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

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 […]

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

Green Homes Grants explained

                   Green Homes Grant

For our Horsham Future Forum (HFF) meeting on the 29th of September, we were joined by Tom Bragg, from Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Open Eco Homes, to explain to us how the Green Homes grant works. The purpose of his talk was to go through the details of these grants to help people understand how to apply for them. Tom was also joined by Soren from Warmer Sussex, to provide his insight to people (learn more about Warmer Sussex and listen to Soren’s podcast here)

He started off with a poll asking the participants of the HFF about their intentions about applying for the grant, and what they might want to install. Only 28% of participants said Yes or Probably, with a much higher percentage, 68%, responding with a maybe, so hopefully the clarifications provided through Tom’s talk has encouraged people to apply. The installation that was the most popular was low carbon heating (such as heat pump or solar thermal) at 88%, followed by insulation (48%), draught proofing (28%) and windows and doors (20%). As this was a multiple option question, some people might have chosen more than one option.

Firstly he explained about the scheme, and secondly discussed all the energy saving measures that you could decide from to implement in your house. The main points to remember are:
Read more

Food and community resilience

On Tuesday the 15th of September, we had a very interesting talk from Adam Stark from The Food Resilience Project in Cootham. Adam teaches religion and philosophy at the Weald School, and is a self-published writer as well as an environmental campaigner, along a list of other accomplishments. The evening started with a movie trailer shown by Carrie Cort, called “The Need To Grow”, a stark environmental documentary film emphasising that “we need to stop playing games and start saving the planet” because to “not take care of our planet [is] no longer an option”. With that setting the stage for the importance and difficulty of maintaining our food systems in the face of the global and climatic changes we are seeing, we moved into hearing about Adam’s initiative. Read more

Wildlife friendly gardening

Our Horsham Climate Cafe on 5th September was an inspiring and informative talk about Wildlife Friendly Gardening.  Every green space is critical for our wildlife, even your garden, as all our UK gardens form more space than all the UK nature reserves!

Carrie the founder of Sussex Green Living opened the event with a reminder that we humans are not at the top of a wildlife pyramid but are simply part of the web of all life.  All the living things in an ecosystem depend on all the other things – living and non-living for continued survival – for food supplies and other needs.  Humans, animals and plants depend on a complex system of food for survival. Stressing the importance of using bug hotels, bird boxes and bat boxes in our gardens, but be aware that bats need about 1,000 mosquito type insects per hour, so a pond is almost essential!

Joanne Knowles was our second speaker who is passionate about encouraging us all to seek out peat -free compost. Read more

Reducing energy, saving money and the planet

  • Over the last 10 years the UK has made some good progress reducing the carbon emissions associated with the generation of electricity. However – over the same timeframe – very little progress has been in reducing the emissions associated with heating our homes (ie “space heating” the heating of our home spaces). This is mostly due to our reliance on gas boilers in the home.
  • There are a number of options that can reduce the emissions related to space heating, not least improvements in home insulation (reducing wasted heat that “leaks” out of your home). But which insulation – wall, floor or roof ? And when you have optimised the insulation, which non-gas technology should you consider – solar, heat pumps (air source or ground source), or is there something new just around the corner ?
  • Warmer Sussex offer impartial advice (via a Retrofit Coordinator) to give you a plan/road map to reducing the emissions related to the space heating of your home. You will receive a bespoke Whole House Plan which looks at what has been done before, and what can be improved now. The Retrofit Coordinator considers the property, the clients budget, and any future plans they have (eg updating kitchen) when developing the strategy for the property. The insulation and ventilation will be considered first before starting to tackle heating/renewable.

Read more

Guildford Community Hub unites community

On Tuesday evening our Horsham Future Forum were inspired by a presentation about the new Guildford Community Hub which it is in the early stages of development. It consists of 12 different local organisations working together, their aim: education and engaging the wider population to drive behavioural change, and thereby try to reduce consumption emissions. Presented by Ben McCallan.

The Guildford Community Hub is built on a model called Space Generators, which has been operating for about 30 years. Space Generators focus on arts environmental community and sustainability projects / events using their network built up since 1992, when their campaign for the reuse of empty space began after the Rio Earth Summit. They tailor events or create a variety of modules to match vacant space in the interim period before development. Helping to provide space for local community use.

Currently there are Community Hubs being formed in Staines, Farnham, Elmbridge and two in Scotland. Could we develop a community hub in Horsham?

Read more

Help Keep Rookwood Green!

Join the Keep Rookwood Green Campaign on Saturday 15th August to become citizen scientists at this bio blitz, help carry out surveys to help record all living species in the area. You can book timed tickets for staggered visits through this Eventbrite link or learn more here  www.KeepRookWoodGreen.org.

Watch the talk Keep Rookwood Green gave at our Horsham Future Forum meeting on Tuesday 16th June here.

 

 

Read more

Planning environmentally friendly celebrations

On Saturday 4th July the Horsham Climate Cafe session focused on life celebrations, and how to make them more pocket and planet-friendly. Christenings, weddings, anniversaries and funerals needn’t cost the Earth, in more than one way! Presented by Jeanie Francis, a Billingshurst-based OneSpirit Interfaith minister/celebrant who over the last 25 years has developed a passion for creating personal, environmentally friendly special occasions that celebrate milestones in life.

Whether you are planning a celebration of new life or loosing a loved one, with a little thinking ‘out-side the box’ (excuse the pun) a personal and unique occasion, honouring a specific religion, mixed religion or no religion can be planned.

This is what one couple said recently about their son’s baby naming ceremony: “With a deep love of nature but with no particular religious faith we felt unsure how to celebrate the arrival of our son, Adam. With Jean’s imaginative guidance we created a beautiful ceremony which took place in our cottage garden beneath the willow tree. Everyone wrote wishes for Adam on cotton flags and tied them to the willow tree. Jean suggested we ask special friends to be guardians to Adam for Male Youth, Wisdom, Creativity and Spirituality. A day full of truly wonderful memories thank you Jean”. Read more

E.Y.E.’s 1st Virtual EYE Eco-Summit

*** UNDER A WEEK TO GO…***

…to the online launch of E.Y.E.’s 1st Virtual EYE Eco-Summit, on the 2nd July at 10:00.

The social distancing has led to the postponement of the 13th Worthing and Adur Eco-Summit gathering. I know that your participation in the event was booked into your calendar, and that you might take an interest in our virtual event. As always we look forward to your involvement and support with our future events.

EYE have taken the initiative to collate and post a selection of workshops, to keep our keen eco-learners busy. Kindly provided by some of our supporters who were able to do so, in these challenging times we currently find ourselves in.

The 1st Virtual EYE Eco-Summit will be available via YouTube. Read more

Life celebrations with your pocket & planet in mind

Naming ceremony in a garden

Saturday 4th July the Horsham Climate Cafe session will be focusing on life celebrations, and how to make them more pocket and planet-friendly. Christenings, weddings, anniversaries and funerals needn’t cost the Earth (in more than one way!). Presented by Jeanie Francis, a Billingshurst-based OneSpirit Interfaith minister/celebrant and ‘silverpreneur’ who over the last 25 years she has developed a passion for creating personal, environmentally friendly special occasions that celebrate milestones in life.

Whether you are planning a celebration of new life or loosing a loved one, with a little thinking ‘out-side the box’ (excuse the pun) a personal and unique occasion, honouring a specific religion, mixed religion or no religion can be planned.

This is what one couple said recently about their son’s baby naming ceremony: “With a deep love of nature but with no particular religious faith we felt unsure how to celebrate the arrival of our son, Adam. With Jean’s imaginative guidance we created a beautiful ceremony which took place in our cottage garden beneath the willow tree. Everyone wrote wishes for Adam on cotton flags and tied them to the willow tree. Jean suggested we ask special friends to be guardians to Adam for Male Youth, Wisdom, Creativity and Spirituality. A day full of truly wonderful memories thank you Jean”. Read more

29% of Horsham’s green space could be lost

HELP KEEP ROOKWOOD GREEN PLEASE!

On Tuesday 16th June our weekly Horsham Future Forum and Youth Eco Forum attendees listened to an excellent talk by Peter Simpson, Trustee of the Friends of Warnham Local Nature Reserve and Sally Sanderson, Chair of Friends of Horsham Park. Friends of Warnham Local Nature Reserve, Friends of Horsham Park and the Horsham Society have formed Keep Rookwood Green Alliance and are campaigning to retain Rookwood Golf Course as a public green space.

Those of us on this week’s Zoom call were shocked to learn of the ecological damage and the 29% loss of Horsham’s large green space that will occur if 1,100 houses are built on Rookwood Golf Course. The decision will be finalised before August and there is a short window of opportunity in which we can influence Horsham District Councillors. The more of us that make our views known known, the greater the chance that we will be heard and that we can Keep Rookwood Green!

Here are some ways that you can get involved: Read more

To Travel or Not to Travel? That Is The Question

Press release

Holidays on hold? Or help at hand

On Saturday 6 June, Sussex Green Living’s virtual Horsham Climate Café meeting will be focusing on what post-pandemic travel might look like once the world opens up again.

Many questions about the future of travel and holidays remain to be answered. With movement restrictions still in place and many holidaymakers still not knowing if, how or when they can expect to get away, the biggest question may be:

How will people feel about holidays after the pandemic and have travellers’ priorities changed?

Some may be desperate to get away after the lockdown and others may be feel it is too risky for health reasons. The nature recovery may have inspired people to stay at home whilst others may be motivated by sustainable holidays or wanting to make a difference overseas.

This week’s Climate Café event will discuss Ethical Travel, StayCations and SlowCation (travel by bike and train) and suggest possible alternatives to our traditional get-aways. Read more

Latest Horsham Climate Cafe news

Last Saturday saw the eight virtual Horsham Climate Cafe since lockdown (our first was on 27th March). This last session focused on ways we can get more solar on schools, reducing their electricity costs, going green with their energy and helping provide energy education. Shannon from Solar for Schools explained how they can help, learn more about Solar for Schools, see Shannon’s presentation below or contact her on  or phone 07710483123

 

Here are a few other ways schools can green up:

  • Schools may also be interested to know about the energy efficiency interest-free loans available to them https://www.salixfinance.co.uk/loans/schools-loans (this SEELS programme is funded by the Department for Education)
  • A free energy efficiency programme will be running for schools that they might like to get involved with, consisting of four afternoon workshops http://www.lessco2.org.uk/.  The existing cancelled programme will restart in October, other schools can still join it. Read more

Horsham Climate Cafe – the value of nature

Horsham Climate Cafe – the value of nature All of us are experiencing the uncertainty the current pandemic has brought with it, alongside the forced physical disconnect from one another […]

News from the Horsham Repair Cafe

Sorry to say that the Horsham Repair Café will not be physically opening for our once a month repairs, refills and energy advice for a while. However we have reviewed the situation and are now going to trial a weekly repair service which will run alongside the household and personal hygiene bottle refill service. We can offer repairs to small electrical household and IT items only at the moment. This drop off and collection service will be offered each Saturday between 10-12 noon (with suitable covid social distancing and product handling restrictions).

Please book in your item by completing our online booking form here, we will then email to confirm the procedure and location for drop off. Please note that we are not able to repair any textiles for the foreseeable future.

Costs:

Electrical repairs – our volunteer repairer will assess the item and inform you if there is a need to purchase any parts. If you agree to the costs on collection you will be asked to pay for the costs, a voluntary donation to the Horsham Repair Café is optional. Read more

Message from Ecuadorian cloud forest

One of the last hidden treasure/locations

Saturday 9th May the weekly virtual Horsham Climate Cafe focused on The Value of Nature, bringing attendees a special message from Nicola Peel who is locked down in a cloud forest in Los Cedros Biological Reserve in the Choco region of Ecuador full of yet to be discovered plant and animals. Plants which will provide cures to diseases, trees which give us oxygen to breath, things we take for granted. The debate is gold and copper mining for new phones or medicine and oxygen?

During this Climate Cafe session Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria also gave an informal talk about the deep connection indigenous people have to nature, their stewardship of the land and water and how they are adapting to climate change.

You can see Nicola’s video message at the bottom of this page. Learn here about Nicola’s lockdown location, one of the most biologically diverse and endemic habitats on Earth in her latest email:

Dear friends,

After finishing my work in the Ecuadorian Amazon I was about to have a week to myself on the coast. This was not to be. Like so many of us due to the unforeseen events our lives have changed.

I had returned to Quito and was staying with a friend when I heard that due to Corona Virus all borders were closed, flights to be cancelled and no more buses. I got out of the city on the last bus to Chontal and headed up to the Los Cedros Reserve. http://reservaloscedros.org/about/ Read more

Pressing the pause button

On Saturday 2nd May Dr Tony Whitbread spoke at the Horsham Climate Cafe to around 100 people using Zoom video conferencing. He spoke about positive impacts of covid on human attitute to nature and signs of the natural world recovering. This event was chaired and facilitated by Helen Whittington, Carrie Cort, Chloe Harrison and Vivaine Doussy. You can hear a podcast of his talk, see the global reach of this event and the Q&A here.

Tony shares his thought provoking insight with us here…..Nature seems to be blossoming while us humans are locked up indoors.  We’ve heard about goats taking over gardens in Llandudno in Wales and fallow dear wandering round parts of London.  There are elephants on the streets of Thailand, elephant seals in Argentinian suburbs and the penguins are taking back the streets in South Africa!  There seem to be more butterflies and the birds seem to be singing louder.  Is nature really recovering while we are locked up, is it the good weather, or is it just that we are taking the time to pay attention and notice what has been there all along?

Tony Whitbread climate cafe session

What is the Impact of Covid-19 on Nature? This was the burning question for all those who joined the Horsham Climate Café’s sixth (since lockdown) weekly Zoom meeting, which took place on Saturday 2nd May.

113 people booked from from all over the world including England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Uganda and South Africa (including 37 South East Climate Alliance members). They tuned in to hear special guest, Dr Tony Whitbread, President of Sussex Wildlife Trust, give an inspiring talk about how nature is blossoming with less human activity. He highlighted:

– the speed at which animals all round the world have expanded their ranges in to towns and cities

– the bluer skies and reduction in air pollution

– that people have slowed down and are noticing and valuing the beauty of the natural world

His insights prompted questions such as what can we do to engage our children in protecting the planet, should “ecocide” be unlawful, and perhaps the most pressing issue right now: how can we ensure the “nature recovery” continues post-lockdown?

The Mutual Aid Movement

Since we entered lockdown, community has become important to many of us in a way it was not before. The way we relate to one another has changed and, although physical contact outside the home is impossible, many of us are enjoying a greater sense of connectedness within our neighbourhoods than ever. In Horsham District, and all over the country, people are getting to know and support those who live around them. Whether this is as part of volunteer schemes providing vulnerable people with essential shopping, phone calls offering emotional support, or simply the weekly clap for carers, the networks forged between local residents during this time are vital and valuable.

As we adapt to the current situation, it is important that we also look forward to how we rebuild our lives in the post-covid era and we are conscious that this will not, and should not, mean returning to ‘normal’. The social connectedness that has risen ironically from a time of ‘social distancing’ is something worth maintaining, particularly as many will need support as they continue to isolate long after general restrictions are relaxed. Read more

Saving money through growing and swapping food

On Saturday 18th April, Horsham Climate Cafe met for its fourth virtual meeting since lockdown began. One of the benefits of moving online during the COVID19 pandemic is the number of people able to join from further afield as we had environmentalists calling in from as far away as Ireland. With self-isolation set to continue and the weather still in our favour, the discussion focused around ‘grow your own’ as a money-and-planet-saving way to stay connected to nature during this time.

Virtual climate cafe connecting people and planet

Week 3 of virtual climate cafe

Local people removed from isolation for one hour a week through the virtual Horsham Climate Cafe. Saturday 11th April saw the numbers grow from 7 the first planning week, to 15, with 24 turning-in last week to learn about frugal and free wild cooking from Fiona founder of Earthkind and an eco art competition which Sussex Green Living are running with the South Downs National Park.  With lots of other exciting local and countywide ideas materialising.

The Horsham Climate Cafe normally pops up once a month at the Quaker Meeting House in Horsham, but quickly adapted with lockdown to go online using Zoom free video conferencing. Last week saw people from Horsham, Billingshurst, Lindfield, Worthing, Chichester, Peacehaven, Petworth and Leeds tuning-in! The aim is to remove people for social isolation for an hour a week to discuss ideas for supporting community and planet in this uncertain time. The organisers are very heartened to be receiving such a positive response and great engagement! Read more