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Have a Greeniversity Christmas!

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 28.11.2014

Time: 15:11

Why not have a homemade Christmas this year and make your own festive presents, decorations and food?

Greeniversity teachers run special Christmas-themed classes so you can find a cheaper, more personal way to celebrate the festive period, explains local participant Jodie Denton. Try anything from making a Christmas table centre piece through to learning how to make your own pickled and preserved foods at home.

Greeniversity is a community skills network that’s all about living better in a way that values the environment. It allows people to try new skills or learn about alternative methods of doing things. It also gives you the opportunity to teach others your skills and hobbies. Throughout it all, you can meet other like-minded people in your own area.

The thing I enjoy most about Greeniversity is the variety of classes I been involved with. Having registered in September, I’ve already been involved with numerous sessions including making cards from recycled materials, how to make my own healthy chocolates and learning how to identify moths and trees in my local woods. Not only have I increased my skill set by attending these sessions, but I have also met some fantastic people in my area that I may not have met otherwise.

Classes run all year round. It’s easy to get involved with Greeniversity, just register for an account on www.greeniversity.org.uk to see a list of free classes run by Greeniversity teachers and other environmental organisations in your area, and then click on a session to book your space on the course. Sessions are available for all abilities unless specifically stated.

With Christmas on the way there has never been a better time to join the Greeniversity network. Having already made some Christmas chocolates and a decorative willow star I can guarantee that a home-made Christmas is the cheapest and most fun way to celebrate the festive season.

Register now at www.greeniversity.org.uk/sign-up 
For more information on becoming a Greeniversity teacher yourself email peterborough@greeniversity.org.uk or call 01733 866437.



We're dreaming of a green Christmas!

Category: Business

Date: 21.11.2014

Time: 14:49

Rawlinsons Love Real Trees!

Last December, the green team at Peterborough’s local accountancy firm Rawlinsons were busy working towards their Investors in the Environment (iiE) Green Accreditation when team member Gemma started looking for new initiatives to boost the office’s green credentials. 

With it being Christmas Gemma started thinking about all those unwanted cards that would be discarded after the festive season and what could be done at Rawlinsons to recycle them for a good cause.

After a bit of research they discovered that Marks and Spencer had been working with the Woodland Trust for a number of years, collecting unwanted Christmas cards and turning them into much needed trees.  The UK is woefully short of trees with only 13% woodland cover compared to the EU average of 37%.  By supporting this scheme it would be helping to plant new woodland – or as Marks and Spencer put it, helping to ‘grow new homes for hundreds of species, from dormice to woodpeckers, beetles to butterflies’.

Marks and Spencer promised that for every 1,000 Christmas cards bought into its stores for recycling in January the Woodland Trust will be able to plant one tree, so in December 2013 Rawlinsons launched an internal ‘Love Real Trees’ campaign to encourage everyone to bring in their unwanted cards after Christmas, with the goal of collecting 1,000 cards, enabling one Rawlinsons tree to be planted!

The campaign received an overwhelming amount of support from the team, who also got their friends, families and business contacts involved, which resulted in an outstanding 3,524 cards being collected, exceeding the original goal by 252%!  If an office with 60 employees can achieve this, just imagine what the larger companies in Peterborough could do too! 

Rawlinson’s goal this year is to beat its previous total, but also to challenge fellow iiE members and Peterborough businesses to introduce the scheme and see what they can achieve. It’s a very rewarding thought that there are now 3 and a half Rawlinsons trees out there somewhere, housing some little dormice and beetles…

What can your company achieve this Christmas-time?

In addition to this, if you're interested in finding out more information about PECT's Forest for Peterborough tree-planting scheme, click here.



Heataborough Community Event

Category: General

Date: 14.11.2014

Time: 11:09

Here at PECT we love to share news about great eco events happening across the city and further afield.

That’s why we thought we’d tell you about Heataborough, a community event happening on Friday 21 November, between 4pm-7.30pm at Millennium Centre, Dickens Street, Peterborough (PE1 5GD).

If you’re a homeowner or landlord, drop-in to hear how Peterborough City Council has been awarded a £4 million subsidy fund by the government as part of the Green Deal programme to help local house owners afford home energy efficiency improvements with no (or little) up-front costs.

Who qualifies? All owners of residential property in the central Peterborough target area (most PE1 postcodes) can now apply for a grant. You can check out the target area map on www.peterborough.gov.uk/heataborough. Properties must have solid walls that need insulating. Replacement boilers, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and double glazing are also available (subject to survey).

Head to the event to find out how you can get a share of this fund to improve your property. The first 500 home energy surveys booked are being carried out FREE OF CHARGE – you can book yours at the event.

Don’t miss the Landlord & Letting Agents short talk at 4.30pm, and a Homeowners, Community Groups & Leaders Short Talk at 6pm.

If you can’t make it, you can book your free survey on www.peterborough.gov.uk/heataborough or call 01296 311898.



Laura Fanthorpe, Marketing and Communications Manager

Category: General

Date: 14.11.2014

Time: 10:17

Hello! My name is Laura and I am the newly-appointed Marketing and Communications Manager for Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT). I have just finished my first two weeks in the position, and the time has absolutely sped by!

I am delighted to be working for such a fantastic organisation that is achieving great things – not only within the city itself but also further afield.

My role involves ensuring PECT’s projects reach as wide an audience as possible. I am in a unique position that offers wonderful opportunities to spread the word in order to benefit individuals, communities, schools and businesses.

It’s been great to see that PECT really does practice what it promotes. The organisation has received accreditation from Investors in the Environment for its green credentials, plus there’s a strong emphasis on following good sustainable practices in order to reduce the organisation’s environmental impact. It’s been really refreshing to see how passionate PECT’s staff and volunteers are about sustainable living.

My background has always been within the horticultural, green living, and cultural sectors, so I’m delighted to bring my interests together to work within PECT. I enjoy trying to live an eco-friendly  lifestyle, and this include growing my own produce, keeping chickens, buying local, recycling, and walking or cycling whenever I can.

However, there are always opportunities to improve my green credentials and I’m excited about the oppportunity to keep on learning!


No Supermarket September: How did we fare?

Category: General

Date: 10.11.2014

Time: 09:43

Some of us decided to take up the challenge of No Supermarket September to see how possible it would be to use just the city’s local businesses for our regular food shopping. This was a real opportunity to check out of the supermarket conveyor belt for a while!

We were filled with trepidation and a little bit daunted by the idea, imagining big challenges - where would we get the time to shop in more local, sustainable way? Would we be able to get what we needed from alternative outlets? Having to work around busy schedules and being working parents meant that this way of shopping could certainly be a challenge. But the answer, we soon discovered, was yes we could. Not only was it feasible, but it turned out to be a great experience!

Where did you shop, I hear you cry? Well, this was difficult at first (it meant a change of mindset as much as anything), but once we started to discover local traders we found there were enough of them, but there is definitely a need for more. If you want to support your local traders you can, and you can get most things you need without having to step into a big supermarket.

For fresh fruit and vegetables there was of course the option of veg box delivery but we also really enjoyed shopping on the city market, where there is a great choice of fresh, ripe, and delicious produce, at really fantastic prices. The city market also provided us with fish, cheese and meat and even pet food.

For bread we discovered that the Italian deli’s, Chinese and European shops were a great source, and we also baked our own. For staples such as flour, sugar, tea coffee, organic pulses and so on we used Backyard Foods, the organic wholefood shop at The Green Backyard.

The added value of this challenge was reconnecting with the high street. It made shopping much less of a chore. We started to build relationships with shopkeepers and market holders, and created a great rapport with local shops. Being able to talk to people about our choices and try delicious new food we hadn’t thought of using before was a great added benefit.

In addition to this we found that we were spending far less money on our weekly shop, which was a big surprise! Not only were we not buying as many things we didn’t need (and reducing food waste), local traders do actually offer competitive prices and were often much cheaper than supermarkets.

In truth the supermarket can be more convenient, BUT, you CAN get everything you need without stepping foot in one, at the same time as having a much more enjoyable experience and making some new friends along the way, whilst supporting our local economy. In the end, we found that supermarkets offer a lot of convenience, especially in terms of opening hours, but at a minimum, there is plenty of space to at least supplement your weekly shop with local traders.