Environment News Roundup - 31 May 20

Weekly Climate + Environment News and Info 

More and more evidence and interest in building back to a greener world.

The EU promises that the coronavirus recovery plan will not harm the planet, by creating greener transport, cleaner industry and greener homes - and not putting money into industries of the past. Read more here in The Guardian.

The WHO have also developed a manifesto to build back a better world, which focusses human health, a quick and healthy energy transition, healthy sustainable food systems, and stopping subsidising polluting businesses. Read more from the WHO web site here.

Helping Businesses Save Energy and Money

Webinar, Weds 10th Jun 2-3pm - Several folks benefitted from our Greening Your Business workshops back in March - just sneaked in before Covid. This webinar will provide lots of useful information on how to save energy and money, increase our green credentials and reduce our carbon foot print.  Ryan Felber from Resource efficient Scotland will explain what we can do and how RES can help with assessments, planning and implementation. Sign up here to book this on line event - How to Reduce Business Energy Costs

Building Back Greener will create more jobs.

Reusing and repairing our valuable planetary resources increases employment by over 200%! There are so many exciting opportunities available from 3d printing using recycled plastic bottles to making roads and driveways. Both the CRNS Impact Report and MacRebur - The Plastic Road Company in Lockerbie have excellent ideas. For example - Moray Waste Burners are working at Moray Recycling Centre and Miixer in Dunbar is collecting items from zero waste sheds and selling them in their shops - 10 full time jobs created.  Please to get in touch with us if you're interested in following up any of these projects for implementation in Sutherland or the Highlands.

For Hospitality Businesses - Green Key Programme

The Green Key Programme helps hospitality businesses be recognised as eco friendly, and helps you to promote your sustainable and environmentally friendly credentials. The scheme provides a framework to progress through and helps you save money by e.g. reducing energy use and benefit from this award which is recognised throughout the world.

Helping Children understand Climate Change

There are so many great web sites and resources out there to help us help children learn about climate change. But where to start? Well, we're building a Kidz Zone where we'll collate the best information to help and also run webinars and projects to help them cope with the way the world is changing and to help them help to educate us too! We had already started a schools crisp packet collection and two polytunnel projects, but of course, both had to stop due to Covid. So, at the moment, we're looking at how to move forward with some exciting school projects and some interesting on line events for parents. If you'd like to be first to hear about these, please do join us at the link below.

 Have you joined the conversation yet?

If not, please do join up to one of our climate chat / info groups here.

Highland Recycle Centres Opening

Highland Recycling Centres Reopening -Restricted

Please note that only some recycling centres are reopening on 1st June and also - these are ONLY FOR WASTE. Garden waste should be in bags for easy emptying into skips.

Please see here for full details on Highland Council Site

Have you joined the conversation yet?

If not, please do join up to one of our climate chat / info groups here.

Sutherland Climate News Picks - 24 May

Planet Sutherland Climate News

Have you joined the climate conversation yet?

If not, please do join up to one of our climate chat / info groups here.

News of what we've been up to this week:

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture We had a very interesting chat with Community Supported Agriculture UK.They explained the various different ways to increase community involvement in growing food ranging from groups becoming involved with farms and crofts to purchasing land for community allotments etc. We’ll be starting with a webinar from CSA-UK in June and then hopefully setting up some visits (possibly on line) with our nearby community food producers.

If you’d like to join the initial discussions to determine what we could do to increase the amount of food grown in Sutherland, please fill in your details here.

Environmental Businesses and Groups - Collaborative Directory

Sutherland Environmental Directory - Groups and Businesses Does your group or business have environmental objectives? We’re creating a Sutherland (and nearby) directory of who does what in Sutherland. We hope this will build into a collaborative group and it will make it easier to find other groups and businesses that you can work with.
You can see and join our eco business and groups directory here.


Just Recovery Chat with Scottish Climate Communities Action Network
We are a grateful member of Scottish Climate Change Action Network. (You can join as an individual member too). They provide lots of useful opportunities to link up with other climate action groups and run regular online events. One of the hot topics being discussed by many just now is how to #BuildBackBetter – how can we take advantage of the environmental benefits that Covid has thrown at us whilst moving forward to our “new normal”.  (With respect and love to all who are suffering.) The discussion was led by Rob Hopkins, author of From What is to What If and the workshops helped us to visualise what our new world could look like. The visualisation techniques included stepping into a time machine and zooming forward 10 years to imagine a new perfect community and then looking back from there to see what we could have done better. Sounds crazy, but was fun and helpful too.

Coming Soon - Plastique Fantastique! 

We started thinking a bit more about plastic, simply for a quick ideas info page. It probably won’t surprise you that we could now actually write a book on the topic. We’re looking at the pros and cons of eco bricks, thinking about what we can do with horticultural plastic waste and examining the upcoming tech.

Collective Climate Action this week:

Let's all - Turn Off The Tap!

Think about how often you leave the tap running when you don't need to - bringing water to your tap uses electricity - so we can all save a little by turning off the tap whilst brushing teeth and washing hands etc.

Have you joined the climate conversation yet?

If not, please do join up to one of our climate chat / info groups here.

News and fun info from the weekend - 18th May

Recycling Pizza!

Here are our best climate and environment picks from the weekends news and views to share with folks in Sutherland and the Highlands (and all our other friends of course). Hopefully this will be a regular blog post! Please do share your top news and tips on the facebook group, our email group or email us directly. All contact details are here.

Bunny Storage

Our Lairg Learning Centre Recycling expert has been keeping himself amused with these fantastic kids tidy ups. Thanks Graeme!
Do remember that even if the recycle centres open soon that it's better to just keep hold of stuff for now. After-all, currently, they should really be called land-fill centres! Perhaps you've been busy up-cycling your own furniture during this shut down time? Do share your stories on our FB group here or by email for onward sharing of ideas.

Easy Cook Pizza

How do you cook home made pizza? I prepare the dough in the bread-maker, take it out and let it rise, roll it out and bake the bottom on a hot pan, pop on the toppings and then into the over.
This looks like a great really simple idea and easy to prepare ahead of time, ready to cook for Saturday night without the hassle then. Slow dough rise and minimal kneading. Cast Iron Skillet Pizza from King Arthur Flour

Reusing VHS Tapes and Boxes

Speaking of recycling - how many of us have old VHS tapes in the loft. They'll be completely unplayable now - even if you can find a machine to play them on. If you're having a clear out, put them all together in a box for use later, or have a go yourself.
Our friends at the Brora Village Hub - Let's Grow Brora have been busy - these plant boxes look amazing. Not only that, but the video boxes are great for storing seeds in their seed library. Win Win!

Plastic Fantastic

Are we just switching from one type of consumption to another. Seems something wrong to me about growing crops to make pseudo plastic to continue with throw away containers!! https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/16/the-end-of-plastic-new-plant-based-bottles-will-degrade-in-a-year

Building Back Better

(Putting politics aside, if we can), the Common Weal project has been doing an a amazing amount of work to pull together a potential plan where we can build our societies back up from Covid in a much better way. There are detailed studies about costs on how to green our housing stock and building solutions, transport, energy use etc. So much information in here to take on board, some of which could be considered for our own local area. https://commonweal.scot/our-common-home

And from the Guardian ...the cleaner air, burgeoning urban wildlife, and our sudden, dramatic shift to a less carbon-intensive lifestyle reveal the scope of what we can achieve in just days. This is something to cling to as we navigate the twin storms of Covid-19 and climate...  Another great article on the need to take stock of where we are right now, take advantage of the benefits, reconsider our past and present habits - https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/17/after-the-covid-19-crisis-will-we-get-a-greener-world

Climate Chats this week

This week we are having an initial chat with the Community Supported Agriculture group to better understand what they do and consider whether there are any potential benefits for Sutherland and nearby. Please email us here if you'd like to find out more.

And again on the Build Back Better topic, we are attending an on line workshop organised by SCCAN + Transition Scotland Hub. It's on the  21st May if you'd like to join in. You'll probably need to join SCCAN as an individual member first. I'll provide and update  next week on discussion here and ideas for our future. More Info here.

Have you joined the conversation yet?

If not, please do join up to one of our climate chat / info groups here.

Events May 2020

Climate Events May 2020

Still in the grips of the shut down from Coronavirus - we do hope you're all ok and wish you speedy recoveries otherwise.

As with everyone else, we've been kind of off line, but we are hoping to be running some on line events soon.

Please do join us to hear about events.