Looking back over 2021, it seems Sussex Green Living has established itself as a valuable part of Horsham life, despite the many problems Covid has thrown at all of us!
With a dedicated band of volunteers and workers, we have managed to keep on track and can all be really proud of what has been achieved and the progress made since last May when lockdown was just beginning to ease.
In May, the “Inspiration Eco Station” milk float was launched, swiftly followed by its first outing as part of the “Bright New Future Roadshow” at Stedham Primary School, where the children enjoyed a carousel of outdoor activities in the woodland area, concluding with the entire school performing the song, ‘Be the Change’ in the playground as parents were arriving to collect them. Bolnore School and St Marys School at Pulborough enjoyed similar fun Eco-Days, and the SGL event at Kingslea School in Horsham with its art activities was filmed by TV presenter Alexis Green and broadcast by the BBC as part of their Climate Change educational series.
We also ventured into East Sussex, to St Bede’s School in Eastbourne which has a strong well-supported green program. The final roadshow of the year was a glorious sunny day on Brighton seafront at Rampion Windfarm Visitor Centre where children from eight Brighton primary schools joined in, all arriving on sustainable transport. The children learned about un-branding school uniforms, enjoyed poetry, performance and games, and with the help of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, each child made seed ‘bombs’ on the beach to take back to plant their own mini-meadows. It was a wonderful conclusion to an extraordinary year.
Other events have included our young people of the Youth Eco Forum publishing their excellent online e-zine and hosting fortnightly zooms. They organised a Fun Run to promote re-use of clothing, and the innovative “Beyond Be-Leaf” day where pupils from London schools who had never before had the opportunity to be in a woodland, learned various skills such as wood-whittling, nature-spotting and dance in the outdoor theatre area.
We worked with a total of 24 schools and over 1500 pupils aged 5 – 18.
And it wasn’t just the children who had fun! South Downs National Park teachers also enjoyed a CPD session led by SGL.
The Inspiration Eco Station attended over a score of events in the Horsham District despite some last-minute cancellations due to unseasonably stormy weather. We enjoyed outdoor public events such as Cowfest, Ashington Fair and a Xmas hamper event outside John Lewis as well as regular appearances at Horsham Market where shoppers could top-up their cleaning and personal hygiene products with SGL’s bottle refill service.
And for the more cerebral among us, there have been many talks, presentations and participatory zoom discussions such as Sussex Green Ideas, Horsham Climate Café, Horsham Future Forum and the Repair Café which is now a regular at the monthly Sussex Green Hub which was launched on 25th September. It continues to be held on the last Saturday each month in a warm and welcoming space at the central UR Church.
Monthly e-newsletters have been distributed and we enjoy a wide variety of contributors writing for the County Times weekly SGL column, from nutritionists to gardeners, fashion buffs to architects, who are all able to offer insights and small simple steps that each one of us can take to play our part in mitigating the climate and ecological emergency.
Last, but definitely not least, tonnes of rubbish have been saved from being buried in a hole in the ground and hundreds of pounds have been raised by TerraCycle recycling and inkjet cartridge recycling. Many new recycling points are now popping up in the villages like spring flowers – and it really won’t be long till real flowers themselves are here too, along with the vital insects and birds we cherish!
Thanks to everyone who has contributed something, no matter how tiny their action. It is all valuable in protecting our beautiful natural home.
We look forward to meeting YOU in 2022!