Loughborough Quakers Sustainability Handbook

Quakers in Loughborough, UK have published a Sustainability Handbook, advising Friends on lifestyle changes they can make to live more sustainably.

The project includes a range of approaches to sustainable living and contains contributions from almost every member of the meeting. It also includes a Resource section of tips on how to shop locally and sustainably in the surrounding areas. Friends’ reflections are accompanied by illustrations from artist Miriam Bean. Read below for some of the contributors’ experiences and reflections on producing the handbook and view the online version here. Requests for physical copies of the Handbook can be sent to Julian Rees.

“I was invited to a weekend at Bamford by members of Loughborough Quakers, to spend time reflecting on the environment and how we can each contribute positively to sustainable living. There have been many challenges to my thinking and lifestyle, but I really appreciate being able to share these with a group of like-minded Friends, especially as sustainability is becoming more and more prevalent in the news.” – John Bean

“I’ve seen sustainability issues as crucial since I joined Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth in the 1970’s.  I’ve been part of various groups including Living Witness in British Quakers, being founder member of Loughborough Transition, facilitator for Carbon Footprint Support Groups, and part of team who set up an Area Meeting One Planet Living Group a few years ago, now laid down. It’s been a particularly heartwarming time in my sustainability journey when Loughborough Meeting developed its active Sustainability Group. There had been previous attempts which withered after a short while. It is so affirming now to be part of a committed group, and with the Quaker ethos.” – Sue Meredith Velado

“The climate crisis is a huge and daunting issue and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by it. Working in a group with others to make changes, no matter how small, made me feel less helpless. Creating the Loughborough Sustainability Handbook was such an affirming experience because it brought the Meeting together in a shared project and made me feel we were making a difference.” – Julian Rees

People’s Climate Empowerment Series

To coincide with the 2020 Climate Dialogues, QUNO’s Human Impacts of Climate Change programme has launched a new publication. QUNO’s People’s Climate Empowerment Series is a helpful resource for anyone looking to become more engaged with climate action. The series connects people with international efforts that can strengthen climate action at all levels.

Our Human Impacts of Climate Change programme has been working on the international climate negotiations since 2011 in support of fair, ambitious and inclusive climate action. Climate change raises profound questions about how we live on the planet. The People’s Climate Empowerment Series offers 7 concise “2-siders”, which cover different aspects of international climate action, why they matter, and how to get involved. It includes introductions to different aspects of international environmental law, information on how to engage with the international human rights system, as well as case studies and examples of climate action from across the world. The series is written to empower people to take action.

Please visit our Resource Hub to explore this new Series online. To request a physical copy of the series, please click here.

Quakers Release A Call for Action after COVID-19

Quakers in New Zealand have come together to release a call for action after COVID-19 focusing on the moral and spiritual imperative for transformational change. They reflects that “they were inspired in part by the words of George Monbiot about the power of stories.” The Call for Action has been widely shared around New Zealand, joining a range of voices calling for change following the pandemic.

World Environment Day

Every year on June 5th the world celebrates World Environment Day. This year the theme is biodiversity, which is a core piece of any healthy environment. Currently we are losing species at the fastest rate ever in human history. The following is a useful resource explaining what biodiversity is, why it is under threat, and what are the direct actions you and I can take to help protect biodiversity.

The Earth School: Free Online Environmental Education Resources

The Earth School is a collection of videos exploring and explaining the environment through quests running from Earth Day (April 22nd) to World Environment Day (June 5th). Each quest encourages young people to learn more about our planet, how all of its different moving parts work, and why it is important to take good care of our shared home. For example Quest 12 delves into biodiversity, provides an introductory video, engaging questions, and further resources. The project is supported by the United Nations Environmental Program, National Geographic, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Food, Climate Change, and COVID-19

Geoff Tansey lives in the UK and curates the open education on-line resource the  Food Systems Academy and is a member of the  Food Ethics Council.  In this article he explains how COVID-19 has made it clear that military spending will not keep us safe, which also highlights the impending dangers and impacts of climate change. Tansey calls for a shift from military spending to investments in the resilience of our food systems, biodiversity, and climate.

Geoff Tansey’s books include The Food System: a guide (with Tony Worsley) and co-editorship (with Tasmin Rajotte) of The future control of food – A guide to international negotiations and rules on intellectual property, biodiversity and food security. This latter book came out of work he did as a consultant with QUNO Geneva the Quaker International Affairs Programme of Canadian Quakers. He is an honorary visiting fellow at the Universities of Cardiff, Lancaster and Newcastle and a member of Brighouse West Yorkshire Area Meeting.