Recently, as a milestone birthday treat, I took a boat trip out to the Rampion Wind Farm which lies 13 kilometres from the shoreline on the South Coast and covers a total area of 72sq. kilometres.
This impressive feat of engineering has been providing green energy since 2018 to around 350,000 homes – around half the homes in West Sussex.
From the Path to the Shop: Natural community food production. With all the worry about climate change and food production, it feels important to get to know one another to develop good practices for improving soil fertility and the production of local organic food. Read more
Embracing the Green Circular Economy: A Step Towards Sustainable Prosperity. As we begin to understand the challenges of the future, it becomes increasingly evident that the old story of using […]
Our pets bring immense joy and companionship into our lives, but have you ever wondered about their impact on the natural world? As it turns out, our furry friends can have unexpected consequences on the delicate balance of nature. From ground-nesting birds to fledglings in trees, our pets play a significant role in shaping the lives of wild creatures.
A staggering 96% of all flesh on the planet comprises humans and their domestic animals. This statistic highlights the dominance of farming and of our pets in our global ecosystem. With only 4% wild mammals, it becomes crucial for us to play a responsible role in mitigating the effects of our pets and livestock on wildlife. Read more
It has been a great joy being part of the Sussex Green Living community over the years and it has led me into many unusual situations! For example, last week I found myself decorating a cardboard coffin with butterflies and meadows, to be used as a funeral director’s window display in Horsham during Great Big Green Week.
In our culture we tend to celebrate beginnings, but not the end of a cycle and death may be shrouded in mystery with discussion around it often avoided. Now we have a new question to consider in amongst all the choices…What is the best way of leaving our planet in a good state when it’s our turn to go?
The UK’s flying insects have declined by 60% in 20 years. The decline in insects affects all the major groups, not just flying and in the next few decades, as many as 40% of the world’s species could become extinct, including bees, ants and butterflies. Clive Cobie asks the question, ‘”is change in the air?”
In 1992 the world’s governments signed both climate and biodiversity conventions. That was the time in history when the world, already after significant delay and procrastination, understood our predicament and agreed to do something about it. Since then, no number of conventions, plans, targets, ambitions, or “COPs” (Conference of Parties signing the convention) has made any difference at all to global trends in climate breakdown and nature loss!
This is what failure looks like – 30 years of high ambition and low delivery.
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, and 20% of global waste water. In the UK we buy more clothes per person than any other country in Europe and an estimated £140 million worth goes to landfill every year. Simple changes to how we buy and dispose of our clothing can have a huge impact on both the planet and also save us money.
It’s not just Spring in the air!
I can feel a new wave of environmental awareness amongst the communities around us, uniting and supporting each other to reduce our impact on the planet.
The North Horsham Community Land Trust (CLT) was very pleased to attend the Sussex Green Hub at the end of January to explain to residents who we are and what we are aiming to achieve.
NHCLT was formed following an initiative by North Horsham Parish Council in January 2020. We are a community led, not-for-profit organisation, run by local people for local people with the aim of providing local homes to rent for people who live and/or work in North Horsham Parish and its environs. As a co-operative and Community Benefit Society we operate under the guidance of Action in rural Sussex (AirS) and the National Community Land Trust Network.
We are all aware of the urgent need to protect our nature which has been depleting at a rapid rate. If you want to make some changes at home to protect nature, boosting the biodiversity in your garden or outdoor space is a great place to start.
Biodiversity and climate are inextricably linked, you can’t fix one without the other. There are lots of things you can do to help wildlife to thrive that don’t cost a lot but can help nature and create a lovely space for you to watch and experience all the life in your garden.
We all want a world where our climate is stable, nature thrives, and where all people have health, happiness, and prosperity – it’s our human right, right?
Unless we change things, we are on track to breach the 1.5°C temperature increase limit set by the Paris Agreement by 2030. The breach risks irreversible environmental degradation and runaway climate change that will affect all our societies and economies.
An essential ally against the climate crisis is nature. We are losing nature at an alarming and unprecedented rate. For anyone who has been watching David Attenborough’s latest BBC programme, Wild Isles, you will know that Britain is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.
Each month a special and very welcoming Horsham community event pops up, open to all: The Sussex Green Hub, and last month our warm-hearted community got even bigger and better as almost two hundred visitors attended throughout the day.
This month our busy volunteers refilled 140 bottles with personal hygiene and cleaning products, repaired 43 items, answered all manner of recycling queries and gave advice on energy, green books to read, eco-garden and generally how help the planet and save money at the same time.
We are also now running creative drop in sessions of afternoon workshops from 1pm till 3pm. These will usually be free although voluntary donations are always welcomed.
We are all guilty of wasting food but did you know that 25% of food wasted in UK households is due to cooking, preparing or serving too much? This costs us £3.5 billion a year. So being savvy with our food can prevent waste and save us money, not to mention the benefit to the environment. About 6%-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food.
Here are some ideas to get you started…
It was the first experience I’ve had of using a retort kiln. Normally I use a ring type.
The ice crystals were glistening on the metal door as I pulled hard. It creaked with resistance as the morning sun shone upon what was left of the wood. It had been reduced by half through a process called pyrolysis, (heating wood in the absence of oxygen). The fire turns volatile oils into gases which heat the wood.
I always love that first encounter when I open a kiln, picking up a handful of charcoal and dropping it gently; listening to the tinkle as pure carbon cascades down while sunlight and left over heat create peacock blues or rainbow patterns over the blackness.
As a child, I never understood the saying, “It’s an ill wind indeed that blows no good,” but I recently realised that’s what’s happening now.
I went to buy a thermal T-shirt, my current one sadly threadbare, but there were none to be had. The assistant told me they had ‘overperformed’, because fuel prices are high and people are dressing up warmly at home rather than putting the heating on. Result! I know people who, when working on the computer at home, take a break for a few minutes and go for a run, simply to warm up. Loved ones are switching off the TV earlier than their usual habit and instead snuggling up in bed with a good book. Result! People are jumping on their bikes or walking rather than taking the car for short journeys, and we’re driving more carefully because the roads are full of potholes. Result!
At Sussex Green Living we often talk about our outreach with families, in the villages, in schools and with the Youth Eco Forum. What people may not realise is that we also run community sessions with the elderly. Morag and I went along to the Kings Court Care Home in January this year, taking the Horsham Cape of Good Hopes along with us.
What is the Cape of Good Hopes?
The Cape of Good Hopes is a collaborative community project. It consists of the construction of mini artworks created by individuals and groups to bring the community together with the common cause of celebrating nature in all its wonderous forms and acknowledge that we can’t survive without a healthy planet to support us.
This year we’re asking, “Can airlines please tell us the truth – the whole truth – about the impacts of aviation? Is it not one of the biggest polluters of our planet?” Like cigarette packaging and advertising, and in a similar way to food allergy advice, shouldn’t plane tickets have health warnings for us and the planet?
It was the first time I had been to a SECA meeting, and it was inspiring to see over a hundred people working together for change.
We arrived in Brighton in an electric car, (my first time in such a conveyance), for the annual South East Climate Alliance or SECA meeting, the aim being to bring councils and communities together to address the issues related to climate breakdown and share successes and suggestions.
It is easy to focus on finances and ignore the climate just now, when the cost-of-living crisis is hitting us so hard. However, the two are fundamentally interlinked. Reassessing how we live and what we consume ultimately saves resources for our planet and puts money into our pockets too.
For 2023 we want to build on the success of our monthly pop-up Sussex Green Hub by establishing a Community Climate Hub ‘on the high street’ in Horsham. The purpose of the hub is to offer initiatives and education that allow everyone to make changes to their life that have a positive impact on the planet AND save them money!