8th edition of churches green news 2020.

Hello and welcome to our 8th ENews of 2020,
For those of you who are new to our ENews – We aim to send you information and events that may be of interest to you, all in one email rather than many throughout each month, one part being general information and updates, the second being news of events / dates for your diary and the other part being links to useful websites. 
If you are a minister or administrator of a church and prefer to nominate a Green Champion to be your church’s point of contact then please let us know who that person might be…. and of course if you want to unsubscribe at any time simply reply to this email and let us know.

General info and updates
  • Climate Action Plymouth are hoping to organise a Climate Awareness Walkabout within the next few weeks, possibly around the bank holiday weekend to raise awareness of the climate emergency, engage the public and share information. So far, they have about 8 people willing to be involved but would need about 20 to make it viable. The idea is for a socially distanced walk by people who would be willing to chat with the public and share information about one of various topics related to climate change / environment issues eg electric vehicles, rewilding, climate change, polar icecaps… or any of various other topics that you may feel comfortable discussing, or just be there to make up the numbers. Those who are willing to talk on topics would be clearly identified by placards or gilets stating ‘Ask me about xxxx: They don’t want it to be preaching or protesting, but simply seeking to engage and respond to people’s curiosity with facts. Members of other groups would be welcome to come along to promote their group and its actions too. They are hoping to have some simple information flyers to handout, highlighting the critical facts.
    Anyone willing to walk, please email  ASAP, and mention which topic, if any, you are willing to talk about.
  • Something that we discovered recently is that Devon Contract Waste (DCW) have a facility to recycle old CD’s and DVD’s including their plastic cases, but without the paper / card insert which would  go into your recycle bins. Feel free to drop them to their Lee Mill depot which is at Unit 11 Strashleigh View, Lee Mill, PL21 9UH. Alternatively maybe you could set up your own collection point at church – they could probably arrange to collect them from you if you fill a big enough box. For more information feel free to contact Mark at DCW
  • The Young Christian Climate Network was launched at the beginning of August – it is for 18 -30’s with the aim of connecting young Christians into an inclusive community engaged with climate justice, They have a FB page, Twitter account and are also on Instagram. More information can be found on their website. Please do what you can to communicate this information to the young people in your churches.
  • Have you heard of BCI – the Better Cotton Industry? Look out for its logo on sustainably grown cotton items in our shops.Their standard also ensures that no child or forced labour is used in the production of cotton displaying their logo and they also focus on providing training and learning opportunities for farmers to adopt more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production practices.
  • One of the common recommendations from the Energy Audits that have been conducted in some North of England CofE churches is the use of a radiator fluid called Endotherm. This increases the thermal efficiency of the heating system and can give savings that will often cover its cost within a year. Find out more about Endotherm  here
  • During the pandemic the 5p plastic bag charge was waived for food deliveries, the ban on straws, stirrers and cotton bud sticks, that was just weeks away from being introduced, was postponed, and delays in the Environment Bill are likely to result in yet further delays to the introduction of deposit return systems and extended producer responsibility. From 5 September – 18 October Surfers Against Sewage will be launching ‘The GenerationSea: Plastic Protest’ whereby communities will take part in six grassroots actions.
ü  Big SAS Beach Clean: Summit To Sea: From mountain tops to beach fronts and busy streets to flowing rivers, in excess of 600 cleans will take place across the UK
ü  Brand Audit: Calling out big brands, over 250 vital datasets will be collected, recording the impacts industry has on the coastline and highlighting the top polluters.
ü  Return To Offender: Designed to directly challenge companies responsible for unnecessary, avoidable single-use packaging through social media, items of branded packaging pollution will be digitally returned to companies through social media.
ü  Less Plastic Please: From half cucumbers in bags to coconuts wrapped in clingfilm, the Less Plastic Please Survey will demand supermarkets take action.
ü  Trash Talk: Supermarkets create an estimated 59 billion pieces of packaging totalling over 800,000 tonnes per year. People everywhere will be writing to their MP’s and local stores to demand reduction in plastic.
ü  Plastic Free Schools: Education is key to ending the cycle. With schools reopening, it’s time to bring the environment back into the classroom through the Plastic Free Schools programme
Start your action by registering a beach clean and emailing the team

If you have children you will know how much school uniform costs, and maybe with the last few months in lockdown they have grown out of their existing uniform, thus needing new this coming term. Apparently the statistics are that there are 10,000 children living in poverty in the city, so here is the  good news – there is a Pop-Up uniform shop here in Plymouth, located at 10 New George Street in the city centre. If you / your church can help with donations of good quality school uniform items then please see this link for more details, and of course please point those who need it in the right direction. Also the financial impact second hand clothing, and not just for children, also reduces the environmental impact of always buying new.

Some good news:
  • The humble house brick has been turned into a battery that can store electricity, raising the possibility that buildings could one day become literal powerhouses. The new technology exploits the porous nature of fired red bricks by filling the pores with tiny nanofibres of a conducting plastic that can store charge. The first bricks store enough electricity to power small lights. But if their capacity can be increased, they may become a low-cost alternative to the lithium-ion batteries currently used. Read more here
  • On August 4th 2020, the fossil fuel giant BP announced it will slash its oil and gas production and ramp up its renewable energy business over the next 10 years. By 2030, BP says it will:
    ü  Produce 40% less oil and gas.
    ü  Generate 20 times more renewable energy.
    ü  Invest 10 times more in low-carbon technology.
    Let’s be clear: BP is still a fossil fuel company. Even if you ignore the troubling small-print in BP’s plans, fossil fuels are still the problem. And given BP’s history of making big green promises that never come to anything, you’d be right to feel sceptical about this.
    But this is the first time ever that a major oil company has committed to keeping oil and gas in the ground. There’s loads more BP and the rest of the oil industry still needs to change, but if we can hold them to these promises, this will be a real step forward in our fight against the climate crisis.
Some less than good news:
  • The last fully intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic collapsed, lost more than 40% of its area in just two days at the end of July. The Milne Ice Shelf is at the fringe of Ellesmere Island, in the sparsely populated northern Canadian territory of Nunavut. “Above normal air temperatures, offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the recipe for ice shelf break up,” the Canadian Ice Service said in a tweet earlier this week. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global rate for the last 30 years, due to a process known as Arctic amplification. But this year, temperatures in the polar region have been intense. The polar sea ice hit its lowest extent for July in 40 years. Record heat and wildfires have scorched Siberian Russia. Summer in the Canadian Arctic this year in particular has been 5C above the 30-year average.
Upcoming  events / dates for your diary 
 

If you are hosting any relevant events you would like us to help publicise please let me know in time for inclusion in the ENews
  • Friday, 4 September 2020 at 6:30 -8:00 pm PLYMOUTH GREEN AND SCIENCE BOOK CLUB
    #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country by Jane Davidson (former Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in Wales). “Be inspired by this fascinating story of how Wales made into law the obligation for a country to pursue sustainable development on behalf of future generations”, Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway. With Luke Pollard MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Sue Dann, PCC Councillor for the Environment, Dr James Gould, lecturer in law at the University of Plymouth. Conservative politicians have also been invited. Chaired by Dr James Gould. Zoom host, Professor John Summerscales, Chartered Environmentalist at University of Plymouth. More information and Zoom meeting details from Alan Ramage
  • September 6 2020 (and September 4 2021) Climate Sunday – Be part of the biggest mobilisation of churches for climate action ever and join 1000s of churches across the UK to address the climate crisis. Find out how your church can host a Climate Sunday anytime up until the start of next year’s Season of Creation
  • 11 – 27 September is the time Keep Britain Tidy have set for their Great British September Clean…. see their website for more details – maybe as a church you could organise a community clean up?
  • 18 – 25 September 2020 Join thousands of people for the annual Great British Beach Clean, by running your own small, local, private beach clean with friends, families or ‘bubbles’, in line with Government guidelines. You’ll be contributing to a national and global survey to help the Marine Conservation Society tackle litter at its source. See their website for more details, including local events.
Information links
 
We will aim to only send you information once about a particular website or organisation that maybe of interest to some of you; you are then invited to subscribe yourself so that we do not duplicate information which can be off-putting
 
This month I thought maybe we could talk about toilet rolls. Most of the major supermarkets have produced their own recycled toilet paper for years, and of course there are other companies such as Eco Leaf which is readily available locally but there are a few that go just that bit further – here are 4 of them:
Cheeky Panda – bamboo products available direct by mail order but also in some of our local shops and even delivered by the milkman (Milk and More). Not just toilet rolls but wet wipes, kitchen rolls, tissues, dry wipes and even bamboo drinking straws
Who gives a Crap –  they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. Choose between 100% recycled paper or 100% bamboo; fun colourful individual wrappers (we use them as gift wrapping paper). They also do tissues and rolls of paper towels
A Good Company  –  bamboo toilet paper – 100% biodegradable, plastic-free, no scents or other chemicals – the bamboo it’s made from is sustainably harvested. A choice between unwrapped and wrapped . Other ethical products also available on their website inc toothbrushes, phone covers and even pens made from old guns (beware – they are £152 each!) They also ‘climate compensate their shipments’. A global company working with various partners in various projects across the world eg the pens from guns in El Savador and a tree project in Zambia
Naked Sprout – claiming to be Britain’s most sustainable toilet paper.  Zero Bleach, Zero Plastic, Zero Chemicals,100% Organic Bamboo. Each Naked Sprout box helps safeguard the environment and gives a child in Kenya safe water at school for 1 year, by actively supporting the charity Just a Drop
As always, please do let us know any hints and tips you have to share with others, and any relevant events for us to publicise.
Nicky,
on behalf of PCGA steering committee
 
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