It was a packed house on a January Saturday afternoon in Hanwell, for a hands-on session installing secondary glazing panes to shut out the draughts and the cold.
What is secondary glazing? For those of us who can’t afford double glazing, our version of secondary glazing uses acrylic panes fixed with magnetic strips.
Secondary glazing is suitable for older homes and doing it ourselves keeps costs down to between £100 and £150 for a set of bay windows. We learned through sustainability groups in North London that 3.3 mm thick acrylic panes fixed with magnetic strips are the most practical solution.
Window frames have to be sanded to make a rough surface on which the magnetic strips stick. The acrylic panes are cut to size at the factory and fit inside the frame snugly. Once the preparation had been done ahead of time, our gung-ho workshop participants helped cut the magnetic strips, stick them down onto the window frame and insert the acrylic pane. The panes can easily be removed any time.
The rooms with the fitted acrylic panes already feel warmer. This idea should help relieve some of the dire fuel poverty in Ealing, or at least save us some cash and reduce carbon emissions.
In the meantime, and to reduce costs further, we’ll soon be placing a bulk order for the material for the next installations.
The next workshop will be held in Hanwell, W7 on Sunday 23 February, at 2 pm; please contact Andrea if you are interested in taking part, or would like to know more about this energy-saving technique.
On Sunday 26th January at 7.30pm we will be showing the film ‘Best Before’, which is a short documentary about the food revolution taking off across London, why it is happening and how it provides a way forward to a more healthy, sustainable and socially just food system in the UK. In London a handful of supermarkets dominate the food system, an incredible amount of food is wasted every day, and fresh, healthy food has become the privilege of the wealthy, while those worse off have only access to low quality, fatty and sugar-rich food, and obesity rates are skyrocketing. With global energy costs expected to rise dramatically, many people argue that the UK will face a food crisis in coming years.
‘Best Before’ looks at why this is happening, who is profiting from the way we eat, and at the same time, what people are doing to take back control of how we produce, distribute and crucially, how we eat, food in the UK. London is the city in which community organizations are shaping alternatives, from city farms to roof gardens, farmers’ markets to food cooperatives. The film explores how communities in the city are reducing their dependency on the corporate food system, and producing, distributing and consuming food in a sustainable, ecological, and socially just way.
Interspersed with interviews with key academics, journalists and policy advisors, Best Before follows those at the heart of the London food revolution. It may just change the way you eat!
We are delighted to welcome back Professor Martin Caraher, City University Professor of Food, who will introduce the film and contextualise some of its messages. The film will also be followed by a number of short talks from some of the groups working towards a sustainable food system in Ealing, and there will of course be time for hot drinks, cakes and discussion afterwards. As ever the event takes place at St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road Ealing W5 5RH. Entry is free but we will ask for donations to help us cover the cost of staging the event.
Sunday 1st December, 7.30pm: ‘Active Hope’ with Chris Johnstone
We live at a time of uncertainty when the future might seem scary and the challenges we face overwhelming. How then should we rise to the challenge and play our part in the story of creating the future we hope for? This evening’s session introduces the practice of Active Hope, exploring how we can be nourished, energised, empowered and inspired in the transition to a sustainable, life-affirming society.
Chris Johnstone is an author and coach specialising in the psychology of resilience and positive change. He has been involved in the Transition Movement since its early days, contributing to the chapter on the Psychology of Change in The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins. His books include Find Your Power – a toolkit for resilience and positive change, and, co-written with Joanna Macy, Active Hope – how to face the mess we’re in without going crazy. He runs a distance-learning centre in Scotland and edits the free email newsletter The Great Turning Times. His website is http://chrisjohnstone.info
This promises to be an inspiring evening. As ever the event takes place at St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road Ealing W5 5RH. Entry is free but we will ask for donations to help us cover the cost of staging the event. Please join us for warm beverages, cake and discussion after the event.