Churches Green News

Hello and welcome to 10th ENews of 2019,
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
  • There is a new Christian Climate Action group set up in Plymouth by Michael Shaw of Devonport Community Baptist Church – this is the link to their Facebook page CCA in Plymouth
  • In conjunction with the Mayflower 2020 commemoration, Pollenize need your help to expand their beehive network to 4 additional sites in Plymouth. More information or to donate please see this link but please don’t leave it too long as the fund closes soon.
  • Rachel Summers has a new book out – ‘Wild Worship’ – useful for Messy Church type activities – the cost is around £9
  • Environment Plymouth have launched a flash competion sponsored by South West Water, to win a full size water butt for your garden or one of five Hydrao ‘disco’ shower heads that change colour as you use more water! 
Did you know that only 2.5% of the worlds water resource is freshwater, and that less than 1% of that is accessible and usable (1.7% is locked away in glaciers and ice caps). It is likely that winters in the South West will become wetter and summers drier, with a reduction in overall annual rainfall. Combined with higher average temperatures and an increasing population, we need your help to prepare for any future challenges.  Using less water helps the environment and will save you money if you have a water meter (use less, pay less!).
Enter the free prize draw ‘Get into Water’ – Make a pledge and say what you will do to save water – whether it is taking a quicker shower, or not running the tap when you brush your teeth, there are lots of ways to use less water in day to day activities, and remember, small changes make a big difference.
So, play your part, and be water smart.The competition closes on Friday 4th October at 5.30pm and the results will be announced at their next meeting on 14th October. Please send your ‘pledges’, the more innovative the better, to Jackie by email
Some good news
A massive pumice ‘raft’ has been spotted in the Pacific which could help to replenish the Great Barrier Reef. See the article here
Some not quite such good news
‘Plastic recycling is a myth’ – read the full article here. But here are a few snippets to summarise…. You drink a Coca-Cola, throw the bottle into the recycling, put the bins out on collection day and forget about it. But it doesn’t disappear. “The price of plastics has plummeted to the extent that it isn’t worth recycling. Now that China doesn’t take our plastic, we can’t sell it.” Still, that waste has to go somewhere. The UK, like most developed nations, produces more waste than it can process at home: 230m tonnes a year – about 1.1kg per person per day.  Quickly, the market began flooding any country that would take the trash: Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, countries with some of the world’s highest rates of what researchers call “waste mismanagement” – rubbish left or burned in open landfills, illegal sites or facilities with inadequate reporting, making its final fate difficult to trace. The present dumping ground of choice is Malaysia. In October last year, a Greenpeace Unearthed investigation found mountains of British and European waste in illegal dumps there: Tesco crisp packets, Flora tubs and recycling collection bags from three London councils. As in China, the waste is often burned or abandoned, eventually finding its way into rivers and oceans. In May, the Malaysian government began turning back container ships, citing public health concerns. Thailand and India have announced bans on the import of foreign plastic waste. But still the rubbish flows. Recycling aluminium, say, is straightforward, profitable and environmentally sound: making a can from recycled aluminium reduces its carbon footprint by up to 95%. But with plastic, it is not that simple. While virtually all plastics can be recycled, many aren’t because the process is expensive, complicated and the resulting product is of lower quality than what you put in. The carbon-reduction benefits are also less clear. “You ship it around, then you have to wash it, then you have to chop it up, then you have to re-melt it, so the collection and recycling itself has its own environmental impact,” 
In a separate article microfibres have even been found in the air and the rain, showing that plastic waste is a major global issue relating to more than just the oceans and people in other countries. 
The alternative is of course that we simply MUST find ways to reduce our use of single-use plastic consumption.
To counter that article – please see this one –  Sweden’s recycling  Sweden is now recycling 99% of their own waste and actually have to import waste to keep their recycling plants going.
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 20th September – Climate Strike This short video from Greta Thunberg and won’t be the last you’ll hear about the September strike, but if you haven’t already got it in your diary or calender you might want to make a note of it now. video link
  • Saturday 21st September 12.00 – 2pm Plymouth Beach Clean volunteers have a beach clean at Mountbatten beach. For more information or to register your interest please see PBC FB page
  • Sunday 22nd September 2.30pm  – Devon Earth and Faith Network (DEFAN) event – “Faith, Belief and Climate Justice – a Call to Action” to be held at the Friends Meeting House in Exeter. Poster with more details attached
  • Sunday 22nd September 2 – 4.30pm Friends of Radford Woods family Autumn event. Poster with more information attached or see their website
  • Sunday 29th September, Beckly Centre, Plymstock, 11am – 4pm Growing Community Abundance a free event for anyone who is or wants to be involved in community growing projects. For more information contact Tess Wilmot – poster attached
  • Friday 4th October; World No Disposable Cup Day – Daily in the UK we use more than 7 MILLION DISPOSABLE CUPS – 500,000 are dropped on the floor! The UK is one of the worst in the world, using 2.5 billion cups a year – this would create a pile of disposable cup waste as big as the Albert Hall in London! Poster attached
  • Monday 7th October 6.30 – 8pm Plymouth Green Book Club at Kirkby Lodge  (SEI, Plymouth Uni) Extraordinary Insects. Weird. Wonderful. Indispensable. The ones who run our world, by Anne Sverdrup-ThygesonWith guest expert Andrew Whitehouse of Buglife All are welcome to this free event and it is not essential to have read any or all of the book. Contact  Alan Ramage for further information 
  • Thursday 10th October 19.00 Disappearing Islands at Exeter Cathedral. More information here
  • Monday 14th October 10.00 – Environment Plymouth meeting at SEI (Sustainable Earth Intitute) Hub at Plymouth University – this month the topic will be the future of Drakes Island, the speaker being the island’s new owner, Morgan Phillips.
  • Saturday 19th October – A21 Walk for Freedom – hopefully this walk will happen again in Plymouth this year – keep checking the A21 website for confirmation….
  • Tuesday 22nd October – Christian Climate Action meeting at Union Corner, Union Street, Plymouth PL1 3HW to discuss how churches / Christians can get involved with Extinction Rebellion (Christian Climate Action is the church arm of ER) to fight Climate Change. Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 start.This event is FREE but please book here so that they know how many people to expect. Please bring your church friends and family to share and encourage ideas for what churches can do to work against climate change.
  • Thursday 24th October – PCGA Tour of the MVV Energy for Waste Plant (aka the incinerator) 6pm. This event is FREE to attend but places are limited so please book here
  • Advance Notice; Friday 8th November, 7.30pm Plymouth’s own Professor John Spicer will be asking ‘Is there a Christian Response to our Biodiversity Crisis?’  at Plymouth University. Please pop the date in your diary and ask your church to put a ‘save the date’ in their newsletter
Information links
We will aim to only send you information once about a particular website 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
  • A Rocha is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world.This is their response to the biblical mandate to care for the earth, and a demonstration of the Christian hope for God’s world. They do this through: – practical involvement in nature conservation projects and ecological research; – campaigning on biodiversity issues; – engaging with churches, schools, communities and individuals.
    The worldwide family of A Rocha organisations is committed to conservation action as an expression of Christian mission, working collaboratively with others who share their passion for the planet and their desire for its flourishing. Amongst other things they operate Eco-Church to help churches reflect the full scope of the gospel in their congregational life, and to acknowledge their achievement in that. Through Eco-Church, A Rocha UK provides ideas, resources, speakers and support for churches who put caring for God’s earth at the heart of mission. The Eco-Church award recognises churches taking steps to become greener in their spiritual life, practical management and community outreach.
A quote to leave you with: ‘Men argue. Nature acts.’ Voltaire, 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778 – A man ahead of his time it seems!
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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