Green news and views relevant to our community
Author: Holly Ivaldi | Date: 28th January 2021
by Jane Laird on behalf of Eynsford Green Team
Many thanks to all those residents who completed our survey, “How Can Eynsford Be Greener”. We carried out the survey to canvass local opinion, to find out what residents would like us to do and help us decide which environmental schemes we should implement.
We received 98 responses (online and paper), which equates to about 12% of households in the parish. This is an encouraging response and 72% of those respondents stated that they felt it was “very important” that Eynsford Parish Council/EGT tries to tackle environmental issues within the parish.
From analysing what we currently recycle as a village we are doing well on glass and clothes. We are looking at ways we can facilitate more recycling within the village. We will contact and lobby Sevenoaks District Council on improving recycling options throughout the whole district.
Ideas and suggestions
We had lots of positive responses to our suggestions. 85% of respondents wanted to see more bee and wildlife planting on parish council land. We are already implementing wildlife planting and are aiming to launch a wildflower pot/hanging basket initiative for everyone to get involved with this spring, details to follow next month.
70% of respondents would like more recycling points in the village for different items and as mentioned above we will work on this.
We were thrilled to hear residents’ comments/ideas, and these included the following:
·Recycle bins next to existing rubbish bins for visiting public to recycle litter
·Communal compost bins
·Co-operative for bulk purchase of electricity
·Hydro power from the river
We will review all the suggestions put forward.
Electric cars and charging points
We had an interesting response to the electric car question with 45% of respondents stating that they already own an electric car or within the next 5 years they plan to buy one. Of those that do or plan to have an electric car, 20% would not be able to charge on their own property, therefore many villagers will need access to a public charge point. As there is a developing need for public charge points EGT are reviewing possible locations and investigating the available grants. After 2030 all new cars will have to be electric and EGT will help the village prepare for this.
Whilst not everyone was keen on the idea of a community solar panel field or a wind turbine the Government has committed to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. As part of this commitment, the Government have set up the Rural Community Energy Fund, which is a £10 million programme to support rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects. There are many inspiring projects taking place throughout the country using this fund. These projects not only provide clean energy but also give social and economic benefits to the local community. This is an area we will continue to investigate.
he responses to the survey have given EGT the information and impetus to prepare a 10-year plan of what we aim to achieve. We will publish this plan later in the year. Thank you to all those respondents who offered to help EGT or help with various projects, we will be in touch soon. We will work with village groups where relevant as we appreciate many groups already have eco policies or wish to do more for the environment. Do not forget we regularly post articles on www.eynsfordparishcouncil.org.uk, on the Greener Eynsford page and you can contact us via email, email@example.com.
Author: Holly Ivaldi | Date: 12th January 2021
by Kaz Langridge
Have you ever wondered what steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint on the planet and help with the climate crisis? There is a useful app called Giki Zero which helps with this https://zero.giki.earth/about.
Giki Zero provides you with ideas on how you can take realistic steps to reduce your carbon footprint and it helps to track what you have done and are planning to do. It's good fun and designed for all ages.
Author: Holly Ivaldi | Date: 10th December 2020
Everyone knows that it can be tricky to choose what to buy friends and family for Christmas. For some, it can seem even more difficult to shop sustainably. And it will have to be done mostly online this year. But there are a wealth of sites, mostly small independent businesses, to answer almost all your gifting needs this year. Of course, there are many considerations when it comes to choosing gifts: from how the product is made, avoiding sweatshops and the use of materials that harm the environment, to how long your gift will last and what to do with the packaging. Let’s take a look at the typical Christmas shopping list and see what is available...
Kids - children’s toys can be an eco-nightmare, often plastic and with little indication of the supply chain. But there are alternatives, for instance here is an organic babies rattle (1) from Arket, (http://Arket.com ) a store perhaps familiar to those who know Bluewater. Their site also has a very good range of clothes for adults and children, often using recycled fibres, eg these boys swim shorts (2), as well as homewares and accessories.
Homewares - Arket (Arket.com) have also produced some useful household items that would make good presents, for instance, a recycled polyester laptop case for £25. Or If you prefer locally-produced crafts, how about these hand-made wooden bowls (3) from madeinotford.org. Usually, these are selling at the Saint Bart’s Christmas fair in Otford but they are now available online.
Fashion and clothing - there are a number of ethical fashion sites who put sustainability at the top of their agenda eg howies.co.uk, Ninetypercent.com etc. But it’s worth noting that also some of the high street’s more established outlets are now getting in on the act, particularly with recycled fibres eg H&M, whose Conscious ranges (4) are a favourite of mine (see www2.hm.com). It is also worth mentioning vintage clothing, another growing trend in fashion. Bluewater retailers Urban Outfitters have a long-standing range of repurposed clothing called Urban Renewal, which can also be found online, www.urbanoutfitters.com.
Food and drink - local producers sell on madeinotford.org, including delights such as brandy truffles and Christmas puds (5). Our nearest refill shop, Eco Pantry (theecopantry.co.uk) at Seal Chart Farm, enable you to fill up on a wide range of foods and of course, there is a butcher/grocer there too. Or try Stanhill Fram (stanhillfarm.co.uk) just outside Swanley, from whom (during the current restrictions) you can collect pre-ordered food and drink. Otherwise, you may have heard of Planet Organic, who have recently merged with cosmetics brand As Nature Intended, and do a range of fresh groceries. They even sell takeaway meals! https://www.planetorganic.com/
Gardening - organicgardening.com offer a range of gifts including this illuminated bug viewer (6) as well as a range of seeds, plants, tools etc. They also sell experiences such as a vineyard tour and tasting with unlimited tea for two, for £45.
Stocking fillers - for Dad, why not this white stuff (https://www.whitestuff.com/) eco leather wallet? (7) PHB (phbethicalbeauty.co.uk) do a range of cosmetics, some in recycled plastic tubes, pointing out that their production is less carbon-intensive than glass, which needs to be produced at very high temperatures! And how about this gadget (8) which will fix a broken zip and maybe save another garment from the landfill? That’s a bright idea from H&M (zlideon zip tab, www2.hm.com). If you want jewellery, check out the range of recycled silver and gold on wearth.com (9). Iansnow.com specialise in items made in India, which are fairly traded but also make use of recycled items such as silk saris. Auraque (https://www.auraque.com/ ) sell hats, gloves and scarves knitted from banana fibre (10)! Knowtheorigin.com sell gift sets and a wide range of good that are sustainably produced, often by independent businesses and with ethical standards (such as plastic-free) in mind.
Cosmetics and personal care - among the best environmental innovations recently has been the idea of refilling. This is to cut down on packaging, particularly plastic. BeautyKitchen.co.uk (11) offer a service whereby customers can send back the metal containers of shower gel etc and order new ones online. Our own St Martin’s church is also offering a recycling service for those who save their plastic pumps etc, the items are sent to Terracycle, with payments made to charity.
Decorations - Peace With The Wild (peacewiththewild.co.uk ) have Christmas crackers that contain plastic free gifts, and eco-fashion retailers Thought (https://www.wearethought.com) have a blog which tells you how to make your own Christmas wreath and print your own wrapping paper (12)!
Choosing appropriate gifts versus waste is perhaps the most important consideration to remember when looking for Christmas gifts. Some might say that the ultimate green gift might be one that it’s the about giving more than just stuff, instead some experience that could be enjoyed. Or why not simply give someone you love a bunch of flowers? Arenaflowers.com who were recently voted the UK’s most ethical florist, will also a plant tree for each bouquet ordered. As do browser Ecosia.org, so if you’re going to surf for any of these gifts, maybe start by downloading their app?
Happy (green shopping) Christmas!