RESPONDING TO POPE FRANCIS’ CHALLENGE
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.
Gardeners and non-gardeners will be aware of concerns about the environmental damage caused by extracting peat for use in our gardens. The Growing Media Initiative (GMI) is a scheme developed by the Horticultural Trades Association, with the Growing Media Association, DIY and Garden Centre retailers, Defra, the RSPB and the Royal Horticultural Society, which is working towards government targets to reduce peat use. Peatlands are an important habitat and carbon store globally and are under threat.
The GMI scheme aims to increase consumer awareness about the need to protect peatlands and to use more sustainable materials for growing plants and improving soil. GMI is developing a calculator to enable manufacturers to measure and score the environmental values of key materials used in their products. To learn more, go to:
Coffee and Tea to go – think twice
The Local Government Association estimates that 2.5 billion paper drinks cups are discarded in the UK annually. Many have a plastic coating which must be separated before the cup can be recycled; council recycling systems are not equipped for this. It is understood there is only one company in the UK which can,
naturally limiting recycling capacity. The upshot is that most discarded coffee cups go to landfill – an estimated 25,000 tons of waste. Campaigners are urging high street coffee chains to move faster in developing recyclable cups. There is also pressure on chains to discount prices for customers who bring their own cups/containers for their take-away drink.
CAFOD & Green Energy
The world’s first green electricity company, Ecotricity, has agreed to donate money to CAFOD every time a CAFOD supporter switches to them. Ecotricity is a UK-based company whose mission is to change the way electricity is made and used in Britain. They offer 100 per cent green electricity and green gas. All of Ecotricity’s profits go back into their mission meaning, they say, that they use their customers’ energy bills to fund the
building of new sources of green energy – what they call ‘bills into mills’. For details, check out
The UK Government and many manufacturers are now committed to ending the use of tiny pieces of plastic in toiletries from face scrubs to toothpaste, found to be causing untold damage to marine life when washed off into our water system, and eventually into our oceans. Sustainable alternative products are available, so shop carefully. “Good Scrub” guides are available online and a free “Beat the Microbead” smartphone app.
Coca-Cola ahead of water target
The Coca-Cola Company has reported that it has met its water replenishment target five years ahead of schedule. The goal was to return the equivalent amount of water used by the company in its global sales volume back to nature and communities. The company was estimated to have returned 191.9 billion litres of water back to nature and communities in 2015 via local projects, equalling 115 per cent of the water used in its beverages in the same period.