July 2020
Despite lockdown, there's plenty going on to challenge and enable us to live more sustainably, during lockdown and after:
Newsletter Editor: Philip Nalpanis

Virtual screening of "The Story of Plastic"

Wednesday 1 July, 7 pm

with post-film panel discussion at 8.30 pm

We are showing this very popular film with after-film discussion panel including Jen Gale - author of The Sustainable-ish Living Guide.

*** Fully Booked!

Our licence gave us 100 online screenings and we are now fully booked. If you have booked and no longer want your ticket please email us asap.
  • Ticket holders will receive details and links to watch the film and join the panel discussion 48 hours beforehand.
  • For more information click here.
  • See everyone who booked a ticket at 8.30 pm on Zoom for our panel discussion!

Sustainable living - learnings from #lockdown

Monday 13 July, 7.30-9.00 pm

A series of short talks and discussion about sustainable living and what we have learnt from the coronavirus lockdown.

The event is free and will take place online via Zoom.
Book your place here.

Lots of new resources on our website!

Have you looked at the website lately? It’s had a revamp. Take a look at the new resources section for all kinds of useful links on tackling plastic, sustainable fashion, protecting nature, and far more.

Open Food Gardens Go Virtual!

Remember these lovely Open Food Garden events, run by residents who are passionate about growing food opening up their gardens to visitors, with advice, tea and cake? Hundreds of people visited the gardens. Seedlings were sometimes on offer.

This year we are “going virtual” with videos of food-growing in local gardens on our Open Food Gardens webpage. The garden owners show you:

•    plants they are proud of;
•    inspiring ways of growing;
•    how to plant in a small space;
•    saving water;
•    best ways to compost;
•    how to encourage pollinators and wildlife;
•    surprises too, like alpacas, giant squash and pumpkins.


If you are interested in helping with the Open Food Garden group or volunteering to help with future Open Garden afternoons, please get in touch: we would love to hear from you!

Playing In with Playing Out!

With Playing Out on hold, our Playing Out team put together a video of ideas for child-led, free-play ideas for your children to do at home during the recent Alban Festival weekend.

The video celebrates all the elements of play that you would normally find in street play – where children play with whatever is to hand in a free, unstructured and spontaneous way – and moves it from the street to inside the home. There are lots of suggestions for different types of play for indoors – from classics like French skipping through to water play and dressing up.
Want to use lockdown time to get to grips with sustainability issues in a way that’s potentially fun, free, and at your own pace, courtesy of some of the world’s best academic institutions?

By educating yourself you’ll be able to make a greater practical difference to your community, to your world, and potentially enhance your future job prospects. What’s not to love?

Written for us by Diane Bell –  this #Lockdown Guest Blog opens up the world of learning to you!

Catch up with more of our guest blogs

We’ve published a series of guest blogs over lockdown. Missed them? Don’t worry, you can find them all here
Throughout #PlasticFreeJuly our blogs are focussing on a different aspect of living plastic free every week.
Could you write a guest blog for us in the autumn? We’d love to hear from you - just email us.

Let children’s sustainability competition entries inspire you!

A competition for under-18s run by our Sustainable Schools Group showed how young people have been living sustainably during lockdown. The competition attracted lots of photos, artwork or writing about their sustainable activities/looking after the environment during lockdown inspired by the Sustainable St Albans Lockdown A-Z.

Local schools took up the theme in the work they set for pupils.  Five of the entries received a £15 token from the prize draw!

The competition was featured in the Herts Advertiser print edition on 18 June and in its online edition.

The picture shows Poppy, 5, and Abbey, 3, with their plants. See lots more pictures of the lovely entries received and be inspired by the District’s young people by reading the blog on the Sustainable St Albans website.

Could you help pilot our new project “Climate Conversations”?

We have started designing a new booklet that will help local residents have a "climate conversation" at home or at work, and choose some climate actions.

We are looking for a handful of keen guinea pigs to pilot it for us and give us feedback.

You need to be part of a household/bubble group of 4+ adults & teens, and have around 2-3 hours free to have your conversation. (You could do it over Zoom, and we’re happy to try that out, but our hunch is it will probably work best if you are all gathered round the same table.) We will give you all the materials you need; no prior knowledge is required.

If you are interested, please drop us an email.

Partners and other news

Find out more about the project here.

A St Albans City & District Council consultation is out now until 3 July: have your say on where the community garden should be and give any other views you have.

Do you think 20sPlenty?

Write to your county councillor

Would you like to see 20 mph as the default speed for all the residential streets across St Albans? We would. It’s already been done in many places around the UK, it reduces road deaths, cuts the emissions from cars, and encourages people to switch to cycling.

If you support 20sPlenty, please write to your Hertfordshire county councillor to let them know. Find your county councillor here. (N.B. Hertfordshire County Council are the responsible authority for setting 20 mph zones in St Albans.)

Lots of potential changes are currently being considered as we gradually emerge from lockdown, and they need to know what has your support.

Not sure yet? Find out more at the 20sPlenty website.

BAFTA Kids: Can Kids TV Help Save the Planet?


Online event for children 8-14 years.

Join BAFTA Kids for an important conversation with children’s programme makers about the actions they’re taking both on and off screen to help save the planet. With Suzanne Dolan – Sustainable St Albans volunteer and series co-ordinator for EastEnders.
Free to register. Suitable for all ages but recommended for 8-14 years. Teachers, parents and carers are asked to sign up on behalf of their class/child. See more and 
sign up here.

Climate news

The UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has published a progress report to Parliament on whether the UK is on course to meet greenhouse gas emissions targets. Some steps have been taken to support the transition to a net zero economy but the report indicates that "much remains to be done". See the CCC report here.

Climate Assembly UK (a citizens' assembly commissioned by six Select Committees), made up of ordinary people who are representative of the UK population, has published an interim briefing. It shows overwhelming support for changes to the economy and lifestyles to help achieve the UK’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions target. You can read the briefing here.

Local woman included in #HappyList2020

Kate Swindells has been busy with her inspirational Grow Community Sopwell group over the #lockdown, providing a free plant and seedlings stall outside her front garden for people to pick up during lockdown to help them grow their own food. This month she has been listed, along with Captain Tom Moore, in the @Independent's Happy List!

The #HappyList2020 celebrates the people doing remarkable things in response to Covid-19 – those who have united communities and been a force for good during a challenging period. That is definitely Kate, who is a busy woman and also a Sustainable St Albans volunteer.
Copyright © 2020 Sustainable St Albans, All rights reserved.

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