Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 19th February 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: Some good news for people living in rented accommodation was reported last week. Energy and Climate Change secretary, Ed Davey, announced that new regulations were to be implemented from 2018 to force landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of the homes they rent out. Presently, almost 10% of England and Wales' 4.2 million privately rented homes do not reach the minimum standards.

These regulations will help people who live in poorly insulated properties and generally pay about £1,000 more than the average to heat their homes. Landlords will be required to up upgrade the energy efficiency of hundreds of thousands of homes which are rated as F and G to a minimum of E by April 2018 or be unable to rent out their properties until the ratings are improved. In addition, from April 2016, tenants who live in F and G rated homes will be able to request more insulation and landlords will be legally bound to upgrade the homes to E rating.

Another interesting report told us about some straw houses that were being built in Bristol and about someone who has been living in such a property near Canterbury. More than 3 million tonnes of straw are wasted each year so this is a valuable, available material which is a superb insulator, both against the cold and noise.

Obviously, these measures will result in the reduction of carbon emissions from inefficiently insulated homes and so will help us in the fight against climate change whilst reducing energy bills.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Deal FairTrade Fortnight 23rd Feb to 8th March


“Make Trade Fair” and “Stock It” are the two themes running through Fairtrade Fortnight and throughout the year.

To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight, the Dover Mayor, Cllr. Pam Brivio, together with Dover and Deal Fairtrade Networks, is hosting a reception at Dover Town Council on Wednesday 25th February from 6pm to 8pm. The Co-op Group is providing a wine tasting and Barbara Crowther from the Fairtrade Foundation will be updating the guests on what is happening with Fairtrade.

To let local residents know about these two campaigns Deal Town Fairtrade Network, a newly formed group, will be organising stalls at the following events:

  • At the Friday Market in the Undercroft at Deal Town Hall on Friday 27th February from 9am to 1pm. 

  • After Mass in St. Andrew’s Church Hall from 11.30am to 12.15pm
  • At the Friday Market in the Undercroft at Deal Town Hall on Friday 6th March from 9am to 1pm.
  • In the West Street Co-op on Saturday 7th March from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Sue Delling
Deal Town Fairtrade Network

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day Deal Seedy Saturday

Our first Seedy Saturday of 2015 was brilliant - we were lucky with the weather but we had a  really great response from the town. 

The Seed Swap stall was inundated with people,  donations of seeds and plants with some extremely busy swapping times - we get more tables arranged next time!

Thanks to Tracy, Sonia, Roisin, Sue and Adrian for managing the stall.

Imogen did us proud with an inspiring range of local eats - the Hare Soup was particularly welcome by many on cold morning. Thanks to everyone who donated food including Black Pig

Roisin Murray gave us a couple of Valentine's day stories

We had Nick from Chocolution with lots of free samples of raw chocolate and  Sue from AnSugan with recycled cool fabrics and woolens. Thanks to Sue for doing our lovely Valentine's day bunting

We are looking at dates for the spring Seedy Saturday soon but  April is looking good.

Thank you to everyone who came and also for the £116 in donations for the Garden

All our photos are here

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 12th February 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: It is difficult to believe that David Cameron once promised that he would lead 'the greenest government ever'. In the 2010 coalition agreement, the government pledged that it would support 'British companies that develop and export innovative green technologies around the world instead of supporting investment in dirty fossil- fuel energy production'.

An investigation by environmental campaigning group, Greenpeace, has discovered that far from not supporting fossil-fuel energy production, the government has provided more than £1billion in loans to Russian company, Gazprom, Brazil's state- owned oil company and Saudi Arabian petrochemical companies. The largest loan by UK Export Finance (UKEF), a separate government department that reports to business secretary Vince Cable, was £447million to help develop a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia. Another loan of £330million was to Gazprom, a Russian government owned company, to help the transport of natural gas.

To move forward towards a zero carbon future, we need to invest in all the different forms of renewable energy from wind, solar, wave and tidal power to hydroelectric and geothermal technology. Taking advantage of all these technologies, together with energy saving programmes, will ensure that we keep the lights on.

Our government has an international commitment to take all the steps necessary to limit global temperature rise by 2°C. This will hardly be achievable if they are continuing to invest in the extraction of fossil fuels that must remain in the ground if we are to have any chance of achieving a reduction in global emissions.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

St Valentine's Deal Seedy Saturday

We getting all loved up! The next Deal Seedy Saturday is on St Valentine's day Saturday 14th February from 11am to 1pm at the Landmark Garden on Deal High Street

This will be Seed Swap - open to all to donate or swap seeds for the new growing season. Its all very informal and friendly.

All we ask that you have grown something from the seeds in the last season, ideally stored them in a dry, dark and sealed packet and that they are clearly labelled.

We also want your story - how they worked for you; was it a struggle with slugs eating your beans and on the third sowing you won? what did you do with the produce... Seeds Swaps are about seeds but also ideas, sharing knowledge and community.

They are a great first step for people wanting start growing but also for experienced gardeners to try new things.

This Seedy Saturday will also include Tracy's 'Window Sill Salad Corner' - a reminder on how easy its to sprout seeds indoors to give some green and tasty in the bleak winter....

As always we like to have some different morsels on hand for people to try - Our theme is a big love one this time but it is all from the garden, store-cupboard or seasonal fayre.

Imogen plans some interesting mixes which are all traditional english foods for lovers (apparently:) :

Imogen seeds at ready
  • Hot Herring Pate with three corner leek and bay leaves.
  • Sprat paste with lemon balm
  • Medieval Gingerbread
  • Hare Soup + winter savories
  • Marmalade jelly
  • Elderflower tonic
Fish is off the Deal beach ... and other ingredients out of the Landmark Garden.

We also have local Deal chocolatier The Chocolution on hand with some tasty samples and some serious loved up raw chocolates to share with the beloved.

We also have the wonderful Mimi O'Harloran  to provide us with some romantic music to get you all in the mood for Seed Swapping ....

We do our Seed Swaps on Saturdays because our community garden at the Landmark Centre is part of the High Street and that's where can engage, enthuse and inspire our community.

Seed Swaps are nationwide a movement. All starting with the mega one in Brighton.

Here in Kent, our colleagues in Whitstable Transition have one at the Whitstable Farmers Market on the 14th March and on the 8th March at Tonbridge Farmers Market organised by HadLOW Carbon Community.  For details on their Facebook pages ...

There are Transition groups throughout Kent - Hythe, Folkestone, Whitstable, Faversham, Canterbury, Thanet and Tenterden.

All doing similar stuff to Deal With It. So why not get involved in your community ?

For more info on Deal With It - we have a mailing list or join us on facebook  or Twitter @Deal_Withit

Deal With It HooHa 31st January 2015

Deal With It had its Annual General HooHa (like a AGM but with considerable more cake) at the Landmark Cafe on Saturday 31st January 2015.

In all we had about a record 35 attending the event which is a bit of a record.

There was great vibe - we managed to generate a lot of energy, ideas and raw enthusiasm for the coming year.

We used an exhibition of photos of some of the things we had done in 2014 which were a great talking point for people involved on those events but also a great way to explain what a transition group does to the public or people just wanting to find out a little more.

The formal business was done at a canter - Steve Wakeford, Vicky Nicholls and Jane Stubbington were thanked for their work in 2014 and re-appointed as Coordinator, Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

We had a number of new volunteers who wanted to get involved in the Organising Group and we will publish more on that after the first meeting on the 21st Feb.

The 'Postcard to Deal' worked well when we were engaging with people - so we will continue to use on our events. Thanks to Landmark, Golf Road Centres and Sea Cafe and Platform 1 cafe for hosting.

Vicky is collating all the ideas from the postcards for discussion at next organising group meeting.

All the photos from the day can be found here

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 5th February 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: A recent study carried out by Cardiff University has found that more people than ever before believe that the climate is changing and that human activity is responsible for some or all of the changes.

The threat from climate change is considered to be almost as important as health, the economy and immigration, coming in fourth place. Many people cite last winter’s terrible flooding as the reason for the realisation of the existence of climate change and saw it as a sign of things to come. A large percentage of people surveyed said that the floods were some of the worst events that have happened in the UK in recent years. Nearly two thirds of people thought that the floods were caused, wholly or partly, by climate change.

A very heart warming result of the survey found that most people were willing to take what action they could to curb greenhouse gas emissions and they wanted the government and businesses to take action, as well. This action included buying more energy efficient appliances where they could and making significant changes to their lifestyle, such as reducing car journeys.

Most people also supported the UK signing up to international agreements to limit emissions. Opinions on subsidies for renewable energy produced a split, with less than half of the people surveyed in agreement. The reason for this could be that few people realise that all energy production attracts subsidies, even those that rely on the burning of fossil fuels.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Family Bread making in half-term @ Chequers

What a great idea from Chequers Kitchen & Whole School Meals .... for half term !

Check their website here