The latest from CA-WN Exchange - July 2023

The latest from CA-WN Exchange - July 2023

Today is the 1st of July and so the beginning of Plastic Free July. Although I’m very much in favour of raising the profile of important issues like eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic, I really hope that the changes made will become habit and carry on beyond July. The same applies to Clean Air Day that was held last month. The air we breathe is fundamental to our health and we need to be raising awareness of the poor air quality in Northampton on a daily basis if we want it to improve. A report from earlier in the year, covered in CA-WN Exchange, revealed that residents of Northampton are indirectly inhaling the equivalent of 189 cigarettes per year – the worst of any city in the UK. Concerned residents and groups, organised by the newly formed Clean Air Northampton, took to the streets on Clean Air Day, marching from Northampton General Hospital to the Council buildings, asking the Council to set out an action plan to clean our air. Clean Air Northampton state that this is the beginning of their campaign, so watch out for details of future events. In the meantime, in this issue Clare Robertson-Marriott gives an insight into how our gardens can contribute to cleaning up our air. Alongside reducing our personal car travel and limiting bonfires, this is one way we as individuals can help tackle the problem. Another way is by showing support for the Northants Streets Campaign Sustainable Travel Accord - see Peter Doveston’s piece on Risk Diversion in this issue for more details.

In the spirit of continuing themes, the ONE Campaign hosted a Great Big Green Week event in Milton Keynes one week after the ‘official’ week. CA-WN went along and you can read the report in this issue, which covers some of the great things happening in our neighbouring area.

This month’s regular features include Councillor Adam Brown’s view on the need for a local perspective on climate action, and Luke Costin’s ‘three things for climate’, which includes a look at travelling abroad more sustainably. Another great way to reach destinations across Europe on a carbon budget is via train, which is increasing in popularity as we become more aware of our personal footprints. My trip to Barcelona last year, although taking just a little longer than flying, was by far less stressful and more picturesque. I found the Man in Seat 61 to be an excellent planning resource.

Before you dive into the full articles, just a quick housekeeping notice: the editorial team at CA-WN Exchange will be taking its collective foot off the accelerator over the summer months to take advantage of precious family time and to generally rejuvenate. Please bear with us over this period; normal service will resume in September!

Latest Posts from the CA -WN Community

🔹We all know plants and flowers are beautiful and life-enhancing, but they can also clean our air - Clare Robertson-Marriott explains how and has some planting recommendations
🔹CA-WN has read West Northamptonshire Council's Annual Report so you don't have to - see what we thought in July's Council Watch
🔹Peter Doveston says now is the time for taking some calculated risks, and asks WNC to sign up to a set of commitments to improve transport in our area.
🔹WNC's Deputy Leader, Adam Brown, shares his thoughts on conservatism and conservation in this month's My View opinion column
🔹Luke Costin, student at Northampton University and CA-WN Exchange's newest and youngest contributor, shares the three things he has done in response to climate change
🔹Harry Mellor reports from an event organised by the ONE Campaign for Great Big Green Week on the good work being done by our neighbours in Milton Keynes
🔹Patsy Hollingum's recipe this month is a gluten-free blackcurranty take on summer pudding
🔹Our latest book recommendation, Jason Hickel's Less is More - How degrowth will save the world asks whether GDP growth is really a good measure of success
🔹Latest podcast recommendation - Your Brain on Climate, a really helpful listen to understand why our responses to climate change aren't always reasonable