At St. Andrew’s church we have made a commitment to take action to reduce our carbon footprint. We have signed up with the Christian charity ‘A Rocha’ https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/ to become an Eco Church and are using their criteria to measure our progress in all aspects of our church life. We know that we will have to make some changes if we are to become as green as possible.
The areas of church life that we are being asked to consider are:-
BUILDINGS: LAND: COMMUNITY AND GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT: LIFESTYLE
An ancient church such as ours is costly to run and its listed status constrains us from taking some actions to limit emissions and reduce costs. However, we are examining ways to reduce emissions and are ensuring that we are on ‘Green’ tariffs for our power consumption. This applies not only to the church but to our parish hall and office as well.
We are lucky to have both a lovely churchyard and a disused graveyard across the road. Both of these areas are rich in wildlife and we believe we can encourage even more diversity by taking action to plant more wildflowers and encourage bats, birds and bees. We hope to involve local young people in making these areas really wildlife friendly.
Whilst our funds are limited and maintaining a healthy bank balance is always a challenge, we are seeking to ensure that all our monies are ethically invested and that our investment decisions do not inadvertently further degrade our climate or exploit vulnerable people and communities.
Sharing food is always a big part of church life. We aim to reduce waste and to buy Fair Trade or other products that are ethically sourced. Communities in the developing world are at the forefront of the impact of climate change. By supporting organisations such as Christian Aid, we are standing alongside vulnerable people.
On a personal level, we are encouraging all of our members and readers of this web page to consider how we might reduce our individual and family carbon footprints and to pledge to make lifestyle changes.
It’s a big ask for us all, but small, incremental actions by many people can make a big difference.
IDEAS FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING
• Take a walk – work off those Christmas calories!
• Going to the sales? Consider the environmental and ethical implications of fast fashion. Try the charity shops first.
• Recycle your Christmas cards
• Put away Christmas decorations for re-use next year.
• Plant natural tree in a pot and water it regularly. It may surprise you and live to see more Christmases.
• Switch to green energy
• Ensure that your money is ethically invested
• Consider your use of paper: don’t use printer unless absolutely necessary; use recycled toilet paper; use recycled printer paper; use recyclable wrapping.
• Cut down on food waste – buy only what you need, make soup, freeze left-overs, eat again later in the week, take home left over restaurant food.
• Buy sustainably caught fish.
• Sometimes natural light is enough – don’t use lights unnecessarily.
• Turn off lights when you leave the room.
• Change to LED light bulbs – save energy and money
• Get your bills delivered digitally.
• Consider your Lenten giving: Choose a charity that will work toward climate justice. Consider your Lenten abstinence: Choose an activity that will reduce your carbon footprint
• Have some meat free days each week.
• Repair instead of buy new where possible
• If you don’t already compost, buy a compost bin or make a compost heap
• Plant some vegetables in your garden
• Walk, cycle of take public transport where possible.
• Buy Fairtrade chocolate eggs
• Consider sending digital Easter greetings to friends and family (there are some lovely free animated digital cards on line).
• Are you thinking of buying a new car? Would electric be an option for you?
• A pressure cooker helps reduce energy use by70%
• If you live alone, consider purchasing a mini oven rather than use a full size oven.
• When buying coffee, take your own mug.
• If you have a dog/cat, use compostable poo bags or sustainable cat litter.
• Use cloths instead of paper towels.
• Turn off the water when you brush your teeth
• Buy a bamboo toothbrush
• Use bar soap instead of plastic soap dispensers
• Replace chemical cleaning agents with green cleaning materials (lots of possibilities on the internet plus Ekojoe visits The Fox and Tiger pub at Blaby Saturdays 9 – 1pm and they sell all sorts of green products).
• Don’t use laundry detergent pods – they contain micro plastics.
• Wash stains by hand rather than washing the whole garment
• Cut down on single use plastics.
• If you use plastic food bags, wash them and use them again.
• Make your own sandwiches/tea/coffee instead of buying takeaways.
• Don’t use a tumble dryer, dry your laundry outside or on a rack in the house.
• Take shorter showers
• Compost garden and vegetable waste
• Would participation in a car-sharing scheme work for you?
• Turn off all appliances when not in use, including computer.
• Buy a re-fillable water bottle
• Don’t buy bottled water – tap water is fine.
• Reduce/eliminate use of clingfilm and use sustainable alternatives.
• Buy some beeswax food wraps.
• Repair clothes where possible.
• Do not wash hard textiles such as jeans together with fleece fabrics because this creates a lot of friction, leading to fleece fabrics shedding their micro plastics.
• Use re-useable straws
• Got a glut of veg? Share with neighbours. They may share with you and before you know it you have a local veg share scheme going.
• Make soup with your glut of veg.
• Ensure you make room in your freezer for the fruits of your harvest.
• Consider improving your home insulation
• If you are creative, make ‘sausage’ draft excluders for your interior doors or just use a rolled up towel.
• Knit a shawl.
• Get your central heating and gas fires serviced for safety and fuel efficiency.
• Compost fallen leaves and use them on the garden next year
• Settle down for winter with a book bought from a charity shop
• Use a slow cooker to save energy and money
• Buy recyclable Christmas cards and wrapping paper – i.e. no sparkles or gold.
• Buy FSC certified Crackers or make your own
• Buy Fair trade Advent Calendar
• Think about sustainable gifts – e.g. a gift experience; a charity gift (e.g. subscription, donation for a specific project), home-made gifts, eatables.
• Consider buying environmentally friendly small gifts – e.g. food, bamboo mug, plant , hand knitted scarf etc.
• If buying a tree, ensure it is FSC certified.
• LED Christmas lights look good and consume less energy than other lights.
• When buying from the internet, consider the carbon footprint of your purchase – can it be obtained in a more sustainable way?
• Buy UK produced, humanely reared meat and poultry
• Could we bear to turn the central heating down by one degree? Maybe we could if we wore an extra jumper.
• Turn off lights when not needed
• Collect all wrapping paper and sort ready for recycling
• Turkey left overs – roast, curry, pasta bake, pie, sandwich, more curry, soup, more soup – it cost plenty, don’t waste it!