Why Climate Science is like Forensic Science

One of the best things about Forensic Science is not just that it works with tiny samples, but that the conclusions drawn are very large. One small speck of DNA […]

“World Wildlife Day” Strikes a Chord After 12 Months of Lockdowns

It was World Wildlife Day on 3 March.  Set up by the UN and run by CITES to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants, the theme this year was Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet.

Forests are vitally important in the global fight against climate change. They are also home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and hundreds of millions of people. This World Wildlife Day highlights the livelihoods of communities who rely on forests, especially indigenous peoples, and the value of these ecosystems for both wildlife and humanity.

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Fun family bird spotting

Why not learn your A – Z of Common British Garden Birds   We are all becoming more acquainted with our homes and gardens. We have rediscovered the simple pleasures […]

Encourage Your Kids to Go Outside More

Outdoor playGetting outdoors and learning about nature is an essential part of education. These days, however, many children prefer to spend their free-time cooped up inside with a tablet on their lap and the TV playing in the background. While technology can play an excellent role in a kid’s childhood, they also need time in the great outdoors.

If your kid is more interested in YouTube than wildlife and you want to change that, then here is how.

Grow Your Garden 

Bringing the outdoors close to home is the simple first step to getting your little one more in tune with nature. Create areas in the garden that will interest them, such as a pond, a bird-feeder, or maybe even a treehouse! If you do decide on a treehouse, consider hiring a tree surgeon before installing it.

Children mimic their parents, so you should make a goal to go into the garden more, and your kid will be more likely to follow. If you have the room, you could even give them an entire spot to do whatever they want with (within reason).

Take a Weekly Walk 

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Promoting Awareness of Low Carbon Retrofit in Sussex

Appeal for help from Warmer Sussex

Free Energy Efficiency Retrofit Webinar Series FROM Warmer Sussex for RetrofitWorks starts on 16th February 2021.

Cath Geoghegan, Scheme Manager, Warmer Sussex said: “Please help us promote awareness of low carbon retrofit in Sussex!”

Get your FREE ticket here!

 

Who are Warmer Sussex and what do we do?

Warmer Sussex is a not-for-private-profit cooperative, working with a range of community organisations retrofit experts and fully vetted local tradespeople to help the people of Sussex in their journey to a warm, healthy and energy efficient home.

We support our customers from start to finish to improve their home’s energy efficiency. We create a tailored plan, our Whole House Plan, which assesses homes as a whole. We then find trusted contractors to complete the work, and ensure all work undertaken meets quality standards.

All our contractors become members of our cooperative with the option of becoming Trustmark registered.

What are we promoting?

We will be holding a short series of free webinars throughout February and March, starting with ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Retrofit’.   We will also run webinars to help local people understand more about insulation measures and renewable heating. Read more

Help with environmental education needed

The EYE Project is looking for new talent to join their management committee!
They are a growing network of schools in West Sussex focused on supporting and widening children and young people’s participation in environmental education and action. 
 
This spring they are relaunching their vision, purpose and education programme for 2021/22.  If you think you have the time, energy and skills to help reshape the EYE project to meet the dual challenges of Covid-19 recovery and Climate Emergency please check out their committee vacancies.  
 
These are exciting opportunities to join our management committee and be part of designing a relaunch of the EYE Project’s vision and programming for schools.

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An economy fit for people and planet

Have you heard about the circular economy or the doughnut economy? It was the focus of the Horsham Climate Cafe presentation on Saturday 6th February 2021. The speaker, an expert […]

History and Hope

We all know what a rubbish year 2020 was and what a bad start to 2021 we have had, but the vaccines are being rolled out and we need to […]

Resilience is key

When the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) died, his last word was aequanimitas (equanimity) Fitting: he was an honest man whose reign was prosperous and peaceful. What’s his relevance? What’s so good about equanimity?

One man who knows is Paul Hannam, who gave a fascinating talk at our Horsham Climate Cafe on Saturday 2nd January.   Paul is an expert on people’s emotional intelligence.  Last autumn he spoke at our Horsham Climate Cafe about the ‘A New Story if humans want to survive and evolve as a species​’, hear his podcast from this event here. As we move into a new year of pandemic meltdown and economic crisis Paul thinks that the key quality to get us through is resilience.  Like the Stoic philosophers Paul defines resilience as a combination of mental toughness, adaptability and equanimity. Read more

Will Covid Be a Catalyst for Greener Aviation?

It is a year since a “new pneumonia” was causing concern in Wuhan: the virus that would come to dominate our lives and make the world finally sit up and […]

Should we pay to breathe?

WE PAY FOR FOOD AND WATER WHY NOT FOR AIR? Every one of us depends on oxygen without ever questioning where it comes from. Almost half the oxygen we breathe […]

How We Can Enjoy the 12 Rs of Christmas

West Sussex County Times our weekly column – 10.12.20 by Karen Park, Horsham Eco Churches

Here’s a chance to think about how we can enjoy a greener, more sustainable Christmas!

 

Read the full article below.

 

 

 

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West Sussex County Council Pension Divestment Campaign

The West Sussex Local Government Pension Fund is currently responsible for the pension benefits – and future benefits – of thousands of employees (WSCC employees, Local District Council employees, school teachers employed in West Sussex etc).

In 2019 it was known that the pension fund invested approximately £200 million in Fossil Fuel companies (we do not know the exact figure for 2020, although we do know that the share prices for BP, Shell etc have dropped significantly).

The divestment campaign was started in spring 2016 by Worthing Climate Action (WCAN), and asked the WSCC Pension Fund to divest all their funds from fossil fuel companies. In Nov 2017, following a petition, WCAN gave a detailed presentation to the WSCC Pension Committee, and presented strong arguments for divestment.

Various actions took place during 2018 and 2019 which culminated on 15th Feb 2020 with “The Valentine’s Day Divestment Demo” at the Chichester Council Offices (combined with Youth Strike day). This was supported by various environmental groups from around the county.

In early 2020 the CEO of Worthing Borough council wrote to Jeremy Hunt (Chair of WSCC Pensions Committee) asking them to divest. Read more

Have a Planet Friendly Friday!

Black Friday it came from America…..Along with school proms, trick or treat and a host of other ideas. Black Friday, when we must all cooperate to help keep up the profits of large retail corporations, whose own philosophy seems closer to free market dog-eat-dog economics than communitarianism.  Even the most hardened addicts of the shopping habit  must agree that the charms of Black Friday are starting to jade. The wrong lines discounted. Massive ranges of stuff you don’t really want. Vapid special promotions of things you feel they couldn’t give away if it weren’t for all the hype and glitz.

Followers of Sussex Green Living, being a progressive, well-informed lot, will ask: what’s the environmental cost of all this? We’ve found quite an interesting little piece by Lucy Harley McKeown of Yahoo News that makes for sobering reading. We urge you to read the link; but we’ve filleted out a couple of take-aways, just to give you a flavour:

….Black Friday purchases via Amazon alone could result in at least 18,854 tonnes of additional CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere.  Delivery service Hermes is predicted to produce the most CO2 from Black Friday deliveries; 58,313 tonnes of CO2, while DPD is also expected to rack up around 42,000 tonnes. Read more

Single use plastic recycling in Billingshurst

We are delighted to be working with BilliGreen an environmental group in Billingshurst in offering our 8th parish single-use plastic drop off location. BilliGreen have agreed a public drop off location in the The Chapel car park, we have supplied some council bins for local people to use to help recycle specific hard to recycle plastics. Sussex Green Living working with a company called TerraCycle have been collecting these waste resources since 2012, our largest drop off locations being the William Penn School in Coolham and the Quaker Meeting House, Worthing Road, Horsham.

BilliGreen’s recycling location is at The Chapel, High Street, Billingshurst, RH14 9QS – the bins are in their car park which can be accessed on foot from the high street or by car via Lakers Meadows near the library. The bins are available 24/7. Local people are able to collect and recycle: Crisp packets and non-meat savoury snack packets, Biscuit, cracker and cake wrappers, Cereal bar and rice cake wrappers, Confectionery such as sweet bags and chocolate bar wrappers, Beauty and personal care products such as pots, lids, pumps and trigger spray heads, roll on/stick deodorant, lip balm containers, lids from sun-care products, Baby food and yoghurt pouches (any brand) and Ella baby snack packets, Cheese packaging (any brand) of sliced cheese protective plastic film, flexible bags, pouches and netting and Plastic milk bottle tops with 2 or 4 printed in a triangle.

Posters showing exactly what can be recycled can be seen here, scroll to the bottom of the page. Read more

MP Christmas card with environmental message

We have a suggestion to help to encourage our Government to increase their amibition on addressing the Climate and Ecological Emergency, send a Christmas card to your MP! Wishing them […]

Student App set to deliver lower carbon future

Press Release – Solar for Schools App wins Innovate UK grant

Students calling for action against climate change will have access to an App that will help them in the fight to deliver a lower carbon future in the UK.

The App is being developed by Solar Options for Schools, which won funding this week (4 November 2020) from UK Innovate in the latest round of the £10 million Sustainable Innovation Fund. The fund is intended to help the UK rebuild after the effects of COVID-19.

The Solar for Schools App will deliver an innovative interactive App, which will enable secondary students to learn about energy, electricity, and climate. It will offer learning to all students, irrespective of their social-economic status, being accessible on both android and apple phones. Read more

Will rising CO2 be the next passive smoking?

We already know that rising levels of carbon dioxide from global warming are bad for the planet. They are ruining the climate, causing floods raising sea levels, and making fertile areas uninhabitable. But are they already starting to kill us individually?

Before global warming, the average level of CO2 in the atmosphere fluctuated around 280 ppm (parts per million). Now it hovers around 410 ppm; by the end of the century it could be around 670 ppm or even higher.

The human body can sustain low levels of CO2 in the atmosphere we’ve adapted to it. High levels are normally only a problem for people like building workers, astronauts and captains of nuclear submarines. Research shows that there is no question that the sorts of levels these people can meet will do you serious harm, but most of the work is concentrated around very high CO2 concentrations at thousands of ppm, with very short exposure times, both for obvious reasons.

But as CO2 levels rise, what happens to all of us as we breathe in steadily rising levels day in day out, without a break? Especially in places like offices, where it tends to become more concentrated. Read more

Horsham Eco Churches Connect to Nature

Horsham Eco Churches

Horsham Eco Churches was set up by Silver Eco Church Award winning St Mark’s Church and Brighton Road Baptist Church through Horsham Churches Together (HCT). We encourage and inspire other churches on their Eco Church journey, and seven other HCT Churches have already registered with A Rocha UK’s Eco Church award scheme.

Covid-19 marks a threshold to a very different future, Horsham Eco Churches continue to work in partnership with local sustainability groups, promoting local initiatives and raising the profile of environmental issues in our congregations and community. Many are living in fear, but churches and community groups can help people find out what they can do and together we can make a difference, caring for each other and God’s wonderful world.

Read Horsham Eco Churches News.

Dr William Bird GP, on BBC Breakfast on 24th October, talked about how the current COVID-19 restrictions affect how people are feeling, he advised: “Ration your news, don’t listen to the news all the time.” With 24-hour news, social media and news notifications we can easily be bombarded with too much news. To help us get through the winter his advice also included: get day light, connect to nature, exercise every day, eat fruit and vegetables, connect with people, look up old friends, get new hobbies, learn new things, help others and be thankful. If you are struggling in any way please reach out to friends, family, your GP, Foodbank, church and others for support.

In this blog written for Sussex Green Living we explore some ways you can connect to nature, have fun, help wildlife, yourself, and other people. Read more

We won a GOLD CPRE Sussex Countryside Award

We are delighted to announce that last night we were given a gold award at the Countyside Protection for Rural England (CPRE) Sussex Countryside Awards. CPRE honoured the county’s countryside heroes at its first ever virtual awards ceremony held on Zoom.

Last night’s ceremony began with a welcome from CPRE Sussex Chair, Professor Dan Osborn who then handed over to the competition judges, Lady Egremont, Dr Geoffrey Mead, Margaret Moore and Dr Tony Whitbread who made the virtual presentations. “The evening went really well,” says CPRE Sussex Director, Kia Trainor “We were obviously disappointed not to be able to see everyone in person, but the virtual setting really didn’t spoil the celebrations.”

“It was fantastic to see the faces of all the people who have been working so hard to make Sussex a better place to live and work and helping nature to thrive.”

A total of 27 CPRE Sussex Countryside Awards were made – 6 GOLD, 16 SILVER, 4 BRONZE and The Peter Brandon Award for ‘Empowering Communities’.

The Countryside Awards 2020 main winners are:
GOLD Winners:
The Eye Project (Worthing, West Sussex)
Sussex Green Living Network (Horsham, West Sussex)
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WSCT our weekly column – week one 14.10.20

Read the full article below.

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Fiona Harvey Tells us How far we’ve come

Fiona Harvey tells us how far we’ve come.
It’s all too easy for campaigners on a big issue to tire, and start to despair. You must know what we mean. You spend years leafleting, going to meetings, arguing with the most obdurate people you’ve ever met, ringing up radio phone-ins….and all the while juggling work, family, shopping and even finding a bit of me time. Then along comes Donald Trump and pulls the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. But don’t give up-really.
Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent for The Guardian can tell you why. Her article in the Guardian is a heartening summary of big wins for the good guys. Remember the Ozone Hole? It’s shrinking. Acid Rain? With certain exceptions, it’s no longer falling. And Lead in petrol? You’d have to be well into your forties even to remember that now. Actually we think that was one of the worst ever, and we will be coming back to it quite soon.

But for now gentle reader, sit down, and award yourself a well- earned cup of tea and a couple of biscuits (it’s afternoon as we write this). This is no time for complacency, as the after-dinner speakers say. The battle over climate change is far from won. Read Fiona’s piece here, and think what people in the past achieved. We stand on the shoulders of giants.

This Environmental Protection Network report (22nd April 2020) about Trump’s environment record – real life impacts on Public Health and the Environment April 22, 2020 also makes an interesting read. Read more

Confronting stories of despair

“Don’t confuse me with the facts, I’ve already made up my mind.”  Everyone who has worked on climate change, trying to nudge, to persuade and to inform has run up against that refrain in some form or another many times. Puzzled progressive scratch their heads. “Wasn’t there supposed to have been something called the Enlightenment? Weren’t facts and reason supposed to have won the day?”  But our facts bounce off like shells on strong armour. Our discoveries are dismissed as Fake News. And our reason is labelled conspiracy.  At least they think we’re clever.

As the sea levels rise and humanity divides itself into ever more hostile warring tribes, our side needs to cut through even more urgently.  Why don’t people understand? Why do they love the siren songs from the other side?  Such questions are no longer academic.

One man thinks he has some of the answer. Paul Hannam is a successful academic, businessman, best-selling author and psychologist. He specialises in teams and leadership. He sees the telling and reification of stories as essential to the way that humans see both themselves and the world. For Paul a story is like a deep psychological paradigm by which we perceive, interpret and act on the data which impinges on us at all times. And you won’t change anything unless you change that story. Read more

Churches unite to help fundraise for our recycling hub

PRESS RELEASE

SUSSEX GREEN LIVING THANK HORSHAM DISTRICT COMMUNITY AND LOCAL CHURCHES FOR THEIR RECYCLING EFFORTS AND ANNOUNCE OPENING OF NEW RECYCLING HUB

Joy Carter, “lead Womble” at Sussex Green Living has continued to co-ordinate the sorting and dispatch of “hard-to-recycle” types of waste accepted by TerraCycle during the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent period and would like to encourage local residents to keep on recycling.

Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the government’s restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus, our day-to-day lives have changed, and our priorities have shifted but it is not all bad news! Green issues remain a key topic, and Sussex Green Living, along with TerraCycle would like to remind everybody that recycling is as important now as ever before! By disposing of waste correctly or storing it to send to TerraCycle when things get back to normal, we can collect now and have an impact forever. Read more