FOG report and kitchen practices – nexus at home
This report, developed for and in consultation with Waterwise, is one of four reports introducing a new approach to understanding the role of everyday household practices in domestic resource consumption and addressing the policy challenges this presents. To demonstrate this ‘change points’ approach this report focuses on one such topic: household disposal of fats, oils and grease (FOG). The problem of FOG in UK sewers has attracted increased attention in recent years. Industry responses focus on removing sewer blockages and reducing the FOG that enters sewers from commercial sources. However, around three quarters of sewer FOG comes from domestic sources, making household disposal a key priority for change. Continue reading “New Report: Fats, oils, grease and kitchen practices implications for policy and intervention”
Early in the project we worked with our partner organisations to identify four specific issues, through which we can explore the new light that nexus thinking, together with a focus on everyday kitchen practices, can shed on ongoing policy challenges. One such issue, identified in collaboration with Waterwise, is the widespread disposal of fats, oils and grease (FOG) via kitchen sinks, leading to severe blockages in drains and sewers.
On 16th March two of the project team, Liz Sharp and Mike Foden, presented initial findings from our work on FOG to some of the water engineers in the University of Sheffield’s Pennine Water Group
, as part of their regular seminar series. Our aim was to test out our ideas and get some feedback from a more technically minded audience.
Continue reading “Talking FOGs with Pennine Water Group”
Just over the Thames from Parliament, the project was featured at Sustainability in Turbulent Times. This major event, attended by around 350 and featuring a range of high profile speakers, was the culmination of the work of the ESRC funded Nexus Network. In a wide ranging programme, we covered issues around the challenges and opportunities of pursuing change towards sustainability in light of contemporary political and economic changes and what they represent. Continue reading “Sustainability in turbulent times, Westminster conference”
The project Reshaping the Domestic Nexus was featured prominently in the Sustainability in Turbulent Times report which accompanied the conference of the same name, the culmination of the ESRC Nexus Network programme. The report can be found here.
The challenges of getting evidence and ideas from research into policy was the focus of a workshop at the Friends Meeting House in London today. Matt Watson presented on some of the basis of the Reshaping the Domestic Nexus project as a contribution to a rich afternoon’s discussion, which went well beyond the usual prescriptions of how to engage policy audiences. The Evidence-Policy Gap was the final event in a series of 9 funded by the ESRC on Behaviour Change, and organised by Fiona Spotswood from the University of West England.
How can practice theory be used to effect social change? That was an underlying question for the New Practices for New Publics workshop today, with a focus on how far practice theory can usefully inform processes of policy making and governing to effect positive social change. Appropriately, the project team was well represented there, with Matt Watson and David Evans providing two of the talks, along with Margit Keller (Turku). Others at the workshop wrote down questions at the end of each presentation, which provided the basis for a panel discussion, with Margit, David and Matt fielding some testing questions. In the interest and debate in the potential for practice theory to inform policy processes, the workshop demonstrated the salience of the ambitions of this project.
The workshop was the fourth in an ESRC funded series of events designed to bring together cutting edge thinking in social science with the experiences of civil society organisations, especially those in the community and voluntary sector.
Food of course presents us with a tangle of problems, that come down to the challenge of getting people sufficiently fed on a finite planet. Re-scaling food systems so production, manufacturing and consumption happens through more local relations is sure to be a field for useful change. But it’s a complex field, as demonstrated at the Localising Food Systems conference at Oxford University today, organised by the Local Nexus Network.
Matt Watson was there to deliver a plenary talk from the Reshaping the Domestic Nexus project, and representing the Nexus Network. Continue reading “Project plenary at the Local Nexus Network conference, Oxford University”