Friday, 1 February 2013

Our blog has moved.

After several years of maintaining a blog seperate from our web site we have decided to combine the two. All blog articles from 1st February 2013 will be published on the news page on our main web site which you can find here:

The old blog will be maintained indefinitely.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

FuelGood Spart Phone App available from Energy Saving Trust

The Energy Saving Trust have produced FuelGood, a new free mobile phone app, designed to help you track fuel efficiency for each car journey you make.  It can track your car journeys, flagging when you’re driving inefficiently and at the end of your journey, provides a summary of distance travelled, time taken, average miles per gallon and the savings you could make by driving fuel efficiently.

Energy Saving Trust's FuelGood app 
You can find more information at the Energy Saving Trust page.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Climate Challenge Fund deadline 5th April 2013

Logo borrowed from
Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that the next deadline for applications to the Climate challenge fund is the 5th April 2013. 

Through the Climate Challenge Fund, Communities across Scotland can apply for grants of up to £150,000 per year to help reduce their carbon footprint and become more energy efficient. Nearly £30 million in total will be awarded to communities who come forward with innovative ideas to tackle their carbon emissions.

Previous projects supported in the past have included:
  • Barra and Vatersay Community Ltd which received £62,000 over two years to develop their community led action plan for the first practical steps to carbon reduction
  • St Matthew's Primary School Cycle Club (East Dunbartonshire) which received £18,000  to promote cycling to primary children of all ages, their parents and teachers.
For more information click on the link:

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

What is happening to the weather???

Clouds at Crinan, Argyll, December 2012

The news about weather continues to confuse us. 2012 was one of the wettest years in the UK, 2013 will be one of the warmest years globally, yet the years from 2013 to 2017 will not be any warmer, and we are in the middle of the coldest winter for years.  All of these stories have appeared recently so what is really going on?   Let’s look at each in a little more detail. 
Wet, Wet, Wet
2012 was one of the wettest years recorded in the UK – unless you were lucky enough to live in the western isles.  The figures from the Met Office can be found here:
This shows that 2012 was the second wettest year in the UK national record dating back to 1910, and just a few millimetres short of the record set in 2000. All parts of the UK experienced above average rainfall, with the exception of northern Scotland, which received only 93% of the average.

What About 2013?
According to the Met Office it is very likely that 2013 will be one of the warmest years in the record, and it is likely to be warmer than 2012.  2013 is expected to be between 0.43 °C and 0.71 °C warmer than the long-term (1961-1990) global average of 14.0 °C, with a best estimate of around 0.57 °C.  For the details see: .  However before we all head for the beach it must be remembered this is a global forecast and temperatures in Scotland will not necessarily follow the global projection.

And For the Remainder of the Decade?
The Met Office publishes decadal forecasts , available here:
Global average temperature is expected to remain between 0.28 °C and 0.59 °C above the long-term (1971-2000) average during the period 2013-2017, with values most likely to be about 0.43 °C higher than average.  The forecast of continued global warming is largely driven by increasing levels of greenhouse gases.  This 2012 decadal forecast attracted attention in the news because it shows a down turn in temperatures  toward the end of the decade.  This need not surprise us as temperatures will continue to go up and down from year to year, but the long term trend over the century is higher global average temperatures.  

So what about climate change?
This brings us to the big story: that despite the day to day, month to month and year to year variation the long term trend for the rest of the century is clear: climate change is happening and it will lead to profound and disturbing changes.  If you have any doubts just click here:

But The Daily Express says!
“COLDEST WINTER IN 100 YEARS ON WAY.  A severe bout of cold weather looks to be heading Britain's way . Britain will grind to a halt within weeks as the most savage freeze for a century begins.” (Tuesday November 27, 2012)
Winter has a long way to go and the weather forecast for the remainder of January 2013 is looking colder so you have been warned!

By Adrian Shaw
8th January 2013.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Use the Carbon Account to monitor your carbon footprint.

If you want a carbon calculator that is a bit more sophisticated than the eco-congregation calculator
you may wish to try the Carbon Account website:
It allows you to input data from your gas or electricity meter, car mileage and flights and presents
the results in a good graphical display.

They also offer to set up group accounts if your congregation is interested.

But be warned: you may be shocked at what you find. Despite reducing my heating bills, driving a
small fuel efficient car and trying not to fly my footprint still appears to be on the wrong side of five
tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Guilty!

Adrian Shaw

Friday, 7 December 2012

Faith in Food blog about Fairtrade shares the Christmas story

Blog from Faith in Food:

Make it a Meaningful Christmas…

Photo borrowed from:
At least 20 million Christmas trees are decorated in Britain every year – but just seven per cent of people aged between 18 and 24 know the Christmas story, according to research by The Meaningful Chocolate Company (MCC).

To jog their memories and help them pass on the story to young members of their families, the Manchester-based MCC has produced a booklet to accompany its Fairtrade Belgian chocolate decorations this year.

MCC has produced a booklet to accompany its Fairtrade Belgian chocolate decorations this year. The booklet means adults and children can share the Christmas story while placing nativity character stickers on the blank discs. Once completed, the five decorations can be hung on the tree as a reminder of the real meaning of Christmas.
David Marshall, from TMMC, said: ‘Research has found that only 12 per cent of adults, and only seven per cent of people aged between 18 and 24, know the Christmas story. So these decorations can help adults communicate the essentials of the Christmas story to the next generation.’

The Meaningful Christmas Tree Decorations cost £4.20 or £4 if more than 20 boxes are ordered at a time. Church orders can be made through or exclusively from Traidcraft. Orders should be made by the end of November 2012 as supplies are limited.

More than £60,000 has been raised for charity by TMMC through its Real Easter Egg sales, which has in turn increased the sales of Fairtrade sugar and chocolate. Hundreds of small farmers across Africa have been able to improve their lives as a result.
To read more about The Meaningful Chocolate Company, click here.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Climate Challenge Funding to Youth teams available



Do you care about climate change? Would you like to be part of something that has the potential to help reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint? Are you aged between 12 and 18?

If you answered “yes” to these three questions, then we’d like to hear from you.

Young Scot and Keep Scotland Beautiful have launched the Junior Climate Challenge Fund (JCCF) Youth Grants Panel.  We’re looking for up to 15 young volunteers from across Scotland to be part of a decision-making panel, working together to choose projects which you think should receive JCCF funding.

This is an important and exciting piece of work. It’s a great chance for you to gain a whole new range of skills and experiences! You don’t need to have formal qualifications, but you must have an interest in issues relating to young people and the environment in Scotland. You should also be a good communicator, be able to understand and listen to other people’s views, work within a group and have the flexibility, commitment and willingness to take part.

These are not paid positions but any necessary travel and accommodation expenses will be provided!  Training and support will also be given, including YouthBank Scotland’s excellent accredited Introduction to Grant Making training.

This is your chance to make a difference so what are you waiting for?! To find out more or to receive an info pack, contact the Young Scot team for free on 0808 801 0338 or email You can also download the pack at

Closing date for applications is Monday 7th January 2013.