We held a series of practical and informative events during the last week of October 2021, leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

The aim was to raise awareness of the issues and to encourage everyone to make One Small Step – or maybe more than that – towards a more sustainable world.

What in the world are we doing?

At this free event for families we explored climate and environmental issues through a variety of interactive activities.

We made our own “footprints” and thought of ways in which we could reduce our harmful impact in the world

We planted herb seeds to take home, grow and eat

We love our beautiful world and want to take care of it

Endangered species: this is a sea turtle

Food for thought

Reducing our meat intake can play an important part in reducing carbon emissions. No less than 5 vegetarian options were available at this meal, and sadly we don’t have photos of any of them!

However… Ben Green later re-recorded his talk Does God really care about creation? and it can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Also, in response to many requests, Bobbie has compiled some recipes (of her own, and contributed by others) into a printable collection which can be downloaded here.

Follow the link to view Ben’s video

Exploring Ten Acres

We travelled the “secret path” along the River Rea in the company of Sustainable Life to find out about their project to change the area from urban to forest woodland. We also learned how to build a fire suitable for making tea!

Collecting firewood: it must be both dead and dry

A golden weeping willow by the bridge over the River Bourn: other species present include eucalypt, lime and many more

The view of the River Rea has been opened up by clearing and managing trees and undergrowth

Waiting for the kettle to boil

Some of the walk participants who stayed even when it started to rain: our guide Alan is second right

I'd rather live without...

Could your family go car-free? Could you reduce or eliminate plastic packaging from your shopping? Could you give up meat? Could you heat your home while emitting less carbon dioxide? Not everyone can, but we heard from local people who are at least some way along that journey and could give a realistic idea of the problems these steps entail.

These short talks formed part of an excellent evening of Fairtrade wine tasting.

No more plastic: by using shops such as The Clean Kilo in Bournville it is possible to drastically reduce the amount of plastic packaging we use

Amanda thanks fellow organiser Helen for her expert supervision of the wine tasting

A tandem and an e-cargo bike are some of the alternative transport methods for Ruth and her family of 6

A “show and tell” table enabled everyone to display eco-friendly household products they found helpful

We tested 5 Fairtrade wines from Argentina, Chile and South Africa, all from the Co-op range

Don't throw it away!

Repairing and upcycling are ways of turning items that we would otherwise throw away into useful, often beautiful objects. A day of workshops demonstrated some practical techniques that anyone can use.

Making twine out of fabric offcuts: it can be used for wrapping presents and other decorative purposes

Using découpage to make a photo frame

A cloth bag upcycled from an old pair of jeans

Upcycled items on display, including fabric twine, découpage photo frame and a cork board made of – yes – corks

Tea light holders made out of perforated, decorated cans

Prayer and commitment

We ended the week by holding a prayer “relay” over 24 hours (actually 25 hours since we changed back to GMT during the night). This included a prayer walk around the area and an act of commitment in which we hung on a tree our written prayers and any specific action or lifestyle we had personally decided to take.

The following prayer resources, which we used during the 24 hours, are applicable at any time:

Prayer in the Park

Prayer Vigil

COP26 Prayer Guide

Prayer walk guide from Christian Aid

Prayer “leaves” hung on a tree

Walk, cycle, take the bus, or even drive more efficiently

A greener journey

We encouraged everyone who came to these events, and to the Sunday services at each end of the week, to try and make your journey greener – and we continue to do so.

Walking, cycling and catching the bus are obvious ways, but not everyone can do that. If you need to come by car, consider sharing the journey with someone else, or pick up some tips on greener driving at https://www.eta.co.uk/driving-tips.