Monthly carbon clinic at the Sussex Green Hub

Calling all climate commandos!

We’re facing the greatest human challenge of the 21st century in attempting to avert the extreme climate collapse which is endangering all the living beings we share this beautiful green and blue sphere with.

We CAN all make a difference no matter how small we may feel.  We human beings are capable of great destruction but also of great compassion. Please join us at our Sussex Green Hub at the United Reformed Church, RH12 1PT (near Wilko off West Street and the Lynd Cross pub and opposite  St John the Evangelist) on the last Saturday every month 10am – 4pm. Here you can attend our Carbon Clinic which as been designed to offer tailored advice and feedback to make your everyday living more sustainable and help keep our planet steady at 1.5°C global mean surface temperature (GMST). Read more

Green Library

We Need Worms …and Book Worms by Morag Warrack (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Green Library

We’re slowly moving towards creating a more permanent Green Hub for Horsham, inspired by the excellent Zero at Guildford. One of the many things we’d love, alongside a Community Fridge, a Seed Bank, and a Library of Things (such as ladders or tents) is a Green Book Library.

There are countless wonderful books available, some written by children, such as Greta Thunberg’s tiny motivational book, ‘No-one is too small to make a difference’.  Even her inspirational title is clearly intended to change people’s lives for the better.  When Greta has been asked “What can we do?” her reply has been, “Educate yourself””

What better way to start, then, than by borrowing a book from a Green Library?

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Swifts

Swift Action Needed: Citizen Science for Horsham Swift Box Project (first published in West Sussex County Times)

SwiftsSwifts have been thriving for about 70 million years, when they would have been nesting in crevices in rocks and trees alongside the last of the Tyrannosaurs. But despite millions of years, something has now gone dramatically wrong, and UK numbers have plummeted in the last 25 years.

These extraordinary birds can remain in the air for three whole years because everything else apart from nesting is done on the wing.  Only when they reach maturity and start to build will they touch anything solid.

No other bird can fly faster in level flight. They eat insects, drink raindrops or water from a lake, even mating and sleeping on the wing, up near Earth’s stratosphere.  Their huge eyes are surrounded by bristles that act as sun visors and their feet are incredibly strong and so needle-sharp and tiny that they are unable to hop or walk, so they fly directly into the holes, cling to walls or slip into spaces where they can easily drop back out again.

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refill

Refill is the new Recycle

I’ve always considered myself to be a bit of a greenie, I recycle after all! However, last month I took part in The Big Plastic Count organised by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic. The aim was to count my plastic packaging waste over the course of a week and record it as part of a nationwide study to understand how much plastic waste we are creating in the UK. 

We already know that we’re using too much plastic. The UK produces more plastic packaging per person than almost any other country in the world – only the US is worse. And if things carry on as they are, the amount of plastic waste produced around the world is set to double by 2040.

So could the answer to our plastic problems be refill?

 

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Eco Float

World Environment Day (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Eco Float2022 marks 50 years since the conference which led to the designation of 5th June as World Environment Day. ‘Only One Earth’ was the motto for the 1972 Stockholm Conference and half a century later, do we doubt that this planet is our only home, whose finite resources are running out?

World Environment Day 2022 will be held again with this same theme, ‘Only One Earth’, to highlight again the need to live sustainably in harmony with our ecology by bringing transformative changes through policies and our own choices, moving towards lifestyles more in line with the natural cycles of Nature.

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Sheep

The Wool Revival (first published in West Sussex County Times)

SheepDon’t we all love to see spring lambs in wildflower meadows, and sheep in green fields?

In total contrast, who wants to see a factory producing acrylic?  A synthetic produced mainly in India and China, it’s made from chemicals so dangerous that special regulations have had to be made to prevent explosions at the factories manufacturing it.

Acrylic seems to have replaced real wool in much of our clothing.  However it is not biodegradeable so minute harmful particles of it are becoming increasingly present in our oceans, in foodstuffs and in human and animal bodies. There is now even some suspicion that there may be carcinogenic risks associated with wearing acrylic next to our skin.

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Billingshurst Dairy

The Green Thing (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Billingshurst Dairy

Image Credit: Billingshurst Dairy

Checking out at the supermarket, the young cashier suggested to the much older woman, that she could bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologised and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”  She was right in that my generation didn’t have ‘the green thing’.

Back then, we returned glass milk, lemonade and beer bottles to the shop, and were sometimes given a few pence in return. The shop sent them all back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so the same bottles were used over and over again.

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Lily's cottage stall

For all our sakes – Stop using Peat (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Peat-free Compost

No doubt you have heard that for a healthy planet, we should use peat-free compost, but do you know why, or what exactly is peat?

Peat is soil made up of organic matter that has only partially rotted down. The lack of oxygen and the acidic nature of waterlogged peat bogs prevent bacteria and fungi from breaking down the dead plant material.  It is formed over millions of years, at a rate of only 1mm thickness per year, but we are currently extracting it at a rate much, much faster than that!  By ‘mining’ peat we are both damaging the ecology and adding to climate change.

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Eco Aware Earth Day (first published in West Sussex County Times)

The children at Ashington CE Primary School enjoyed an early Earth Green Day on Thursday 7th April 2022. The day was organised by Sienna, Magenta, Sophie and Jasmine, four passionate Eco Warriors in Year 5 supported by the school’s Outdoor Learning Lead, Miss Martlew.

The four girls had their eco passion ignited by a Rainforest topic in Year Four and ever since have eagerly encouraged others, staff included, to join them in driving for a more eco aware school, community and planet. Consequently, there was no need for the school staff to set up an eco-group; the girls would never have not let it happen!  They created their own group, with many other children eager to join in.

The Green Day started with a whole school Eco Easter bonnet parade with winners from each class receiving an eco-notebook and pen and an Easter Egg. All hats were adorned with recycled decorations and had an Easter theme. The children clung to their hats in the wind but were full of smiles of pride in the beautiful spring sunshine as they paraded, each class in turn, in front of the whole school to cheerful applause. Read more

WSCC Billingshurst Recycling Centre

We are delighted to report that a second reuse shop has opened in Billingshurst. The first being Horsham *

Background

Biffa have a opened a small Reuse shop at the Billingshurst Recycling Centre to save bric a brac, homeware, bikes (sold as seen) and furniture, including garden furniture, from going to waste. Items can be donated at this site as well as there being a shop outlet for patrons to purchase items which have been donated.

The goal is to take items that could potentially go to waste and give them a new lease of life at affordable prices, reducing the amount of household goods that end up wasted whilst allowing people to buy affordable, good quality furniture, garden items and homeware without getting into debt.

This venture has been soft launched by Biffa and has not been actively promoted to residents at this stage. Read more

Conserving the Coastline for People and Nature (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Photo by Christine Hartley

Keeping our coastline safe and sustainable is everyday work at Worthing Coastal Office. Rob Dove and his highly trained team cover the beaches from Shoreham to Ferring in all weathers. They run foot patrols, quad bikes, a jet ski and a powerful rib. Much of their work is about people: finding lost children in summer, first aid, by-laws and clearing up after illegal beach fires. But they know nature must go hand in hand with people.

Plastics of all sizes are an obvious issue.  A particularly deadly problem for the wildlife is the abandoned fishing nets which kill hundreds of creatures. These nets are collected by the beach wardens along with other plastic and made safe. Injured animals are cared for until experts can restore them to health.

“Despite everything, our water quality is good!” declares Rob encouragingly.  “We see seals, dolphins, and huge shoals of mackerel.

“As covid reduced human activity, the animals seemed to gain confidence and moved back in.” Read more

Fashion to Die For ! (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Last month London Fashion week was held.  There’ll be another in June.

Fast fashion is absolutely one of THE most polluting and damaging industries on the planet, second only to oil, and here in the little UK we are actually one of the worst countries in world for creating most waste clothing.  The dying process alone uses huge amounts water that is sorely needed for food crops, and is often discharged into rivers without being cleaned up – much like our raw sewage is now being discharged into Sussex rivers.

Yes, we can donate clothes, but increasingly it is becoming like plastic rubbish- often “recycled” by transporting it to another, poorer country where it lies in a heap, unusable, partly because the cheap mixed fibres are unrecyclable.  Natural pure fibres like linen, bamboo, hemp, wool and cotton can be re-used more easily (as can unblended clothes made only from polyester.) Read more

10 years of Sussex Green Living

An Interview with founder and CEO Carrie Cort – April 2022 When did you first gain an interest in the environment? I have lived in villages, had dogs and loved […]

Help Sussex Green Living with ‘free money’! (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Smarter fashion lesson

Clearly, it’s important for us all to use less of everything for so many reasons- resources are becoming scarcer on our small island – and on our small planet too, with its billions of people.

We hope this goes without saying but please only buy something if you need it!

When we do need to replace something, however, there are several ways we can help to guide companies to understand that we would like them to ‘go green.’  One of those ways is for us as customers to sign up to Easyfundraising, where there are over 6,000 retailers ready to make a donation – including eBay, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, Booking.com and M&S – and it won’t cost you a penny extra to help raise funds for Sussex Green Living.

All you need to do is:

1. Go to our Sussex Green Living spot at  easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/sussexgreenliving/ and join for free.

2. Then whenever you shop online, go to Easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping. Read more

Seeds and Spring into Spring (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Did you make it to the Transition Horsham Seed Swap last weekend, at the Kinder Living Home Show? If so, you will know that there was seed available from local allotmenteers, gardeners and Garden Organic … as well as a lot of talk about how things grew last year!

If you missed it – never fear!  Come to the Seed Swap Part 2 at the Spring into Spring event on March 26th at Sussex Green Hub.

Some of the growers are members of the Horsham District Seed Circle, (launched during lockdown 2021.) And Transition Horsham distributed seed from Garden Organic to Seed Circle members and asked them to grow it with as little impact as possible. Each grew different crops, used the produce, then saved some seed to bring back to Seed Swap 2022.

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The Circular Economy – the solution to the climate and ecological crisis? by Peter Desmond (first published in West Sussex County Times)

HUb Logo

February green events in Horsham

HUb LogoDon’t forget this Saturday it is our Sussex Green Hub event at the URC Horsham RH12 1PT (near Wilko off West Street and the Lynd Cross pub and opposite  St John the Evangelist). This collaborative community event is on the last Saturday every month 10 – 4pm, this month we have some extra activities within the hub and just outside. Free food and free advice to help people, planet and pocket!

Horsham Repair Cafe repairs and our bottle refill service.

Carbon Clinic – every month going forward a new volunteer, Christian based at our Sussex Green Living (SGL) display area, is offering a carbon clinic. People are invited to sit and have a friendly non judgemental chat about their lifestyle choices, he will run through a survey with them, then he emails the participant with ideas for changes they can make to reduce their impact on the environment. Please make time to chat to Christian yourself, you will hopefully get a few new ideas. Learn more here.
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Spring into Spring at the Sussex Green Hub

On Saturday 26th March 10 – 4pm our normal activities will be taking place at our once a month Sussex Green Hub in Horsham plus a fun extension to help […]

Make a dream come true by Carrie Cort (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Horsham District Council new cabinet

The new Leader of Horsham District Council, Cllr Jonathan Chowen, has made a series of new cabinet appointments, including Cllr James Wright as Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural affairs, […]