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Eco Tips

In date order, most recent tip first:

2024 July 11th - Use Your LOAF

The food we buy & consume contributes to our carbon footprint so use your LOAF & where possible buy:

L – Locally produced
O – Organic
A – Animal friendly
F – Fairtrade

For more information on the impact of the food we buy & consume, go to https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/resources. Select Lifestyle to find “You & Your Food” and other information leaflets.

2024 July 4th - Cut Your Car Use, Cut Your Carbon Footprint

Road transport accounts for a fifth of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. 

The average CO2 emission for cars is 211g/mile & apparently 50% of car trips are less than 2 miles. Why not walk or cycle for these short trips – better for you & better for the planet.

For longer trips or if walking or cycling is not feasible, consider public transport where possible.

Could you consider car-sharing for regular trips such as coming to church? We are wondering if we could facilitate a car sharing scheme. If anyone has any suggestions or would be interested in setting something up, please let the Church Office know.

2024 June 27th - Recycled fishing nets

To go with your plastic swimsuit (Eco Tip June 13th), you may like to buy sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets! Made in Cornwall by a company called Waterhaul. There are 2 designs, both with polarised glass lenses with UVA/UVB protection and they come with a lifetime warranty. The glasses cost £65 and prescription lenses are available for an additional £20.

Hide & Squeak – Eco Facts for the younger members of the congregation – rats can be taught to play hide-and-seek!  Furthermore, they enjoy being tickled by humans & respond with a high-pitched laugh that is beyond the human hearing range.

2024 June 20th - Speak up for nature - A message from the UK's Wildlife Trusts

This General Election is incredibly important for wildlife & wild spaces across the UK and beyond. The UK is already classified as one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries. The incoming Government will be responsible for turning this around, yet there seems to be little mention of it in manifestos or debates.

You can help ensure nature is given the priority it deserves. Go to www.wildlifetrusts.org and click on the “Make your voice heard” link to find out how you can act with nature in mind.

2024 June 13th - Looking for a new swimsuit for the summer?

Look at www.batoko.com for swimwear made from recycled plastic rubbish. Ethically manufactured, digitally printed (saving water & energy), and delivered in compostable paper bags.

2024 June 6th - Eating fish sustainably

Many of us turn to increasing our fish intake as part of a sustainable plant-based diet or to reduce our meat consumption. As the stocks of fish in our seas diminishes, it is important that we make sustainable choices for the fish we eat. As fishing increases so too does the loss of other species that are hauled in as unwanted bycatch. A staggering amount of marine life is simply discarded overboard, often dead or dying.

Turning to farmed fish such as salmon, sea bass, tilapia is not necessarily the best solution as these are often intensively farmed in over-crowded conditions, treated with undesirable chemicals to control pests & dead and decaying fish line the sea bed of the pens causing pollution. 

Visit www.wwf.org.uk/seafood-top-tips for tips on making sustainable choices for the fish you eat.

2024 May 23rd - Waiting to be discovered

There is still so much to be discovered about God’s amazing world. It is estimated there are around 8.7 million species of plants and animals, of which 1.2 million have been identified. 86% of species on earth and 91% in the oceans have still to be Around 18,000 new species are discovered each year.

And it's not just tiny creatures.  In 2017 the Tapanuli orangutan was recognised as a new species in Sumatra. Within 2 years was its existence was under threat from a hydroelectric dam project and it is the most threatened of all the ape species due to habitat loss, mining, building encroachment and illegal logging.

The sad thing is that many of the undiscovered species will remain just that, as they will become extinct before that happens.

2024 May 16th - Ilkley Thingery

Why Buy when you can Borrow?

Why Rend Asunder or Replace when you can Repair Anew?

Why Waste when you can Not?

Make use of Ilkley’s sustainability initiatives. The Ilkley Thingery is a resource sharing hub established by Ilkley Climate Action. For a modest fee you can borrow a wide variety of items which might not be worth buying for amount of use they may get.

They also now offer a repair service for textiles & portable small electrical items. Bike & furniture repairs may be added in the near future.

If you have Things you are getting rid of consider donating them to the Thingery. There is a wish list on their site.

www.ilkleythingery.org

Take your own containers to The Waste Not shop on Wells Road where they sell many food & cleaning products loose as well as other environmentally friendly & sustainable products.

2024 May 2nd - Garden pond

If you want to set up a pond in your garden, as per last week’s suggestions for homes for wildlife, there are no doubt plenty of articles to be found online but the RSPB site has excellent instructions and advice.

Go to rspb.org.uk. Type “garden pond” into the search box to bring up the article.

2024 April 25th - Wildlife gardening

Give a thought to creating wildlife-friendly spaces in your garden. In BBC Wildlife 2019 an article stated that our gardens take up more space than all our nature reserves put together. Imagine how much more garden area there must be now. With new housing developments going up all over the country, wildlife gardening is more important than ever.  If we all gardened with wildlife in mind we could help reduce or even reverse many declines of much loved species.

  • Make a pond however small – the best thing to attract wildlife. If you have little space, use a small container such as a sink or even a bucket. It will still attract wildlife.
  • Provide nest boxes for birds and bats.
  • Make or buy a home for solitary bees
  • Provide food and water
  • Plant wildlife friendly shrubs and plants
  • Cut holes in fences to create corridors for wildlife to travel between gardens
  • Make your own compost if possible and, of course, use peat free potting compost. 

2024 April 18th - Shrews shrink their brains in winter!

Not an Eco Tip but a fascinating fact I couldn’t resist sharing.  God’s world is phenomenal!

Shrews don’t hoard food and can’t hibernate in winter when food is scarce- so they do something drastic to survive. A large proportion of a shrew’s energy is expended on its brain so it re-absorbs part of that organ for winter, decreasing its head volume by 20%. This is known as Dehnel’s phenomonen.  If the shrew survives the winter its brain re-grows!

2024 April 11th - Laundry 

Reduce the wash temperature on your machine to 30 or 20. Clothes retain colour, size & shape if washed at lower temperatures too. Ensure that you always have a full load.

Try to avoid using the tumble dryer. Dry outdoors or inside on an airer in a room you can ventilate or in an airing cupboard. If you are tumble drying, don't transfer the whole load to the drier - there will surely be some that can just be aired.

Keep your washing machine going as long as possible. Replacing after 5 years produces 1.1 tonnes more CO2 than keeping it going for 2 decades (though that does seem an optimistic timescale).  Descale regularly using a large cup of white vinegar or lemon juice instead of detergent & run the machine empty.

When buying a new machine, go for a water & energy efficient model.

Switch to an eco-friendly detergent such as Ecover or Smol Non Bio Capsules

2024 March 21st - Ecosia: the search engine that plants trees

A better planet with every search - a simple way to plant trees and be climate active every day. Over 200 million trees planted in 35+ countries using appropriate native trees through 70+ projects.

“Ecosia is a not-for-profit company that plants and protects trees. We dedicate 100% of our profits to the planet and create simple ways for people to be climate active every day, collaborating with local communities”

Visit www.ecosia.org for more information.

To set up Ecosia as your search engine go to Ecosia>Menu>help>using Ecosia & then select the instructions for adding Ecosia to your browser.  You can also add the app to your phone and/or tablet. NB Just a warning that adding Ecosia to Safari on our Mac did not seem to work so we are using it through Chrome.

2024 March 14th - Eating our way to extinction

 With our current Meat-freer March challenge underway, this seems am appropriate tine to draw attention to this film.  A documentary highlighting the most pressing environmental & health issues of our time, this film has been described as “the film future generations will be wishing everybody watched today”

Be warned – this is a hard-hitting film “which contains images you may find upsetting” – personal quote not an official statement.

You can watch this free on You Tube: https://youtu.be/LaPge01NQTQ

 2024 March 7th - Could Ilkley become a single-use coffee cup free zone?

Last year Killarney, a town in S Ireland similar in population size to Ilkley did just that, saving 23.000 coffee cups/week from going to landfill.

25 businesses & 21 hotels signed up and the town teamed with 2gocup.ie to run the scheme.  Visitors & locals either use their own cups or pay €2 to rent a re-usable cup which can be returned to any establishment in the town or its surrounding area or even at Dublin Airport.

Is there anyone who would be interested in forming a group to work with other local organisations to explore the possibility or find other alternatives please let Geri know.

 2024 February 22nd - It’s a Bug’s Life - or is it? Saving the small things that run the planet.

 “If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight the rest of the world would get on pretty well.  BUT – if the invertebrates were to disappear the world’s ecosystems would collapse” according to Sir David Attenborough.

Beauty is a factor when it comes to deciding which species we decide to make the effort to protect & conserve. Buglife has just a few thousand members and is conserving far more species than, for example, the RSPB with it’s million plus members. That is no criticism of the RSPB, just an illustration that unfortunately people don’t care so much about earwigs or woodlice etc and often do not appreciate how crucial these creepy crawlies are.

 If you would like to support Buglife, saving the small things that run the planet, go to buglife.org.uk and become a member for as little as £3/month.

 2024 February 8th - Standby electricals

 Switched-off device uses less energy than something left on, so be vigilant at home and at work to turn off appliances you’re not using.

But what if something’s plugged in? The issue of whether appliances use electricity when plugged in but turned off is a little bit more complicated. That’s because many electrical items aren’t actually turned all the way off but are in standby mode, waiting to spring to life when you press the button again. Or perhaps, like Alexa or Siri they are listening for verbal commands.

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that appliances left on standby cost the home £55 per year. This equates to 45kg CO2e in emissions

In addition there are the appliances which have a clock flashing away. They may not be turned on, but the flashing clock shows they’re still drawing power.

A similar rule applies to chargers for devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. In every case, if the charger is still plugged in but not attached to the device, it’s still drawing some power from the system. The same applies if you plug a phone in to charge and the battery is full in two hours. Leave it plugged in and charging while you sleep through the night and you’ll be paying for electricity that’s literally doing nothing.

So, we should all just think whether an appliance really does need to be left plugged in with the socket switched on when it’s not actually in use.

2024 February 1st - Hard to recycle items

A quick update on 3 items that you may not know can be recycled:

  • Pringles tubes & lids at The Hive, Silsden. Take a look at their website for other items you can recycle there thehivesilsden.co.uk.
  • Wine corks at Majestic Wines on Skipton Road, Ilkley. Real corks only, not plastic corks.
  • Plastic netting & labels from packs of satsumas & other fruits can be recycled with soft plastic at supermarkets. If the netting is sealed with metal clips, these must be cut off.

Also, a reminder to please stay on after this Sunday's 10.15am service for Pack and Chat. We have lots of crisp packets, bread bags and such to pack away so that they can be sent off to Terracycle for recycling. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

2024 January 25th - Eco-Bulletin 10

This is now available on the church website – scroll towards the bottom of the 'Environment' page at www.allsaintsilkley.org/environment. This month we have looked at The Sixth Extinction and its impact. Please do read it.

The statistics are quite shocking and the world is very close to the tipping point. The tri-spine horseshoe crab, found in the mud off Pangatalan Island in the Philippines has survived for over 300 million years but now even this creature faces habitat destruction and overfishing for food and for its blood, used in the development of vaccines (BBC Wildlife Magazine Nov 2023).

2024 January 11th - E-waste

 China is the largest producer of e-waste overall (> 10mllion metric tons in 2019) with the USA 2nd at roughly 7million metric tons. Feb 2023

 However, looking at per capita figures, globally, the UK is currently the second largest contributor of e-waste at 23.9kg per capita. Norway is the largest contributor per capita, responsible for 26kg of e-waste per capita each year. Aug 2023

Make your mobile phone last. Don’t be sucked in to constant upgrades. Mobile phone manufacturing is putting a huge strain on the planet’s resources. People work in awful conditions mining the minerals and precious metals needed to keep up with demand. So try and make your phone last. If you do need to replace yours, why not buy a refurbished model from sites such as www.backmarket.co.uk.

Most charities accept old mobile phones, whether they are working or not. They can raise valuable funds by passing them on to mobile phone recycling companies. Broken mobile phones can be disposed of at most Recycling Centres in the container for small electricals. Some retailers will accept old mobiles if you are purchasing from them.

 2024 January 7th - Eco Tip for the New Year

 A sober reminder that the impact of humans on our planet – overpopulation, pollution, fossil fuels, deforestation – has led to climate change, soil erosion, poor air quality, undrinkable water (Quoted by the National Geographic Society) as well as a huge decline in biodiversity worldwide.

 We will continue to publish a weekly Eco-Tip this year as part of our effort to achieve the A Rocha Bronze Eco-church award.  The Eco tips (many of which are taken from St Paul’s Church, Marylebone which has reached the Gold Eco-church status) are aimed at providing facts, figures, information & suggestions for ways to reduce our carbon footprints & generally make our lives more sustainable.

 Every action helps, no matter how small. A poster in The Deep Aquarium says:

 “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly.  We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”,

 Could your NY resolution be to protect God’s creation and reduce your footprint?

 2023 December 14th - Christmas decorations

 Lots of suggestions on the internet for making your own Eco Decorations or buying eco-friendly ones. Simply Google eco-decorations. Great to do with children.

A couple to start off with-

 As this is the last weekly bulletin until the New Year, we wish everybody a very merry green & sustainable Eco Christmas.

 2023 December 7th - Sustainable Christmas Giving

 Wrapping paper is one of the biggest contributors to the 30% increase in waste that the festive holiday season generates, which amounts to around 3million tones of waste.

  •  Use recyclable or compostable wrapping paper (no glitter or foil coated paper) or brown paper which has a much lower ecological footprint.
  • Use non-plastic sellotape and parcel tape
  • Use gift bags which can be re-used
  • Keep paper to re-use next year.
  • Gives gifts of experiences or services rather than material goods
  • Give a charity gift card eg Oxfam Unwrapped
  • Use Secret Santa so everyone buys just 1 gift
  • The more adventurous or crafty (as in arts & crafts) could try the Japanese art of Fukoshiki, where presents are wrapped in re-usable material without any tape or ribbons – you can buy packs of Fukoshiki sheets or better still, use recycled material.

 2023 November 30th - Don’tSendMeACard.com

 An estimated 1 billion (!,000,000,000) Xmas cards are sent in the UK every year.

1 tree yields 3000 cards so that’s over 333,000 trees cut down to support our festive greetings plus the carbon footprint for delivery.

 Here at All Saints’ we have been operating our communal card display board for many years. If you send cards to your work colleagues, why not have a similar system.

Why not ring, email or text your greetings to relatives, friends & neighbours?

Or use www.dontsendmeacard.com to send charity e-cards. Select a charity, compose an e card, send your personalised greetings to upto 100 recipients and donate the cost of your cards plus postage to the selected charity.

It’s a win-win situation benefiting both charities and the environment & salving your conscience of not sending cards!

 So let’s eliminate paper cards this year. Start the ball rolling and hopefully it will snowball with your friends & relatives following suit and then their friends & relatives and so on & so forth.

 PS why not use any cards you do receive to make your own Xmas tags.

 2023 November 23rd - Real or fake - which Xmas tree is better for the environment?

 Plastic Xmas trees may seem like the sustainable option because they can be used year after year but according to the Carbon Trust, a 2m artificial trees has a carbon footprint of around 40g - over 10x that of a real tree that is burned after Xmas. Many fake trees are actually only re-used 4-6 times, some even less.

  •  Real trees don’t require the intensive carbon emissions that it takes to produce and ship artificial trees, the majority of come from China
  • Even though your Christmas tree is cut down, you’re supporting forests. When these natural trees are harvested for sale, there are more than ten times as many left standing! Buying real trees will help keep tree farms in business—and in turn keep their lands covered in the healthy forest habitat that wildlife depends on to survive.
  • While your tree is growing it is storing carbon (a 2m tree grows for 10-12 years).
  • Once the festivities are over, the trees can be recycled & made into a mulch

 If you have a fake tree, the consensus seems to be you need to keep it for at least 10 years for it to have the same carbon impact- but that doesn’t take account of the environmental damage a fake tree causes by slowly breaking down in landfill.

 So, buy real tree and enjoy the lovely pine scent knowing you are benefitting the environment but if you already have an artificial tree you probably should continue to use it for as long as possible.

 2023 November 16th - Introduction and 1st Eco Tip

It is our aim to have a weekly Eco Tip which will be snippets of information, suggestions of things you can do or changes you can make to help mitigate climate change or a prayer thought etc. This week's tip demonstrates quite powerfully the impact of a small action when done by many people. If you would like to share a tip or tell us of something you do please send it to kathrynallen82@yahoo.co.uk.

During a recent climate event in Surrey, Lord Deben, who chaired the Climate Change Committee for 11 years, mentioned that "if everyone in the UK only boiled enough water in their kettle for the hot drinks they are making, the UK could shut down two power stations." If your kettle lacks a visible measure, simply add one or two mugs of water to ensure you take this small yet collectively significant step. It's as straightforward as that. Please share this message with friends and family and as widely as you can.

 Add to this making sure you only boil the water once – don’t go away and “just do….” something while waiting for it to boil. There isn’t enough time anyway!

  This week’s tip comes from sussexgreenliving monthly newsletter.  Their website is well worth looking at.