EFOE News January 2011                                

 Happy New Year!



Let’s Talk Transport - Mayor’s Consultation Meeting in Ealing

Wednesday 19 January, 7.00 to 8.30 in Greenford Assembly Rooms, Ruislip Road, UB6 9QN

I hesitate to mention this as it is on the same evening as our EFoE meeting! However, it does offer a chance to question Boris Johnson about transport and what it means for the local environment, business, residents and London. The panel will also include local council representatives and transport commentators.


For more information and to book free tickets, go to http://www.london.gov.uk/talklondon/transport


Family Eco Event in Southall, Wednesday 19 January

4 – 7pm at Sahara Court, Lancaster Road, Southall UB1 1AP

This event organised by the Catalyst Housing Group, features a Give and Take stall (please no clothes, second-hand car seats or helmets), craft activities and information sessions on avoiding waste and saving money.


Share your left-over recipes and win a prize!

West London Waste is inviting people to send in their favourite recipes using at least two items of leftovers from the Christmas meal for a chance to win a restaurant voucher or a hamper of foodie goodies.


Go to www.westlondonwaste.gov.uk to find out more. The competition closes on 23 January.


Don’t pig out, veg out!
After a month of indulgence, January is normally a time for resolutions and diets, but there are plenty of fresh veggie treats to enjoy. Try seasonal favourites such as kale, leeks, swede, carrots, squash, celeriac and turnips.


Ealing Green Drinks is back after the Christmas break. It is open to anyone who has any interest in meeting like-minded people or who simply wants to talk about any environmental or green lifestyle issues, business or personal. Tuesday 25 January at the New Inn, St Mary’s Road, W5 from 8pm till closing time. See page 4 for update. http://www.greendrinks.org/London/Ealing



Friends of the Earth Greater South-East Regional Gathering

Join staff and fellow campaigners on Saturday 29 January to discuss environmental issues and campaign tactics. Check out the Events page on the FoE website for more information


Something Fishy

* If you watched “Hugh’s Fish Fight” on Channel 4 this week, you’ll know that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back dead because of the quotas imposed by current EU legislation. Not only is this an appalling waste of food, it’s highly detrimental to the ecosystem. The Fish Fight campaign is calling for changes to the Common Fisheries Policy to end this practice of discarding.

Go to www.fishfight.net to find out more and join the campaign. If you missed the programmes you can catch up with them on www.channel4.com/programmes


* MARINET (the marine network of FoE local groups) has sent this message:

We have been asked by C.O.A.S.T. (Community of Arran Seabed Trust www.arrancoast.com) to circulate the text of an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons which notes the serious impact that scallop dredging can have on the marine ecosystem and thus calls upon the Government to take action to regulate this type of fishing.

The text of the EDM is reproduced below.


EDM 1209         SCALLOP DREDGING   15.12.2010   Clark, Katy

That this House notes with concern the impact which scallop dredging is having on the marine environment; further notes that this practice has only started in recent decades and effectively scrapes the seabed to retrieve scallops but in the process damages other species and marine life; further notes the charted decline of the number of marine species living in the seas and is troubled that excessive scallop dredging is contributing further to this worrying trend; and calls on the Government and devolved administrations to take steps to regulate scallop dredging as a matter of urgency to protect the marine eco system and ensure that the United Kingdom can continue to support a diverse range of marine wildlife off its coasts.


The effects of scallop dredging and the reaction of the Isle of Man government to the threat it poses it its waters can be seen in a recent article in the Latest News section of the MARINET website http://www.marinet.org.uk/index.html, where you can also find many reports related to marine environmental issues.


* Greenpeace has just published its new tinned tuna league table, showing which supermarkets and leading brands are using the most sustainable fishing methods and which are responsible for killing sharks and turtles and possibly even dolphins in their tuna nets. While Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose came out on top, Princes (who sell about one-third of the tinned tuna in the UK) has performed abysmally. It uses one of the worst fishing methods around: huge purse seine nets coupled with fish aggregating devices that lure in all kinds of fish. Greenpeace has forced Princes to change the labels on its tins, which claimed that the company was “fully committed to fishing methods which protect the marine environment and marine life”.

Even before the table was published, Tesco, having got wind they had come last, made a rapid u-turn from its previous statements and announced that by the end of 2012 it aimed to have 100% of its tuna caught by rod and line. This was enough to move it from the bottom of the list, but of course it now must make good its promise.

Go to http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/tunaleaguetable to find out more and to send an email to Princes asking them to change their fishing methods. You can also order a free Fish Guide to help you make informed decisions about the fish you eat.


* While on the subject of fish, I can recommend Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky (Vintage 1999). Very readable and informative, it charts the history of cod fishing through the ages, its importance to the economy and the sorry results of over-fishing.


Cleaning tip

Make your own mild all-purpose cleaner to clean dirt, food spills, stains and build-up on most surfaces. Its deodorising properties make it an ideal solution for cleaning fridges, microwaves, even children’s toys. Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 pints of water, then wipe surfaces with a soft cloth.

Based on excerpt from ‘Green Cleaning for Dummies’ by Sheldon/Goldsmith, available from http://www.foe.co.uk/bookshop


The Big Garden Birdwatch       The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, the world’s biggest survey, has been going for over 30 years and has provided valuable information about the country’s bird population. Everyone can take part; you don’t even need a garden as you can choose to count the birds in a nearby park. All you have to do is watch out for birds for an hour on Saturday 29 or Sunday 30 January and record the highest number of each species you see at any one time.                                      For further information go to www.rspb.org.uk


Walk London’s Winter Wanders     On Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 January 2011 over 50 great walks will be taking place. This year there is one in Ealing: a leisurely stroll along the Grand Union Canal and the River Brent from Boston Manor tube station to Greenford, starting at 1.30 on the Sunday. However you could also choose one of the many themed walks such as Seafaring London, Dickens and Shakespeare, Westminster at War, or venture out into the far flung regions of Sutton or Waltham Forest. Walks are free and range from just over one mile to about eight miles long.

For more information on the weekend and on walking in London in general go to www.walklondon.org.uk


Wildlife Walks in Ealing     More of John Wells’ interesting themed walks and talks

* Sunday 23 January: A bird-watching tour of Walpole and Lammas Parks.

Meet outside Pitshanger Mansion, Walpole Park at 11am.

Public transport: Bus 65. Or buses 83, 207, 427, 607, E1, E2, E7, E8, E9 and E10 to Ealing Broadway or Underground (District/Central Line) or Fits Great Western to Ealing Broadway Station then 5 minutes walk.

On behalf of Ealing Countryside Rangers. Bring binoculars if you have them.


* Saturday 5 February: The mosses and liverworts of Perivale Wood

Meet in the hut at the entrance in Sunley Gardens at 1.30pm.

Public transport: Bus 297 or Underground (Central Line) to Perivale Station then 5 minutes walk

On behalf of the Selborne Society. Donations and new members welcome (Min. membership £4.00, family £6.00)


London Potato Fair and Seed Exchange

Sunday 23 January, 10.00 am to 3.00 pm

About 100 varieties of seed potato, sold by the tuber so you can try new varieties as well as old favourites. Seed exchange: bring your saved seed and half-used commercial seed packets to swap for something you haven’t tried before. Venue:  Sydenham School, Dartmouth Road, London SE26 4RD (Southern Railways, Forest Hill Station)

For more information visit www.potatofair.org


Getting rid of stuff

If you’ve had a post-Christmas clearout and would like to get rid of unwanted items, there are now several alternatives to charity shops and Freecycle.


* Ealing Freegive connects people who are giving and getting unwanted items for free in their home town. It is open to all residents of the London Borough of Ealing who want to recycle that special something rather than throw it away. It is free to join. Ealing Freegive Group Link: http://www.freegive.co.uk/p/ealing.htm


* Launched recently, www.EcoBees.com is another organisation dedicated to keeping items out of landfill. There are no groups to join; everything is based on distance to you. You can see maps of where things are (including directions to them for easier collection), and you can swap and borrow as well as give and receive. Again, this is a free service.


Climate Change in the Theatre – hot topic?

There are two productions opening shortly that deal with the topic of climate change.

* The Heretic, at the Royal Court, Sloane Square, features an academic at odds with the orthodoxy over the cause of man-made climate change. This black comedy by Richard Bean questions whether the science is settled. What evidence do we need before deciding what to believe?  Visit www.royalcourttheatre.com to find out more.


* More seriously, Greenland, at the National Theatre, sees four writers collaborate on a thrilling new piece which explores the urgent questions surrounding climate change. The team spent six months interviewing key individuals from the worlds of science, politics, business and philosophy in an effort to understand our changing relationship with the planet.


After each performance there will be a chance to discuss and debate the issues raised in the play. In addition, there are several pre-show platform discussions and post-show conversations with some of the people interviewed for the play, providing further insight into the subject.

For more on these and on Greenland itself visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk



Future EFoE meetings

* 16 February: Presentation on waste prevention in West London by Sarah Dickinson from West London Waste

* 16 March: Visit from Tom Wright, Friends of the Earth London Network Developer

Ealing Green Drinks Update


Theme: Muswell Hill Sustainability Group


Cara Jenkinson from the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group will be joining us on Tuesday 25th January. She set up their Low Carbon Bulk Buying scheme. The sustainability group raises awareness of carbon footprints and ways to reduce it. Here are a few words from their website:


As we produce more CO2 the Earth’s temperature rises with the frightening implications for every one of us of serious climate change. The problem is seemingly not on a human scale. How can a single person make a difference?


By becoming informed and aware a ‘mere’ individual can come to grips with their share of the most difficult challenge ever faced by the human race.


Just living in our houses creates about 30% of this country’s CO2 emissions. Our use of transport contributes around another 20%. Understanding our personal accountability begins to modify our behaviour and can transform opinion around us. Our every day domestic choices create the national and global picture.