Transition Liverpool Newsletter - Peak Stuff Meeting
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Transition Liverpool Newsletter, April 2017
Next Meetings
Local Make/recycle/upcycle groups
Examples from elsewhere – Repair Café, Library of Things, etc
Sustainability, transition, permaculture
Mayoral Election, Meetings, etc
Other news and views
Science News
Artist of the week

Our Next Meetings

The Next Transition Café
What to do about Peak Stuff ? Many of us have stuff we never use, but, much of it is duplicated, e.g. we all have electric drills which are designed for thousands of hours of operation, but most drills are only used for 15 minutes in their entire lifetime !
We need to organise ourselves better than this, and there are two main techniques for this
  • To set up a Library of Things
  • To establish a Repair Café
There are other possibilities too, such as the Edinburgh Remakery, and the Recycling Megastores that are being tried in Sweden. We will discuss if we can do something at our next meeting.
We have invited the local groups involved in upcycling, making and repairing to tell us what they do (see the list below).

The meeting is on Wednesday 12th April at the Quaker Meeting House, School Lane. Join us from 6.30pm for some healthy locally sourced soup and snacks (vegetarian bring and share if you can) and we'll begin around 7pm.
Our challenge is that we are trying to do a jigsaw puzzle, and we are not sure what design(s) to go for, and whether we have enough pieces or not.
We will have brief presentations by a number of people, and then split into topic tables, especially Library of Things and Repair Café, but perhaps also de-cluttering, minimalism, and personalising clothes
Please let us know if you have any more ideas for the meeting, or if you’d like to speak !! Perhaps we can form a steering group to help develope this sector in Liverpool and the Northwest.

Transition Meetups
Come along EVERY Thursday at the Brink, 21 Parr St. from 4 to 6 (that is, the 13th, 20th, 27th April, 3rd, 10th May, etc.). Pop in to connect with us, or stay for a longer open discussion, helping to develop our ideas and maybe new projects.

Transition Café on May 10th  – Advance Notice
This is on the theme of eco-villages. First we will show a film of the Tamera eco-village in Portugal, and then split into interest groups. At the moment the plan for these groups is Eco-village, Community, Co-Housing and Sustainable Building.
Please let us know if you’d like to get involved in planning the meeting !

Local Links for make/recycle/upcycle groups
There are some wonderful local groups and businesses in this sector –
DoES are Liverpool’s primary high-tech maker centre . They have 3-D printers, laser cutters and vacuum formers, desk hire, and help with Raspberry Pi projects, etc. Someone there 3-D printed the artificial hands shown in the picture.
Make it Workshops, Southport.
There is a brilliant up-cycling project  in Southport which has 4 shops in an arcade, including bicycle rebuilding, up-cycled furniture, re-purposed old telephones and other electronics that now works digitally, plus a curiosity shop.
Total Re-use in Skelmersdale  “improve and redecorate” furniture with their skilled staff, and they have also sponsored a number of Toolsheds in mid Lancashire. They also have a Community Repaint project (about 20% of all paint is unused and saved for later), and funding for a glass re-melting workshop. They also do mattress and sofa de-construction ! Their website is here

Emmaus Project in Seaforth do house clearances and upgrade the furniture to sell it. They are staffed by formerly homeless people who live in a hostel connected to the project - Website

Liverpool Shed Club Website has woodworking and workshop machinery for people to go to build their projects, plus stained glass studio, plus lots of tools, nails, glue, etc to help with your projects.

Bootle Tool Shed is just getting started in a shop in the New Strand under the umbrella of Total Reuse - Website

We hope people will come to our meeting from each of these groups to tell us what they do (and if possible show us samples or pictures).

Examples from elsewhere – Repair Cafés, Library of Things, etc
Worldwide there are lots of new ideas that we can adapt to our own circumstances, and people have already worked out good systems for doing some of the things we are interested in, especially for Library of Things
Library of Things
This Project in Frome looks like the best Library of Things in the UK - it looks like a really good admin model

This one is in West Norwood, South London

In the US they are often part of libraries

Repair Cafe
This is the worldwide Repair Café movement

There is a Repair café in Farnham with good partners - website and wiki site
Shed Clubs
The Eden Project are promoting Sheds

The Network of Wellbeing Share Shed is just starting in Totnes
Edinburgh Remakery has been in the news and also have their own website They seem to charge for people to use their workshop space, and they sell upcycled furniture and re-conditioned computers, and do trainings.

Shopping Mall
There is even a Swedish shopping mall for recycling

Sustainability, Transition and Permaculture, etc.
Sustainable Liverpool has been set up by Paul Riley  to build an “Earthship” - a large sustainably constructed building.   -This is the website – it reports on the first board meeting - a group of enthusiasts is getting involved. The site includes a blog which includes an excellent report on the Erik Bichard event last month.

Sign up to his newsletter for progress reports !
Steph’s has written a report on the recent  Permaculture in the City meeting at Metal. The full report is here and here are some extracts:-
We shared soup then took a short tour of Metal's unique community garden space on a platform at Edge Hill Station. This has heaps of character and potential to demonstrate how permaculture can maximise a shady spot. We then gathered back in the station building and had small group discussions on "What is permaculture?" and "Existing and Future Local Permaculture projects".

The existing projects are
  • Mersey Rd Allotment Plot,
  • WEA Permaculture themed courses,
  • Green Guild Hugelkulture,
  • Waterloo Forest garden,
  • Merseyside Permaculture group (Facebook),
  • Everton park permaculture herb spiral.
(If you know of any more please send the details so we can add to this list)

Future project ideas are
  • Metal Community Garden,
  • Quaker Burial Ground and Orchard,
  • Hugelkultur demo in Bebington,
  • St Brides Church Forest garden,
  • there may be plans or ideas for a Forest Garden in Netherton and also  L8.
We are planning a North West Transition gathering to help shape a regional Transition Network. If you are interested could you please complete the doodle poll by 7th April to try and find the best date when most people can go to a meeting.

People are invited to Tartu in Estonia for a Transition meeting !
Looming Hostel is a member of a transition town Tartu initiative (Elav Tartu) and they write "we are happy to invite your transition group for a 4day networking eco-tour we organize in summer 2017"
The main idea is to gather members of transition initiatives from all around Europe to reinforce the European network while discovering transition town Tartu & Estonia. This is the Tartu website and the Hostel site

URBANAG open day on Thu, 27 April, 11:00 – 15:00 at Rice Lane City Farm, Rawcliffe Rd, Liverpool L9 1AW .
There will be tours of the site and an explanation of Aquaponics, plus information on the various free courses offered by Urbanag CIC.
The Urbanag team will be there to give an introduction to the worlds of engineering and aquaponics. Aquaponics is a method of producing food that is well suited to the urban environment. It produces fish and vegetables without needing soil, or much space.

You will probably have more questions at this point so we would be very happy to discuss things before you make a commitment.
Contact them at or visit their website for more information

Low Impact have an amazing website organised in 200+ (!) green topic areas  !
There is a major section making suggestions of how you can move your money to the non-corporate sector.
Another page announces that a new share issue of the Ecological Land Co-op is now open with a video. We will return to this in future meetings

Liverpool WEA have some good courses, including make your own plants
This is a lovely video of Permaculture design course held at
Auroville in India

These Ecosystem Re-creation camps in Portugal look good

The BBC have reported on a “Garden Suburb” plan for part of the Liverpool Garden Festival site
Mayoral Election, meetings, etc.
Metro Mayoral Election is on May 4th – you should have received a polling card already
There in an event focusing on the needs of young people on Weds 12th April

The main hustings for the voluntary sector with all the main candidates was at the Anglican Cathedral recently, and it seems no more meetings are planned except for the ones listed here.

Compass presents an evening of the new Metro Mayor & the People, featuring the People’s Plan from the Transition Liverpool Symposium, added to by FoE, MET and Compass. Four candidates will be at this meeting, and we hope they will repond positively and include major elements of our plan in their policies and future actions.
It is on 27th April, and more details of this are here, and free tickets can be booked here

Low Carbon Liverpool debate at the University, May 15th  6.00pm – 7.30pm Free tickets can be booked here
The Low Carbon Liverpool Debate is at the University Victoria Gallery & Museum, followed by a drinks reception.
Liverpool is rightly proud to be a place where world-renowned heritage sits alongside new developments and innovation that make it a truly 21st century international city. Recent changes have included a greater focus on the environment and a reduction in dangerous emissions, partly thanks to the move away from coal power. However, like most major conurbations, life in the city is still reliant on fuels that contribute to climate change.
 Liverpool has hit its own targets to reduce emissions ahead of schedule, but in this event we ask what more can be done to make life here environmentally sustainable. The Low Carbon Liverpool project and the Mayor's Commission for Environmental Sustainability explored how the city can combine sustainability with quality and prosperity, but how can the new city region take further steps to become a global climate leader?
Join us for an engaging evening of debate and to hear from civic figures, practitioners and senior decision makers for an informed, evidence-based discussion. Dinah Dossor and John Garret will represent Transition Liverpool on the panel
This is organised by Peter North, who is Reader in Alternative Economies, Department of Geography and Planning at the School for Environmental Sciences.

Zero Carbon Britain are now getting active in Liverpool - they put on an event very recently (which we missed), and we look forward to more.
“The Extraordinary Story of Human Beings, Energy & Happiness” - was their launch night on Fri, April 7, 2017 at the Brink. It was an evening with spoken word, story-telling, piano and visuals to imagine "What will a carbon-free Liverpool look like?"
Zero Carbon Britain is the flagship research project from the Centre for Alternative Technology, showing that a modern, zero-emissions society is possible using technology available today. Their website is here and the new report Zero Carbon Britain: Making it Happen, can be downloaded from the site.
Liverpool Community Renewables (LCR) and the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), are collaborating and co-creating a series of events in Liverpool. It's funded by Big Lottery

Courses and Studies
Introduction to Engineering for Women (mostly hydroponic systems) course by Urbanag - site
WEA Course - Democracy in action..?

 We're taking back control so what's all the fuss about? Is our democracy under threat or does the recent EU referendum result show that it is alive and well?
From neighbourhoods to Local Councils, City Region to 'Northern Powerhouse' and devolved nation states, what do these developments mean for the public?
This short course will explore some of the debates on devolution, considering how this may affect us locally and regionally.'
Starting: Tuesday, 25 April, 6.00 - 9.00pm for 7 sessions at Liverpool Quaker Meeting House,
Fees: £35.70 though check - you may be entitled to a free course.
or call 0151-243 5340. Please quote course reference: C3839507

WEA Course Permaculture and Horticulture Courses with Tomas Remiarz at John Archer Hall 
Plant Identification and Propagation (C3839614)
Learn to identify a number of wild and cultivated plants, and how to start growing plants for yourself from seed, cuttings, layers and divisions. The course will be taught as a mixture of walks, classroom sessions and home-based activities.
Starting: Wednesday 6th April 2016, 10:00am – 1:00pm,
3 sessions on 3 consecutive Wednesdays

Mindful Writing Workshop with Tom George at Central Library, Saturday 13.00 to 16.00 Facebook page and  Booking

Other news, views and assorted links

Project Drawdown attempts to gather 100 experts to reverse climate change. Their website is good, and I think they are bringing out a book

Little Sandbox tech for techno kids in Bootle run by Chris Huffee and others - website

Ethos Magazine (made in Liverpool) has now started its first print edition

Talks at TT West Kirby
Energy Talks
Friday, 7th April, Prof Denis Hall: Fracturing Shale for Gas and Oil; The Science, Technologies and Consequences.
The talk will focus on the fracturing of shale rock to release fossil fluids – the underpinning science, the resulting technologies and their consequence - with the aim of assisting informed assessment of potential benefits and risks of current UK policies.
Health and Well-Being Talks
Friday, 28th April, David Owen: When is a Child not a Child
Retired Barrister, David Owen is on a journey from Liverpool crime to African child rights. He will entertain and inform us with tales from two worlds of courtrooms, prisons and inspiring people.

SEES Jobs - Freelancers in the Environment Sector
is changing - their website is here. Marina set up SEES Jobs because she couldn't find a one stop shop where freelancing jobs were advertised......
"I settled on a model of free advertising and paid membership for this project but have found this hasn't worked. Companies have their preferred advertisers and are reluctant to separate out freelance roles from their other advertising. I will therefore be removing the membership fee at the end of April. I will retain the jobs board and keep uploading relevant and interesting work for freelancers but I will also focus more on supporting people moving into freelancing. It is a good way to get into conservation, especially if you are a new graduate or a career changer. At the end of June I will kick off this new programme with a
webinar on how to go freelance in the environmental sector. More details on how to join in will be available in future newsletters. In the meantime check out my blog on the subject here "

Merseyside Civic Society Newsletter is excellent

Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory is now on Facebook and their website is here - persuading industry to be sustainable
Green Guild has an excellent newsletter – read it and subscribe - they are looking for Hugelculture volunteers

Stuart McBain is still Charging Around Britain in his Tesla electric car but he will be back soon.

St George’s Hall's fabulous mosaic floor will be revealed to the public for a week in August - plan a visit

Science News
New Scientist on the 25th March, p. 32 has a feature on food - how will we feed the world's population ?
The author introduces some new concepts -
  • Precision Agriculture is our expanding ability to use sensing to provide exact delivery of the correct nutrients and water to individual plants, using infra red cameras on tractors to precisely deliver nutrients, and drones to direct water supply
  • Smartphone apps such as iCow allow a farmer in the developing world to keep milk records, receive tips from experts on nutrition, contact vets, and also customers.
  • In Montreal, a rooftop greenhouse of 2900 sq. m. supplies food for 2000 people - inside everything can be controlled, including pests like locusts
  • Edible plants - an estimated 50,000 plant species are edible, but we mostly use just 3 - wheat, rice and maize. In many countries indigenous plants may have more potential for development.
  • Strange foods. Algae can be very nutricious and easily grown - some seaweeds are very high priced. Perhaps edible insects are part of the future as a protein source  too. Other researchers are working on synthetic milk (and meat too). Cattle are very inefficient - if we didn't have so many, we could feed many more people.
  • Plus, there all the ways of preventing waste 
Artist of the week
Freya Levy lives in Liverpool. She mostly uses animals as the subjects for her mosaics, using tiles, glass and found items, including medieval pottery ! She likes to accept commissions !

The pieces above are for sale on her website, and some mosaics are on display on the second floor of  Greendays Cafe, Lark Lane and also at Editions Gallery, Cook Street, Liverpool. She makes cards of some designs, and will bring some of these to our next meeting when they will be half the shop price, with 20% of every sale going to Transition Liverpool. You can keep up with her work in progress on Facebook too.

About Transition Liverpool
The main Transition Liverpool event is the monthly “Transition Café” which is on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. We also have a Meetup every week at the Brink on Thursdays from 4pm till 6, which gives more space for discussion and connecting in a more personal way. There is an Energy Group, and every October we put on a full-day Symposium. Our main concerns are to help create a “soft-landing” rather than a crash as fuel supplies fall and demand rises, and also as the effects of climate change increase. Transition is a development model for “advanced” societies to help us create better and more fulfilled lives for all, while using less resources.
We are part of the Transition Network, and Transition Town West Kirby are also very active. Our local Liverpool website is here, and our Facebook page is here. 
Some of the main Transition publications are available online for free download - the original Transition Handbook, and the recent Essential Guide to doing Transition .
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Best Wishes and Happy Transitions,   George
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