Churches 2nd Green news of 2020

Hello and welcome to our second ENews of 2020,
General info and updates
  • Lent begins on 26 February this year so if you‘ve been meaning for a while now to switch to green energy, go plastic free or change your method of transport then why not make Lent 2020 the time to start doing something positive (or give something up) to benefit nature and help address climate change. Or if you want a daily reflection then why not go for the Church of England’s Lent series which focuses on Creation Care and Climate Change – have a look at the #LiveLent Care for God’s Creation website – there is also the option to receive the reflections by email
  • We are encouraging as many churches as possible to celebrate Earth Hour with their communities this year. All it involves is switching off your lights for an hour on Saturday 28 March at 8.30pm. Anything else you do to make it a fun / interesting / contemplative event is up to you. There could be candles, readings or poems… or just darkness and silence – the choice is yours…. there are many interesting ideas here. If you can’t organise a community Earth Hour then maybe encourage congregation members to take part in their own homes.
  • Could your church consider divesting from fossil fuels? Churches are a key part of the divestment movement, with faith-based organisations representing 29% of institutions making divestment commitments. The institutional Church says they believe in ethical investment. They also say that they care about climate change. But they are still investing in fossil fuels and there is a huge gap between the stated policy of all the major denominations and what they are actually doing in practice. We need to close that gap. By moving their investments, Churches would demonstrate the leadership that is largely missing from our political leaders. They would offer hope by showing that radical action can be taken. And they would send a signal that the continued extraction of fossil fuels is no longer morally acceptable. If your faith institution has already made a commitment to divest from fossil fuels that has not yet been announced, or would be able to do so by 19 March 2020, please contact Operation Noah by then so that your commitment can be included in the multi-faith announcement. For more info see the Operation Noah website
  • Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets that bring chemical contaminants to all the world’s beaches.They are packed with chemicals that make plastic flexible, colourful and durable, but also make it a long-lasting pollutant that packs a toxic punch. The nurdle chemical cocktail includes harmful hormone disruptors, like bisphenol A, as well as other pollutants. Seabirds, fish and coral have all been found to ingest nurdles, making this yet another route for harmful chemicals to get into the food chain. This toxic transfer is the overlooked plastic pollution problem. Why not join people from all corners of the earth to join us in heading to a beach between 13th and 22nd March this year, searching for nurdles and submitting data online. See Great Global Nurdle Hunt website for more details
  • Do you ever think about taking the bus and leaving the car home? Or do the high bus fares put you off? Did you know that fare-paying passengers are needed to subsidise those using free bus passes because the government don’t pay a fair (pun intended) amount to the bus companies for each journey? You may be interested in signing this Bus petition started by one of Plymouth’s local councillors. Please feel free to share and encourage others to sign it too. For the sake of the environment we need to get car drivers (like me) out of their cars and onto public transport
Some good news
  • Great news revealed last week – the Church of England General Synod has agreed to set a net zero emissions target of 2030. General Synod members voted by 144 votes to 129 to support an amendment proposed by the Revd Canon Prof Martin Gainsborough, Chaplain to the Bishop of Bristol. The motion proposed by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment, recognised the climate emergency and recommended a net zero emissions target of 2045. A majority of General Synod members agreed that greater ambition was needed, and voted to support the 2030 target
  • Efforts by climate activists have won huge changes to Scotland’s new public bank. The Scottish National Investment Bank will become law later this year. The idea for such a bank came from civil society and when it was announced back in 2017 Nicola Sturgeon said this new bank would address the climate crisis. But then the bank’s journey became rocky, and climate change was not mentioned once in its founding legislation, unveiled in Spring 2019. So, Friends of the Earth, Youth strikers, trade unions, environmental groups all got involved and raised the pressure. They demanded a clear, unequivocal objective in law for the bank to invest in a just transition to zero carbon and a clear set of minimum ethical standards for the bank’s investments. And they won both of these things.
    ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’ Margaret Mead
Some not quite such good news
We have much to be thankful in this country – we have freedoms which we take for granted – this month we honour Gomez Gonzales as a modern-day eco-martyr. The Mexican environmental activist who fought to protect the wintering grounds of the monarch butterfly was found dead in the western state of Michoacán, two weeks after he disappeared. Homero Gómez González, a former logger who managed El Rosario butterfly reserve, vanished on 13 January. His body was found floating in a well reportedly showing signs of torture. The motive for his murder remains unknown, but some activists speculated that it could have been related to disputes over illegal logging. The full article can be read here
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
  • Thursday 20th February 5.45 for 6pm – PCGA Tour of MVV Energy from Waste plant (aka incinerator) – this is our third tour due to popular request – it is free but as places are limited to just 20 we do need you to book your place. If you want a cuppa then make sure you are there at 5.45 as we plan to start the tour promptly at 6pm.
  • Saturday 22nd February; The Big Green Event at Exeter Cathedral, 10am – 4.30pm A day of speakers and workshops to link faith to the environment. More information and to book your place see here
  • Saturday 22nd February; Growing Community Abundance from 2pm at The Unitarian Church, Plymouth, with seed swapping and plants stall, gardening book stall, workshops and fun. There will also be a film about Growing Community Abundance, Community Explorers, possibly a film of what is happening with Edible Whitleigh and a shared meal at 6pm If you can’t stay all the time, drop in when convenient. For more information please contact Tess Wilmot. This is a free event – poster attached
  • Saturday 29th February; 1.30pm Plymouth Beach Clean will meet at Blagdon’s Meadow to clean up along the River Plym – all welcome. For more information see PBC website
  • 13th – 22nd March The Great Global Nurdle Hunt – see the nurdle hunt website for more information or register to take part
  • Saturday 14th March – Living Sustainably in our Modern World, 11am – 5pm, a local day conference of talks and workshops aimed at helping us overcome barriers to living sustainably, hosted by Emmanuel Church – more information here or on the Facebook page. We have arranged some top speakers including Prof John Spicer explaining why doing nothing is not an option, also Luke Pollard MP will be speaking on making Plymouth Carbon Neutral by 2020. There will be workshops on many topics including Ethical Finance, recycling and Fast Fashion. The cost of the day is just £5 which includes lunch – places are limited to 100 so book tickets here before it’s too late. Poster attached- hard copies are available on request.
  • Saturday 28th March at 8.30pm Earth Hour Switch off your lights (and any other non-essential electrical appliances you may care to include) for an hour along with millions of others across the world
  • Saturday 28th March, Ways, Means and Marvels: Christian Responses to the Ecological Crisis 11.00am till 4.00pm at South Street Baptist Church, Exeter. Free, but contributions towards the cost are welcome: suggestion £7. Please book if you plan to go by emailing David Osborne
  • Monday 30th March – The Plymouth Green and Science Book Club, 6.30 – 8pm, Room 405, Babbage Building, University of Plymouth – looking at 3 books this month: The Case for the Green New Deal by Ann Pettifor, On Fire by Naomi Klein, Junglenomics: Nature’s Solution to the World Environment Crisis – a New Paradigm for the Twenty First Century and Beyond by Simon Lamb. It is not necessary to have read any of the books to join the conversation. The discussion will be facilitated by Simon Lamb, author of Junglenomics. This free event is open to all and no booking is required to attend. Contact Alan Ramage for more information.
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
We would always want to promote and support local independent businesses so this month I would like to point you in the direction of a small local business: Read’s Hardware shop can be found in Compton and although it has been there for many years I was blissfully unaware of it. Ray sells all sorts of little things that you would pay a fortune for in a big DIY store, where you would probably have to buy more than you need. However he has also recently been persuaded to venture into the Eco world – you can get refills of many items there including washing up liquid, hand soap, washing machine detergent and fabric softener amongst other things; he even sells Eco-Leaf dishwasher tablets singly for those who want to try before they buy a box full. He also has some really nice gifty yet environmentally-friendly items for sale in conjunction with Sustainably You. Also check out the FB page; Reads DIY Stores
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.
on behalf of PCGA steering committee
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