Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CCC watchdog says Uk must do more

The Parliament's watchdog on Climate Change says the UK must make a 'stepped change' in power generation, transport and insulation if it is to reach its targets.

The Committee on Climate Change said the 8.6% reduction in carbon emissions in the last year could be put down to the recession rather than deliberate action....more info here

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Victoria's Green Matters - 8th July

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: 

It was great news to hear that our new government had signed up to the 10:10 campaign to reduce carbon emissions by 10% during 2010. Many individuals, companies, councils and other organisations have also signed up.

How has your campaign been going? If you can’t relate to carbon emissions – let’s face it, it is difficult to visualise the invisible – remember that cutting emissions means also cutting cost and saving money!

Many small actions add up to quite a lot if we go around our homes and look at all the electrical gadgets that we have and take for granted – and switch them off when we are not using them. It is good policy to make sure that energy is not being wasted on any appliance that may be plugged in but is not being used e.g. phone and camera chargers. Televisions and related gadgets such as DVD players/recorders and the various digiboxes that are attached should be switched off, if possible, rather than left on standby.

Our kitchens are a major source of energy use and waste and there are lots of ways that we can minimise this. Small actions like choosing the right size of ring for your saucepan so that you are not heating the air around the edge and always using the saucepan lid. Make sure that you do not always fill the kettle – modern kettles are designed to boil exactly the amount of water you need. Conversely, you do need to fill the oven and the dishwasher to use them efficiently.

Remember, also, to do your shopping efficiently. Taking the car to the shops several times a week uses energy so make sure that you do your shopping for the week in one trip, using local shops where you can and only buying locally sourced produce whenever possible. 

To join the campaign go to

Saturday, June 26, 2010

10:10 Lighter later .... Campaign Video

The 10:10 Lighter Later campaign launch on the 21st June in parliament ...

Lighter Later update from 10:10 on Vimeo.

What happening to Bees ?

DWI Meeting: 'Bees and the Environment'
Bee populations are in severe decline allover the world, but beekeepers and scientists are unsure what is causing these losses. This matters because bees pollinate a third of the food we eat, so without them there would be no apples, onions or even tea!

We are fortunate to have Maggie Harrowell from Dover BeeKeepers to talk to us

Maggie has years of experience as a beekeeper and will be bringing some of her Bees, honey to taste and bee related products to try & buy.

The DWI Meeting is at Dealability, 43 Victoria Rd Deal CT14 7AY at 7:30 - Tuesday 27th July.  

All welcome

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pledge a Journey....

Take a walk. Get on your bike. Choose the bus or train. Pledge a journey and let’s see how many times we can get around the world by 4 July.

A Sustrans campaign

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sue's Ten top tips for a wildlife garden

Sue Sullivan shows DWI supporters her wildlife garden
Sue Sullivan  - Deal With It supporter and Kent Wildlife Fund Wildlife Garden competition assessor - gives us her ten top tips to create a wildlife friendly garden:

  1. Plant a native tree
  2. Dig a pond for wildlife
  3. Don't use chemicals
  4. Don't be too tidy - an undisturbed area will attract wildlifePlant a range of nectar/pollen bearing plants, wild and cultivated, to flower, ideally from early Spring to the Autumn.
  5. Create a bird feeding station
  6. Provide bird boxes, insect boxes, hedgehog boxes
  7. Leave an area of long grass for summer butterflies, grass hoppers and crickets
  8. Create a log pile/dead wood for insects to live and breed in
  9. Leave some flowers to go to seed and leave through the winter for seed eating birds.
  10. Enjoy your garden wildlife!
Kent Wildlife Trust further information 

Sue & Adrian are also showing their art & photography as part of the Deal Festival & SEAS 'Open Studios' on the first three weekends in July and would be willing to do a brief tour of the Garden  tel: 01304 614 088 - 2 Bridge Hill Cottages Hacklinge CT14 0AY (location 24 in SEAS Catalogue

KCC's KentJourney Share scheme ....

Why set up a company journey-sharing scheme?

Whether you work for a company, charity or other type of organisation, whether your office is big or small and located in a town centre or the countryside, journey-sharing can help you in a number of ways.
Getting large (or small) numbers of people to your work place can be costly in terms of money and time. Where public transport is limited, many staff may choose to drive to work. This increases congestion and pollution, and puts pressure on limited parking facilities.
Many of these problems can be addressed through the introduction of a journey-sharing scheme. Setting up a kentjourneyshare scheme for your business will help to:
  • Reduce CO2 emissions and pollution
  • Provide a cheap way for staff /or visitors to get to and from the office
  • Cut local traffic and congestion levels
  • Reduce pressure on car-parking facilities
  • Improve relations with the local community
  • Widen your recruitment catchment area for staff
  • Improve your corporate image 
The Scheme is both for companies and individuals ....
Contact or join the KCC Kent Journey Share Scheme here

Kent's Infrastructure at breaking point, say engineers

KENT NEWS: A damning report on the South East’s water, waste, transport and energy systems has concluded the region’s infrastructure is at breaking point.

The study by the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) warns that unless the Government acts on issues such as renewable energy and local authority funding, Kent will be at the mercy of more floods, black-outs and droughts in the future. read more at your-deal website

Deal With It Summer Newsletter is now out....

Deal With It's Summer Newsletter is now out - you can pick up your copy from the Library, Landmark Centre and a number of local shops like Peppers... or here online

This edition leads with a few words from our new MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke

"Reforming power generation can reduce emissions. It could also give us energy security and help keep our energy bill stable. In this way the environment wins and the least well off and the elderly can win too. If we add to this fuel cell or electric cars emissions and pollution could be cut drastically. My view is that emissions could be halved with such reforms. The options to achieve this are not always ideal. Nuclear power is an obvious candidate, yet many are nervous about it. Carbon capture is a difficult technology to get to work. Offshore wind farms are attractive but expensive. Yet I feel these forms of power generation should be considered and developed because the prize for our planet and our children is so great. We would see lower emissions. We would hold back global warming which threatens sea levels and our beautiful – but low lying! – town of Deal.

And we would benefit from cleaner air to boot. So in Parliament I will support the reform of power generation and a move to getting shot of the internal combustion engine. I would be really interested to hear what people think of these ideas."

Contact me by phone (01304 379669) or at

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wildlife Garden Visit

Deal With It spent a wonderful sunday afternoon at Sue & Adrian Sullivan's Wildlife Garden in Hacklinge. It was amazing to see what can be achieved in four years with a bit of vision, some hard work and lots of care for the environment & wildlife.

Sue & Adrian gave us a great walk & talk, which was informative and inspirational followed by a superb cream tea while we set the world to rights.

Sue & Adrian are also showing their art & photography as part of the Deal Festival & SEAS 'Open Studios' on the first three weekends in July and would be willing to do a brief tour of the Garden  tel: 01304 614 088 - 2 Bridge Hill Cottages Hacklinge CT14 0AY (location 24 in SEAS Catalogue

Saturday, June 19, 2010

10:10 Lighter later .... petition online


Everybody loves the sunshine. But every year we set our clocks so that we get less of it in our lives, sleeping through the sunlit mornings while we use expensive, polluting electric lights to keep out the dark nights. Lighter Later is a campaign to brighten all of our days, by changing the clocks so we are awake when the sun is out.

The idea is simple: we shift the clocks forward by one hour throughout the entire year. We would still put the clocks forward in spring and back in autumn, but we would have moved an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, when more of us are awake to enjoy it.

Lighter Later is also the best proof yet of 10:10’s bright idea – that cutting carbon and making life better can and should go hand in hand.

Add your voice today -

Commonwork Summer Workshop - Edenbridge 18th July

Commonwork Summer Workshop Summer Workshop
celebrate our shared heritage
from iron age to low carbon age
Sun 18 July 2010
at Bore Place
nr Edenbridge
Adults £6 Children £3

Between Edenbridge and Tonbridge.
Turn off B2027 between Chiddingstone Causeway and Bough Beech.
Follow road signs to Bore Place.
Historic house and organic gardens
Discover the heritage of Bore Place on a guided tour with a local historian and with the head gardener.
Children’s heritage crafts
Make and play games and crafts for children of all eras: shields, jewellery, quill writing, face painting, dressing up, pond dipping... and much more.
Low carbon energy
Discover how we are progressing towards a low carbon future with our buildings, heating, food and gardens.
Bread of ages
Discover the origins of bread, make a heritage dough and then bake it in our low carbon, wood-fuelled oven.
Tales of time and places
Join our story teller in tales of old and new, and discover the place of story in the heritage of Bore Place.
Spinning wool and natural dyes
Spin yarns about woolly wear and natural dyes, and discover the ancient colours of plants.
Modern day milking
Enter the milking parlour and discover the sights, sounds and smells of modern milking times.
• Traditional farm tools
Discover the farm tools of the past. Find out how these have changed through the ages.
• Eras of energy
Find out the latest on low-carbon heating for your homes and how the Feed In Tariffs can help you.
Heritage veg plot
Find out about crops and food plants of the past, where they come from and how they have developed.
Grow2Grow and Grow Cook Eat
Visit the growing site of these exciting new projects; find out what they are, who they are for and how you can be involved.
Coppice crafts
Discover the heritage of traditional tools and techniques for working with wood.
Market stalls
Locally produced and fairtrade goods for sale, including Commonwork’s own milk and cream from our dairy.
• Live music
Enjoy live music with local musicians. Entry charge covers all workshops and activities.
Food, glorious food
Enjoy a feast made from local, organic and fairly-traded food, accompanied by fairly-traded wine, local Larkins’ beer, fruit juices, teas and coffees.
Food and drinks available to buy throughout the day, or you are welcome to bring a picnic.
Lunch available 12-2pm.
• Free transport
A shuttle minibus will run regularly from Tonbridge train station from 10.30am (download the bus timetable). There are also cycle racks and cycle route maps available.
In the event of any unforseeable circumstances, Commonwork may need to make last-minute changes to the programme.
Heritage Lottery FundContact Lyn Kelly for further details
01732 463255 ext 229

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Victoria's Green Matters - 17th June

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

Zero Carbon Britain? Is this a dream that someday in the farthest future we will live in a world that produces little or no carbon emissions? No, this can be achieved by the year 2030 according to a new report by the Centre for Alternative Technology.

The future envisioned in this report may be different from the present day but paints a picture of a world where values have changed but many things we take for granted are still possible. We will still be able to drive to work but our cars will be electric ones. We will still be able to fly away on holiday but only long haul flights will be available and are considered a treat.

Our diet will need to change although a roast is still possible if less frequent – poultry or pork instead of lamb or beef, which take up too much land and produce too much greenhouse gas. The British landscape will change. Millions more acres will be devoted to vegetable and grain growing. Trees will be grown for buildings and biofuel. Exotic fruits will be a luxury, as food imports will have been halved.

Many jobs will change and workers employed in traditional industries such as steel or cement production will need to retrain to work on insulating buildings or to return to working the land.

The report, which is backed by four universities, the Met Office and many experts, claims that the country can eliminate greenhouse gas emissions to the tune of 637million tonnes of carbon dioxide in just twenty years. These reductions will be achieved by ending wasteful uses of energy, increasing the production of renewable electricity and totally changing land use and farming. Any remaining carbon will be captured by growing a variety of trees on land freed from animal grazing.

If you would like to learn more go to

London Cycle Hire video...

Going up town soon ? Then why not use one of the London wide Cycle Hire to get around.

A 3-minute guide explaining how Barclays Cycle Hire works. How do you hire a bicycle in London? Barclays Cycle Hire goes live on 30 July 2010. 

Video is here

BBC Report on Thanet offshore wind farm

BBC radio4 'Today' -
Vattengall wind turbineThe wind farm supplied power to the National Grid for the first time in May

A Swedish energy giant is gearing up to launch the world's biggest wind farm off the Kent coast.

Vattenfall is putting the last few turbines into place, but the project has been delayed by weeks because of high winds and rough seas.

The wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity for 240,000 homes.

With more than 90 of the planned 100 wind turbines installed, Thanet Wind Farm supplied power to the National Grid for the first time on 16 May.

The project, built by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, is expected to be fully operational in the autumn.

Zero Carbon Britain 2030 - new CAT report

Zero Carbon Britain 2030 is the Centre for Alternative Technology's visionary report, grounded in the latest climate science and devised from extensive research by leading experts in climate change. ZCB2030 explores just what it is Britain must do to meet the scale and speed of the challenges defined by the most recent climate science.

You can download the report at

Energy Workshop - Mark2 of Wind Generator...

Just got a photo from our colleagues in the Deal Energy Workshop Group showing a mark 2 wind generator (designed & built by the Group)
It was turning outside the South Kent College at Folkestone where Barry  and Laurence work. Further details from Jack Domane here

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Brighton's renewable energy coop launches

"Our first project is to to raise £350,000 to install a 100kw solar system in Brighton and Hove.
Covering an area of 700 square metres, the panels will generate some £1.65m".
They aim to do this by forming the UK's first solar energy co-operative. The money will be raised by selling shares in the co-op; profit will then be split between co-op members and investment in new low-carbon projects. more details here

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Victoria's Green Matters - 10th June

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

How does your garden grow? The lovely warm weather and intermittent rain has brought on the plants well after a very cold winter and spring.

We rely very much on beneficial insects to pollinate our vegetable plants and without them there would be no peas, broad or runner beans, tomatoes and courgettes, among others. We would need to rely on root crops such as carrots, parsnips, swedes and turnips and brassicas such as cabbages, cauliflowers and sprouts for our vegetables. Insects are also necessary to pollinate many other crops that we rely on for food.

Many things have affected insect life around the world. Besides climate change, man has been using harmful chemicals, both to fertilise the soil and to kill off unwanted weeds and pests. Unfortunately, this combination of chemicals has been indiscriminate in its effect on all insects, good or bad.

We have all heard about the decline in the number of bees around the world and this last winter has been particularly hard for bees in the USA although here in the UK they have fared better. A consensus of opinion amongst experts is that combinations of chemicals used on crops has affected bees already weakened by the veroa mite and caused high losses. Many experiments have shown that, separately, these chemicals have little effect on the bees but in combination with others they may be deadly.

We can all do our bit to help the bees here. Almost all of us can grow something in our garden that the bees can rely on for food. These plants are simple ones such as verbena, scabias, cornflower, hardy geranium, echinacea, foxglove and many more.
It is really important that we try to grow plants that can provide our bees with the pollen and nectar they need to thrive and in return they will pollinate our food crops.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Plan BEE - Discounted Bee Boxes

The Coop's Plan Bee campaign to protect our Bees is now offering discounted Bee Boxs:

buy a discounted bee box

A bee box will help bees to shelter from the rain and by encouraging bees into your garden it should also help your garden bloom.

We’ve teamed up with to give Co-operative Members and Plan Bee supporters a 15% discount on a FSC-certified Bee Nesting Box with Zinc Roof – £9.34 (reduced from £10.99, plus p&p).

Full details here

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wildlife Garden Visit

Deal With It supporters Sue & Adrian Sullivan are assessors for the Kent Wildlife Trust's annual 'wild about gardens' award for wildlife friendly gardens.

They have kindly offered to open their garden in Hacklinge and do a 'walk & talk' on what they have done and some options for ourselves to make our gardens more friendly to wildlife and sustainable.

This offer is to DWI supporters only and places will be limited.

There will be three sessions at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on the Sunday 20th June.

There is space for only four cars at their home so visitors are encouraged to car share, walk, cycle (its on the Deal-Sholden-Fowlmead cycle route) or use the 13 bus.

If you are interested in coming please email Steve Wakeford directly at by 6pm on Sunday 13th June so he can organise the sessions.

If you are interested in Kent Wildlife Trust work please see their site at here

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How will you ride the slide ....

Peak Oil - How will you ride the slide ?

If you cannot see the embedded video use this link here

Kent Minerals and Waste Development Framework - Sustainability assessment

Kent County Council (KCC) is currently preparing its Minerals and Waste Development Framework (MWDF) which will set out policies and proposals for minerals and waste management developments over the period to 2031 through a set of Development Plan Documents (DPDs), as detailed in our Minerals and Waste Development Scheme. Full details of the Development Scheme and other information relating to the Kent Minerals and Waste Development Framework can be found on their web site at:

As part of this process their will be conducting a sustainablity assessment which invites contributions from the public and community groups. Check the KCC site for further details

Govt Chief Scientific adviser to give lecture on energy & climate change

Professor John Beddington, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, will give a Lecture at the University of Kent on Wednesday 9 June at 6pm.

Titled ‘Challenges for the 21st Century’, Professor Beddington will discuss several of the challenges facing science and technology in the 21st Century such as energy security and climate change. The Lecture will take place in Rutherford Lecture Theatre 1 on the University’s Canterbury campus. The Lecture is free and open to all. There is disabled access to the College and the Lecture Theatre.
Further information

Insulation for solid wall older homes...

Its not just modern calvity wall built homes that can benefit from wall insulation. There are many ways to tackle older Edwardian & Victorian properties to give them a eco-face lift which can save your heating bills & reduce CO2

Learn more from Sue Wheat's article in The Ecologist  more here

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

BEE part of it...

BBC Kent are joining in a national initiative to protect our garden Bees - They are giving away bee-friendly plant seeds & tips on making bee homes and making your garden Bee friendly space...

see their site at

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Victoria's Green Matters - 3rd June

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

Last week was National Vegetarian Week and this makes us think again about the food that we eat, how it is produced and how far it has travelled to get to our plates. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or slaughter by-products. This sounds quite strict and necessitates reading food labels on ready-made produce but it is a habit easily acquired.

There have been many studies over the years that have shown that those living on vegetarian diets are much healthier in several different ways than those who eat meat based diets. People that follow a vegetarian diet may do so for different reasons; perhaps because they feel that it is ethically wrong to kill other creatures to eat when it is unnecessary. Some people follow the diet because they believe that the whole world could be fed more easily if meat were not eaten, some follow a vegetarian regime just because it is healthier and some because they don’t like the taste or texture of meat.

Many people, including some of the medical profession, believe that it is not possible to be healthy without eating meat or fish and it is fair to say that any diet that is unbalanced is unhealthy. Maybe it is more difficult to get the balance right with a vegetarian diet but all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are there in a good menu. Some people believe that they need to eat fish to be healthy but forget about all the pollutants, particularly mercury, that are found in fish.

It is almost impossible to imagine a world where no-one eats meat simply because big business rules the roost where food is concerned and although people are becoming much more likely to question the origins of food, the large food corporations are unlikely to loosen their hold over the market.