The April 2021 edition of this quarterly publication is out, and its fabulous as usual! Browse through accessible and beautifully illustrated articles: opinions on the pandemic’s impact on the environment to vegan feasts and managing food waste, Bee SOS, the Eco-Church, and the importance of seaweed. Interesting, engaging and inspiring.
Our Corona Virus Action Plan-
Horsham Climate Cafe goes online
We hope you will all be delighted to hear – The Horsham Climate Cafe will continue throughout the current social distancing and quarantine measures! We’re now switching to online meetings using Zoom (see joining instructions below!), a FREE and easy to use video chat and video conferencing service. Please feel free to join any of our sessions to continue to be involved, or use this as a great chance to see what we’re about for the first time (all from the comfort of your own home!). Until we can resume our physical meetings, please do pop in on us – we are running EVERY Saturday at 2pm for an hour – we’d love to see you there! In our sessions, we like to talk about pocket and planet-saving ideas for the community (all quarantine friendly ideas, of course!). See below for the exciting schedule for our planned sessions so far…
This article by Marie Allen, Fairtrade Horsham, was published in West Sussex County Times on 11.3.21
Horsham has been a Fairtrade town since 2005 and we are lucky to have so many shops and cafes which offer Fairtrade products, giving farmers and producers a better deal. Fairtrade Fortnight, which ended on March 8th, had Climate Justice as its theme this year, reflecting the importance of climate change for farmers in the developing world. Many of them are already seeing its impact in droughts, crop disease, floods and heatwaves.
Fairtrade and Climate Justice
Fairtrade means that farmers and producers receive a fair price for their products and that they have safe working conditions. In addition, they receive a Fairtrade premium which they can choose to spend as they see fit. Fairtrade farmers and producers adhere to a set of environmental protection standards and they are encouraged to learn about environmentally friendly practices. Many spend their Fairtrade premium on measures to alleviate the impacts of climate change.
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 […]
This article was published in the West Sussex County Times on 5th March
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.
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 […]
Getting 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
Our Sussex Green Living West Sussex County Times column on 18th February 2021
The Danish word hygge means cosy and charming- an ideal winter word! However, the winter months can be a worrying time for residents concerned about keeping warm while living in draughty, cold homes knowing their precious heat is simply leaking out and heating the outside air. And with many people working from home or home-schooling, lots of us are facing higher energy bills this year as well.
But help from Sussex Green Living is at hand!
Switching energy supplier or tariff is one of the quickest things we can do to reduce our bills. While we have a bit of time on our hands is a great time to look at energy switching sites like https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ .
Better still, save money and move to 100% clean renewable energy. When our Horsham Repair Café is open, we offer a clean energy switching service: https://www.horshamrepaircafe.org.uk/energy-advice/ Everyone we’ve helped has saved between £90 and £366 using this site: https://bigcleanswitch.org/sussexgreen/.
For people on low income there is a scheme called Help to Heat which could help residents and tenants switch to gas central heating by offering a cheaper or free gas connection. Landlords and local authorities can benefit from funding if their tenant applies and is eligible, learn more here https://www.sgn.co.uk/HelptoHeat.
West Sussex Citizens advice have funding available for residents who have concerns about energy bills, suppliers and lots more. The West Sussex helpline is 01243 974063.
Residents can also access LEAP, the Local Energy Advice Service, supported by Horsham District Council. If you’re on a low income, have a health condition made worse by living in a cold home, or are vulnerable in another way, then you could be eligible for free advice and some practical energy saving gadgets. Advice is currently delivered by a friendly telephone call with energy advisers, who can refer you on to other sources of financial help or practical energy saving measures like insulation. You can apply online www.applyforleap.org.uk or via telephone 0800 060 7567
The Government are also currently offering Green Homes Grants. Learn more here https://www.sussexgreenliving.co.uk/green-homes-grants-explained/. People earning less than £30,000 who have a home with low energy efficiency rating (typically E,F or G) can apply online by selecting LAD funding at https://www.warmerhomes.org.uk/
Learn all about this and ask questions at a free AFFORDABLE WARMTH TALK on 24th February 7-8pm using Zoom (from a mobile phone, ipad or computer) https://www.sussexgreenliving.co.uk/events/
We look forward to seeing you there – bring a cuppa to make it hygge occasion!
Feeling inspired to get involved?
We are always looking for volunteers, so get in touch or come and meet us and see how you can get involved! Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or sign up to receive our latest news (it only takes two seconds to add your email address – simply click on black ‘Follow‘ tab on bottom right of this screen!). Feel free to also send us an email using our contact form, or come and say hello at our events like the Horsham Climate Cafe or the Horsham Repair Cafe!
“Inspiring sustainable living in Sussex”
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 […]
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 […]
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
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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
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
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.
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 […]
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
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
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.
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
- Sussex Green Living 2021 Roundup By Morag Warrack January 6, 2022
- Christmas Sussex Green Hub and more December 23, 2021
- On owning an eco pet by John Thompson (first published in West Sussex County Times) December 16, 2021