A small step towards zero plastic

By Bridget Wilkins
Today in Waitrose I took a handful of paper mushroom bags. I couldn’t reach them so asked someone to get some for me and told them why, they replied ‘good idea’. I used them at the deli counter for cheese and no problems when I gave them the bags. They replied ‘ a lot of people are like you, against plastic.’ I also got someone to get some loose apples for me and no probs there either.  Another customer willingly helped.
Other activities that could help reduce single use plastic. Mostly thanks to Guardian Weekend, 24.02.18:
See if you can manage to do 3 of these in this coming week, and add at least one of your own activities to this list.
1- Take your own box and wrap to supermarket deli counter and ask for cheese to be wrapped in foil and price tag stuck on top for checkout.
2- Drink loose leaf tea. Most teabags are sealed with plastic. Teapigs teabags are made from corn starch.
3-When shopping online ask them not to send plastic packaging.
4-Swap individual plastic packets of tissues for a box of tissues and decant out what you need to a pouch. OR, use a handkerchief instead of packets of tissues.
5-Save glass jars for storing bulk buy or leftover foods. Use a bulkbuy online shop eg SUMA ( Contact Claire Mistry via this website who does bulk orders ) or INFINITY.
6- With takeaways decline plastic cutlery and straws.
7-Swap clingfilm for reusable waxed paper.BeeBee Wraps makes beeswax-coated cotton.
8- Instead of buying fizzy water in a plastic bottle buy a SodaStream, or cheaper, Limo Bar or Olympia. Expensive but imagine the alternative, 350 plastic bottles in landfill.
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AGM July 2017

Transition Town Berkhamsted AGM 20th July 2017


Welcome and introductions


Seb Beloe (Secretary)

Bridget Wilkins

Emma Norrington (Officer)

Dennis Harvey

Barbara Savills

Claire Mistry (Officer)

Dan Blaney (Treasurer)

Philippa Jones

Nigel Crawley

Emma Jolly

John Bell (Officer)

Paul Crosland

Bruce Nixon

Christine Locke


Film and presentation

The meeting started with a short inspiring film called ‘Thriving 23-Year-Old Permaculture Food Forest – An Invitation for Wildness‘ which followed the story of a permaculture project in New Zealand (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GJFL0MD9fc). Seb Beloe then gave a brief presentation on ‘Positive impact investing’ (http://www.whebgroup.com/aic-2017-new-frontiers-in-impact-reporting/?preview=true). 



Dan Blaney presented a summary of the accounts this year. During the year we had only two significant inflows that related to the Berkofest Recycling Project and a film showing. Those together with sundry expenses meant our closing balance was £3,456 a £58 increase on 2016. The financial report was adopted unanimously at the meeting.


Election of officers

Dan Blaney agreed to stand again for Treasurer and was proposed by John Bell and seconded by Bruce Nixon. He was elected nem. con.

Claire Mistry agreed to stand as Secretary and was proposed by Emma Norrington and seconded by Bridget Wilkins. She was elected nem. con.

Seb Beloe, John Bell and Emma Norrington agreed to stand as Officers and were proposed by Claire Mistry and seconded by Bruce Nixon. They were elected nem. con.


Review of the year

John Bell then led a discussion of the key events during the past twelve months. This included:

– Providing waste recycling for the Berkofest

– Organising a visit by David Gauke MP to the Ashlyns Solar project and discussion on community solar

– Organising the ‘Demain’ film screening attended by over 100 people from the community

– Working alongside the Beehive and others to help inform the Library development

– Working alongside others in opposing the development of the Multi-storey car park in the town

– Regular newsletters and emails and monthly Green Drinks.


Ideas for 2017/18

We had a brief brainstorm about ideas to work on in 2017/18. These included:

– Supporting the solar project at Sunnyside Nurseries in Northchurch (pending funding application)

– Exploring the potential for a Berkhamsted Environment Centre (like the centre in High Wycombe)

– Explore how to turn the whole of Berkhamsted into a ‘no engine idling’ zone

– Working collaboratively with other like-minded organisations in Berkhamsted on areas of common interest (eg Berkhamsted Citizens Association)

– Providing waste recycling support to Berkofest and potentially other public events around the town

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April’s Green Drinks

This month’s TTB’s Green Drinks saw some lively discussions and updates on Thursday (20th April). Headlines below:

– Celebration of the previous night’s sell-out showing of ‘Demain’. Much for us all do now to make the most of the inspirational messages of the film and hopefully encourage and support more showings to different groups in the coming months.  Anyone wanting to get involved in future showings then get in touch with us at TTB.
– TTB Waste Project update – local café survey underway researching take-away cups as part of our Compostable Cups Campaign. You can take part using the online survey here: http://transitionberkhamsted.org.uk/cup-survey/; planning underway to expand our community events recycling project following our successful pilot at Berkofest 2016 … watch this space for more updates!
– two local projects underway focusing on historic orchards – how can TTB get involved? Suggestions: making use of the Community Orchard; plotting historic orchards/trees through the town; linking up residents with ‘shared orchards’ in their gardens.
– David Gauke due to visit the TTB / Ashlyns School solar project at the school Friday 28th April.   A great chance to celebrate the new initiative and to raise questions about the government’s tax changes affecting solar power with our local MP.
– TTB is hosting a Regional Gathering being led by the Transition Network in May.  The event will bring together leaders from a wide range of TTs to discuss challenges and opportunities for the future.
– TTB has been invited to take part in the Climate Coalition ‘Week of Action’ in July. The focus is for communities to raise key environmental issues with their local MPs. Find out more here:  https://www.weekofaction.org.uk/

– TTB Steering Group will be meeting soon to discuss these and other issues, as well as to plan for the AGM scheduled for June.
– and finally … whatever your political leanings … do take the opportunity over the next few weeks of political campaigning to highlight the importance of keeping positive environmental action at the centre of decision making and planning for our local community. 

Come and find about more about these and more at our next Green Drinks at The Old Mill on Thursday 18th May.

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“Demain / Tomorrow” Film Success!

Demain, BerkhamstedOn the evening of Wednesday 19th April, the local community came out in force to view our screening of the documentary film ‘Tomorrow’ (‘Demain’ in French). A collaborative effort by local Transition Network groups ‘Transition in Kings’ and ‘Transition Town Berkhamsted’, the sell out event was held at the Civic Centre on Berkhamsted High Street and inspired us all.

‘Tomorrow’ is a film about the future that focuses less on the worst that could happen amidst reports of climate change and our continued reliance on fossil fuels, and more on the best ways we can start to turn things around.

The film was incredibly well-received by our audience, with people noticeably buzzing about it during the interval as they munched on the delicious food provided by Punjabi Gourmet and Transition in Kings members.  We have since heard reports of audience members having been personally inspired by the film, from making the decision to grow their own vegetables to becoming more involved with their local Transition group.

Many thanks go to the staff of Berkhamsted Civic Centre, Punjabi Gourmet, Berkhamsted Film Society, the members of Transition in Kings and Transition Town Berkhamsted, as well as the wonderful audience for making the night such a huge success.

For more info about the film, head to: https://www.demain-lefilm.com/en/film

If you’re interested in holding your own screening of ‘Tomorrow’, head to: https://transitionnetwork.org/news-and-blog/tomorrow-demain-available-last-uk/

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TOMORROW 19th April Berkhamsted Civic Centre


Transition in Kings and Transition Town Berkhamsted are showing the award-winning film “Tomorrow” (French “Demain”) at Berkhamsted Civic Centre on Wednesday 19th April. Doors will open at 19:00. Light refreshments will be provided, and vegetarian snacks available to purchase.

About “Tomorrow” Rob Hopkins says: “We are brilliant at imagining our own extinction. We make films about whether we’ll be wiped out by zombies or nuclear bombs… or all sorts of things… we love those! But where are the films about us actually turning something round and… solving the problem?”

This is a film about turning things around. Our poster/flyer is attached for you to distribute to friends and family, and you can watch the trailer here  It has English subtitles when other languages are spoken.

Tickets are £7.00/£4.00 – please book online here.

We look forward to welcoming you on Wednesday 19th April.

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Demain, the film, showing Berkhamsted 19th April

Save the Date! We are planning to show the Demain film on April 19th in Berkhamsted.  More information to follow soon.
Demain is a hugely positive, affirming and inspirational film, exploring creative solutions in the fields of food, energy, transport, economics and education.  It visits permaculture farms, urban agriculture projects, community-owned renewable projects, local currencies, creative schools, ambitious recycling projects.  It has been a huge boost to community-led projects, and is currently on release in 29 other countries, regularly receiving standing ovations, and leading to the formation of many new community projects.  It is the perfect antidote to the current sense of global despondency.” (from The Transition Network Website)

More info here: https://www.demain-lefilm.com/en

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Compostable Cups

With the recent publicity about disposable coffee cups not being recyclable, you’ll be pleased to know that the High Street Baptist Church, Tring* uses compostable coffee cups. They are offering these for reuse as plant pots. To collect, call the church (01442 824054) to check when the building is open and to arrange to pick some up. There is a recycling container in the back corridor, near the kitchen, with cups in and they would be delighted to know that local gardeners are using them before they are finally composted. We’ll certainly be using them for the Duckmore Lane Community Garden!
*We understand Beechwood and the Akeman, Tring also use compostable coffee cups #cups2compost

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How To Host Your Own Street Party – Information Session

Street Party

Come along to a street party information session about how to close your road for a party!

At the Akeman Tring, 8th March, 8pm.

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If you want to have your say about the future of transport and travel in Herts, the Hertfordshire Transport Vision 2050 survey is available now at:

 http://www.hertfordshire.gov. uk/your-council/consult/transp ortconsult/TV2050/

The consultation is open until 23:59 on Wednesday 14th December 2016.

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A fellow-TT’er at Buntingford TT is doing this free online course and highly recommends it if anyone is interested in joining up:

Courses are also available in Social Enterprise and Environmental Challenges, all offered by reputable universities and organisations.

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