Tring's 2019 Climate Event was a huge success - find out more about what happened on the day.
We were very happy to help Tring Town Council (along with Green Tring and Tring XR) organise Tring's first Climate Event, building on the success of Tring in Transition's previous Eco Fairs. Despite very unhelpful weather, hundreds turned out to visit 24 stalls, join 12 presentations, and generally learn more about what Tring is doing to become a more sustainable town and reduce its carbon footprint.
It was really encouraging to see participation from local schools, businesses and organisations covering topics as diverse as future plans for Tring and Dacorum, sustainable food, cloth nappies, rail/bus transport, electric cars and bikes, ecology, local business practices, low carbon technology, school eco practices, recycling, repair sheds, the community garden, community travel, saving home energy, saving water, renewable energy, the mayor's covenant, fair trade, children's activities, sustainable Wigginton, permaculture, "52 climate actions", being greener, "grow your own", carbon offsetting, Passivhaus, science of climate change, forest gardens - and more!! We also had fun with our "selfie frame" (made from stuff rescued from landfill). We asked people to make a personal pledge to do something positive and to write that on the cloud attached to the frame. Below are just a few of the ideas from very specific pledges about anaerobic digestion, to using less single use plastic, to drinking more Tring Brewery beer (and using other local produce!)
We helped at the Town Council stall and encouraged visitors to record their ideas to move Tring strongly to the future. (We'll say more on this in mid-Nov when the Council's Climate Working Group meet to discuss feedback.) There was a lot of enthusiasm for adopting more modern building standards - making new builds (in particular) ultra low energy/passive to run and more environmentally friendly to build. Whatif?
More generally we heard a lot of interest in the neglected practice of growing fruit and veg at home and making better use of locally grown and sourced products. Nigel Crawley's presentation on Forest Gardens and our Community Garden had more questions asked at the end than most. We'll explore whether there would be interest in a short course or presentation for those that want to start but are not sure how. In the meantime our own page on this is here.
Jan Sissons from Tring in Transition's Energy Group talked about how thermal imaging of a property can quickly identify opportunities to save money and energy. We've had a lot of interest from homes that would like these surveys carried out (see our blog post on this).
The majority of the focus was about what we can do - and what we are already doing - locally to make a difference - but there was awareness that this is not enough. Andie Stephen's excellent and well considered presentation on the science of climate change was well attended both in the morning and afternoon. See our separate blog post on this.
Brian Kazar presented the topic of Carbon Offsetting. For example is you generate CO2 by taking a long haul flight you can "offset" that by paying an nominal amount to fund projects which will remove that amount of CO2 or stop an equivalent amount being generated. Sometimes controversial Brian delved into the pros and cons and explained how to find a good scheme. Many people pledged to do this. You can find out more in a previous blog article and we'll be updating that and/or adding an additional piece on this topic soon.
Much more happened during the day from taking a step closer to setting up Tring's own Repair Shed (we really just need a venue now, in or around Tring), consolidating specialist recycling initiatives in and around Tring, making it easier to use modern cloth nappies (see separate blog post), and even moving closer to an electric bus service for Tring too. There were several other very engaging presentations, by other people/organisations, ending with a fascinating account of how a 1900 house was upgraded to Passivhaus standard in Tring. Where there is a will - there is a way!
We do need more active help, even if just a one-off for a short period.
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