"The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it" (Psalm 24:1)
We believe we are stewards of God's earth, with a responsibility to look after it.
As part of our work to be an "Eco Church" we are publishing an "eco tip" each month to help us all to adopt more eco-friendly ways of living and worshipping - both at church and at home.
December 2020 - A greener Christmas
Avoid the drastic plastic of shop-bought Christmas decorations. Buy pre-owned decorations from charity shops, or make your own.
Keep Christmas cards to make Christmas tags next year. Recycle the section that carried the greeting and cut out the picture to use as a present tag.
For presents within the family, make simple draw-string gift bags in various sizes using Christmas material. You can store and re-use these for many years to come.
Buy an attractive glass or vase from a charity shop and fill it with chocolates or flowers. Glass jars, such as Kilner jars filled with small items also make attractive gifts.
If you don’t have enough of last year’s wrapping paper for this year’s presents, use recycled brown paper and decorate the paper yourself. This has a much lower ecological footprint than Christmas wrapping paper.
Go natural with your Christmas decorations. Holly sprigs, ivy trails and pinecones, can all be used. Make sure that you have permission from the land-owner before you start snipping!
November 2020 Clothing
It is estimated that in the UK we send clothing worth £140 million every year to landfill. To avoid this:
Look after your clothes, wash and repair them carefully.
Buy from vintage or charity shops. Oxfam has an online shop if you prefer to shop from home. Alternative secondhand options online are sites such as Vinted, Depop and eBay, all of which have a wide variety of secondhand clothing sold by others (and you can sell your pre loved clothes too!).
October 2020 Travel
This month concentrates on travel:
Cycle, walk or consider using public transport (in line with current government guidance) for a journey you would usually make by car.
If you have to drive somewhere, plan ahead to combine tasks. See if you can do all your car-based jobs once a week.
Change your driving patterns to be more fuel-efficient. Shift into the higher gears as quickly as possible, don’t brake hard, keep tyres correctly inflated and keep your car well serviced. Drive lightly!
Look at www.seat61.com to discover how you can travel overland to places you thought were only accessible by plane.
September 2020 Reducing waste
Reduce the amount of food you throw away by planning your meals and writing a list before you go shopping – so you only buy what you will use. Look at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
Ask yourself whether you need to buy something. The most sustainable option is using what you already own! Remember shop displays and social media are designed to induce impulse buying. If you see something you’d like, think about it for 24 hours before making your decision.
Tell the Mailing Preference Service you want to stop junk mail. Call 0845 7034599 or visit online.
Upcycle - don’t throw away. See ideas-to-transform-your-old-stuff
When you’ve finished with a piece of furniture or other household item, see if you can pass it on to someone else. Discover people who are giving – and getting – stuff for free at Freecycle or Freegle.
August 2020 Recycling
When the wrong materials end up in recycling waste, it’s much less likely that the materials will be recycled, meaning that sadly they could end up in landfill, along with any other waste they’ve contaminated. Here's how to ensure your empty bottles, bags and boxes do actually make it through the recycling process.
Rinse food packaging: Traces of food (unless it’s just a grease stain) can contaminate the recycling system, so you should always rinse tins, pots and packaging prior to popping them into a collection box.
Remove tape: You should remove all sticky packing tape from cardboard before placing it into a recycling bin.
Tin can lids are recyclable if you pop them inside the clean, empty tin, and aerosol cans, empty or not, are recyclable. You can also leave paper labels on tins as these will be recognised and dealt with separately.
Detergent and cleaning product bottles are recyclable, and you can leave any triggers in place.
Plastic bottles: These should be emptied, rinsed, squashed and have lids put back on ready for recycling – this is because loose lids are often too small to be detected in the recycling process.
Sutton Council have a handy A-Z of recycling here
July 2020 In the garden
Install water butts. Use the collected water on the garden or to wash the car. If you don't have space for a water butt, try collecting the water from your shower as it heats up.
Use solar-powered lighting in your garden. That is, if you need lighting at all – remember wildlife needs to have night as well as daylight!
Use decking and garden furniture that is FSC-certified.
Even if you only have a windowsill consider growing some herbs.
June 2020 In the bathroom
Use a washable muslin cloth rather than cotton wool to remove makeup and apply lotions.
Choose cotton buds made of biodegradable materials. Plastic stemmed cotton buds are one of the most common items found in beach cleanups.
Change to a bamboo handled toothbrush.
Consider using shampoo and conditioner bars rather than plastic bottles.
Consider using a natural sponge or loofah instead of plastic fibrous sponges.
May 2020 Learning from Lockdown!
While the lockdown has been painful for us and bad for the economy it has had benefits for the environment with cleaner air and water. So this month's tip is a challenge to consider what you may continue to do to help the environment after the lockdown lifts. Here are a few ideas but you will think of others:
Reduce car and plane use
Appreciate and care for the nature in your immediate area
Eat more home cooked food
Reuse and repair rather than buying new
Aprll 2020 Buying food
Stop buying one food item that is not in season and replace it with something that is. Do this regularly.
Make meat a treat you eat only on certain days of the week. Explore recipes using vegetables and grains via internet sites or your local library. A UN report stated that cattle-rearing generates more global warming greenhouse gases, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than transportation.
March 2020 Heating your home
Draw your curtains at dusk and shut internal doors to preserve heat. Fit draught excluder tape to door frames and loft hatch.
Turn down your heating thermostat by one degree (unless your age or health makes this inadvisable). The Energy Saving Trust calculate that even a one degree reduction can save ten per cent or £40 from an average annual heating bill.
Switching to a 'green' energy supplier is easy and signals a demand for renewables, but first check how green the tariff really is before you make your choice. The Energy Saving Trust provide independent information.
February 2020 Cleaning
Run your dishwasher or washing machine with a full load to use less energy.
Discover the cleaning power of soda and white vinegar in this Guardian article.
Consider washing your clothes with an alternative to traditional products such as soapods or Ecoegg.
January 2020 Use what you need!
Being sustainable is all about protecting what we have for tomorrow, and there is no easier way to do this that to use just what you need. The simple ideas are often the best, so remember to turn the lights off when you leave the room, turn off the tap while your brush your teeth, and close the fridge door while you put the milk in your tea. Also, never put more water into the kettle than you need. The kettle is one of our most energy-intensive appliances.