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

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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 – 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.

Book for our Living Faith talks

A series of four talks begins shortly at Sacred Heart Church, Bilton as we continue our Living Faith programme.

pope-francis_2541160b
Pope Francis.

Last year, faced with global environmental deterioration, Pope Francis addressed a letter to every person on the planet, entitled Laudato Si’. These opening words of the “Canticle of Brother Sun” by St Francis remind us that we have a close family bond with the earth, our common home. The question at the heart of the letter is “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to our children who are now growing up?”

From the outset Pope Francis insists on the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet. We should listen, he says, to the cries of both. He reviews the most recent scientific findings on the environment dealing with pollution, waste and climate change. Though less responsible for these outcomes, it’s the poor who suffer the most and the effects will only worsen if we continue with current models of production and consumption.

The Pope therefore proposes an alternative lifestyle which respects both the environment and the poor. We might summarise it as: “Live simply so that others may simply live”. The challenge is to our whole way of living with its throw-away culture.

One of this year’s talks reflects in particular on Climate Change, which was the focus for the UN meeting in Paris last December. Climate, says Francis, is a common good that cannot be adequately safeguarded or promoted by market forces.

What Francis calls “The Gospel of Creation” leads to the conclusion that the ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. “Rather all creatures are moving forward, with us & through us, towards a common point of arrival, which is God”. Christ’s presence in the Eucharist can lead us to reflection on his mystical body and beyond to his presence in the whole cosmos. “Indeed the Eucharist is itself an act of cosmic love.”

“We must regain the conviction that we need one another; that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world; and that being good and decent are worth it.”

The talks this Autumn, 2016 (all Thursday evenings):

Oct 6th Simple Living – The Pope’s Lifestyle Challenge. Speaker: Martin Poulsom SDB
Oct 13th Climate Change – What is the Global Common GoodSpeaker: Ellen Teague
Oct 20th The Cry of the Poor – Who suffers the most? Speaker: David McLoughlin
Oct 27th The Cosmic Christ – All Creation brought together by Love. Speaker: Mary Grey

To find out more about the speakers, and to book your place, go to our Living Faith page.