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Sustainable Living Events

Previous Events

Keep Heat In, Cold Out – January 2023

In the coldest month of the year, with fuel bills astronomical, the Sustainable Living team left 10a and went to local ‘Warm Places’ serving hot meals around Highgate – both in Camden and Haringey. We distributed ‘small measures’ such as LED bulbs and window film and signposted places to go for help with bills.

The events are written up here.


Embodied Carbon – 25th May 2022

This hybrid meetingcovered the hidden emissions impact of your building works.

Every building causes carbon emissions called ‘embodied carbon’ at every stage of its life – mining materials, transporting, building, occupants use of energy until final demolition. The choices made at each stage, especially at the end of life affect whether the emissions are high or low. Retrofit or demolish? Which is best? Highgate Society explored this topic with talks on:

  • life cycle of a building
  • whole life carbon impacts
  • implications for material choice in your project

The talks are available  here


Heat Pumps Are Coming!

Most of us don’t think about our heating system very much, unless it breaks down. But the way we heat our homes is going to change considerably over the next 10-15 years. To reach the government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, we will all need to stop using gas for heating, and the Committee on Climate Change is recommending that government bans the sale of new gas boilers from 2033.

The replacement is likely to be a mixture of heat pumps, electric heating and district heating. The government’s recent 10 point plan for a green industrial recovery forecasts that by 2028, 600,000 heat pumps will be installed each year. Older readers may recall a similar nationwide switch in heating from town gas to natural gas which took place fifty years ago!

Heat pumps, which use electricity to efficiently provide heat, are widely used in Europe though only around 26,000 are installed each year in the UK. So for us Londoners, there are a lot of questions about this different heating technology. How much space does a heat pump take up? Ground source or air source heat pump? What about the electricity bills?

For the slides, recording and further information go here.


Retrofit your home and the 2020 Green Homes Grant

The talk was on 12th October 2020, soon after the Government had announced a grant for home owners (including landlords) with grants of up to £10,000, in some cases, for making a home warmer and cheaper to run.

This was a joint event of the Highgate Society’s Sustainable Living group and the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group (MHSG). The presentation slides, useful links and a one page takeaway summary are available at Retrofit your Highgate home.

The slogan of the Sustainable Living group is Character, Comfort and Low Carbon so we addressed the implications of living in a conservation area. 


Waste not Want not in North London

The talk on the 13th November 2019 was very well attended.

The speakers focused on food, fashion and plastic and what Highgate people can do to protect our environment. There were refreshments from participants in the Too Good to Go scheme and a North London Waste Authority officer assisted with a ‘What do you do with this plastic bag’ challenge. For further information see Waste Not Want Not – in North London.

The ABCs of EVs: All you need to know about Electric Vehicles

It was standing room only at the Highgate Society on  15th Nov 2018, as three excellent speakers covered an enormous range of topics about the transition from Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) to Electric Vehicles (EVs).

James Lamond of the EV Experience Centre Milton Keynes gave an overview of todays models and charging options. click here James Lamond EV Presentation.

Siân Berry, Co-leader of the Green Party and local London Assembly member talked about the reasons to reduce journeys powered by petrol and diesel and what the Government and London are doing. click here SianBerry_electric_vehs.

Joe Baker, Head of Carbon management at Haringey Council talked about the challenges facing Local Authorities and how Haringey is working to clean up its transport. click here: Joe Baker Highgate Society talk.

As it is such an important topic we have additional information on our Electric Vehicles ABC web page here.

Use your money for good – options for ethical investing

The Highgate Society must stress that neither it, nor its Sustainable Living group give any financial advice whatsover. The material and links given are a selection to enable people to investigate ethical investing further on their own responsibility.

A packed audience came along to the Highgate Society on Wednesday 21st March 2018 to find out about sustainable banking and ethical investing.

To see the slides from the leading sustainable bank, Triodos, from positive investing company Ethex and from Quentin Given, a local Friends of the Earth representative see Use Your Money for Good – Options for Ethical Investing.

This page also has useful information about ethical financial advisors, divestment of pension funds and much more.

The Creating an Energy Chic Home programme

In the Spring of 2017 the Sustainable Living group hosted a series of talks covering the ways that home owners can incorporate energy reduction measures as they refurbish their homes – character, comfort and low carbon.

For more details about the energy savings talks and takeaway messages see the Creating an Energy Chic Home page.