Rules of Transition Ashtead (TA) Personal Carbon Footprint (PCF) Self-Monitoring Scheme


The rules of the Scheme are set out below. They are loosely based on Green Mole Forum scheme rules. If you have any queries about the scheme, please contact Tony Cooper at


1.  All TA members may join.  Membership is voluntary, and members may leave the scheme at any time.


2. The scheme includes carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the following sources:

  • Home heating
  • Home electricity
  • Transport by own car or motorbike
    • Air travel
    • Food.

The scheme does not include public transport or use of other products and services as there is no easy way to calculate these contributions.

3. The scheme is based on emissions per adult person, not households.

PCF Calculations

4.  Members will supply the following information to enable their CO2 emissions to be calculated.

  • Number of adults in household.  Use fractions for part occupation eg if an adult is present 6 months of the year, count as 0.5 adults.  Children under 18 count as one third of an adult.
  • Gas and electricity meter readings at 1 Jan 2012 and 2013.
  • No reductions or adjustments are allowed for a renewable or green electricity tariff.  See note 1.
  • Domestic generation of electricity is offset against consumption.
    • Air travel.  To find out emissions from air travel, members need to use the air travel calculator on the Climate Care web site (, entering the flight start and end locations.  Business flights are excluded, in line with other business travel..
    • Personal car or motorbike mileage, fuel (diesel or petrol), and average mpg.  This requires members to record the odometer readings at 1 Jan 2012 and 2013, and to calculate their average mpg by recording the quantities of fuel and miles travelled over a few months.
      Alternatively, and more accurately, members may record all their fuel purchases during the year. A year-end adjustment is in theory appropriate but we can manage fine without it.
    • If a car is shared, members need to either record the mileage when they are driving, or simply estimate the fraction of the total miles that are attributable to them (see note 2).  Travel to and from normal place of work is included, but other business mileage, including self-employed person’s business mileage, is excluded.  Alternatively members may record the volumes of fuel bought over the year and allocate it to business and personal use.
    • Ideally all taxi and car-hire use for non-business purposes should be recorded too. You should record the mileage of each journey (The AA website is useful for saying how far it is from A to B), and, if shared-use, the number of people in the vehicle). Great accuracy isn’t necessary, estimating the distance to, say, the nearest 50 miles is adequate. For hired cars you can instead record the fuel volume bought and that gives a better estimate.


5. CO2 emissions are calculated using the following factors as published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change


2010 2011 2012
Electricity kg per kWh .473 .471 .451
Gas kg per kWh .18
Petrol kg per litre 2.23 2.21 2.19
Diesel kg per litre  2.53 2.52 2.51


6.  The embodied carbon in food is estimated using the following values.

(See Note 3)

Diet CO2tonnes per person per year
Average UK 2.0
Low meat (see note 4) 1.7
Lacto -vegetarian 1.4
Vegan 1.0

Calculating the Value of Personal Carbon Emissions

9. At the start of 2012, members will report their meter readings and if appropriate odometer readings to the PCF scheme administrator, currently Tony Cooper.

10. At the end of each year, the members will report their consumption figures to the PCF administrator who will calculate and record their CO2 emissions from the data provided.  A small prize will be awarded for the member with the lowest emissions, and, starting in year 2, another for the biggest reduction in emissions.

11. If people want, to maintain interest during the year, they may report quarterly figures. I find that helpful, but it isn’t essential.


1.   No reductions are allowed because unfortunately there is no way of clearly demonstrating the reduction is emissions (if any) that arises from switching to a green tariff.  Despite this we still want to encourage people to select a good green tariff.  The following are recommended by most surveys: Good Energy, Green Energy and Ecotricity. This position should be kept under review if possible.

2.   For example suppose a shared car does 10000 miles per year.  A drives 1000 miles alone, B drives 4000 miles alone, 5000 miles is shared.  Miles attributable to A is 1000 + 5000/2 = 3500.  Miles attributable to B is 4000 + 5000/2 = 6500.

3.   These figures are a rough approximation, provided by the Green Mole Forum. It’s hard to find a reliable and comprehensive source for food emissions, perhaps because it’s a complex issue. There are many plausible sources with partial data and further references. I hope to investigate further but this will take time. Clearly if one changes one’s overall diet category partway through the year, the final figure is an appropriate average.

4.   A low meat diet means at least three meatless days per week.  Fish counts as meat.

Tony Cooper 16th December 2011

Transition Ashtead talks Food Miles!


Transition Ashtead hosted another successful event on Monday – this time at St George’s Parish Room – it raised the issues of Food Miles and Packaging. It started with a role play between Caroline Cardew-Smith, (the organiser of the evening), and Flip Gargill (from Transition Bookham), comparing the origin and packaging of the food in their shopping baskets of “Local” and “Yonder” produce. Angus Pike narrated with some technical information about how much CO2 each produced and how choosing locally produced food can dramatically cut food miles. There were two guest speakers – Graham Love and Tyrone Patterson.

Graham Love runs “Greenways” Fruit Farm in Herstmancoux in East Sussex. He talked about the value of locally grown produce and how moving to buying local produce would help cut carbon emissions. He believes that genetically-modified crops will be crucial in meeting the challenge of feeding the growing world population in the future. He is passionate about the Transition movement and the move to a lower carbon economy – he belongs to the Lewes Transition group. He was also selling his Sussex-grown English cherries – absolutely luscious!

Tyrone Patterson runs “Greenwise” fruit and veg shop in The Street. He explained how he liked to provide local produce when possible but if you are running a business means meeting his customers needs, which includes selling produce from overseas. It’s hard to get locally grown bananas for example! The evening developed into a lively debate, which covered many issues about sustainability and the use of new technology, particularly relating to food production, and the fact that no-one wants to return to the old days of life without modern conveniences. A consensus was reached that using technology responsibly was the way forward. The evening was rounded of by refreshments, thanks to Angus and Maureen.

St Giles school celebrates the opening of their mini-beast garden!



Last summer holidays, on a drizzly day in August, parents at St Giles school, guided by Ceri Morgan, gathered to plant a ‘mini-beast garden’ – a raised bed with plants to attract bees, bugs and butterflies. Transition Ashtead were among other participants who were delighted to help with the planting and supplied some of the plants. The garden is now well established and buzzing with insect life and on Tuesday had its official opening. All the helpers were invited back to see the fruits of their labours. St Giles Head Teacher, Judith Clawley, led the lively proceedings and the children of St Giles cheered to thank everyone involved.

Katie from Ashtead Park Garden Centre cut the Opening Ribbon, which was held by 10 children, representing the parents who had been most involved with the project.

Transition Ashtead would like to congratulate St Giles for encouraging the children to understand the importance of pollinators, which are such a vital link in the natural chain of food production. The school also has two large ‘bug houses’ where insects can over-winter and lay eggs.

Creating areas of biodiversity like the mini-beast garden provides havens in which  pollinators can feed. Is there room in your garden for a ‘mini-beast patch’? Maybe you could leave an area of lawn un-mown or leave a grassy bank to go wild?  Scarce food for pollinators means fewer apples on your trees!

Apples galore at apple pressing…

A big THANK YOU to all of you who brought apples down to the first Transition Ashtead apple pressing at the Craft Fair today!

Thanks also to George of Epsom Apples for the loan of the equipment. We were absolutely overwhelmed with apples to start with but everyone soon pitched in to help with apple chopping, chomping and pressing and we had quite a production line going. Apologies if you had to wait for your juice but the demand was huge!

During the day, we processed an amazing 150kgs of fruit and produced something like 60 litres of fresh juice, all thanks to your enthusiastic help.

It was  a lovely communal activity, with lots of youngsters (young and old) taking turns to turn the wheel on the chomper and push the pole on the presser, burning up lots of energy and making lots of  juice pour out of the apple mash. And the apple-chopping team kept the supply flowing, with many a cry of “More apples please! ” Well done one and all!

I think we might do it all again next Autumn…

Transition drinks

We hope you can come to The Brewery 8pm Monday 13th September for Transition drinks.

Find out about Transition Ashtead Garden Share, how to save money on home energy and all things Sustainable!

An informal evening – a glass of wine, a few beers… no presentations, no agenda, just a drink or two and a chat! Hope to see you there.

We hold Transition Drinks on the second and forth Mondays of every month – so make a note in your diaries!

Chris’s allotment blog


Before (July 2009)

...and after (August 2010))

Bonus blackberries!

It whizzed by so fast, I missed it! I was slightly distracted by the celebrations for my husband’s 60th birthday on August 1st, but the allotments FIRST birthday was on 30th July! The before and after pics tell some of the story…when I took delivery of it a year ago, you could loose small children in the tall grass (I did in fact glimpse Hansel and Gretel at one point…) Now, it is mostly under control and looking pretty organized. A whole year of allotmenting! Do I count as an old hand now? I have learnt a thing or two along the way…like asparagus needs to be protected by netting to prevent infestation by asparagus beetle. And you do need to water potatoes when it’s really dry, even if they are planted quite deep in the ground – I think the crop has suffered from water deficiency, it has been an incredibly dry summer. I went down today to check how the French beans were doing, planted where I had grown the onions and garlic, and I’m pleased to report they are doing well so far, more growing to do but a good start. But it was bonus day on the allotment. – there were loads of blackberries! Not planted by me, just growing wild in the hedge next to my plot. I’ve got blackberry-coloured fingers now and a saucepan full of blackberry & apple (windfalls from the garden) Looking forward to eating those!

Chris’s allotment blog

Hello Charlotte…

Jewels in the Ground...

Let the cropping commence… I have dug up the first potatoes, some Charlotte salad ones and they are DELISH! Just plain boiled, with a dash of butter, they are an adornment to any meal…although I say it myself.

They have much more flavour than bought ones (…possibly a hint of rose-flavoured tongue, do you think?)   It’s really good to dig them up, like buried treasure, trying not to spear them with the fork – there have been a few casualties so far but not too many…It’s great to be able to harvest them at all, after they got badly nipped by that late frost.

They’ve made a good recovery. The red onions have also been pulled up- actually they seem to fling themselves out of the ground somehow – once the green tops go floppy, they kind of fall over, out of the ground. I’ve not grown them before, so onion behaviour is all new to me. I have to report that they are not as huge as they looked when they were growing – they had quite broad shoulders sticking out of the soil but are a bit on the skinny side – maybe they haven’t thrived in this hot weather, although I have been devoutly watering them at least every other day. Perhaps that isn’t enough when it’s this hot.

They are currently drying in the shed – I thought I’d tie then in plaits, à la Français…then I can cycle home with them on my handle bars….

Chris’s allotment blog


Young and tender carrots for dinner...

After the disappointing Autumn carrot crop at the end of last year (see blog of 24th December…)

I am very pleased to announce a “win” for the human gardener at the allotment. I thought I’d thin out the carrots, as they are looking a bit squished up, and the “thinnings” are quite thick!! Marvelous!

I’d left them to grow without thinning, as I’d read somewhere that you shouldn’t thin carrots, as it  gives carrot fly a sniff of “eau de carrot”, and they come flocking to ruin the roots.

Don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve got no carrot fly! So I’ve beaten the rabbits and the pesky carrot fly…Guess what we’re having for dinner tonight – yep, nice, sweet, young and tender carrots!

Chris’s allotment blog

Some good news…

Carrots and beetroot, with rhubarb and butternut squash in the background!

Onions, garlic and loads of spuds...

Parsnips galore...and last seasons leeks

After my last rant about garden pests, I thought I’d report the good news on the allotment – that is to say that most things are growing really well!

They have needed a fair amount of watering as it’s been so dry, but water plus sunshine plus a bit of warmth equals much growing!

The crops so far that are shooting up (we won’t mention the asparagus…) are the parsnips, red onions, garlic, potatoes (Cara and Charlotte), celeriac, carrots, beetroot and butternut squash.

On the soft fruit side, there are gooseberries, autumn raspberries and blackcurrants, with a transplanted rhubarb crown doing well for a first season. I’ve just put in a row of leeks and they are standing to attention nicely!

Today, as a little diversion, I collected all the old packets of flower seeds that have been in the shed for ages, (all out of date, most going back to 1997) and sprinkled them all on a rough bank by the compost heaps – if any of them germinate, it will be very pretty… and if they don’t, well, it was worth a try!

Chris’s allotment blog

Asparagus outrage!

I know I keep going on about my asparagus, but it’s all new and exciting as I’ve not grown it before…there I was, down at the allotment, doing a bit of general tidying, and I noticed the stalk of the asparagus nearest me was CRAWLING with little black caterpillars! The sauce!

They had striped the frondy leaves from the plant, which was looking pretty sad. Well, it would, wouldn’t it, being bereft of it’s frondy bits….I checked out all the other plants and they ALL had a posse of predatory munchers roaming about their foliage.

I spent quite a long time picking the pesky critters off, then Keith and Mo popped down to visit and Keith joined in the picking process too! It’s not a nice job, so thanks Keith. I Googled it when I got home and it seems it’s an Asparagus beetle larva.

There were also some adult beetles on the plants – I was hoping the beetle-y things would be eating the grubs, but no such luck! The web site said this about them:
Sanitation is one of the principal preventative strategies for suppressing these pests. This usually involves autumn/winter burning of dried fronds and other “trash” to eliminate sites where the beetles overwinter.
(2) However, this may be undesirable if it leaves the soil vulnerable to erosion. On small acreages, enclosing the asparagus beds and letting hens
(Hmm, lack of chickens for this method!) forage on the beetles is one possible strategy for control.
(3) Rotenone or rotenone-pyrethrum mixtures are an organic control measure for larger acreages. Natural predators include a chalcid wasp and lady beetle larvae

I’m a bit late for prevention, I think! I’ll have to keep an eye on the situation and see if it improves. Those greedy gobblers may have won the first skirmish but they haven’t won the war…