Greener St Peters


At St Peter’s we want to live more responsibly in God's world both as a church and individually. 

 



As a church we will be asking for more to be done to consider the environment by discussing local environmental initiatives with our councillor and MP.

Eco church Bronze award

We have joined the A Rocha eco church award scheme ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/  and have been awarded the bronze award (July 2021). A huge thank you to the team for their hard work in achieving this. 

As we journey on to the silver and gold awards we'll continue to look at five key areas of church life:

Worship and teaching

Management of church buildings

Management of church land

Community and global engagement

Lifestyle

 

How can you get involved?

Sign up for monthly emails We will send you information and practical day to day ideas. To sign up please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your ideas We want to hear your ideas and what we should be doing – please email us!

Weekly tips Look out for our weekly tips, also in the parish pew sheet and Facebook, on how we can all live peacefully and sustainably to value and protect God's creation.

Tips for December:  

This month we’re looking at food in general. See also tips for a Greener Christmas

  • Buy organic food if you possibly can. The manufacturing of artificial fertilizers and pesticides uses huge amounts of resources and energy, and the release of these chemicals into our waterways plays havoc with ecosystems. The organic rearing of animals guarantees the highest levels of welfare available. On organic farms, animals are truly free range with plenty of space to graze and forage. The standards also mean more space per animal, plus high standards of feed and bedding and no routine use of antibiotics. Organic food is more expensive than conventionally farmed foods and some would argue that they can’t afford to buy it. I would argue that the planet can’t afford for us not to. 
  • Eat smaller quantities of higher quality meat. Buy your meat from a local butcher if you can. They are usually very knowledgeable about where their meat has come from, how to cook it and you can also usually take your own plastic tubs along to avoid excess packaging. You can also buy the exact amount you need. Go for chicken and fish instead. Ruminants (cows and sheep) belch methane, which is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2.
  • Look for Marine Stewardship Council certified fish. If the MSC logo is on the label, you know that the fish has been caught sustainably. The MSC website lists MSC certified chippies. Our nearest one is The Cod’s Scallops on Harborne High Street. 
  • Eat locally produced food. On the second Saturday of the month, you’ll find Harborne Farmers’ Market on the High Street. As a family, we’re growing some of our fruit and veg in our tiny back garden. You can’t get much more local than that!
  • Avoid air-freighted produce. Flying food and cut flowers is a huge emitter of CO2. More durable fruits such as oranges and bananas are usually transported by sea, which produces much less CO2.
  • Eat seasonally. Food tastes much better and is usually cheaper when it is in season. I look forward to the brief British asparagus season and don’t buy the imported stuff. It is a treat to be savoured when it is available. 
  • Go foraging. But if you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it. However, if you can identify blackberries, wild garlic, wild strawberries, hazelnuts, field mushrooms, sweet chestnuts, sloes and damsons, you’ve got free food. The Woodland Trust has a good guide on what foods can be foraged and what to do with them.  
  • Try and buy food without packaging. Go for loose fruit and veg. Check out the Clean Kilo at 249 Mary Vale Road, Bournville, B30 1PN. 
  • Try and cut down on food waste – Avoid BOGOF offers you don’t need or won’t be able to use. Eat or freeze leftovers. See what you need before you go shopping and make a shopping list. Don’t stress too much about ‘Best before’ or ‘Sell by’ dates, it’s the ‘use by’ dates on perishable foods that you shouldn’t exceed. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has an excellent article on food waste if you want scary statistics.   
  • Avoid ultra-processed and junk food. They’re bad for the planet and bad our health, as they are high in saturated fats, sugar, salt and chemicals. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label, do you really want to eat them?
  • Beware of palm oil. It is in so much processed foods. Vast areas of tropical rain forest have been cleared to make way for palm oil plantations. I check the label to see if there is any palm oil in the packet. If there is, I make sure it is RSPO certified. If it hasn’t got the logo on it, I put the packet back and don’t buy it.   

You don’t need to do it all, but your food choices can help to make a difference.


What is your Carbon Footprint?


Make your voice heard! If you’re short of time there are plenty of worthy petitions you can sign online.

BACA (Birmingham Anglican Climate Action) are behind The Climate Coalition declaration ‘The Time is Now.’ You can sign using this link: https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/declaration

Here’s a link to a list of potential campaigns promoted by CofE

Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill https://www.ceebill.uk/

Write to your local MP. If you have more time on your hands, we’d love you to write to your local MP (see here for advice).
Many thanks to Chris for putting together this practical advice based on information from “Hope for the future” an organisation specialising in assisting people to write to their MP in relation to climate change matters. There’s a summary of topics they suggest which are tailored to receiving a response from Preet Gill (Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton). Chris has also helpfully added some other ideas for topics and links to help you learn more.

Click HERE for an article on Greener Homes


 


St Peter's Church, Harborne, Birmingham, West Midlands, B17 0BB

Charity Number 1140018

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