Cumbria Action for Sustainability
A veritable feast of sustainability!

I'm wearing a huge smile while I put this newsletter together. Despite the fact it's gone 5pm on a Friday and I'm still at it, I'm grinning because there's just so much going on around the county to make life that little bit better - now and for the future. This edition is rammed with events so get your diaries out! So many initiatives and so many dedicated people making them all happen. I hope you'll find some below that you can join in with. As always, please forward this on to friends and family who might be interested. Jaki
Meet one of the famous Fintry Four in Kendal
Mon 26 Feb, 7pm, Kendal

In the world of community energy and sustainability, Gordon Cowtan is something of a celebrity and you can meet him in Kendal on Monday.

Gordon's the very special guest speaker at our Power for the People event, where he'll tell you all about the Scottish village of Fintry's journey towards a zero-carbon, zero-waste community.

It all began with a wind turbine, and Gordon's been immersed in community energy ever since. In fact, he's just published a new book on the subject.

You'll also hear from businesses and organisations in Cumbria who have set up community energy schemes, and from Electricity North West's new community energy manager. It's a great opportunity to hear first-hand how it all works and how communities and organisations can bring in some money, too. Who knows... your community could be next!

A big thank-you to South Lakeland District Council for their funding and support to make this event possible.
Do you support people in your job or volunteer role?
Frankie O'Keeffe demonstrates a chimney sheep at a home energy draught-proofing event
Tues 27 Feb, 9.30am, Kendal

Help your clients reduce their energy bills with our free training next week. Perhaps you support people who are on a low income, just out of hospital, older people or those with disabilities.

Our two-hour workshop will show you how to get them onto a cheaper tariff for their gas and electricity, and make sure they're getting all the discounts they're entitled to. You'll also learn other tips you can pass on for using less energy and saving money.

There are just five free places left on this interactive session, funded by South Lakeland District Council. Email to book.
Special screening of 'In Our Hands' with cast & crew
Mon 12 Mar, 7.30pm, Kendal

Join us to see a new film about the growing movement of farmers and food workers who are creating a fairer food system for all - and meet some of the cast and crew!

In Our Hands: Seeding Change is the story of "a new kind of farm, a new kind of food and a new kind of society".

This special screening with discussion session is at the Brewery Arts Centre, presented by members of the Land Workers Alliance, South Lakes Action on Climate Change and CAfS.
How can businesses reduce single-use plastics?
Wed 21 Mar, 9am, Penrith

Businesses are facing a challenge to cut down on single-use plastic, and this hot topic is the focus of a forum for small and medium firms (SMEs) next month.

Run by Eco-innovation Cumbria and supported by CAfS, the free workshop will explore reducing or replacing single-use plastics and the drivers and opportunities for Cumbrian SMEs in the business-to-business sector.

You'll hear about the shifting landscape on single-use plastics, from public demand to the direction of travel by the UK Government and the EU. Several businesses will share their challenges and possible solutions, along with facilitated discussions to share ideas and experiences.

It's hoped the event will help businesses respond and create commercial opportunities, while also inspiring collaboration among firms in Cumbria.
'One Million Climate Jobs' editor to speak in Carlisle
Fri 2 Mar, 7pm, Carlisle

The actions we take to tackle climate change can have so many benefits in themselves, like creating new jobs in green energy and transport.

A free event in Carlisle next week will delve into this very topic, with a panel of experts from around the country. Among the speakers is Jonathan Neale, editor of the latest One Million Climate Jobs pamphlet, a long-term climate activist, writer and member of Campaign Against Climate Change.

You'll also hear from Pete Cannell, who's an activist at the forefront of the E3Scot campaign and member of rs21. A worker at BiFab, which produces platforms for wind turbines in the Moray Firth, will share the story of how employee action saved 1,450 jobs at this firm threatened with liquidation.

It's also a chance to see the short film ‘Just Transition’. Climate Jobs: A Just Transition to a Low Carbon Future is organised by Carlisle rs21 with support from the NUT and Sustainable Carlisle.
Ladies - get in on the big CAfS clothes sale!
Sat 21 Apr, evening, Penrith

You know all those lovely quality clothes in your wardrobe that you don't wear but they're too good to just give away? Well, we can help you turn them into cash while supporting our work, too.

CAfS is putting the fun into fundraising with a mega swishing night in April. The way it works is you drop off clothes you want to sell (ladies and children's clothes only), and if they're snapped up at swish night we'll split the proceeds with you. Picture a night out with the girls, a glass of fizz in your hand and loads of quality clothes to buy.

But before the fun can begin, we need some help! Would you be willing to volunteer at the event? We need folks to help us receive and sort clothes on the Friday evening and Saturday daytime, or to help out on the night. In return, you'll get first dibs at a pre-sale just for volunteers. Contact to put your name down.

Meanwhile, there'll be more details for bargain-lovers in the next edition!
Emma & Andrew travel south for flood learning
Emma and Andrew from CAfS headed for the Big Smoke this month, for the BRE's Flood Resilience Summit. They've made some useful new contacts and have brought back even more expertise that they can use to help people at risk of flooding in Cumbria. While they were there, they also met up with Matt from Historic England (pictured with Emma), whom we're working with as part of the Appleby Heritage Action Zone project.
Visitors want sun to rise over community energy
CAfS hosted visitors this month from a coastal area of Japan that was devastated by the tsunami of 2011.

The group, from a local council and businesses, came to pick our brains about community energy. Their trip north was part of a fact-finding mission to the UK, exploring options for power in their area.
In brief...
Kendal working towards plastic-free award
Students at Kendal College are leading the charge to help Kendal achieve the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic-Free Community Award. Local businesses are committing to offer alternatives to single-use plastic items and pledging support for the campaign. Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for a reduction in single-use plastic in the town, led by Zero Waste Kendal, which is associated to South Lakes Action on Climate Change.  
New website helps plastic-free shoppers in Cumbria
Struggling to find products without plastic? Stop in at the new PlasticFreeCumbria website, where you'll find a directory of businesses offering everything from toiletries and clothing to milk in glass bottles. The website's been set up by the folks who created the Plastic Free Cumbria Facebook group, which now has almost 7,000 members! To add a business, visit the Contact page.
Climate news...
Low-carbon neighbourhood planning guide out
A guide to creating happier, healthier, greener communities has just been published by the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Download the guide
WWF's Earth Hour is on the horizon!
The annual Earth Hour is coming up on Saturday 24 March. People across the world turn off their lights for one hour from 8.30pm to show their commitment to protecting our planet.
How Low Can You Go?
As our minds turn to our gardens once again, you can give your new plants a great start in life and prevent climate change by using peat-free compost.

There are innovative peat-free composts produced right here in Cumbria. Have a look at Dalefoot Compost's range.
Village life and resilience | Wed 28 Feb | 7-9pm | Kendal Unitarian Chapel
Premiere of short films on children, farming, events, veg, crafts in South Lakes

Freegle Give & Take and Seedy Saturday | Sat 3 Mar | 10am-1pm | Penrith
Bring house and garden goods you don't want and get free things you need

Sustainable Brampton's AGM speaker uses the village as a case study

Self- and custom-build housing | Thu 15 Mar | 6pm | Carlisle College
Get tips on building your dream home with industry experts and self-builders

Cumbria Life Home & Garden Show | Fri 16 - Sun 18 Mar | Rheged, Penrith
CAfS will be giving advice on low-energy homes, with Lake District Lime

Farmers' markets | Lots across Cumbria! Google for your nearest one.

Help keep plastic out of our oceans by taking part in a beach or river clean-up:
Repair cafes: Bring along items that need fixed and volunteers will do their best to help. You might even learn a few skills along the way.

Simply Repair Workshop | Tue 27 Feb | 4-7pm | Bryce Institute, Burneside
If bringing an item for repair, please book so the right tools are on hand. With fab food and drinks available to buy from Kendal People's Cafe. Follow on FB

Kirkby Stephen Repair Cafe | Wed 7 Mar | 2-4pm | Local Links

Penrith Repair Cafe | Dates coming soon - follow on FB for details
Know of a sustainability event?  Tell us  & we'll include it next time.
Cumbria Action for Sustainability
01768 210276 | |
Company Number: 6492907 Registered Charity Number: 1123155