Transition Town Cheltenham

Cheltenham Ecohab 22-23 June 2013

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A weekend of open homes and gardens showing real energy saving ideas and innovative gardening techniques that reduce our impact on the environment.

Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Greenhouse Gasses, Feed-In-Tariffs, Green Deal – what is it all about? And what does it mean for me? The scientists continue to do their research but two things are certain – the world is getting warmer and energy prices are increasing. We believe that people should not feel powerless before these threats – and indeed that they can do something about them.

Who are we?

There are many organisations campaigning about why the world is warming, and others campaigning against the “big six” energy companies for inflating fuel prices. Cheltenham Connect Green Group, Transition Town Cheltenham and Vision 21 co-sponsors of the Cheltenham Ecohab Open Homes event, are taking a different approach. All are locally based and seek practical solutions that help people to combat rising fuel prices and to mitigate Climate Change here, in Cheltenham.

Cheltenham Connect is a highly successful local community initiative that was founded in 2009. It was set up with the aim of strengthening and empowering the residential and trading community of South Cheltenham. Its Go Green network is exploring ways of helping the community save energy and become more knowledgeable about Peak Oil and Climate Change.

Vision 21 supports local solutions to global issues by working within Gloucestershire to change attitudes and behaviours to enable communities to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Transition Town Cheltenham has a number of working groups which are exploring how to meet community needs using minimal energy and resources. These needs range from the need for food, shelter and warmth, to the need for companionship, purpose and meaning in life. The groups are intensely practical – participants gain skills in growing food in organic gardens, making clothes from curtains, or insulating a house.

What is Ecohab?

The Ecohab idea started in 2010 when I opened my home to demonstrate simple energy saving ideas, such as cavity wall insulation, an early example of solar PV, water heating and even a small wind turbine. Over the following two years the idea grew to include many property types and expanded into examples of low-impact vegetable growing and even some commercial properties. In 2012 there were over 500 visits made to 16 properties of all kinds.

Find out more

This year, by linking to the Science Festival, we aim to widen the appeal of EcoHab at a time of growing concern about rising energy prices. Full details of the event will be available at transitiontowncheltenham.org.uk/ecohab. We will also be taking part in a Science Festival panel discussion chaired by Jonathon Porritt.

Richard Walter is a retired Engineer and Project Manager as well as Treasurer/Webmaster of various local organisations including the Glos Community Energy Co-op. He has many years experience of installing and operating green energy systems and has worked on various eco projects in South America.

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