Next Swap and Mend Saturday 10th June
Much preparation went into our first film night. The DVD was checked and previewed by Earl Soham scout group. Cakes were made, popcorn popped, a poster designed, printed and circulated. The hall at the FAYAP centre was beautifully set up. We arrived early to sort out the refreshments and put up some Greener Fram literature. The hall was just about full – over 30 people came. There was some head-scratching over unexpected technical problems but, after presenting our previous chair David Greenacre with a long overdue thank you for his commitment over the last few years, the team got the show on the road.
‘Tomorrow’ is a documentary full of optimism showing how communities around the world have taken the initiative to move towards a greener way of life. I had heard of the economic and social devastation in Detroit a decade ago, but I had no idea that its inhabitants had addressed the problem of local food scarcity by growing their own vegetables. All over the city, there are community allotments providing fresh produce. Iceland generates all its own energy from renewables. Copenhagen has windfarms owned by local co-operatives instead of large power companies. In Todmorden, West Yorkshire, there are vegetable beds all over town, including outside the police station. Totnes in Devon has its own currency, guaranteeing that economic wealth stays in the town, and is not diverted to national or multinational companies.
Many of the initiatives were started by communities or individuals – they were not led or financed by local or national governments. Without the red tape of bureaucracy, things can happen more quickly and communities have ownership of the project and a desire for it to succeed.
We asked our audience what the film had inspired them to do: – eat less meat, cycle more, grow my own vegetables, never eat at MacDonalds again were some of the responses.
We hope that these small seeds will grow into greater activity to help Framlingham as it transitions to become a less oil-dependent, more resilient town. We can’t save the whole planet on our own, we can only start with where we find ourselves.
However, even committed ‘greenies’ make mistakes; I have to hold my hand up to being the person who thought draping our Greener Fram banner over the cycle rack was a good idea. Sorry Steph!