Live Simply – July/August 2018 newsletter

Living Simply and Sustainably

Image result for save water
How can you save water? Here are a few ideas.

Water saving is high on our “to do” lists after so many weeks of heat and no rain. Water is a precious commodity which we may use without thinking. To save water, consider:
1. Not letting the water run when cleaning your teeth or washing your hands;
2. Filling a jug of water and putting it in the fridge for when you want a cold drink;
3. Keeping the water after cooking pasta – let it cool properly and then use on the garden;
4. Ensuring you have full loads if using a dishwasher or washing machine.

If you have further water-saving suggestions, why not pin them up on the Live Simply notice board in the church entrance lobby.

Live In Solidarity

Busting some Fairtrade Myths.

Myth no.2 Anyone can put the Fairtrade badge on their product and claim that it is ethical. The Fairtrade Foundation (www.fairtrade.org.uk) advises:

Image result for fair trade logoThe idea that companies just slap the FAIRTRADE Mark on their products when they want to claim ethical credentials does not hold up. The Mark is a registered certification label for products sourced from producers in developing countries. Products that display it must meet Fairtrade Standards, set by Fairtrade International. These Standards apply to both producers (the farmers and workers) and traders (suppliers to the shop you buy from) and are agreed through research and consultation with Fairtrade stakeholders, including farmers’ and workers’ organisations, traders, independent experts and national Fairtrade organisations such as the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK.

If a company wants to get one of their products certified (and so have the FAIRTRADE Mark displayed on their packaging) they have first to ensure it meets all stated Standards. Any company ‘just slapping the Fairtrade badge on their product’ without meeting the standards for that product would be investigated and could open themselves up to legal action.

Further Fairtrade myth-busting information in the next Live Simply Tips.

Always look out for the Fairtrade brand – and resist the move by some retailers to move to untested alternative schemes.

livesimply prayer

Pope Francis

Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.

Creator God,
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.
Amen.

Return to LiveSimpy homepage.

July/August 2018

     

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Live Simply – June 2018 newsletter

Living Simply and Sustainably

File:Water Pollution with Trash Disposal of Waste at the Garbage Beach.jpg
Waste pollution on a beach in Malaysia.  (Public domain).

Oh, plastic – once an amazing innovation and now a burden! Friends of the Earth offer some interesting tips on how to go “almost” plastic free in our kitchens. It’s worth checking out (link here) – some food for thought and simple hints like using washable cleaning cloths rather than paper kitchen roll are manageable and affordable. https://bit.ly/2y8cdwN

Now the summer is here (?!) there are also easy energy and money-saving things to consider such as dropping your shower by a few degrees. Electricity providers says that doing this, even just for the last couple of minutes when showering, can save on energy bills and it’s said to be good for our bodies too.

Live In Solidarity

The real FairTrade logo.

Busting some Fairtrade Myths. With supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s developing their own fairly-traded deals (tea), it seems timely to address some of the misconceptions about Fairtrade and why it is so important to producers in vulnerable parts of the world.

Doubters might say Fairtrade “doesn’t really help farmers” or “it’s just a marketing scam to encourage us to buy more expensive products.”

Myth no.1 – only a small percentage of the price paid for a Fairtrade product goes back to the farmer. The Fairtrade Foundation (www.fairtrade.org.uk) advises that the retail price we pay as consumers is determined entirely by the retailer.

While paying farmers and workers a percentage of the retail price might appear a good way to demonstrate the impact of Fairtrade from the consumer’s perspective, it doesn’t actually address the real inequities in conventional market arrangements.

The way Fairtrade works is that the producer organisation (such as a coffee co-operative) receives the Fairtrade price at the point where they sell to the next person in the supply chain (usually an exporter or importer). This is intended to ensure farmers can cover their costs no matter how low the world price for their commodity falls.

More Fairtrade myth-busting information in the next Live Simply Tips.

Always look out for the Fairtrade brand – and resist the move by some retailers to move to untested alternative schemes.

livesimply prayer

Pope Francis

Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.

Creator God,
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.
Amen.

Return to Live Simply homepage.

     

June 2018

Live Simply – May 2018 Newsletter

Living Simply

Water is good for you. We should all ensure we keep ourselves topped up, especially if (when) the warm weather of the Spring Bank Holiday returns. To get into a good habit, always carry a bottle of water with you BUT make sure it’s a re-usable water bottle.

Live sustainably

Image result for global citizenEvery Google Search contributes to Climate Change asserts Global Citizen, which campaigns on the United Nations’ Global Goals, calling on countries to invest in renewable energy. Google relies on a vast physical infrastructure of servers, routers, and cables which all depend on electricity to operate, according to Quartz*.

Much of this energy is provided by fossil fuels, Quartz reports. Google admits that providing a user with a month’s worth of its services is like driving a car for one mile, or around 360.7 grams of CO2, Quartz notes. Other companies like Facebook and Apple have significant ecological footprints too. To its credit, Google has been investing heavily into renewable energy. The company now supplies all of its corporate electricity with wind and solar power.

Apple has also taken steps to become carbon neutral by investing in efforts that compensate for its carbon emissions, like reforestation, according to Quartz. We cannot turn the clock back and stop using the Internet but we can encourage all countries, the UK included, to invest more in renewable energy so that each online search is powered by wind and solar, rather than coal or natural gas. https://glblctzn.me/2KTuYXb

In Solidarity

It was World Fair Trade Day on May 12. The Fairtrade Foundation (www.fairtrade.org.uk) celebrated by highlighting some of the Fairtrade pioneers that have created their entire businesses with farmers at the heart of everything they do. Zaytoun is one of these organisations. It supports Palestinian farmers like Bassema Barahmeh through their unique challenge

s, such as highly restricted access to land and water, with dignity. 

‘My life has been transformed by Fairtrade. I have a say in my household and in my community. It has given me independence.’ says Bassema, Board Member of the Palestine Fair Trade Association, olive farmer and mother of four. Here is a blog link for more information. https://bit.ly/2rHfexY

Always look out for the Fairtrade brand – join the fight to resist supermarket chains such as Sainsbury’s in their attempt to undermine this global initiative by switching to untested alternative schemes.

 May 2018

*Quartz is a digital news outlet for business people in the global economy. www.qz.com

livesimply prayer

Pope Francis

Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.

Creator God,
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.
Amen.

Return to Live Simply homepage.

Live Simply – April 2018 newsletter

Living Simply

Household Food Waste was recorded at seven million tonnes in 2016 costing every UK household an estimated £470 a year, according to the Food Standards Agency. (www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/campaigns/food-waste). In Rugby, households paying for a Green bin CAN deposit any food waste in them to be recycled. There’s also composting to consider, if you have the space in your garden.  Rugby Borough Council also promotes reducing food waste via www.lovefoodhatewaste.com which offers a wealth of recipes for making good use of leftover food. Well worth checking out. And remember the age-old advice, always shop with a list to avoid over-buying.

Live sustainably

The widespread campaign against single-use plastic packaging has gained real momentum in recent months with consumers demanding that all supermarkets, fast-food outlets and coffee shops take action to reduce the mountain of plastic waste produced otherwise. If you like to grab a coffee or tea on-the-go and regularly visit Costa Coffee, Caffè Nero, Starbucks and similar outlets, do you take a mug with you for your drink? You should and the outlets should agree to supply the beverage at a slightly reduced price if you do.  The more consumers demand change, the more likely it is to happen.

In Solidarity

CAFOD: Share the Journey campaign seeks to highlight the plight of refugees and calls on the UK Government to act, as part of a global campaign launched by Pope Francis to safeguard the rights of people on the move.  The campaign highlights the plight of people in Colombia, Lebanon, Uganda, Bangladesh and Myanmar among others and urges people not just to lobby politicians but also to vote with their feet and undertake a refugee-themed walk in their locality. Check out https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Share-the-Journey and look out for more information in your own parishes.

livesimply prayer

Pope Francis

1. Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.

2. Creator God,
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

3. God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.

Return to Live Simply homepage.

Live Simply – March 2018 newsletter

RESPONDING TO POPE FRANCIS’ CHALLENGE

Living Simply

Water_butt_at_Gathurst_railway_station.JPG (3240×4320)
Use a water butt to capture rain water.

Our gardens, container gardens and window boxes will beckon us soon as better weather and longer days arrive, so this is a good time to consider some simple, beneficial actions we can take.

Use a water butt to capture rainwater – got one already, have you got room for another? New planting – consider ground cover plants to help suppress weeds and retain moisture in soil and remember our pollinators and choose bee-friendly plants. The reward is a happy garden buzzing with life and
colour.

Live sustainably
Most supermarkets are now being petitioned about plastic packaging urging them to look at how they might limit or remove all such packaging from their own-brand products, as a starter. Some supermarkets have already committed publicly to achieving the switch to sustainable alternative materials by a set date. Others have yet to do so. Has yours? Customers’ voices will and do have an effect, so consider emailing your favoured supermarket to secure a pledge from them to end plastic packaging. Act now.

Is there an alternative to a consumer-driven economy whose success is predicated on us buying more and builds in product redundancy so that we have to replace rather than repair? The Green Christian movement thinks there is. To learn more about their “Joy in Enough” proposition go to: https://joyinenough.org

In Solidarity
The Refugee Family Reunion Bill seeks to unite refugees living alone in the UK with their mothers, fathers and/or siblings from whom they have become separated during their perilous journeys to our shores. Amnesty International has led a campaign of support for this Bill. On Friday 16 March the Bill successfully passed through the second reading stage in the House of Commons with 129 MPs giving it their support. It still has a way to go, requiring public pressure to ensure continuing MP support. To learn more visit https://www.amnesty.org.uk/

livesimply prayer

Pope Francis

1. Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.

2. Creator God,
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

3. God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.

Return to Live Simply homepage.

 

Live Simply Newsletter – February 2018 newsletter

Living Simply

Keep it simple during Lent. Find ways to minimise the packaging you bring home and the plastic you have around the house. Avoid putting fresh fruit and veg into little plastic bags in the supermarket – the checkout staff are still able to weigh loose products. And what about returning to using bars of soap instead of liquid soap dispensed from plastic bottles? There are bound to be many more ways we can play our part in simplifying our lifestyles and minimising the extent to which we contribute to the build-up of harmful waste.

Live sustainably

Plastic pollution and recycling have been making headline news in recent weeks. Many consumer radio programmes have sought to identify what can or cannot be recycled. Policies differ local authority-by-local authority. In Rugby, there is a pretty generous approach to what can go into your blue bin. A full list is available on the Live Simply notice board in the entrance lobby (to Sacred Heart Church).

In essence, all paper, plastic, food & drink cartons can be placed in the blue bin. Two main messages: (1) DON’T PLACE ITEMS IN PLASTIC CARRIER BAGS and (2) RINSE ALL FOOD AND DRINK CONTAINERS FIRST. And, for those who pay for a green bin to be emptied, YES, food waste can go into these bins.

In Solidarity

A reminder of Fairtrade Fortnight26th February 2018-11th March 2018. This is an excellent opportunity to show support for Fairtrade by buying products where such exist and to urge your favoured supermarket to widen the range of Fairtrade products they sell.

To find out more visit www.fairtrade,org.uk/fortnight

Sainsbury’s continues to dig its heels in regarding its move to an own-brand fairly traded label. This has the potential to undermine the primary Fairtrade initiative which has addressed unfair global trade for millions of farmers and workers in poorer parts of the world. To be sure of making a genuine Fairtrade purchase always look for the Fairtrade logo.

livesimply prayer

Pope Francis

1. Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.

2. Creator God,
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

3. God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.

Return to Live Simply homepage.

     

February 2018

Live Simply – January 2018 newsletter

Living Simply

Can you live more simply? Is there clutter at home you could get rid of; do you actually wear everything that is in your wardrobe; do you know what is in your loft; could you shop more carefully? Simple Living Manifesto: 72 ideas to Simplify Your Life provides an interesting checklist that might help you make a tweak or two helping you to live more simply – and, possibly, more healthily.

Live sustainably

Issues that parishioners have been concerned about for some time are now centre stage with Government including the harm done to the environment and animals by plastic packaging and the killer effect on marine life of microbeads in cosmetics. Greenpeace, among other campaigning charities, is fighting on a number of fronts from challenging plastic pollution, including lobbying Coca-Cola to reduce its plastic footprint, to creating an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, to trying to stop oil drilling in the Arctic. Why not check out www.greenpeace.org.uk/what-you-can-do/campaign-online to find a campaign that you can get behind in 2018 and become knowledgeable about.

In Solidarity

Sainsbury’s continues to be the focus of protestors concerned about the supermarket chain’s decision to introduce its own “fairly traded” tea at the expense of the internationally-recognised and audited Fairtrade alternative. Fairtrade Fortnight26th February 2018-11th March 2018 is an opportunity demonstrate support for Fairtrade by buying products where such exist and to urge your favoured supermarket to widen the range of Fairtrade products they sell.

Find out about Fairtrade | CAFOD

To find out more visit www.fairtrade,org.uk/fortnight

Where Sainsbury’s go, other chains may follow thus undermining an initiative which has addressed unfair global trade for millions of farmers and workers in poorer parts of the world.

livesimply prayer

Pope Francis

1. Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.

2. Creator God,
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

3. God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.

January 2018

Return to Live Simply homepage.

Live Simply – December 2017 newsletter

Christmas is coming and…

Check cupboards before your Christmas food shop: Double check what you already have lurking in your store cupboards before needlessly buying more of the same.

21735369914_d858a1c604_b.jpg (1024×683)Leftover turkey: Make sure to pick the bones of your turkey clean, then put the leftover roast meat into the freezer in meal-sized portions for a future meal. Always defrost thoroughly before reheating and eating.

Bought too much root veg? Why not peel, as necessary, blanch for a few minutes in boiling water, then cool and freeze in bags for future use. Better than discarding to compost or the green bin.

Clean oven: Either before or after Christmas this is a chore to face. Make your own oven
cleaner by mixing together water and bicarbonate of soda. Apply the paste to your oven,
leave for a few hours and then remove with a scrubbing brush and damp cloth.

Live sustainably
Surfers_Against_Sewage_Beach_Clean_Perranporth.jpg (960×640)Surfers Against Sewage report making progress on their campaign to bring back bottle deposits to stop plastic pollution in our oceans.
There is now a Defra consultation on plastic bottle pollution and an inquiry led by the Environmental Audit Committee. Recent beach-clean data showed more throwaway plastic being found along our coastline than ever before, emphasizing the urgent need for action.
Supermarkets Iceland and the Co-op, and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, have confirmed their support for deposit returns and other supermarkets are being lobbied to come on board.
Campaign organisation 38 Degrees also reports that the government is weighing up a small tax on all ‘throwaway plastics’. It would mean that when we buy a takeaway coffee there would be a small charge for a throwaway cup. It has worked for plastic bags, so why not other plastics.

In Solidarity
The perfect time to consider charity gifts for family and friends via World Gifts with CAFOD or similar with Oxfam, Save the Children and other organisations. Closer to home, remember Rugby Foodbank in the run-up to Christmas and, if you can, consider contacting Hope4 about helping out at the Homeless Shelter, now open until the end of March. Rugby’s rough sleeper population is on the rise, sadly.

livesimply prayer

1. Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.

2. Creator God,
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

3. God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.

December 2017

Return to Live Simply homepage.

Sacred Heart wins Live Simply award

20171203_120821Congratulations to all Sacred Heart parishioners on gaining the Live Simply award, presented on Sunday 3rd December 2017. Many thanks to everyone for all that is done towards  the three aims of living simply, living sustainably with creation and living in solidarity with the poor.
Pictured are members of the Sacred Heart Live Simply core group, Sue Barton, Brian Davies, Diane Davies, Teresa Mortimore, Fr Gerry Murray, Michael Floyd, with CAFOD assessors Abigail McMillan and Cynthia Deeson.  Taking the photo was group member Clare Turnbull.

Live Simply newsletter – October 2017

RESPONDING TO POPE FRANCIS’ CHALLENGE

livesimply prayer

Pope Francis

Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.

Creator God,
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.

Live Simply

‘Tis the season for the wardrobe changeover from summer to autumn/winter wear and a time when some might consider a little wardrobe declutter. Charities can re-use or recycle almost any textile and we’re getting better as a nation about recycling clothing. Nevertheless 300,000 tonnes of clothing ends up in household rubbish annually. 

B26437AE7BCEA33799D7EC317C849135.jpg (350×155)According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) over half of the clothing donated to charity is exported for reuse in other countries, with the UK being the third biggest exporter of used textiles after Germany and the USA. Of the rest, 35% is reused in the UK via charity shops and 9% goes for recycling. So, don’t bin unwanted clothes, recycle them via charity shops, dedicated containers at tips or supermarkets or in one of those charity collection bags that pops through your letterbox from time to time.

Live sustainably

Plastic bottles continue to make the news. Public campaigns, either directly targeted at Coca Cola, one of the biggest users of plastic bottles, or more generally at governments, to acknowledge the damage done by discarded plastic are gaining traction. The Scottish Government has now committed to a plastic bottle deposit scheme to encourage consumers to return bottles to retailers so that they can be recycled.

logo.jpg (600×600)In September, Surfers Against Sewage announced that they had secured 270,000 signatures for their petition urging the UK Government to follow the Scottish lead. As a parish we’re pretty good about recycling plastic but the amount of discarded plastic littering our streets suggests others aren’t, so spread the word and encourage others to follow your lead.

In Solidarity

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) supported by War on Want, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) and Quakers, have been successful in challenging a new regulation blocking local councils from applying ethical boycotts to their investment decisions. The Government introduced a regulation in November 2016 restricting such boycotts. Now, following a Judicial Review pursued by the PSC, the High Court has ruled that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government acted unlawfully in issuing guidance to restrict local councils from pursuing boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel through their pension schemes.

Return to Sacred Heart Live Simply homepage.

October 2017