Friday, 2 July 2010

Part-ownership of a spaceship, going carbon negative and recycling on Lambeth housing estates

The consensus is that prices are rising once again in London, such that owning a property is beyond the reach of many citizens.  Help, however, is at hand in the form of a part-ownership eco-spaceship.  Head over to the Beaconsfield Gallery (22 Newport Street, SE11) where an installation, exploring the contradictions and difficulties of building a utopia, will be constructed in the form of  a Spaceship Earth eco-structure.  You can buy a slice at a rather reasonable £1 per share, but it's unclear exactly what you'll get for your money!  

The Beaconsfield spaceship project is collaborative, and the artists require donations of works relating to utopias.  In addition, you can take a picture of yourself outside your house with lots of unwanted goods, and email it to the organisers.  There is a whole host of free workshops on offer, but participants are encouraged to bring something (or offer a service) in exchange for attendance.

Events which still have to take place are as follows (info lifted from the Spaceship Earth project on the Beaconsfield website).  I'm wondering about attending the vegan chocolate one on Sunday!

Thursday 1 July 6-8 pm
Creative Writing Workshop with Sarah Butler
Saturday 3 July 2-4 pm
Immigration Law for Sale? with Barry O’Leary and Tim Barnden
Sunday 4 July 2-4 pm
Raw Chocolate Demo with Laura Coxeter
Tuesday 6 - Thursday 8 July 11-5 pm
Eco-Build: Rammed Earth with Mark Pavey and friends
Friday 9 - Sunday 11 July 11-5 pm
Eco-Build: Living Roof with Mark Pavey and friends

On a related note, there is an interesting project that seems to be taking place within SE11 at the Bowling Green Street pub (yup, the one that was meant to be turned into housing, but got turned down by Lambeth Council).  Some of the people currently based(?) there are advocating the possibility of living a carbon negative lifestyle, in which communities learn to be self-sufficient.  The group advocate the change of planning laws to enable the building of Eco-villages (I'm unclear about how this would work in densely populated Lambeth) and also put forward some ideas about how to improve the quality of soil (and thus increase its capacity for food growth) through a method called Biochar.  I'm afraid it's all rather unwieldy to go into here, but they have a GrowUp website that provides further info.  Apparently, they're willing to explain it all in the form of an exhibition, where films and music will illustrate what they're talking about, and it's on every Thursday.   Might be worth checking their website first as it looks a little adhoc.

Finally, on a more practical note, Lambeth Council are embarking on a bid to the London Waste and Recycling Foundation.  They need some ideas and proposals for various projects to run locally.  If successful, I think they'd be allotted some money to encourage additional recycling on Lambeth council housing estates.  I believe we discussed this matter here about a year ago, when one commentator wrote insightfully that he thought residents on local estates would be encouraged to recycle more effectively were better signage provided on the recycling bins.  I wonder whether, with many residents not having English as a first language, some investment should go into providing literature in a number of different languages.  Unfortunately... the one type of project that this particular bid does not support is that which relates to communications, "this includes doorstepping, leafleting, community outreach, literature", which leaves the Council requesting proposals for:

* Small-scale composting
* New or improved bin chambers
* Dropped kerbs that will enable the recycling provision to be increased or improved
* Incentive schemes
* Chute conversions (to recycling, where there are two chutes side by side)

Do readers have any ideas along these lines for local estates in the area?  Do you live on or have friends who live on local estates that might benefit from these types of changes?  I'm not entirely sure how I've come to be consulted on such matters, but I'm really impressed by Lambeth Council's recycling commitment, so I think it's well worth giving them input where possible.

1 comment:

powkin said...

This is definitely a problem on the Ethelred Estate. I live on the 4rd floor of my block and to get to the nearest large recycling bins it is a long walk with big bulky items... and when you get there the bins are often overflowing.

The recycling amenities on the estate seem to be very sparse, 2 large industrial bins seemingly being shared between 4 or 5 blocks (including the private flats on the edge of the estate).

There definitely needs to be:
1) Better signage to the recycling blocks
2) More bins

I like the chute conversion idea, however, They are so small that many items will not fit down the chute so you still need the space to put big bulky items.

I find the bin chutes one of the worst areas of the estate. They often stick and flies just love to collect round them. Would be great if these communal stair wells and chutes could be brightened up. It is a very unwelcoming environment.

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