate change will change everything about our world. 
And we don't have to do anything to bring about this future.  
All we have to do is nothing"

- Charles 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Bottle Greenhouse action Sunday March 8th, 1100-1300 at Tooting Community Garden

When you were at school, was your 
classroom outside in the sun?

We're building a plastic bottle greenhouse at the Tooting Community Garden, along with Year Six from Gatton School. 

That means the children are preparing bottles that would otherwise be added to local waste or recycling. They are measuring the site and problem solving for the construction, all during the weekly outdoor learning sessions.

The whole school community has been collecting 2 litre clear plastic pop or water bottles (that's the kind we need) since the autumn...every week, the children come loaded with bags of bottles. We'll use well over 1000. (Anyone welcome to bring bottles to the garden on any Sunday).

This weekend, in the normal Sunday Garden session from 1100-1300, all welcome to help us catch up a bit with the repetitive but deeply satisfying task of cutting, washing and piling up (hundreds of) our plastic bottles. Yes it is addictive.
We'll have the kit - and if you have a favourite pair of sharp scissors, do bring them along. 
Not all the jobs involve cutting - there's something for everyone of all ages.

Please come along!

The garden is at 5 North Drive, SW16 1RN. We'll post any last minute info on both the TTT and the Tooting Community Garden facebook pages. Not to tempt fate.....the weather forecast is good. 

Bottle greenhouse made by another school

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Electing the Future event, 18th March

If you had one wish for the future of your area, what would it be?

With the general election around the corner, we're bringing local people, businesses, young people, parliamentary candidates and councillors, scientists and artists together for a lively debate on the future of the area.

Electing the Future will take place at:
The United Services Club, 268 Balham High Road, SW17 7AJ
on Wed 18th March 2015, 7pm-10pm

You're invited to take part in this lively debate or sit back and listen.  We'll be exploring what active citizenship really means, and we'll encourage conversations to envisage sustainable change together.

Commenting on the event, David Thorne, co-chair of Transition Town Tooting said,

“There’s an election in May, but with people more disengaged then ever from mainstream politics, Transition Town Tooting will seek to host a different kind of conversation about the future, which steers away from tired old party political platitudes.”

Following on, Belinda Sosinowicz, co-chair, Transition Town Tooting said:

“We’re seeing a lot of change around Tooting – some positive, some challenging. There are facilities at risk, services that are stretched, and new investments changing our local landscape. People care deeply about these changes. We aim to hear the voices of engaged local people and work out sustainable alternatives for the future together to build a more resilient community. That’s why we’re staging this event.”

A panel of local voices, including parliamentary candidates, will take part in the discussions and respond to concerns, questions and suggested solutions.

Tickets are free, but spaces are limited, so please do book at the Electing the Future Eventbrite page. We look forward to you joining us.

Help us spread the word, download the flyer here and share with your friends.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Furzedown Low Carbon Zone AGM, Friday 27th Feb

All welcome to the FLCZ annual general meeting
Friday 27th February 2015, 7:00pm to 9:00 pm

The AGM is at the Furzedown Project, 93 Moyser Road, SW16 6SJ
Join us to help make exciting plans for 2015 and beyond.
For info, please contact us at

Also concerned with making low-carbon living a reality now:

Ecobuild is running next week FOR FREE for 3 days at the Excel Centre - 3rd-5th March. It's a remarkable event!
If you have not attended before, it partly a gigantic trade show, and partly a superb series of seminars and lectures with experts.

For example - here's the link to Green Energy talks on the Tuesday. There is so much going on, organised into key themes....some technical, some community-oriented, some very creative - or all three.
Taking part is free - details on the Ecobuild site. See you there!

Monday, 23 February 2015

It was a Wild Afternoon in Tooting, and worth it

The games:
A beautiful sunny Tooting morning.....,
.....and guess what time the really cold rain started yesterday? 

Yes, exactly as we started the games. 

Nevertheless, adults were seen and heard up trees, and a 2-year old was soon playing hug-tag (come next time to find out how to play that game..). That brave family deserves our respect!

There will be a next time, with the monthly Tooting Field Days starting on Sunday April 19th - we will share all the details soon. 
Many thanks to Rachel and Dan from fanSHEN Theatre...brrrr.

The Project Wild Thing film:
It was great to see this - the film covers many current opportunities and challenges in getting us all outdoors more, through the storyline of our hero having a few months to become 'Marketing Manager for Nature'. Why? What's the product? What are young people's perceptions? Who wants to be involved? Who can advise and help? The result became the 'Project Wild Thing' group, with good resources for all here.

Meeting local groups: 
A nice extra outcome of the afternoon was meeting Anthony & Kirsty, trustees from The Woodfield Project. The project is restoring a building, and making new relationships, and offering new outdoor-oriented courses right by Tooting Common.
It's really valuable for TTT to meet local allies, so we can work together on these important objectives which are good for Tooting people and the whole neighbourhood.

Courses are being developed with Fabiola from Groundwork London.
She gave us a hand-made poster of some of the local events being offered in April and May.

We'll put it up at the Community Garden, Fabiola. Really great topics, and we'll keep in close touch and promote these events.
For more detailed information, contact her here

Thanks again to the supporters for this event: The Wandsworth Council Eco-Fund, Mushkil Aasaan, and the Friends of Streatham Cemetery.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

WHY A Wild Afternoon in Tooting? Part 3

We've had two posts about WHY? we're offering this urban 'Wild Afternoon' on Sunday (details in Events Calendar opposite).
The first post was about making the commitment to get outside more - and enjoying the benefits of chance discovery here in Tooting. 
The second post looked at some of the ways young people can take part in the outdoors - including examples of structured programmes. This post looks at connecting the outdoors to health & wellbeing.

We'll see the Project Wild Thing film on Sunday at 4pm. Another of their projects is developing information for maternity units, to help staff and mothers explore the value of being outdoors from week one: 

Looking at all age groups, there's a well-researched family of actions to promote wellbeing.  The 'Five Ways to Wellbeing' is a practical shortlist: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give
These activities are simple things we can do in our everyday lives.
The '5 Ways..' were developed from evidence gathered in the UK government’s Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing and published in 2008 by the New Economics Foundation.

For example: In the second WHY? blog post we saw the young people from The Challenge group connecting with nature in a way that was new to them as they dug for potatoes; they were certainly being active, taking notice, and inquisitive about flowers and seed sowing. Yes they were learning and giving. Actions to benefit our wellbeing are simple and accessible, and outdoor opportunities are all around us.

Here's a great example from the National Wildflower Centre which summarises the '5 Ways' as outdoor actions, and on a 'loyalty card':

Brilliant, I wish I'd thought of this!
It's very neat method for reinforcing these positive actions. It makes me want to borrow this idea for the outdoor learning activities we do with Gatton School...there's a lot to explore on just one small card.

Come along on Sunday 22nd for a top-up of your natural 5-a-day.

Finally: the Project Wild Thing film talks about how to 'present' nature to people who have lost the habit or fluency of getting into the outdoors. 
Does nature need a local marketing campaign?
TTT, fanSHEN Theatre, the Tooting Community Garden, the Friends of Streatham Cemetery and other partners will all help with that locally. Please join us. - Charles