Welcome!!

Welcome to the Sacred Heart Activities and Resources on Environment (SHARE) webpage!

We believe that responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility and duty as Christians to safeguard God’s creation. Our environmental campaign exists to enable the whole church to address — in faith, practice and mission — the issue of climate change. Please read the ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME for more details.

There are many different ways to tackle climate change, either individually or in a group, and one effective way is campaigning for change. If we don’t act now to reduce our pollution and environmental impact, many more people could be at risk of losing their livelihoods and everything they cherish.

The development of western society since the industrial revolution has led to numerous benefits, making our lives easier in so many ways. However, we are learning more and more about the environmental consequences of our modern lifestyles, and so this webpage is being set up for sharing information that can help us take greater responsibility for our impact on the environment.

Mission Statement

We are here to help you take action on the environment. Amazing work is already taking place in churches across the country and we are well placed to share news, tips and resources. The SHARE group aims to increase our community’s engagement with environmental issues by providing information and guidance on the 6 following topics:

  1. Waste Management
  2. Food
  3. Transport
  4. Clothing
  5. Energy
  6. Nature & Biodiversity
Waste Management

Waste Management

It is easy to forget what happens to our waste after we throw it away, once in the bin we tend to assume it’s all sorted, sadly this is often not the case! Even recycled waste often does not end up in UK recycling plants, due to a limited number of such facilities and the costs involved in sorting and processing certain materials. The truth is that a huge proportion of what we throw away ends up in landfill, the ocean, or being burnt producing ‘greenhouse gases’ which damage our air increase the risk of severe weather events and other native impacts of climate change. We can help improve the situation by changing how we deal with our waste via e.g.:

  • Responsible recycling
  • Reusing items instead of buying ‘single use’
  • Only buy what you need, reducing waste

More information here:

How can I help?

Do you want to do your bit? We as a parish can try and recycle more by adopting small changes – have we thought about:

  • using fabric flowers around the church and only getting fresh flowers for special Feast days?
  • using less paper – do we need to print loads of newsletters? can you try downloading them and reading them online?
  • do we need to print the readings for each Mass – can you buy a Missal or download it to your phone? we could reduce the amount of printing if everyone in the family shared one?
  • Did you know we have a purple bin at the church? The purple bin allows you to recycle items that cant be recycled in your green recycling bin. For more infomation as to what can be deposited in the purple bins – please see: https://www.villagemagpies.co.uk/
  • Could you spare some time to help sprt out the recycling? Village Magpies recycling initiative (purple bins)  require us taking the bin contents to a centre in Rotherwick and then helping to sort it. Perhaps if regularly ued we could look into obtaining several purple bins for specific items so that the sorting activity is done at source. Perhaps you could volunteer to join a rota to help take the recycling to Rotherwick and help with the sorting? Please reach out to us if you can help in any way. You can find out more abou thte Village Magpies here: https://www.villagemagpies.co.uk/

In the UK alone we throw away approximately 9.5 million tonnes of food waste each year, bringing us to the our next topic, Food.

Food

Food

Our food choices have a huge impact on the environment, although this is difficult to calculate due to the complex processes of food production in the modern world. For example, the tragic destruction of our rainforests is mainly done to grow animal feed crops for the agriculture industry.

According to recent studies reducing/avoiding meat and dairy products is one of the biggest ways to reduce your environmental impact, but there are many other ways we can seek to lessen our impact on the environment through our food choices, for example:

  • Using locally sourced foods, reducing food transport
  • Using foods with minimal or recyclable packaging
  • Growing, foraging, and sharing food

More information here:

How can I get help?

Not only could we look at our household consumption but we could also consider the following:

  • bringing in surplus food for donation to Caritas families
  • bringing in surplus food fo rthe food bank
  • bringing in excess vegetables from allotments for parishioners? Have a swapsies programme allowing other people to bring in excess vegetables they have grown from their allotment?
  • can we look to set up a “parish allotment”?

‘Food miles’ on average account for approx. 11% of a food product’s environmental impact, bringing us to the next topic, Transport.

Transport

Transport

Transport is the biggest source of air and noise pollution in the UK, with surface transport contributing roughly a quarter of UK carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Therefore, private and industrial transport are important considerations when seeking to limit our environmental impact. There are various ways to minimize our movement impact, not only by considering car shares, walking, cycling, use of public transport etc. but also considering how the products we use are transported to us.

  • Domestic Travel – Walking, cycling, public transport, car-sharing etc.
  • Carbon Offsetting for International Travel – Flights, Cruise Ships etc.
  • Where do your products come from? – Calculating Carbon Footprints

More information here:

How can I help?

Do you want to do your bit? We as a parish can try by adopting small changes – have we thought about:

  • Car pooling? do you live near some parishioners and can car share to get to Mass?
  • Do you live close enough to walk or cycle?
  • Do you support local businesses and source local produce?

Not every product travels a great distance to reach us, but with minimal UK manufacturing many items do come from very far away, with one example being our next topic, Clothing.

Clothing

Clothing

It may come a surprise to many of us, that the fashion industry is a major offender to environmental decline. The fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, making our clothing choices more important than a simple question of style. It has long been known that ‘fast fashion’ is available due to the low pay and unsafe conditions for workers in factories abroad, but in addition to unethical labour, the industrial processes involved in clothing production can be further detrimental to our environment. Again, there are a range of options to improve this situation e.g.:

  • Favour ‘Eco-fashion’ over ‘Fast/Disposable fashion’
  • Choose fabrics using sustainable fibres e.g. Cotton, Bamboo etc.
  • Taking part in clothes swaps, donating clothes to charity etc.

How Can I help?

Could we as a parish encourage recycling of clothing? Have we considered the following?

  • Could we set up a regular “Handbags and Gladrags” clothing rail which parishioners could donate to and regularly check after Mass?
  • Could we have a regular box for donations to Caritas families?
  • Could we support our local charity shops?

Another aspect of the environmental impact involves how factories are fuelled, leading us to our final topic, Energy.

Energy

Energy

Some examples of environmental problems directly related to energy production and consumption include air pollution, water pollution, thermal pollution, and solid waste disposal. We don’t all have the space to erect wind turbines in our back gardens, but it can be a good exercise to check whether your energy providers are transitioning to more sustainable sources such as wind, wave, solar etc. And it is not only your household energy supplier that can be considered, you can also ask your bank, pension providers, etc. where they are investing your money, and encourage them to look into more environmentally friendly energy sources over the traditional fossil fuel industries that have been proven to so negatively impact our environment.

More information here:

How can I help?

We could consider investigating if we could apply for grants to help us with home improvements such as better insulation or solar panels. There are government backed schemes -https://www.gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures

We could consider switching off lights and plugs when not in use.

Nature & Biodiversity

Nature and Biodiversity

Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is the multitude of living things that make up life on Earth. It encompasses the 8 million or so species on the planet—from plants and animals to fungi and bacteria—and the ecosystems that house them such as oceans, forests, mountain environments and coral reefs.

But, nature is in crisis. We are losing species at a rate 1,000 times greater than at any other time in recorded human history and one million species face extinction. 

Nature-based solutions offer ways to promote human well-being, tackle climate change and protect our living planet. 

How can I help?

We as a parish are encouraged to get involved with initatives suchas World Bee Day and plant more wild flowers in our gardens to help the bees pollinate.

Have we thought about planting perennials rather than replacing border plants every year?

More ideas can be found here:https://caritasportsmouth.org.uk/biodiversity-projects/

Resources and Blogs

Recycling and Plastics

Plastics have very much been in the news lately and I am sure that most of you recycle plastic bottles and containers in the blue bins that are provided by Hampshire County Council. You may recall that Village Magpies – the purple bin in the Church’s front garden – also recycle some plastic containers – beauty products, crisp packets and many more ( Village Magpies, Recycle your waste in Rotherwick, Lyde Green, Hook ).


The UK’s target for plastic recycling is 50% of all plastics, but unfortunately it missed this target – 46%. in 2020. In
addition the plastics industry are projecting that they will increase production from 368 million tonnes in 2019 to
1.2 billion tonnes in 2050 – quite scary figures!


From April 2022, the Government will be taxing those companies that do not include 30% recycled plastic in their
packaging – this is very welcome, but we need to do more. Encourage supermarkets to provide more foods without plastic packaging – for example, loose fruit and veg, meat, fish and cooked meats in paper. Also think about shopping in Zero Waste/Refill Shops – there are shops in Basingstoke, Fleet and South Warnborough – you can bring your own containers or they will weigh out foods in paper bags – they are committed to no plastics.

SHARE – Articles and Resources on the Environment – COP26

The last two weeks have seen the world’s leaders, scientists, environmentalists, activists and many of us following the daily events in Glasgow at the COP26 meeting, which finally closed on Sunday with an agreed statement. One of the major achievements of the conference was that acknowledgment by most of the world that Net Zero is the key target by 2050. Many countries have made pledges and plans with that goal in mind, and these will be scrutinised and reviewed in the coming years. In addition deals on ending deforestation are very encouraging too.
Commentators across the globe are saying that there is still a mountain to climb. Probably the area of most concern is that of compensating nations who are already experiencing the impact of climate change – termed as loss and damage – which was still not resolved adequately.
So where does this leave us ?Pope Francis in Laudato Si calls for global dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet through our daily acts and decisions.And that is the key to this for us – what we do to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere .
May I suggest a couple of websites that you may find helpful –
https://journeyto2030.org/parish/This is a website that focuses on individual and parish wide action to help shape our planet for the better.
https://cafod.org.uk/About-us/Policy-and-research/Climate-change-and-energyCAFOD is also working hard to support individuals and parishes , particularly with biodiversity and tree planting.
CARITAS are also actively involved in a diocesan wide initiative called Caring for Creation – we will be hearing more about this in the coming weeks. https://caritasportsmouth.org.uk/

Transport

This is probably one of the most difficult areas, particularly for those of us living in a fairly rural area, where public
transport options are a little limited.
While much of the National Rail train system uses electricity, buses and personal cars use fossil fuels, which cause
pollution, use a lot of energy and add considerable CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) emissions to the atmosphere .
Using cars enables us to have access to food shops, education, work, medical and leisure activities but it does
come at a price for our environment. So what can we do? Reducing our driving speed reduces CO2 omissions –
so on the motorway for example, reducing speed to 40-50mph can have a big impact. When in traffic, avoid idling your engine, switch it off. Avoid short trips where possible – walking and cycling are so much more healthy for us and our environment. Supporting local transport where you can – we enjoy a regular bus service from Alton to Basingstoke that is environmentally friendly. London is working hard to improve cyclists’ safety with the development of cycle highways and dedicated cycle lanes, whereas at present we don’t have any cycle lanes – perhaps lobbying Hart District Council will change that? Car sharing – this is a possibility, perhaps for those of us who come to church from outside Hook? Please look at the SHARE webpage on our church website for more information. Comments and thoughts are very welcome.

Clothing Reusing and Recycling
I have fond memories as a child, of wearing second hand school uniform because of the times that prevailed
then and so reusing old clothes is quite acceptable to many families . Often large families share clothing with
cousins and friends, with some items of clothing being used by four or more children.
There is increasingly a fashion for ‘vintage’ clothes – clothes that have had a previous life – particularly with young
students.
And yet an amazingly large amount of clothing ends up in landfill (over 10 million tons annually) with some 3 million tons incinerated. Approximately 2.5 million tons gets recycled every year, and clearly the more we can reuse
and recycle the better the outcome for the planet.
So think about recycling clothing that we no longer need to charity shops , and those clothes that have had their
day can also be recycled as textiles and reused as new weaving of old material , by animal rescue centres for example, as rags, as fillers for jackets and coats – the list is endless.
Where possible buy eco fashion – items that are made from cotton and bamboo for example, and are made to
last.
Swap clothes with friends, raise money for charity through selling clothes at various fairs and of course donating
clothes to charities.

Contact Us.

If you have ideas to be considered at our environmental group meetings, or if you want to get involved and help please get in touch by completing this form or reaching out directly to Gill Bryne or Joan Kent by clicking on their names.