Save pennies and the planet - why you should go along to Sustain-Ability event

Royston Wombles of Ware Abouts Carol Stanier and her son Matthew Kazer

Royston Wombles Carol Stanier and her son Matthew Kazer - who are helping clear litter from their adopted area of the town. - Credit: Robin Kazer

Ahead of the inaugural Sustain-Ability event in Royston - where we can all learn about adopting a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle - the Crow has caught up with organisers, the Royston Environmental Group.

The two-day event is the first of its kind in our town and is organised by REG. The small dedicated team has a common aim and a big purpose - a more sustainable future for Royston and its surrounding villages.

Royston Environmental Group's first Sustain-Ability event is taking place in town this month. 

Royston Environmental Group's first Sustain-Ability event is taking place in town this month. - Credit: REG

REG chair Carol Stanier said: "Sustain-Ability grew out of a conversation over coffee with friends about our joint desire to do something to highlight the issues to be discussed at the climate conference, COP26 later this year.

"It's amazing what is already happening in our small town that addresses issues that contribute to climate change - Sustain-Ability aims to highlight the great things that businesses and community groups are doing locally.”

"Climate change is the most pressing issue humanity faces currently, and that is as true in Royston as anywhere else. I want to ensure that the world that I hand over to my children is the best and least damaged place it can be.


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"Sustain-Ability is a showcase of some of the best environmental offers and events in Royston.”

REG member, and Royston resident of 20 years, Alix Cooper has spent four decades championing the planet and practising greener living.

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She told the Crow: "A lot of the problems we have now stem from the need for convenience, from disposable cups to fast fashion -  and attitudes need to change.

"During lockdown there were no planes in the sky and nature was coming back, but a year on we've learnt nothing - people are desperate to get flights away.

"It’s become part of our culture to have new things - some people don’t like buying second hand or shopping in charity shops, but the clothes aren’t dirty. It’s a good way to shop - you can buy good quality clothes for a fraction of the cost. 

REG

Royston Environmental Group's first organised litter pick in October 2020 - they are now organising Sustain-Ability in the town. - Credit: REG

"I started using charity shops in 1980. I was going to go to Mothercare, but a lady said to me they had nice girls' clothes in the charity shop.

Back then, the climate crisis wasn't spoken about - it was about CSC gases and protecting the Ozone. It wasn't about plastics or what we can do in our lives day-to-day. I went to the Netherlands in the 1990s and they were doing compulsory recycling. 

Alix's tips for starting to live in a more eco-friendly way: 

  1. Buy just what you need on your food shop and don’t be tempted by offers on items you won't eat, because to much food ends up going to waste.
  2.  Avoid plastic waste where you can. Recycle clear plastic packaging and return soft plastics - like bread bags to supermarket recycling points. Avoid coloured plastics that don't get recycled - a lot of ready-meals are still sold in those coloured trays, for example. 
  3.  Don’t take the car if you don't need to, and if you do see if you can car share with other parents, on the school run perhaps. Do little shops over the week and carry bags home if you are able to, instead of taking the car for a big shop. 
  4. Avoid fast fashion. Buy clothes second hand in charity shops or online.
  5. Turn down the central heating by degree. You'll save money and can stay warm in a snug jumper if need be. 

Alix said: "I impart this knowledge and see it as my moral responsibility - it’s not about making myself feel good, it’s about raising awareness of sustainable living and giving people the tools so they can make their own choices.

"We all sit around thinking that changes need to be made and nattering about what we are going to do, , but I want to see eco-aware habits become blended into our everyday lives now, and not just things we think about doing in the future. It’s going to save pennies and save the planet."

Sustain-Ability takes place at several locations across town on Saturday and Sunday, October 23 and 24. Here are details of the events:

Saturday, October 23

Go! Greener - Electric Vehicle Forum 9am to 1pm. Find out all about EVs in the civic centre car park 

Plastic Free Champion Business - 10am to 3pm - Heart to Earth, Kneesworth Street. Prize draw for the chance of winning a eco box worth £35, plus bamboo toothbrush giveaway with minimum spend. 

CIC/Early Connections drop-in - 1.30pm to 3pm - Keats Close, no booking required. Sling and cloth nappy library for Royston and South Cambs provide information on reusable nappies, sustainable parenting and reusable menstrual hygiene products.

REG Litter pick - 2pm to 4pm. Meet at Coombes Community Centre, preregister online. 

SuperHome virtual open event - 8pm. Check out Royston's 'Pioneer SuperHome'. Register online.

Sunday, October 24

CIC/Early Connections drop-in, Keats Close, no booking required. Another chance if you miss Satruday's session, head along at 10am to 12.30pm.

Tesco Community Garden open day - 2pm to 4pm. Check out the garden, help plant a bulb, and give us your suggestions for how to shape the garden and what to grow in it. Activities for children.

See https://frierley.com/roystonenvirogroup/ for more information.

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