Let’s Go! Optimism of the will…

With chillier days upon us it’s time to get the inner heating going..a daily walk or bike ride is a good way to do this but you could also start to get heated up by planning for your next environmental actions.

Here we tell you about new dates for Sustainable St Albans Week – now to be St Albans Festival of Sustainabilty for 2019! We also let you know about a new Environmental Action group being set up by local councillors and residents..

Optimism of the Will

GramsciquoteIt’s the close of what has been a tumultuous summer for those concerned about climate warming issues..and a challenging time to remain positive. Antonio Gramsci’s famous phrase speaks of pessimism of the intellect but optimism of the will – and that’s the environmentalist’s enduring challenge.

St Albans Festival of Sustainabilty 2019

quickroundlogoTogether with St Albans Friends of the Earth we have just set the dates for 2019 St Albans Festival of Sustainabilty – 11th May to 1st June.  We have extended Sustainable St Ablans Week to #3Weeks – to include a half-term school holiday and three weekends.

We hope this gives everyone more of  a chance to enjoy and be inspired by the incredible array of events all about environmental sustainabilty that are organised by your groups – across the district.

Get Your Thinking Hats on!

We are asking groups to start thinking about an event or activity that they can organise during the festival. See here for some ideas….All groups are invited – community, business, faith and schools – and each one will create their own unique activity – something that has meaning for your group and your group members. It can be a public event where you have an open invitation for people to come along, or it can be a private activity that your group does.

Registration opens on 2nd January – and we will be asking you to fill in a form to register. But until then…please get your thinking hats on!

NEWS: Environmental Action Group is formed – alongside the council

Anyone interested in environmental issues in St Albans District is welcome to come along to the first meeting of the provisionally-named Environment Action Group.

The meeting is in the Chamber at St Albans Council, St Peter’s Street, Friday 26 October 7pm to 9pm.

This group aims to bring forward ideas for environmental action from outside the Council, and to find ways to promote those ideas to the Council where possible. This first meeting will discuss:

  • how meetings might work in practice
  • what environmental issues we might look at in future
  • any environmental aspects of the agenda for the following week’s Community Environment & Sport Scrutiny Committee.

This is not an official Council group – it has developed from discussions between local residents and two councillors. Unlike the Environment Forum that was wound up a few years ago, the idea of this group is to focus on what can actually be changed and achieved locally, with and alongside the Council. If you would like to come along, please email Cllr Simon Grover at cllr.s.grover@stalbans.gov.uk so they know rough numbers.

Turn off the Plastic Tap!

plasticfishHere at Sustainable St Albans we try to stay optimistic but can also get knocked sideways faced with the reality of environmental issues – watching the BBC’s Drowing in Plastic was enough to leave anyone in tears – BUT we are committed to being practical and optimistic with a local focus on St Albans, Harpenden and the villages such as Wheathampstead, London Colney, Redbourn….

If you are a local business, group or individual and want to reduce your single-use plastic please get directly in touch with our partners Plastic Free St Albans



Car Free Day Sat 22nd Sept – can you #ditchthecar?

Come and see the stall – St Albans market – Sat 22nd Sept!

Local environmental groups will be joining forces with district councillors from across the district to mark World Car Free Day on Saturday 22 September 2018 with a market stall in St Albans promoting walking, cycling and sustainable transport. #StAlbansCarFree

Often it’s much easier than you think to make a #smallchange for the better.

World Car Free Day is thinking about..

  • how we can open up the streets to everyone, to get people walking and cycling more
  • making our streets healthier and making ourselves happier
  • if all those trips we make by car are necessary
  • is a more sustainable, more enjoyable way of getting from A to B. 

Brampton RoadActivists from Sustainable St Albans, Friends of the Earth and the St Albans Cycling Campaign will be manning the stall alongside transport planners and councillors.  They will be looking to engage passers by in conversation about their regular journeys around the city.

carfreebannerCaroline Brooke, District Councillor for Clarence Ward said:

‘What we’re hoping to do is to start a conversation about the benefits of sustainable transport, in terms of improving public health when people have more active lifestyles; reducing the air pollution that is generated by unnecessary short car journeys; and cutting congestion for those people who need to use their cars.

“We’ll be asking people to mark their regular journeys on a big street map of the city and tell us what the main issues are that stop them from choosing to walk or cycle more.  We want to find out where the problems are (eg difficult junctions) as well as some of the more positive things that people enjoy about walking and cycling in St Albans.’

Simon Grover, District Councillor for St Peter’s Ward said: “As a representative of people who live in the centre of the city, I know people are really frustrated about the congestion and pollution in our streets. I want to hear from people about their efforts to avoid using the car, but also what they want to see coming from the Council in terms of changes that will make walking, cycling and taking the bus more attractive options.”

Healthy Streets indicatorspic

A brief history of refrigeration

Jeremy Williams talks about the cold…..”Fridges run 24 hours a day, and in many homes they represent the single biggest use of electricity. Altogether, the world’s fridges take up 14% of its electricity and a proportionate amount of CO2 emissions. We have to cut emissions by 90% by the middle of the century. Even without the HFCs problem that I’ve written about this week, climate change is going to force some fresh thinking in the world of refrigeration.

Make Wealth History

A fridge is one of the most desired household appliances in the world, second only to a television. It can provide cool drinks and snacks, and the ability to store food safely for days at a time has revolutionised the way we cook and eat. Being born long after fridges became universal, it’s easy to forget how transformative they have been.

Humans have been able to control fire for thousands of years. Cool is a much more technical challenge, and the science of how cold works was mysterious and practically magical until relatively recently. But some ancient civilisations, without entirely understanding how it worked, had managed to harness cooling.

The only ancient civilisation to actually make ice was the Persians, who had elaborate irrigation tunnels from the mountains that provided water and cooling. They aso built large clay cone structures called Yakhchal that tapped low overnight temperatures and the cooling…

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Fun in the Sun – Plastic Free!

From drinks and food, to plates and balloons…all you wanted to know about being #plasticfree – from our partners Plastic Free St Albans

Plastic Free St Albans

When the sun’s out there’s nothing better than getting outside to enjoy food and the odd drink with friends.

Whether it’s at home in the garden or out in the park, all too often it can be a bit of a plastic fest – plastic bottles, disposable cups and crockery and enough plastic packaging to fill a turtle (not funny – you just don’t know where your plastic rubbish will end up).

Let’s start with the plastic bottles– often of thirst quenching fizzy drinks. Much better to take your own flasks of ice cold water and some sliced lemon or cordials for a dash of flavour.


Flasks can be used for hot or cold drinks, and there’s some great ones here https://bestseekers.com/best-flasks/. If you find that yours has kept the flavour of the ox tail soup you took to keep you warm at football, then filling it with…

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