Green news and views relevant to our community
Author: Holly Ivaldi | Date: 7th July 2020
The Eynsford Green Team
When we formed an eco/green sub-committee last year we decided we needed a name and a logo which would help explain who we are and what we are trying to achieve. We are a small group made up of parish councillors and residents who wish to promote environmentally friendly ideas and practices within the village. We wish to see how as a village we can improve our environmental impact and suggest ways to encourage residents and groups within the village to do the same.
We decided on our name, the Eynsford Green Team but for our logo we needed help and we called upon the creative minds of the pupils of the Antony Roper School. At a similar time to us the Anthony Roper School had also formed their own green team and had signed up to the Eco Partnership Schools Award Scheme, a national school environmental initiative.
The school were delighted when we asked for ideas for posters and a logo for the team. We had some fabulous ideas. Here is Nate Morgan’s design which was chosen as the overall winner and we have used this for our logo, see above. We love the way the logo captures both the village and the message, well done and thank you Nate!
Alex Carter and Ellie Hatton also put forward ideas for ensuring we use plastic wisely and keep our rivers clean.
We were so impressed we want to use these too so watch out for the posters with our posts. All three children were awarded prizes of recycled note pads, wildflower seeds and some fair-trade chocolate. Thank you so much to all the children who took time to enter and think about the issues. We look forward to working with the Anthony Roper School and their green team in the future on joint initiative.
So now we have our name and logo we need to get to work. We are reviewing whether the village should have a water refill station for residents and locals to reduce plastic water bottle consumption, whether an electric charging point(s) in the village is viable and if there is spare land/verges which could be planted with trees and hedging. Please do contact us on email@example.com if you have any thoughts on any of these issues or any other environmentally friendly ideas.
By Jane Laird
Author: Holly Ivaldi | Date: 5th March 2020
by Karen Langridge
I am ever the optimist. With all the rain that has dumped on us over the last few months, I am sure that the flowers are more abundant and colourful this year than previous years. The daffodils are raising their nodding heads everywhere around the Village.
Eynsford is such a beautiful village and it’s great to be able to contribute to the wonderful look and feel of the village. The first of March brought a day free from rain; there were clear skies and a bit of warmth in the sunshine. With the better weather and longer days my mind turns to our garden. Here are a few ideas on how you can make your own garden ‘greener’.
Grow your own
Our seed potatoes are already chitting on the windowsill ready to be planted out in our allotment in mid-March and the first seeds have germinated (sweet peas, onion, leeks, and chillies). We try to be as ‘green’ as possible with our gardening. Growing our own vegetables, in raised beds in the back garden and at the allotment is hard work, but you cannot beat the satisfaction of harvesting your own crops. We usually try growing a new vegetable each year and last year we tried Mexican Oregano, Tomatillos and Okra.
Compost bins provide a simple pleasure in my life. We currently have five! Compost bins are a simple and natural way of getting rid of waste material from the kitchen and garden. With a correct mix of greenery (grass, plant foliage) and ‘browns’ (leaves, newspaper), a little turning to aerate the mixture and a few industrious worms, a fine compost mix is formed after about a year. It is magic! This can be returned to the garden and, hey ho, happy plants. Some worry that compost bins attract rats. I have never seen rats around the compost heap, although I did find a nest of mice keeping warm in there one year. Compost bins can be built sustainably using crates and chicken-wire.
There are ways to encourage creatures into your garden by providing food, water and shelter. Birds love the food provided by bird feeders and I love to see them ‘play’ in the bird bath. A natural pond is the best thing for attracting all sorts of creatures. The pond can be really small (we have a Belfast sink sunk into the ground filled with water). Creatures are attracted to some types of flowering plants more than others. Single flowers are better than double flowers as the insects find it easier to reach the nectar. Winter flowering plants such as honeysuckle (Lonicera x purpusii “Winter Beauty”) and pyracanthus (Pyracanthus coccinea “Red Column”) are good for birds and insects as they provide nectar and berries throughout winter.
Leaving parts of the garden a little neglected will be beneficial to creatures. Don’t rush to tidy the garden borders and shrubs after winter as shelter can be provided for insects. I often leave piles of leaves so animals can hide, rest or hibernate, and some fallen apples on the ground for creatures to eat. Last year I left our small front lawn un-mowed for the summer to benefit creatures but also to see if any orchids might appear (as they are appearing in a number of nearby front gardens in St Martins Drive and Pollyhaugh). Unfortunately no orchids appeared in our garden last year, but maybe this year…..
The Royal Horticultural Society provides more information about the benefits of ‘greening your garden’ on their webpage: https://www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/greening-grea...
Author: Holly Ivaldi | Date: 20th February 2020
by Michael Barker
Plastic gets everywhere, doesn’t it? It hangs around in the trees and bushes, it lurks in the undergrowth, plainly visible at this time of year, it floats in the river, getting caught up on fences, branches etc. and it piles up on beaches around the world, bags, cartons, bottles, plastic rope, toothbrushes and more.
(Plastic bottles, for example, take 450 years to biodegrade and in the UK we collectively dispose of 350 million bottles per year.)
That’s only the visible debris. Microparticles of plastic are in all the oceans from the surface to the depths and are even in polar ice. A recent sample of fish from the English channel showed that 30% had plastic microparticles in their digestive tracts. Birds and other marine species have ingested larger items of plastic to the detriment of their health. None of this is good for the abundance and diversity of life on this planet. So, what can we do?
Plastic can be recycled and if you visit the Sevenoaks D.C. website you can find details of what can be recycled locally. Many plastic bottles can be recycled, including drink bottles (not if they have a plastic sleeve e.g. lucozade) and bottles that have contained household cleaning products, including the pump action nozzle. Bottles that have contained hazardous chemicals, including engine oil cannot be recycled.
Not all plastic bottles are equally recyclable, clear bottles have more recycling value than pigmented ones, so it’s better to buy drinks and cleaning products in clear plastic bottles.
Better still is to avoid using plastic in the first place; recycling uses energy and creates greenhouse gases. Reusable drinks bottles are easily sourced and will keep your drink cool. (As far as I know there is no evidence that bottled water is more healthy than tap water). Shopping “bags for life” obviate the need for carrier bags, as long as you don’t leave them in the drawer when you go shopping! If you enjoy takeaway coffee, buy a reusable takeaway cup (responsibly sourced fairtrade cups are available from an Oxfam shop near you!)
So, reusing is better than recycling, recycling is better than sending to landfill or carelessly discarding, but check the Sevenoaks D C website to be sure of what you can recycle locally.