Go Green….

ST MARY & ST CHADS SUSTAINABILITY GROUP.

Introduction.

Sustainability Group
During Lent this year many of us at Church did a course exploring how we have a responsibility to take care of Gods earth.
We have set up a group to discuss and action ways in which we can contribute to protect our world, ensuring future generations can continue to enjoy all that we have been privileged to in our lifetime. Climate change is happening NOW and at an alarming rate. Our own children and grandchildren will pay the penalty if we don’t act immediately. As individuals there are plenty of small things that we can do to help protect the earth and all that is in it. You may think how can one persons actions make a difference?  Rebbeca Hosking, a wildlife photographer, saw for herself the effects of plastic waste on sea life. She started a campaign in her small town in Devon in 2007 to stop the single use of plastic bags and to use greener alternatives.  Her local butcher alone used several thousand plastic bags in a year. This has become a nationwide initiative and has made a tremendous impact.
We will be posting regular suggestions in the newsletter, under the heading “Go Green” , to give ideas of how each of us can make small changes on an everyday basis. Space will dictate how much we can write on such a broad subject,  the idea is to inspire you to research the way that you feel you can make changes in your life. We hope also to post articles and information on the notice board at the back of church.

Who are We?

We are a small group, made up of Joy from St Chad’s and Andrea, Pauline, Shirley and Charles from St Mary’s. We are keen to hear from anyone with ideas or who wishes to join us. Talk to us through our Churches or use the contact us page on the web site.

What are we doing?

Below is a timeline of our proposed actions which we shall update as we go along.

Timeline updated! 16th October.

16th October.

On Sunday 26th of September, the sustainability group members provided the talk, prayers, a presentation on plastics and a display at the back of Church (photo below).

Click here for a link to the service.

Click here for a link to the Youtube video we used.

16th October.

Below is the full text of Justin Welby & John Browne’s Times article underlining the need for urgent action on climate change.

JUSTIN WELBY & JOHN BROWNE

Saving the planet needs faith and science

Halting climate change will require action from everyone and we must put aside our differences in this common pursuit

The pandemic has been the worst natural disaster of our lifetimes. It is a global catastrophe that has affected every one of us. Leaders have disagreed over how to handle it and what the best solutions are. And owing to its profound impact on the poorest and most marginalised people, it has forced societies around the world to confront deep moral questions.

But this isn’t just true of the pandemic: the same can be said about climate change. The only difference is the speed of the impact: the pandemic upended all of our lives, all over the world, in a matter of weeks.

Crises bring together unusual allies. We both began our careers in the oil industry, but from there took unconventional and very different paths. One of us ran the world’s largest renewable energy private equity fund, and was accused by American oil lobbyists of having “left the church”; the other is now Archbishop of Canterbury.

From these common beginnings, and different middles, we now find ourselves united by the climate emergency. We share a belief in the value of science and engineering, and we are motivated too by the duty of care — one of us would say God-given responsibility — we all have to safeguard the future of our planet and its citizens.

The key to understanding and addressing these existential threats lies in both the practical and the profound: in science and engineering, but also the idea, found in the Christian faith, that each person is precious, worth caring for and has potential.

For a long time, scientific truths about climate change were treated as opinion, something which you might or might not believe depending on your personal point of view. We have come a long way since then. But resolving the crisis still requires commitment to the truth; we owe that to those who will suffer the most if we fail to act.

This journey from opinion to truth is a crucial first step, but the journey that really matters is from truth to sustainable action. That will require every one of us to play our part. It cannot just be done by governments or companies, by NGOs or faith groups, and it cannot be done in isolation. We will have to work with people with whom we disagree, sometimes profoundly. Indeed, the two of us do not agree on everything, but we recognise that we are united by a common cause: that in facing the threat of climate change, there is more that unites us than divides us.

Individual responses need to be guided by hope rather than fear, and the certainty that huge change is made up of small things. We are both realists when it comes to human behaviour: sustainable change rarely comes from asking people to make unrealistically ambitious sacrifice. Instead, we must give people the engineered tools and the economic incentives to make choices that work for them and for the planet. The combined power of engineering, economics and leadership through example makes a profound difference.

Investors and businesses need to go beyond “greenwash”, in which existing activity is creatively re-labelled to advertise its supposed sustainability. The world has seen enough of this. It is time to demonstrate authentic change and an unambiguous contribution to the world’s climate goals. This is about much more than renewable energy: it means rethinking the way that we consume energy, generate waste and design the industrial processes on which our economies rely. And it means setting emissions-reduction targets that are rooted in science, measuring progress against those targets, and being held accountable for achievement.

Governments too have an unprecedented opportunity to lead by example and incentivise change, particularly as we approach Cop26, the G7 and the passage of the Environment Bill in parliament. Recent action by the United States, the UK and others suggests that 2021 could be a watershed year for international co-operation on climate change.

Co-operation is the operative word. Above all else we must build partnerships that bridge disagreement and disunity. It is time to put aside our many differences to save the one planet we all share. The urgency of tackling the climate crisis denies us the luxury of working only with people who are perfect and have never made mistakes. Nor can we partner only with those who agree with us entirely.

Every single one of us, in all of our ignorance and selfishness as human beings, has to be part of the solution. Science and engineering have already provided us with the tools we need to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. It is up to us to apply them at scale, to bring their cost down and to make them part of our shared future.

It will take broken people to repair a broken world, and we all have a responsibility to change our ways and bring others with us. With climate change, it is better to disagree and work together than not to take action at all. Nature is no respecter of personal perfection.

Whatever your beliefs, the teaching of Jesus Christ that nothing is beyond redemption offers a powerful message of hope for a wounded world. There is no person who cannot change, no bad that cannot be made good. There is nothing that cannot be redeemed in what Christians would describe as “the new creation”.

Let us seize that lesson. We can all be — and it is not yet too late — part of that work. Each of us can choose community rather than isolation, creation rather than destruction, and life rather than death.

Justin Welby is the Archbishop of Canterbury

Lord Browne of Madingley is a former CEO of BP

27th July. Why are bamboo products eco-friendly? To find out more follow click here.

27th July.

Go Green…… The Globe Foundation.
This is a non profitable organisation, founded in Staffordshire in 2018. It’s aim is to help protect and enhance the natural world by reducing the impact of modern living. It works with people and communities to help them live in a more sustainable and eco friendly manner. It’s centre is based in Uttoxeter… The Old Mill, Church Street.ST14 8AG
They have various ongoing projects.
Recycling hub..for plastics and various problem items
Repair shop.. volunteers will help to fix broken items to avoid them going to landfill. Obviously this service is limited to the skills of the volunteers who will do an assessment beforehand. Drop in times for this is last Friday of the month between 1:30 to 4.30
Green skills Hub…onsite classrooms…to run eco workshops and training.
Zero waste shop…well worth a browse to give ideas of products you could think of changing to, to make a difference. You can refill your own containers with various food and household items. There are personal care items for sale, all eco friendly, ethically sourced and where possible, organic.

Find out more at globefoundation.org.uk

20th July

Go Green ……Plastic Free July.
This is an initiative I have only heard about this year . It was set up by the Plastic Free Foundation who are working toward a vision of seeing a world free of plastic waste. The campaign started in Western Australia in 2011. It encourages people to commit to reducing their plastic pollution during July, and hoping they will be inspired to find new habits they will continue forever, thus becoming part of the solution to plastic pollution.
We don’t need a few people doing things perfectly, we need millions of people committed to making changes as best as they can.
You will find excellent information on their website –

Please contact the sustainability group if you would like to know more but have no internet access.


To get you started , remember 3 “R” s
REDUCE ….how much plastic you use
eg use beeswax wrap to cover food instead of cling film, buy ordinary soap, shampoo and conditioner bars instead of single use plastic bottles.


REUSE ….single use plastic
eg carrier bags, water bottles


RECYCLE…in the appropriate way.
Remember it is important to thoroughly clean anything going into recycling. It costs the council £3000 per load of recycling that is rejected, a lot of which is because it hasn’t been washed. Would you put your hand in your recycling bin? If not, it isn’t clean enough
Soft plastic recycling……
The co-op offer soft plastic recycling units in many of their stores. These plastics can’t be placed in our home recycling bins. They include (clean) film lids from yoghurt pots, soft fruit punnets, plastic crisp packets, pasta bags, chocolate and biscuit wrappers.
Find out more at coop.co.uk
So set yourself a challenge, look around your home and commit to changing how you use single use plastic. Start making a difference today.

From Joy:

3 July 2021

Go Green…….some thoughts from Laura

At our previous house we had two compost bins and a wormery which all generated some fabulous nutrient rich compost. Sadly we don’t have room for one compost bin here but I save all my vegetable and fruit peelings( with the exception of potatoes and citrus peel) and take them to my Mums for her compost bin. I also save the insides of toilet and kitchen rolls , tear them up and add them as it’s good to add card and paper too. It’s certainly well worth trying this as it only takes 6-8 months for it to break down into really good compost to supplement your garden soil. If anyone who perhaps isn’t a gardener and would like to save their vegetable peelings  I would be willing to collect for compost. Please ring me firstly for a chat.

Do you know banana skins make excellent plant food? Lay them around the base of your roses or chop them up and leave in a bucket of water for a week, then use the water to feed your plants.
Save your eggshells and use them to protect plants from slugs and snails.

Thank you Laura… if anyone is inspired and is considering making their own compost there are many informative websites to explore. Gardenersworld.com howtomakecompost is a good beginners guide. If you have no access to the internet and would like further information please contact a member of the sustainability group and we will help as best we can.  

26 June 2021

GO GREEN …. Watering your garden

The RHS have called on gardeners this summer to switch from “mains to rains”, adopting more efficient water use in the garden. If you are on a water meter you could save some money as well. Here are a few ideas.

Most importantly, collect rain water in butts or containers, use this before using mains water.
Water early in the morning or evening when it’s cooler, so water can soak into the soil rather than evaporating in the sun.
Water thoroughly but less frequently – a good soak once a week rather than a daily sprinkle. This will save time and encourages plants to develop deeper roots. Consequently they will be more robust to survive drier spells.
Direct water to the base of the plant rather than sprinkling all the surrounding soil.
Mulch soil with well rotted compost or composted bark after rain to retain the moisture.
Focus on watering plants that need it most- edible crops, anything newly planted, container plants.
Well established trees , shrubs and perennials rarely need watering.
Resist watering your lawn in a drought. Even if the grass turns yellow, it will usually recover after rain..
Line terracotta pots with old compost bags to stop them drying out so quickly. 

19 June 2021

GO GREEN……. with your gifts
There are many alternative ideas to consider as gifts for friends and family before opting to buy the usual flowers,wine, chocolates, socks, smellies etc. Here are a few suggestions from Joy

Living gifts are available from various charities starting in price from £5.00 
Make your own….cakes/biscuits/chutney/jam
Give bulbs or seeds or sponsor a tree to be planted
Give some of your time, offer to wash a car, do some gardening, babysit, so they can take a break 
Buy from charity shops
Buy membership for a year or more to the National Trust or English Heritage 
Toilet or Bin twinning ( find out more on bintwinning.org or toilettwinning.org)
Make a donation to a charity that is close to that  persons heart on their behalf
Make or buy a bird box, a hedgehog barn, a bird feeder or insect hotel


When you have made your choice ….
Save paper you have received a gift in to re use. Or buy recycled paper.
Save cards you have received and use them to make your own.

 These sort of gifts and cards will mean all the more to the recipient when they see how much thought has been put into them.