Saturday, 28 July 2012

Inter Faith Week Grants (UK)

The logo was borrowed from the Interfaith Youth Trust website.
The Interfaith Youth Trust has announced that it is making grants of between £300 and £500 available for events organised by and for young people focussed around Inter Faith Week 18-27 November 2012. 

Grants are awarded for proposals for inter-faith activities by children and young people from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and other faiths and those of no formal faith in understanding and co-operation. The age range for young people is 11-25 years. 

Priority will be given to projects which:
  • Actively involve young people in planning, running, and evaluation of the project
  • Promote positive action i.e. young people from different backgrounds coming together to address shared problems like improving green spaces
  • Are run by non-statutory organisations, such as youth clubs, scout/guide groups, local voluntary and community organisations. 
The closing date for applications is the 1st September 2012.
Please access their website for more information.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Fair Trade Sales Surge

Good news from the Scottish Fairtrade Forum:

Logo borrowed from the Scottish Fairtrade
Forum Website
"UK shoppers spent 12% more on Fairtrade-certified products in 2011 than they did in the year before, according to figures released on 17 July by Fair Trade International. The UK is the world’s biggest market for fairly traded goods.

The surge is part of a general increase in shoppers opting for Fairtrade-certified products with sales of almost €5 billion (£3.85 billion) worldwide in 2011.

Coffee sales led the increase (up 12% year on year), followed by cocoa (up 14%), bananas (9%), sugar (9%), tea (8%) and flowers (11%). More than half of all bananas bought in Switzerland now bear the Fairtrade mark, and in the UK almost half of all bagged sugar in shops will be Fairtrade-certified following the decision of Morrisons supermarket to convert its entire range of sugar to Fair Trade.

The pattern is not restricted to rich Northern countries. South Africans spent more than three times more on Fairtrade certified products in 2011 than in 2010, including products grown in their own country. South Korea, in its first year with a national Fairtrade organisation, registered sales of £13 million.

'The news that the UK is the largest market for Fair Trade goods is unsurprising, with many becoming conscious of the impact that fair pricing has on livelihoods, health and education to producers and their families in the developing world,' said Martin Rhodes, Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.
Though there were no separate figures for Scotland, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum sees today’s announcement by Fair Trade International as highlighting the way that Fairtrade is becoming the norm among consumers."

Access their article here.

The Scottish Fairtrade Forum would also like to invite to their Annual Campaign Day on 1st September at Paisley Town Hall from 11:30am. Please see their website for more details.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Faith in Everyday Life - Events in Dunbar

St Anne’s Scottish Episcopal Church in Dunbar is running a series of talks and discussions
on the first Sunday of the month from 6pm-7.30pm.

These talks will explore being human today and our responsibility to our neighbours and our world

£25 for the series or £4 per evening ( wine and nibbles included).

2nd September 2012 Chris Hudson:Understanding before forgiveness? The Peace process in Northern Ireland

7th October 2012 Rosamond Robertson:Faith in Action from East Lothian to the West Bank. Being a volunteer with the
Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine/Israel 2012

4th November 2012 Stephen Blakey:The Holy Spirit with a whiff of cordite. Religion under enemy fire.

2nd December 2012 Elspeth Murray:“For God’s sake, get out of the way!” An exploration of the creative process

6th January 2013 Philip Revell:Our Place in Nature -planning for life without fossil fuels. Sustaining
Dunbar's 'Local Resilience Action Plan'

3rd February 2013 Marion Chatterly:Preparing for our final appointment - living with the reality of dying.

3rd March 2013 Richard Holloway:Religion: neat or with a ton of salt? Religion in society today.

The booking form is on the back of the Adventures in Faith newsletter which can be viewed and printed here.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Green Worship Resources from GreenFaith

GreenFaith is an American interfaith coalition for the environment that was founded in 1992.  They work with houses of worship, religious schools and people of all faiths to help them become better environmental stewards.

The GreenFaith website have a whole host of resources you may find useful including:

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax - UK Cinema Release 27th July

Inspire the whole family to take care of the planet with the movie Dr. Seuss' The Lorax on general release in the UK from the 27th July.

Movie Synopsis:

Ted lives in a town where nothing is quite as it appears; everything is plastic, including the plants. Hopelessly smitten by the beautiful Audrey, who dreams of one day seeing a real tree, Ted boldly leaves the city determined to find the flora and grant her wish. Along the way, the young adventurer crosses paths with the Lorax, a diminutive, mustached defender of nature who doesn't take kindly to human intruders. The better Ted gets to know the Lorax, however, the more he learns that his newfound friend has good reason for being a bit surly.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Recycling Petition to Encourage Recycling in Schools

Les Wallace has initiated an online petition to make recycling facilities in Scottish schools mandatory. Please click on the link to access the petition:

Petition comment:

"After more than twenty years since kerbside recycling began in earnest in Scotland we are STILL NOT ensuring that children are being taught about reducing waste and being encouraged to recycle effectively. Investment in domestic recycling schemes and the success of workplace waste reduction is suffering badly because of this. It also means that anti litter work is compromised as recycling is almost certainly a better method of preventing litter than traditional anti litter work.

There are no basic mandatory requirements for how well waste reduction is taught or practiced. As a basic
requirement ALL school children should have recycling facilities in their playgrounds. We also need a national survey on how well reduce, reuse, recycle is taught and practiced in schools to ensure that best practice becomes standard practice."

Stop Climate Chaos response to Scottish greenhouse gas emissions for 2010

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland writes to First Minister raising serious concerns about climate action in Scotland in response to the increased greenhouse gas emission in 2010 compared to 2009.

You can access their letter here.

Please read our blog in response to the Scottish Government's report on greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, and feel free to tell us what you think! 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Sharing Eden, a handbook to sustainable living

Jews, Christians and Muslims unite to protect the environment
Launching Sharing Eden, a handbook to sustainable living

Leading UK Jewish, Christian and Muslim environmentalists have come together to launch Sharing Eden – a unique handbook that uses the teachings of the Abrahamic faiths to encourage a greener lifestyle for all.
As the Dalai Lama emphasised in his recent prayer service at Westminster, religious people must “take responsibility for the environment.”  With more than 45 million* self-identifying Jews, Christians and Muslims in the UK, driving more sustainable living in these communities, as well as further afield, could make a significant positive impact on our environment.
Editor Lindsay Swan explains: “Sharing Eden is a remarkable example of interfaith collaboration to reach a common goal – a more sustainable future for all.  The authors’ aim, as well as to build bridges between often-differing faiths, is to throw a green light on age-old traditions and practices. They provide clear, easy-to-follow advice on how we can all do our share to protect the Earth, whether we have a faith or not.”
The introductory handbook combines beautiful and enlightening texts from each faith’s religious teachings and worship to address some of the most prominent environmental issues faced today, such as waste, climate change and biodiversity. Drawing from both scripture and personal experience, each author brings a contemporary focus to the eternal challenge of caring for the Earth. The authors also hope to encourage further collaborative efforts and stimulate public awareness and debate on the book’s topics.
The book is published jointly by The Conservation Foundation and Kube Publishing and is available to buy from,, and (RRP: £4.99).  For further information, please visit
* Data from 2009-10 Citizenship Survey: Race, Religion and Equalities Topic Report

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Scottish greenhouse gas data now available for 2010

Photo borrowed from
Scottish Government site.
The Scottish Government has published figures for Scottish greenhouse gas emissions for 2010.  As you can see from the report the figures show that emissions increased in 2010 compared to 2009. This is not surprising considering the very cold winter weather, both at the beginning and the end of 2010.  However the increase in emissions have been criticised by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland who have called on the Scottish Government to do more. 

You can read the Scottish Government’s press release here and Environment and Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson’s response to the report here. The Stop Climate Chaos response to the report can be accessed here.

The Scottish Government can point to a real – and controversial – increase in the number of wind farms across Scotland and to a slow improvement in the energy efficiency  in the Scottish housing stock. On the other hand Scotland remains very dependent on electricity produced  by burning coal at Longannet Power Station in Fife and prospects for implementing ‘carbon capture and storage’ (CCS) technology remain in the far distance.  It’s a similar story in transport with an increase in cycling but the great majority of road traffic continues to be by carbon emitting motor vehicles.

How much the Scottish Government can deliver on its targets without the active support and participation of communities and individuals is perhaps one of the biggest questions to ponder and one in which Eco-Congregations can play a big role.  We have good legislation in place but action in communities across Scotland will be needed if we are to stand any chance in meeting the targets in the future.  Eco-Congregations, working in their churches, homes and communities have real and growing role to play in meeting this challenge.

What do you think? Please add your comments to our blog!

By Adrian Shaw

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Biffaward Flagship Programme Opens for Applications (UK)

Biffaward, which is one of the largest Landfill Communities Fund schemes, has announced that its Flagship programme is now open to applications. Biffawards provides grants to support a range of community and biodiversity project.
Through the Flagship programme grants of between £150,000 and £500,000 are available to support projects that have a regional or national impact. The Flagship Scheme supports Rebuilding Biodiversity and Cultural Facilities. Projects must be site-based, within 25 miles of a Biffa operation and ten miles of an active landfill. The organisation making the application must be eligible to enrol with ENTRUST as an Environmental Body.
Last year, the Flagship Scheme awarded £500,000 over two years to the John Peel Centre for the Creative Arts in Stowmarket, and £499,951 over three years to Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Rebuilding the Bure Valley Living Landscape project. Biffawards usually support 2 to 3 Flagship projects per year.
The deadline for expression of Interest is the 20th August 2012.

Contact them to find out if your project is eligible for funding.

Spring has sprung and with it comes fresh new opportunities to apply for funding, with the opening of the Biffa Award 2012 annual Flagship Scheme on 21 May.


Monday, 16 July 2012

Eco-innovative Programme Opens for Applications (UK)

The European Commission has announced that its Eco-innovative programme is open for applications.  Through the programme € 34.8 Million of grants are available for green projects.  This call is open to all legal persons that are based in eligible countries but the priority will be given to Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Clusters of applicants and projects which demonstrate a European added value and have a high potential for market replication are strongly encouraged. 

Calls support Eco-innovative projects in different sectors which aim at the prevention or reduction of environmental impacts or which contribute to the optimal use of resources.  In particular the European Commission is looking to support projects in the areas of Materials Recycling; Sustainable Building Products; Food and Drink Sector; Water; and Greening businesses.  Under this call for proposals the European Commission will fund up to 50% of eligible project costs.
The closing date for applications is the 6th September 2012.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Climate Challenge Fund (Scotland)

Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that the next deadline for applications to the Climate challenge fund is the 7th September 2012. 

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.

Access their website for more information.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Scottish Environment Link issues Referendum Challenge

Scottish Environment Link has issued a challenge to those campaigning Yes or No in the independence referendum to explain how their proposals on Scotland's consitutional future will help sustainability.
"Which constitutional campaign can meet the environment community's aspirations for Scotland? The LINK Referendum Challenge spells our ten point vision for Scotland's future and asks the campaigns for each constitutional option how their plans will meet these aims."
Download the full challenge leaflet here:

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Creation Time 2012

The CTBI Creation Time resources for 2012 now on web.  This year’s theme is Sustainable energy in creation - Time for prayer and action.

See the resources at

Resources for this year are available for free download, including sermon notes, prayers of intercession, group study and liturgical material. A range of other liturgical material can be found in Additional Resources 2010 . An updated version of this will be available in August 2012.

There are also articles for inclusion in church magazines.

The Church of Scotland will be issuing additional worship material for Creation Time on its Starters for Sunday web page in late July.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Funding for orchards in central Scotland.

Following on from the last two year’s success, Forth Environment Link has announced the launch of a third round of funding of its Central Scotland Green Network Orchard Grant Scheme 2012 / 2013.

The scheme, supported by the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund 2012, aims to encourage anyone with an interest in orchards – including communities, schools, public agencies and landowners - to plant and manage orchards, use them for learning or celebrations, or use the fruit more productively.

We are looking forward to receiving applications that create and look after orchards, and bring people together to have fun in events to use and celebrate orchards.  The Central Scotland Green Network Orchard Grant Scheme 2012 / 2013 is open to all groups and individuals in the Central Scotland Green Network area, as long as they can demonstrate wider community involvement in the design, creation and management of the project, and can provide evidence of landowner approval. Grants of between £100 and £500 are available for designing and creating new orchards, managing traditional or other existing orchards, enhancing orchard biodiversity, and developing orchards as a learning ground. 

Applications should be completed online via the Forth Valley Orchards’ Initiative website at, where the full application pack is available. The deadline for the receipt of applications is midnight on Monday, 10 September 2012.

For information about the scheme, please contact Amparo Echenique, Project Assistant, Forth Valley Orchards’ Initiative, at or phone 01786 449215.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Carrier Bag Tax Proposed to Reduce Waste!


According to their proposal the Government would like to do the following:

We propose to reduce the number of carrier bags used in Scotland by legislating to require retailers to charge for bags; with a voluntary agreement that net proceeds (estimated at £5-6m per annum based on an 80% drop in bag usage) will be donated to charitable causes, a proportion of which will be for waste and litter prevention.
We want to establish a robust system which leads to much greater reuse of bags while keeping administrative burdens to a minimum.

Main Proposals
We are therefore proposing a system consistent with that in place in Wales, to allow us to learn lessons from their implementation and to ease the administrative burdens on UK-wide retailers.

Proceeds to Good Causes
The legislation that allows for charging also allows for the Scottish Ministers to direct net proceeds (i.e. profit after administrative costs have been deducted, estimated at £5-6m if an 80% drop is achieved) to be used for „environmental protection or improvement or to any other purposes that may be reasonably regarded as analogous‟. However, we are aware that some retailers already charge for carrier bags and donate profits to various charitable causes. Rather than interfere with this practise, which has obvious benefits, we would like to reach a voluntary agreement with retailers that they donate net proceeds to good causes, some which should include litter prevention, waste prevention and recycling.
You can access the full text here!
Photo borrowed from
Recycle Now have a useful page with recycling information for plastic bags. You can access it here!

Did you participate in the National Spring Clean 2012?

From Keep Scotland Tidy (

"Thank you for helping to tackle the blight of litter in Scotland. The campaign reached far and wide, engaging almost 120,000 Scots from Shetland to the Scottish Borders.

Around 1,100 tonnes of litter were removed from across Scotland in what we estimate is the largest mobilisation of the Scottish public since World War Two.

If you, or anyone else would like to take part in a Clean Up before next year’s campaign we can supply FREE clean up kits, these can be ordered from:

Thank you again for your kind and valuable support!"

Monday, 2 July 2012

Make Scotland a Fair Trade Country!

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum has published a Fair Trade Scotland Guide:

Our Fair Trade Nation Criteria

Why become a Fair Trade Nation?
In July 2006, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Government agreed a set of groundbreaking criteria to work toward to become the world's first two Fair Trade Nations. These represent the beginning of a long process, not a tick-box exercise, and reflect a desire to will work to make Fair Trade Nation status a genuine achievement. By changing attitudes and habits through a more widespread awareness and understanding of the way we in Scotland live, we can have a positive impact on people in the developing world whom we may never even meet.
The Aims of this campaign are:
 • To increase awareness of Fair Trade and surrounding issues
 • To increase the sale of Fair Trade products
 • To contribute to greater trade justice
 • To engender a meaningful commitment to Fair Trade from the Scottish Parliament
   and executive bodies
 1. The following must be achieved in order to become a Fair Trade Nation:
  • 100% of local authority areas have Fair Trade groups working toward Fairtrade Zone status
  • 55% of our local authority areas having achieved Fairtrade Zone status. In following years, this must increase 10% per year until all 32 are Fairtrade Zones        
  • 100% of cities have achieved Fairtrade City status         
  • At least 55% of towns have Fair Trade groups working toward Fairtrade Town status   
  • 60% of universities have active Fair Trade groups working toward Fairtrade status
  • The percentage of people who know about Fair Trade must increase 5% every year to reach 75%.
  •     75% of those people must buy a Fairtrade product every year
  • 40% of those people must regularly buy Fairtrade products

2. The Scottish Parliament must:
  • Produce an annual statement in support of Fair Trade
  • Use and promote Fairtrade products internally including Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits at all meetings
  • Ensure Fairtrade is available at all catering outlets
  • Actively promote Fairtrade Fortnight each year
 3. The Scottish Government must resolve to:
  • Use and promote Fairtrade products internally including Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits at all meetings
  • Ensure Fairtrade products are available at all catering outlets
  • Actively promote Fairtrade Fortnight each year
  • Produce an annual public report on the progress of the Fair Trade Nation campaign
  • Actively support the promotion and development of Fair Trade including:
      - Seeking to develop pro-Fair Trade public sector procurement guidance and promote Fair Trade public sector procurement wherever possible
      - Promote Fair Trade in schools through curriculum, procurement and any other means possible
  • Promote Fair Trade at an international level and through international trade agreements, where appropriate.
  • Acknowledge the role of Fair Trade in economic development policies
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