First things first


Monday, 30 November 2009

Setting up your 10:10 group for 2010




We are writing to let you know of our experience of starting 10:10 groups in our street, hoping that you may feel like doing something similar in your immediate neighbourhood.  10:10 is an initiative started by Franny Armstrong for us all as individuals and organizations to voluntarily reduce our energy consumption by 10% during 2010.  The most important ways we can save are on our home fuel consumption, our travel and our choice of food. Making it into a New Year’s Resolution (an idea brought by one of our group) could give it a real boost.


All you need is to involve up to 7 people or so who live in your street & organize a periodic get-together (once every 2 months through 2010) in which you share ideas on reducing energy consumption.  You monitor your progress by meter readings and other simple calculations by getting the Transition Carbon Calculator (email us to ask for this).  We found that it’s more fun & effective because of the shared information and a sense of community.


This method of working in small groups has been proved by Global Action Plan, and we have already successfully started it with groups in Foyle Road.  Please contact us if you want any help, and in any case let us know you have a group running so you can share your good ideas on the blog.


We are sure that you are already doing many things to live more sustainably, and indeed in that case it will be particularly valuable if you do form a group of neighbours since you will have experience to pass on.  Please start asking people now to be part of your 10:10 group so that you can have your first get together early in the New Year. Let’s make 2010 a turning point.


Very best wishes  ….Edward and Irena

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Tips from TV star on cutting your fuel bill

Thanks are due to the Mercury for a great preview in today's paper of the home energy event coming up on 27 November.

Monday, 16 November 2009

There is such a thing as a free lunch

Transition Westcombe has launched its latest food project, an online urban foraging map detailing the free larder of edible plants growing around us.

So far the map – which you can find at - lists fruits and other foods including elder, rosehip, firethorn, cherries, chestnuts, Swedish whitebeam, and blackberries.

Anyone can edit the map, like a Wikipedia page, and we hope local people will contribute to it so it becomes a bank of community intelligence about local wild food locations.

There really is such a thing as a free lunch, or at least a free pudding or preserve, and it’s all around us - like the syrup and topping used in this firethorn berry cheesecake.

Of course we’ll never meet all our food needs by urban foraging, but that’s not the point. It’s a great way of learning about what we can make use of, and reconnecting with traditional recipes and foodstuffs, and this food definitely has zero food miles. Foraging makes you see your neighbourhood as a potential treasure trove - a new pie ingredient might be growing on the next bush.

At the moment the food map is a bit autumn-centric, because we’ve marked what we’ve spied and picked in the last month or two, but we want everyone to share their local knowledge so it becomes a year-round resource. Eventually we could turn it into a booklet or calendar and use it to raise a few pennies for the transition effort.

We’re taking a small risk by allowing anyone and everyone to edit it, but we've suggested a few guidelines on the site and we reckon people will enter into the spirit of it.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Greenwich Council has chosen Transition Westcombe as one of five groups to bid for the Government’s £500,000 Low Carbon Communities Challenge.

The money is capital funding which could be spent on energy saving measures such as insulation, draughtproofing, solar thermal panels or double glazing.
We are currently working out the most effective ways to spend the money in terms of reducing carbon emissions. At this stage we are asking all private home-owners, private tenants and private landlords to contact Transition Westcombe if they are interested in receiving 50% match funding for these projects. Please email us now on

Will Transition Westcombe become the first carbon neutral transition town? If Transition Westcombe should win this funding to kick-start capital spending on energy-saving measures then this could be an enormous help in getting the whole of Westcombe Park moving towards becoming carbon neutral.

Come to the open meeting to hear eco-auditing expert Donnachadh McCarthy talking on ‘Energy saving measures in period homes’ at 7.30pm on Friday 27th November, in Mycenae House, Mycenae Road, SE3. There will be a panel to answer questions of Alistair Smit from iGenSolar, James Barratt from French and Sashey (timber sash double glazing), and Pippa Hack from LB Greenwich.

Please forward this email to anyone in the Westcombe Park area who you think may be interested.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Donnachadh McCarthy talking on Home Energy Saving


November 27th  7.30pm, Mycenae House, Mycenae Road, SE3


Special Home Energy Saving Event.


A good place to start looking at ways to save energy is in your own home.  On November 27th at 7.30pm in Mycenae House, Mycenae Road SE3, TV expert eco-auditor Donnachadh McCarthy will be speaking on home energy saving in period houses.  You may have seen him on BBC 2’s ‘Its Not Easy Being Green’, ITV’s ‘How Green is Your Home’ and Sky’s ‘Green Britain Week’.  He is the creator of London’s first carbon-negative home.  At the meeting will also be Alistair Smit from Gen Solar and Pippa Hack from L.B. Greenwich.  If you are interested in solar thermal panels or in extra home insulation then this is your chance to hear and ask questions of experts.  Transition Westcombe is combining with Transition Ashburnham Triangle on the other side of Greenwich Park to get group discounts on solar panels, radiator insulation panels and other energy-saving products.