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Come to our community garden party in Newton Heath!

We're inviting anyone from the local community to come along and get involved in some fun planting activities and games. The party will celebrate Newton Heath’s first community garden, located at Newton Heath cricket club on Mabel Street. We’ve been working with local residents, keen gardeners and the Winning Hearts and Minds team to develop this new green space, and we want to hear your thoughts and ideas of what it will look like and how you want to get involved. We’ve been working with residents across Newton Heath to get them growing at home. From small balconies, to vegetable patches and wildlife ponds, together they’ve been able to help each other learn more about gardening and growing, develop their skills and benefit from healthier lifestyles. Here's what James, a beginner gardener had to say about getting growing for the first time - “We wanted somewhere to grow plants and attract wildlife. It’s great having a team of people that give you the oomph to do it, and the know-how too. You feel like you’ve really achieved something, you’re not just sat in the house. It’s your space and you’re making it better.” - James. We recently made a little video showcasing how Dave, one of the residents involved, has used his space to encourage his hobby of cooking, which you can find here. We’ve created an online space for residents in Newton Heath to share growing tips, gardening progress updates, resources, and skills. Click here to access our Facebook group and join the club!

Posted on 11th May 2022

by Lizzie Murray-Clark

Here's how individuals, businesses and governments can make a difference this Earth Day!

⁠This year Earth Day is highlighting how we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). And it’s going to take all of us taking action each and every day - Businesses, governments, and citizens. A partnership for the planet. We all have the power to create positive change in Manchester and as the old saying goes, anytime is a good time to start! Check out these 5 pledges you can take today . From buying second-hand, to cycling more, all of our actions add up to help make a difference. Trust us, it's easier than you think!⁠ Businesses have a crucial role to pave the way in tackling climate change. This will require long term commitment and strategy, but can be lead by small, short-term actions.⁠ Here are 5 actions Businesses can take this Earth Day (and every other day).⁠ With local elections coming up, now is a great chance to have your voice heard and inspire your MP or Councillor to take action on climate change.⁠ ⁠Writing an email or letter to them is an important way to show public demand, push for change and with it being Earth Day there’s no better time - we’ve done the hard work for you! Use this template to email or write to your MP today. Whilst we can’t solve climate change on our own, together we can make a huge difference. Check out our "tips for change" page for resources and inspiration for you to live more sustainably, whilst having fun, saving money and getting outdoors.

Posted on 22nd April 2022

by Lizzie Murray-Clark

Meet Nina - The Climate Change Neighbourhood Officer for South Manchester

I started the role of Climate Change Neighbourhood Officer for south Manchester just under a year ago and it has been one of the busiest and most exciting periods of my career so far! I sit within Manchester City Council’s South Neighbourhood Team who cover a remit of 14 wards across the south of the city. It’s my job to provide support and guidance to members of my team, to ensure that we are delivering relevant and impactful climate action on a local level. We’ve been working closely with Councillors, voluntary organisations, partners and residents to produce local climate action plans for every single ward. These plans set out the key climate priorities that matter to each area; working with local expertise to build on strengths and unblock barriers to action. We recently held climate emergency events in Chorlton and Chorlton Park to launch their ward climate action plans and ask for some much-needed input from the local community. At the Chorlton event held at Edge Theatre, we heard a series of lightning talks from local climate champions including Our Streets Chorlton, Unicorn Grocery, Manchester Climate Change Youth Board and more. At the Chorlton Park event held at Chorlton Central Church, we had interactive stalls covering themes from sustainable fashion to growing your own fruit and veg, with free vegetarian and vegan food provided by Cracking Good Food who are a social enterprise with the aim of eradicating food poverty and increasing food sustainability in Greater Manchester. Upcoming events in South Manchester We have even more exciting climate events coming up across south Manchester. On Monday 21st March our Burnage climate emergency event at Burnage Academy for Boys will be opened up to the public, to pitch their climate project ideas for the chance of winning some climate funding. On Wednesday 23rd March, we’re hosting a Wythenshawe-wide climate evert in Wythenshawe Town Centre , with a pop-up cinema showing David Attenborough screenings, and cooking lessons from Wythenshawe food charity Blossom. Come along or get in touch to tell us what you want to see on your local climate action plan! Live in South Manchester and want to get in touch with Nina about climate action? Email inournature@hubbub.org.uk with your details and we will put you in touch with her.

Posted on 21st March 2022

by Lizzie Murray-Clark

What does our money have to do with climate change?

Many of us think that living sustainably can be expensive, but you can help the environment without having to spend a penny. In fact, how we save, invest and spend our money has a huge impact on our carbon footprint, often without us even realising it. As savers, consumers and pension holders we can influence the future through our investments, letting our money do the work for us. Not only will shifting your savings, current account, pension or investments have a huge impact on your carbon footprint, but it also sends a strong message to the financial markets that things need to change. 1. Power to your pension Did you know that greening your pension is 21 x more effective at reducing your carbon footprint than giving up flying, going veggie and switching energy provider combined? It shocked us too! Each year, the average UK pension member unknowingly finances 23 tonnes of CO2 emissions through the businesses their pension invests in. There’s £3 trillion in UK pensions – imagine the impact this could have if it was invested in renewable energy, community projects or ethical companies? Pensions aren’t something that most of us control directly so to get started, have a look at Make Your Money Matter’s resources on how to talk to your employer about the impact of your pension. 2. Support your local Shopping locally helps boost the local economy, reduces the distance your items have travelled, and protects local jobs. Have a look at labels to see where the things you’re buying were produced, and if you can, opt for locally produced food, clothing and items. Check out this list of independent shops, craft and farmers markets you can support in Manchester. 3. Move your money Not all banks are created equal. In fact, your bank may be investing your money in fossil fuel companies, arms, tobacco and more. The good news is that switching banks is pretty straightforward and allows you to use your money to support causes you believe in. There's a growing number of ethical alternatives out there, allowing you to choose to use your money to support causes you believe in - see how your bank is performing here. 4. Purpose over profit Finding it hard to tell a green brand from a greenwashing brand? Look out for respected accreditations such as Fairtrade, Soil Association or B Corp. (check out the growing number of UK B Corps here). Read... This article by the BBC on Why your banking habits matter for the climate Watch... This video from Reuters that explains why pension funds are such big investors into fossil fuel companies, whether you have any control over where your money ends up, and is investing in renewables even an option? Listen... To this podcast by Outrage + Optimism featuring activist and filmmaker Richard Curtis, to hear about Make Money Matter and the importance of pensions.

Posted on 21st February 2022

by Lizzie Murray-Clark

On the lookout for a new, relaxing green space in Manchester that helps tackle the effects of climate change? You’re in luck!

In partnership with Pride in Ageing at LGBT Foundation, Manchester Art Gallery have launched a brand new pocket park as part of their Derek Jarman ‘Protest’ exhibition. The space is located within the grounds of the Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street and was designed and planted by members of the LGBT Community from across greater Manchester. This week we met with the green-fingered group of volunteers who have been working together to get the park ready for it’s launch on the 11th February. The team have worked alongside the gallery curator, the artist Juliet Davis-Drufayard, landscape architects from Exterior Architecture and the community team at RHS Bridgewater to develop a design and planting scheme for the new urban garden space. The park has been launched to celebrate gay rights activist Derek Jarman, his own garden in Dungeness and tell a story about some of our local LGBT+ communities. Not only is it a beautiful space to relax and reflect, it also contains a number of innovative urban solutions to combat the effects of climate change in the City! With help from IGNITION and The Royal Horticultural Society, the garden will encourage biodiversity, use sustainable planters and other elements to conserve water and provide ideas to encourage green initiatives at home. We caught up with Lawrie Roberts, the Pride in Ageing manager at LGBT foundation, about the park and the journey of how it was created. We were really excited to produce this garden as part of the Derek Jarman protest exhibition. The idea was to recognise and celebrate Derek Jarman’s own garden in Dungeness and to produce a Manchester version of that garden that really speaks to the influence of Derek Jarman in the lives of our LGBT community. We recognised that Manchester has lots of little pockets of green space in the city centre but we really wanted to transform a space outside Manchester art gallery that currently isn’t very green into something really green and exciting. We started this project in January 2019 and we wanted the garden space to be ready for the next summer, but the timeline moved because of the pandemic and we ended up having a lot of discussions about the garden and what we wanted it to achieve. The environment and climate change has definitely become an important theme for the group and volunteers during the last year or so. We really wanted to make this a space that also has some innovation around climate change as well as to tell a story and reference Derek Jarman. The new Jarman-inspired pocket park will be open from Friday the 11th of February , so why not go take a look and spend some time in Manchester’s newest urban garden the next time you’re in the area! Want to find out more about the pocket park? Head over to the Manchester Art Gallery’s blog page and check their zine “ Let’s get Botanical! ” to read more about the story, the people involved and their inspiration behind the park.

Posted on 10th February 2022

by Lizzie Murray-Clark

10 ways to have a more sustainable Christmas!

‘Tis the season to celebrate, and often the most sustainable choice is also the cheapest! Making the most of what you have, getting creative and not wasting a scrap! If you're looking for a way to create Christmas magic without a huge price tag, we've got some ideas. 1) Eat your leftovers! We throw away a whopping 270,000 tonnes* of food during Christmas including 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies**. Make the most of your food this festive season by planning what you need before time and making sure you save up your leftovers. They’ll keep in the freezer or you can munch on them in the potato filled limbo between Christmas and New Years Eve. 2) Buy secondhand With so many brilliant secondhand spaces like Ebay, Depop or even Facebook marketplace there is a huge amount of choice in quality second hand gifts. Shopping second hand can get you one of a kind pressies at a fraction of what you’d spend in a last-minute shopping spree. 3) Make your own gifts Giving homemade gifts is a beautiful way to show someone you care (and show off your new skills). We love homemade preserves like Kimchi and oils which are super easy to make. Check out these 5 edible thrifty gift ideas. 4) DIY decorations When it comes to decorations you can never go wrong with the trusty box stuffed in the attic or under your bed with festive decorations of Christmas’ gone by. If you want to try something a little different this year, dried orange slices and cinnamon tied together on a string make for unbeatable decorations that smell great and come without any plastic or waste. For more inspiration, check out our sustainable decoration tips. 5) Shop for the person you’re buying for This is a golden gift giving rule, to make sure your present is well used and well loved try to find something you know the person will really like and if you’re not sure, ask them to point you in the right direction. 6) Love local If you do want to buy something new see if you can support local and independent businesses in Manchester who need our help more than ever this year. From books to jewellery you’ll be surprised what you can find locally, if you can’t get out to the shops try going to Etsy and filtering gifts for ‘handmade in the UK’. 7) Be savvy with online orders With people less likely to hit the shops this year, we’re likely to be doing more of our shopping online for food and presents. Try consolidating your orders: keep a list of things you need to buy and purchase in one go. Choose click and collect options where possible to reduce air pollution from the amount of time delivery vehicles spend on the road. Make sure you recycle or repurpose packaging when you can to reduce waste. 8) Ditch the wrapping paper Paper wrapping can be difficult to recycle especially if it’s glitter or shiny. A great alternative is brown paper which you can jazz up with potato prints and string or give fabric wrapping a go. Furoshiki is the Japanese art of fabric wrapping which inspired companies like The Fabric Wrapping Company who sell beautiful fabrics and show you how you can wrap them. You can also use scrap fabrics and scarves if you have some at home! 9) Give back to your community If this year has shown us anything it’s how important our community and the people who keep it going are. Give back this year by donating to your local community fridge , donating your old phone to help people who are digitally isolated at part of Hubbub’s Community Calling Campaign or supporting a local charity. 10) Rediscover your own wardrobe Give your favourite outfits a replay this year and wear your favourite festive outfits again instead of buying something new. If nothing in your wardrobe is singing to you try swapping with friends or family for a brand new look without spending anything. Look on rental platforms or second hand sites if you need inspiration from further afield. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and we look forward to seeing you next year! The In Our Nature team x

Posted on 16th December 2021

by Lizzie Murray-Clark

Here's 5 ways to save money on energy bills, whilst helping tackle climate change!

Manchester is getting colder...and with energy costs at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever to make the most of our energy! Here's 5 ways to help you save money on your energy bills and get your home winter-ready. All whilst staying cosy at home and doing your bit to tackle climate change! 1. Dial down 1 degree - Did you know 22% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from how we heat and power our homes? Your thermostat can make a big difference to your bills. 18 degrees is the recommended temperature for corridors, and 21 degrees for rooms you’re sitting in. If your thermostat is set higher than that, try turning it down by one degree. It will reduce your carbon footprint by 300kg and save you up to £55 a year! 2. Switch to LED - Lightbulbs are small but mighty, making up 15% of your home energy bill. It’s common sense to switch lights off when you don’t need them, but you can save up to £41 a year on your energy bill by switching to LED bulbs too! 3. Bleed your radiators - Trapped air can make radiators less effective, stopping them from keeping you as warm as they could. Removing air from your heating system or "bleeding" your radiators is a great way to get them ready for winter. Check out this youtube video for a simple step-by-step guide on how to do it yourself. 4. Tackle draughts - Tackling draughty spots in your home is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money. Foam or brush strips will block up gaps in windows, or get crafty and make a draught excluder for doors. Stuff a pair of tights with scrap materials and add some rice to weigh it down, cut off an old trouser leg, put the tights inside it and sew up either end. 5. Consider a smart meter - A smart meter shows how must energy you are using in real time, helping you reduce your energy usage or save energy by switching off appliances altogether. Already got a smart meter? Download the Loop phone app ! It's your perfect energy saving assistant and works together with your smart meter to help you understand your electricity use and show you easy ways to use less. Keen for more help and advice for your energy bills? Download our energy toolkit! It's packed top tips on what temperature to set your thermostat, how to make your own radiator foils and information about where to go to for support if you are struggling to pay for your energy bills. Click this link to download it and print it out at home, or send it to friends and family to make sure they are winter-ready.

Posted on 7th December 2021

by Lizzie Murray-Clark

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of our Urban Greening grant!

Our ambition: break down some of the barriers preventing communities, including school kids, the Kurdish community, Muslim women and young ex-offenders from engaging with environmental issues, using nature to inspire climate action. Read all about the four successful projects and their plans below. We can’t wait to help bring these projects to life and to see the impact that they have in their communities! Providing opportunities for young ex-offenders to discover alternative ways to make a positive contribution to their local community, building green skills and spending time in nature, while receiving mentoring support. The Play & Grow Project was developed in consultation with local services and local people, looking at the impact of the pandemic on local communities. As MAV UK begins to open services again, we will use our newly fitted outside terrace to expand outside areas of our community hall, and create a living moving garden space, where we have naturally grown vegetation. Young people will lead the project with the help of our volunteers. The funding secured for this project will allow our young people to visit local green spaces and outdoor areas, to learn, see and feel the values of a clean, safe outdoor spaces. The aim is for young people to bring these experiences back to our local community, creating a green outdoor play and learn space which will support the learning of nursery aged children. Find out more about Mothers Against Violence’s work at https://www.mavuk.org/ . St. Chad’s RC Primary School is located in inner city Manchester with limited outdoor space, in an area with only 3% occupied by trees. There is green space within the school grounds, but it is currently overgrown, so this project is about turning neglected land into outdoor learning opportunities, encouraging children and families to take part in activities to welcome wildlife back by revamping the ponds and natural habitats, plant trees and an organic garden maintained by a gardening class, as well as upcycle materials to encourage recycling and reusing. In addition, we have a piece of land next door to school that we wish to develop to encourage our families to grow fruit and vegetables by adding raised beds and a greenhouse. This will be accessed after school and during the holidays and would encourage community involvement in sustainable living. As this is a huge project that we are undertaking, we are aiming to start the gated garden project in autumn 2021 and the community garden in spring 2021 ready for the planting season.  Visit http://www.st-chads.manchester.sch.uk/ for more information about the school. Growing food is an impactful action for the climate, and a powerful way to celebrate the myriad cultures living in an area. The ‘Garden of Love’ project will help local Pakistani women and residents to create a publicly accessible communal herb and fruit garden in the grounds of the British Muslim heritage centre. The women will create the garden in memory of lost ones during Covid-19 but also learn key gardening, planting skills. We will also deliver a range of free education sessions in Urdu and Punjabi where women will learn how to grow vegetables and fruits at home on a shoestring budget.  Visit https://flowhesionfoundation.org.uk/ for more information about their work. Taking part in greening activities can tackle social isolation and build a stronger sense of community.  The ‘Plot to Plate’ project, in partnership with Manchester Urban Diggers, will bring the local Kurdish community together to produce culturally appropriate crops affordably and sustainably, while serving as a testing ground for a new approach to creating growing spaces which reflect the diversity of Manchester communities. In Spring 2022, we will be providing a space for the Kurdish community living around Platt Fields Park to get involved with their local community by growing and cooking their own food on Platt Fields Market Garden. We're really excited to exchange cultural knowledge around plant varieties, growing techniques and especially excited to taste some yummy Kurdish food! Visit https://www.wearemud.org for more information about their work.

Posted on 25th October 2021

by Lizzie Murray-Clark

It's Clean Air Day!

Today we headed to Claremont Primary School in Moss Side to find out more about their exciting new collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University and Air Sensa. To mark Clean Air Day, Manchester Metropolitan University and a company called Air Sensa installed a new air quality sensor at the school which will continuously gather data about air quality at the school and in the surrounding area. From this exciting initiative, the partners are hoping to run sessions with the schoolchildren to teach them about air quality, as well as use the data to inform new policies and suggest what improvements might be made to help create a greener and healthier environment. Dr. Sanja Potgieter-Vermaak, Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University said "Poor air quality is detrimental to human health and impacts widely on the economy and society. It is evident that we, as individuals and a collective, need to take action, especially in areas where the vulnerable concentrate such as schools. Although this is an initiative that starts on Clean Air Day, it is imperative that our communities continue with a Clean Air Day attitude and approach every day.” Gary Barnett, AirSensa’s CTO, said : “This initiative is exciting because it brings a host of groups together to collaborate on addressing the challenge of measuring air quality, helping people better understand their environment, and providing a focal point for innovation and new ideas. By supporting schools, universities, and community groups we will help promote the development of better sensing technology, create a better understanding of our environment, and support initiatives that are aimed at improving air quality in Manchester”

Posted on 17th June 2021

by Lizzie Murray-Clark

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