Celebrate Consciously

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WENVOE FORUM
Celebrate Consciously Today to Preserve Tomorrow


If each of us changes just one or two things to cut pollution, waste and carbon emissions during the Christmas celebrations and into the New Year, together, it adds up and makes a difference. Here, some of our members share their ideas.


Hello, I am Diane and I’ve joined the Wenvoe Forum as I feel that we can all help the cause. This Christmas I’m aiming to send Christmas cards that have the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mark. This can be found on the back of the card and guarantees that the paper has been produced sustainably and ethically. After Christmas I will recycle my cards or pass them onto friends who will turn them into present tags or decorations for next year.

 

Gareth and Glenys Stone. We have lived in Wenvoe for almost 10 years now. We joined the Wenvoe Forum with a view to doing ‘our bit’ and working with others to build on the existing, strong community spirit. Our family have festive fun with the e-bay challenge. We set a price limit and a theme for family presents to be bought second hand on e-bay. We have a lot of fun buying the best present for £5 and in the past they have included Lego, headgear and even original works of art. As we open them together at Christmas we can also enjoy the stories and adventures of e-bay auctions won and lost, as well as the presents themselves. Reducing, reusing and recycling whilst having a fabulous time.

Hi. I am Heulwen and I shall be making my own Christmas present labels from handmade seed paper embedded with various flower seeds for recipients to plant. No waste card to deal with and I’m looking forward to a spring and summer full of flowers that will also encourage pollinators.

My name is Nicola Starke and I am the Headteacher at Gwenfo Church in Wales Primary School. My green festive tips include:

  • Donating old Christmas dressing up costumes to the school to loan to other children during our Christmas concerts.
  • Make a funny Christmas video to send friends and family instead of a card
  • Over the festive period swap your car for a lovely walk around the village to spot the advent windows
  • Shop locally and support small businesses when buying gifts and festive food.

 

I am Sian Jones and live in the village. I am a member of the Gwenfo Forum because I want our Wenvoe Village to be a cleaner safer environment in which to live. I think it would be good for us to embrace the New Year 2022 by thinking of ways to help our carbon footprint, less pollution in the village. For example think about ways to dispose of our Christmas wrappings and cards. Look at buying gift wrapping paper that can be recycled. Christmas cards being bought without glitter and buy from charities to support their cause. My goal for 2022 is for all of us to think and act now before it is too late!

 

 


 

More environmentally friendly ideas on our blog see below.

The Forum is always open to fresh suggestions, creative ideas and especially to new members and contributors.

Twitter @ForumGwenfo, Facebook: Gwen Fo @ https://www.facebook.com/gwen.fo.1/ and Wenvoe Forum @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/635369267864402

Blog site https://wenvoeforum.wordpress.com/

Any Wenvoe community member is welcome to join the Forum meetings, via Zoom, held at 19.00 on the second Thursday of each month. E-mail gwenfo.forum@gmail.com if you wish to come along.

 



 

A Community Energy Scheme?

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Is it time for a Community Energy Scheme?


The coverage of COP26 and the need to replace fossil fuel based energy generation, coupled with the potential insecurity and dramatic cost rise of our energy supply is a source of concern. We are reaching for our warm sweaters, turning down the thermostat, not leaving the TV on standby etc etc. But is it time to consider an increasingly popular option? Is it time for a Community Energy Scheme for Wenvoe?

What is a Community Energy Scheme? In essence Community Energy Schemes are about community led, and importantly community controlled, renewable energy production, energy efficiency schemes or energy purchase schemes. They can be wholly community owned or with commercial or public sector partners or can act as a trusted intermediary to ensure community interests are considered by commercial generators. The movement is growing in Wales which has more Community Energy schemes per head of population than other parts of the UK. Some of them have been around for over 20 years and have learnt some of the tricks of the trade the hard way but all are willing to share their experiences in order to advance the sector. The sector is supported by Community Energy Wales (CEW) and a look at its map of members will show you wind, solar and hydro generation schemes alongside insulation schemes, provision of charging points, a biomass project that heats a community swimming pool and plans for schemes using heat pumps.

How are they funded? Largely they are run as businesses with a variety of different models; co-operatives, community interest organisations, Ltd companies etc. Investors get a reasonable return on their money but no share of the profit which is used for community benefit and often applied to other environmentally friendly or energy efficiency projects. In common with charities, Directors are usually volunteers. Community members are able to purchase energy at a reliable and often lower price

What other benefits are there? In its State of the Sector 2021 report published earlier this year CEW cites the following benefits:-

  • A major practical contribution towards achieving zero carbon emissions
  • Involved, energy aware community members are ready to make the behaviour changes necessary to combat climate change
  • New jobs and local investment
  • Other community driven projects utilising the surpluses that would normally go to shareholders

 

So what might a scheme for Wenvoe look like? Council buildings and many more houses with solar panels or heat pumps; a way of capturing hydro energy from the water that pours down from the woodland when it rains; a Wind turbine up on the hill… who knows, the community decides based on practical feasibility.

One thing is certain however, the magic ingredient of any successful scheme is a handful of people who are prepared to give some time to get things going. If you are one of those people, let’s make it happen, please get in touch gwenfo.forum@gmail.com.

Recent Forum Activity

We are still pursuing the monitoring of air pollution in the village and encouraging drivers not to leave engines idling.

We submitted our response to the WG 20mph zones scheme. This is due for implementation in 2023 and there will be further consultation about local issues.

We attended a Road Safety meeting hosted by Jane Hutt SM and attended by other rural Vale communities, Vale of Glamorgan officers and Councillors, South Wales Police and Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change. Other communities shared proven examples of schemes that improve safety, reduce pollution and encouraging active travel.

We have an exploratory meeting with Community Energy Wales planned and a request from the Vale officer in charge of Project Zero to meet with us for an update..

An information pack to welcome newcomers to the village is nearly ready which includes the list of local providers which can be found on our Blog site.

We will be responding to the Vale of Glamorgan consultation on plans to improve the play area at the Grange. You can respond too. blog https://wenvoeforum.wordpress.com/ .

New members welcome, meetings on Zoom 2nd Thursday each month 7pm. Comment or Contact us on :-Facebook: Gwen Fo @ https://www.facebook.com/gwen.fo.1/ and Wenvoe Forum @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/635369267864402 twitter @ForumGwenfo or e-mail us on gwenfo.forum@gmail.com.