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Eco-congregation

Help fight Climate Change: Top tips :

  • Grow your own: Even tiny plots and window boxes can provide healthy foods with no carbon footprint. Learn from the 2 billion smallscale farmers who survive by growing their own food without producing climate change. For handy tips from the developing world have a look at
    www.progressio.org.uk, or talk to some of the experienced growers in our congregation!
  • In Leicester, plastic bottle tops should be put in the normal dust bins. They are extracted and recycled. Please keep them at home and stick them in your bin.
  • Don't overfill your kettle - only boil as much water as you need.
  • Cook from fresh. Avoiding processed and packaged foods reduces the emissions generated by transporting multiple ingredients and products around the country or even the world, as well as in the production of packaging. Fresh is also better for your health.
  • Timely Heating: Use a time switch for the heating - make sure that it is set for the right times - also, don't forget to change the time when the clock goes forward in summer and back in winter.
  • Avoid packaging: buy products that minimise packaging, and take your own bag.
  • cold wash – Try using the ‘cold wash’ setting on your washing machine.  You may find the clothes come out just as clean!
  • Start reflecting: Put heat reflectors behind your radiators to reduce the amount of heat lost into the walls. Tin foil with the shiny side facing the radiator works really well. Keep furniture away from radiators too.
  • Reduce the amount of paper you use in the office: Even recycled paper requires energy to make it, transport it, print on it, etc.
  • Don't let your car warm up in a standing position - the car warms up much faster while driving so you can save petrol. Leaving you car stationary with the engine running is always a waste of energy!
  • Your influence: You can do even more to reduce climate change by encouraging others to follow your example. Also, in today’s consumer-driven society, every purchasing decision you make influences the manufacturer and retailer, so buy green products and support businesses that are trying to reduce their carbon footprints.
  • Recycle aluminium. The energy saved by recycling one aluminium drinks can is enough to run a TV for three hours.
  • Seal flues in unused fireplaces. Don’t let all your central heating warmth disappear up the chimney.
  • Inflate your tyres. If you own a car, it will get better petrol mileage when the tyres are fully inflated, so it will burn less petrol and emit less carbon. Check your car tyres monthly to ensure they are fully inflated. Follow this tip and save 120kg of carbon dioxide for every 10,000 miles you drive.
  • Eat less meat! Once the Christmas Turkey is finished, you may want to review how much meat you eat. The global livestock industry accounts for 18% of the greenhouse gases, whereas the transportation sector (including all cars, planes, etc) only accounts for 14%. By shifting from meat to eating more vegetables (and from processed food to more home-cooked food) you can contribute a major difference to your household impact.
  • Unplug it. Unplug chargers when you aren’t using them, as they use energy constantly if left switched on. It takes a forest as big as 500 football pitches to absorb all the CO2 caused by chargers left plugged in when not in use.
  • Boil what you need. Make sure you only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need. It will boil faster and you can save about 30% of the energy.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk. Sounds obvious, but a thick pair of curtains can stop a huge amount of heat from escaping through your windows.
  • Use a toaster rather than the grill to make toast - it will use less energy.
  • Reflective radiator panels can fit perfectly behind radiators. They are cheap to buy, easy to install and reflect back heat that would otherwise drift through the wall. They can be bought from DIY stores (avoid those made from PVC), or you can make your own by wrapping tinfoil around cardboard.
  • Around a third of our household waste is kitchen and garden waste. Recycle it - many councils collect food waste for composting or provide compost bins very cheaply. As well as taking up space, when organic waste is landfilled it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.
  • ‘A’ rated Appliances : When you replace ‘white goods’ buy models that are ‘A’ rated for energy efficiency.  Over their lifetime they will save you money, because they will be using less energy.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, computers, mobile phone chargers, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power, as do unconnected chargers, and computers that are ‘switched off’ but still plugged into a live socket).
  • Install loft insulation - you can cut up to 20 per cent off your energy bills. Visit the Energy Efficiency Centre, Market Place South. If you are receiving benefits or pension, you should be able to have the insulation installed for free.
  • Switch off lights and appliances when you’re not using them – it’s a waste of electricity, and power generated from fossil fuels means more CO2 in the atmosphere [Even with low-energy & strip lights, switch off if you are out of the room for more than 3 minutes].

If you have a top tip to pass on please email us at
office AT bishopstreetchurch.org.uk

carbonworldmap

Map showing the Carbon Emissions of the countries of the world in 2000. The size of each country has been re-drawn to show its relative carbon emissions, instead of the land area.
Map source http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=295#

CARBON EMISSIONS

Carbon dioxide causes roughly 60% of the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’ or global warming resulting from certain gases emitted by human activities. In 2000 there were almost 23 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted worldwide. Of this, 28% came from North American territories; 0.09% came from Central African territories.

Emissions of carbon dioxide vary hugely between places, due to differences in lifestyle and ways of producing energy. Whilst people living in 66 territories emitted less than 1 tonne per person in 2000; more than 10 tonnes per person were emitted by people living in the highest polluting 21 territories that year.

Data are from the United Nations Development Programme’s 2004 Human Development

 

Carbon Footprint: Jill asks can all who are able to get online have a look at http://carbongym.cat.org.uk/carbongym and use the 'Calculate Me' section before 7th November 2010 which will be our next service as an Ecocongregation

 

 

Eco-Congregation

Eco-Congregation is an ecumenical programme helping churches make the link between environmental issues and Christian faith, and respond in practical action in the church, in the lives of individuals, and in the local and global community www.ecocongregation.org

Bishop Street Methodist Church: Eco Congregation check-up

This is an environmental toolkit produced by the Eco-Congregation project, to help Churches to

1) identify and affirm their existing environmental ministry
2) Prioritise what they would like to do next.
 

This is a brief summary of our conclusions:-

Worship: we ‘occasionally’ include environmental concerns in our worship, including in special services, eg Harvest. We do praise God the creator, and give thanks for the gift of creation. We do say sorry for the harm done to the environment, and pray for the healing of creation. The wonder of creation and care for the environment are ‘regular’ themes of our hymns.

Theology: we have access to resources and organise some events that include environmental issues, with potential to develop our teaching & preaching programmes in this area.

Children: The Sunday school and all age worship sometimes includes environmental themes, with potential to develop.

Church Property: We were able to tick quite a selection of ways we already take the environment into account (eg low energy light bulbs, timers for heating, clean windows to maximise sunlight, auto-turn-off taps, but could also consider monitoring our energy consumption more closely, better thermostatic controls, draft excluders, better insulation, replace cracked window panes, collect rainfall for watering plants, and use sustainably grown and reclaimed timber in construction.

Church Management: We were able to tick that we have an ethical investment policy, use fairly traded, recycled and local products, use crockery rather than disposable cups, collect items for recycling, and hold sales of second-hand items – although there is potential for more in all these areas.

Church Land: our external land is very small, but within that we avoid harmful chemicals, and have a small range of native plants, and attractive planting.

Personal Lifestyle: We have at various times promoted awareness of green issues, and could do more with this, along with publicising green tips in the notices, and encouraging recycling.

Community Outreach: we try to encourage our building users in environmental concerns, and draw on links that members have with environmental organisations. As well as developing these, we could consider establishing links as a church with local/community organisations, to share our environmental ministry.

Overseas Concerns: We support the work of Christian development agencies, participate on One World Week, and promote fair trade. We could also consider linking with an overseas church or community to explore environmental issues, and could support the work of international conservation and environmental agencies.

Bishop Street eco-congregation Group. August 2007
 

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