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Love Local

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 24.12.2014

Time: 10:40

You can make small changes for a New Year filled with health and happiness, explains April Sotomayor.

As we get ready to bring in a new year, many of us will take time to think about our lifestyles and what we can do to eat better...to feel better...to live better! Yes, I’m talking about the loved and (mostly) loathed New Year’s resolutions – the promises we make to ourselves with the hope of having a healthier and happier year than the one before.

Many of us will aim as high as possible, often embarking upon very punishing resolutions, almost as a way to atone for such a decadent Christmas holiday season. I’m talking fad diets or quitting schemes that call for extreme abstinence from the things that often make us feel unwell – alcohol, smoking, too much meat, fatty foods, sweets. But as you consider how to start the new year off right, I’d like to appeal to your more moderate side!

Rather than starting January off with an extreme personal challenge, to be endured rather than the principle itself enduring for the whole year and beyond, perhaps we can think instead of the importance of making reasonable goals for our health.

I recommend taking baby steps. Create little habits that involve just enough change to enable you to feel some results, without killing your sense of willpower and destroying your feeling of achievement. Perhaps start by walking to the local market or shop to buy some seasonal ingredients for a delicious salad – you’ll be getting a bit of exercise, buying something fresh and tasty, and building relationships with local food providers.

PECT’s work with schools and communities through Love Local has been all about helping people to make small changes like these– such as learning how to cook simple recipes and understanding where our food comes from so we can make healthier choices. We’re committed to helping people reconnect with local food, which is one of the simplest ways to get out there and do something good for your health.

Worried about sticking with it? Enlist the help of an enthusiastic child in your life. By getting them excited about new ingredients and flavours and showing children simple techniques that will help them put together healthy meals is both fun and fulfilling. Getting your kids involved is a great way to keep you on track as their enthusiasm for helping out in the kitchen grows. And best yet, you’ll be able to enjoy one of life’s great pleasures: sitting around the table to enjoy a good meal in the presence of family or friends.

So here’s to creating realistic and fun New Year’s resolutions for yourself and your family! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out about any free Love Local cookery workshops or support available to Peterborough communities and schools for healthy food education.



Winter Festival: Environmental Superheroes Part 2

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 18.12.2014

Time: 11:56

We always like to share environmental news and events that show the positive work happening across the city! 

The Children's University is a national project that recognises the achievements of young people who take part in out of hours learning activities. Peterborough Children's University, University Centre Peterborough (UCP), Peterborough Regional College (PRC) and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) present the following activity, taking place at University Centre Peterborough. 

Winter Festival: Environmental Superheroes Part 2
22nd-23rd December, 9.30am-1pm

After the success of the first project which saw children write a pledge committing to green living, Environmental Superheroes RETURNS! University Centre Peterborough is hosting two mornings for young people to come in and demonstrate their creative skills. 

The sessions will have a hands-on approach with practical activities and competitions. Activities will include recycling relays, academic lectures and opportunities to recycle waste as gifts. All children will leave with some craft materials made from recycled materials. 

The Winter Festival will be run by staff from UCP and Peterborough City Council but children under the age of 10 will need to be accompanied by an adult. Some activities might involve paint, so please bring some old clothes as activities could be messy. Refreshments will be available throughout the morning, but you may also want to bring some of your own. 

For more details and to book please email ucpenquiries@anglia.ac.uk or call 0845 196 5750.


Have you fitted your LEDs yet?

Category: General

Date: 10.12.2014

Time: 12:50

David S Dixon, local business consultant and PECT member with a long-standing interest in the environment, talks to PECT about the benefits of LED lights.

PECT: We hear you’ve been installing LED lights in your office and home. Are you pleased with them?

David Dixon: Yes, I’m delighted. They’ve already started to save me money and, what’s more, they are truly great for the environment. I have been using various so-called energy saving lights for years, but these are much better.

PECT: So is it a simple switch over – out with the old, in with the new?

DD: Well no, it’s not quite like that. There are a few things you need to find out first, but it isn’t difficult and soon you can be enjoying all the benefits of much better and cheaper lighting.

PECT: What sort of things do you need to know?

DD: Well the first, and I think most important thing I learned is that LEDs use about one eighth of the power of old incandescent bulbs. Well, actually they are electric lamps really, not bulbs, the bulb is just the glass dome that we used to be familiar with that surrounded the white-hot filament.

PECT: So less power is needed to feed less watts, meaning less consumption?

DD: Exactly. So look here’s a simple chart* below of comparative energy use, LEDs do vary just a little, but this is a pretty good guide. A lumen is a standard measure of light intensity, or brightness. It is a more helpful and accurate measure than using watts. You can often see it printed now on packaging for electric lamps. You can sometimes find different lumen ratings for lamps of the same wattage, so be careful, but simply go for the highest lumens if you want a brighter lamp.

Lamp type

220+ lumens

400+ lumens

700+ lumens

900+ lumens

1300+ lumens


4 watts

6 watts

10 watts

13 watts

18 watts

CFL (Compact
Fluorescent Lamp)

6 watts

9 watts

12 watts

15 watts

20 watts


18 watts

28 watts

42 watts

53 watts

70 watts

Standard (incandescent)

25 watts

40 watts

60 watts

75 watts

100 watts

*Source: Which? Magazine, Consumers’ Association

PECT: Are we right in saying that savings don’t only come from reduced energy consumption?

DD: Yes, the lamps last around 25 years so you are not constantly replacing them, you can almost “get ‘em and forget ‘em!” This is where another significant part of the saving comes in.

PECT: Energy saving lights have a reputation for taking ages to brighten up after switching on. Are LEDs the same?

DD: No, they’re not. I also noticed some of the energy saving lights in my office getting dimmer over time. But LEDs come on when you switch them on – simple. LEDs may seem expensive initially but the long-term savings are considerable, so it is a really good investment. Like anything new, prices have been high at first, but new supplies are coming onto the market and LEDs are becoming much more readily available. Prices are definitely coming down, so shop around.

If you are worried about the initial cost, install them gradually, a few each month, but don’t just wait until the old ones “die” as you can start making savings immediately. Your best bet is to replace the lights you use most frequently with LEDs to optimise your savings.

You see LEDs recommended on DIY and design TV programmes and not just individual LED lamps, but also in strips that can be joined together, tapes and zone lights. Some are even waterproof or in various colours, so the choice is huge. We have a bar of four spotlights over a dining table and I have selected LEDs that are dimmable. It is great to be able to choose the intensity of the light.

PECT: So how much can you save then? Is it easy to work it out?

DD: That, of course, all depends on what you are replacing with LEDs. If you compare with old fashioned standard incandescent lamps, typically you will save around £180 over the life of each LED lamp. Local business in the Peterborough areas such as offices, restaurants and other large and small enterprises are already saving hundreds of pounds on their electricity bills.

PECT: What do you need to think about when converting to LEDs then?

DD: Well first you need to think what fitting the lamp has. Is it a traditional bayonet, or screw, or does it have little pins. So check the type, and the size of the fitting, take the old lamp to the shop if you need. You also need to estimate the wattage, or better the lumens, for the lamps you are buying.

At present many homes use halogen lamps, often a GU10. These give a warm white light. Perhaps surprisingly then, you will now need to think about what colour of light you want as you are now likely to have an option. At home for living rooms and bedrooms you may want a warm white, whereas in an office or for a shop, or may be for a kitchen or bathroom, you may want a natural white light. The warmer light will have some yellow in it, whereas the whiter lights, which burn at a higher temperature, have blue in them. This is measured in degrees kelvin.

What’s more, not all LEDs are dimmable, so make sure if your fitting is connected to a dimmer, you’ll need dimmable LEDs – just check.

PECT: Where can you get LEDs from?

DD: LEDs are now widely available in DIY centres, electrical retailers, supermarkets and, of course, online. They can also be bought at the specialist trade stockists in Peterborough.

Be positive, buy one and try it out. If we all used them in Peterborough it would save our city many hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. Just think what that means for our pockets and the environment!