Eco Tips

Embsay and Eastby Eco Tips

In 2021 - and now again in 2022! - we decided to have a weekly eco tip, in line with our themes for prayers.  We are going to collect the eco tips here.  Although the themes are a guide, we are not sticking rigidly to them if there is something else which is more topical!

January: Where are we now?

January is a good time to reflect and consider what progress we have made as a church, and as individuals, towards treading more lightly on our planet/living more simply; our theme will be “Where are we now?” The eco request this week is for you to include the simple prayer below each day in your prayers.

Creator God, the world you have made is wonderful. We are sorry for our exploitation of the earth. We are fearful of the consequences of what we have done, Lord have mercy on our planet. Give us the courage to speak, the strength to make sacrifices, and the will to change. In your love for what you have made, heal and restore the land. Amen.

Please do reuse and recycle your Christmas cards. This website has some ideas: How to recycle Christmas cards.

Watch 'Feast to save the planet' on BBC iplayer, if you didn’t see it on the BBC2 Horizon programme. Food accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, so making informed choices about what we eat is more important than ever and is one way as individuals and households we can reduce our carbon footprint. The programme is a dinner party where the guests have to predict the carbon footprint of each item on the menu. As the dishes are plated up we find out how to choose dishes that don’t cost the earth and as you would expect there are some surprises.

Calculate our environmental footprint using the WWF Footprint Calculator to provide a baseline of where we are now, as individual households, at the start of St Mary’s Eco-church journey towards the Eco church gold award. It only takes a few minutes to complete and once you’ve got your score please make a personal record of it so that when you’re asked to do it again you will be able to see if any practical actions you’ve taken has made a difference. Hopefully we will gain evidence needed to evaluate changes in behaviour as a result of increasing awareness of how our lifestyles impact on the earth and all that lives in it.  If you think any of your neighbours and friends in the village would be interested in calculating their footprint please encourage them. Having done this in 2021, we are revisiting this in 2022 to compare our results from last year.

“Did you know that printer ink is one of the world’s most expensive commodities by weight?When printing a document always print on both sides of paper if possible. Use narrow margins to get more words on the page and always recycle empty ink cartridges.We have recorded on paper footprints what we did differently last year, and what we are committing to do this year to reduce our ecological footprint. 

Thank you if you’ve redone your ecological footprint using the WWF’s online tool in 2022 – please remember to let Lesley know your result. If you haven’t yet please, please do it when you have a spare ten minutes this weekend. Here’s the link again - WWF Footprint Calculator

Have a go at making your own cleaning product and share your recipe. My grandma used to make her own window cleaner which I remember was streak free. Here’s a recipe – quarter cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 cups of warm water.

Reflect on all the cleaning products you use, what they contain and how they are packaged. Before buying a new one have a go at making your own scented all-purpose cleaner.  You’ll need  white vinegar, water, lemon rind and rosemary sprigs. Free from chemicals, much cheaper to make than commercial alternatives, kind to the environment and it works! You can also add favourite essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus.

This week’s eco suggestion is to always have a bag in your pocket when you go for a walk so that you can pick up any litter you see and dispose of it safely when you get home. With vegetation died down on roadside verges now lots of litter has become visible.

You are encouraged to join the Eco Café, hosted by St Andrew's Methodist Church in Skipton, to rind out what other individuals and groups who are concerned about the health of our planet are doing.

Find out and reflect on whether:  your tea bags contain plastic,  your toilet roll is made from recycled paper, how many main meals have you eaten this week that contain meat? Are you prepared to make swaps this coming week/next time you go shopping to be more environmentally friendly?

February: Fairtrade

Choosing Fairtrade is choosing to tackle the climate crisis. Choose Fairtrade whenever you can because environmental protection is ingrained in Fairtrade. To sell Fairtrade products, farmers have to improve soil and water quality, manage pests, avoid using harmful chemicals, manage waste, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect biodiversity. As a coffee farmer from Uganda says, “When we earn more for our hard work, we are better prepared to respond to climate change.”

Watch Fairtrade Foundation’s short video which explains how Fairtrade contributes to a sustainable future and choose a Fairtrade product you’ve never tried before when you do your next supermarket shop or come to the coffee morning next Saturday morning. Here’s the link Fairtrade and sustainability - Fairtrade Foundation.

Support small farmers in this country who are acting as custodians of the land for future generations by buying  organic, low impact, less travelled food when you can and if you eat bananas make sure that they are Fairtrade. The producers of other brands are not getting a living wage.

Find about how Fairtrade contributes to a more sustainable world for us all by watching this video. It’s an animation based on the story of Teresa, a coffee farmer from Nicaragua.

Fairtrade and sustainability | Fairtrade Foundation

Have a look at Online Festival: Choose The World You Want festival 2022 - Fairtrade Foundation Free online events during Fairtrade Fortnight (Monday 21st February to Sunday 6th March 2022) are being added all the time. A film screening and question and answer session on farmers fighting the climate crisis looks very interesting. That’s at 7pm on Monday 21 February 2022.

Fairtrade eco suggestion – Read Rozina’s story (attached) and bring an extra £1 to church either this Sunday or next Sunday and have a go at trying to find where the Queen Bee is hiding on the map provided by Traidcraft Exchange. It could be under a leaf or behind a flower – there are forty options on a map for you to choose from. A delicious jar of Fairtrade honey and a chocolate bar is waiting for the winning entry. All the money raised will be added to last week’s, and this coming Monday’s profits from Making Waves Community Café, and go to Traidcraft Exchange which exists to support people like Rozina to harness the benefits of trade. If you’d like to win a small bar of Divine chocolate be the first to tell me when Traidcraft Exchange was set up – Traidcraft, its partner trading company where I source many food, drink and household items for my stall sold its first Fairtrade product in 1979.

March: Climate action and social justice

Make, or get someone to make you, a butterfly house for your garden. Here are some simple instructions How to Make a Butterfly House: Easy Guide - Woodland Trust This is because it’s important to support butterflies in our gardens because our native species are under serious threat from habitat loss, changing weather patterns and pollution.

Dedicate a native broadleaf tree and help create new woodlands in and around the Yorkshire Dales. This is a Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) initiative. For more information Tree gifts | Dedicate a tree in the Yorkshire Dales | YDMT

For inspiration watch this short video (214) 'Young people are stepping up to the challenge' - Elizabeth, climate activist Kenya | Oxfam GB – YouTube

The American politician and environmentalist Al Gore once said, “Use your voice, use your vote, use your choice” so this month let’s tell our MP that action on climate change is important and talk to friends and family about any changes we are making to reduce our carbon footprint. 10% of the wealthiest people in the world create more than 50% of emissions but those on the lowest income face the consequences – more frequent natural disasters, extreme unpredictable weather and rampant plant diseases. Climate action and climate justice are inextricably linked.

This week's eco action is to buy local for at least two meals in the coming week because buying local seasonal produce helps support biodiversity as well as reducing carbon emissions.

If we all stopped wasting bread at home in the UK for a year, it could have the same impact on greenhouse gas emissions as planting 5.3 million trees. With this in mind as well as the packaging the items we buy come in let’s look for items that come in compostable packaging and think about how we store the food we buy.  Take a look at the A-Z of storage provided by ‘Love food, hate waste’ Food Storage A to Z | Love Food Hate Waste.

The second online Eco Café on 20 March, organised by St Andrew’s Church in Skipton, will be considering the question, “What inspires us to be green?”. Michael Jennings, from ‘Steep and Filter’ on Otley Street will be opening the discussion by sharing his thoughts (2021)

Now is a good time to start thinking about what recycled materials you could use to make a cross to display in your garden or window during Holy and Easter weeks.

April 2022: Gardening and land use

This week’s eco tip is about natural pest deterrents: If you grow certain flowers and herbs in close proximity to your vegetable crops, you can naturally and humanely deter all manner of garden pests. For example, echinacea, chives, borage, pyrethrum daisy, basil, garlic and nasturtium are all highly effective pest deterrents. By planting these organic gardening pest deterrents you can protect your fruit and vegetable garden beds without having to depend upon harmful, chemical based pesticides. What’s more, you will also generate a plentiful supply of herbs that will beautifully complement your fresh produce once cooked!  AND don’t forget the seed swap box in the church porch.

Ask yourself how green a gardener am I and what steps could I take to be greener in my garden. The RSPB has compiled lists in order of ‘green-ness’ from light green to dark green. Have a look at Eco Garden Tips | Sustainable Gardening - The RSPB and see how many you do already and choose a couple you could do in the future.

Consider adding vegetables to garden beds and borders. Lettuce, beetroot and chard work well. Neem fertiliser is a natural alternative to chemical fertiliser. To find out more have a look at The neem tree grows all over the place in India where it has been used for thousands of years in natural medicines, soap, fertilisers and pesticide.

Identify a small area of your garden where you can sow some wildflower seeds. OXFAM in Skipton have bee friendly and butterfly friendly seeds. They also have some beautiful bird houses made from recycled paper and sari material in Bangladesh. The bird houses are fairly traded and like the seeds would make an excellent gift.

April 2021: Water use

Check and, if necessary, reduce your shower time. The average shower uses 75 to 190 litres of water so try and make sure your showers are under five minutes. This is normal practice in some countries where water shortages are commonplace.

If you were asked how much water an individual in the UK uses in a day I wonder what you would say. Perhaps anything between 50 and 100 litres? The figure is actually 140 litres. I for one forget that water is intrinsically linked to energy – energy needed to treat and pump the water into our homes. Then there’s energy to produce hot water in our homes. So this week’s eco-suggestions are use cold water rather than hot water when it makes sense and make sure that washing machines and dishwashers are full before using them. Our reputation for a rainy climate distracts from how the relationship between rainfall and the water available to us really works. Water is a precious resource and climate change means that it is becoming more unpredictable; so far April has been a dry month but last February was the wettest on record.

Saving water is another way to reduce our carbon footprint.

This week’s eco tip – Minimise evaporation by watering garden plants during the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler and if you don’t have a water butt to take advantage of water stored during wet weather why not investigate the huge variety available in different sizes, shapes and materials. There must be one to suit your requirements.

May: food

Did you know that the average UK family wastes 8 meals every week? Wasting food is feeding climate change so all the eco tips and suggestions in May will be about saving food from the bin by changing the way we buy, store and use it.

We'll all be eating more salad as the weather warms up so this week's eco tip is about storing lettuce. Store all varieties of lettuce in the fridge and to keep it fresher for longer add a piece of kitchen roll to bagged lettuce before sealing with a bag clip, or put lettuce leaves in a sealed tub lined with kitchen paper to keep them fresh.  If your lettuce has gone a bit limp soak individual leaves in a bowl of cold water in the fridge - they'll soon perk up. Add leftover lettuce to soup, e.g. pea soup.

Using up ageing bananas.  Make peanut butter and banana ‘ice cream’ – no fancy equipment needed but a food processor would help.

Ingredients – 3 ripe bananas, 1 400ml tin of sweetened condensed milk and two tablespoons of chunky peanut butter (I have Fairtrade peanut butter on the FT stall).

  • Peel and chop the bananas into 1cm discs and pop into a bag or plastic airtight boxes to freeze.
  • Add the slices of frozen banana, condensed milk and peanut butter to a food processor and blend until you have a smooth mixture. If it needs loosening, you can add a little milk.
  • Transfer the mixture to a freezer-proof dish and freeze until hard.
  • Take out of the freezer 5 mins before serving and top with grated chocolate (optional). It’s yummy

when you’re shopping look for products using RSPO certified palm oil (amazingly around 50% of all products in supermarkets contain palm oil). Unsustainable palm oil is responsible for large-scale deforestation, putting wildlife like orangutans and tigers under threat, as well as contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the risk of climate change. But rejecting palm oil all together could have unintended consequences as alternatives can be even worse for the environment, with some needing up to nine times as much land to produce. For more information about palm oil free and RSPO certified products go to Palm Oil Free List.

This week’s tip is to do with waste because 30% of the food produced in the world is wasted, with serious repercussions for the environment. In fact, if food waste were a country it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the USA.

This week’s Eco tip is an easy one to achieve - Reduce food waste by freezing anything you can’t eat while it’s fresh and , where possible, buy loose produce so you can select the exact amount that you need. You’ll avoid packaging at the same time if you use your own bags and containers when you shop.

Use left over coffee grounds for repelling garden pests, deodorising your fridge and hands, boosting compost and fertilising plants. For more information read, “Grinding away: 11 ways of using leftover coffee grounds” (The Guardian, 9 May 2021)

Have a go at the “Dietary carbon footprint quiz What should I eat to save the planet? (The Guardian). Be warned it’s challenging.

This week’s food related eco tip – compost uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells (these keep the heap from smelling), coffee grounds, tea bags IF they don’t contain plastic. Composting works best if you add a fair quantity of material at a time, so it’s best to save up kitchen scraps and add them with some prunings or old bedding plants, shredded plain cardboard and newspaper.  

This week’s Food related Eco suggestions - Top 8 Tips for Sustainable Eating

·        Avoid Highly Processed Foods. ...               

·        Choose Nutritious Foods. ...

·        Avoid Overeating. ...

·        Avoid Purchasing Fresh Foods Out of Season. ...

·        Use Preserved Foods in the Off Season. ...

·        Consider Organic Foods. ...

·        Reduce Food Packaging. ...

·        Trim Food Waste.

This week’s food related eco-tip - Eat plenty of these eco-friendly foods – Garden peas, lentils, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, beans, broccoli, oranges and Fairtrade chocolate. Not only are they in the top ten list of eco-friendly foods but they are also good for you.

Use egg shells for your seedlings. They are perfect as their shells are almost entirely calcium carbonate which is one of the most essential nutrients for thriving plants. As they break down, the eggshells enrich the soil with calcium and nitrogen, which the plant’s roots will absorb and put to use as it grows. You will need to wash the eggshells in hot water and leave to dry naturally for a couple of days before using. Once dry punch a few small holes using a needle into the base of the shells for drainage purposes. It takes quite a long time for eggshells to fully decompose in the soil. There are several other ways eggshells can be used – have a look at Eggshells for Plants: 4 Ways to Use them in your Houseplant Care Routine (


June 2021: Gardening and land use

Come along and take part in the churchyard count on Friday 11 June AND next time you are thinking about a new plant for your garden choose one that will attract bees and butterflies. To discover the ten best plants for bees and butterflies look at 10 best plants for bees and butterflies (

This week’s eco tip/suggestion -  create a log pile lodge. Decaying wood is really important for wildlife. To make a log pile, simply collect small logs, large sticks and pieces of rotting wood. Pile them up in a damp, shady area of your garden, then stuff some dead leaves in the nooks and crannies to make it cosy. Good for: centipedes, woodlice and beetles who like to burrow into decaying wood. Log piles may also attract birds, frogs and hedgehogs looking for a tasty snack!

This week’s eco suggestions – bees of all kinds love dandelions so consider letting them flourish in a corner of your garden. Baby hedgehogs will be appearing soon so consider leaving out water and some meat (not fish) - based cat or dog food for them.

In June, we had a discussion about land and gardening after one of the morning services.  Here are some of the ideas from the discussion:

If you have more garden/allotment space than you can manage, see if you can find somebody to share it with you.  If it’s your garden and they’re cultivating it, you can probably share the produce.



(i) pollinator-friendly plants (many plant labels in nurseries have a bee symbol on them to indicate suitable ones; also, look for which plants pollinators are heading for in the nursery/garden centre) Suggestions of suitable plants can be found on the following websites: (10 best plants for bees and butterflies), and

(ii) a selection of flowering plants which blossom from spring (eg dandelions, though you probably don’t need to plant these specially – nature will do that for you!) through to autumn (eg the large sedums); plan for the `hungry gap’ in early spring (an early warm spell may bring out the pollinators before there’s anything much flowering)

(iii) at least some single-layer-of-petals flowers as the showy `doubles’ eg begonias, are difficult for pollinators to access - however lovely they look!

(iv) wildflowers where you can as we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows; also some of what we would class as weeds eg nettles, are important food sources for some insect species (which form an important part of longer foodchains) – again, these will probably plant themselves

(v) your own vegetables and fruit: zero food miles and provenance assured – result!

(vi) companion plants eg marigolds with tomato plants etc, which deter harmful insects from bothering your crops  

(vii) hedges where possible, instead of fences; include a variety of species of plants – hawthorn is especially beneficial

(ix) seeds/small plants into re-cycled, water-retaining containers eg cardboard toilet roll middles and papier mache tubs (if you buy fruit and veg at Keelham) rather than buying plastic trays; often the cardboard tube can be planted with the plant, to avoid soil disturbance, or composted after use.

 Utilisation of your space:

(i) try to leave some wilder areas – see nettles above, etc.  Remember: a weed is only a plant in what YOU consider is the wrong place

(ii) leave some gaps in fences etc as wildlife corridors so mammals such as hedgehogs (threatened species) can move between gardens.  Remember: garden fences are a human social construct irrelevant to wildlife!

(iii) solar panels to generate electricity can go on elevated/sloping land, they don’t have to go on a roof

(iv) a pond – even a small one - will bring in many extra species, but do provide a `beach’ eg some stones at one side, to allow small mammals to get in and out safely

(v) install a `bug hotel’ – see the internet for instructions – and bird/bat boxes; you can re-use materials such as left-over pallets and bits of wood

(vi) if you have a glut of produce, share it.

 Things to think about before taking action:

(i) try to limit the use of pesticides and weedkillers; try to be as organic as possible within your lifestyle and limitations such as mobility issues

(ii) avoid the bird-nesting season when cutting hedges

(iii) if you’re trimming back berry-bearing plants, do it early in the season or leave it until the birds have had their fill of the autumn berries

(iv) with soft fruit, you’ll need to net it to avoid the birds eating it all but leave them some fruit (as there is a strong Biblical imperative for this!)

(v) next year, remember `no mow May’ if you didn’t manage it this year.

 B - General land use around the world

(i) the cultivation of some products eg cotton and palm oil may involve very intensive farming (cotton production takes a lot of water and natural habitats are often destroyed for the monoculture of huge palm oil plantations), so try to source ethical products – look for evidence of sustainability and Fairtrade as a start

(ii) peatbogs are a vital medium for absorbing carbon - even better than rainforests - and, to make things worse, they release carbon when disturbed; try to avoid using peat-based compost, even if you have to pay a bit more or source it more carefully, and consider other growing media as substitutes

(iii) consider the implications of your purchases and investments in how land and other scarce natural resources are used to produce things; there are websites which can advise.

 Overlap with other monthly themes/issues:

(i) educate/train other family members (and friends?) also to bear in mind these issues – and others, like food miles and excess/disposable packaging – in their purchasing

(ii) help others by working with the local food bank – remember that St Mary’s Church is a drop-off point

(iii) remember that `Re-use, recycle and re-purpose’ is an excellent philosophy for everyday life. 

July: investments

Take a look at the Shared Interest website and if you can invest £100 or more in a fairer world - Shared Interest Ethical Investment Co-operative ( Since 1990 Shared Interest has enabled millions of people across the world to grow their businesses creating thriving communities. Their aim is to alleviate poverty by enabling people in remote and disadvantaged communities, to trade and earn a living. This is achieved by pooling the investments of over 11,000 members to lend funds to farmers and handcraft producers, who buy seeds, fertilisers and raw materials. Once they sell their crops or crafts, they pay back the loan, and this money is lent again. Your investment will not make you rich but it will enrich the lives of others.

This week we’d like you to consider the biblical principles for personal saving and investment. Who should we trust with our savings? Is the highest return all that counts or should this be sacrificed to moral principle? What do you think?  Paul Mills’ four page document is a recommended read. Link is below.

Investing as a Christian: Reaping where you have not sown? (

The crux of biblical saving and investing is the same as the purpose given to every person who has placed their faith and trust in Jesus - to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:36-40). If we save money, it is to provide for our families and for those in need. In our excess, we provide others with shelter, food, clothing, and a place of refuge. If we do not have financial resources, then we offer our time, energy, and care to those in need of a friend. With our investments, we can plant seeds from which future generations can reap the fruits. Just as Jesus came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45), our saving and investing is not for our own kingdom, but for the Lord’s. 

Consider investing financial resources in ‘Lend with Care’. Launched in September 2010, this microfinance lending website from the development charity, Care International UK, allows individuals and groups to make small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, and help them work their way out of poverty. Microfinance from CARE International UK (

Consider which is more important -  how a return is made on savings OR how much return you get on savings. If you have no savings to invest think about how you spend your time. As my grandson tells me being kind doesn’t cost you anything.

August: Transport and tourism

When on holiday in the UK and overseas support the local economy by  dining in local restaurants, purchasing locally made souvenirs and gifts, visiting the local markets and pretty much anything local! This way you know your money is being fed back into the community and to the people who are hosting you.

It’s difficult to car share during the pandemic, but when things are easier, see if you can share lifts. Or maybe sometimes we can walk or cycle instead of taking the car.

If you are going away pack a zero -waste or sustainable travel kit. Resist the temptation to buy unnecessary new items. If you need to buy toothpaste, toothbrush, cotton pads, wipes and shampoo look for environmentally friendly items. For example, shampoo bars and 100% biodegradable plastic-free eco wipes, available on the Fairtrade stall.  Make sure you have a re-usable water bottle and reusable bags.

Consider offsetting the carbon emissions of any flights you make. My daughter Grace will be arriving in the UK in less than two weeks’ time and I’ve been thinking about her return journey in economy class from Denver to Manchester and how I can offset the carbon emissions – 2.4t of CO2 - of her 14,600km roundtrip. Carbon offsets are schemes that aim to reduce the environmental impact of air travel by supporting sustainable projects that lower emissions in some way. For instance, you may contribute to a renewable energy programme in your home country. You can work out the carbon emissions produced by your flights by inserting details into a carbon offset calculator

Stick to the path when walking as veering off when walking in open country could mean that you trample protected or endangered plants.

As this is the final week for the transport and tourism theme here’s another for you to consider if you’re flying in the future – pack lightly because every kilo counts when flying. The more a plane weighs the more carbon emissions it makes. I was amazed to learn that cutting one five hour flight will make your carbon footprint 1 tonne lighter.

September – Refuse, reduce, re-use and recycle.

There is so much that could be included in relation to this theme and it would be great if as many of you as possible could let me have your top two or three tips. I’m hoping that I’ll get lots and that someone will be happy to collate them under sub headings and produce a sheet/leaflet that I can share with everyone. Please let me know if you’d like to do that. I’ll start off by a tip that I’m trying to implement personally but not finding particularly easy – avoid plastic packaging by buying loose fruit and vegetables. Ace Nifty reusable produce bags made from recycled bottles were one of my best presents last Christmas.

Before you buy anything ask yourself - Do I really need it? Do I know if the people who made it were paid fairly? Could I support a circular economy and buy the item secondhand?

  • Choose two items you no longer use or may have never used, but are likely to be very useful to someone else, and bring them to the Methodist Church on Waste not Wednesday, 22nd September between 3.30pm and 6pm and call again on Takeaway Thursday, 23rd September between 3.30pm and 6.30pm and choose something to take away. For more details please see the attached poster. Anything is acceptable as long as it can be easily carried.
  • Recycle plastic milk containers by cutting off the tops and bottoms and passing on the middle portions to Lesley. They will be used to make moths in the Great Big Green Week.

Before replacing an item that no longer works ask these questions – Can it be repaired easily? – Can it be repaied cheaply? – Can parts be replaced rather than the whole product becoming unusable? If the answer is no to all of these dispose of carefully. For advice on how to recycle or dispose of common waste items   How to recycle or dispose of common waste items | Nottinghamshire County Council

Craven Stationery are happy to receive your used pens, pen refills, mechanical pencils, highlighters, correction fluid bottles and correction tapes, to be passed on to Greatwood Community Primary School for their BIC Recycling Programme. Is there anyone who’d like to organise a collection from St Mary’s as a one off or on a regular basis? I’m sure that we could all find several items suitable for dropping off at Craven Stationery and one drop off might be easier than lots of us popping into the shop on Coach Street.

Choose second-hand when you can.

The Great big Green Week 18th to 26th September

After ‘Waste not Wednesday’ several people came to ‘Takeaway Thursday’ yesterday and went away very happy. Tilly Moorhouse chose a magnifying mirror on a stand with a light for her grandma, a garlic crusher for her mum and a stylish water bottle for herself. Lesley now has a smart new small backpack and I have a pair of beautifully embroidered Irish linen pillowcases that were still in their box.

I will be bringing a few of the items that weren’t taken and putting them on display on Sunday. If you see anything you could use please take home and think about giving a donation to an appeal to help refugees.

Tomorrow, between 2pm and 4pm, there is a carousel of activities based in St Andrew’s Church Hall on Newmarket Street in Skipton, and if it’s a dry day on the grass in front of the church. Suitable for all ages and for you to drop in and stay for a short time or for the duration. Local children’s author Katie Daynes will be explaining how she talks about climate change and the environment in her new book, Incredible Edible will be sowing seeds and growing greens, there’ll be green crafting, an optional visit to the Wilderness and Mindfulness for our Planet with Lucy Irven.

On Sunday afternoon why not visit Middletown Allotments in Skipton. Joel Howard-Birt and Paula Solloway will be on hand to welcome you and show you round the two allotments they are involved with – Trinity’s Community Allotment and Incredible Edible’s plot.

October: energy use

Embrace renewables and switch to a green energy supplier.  The cost of solar power has dropped by 90% in the last decade. On one sunny, windy day in Easter 2021, Britain met 60% of its electricity needs from wind and solar alone. Wind power accounted for half the demand on 3 May. Once dependent on coal for the lion’s share of our energy, the UK now regularly enjoys long chains of coal-free days. Onshore wind gives the best returns of any single climate solution, say the experts at Project Drawdown.

Tackle draughty spots; let the sun in during the day and close the curtains at night; close the doors of unused rooms; stay warm with extra layers of clothes and blankets.

More simple energy related eco tips:

  • Cook with the lid on
  • Wash clothes at a cooler temperature and in a full load
  • When replacing dryers and fridges (the two most energy-intensive appliances in a home) choose more efficient models which can reduce your energy by a half.

Now it's getting colder, remember that layering thinner clothes traps air between the layers which ultimately should keep you warmer than a single thick garment.  This also has the advantage that you can more easily respond to different ambient temperatures, as you move between locations during the day, and it's easier (saving energy) to get thinner garments dry when you launder them.

Use water wisely. There’s a lot of energy used to purify and distribute water to our homes – so saving water can lower greenhouse gas emissions. You can do things like only filling your kettle with what you need, reducing your shower time, not keeping water running.

November: Fast fashion and shopping choices

Tip of the week - Buy less often, avoid polyester if you can, buy high quality and wear more often.

Do you really need three black t-shirts made out of thin fabric? What if you bought one, made from 100% cotton sourced from sustainable practices? Not only will you dress better, but you’ll feel better about what you wear, too.

Polyester, which is the most commonly used fibre in clothing, is made from plastic and will never fully decompose. Instead, it acts like other forms of plastic, which are rarely recycled and will break down into microplastics for years to come, harming wildlife and emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

With Black Friday coming up don’t be tempted to buy things you don’t need online even if the deal on offer seems too good to pass by. Counting to 100 or even 500 before you buy is a good tactic. As far as possible support local independent shops and buy local produce. 

Every time you buy an item of clothing ask yourself, “Will I wear it thirty times?”. If the answer is yes, then buy it, but otherwise don’t.

Support our small independent local businesses – for family and friends who have more than enough of everything consider choosing a gift for them from the Good Gifts website Good Gifts Homepage or send them a lovely gift card from Mary’s Meals Christmas gifts | Mary's Meals UK ( £10 gift card will provide 125 meals and £15.90 will provide a child with a nutritious meal every school day for a year.

December: an Eco friendly Christmas

Rethink Christmas presents and give a zero waste gift.    For example: gift an experience – a cookery course or a trip to the theatre; adopt an animal; gift a charity membership OR simply buy less.  Did you know that there are, on average, about 70 million unwanted Christmas presents bought each year?

It's estimated that each year in Britain, we throw away enough wrapping paper to circle the globe 9 times! Learning inventive ways to wrap your gifts and decorate your home this year really can make a world of difference! Have a look at 5 Sustainable Gift Wrapping Ideas for 2021 | Sustainable Christmas (

Last minute tips for an Eco- friendly Christmas

  • Turn off your Christmas lights when you’re not in/overnight
  • Shop local for your last  minute bits
  • Do a meal plan for Christmas week and factor in left overs
  • Put wrapping paper with glitter on it, or paper that is metallic/plastic-y in your landfill bin as it can’t be recycled. The same applies to cards - if they have glitter on, they can't be recycled.