Eco Church

These are some of the people working on our eco projects

St Christopher’s is an Eco Church and we are registered with the Christian environmental scheme for churches run by A Rocha UK.  Eco Church provides tools to help churches and their parishioners weave their response to environmental issues into all they do. We are delighted to have been awarded a Bronze Level Certificate and we are now busy working towards a Silver Level.

In a time of unprecedented environmental stresses, Eco Church enables us to respond to God’s mandate to human beings to care for His creation, by integrating environmental care throughout our church’s life and mission.

The Diocese of Guildford encourages churches to join Eco Church and, together with other churches in our diocese and in the UK as a whole,  really make a difference.

Bronze, silver and gold awards are presented to churches for environmental attainment across a wide range of areas, including care of buildings and churchyards, energy-saving, recycling, food and lifestyle, worship, preaching and teaching, engagement in communities and the wider world.

To satisfy the criteria for a Silver award we have to reach a number of goals in five different categories:

  • Worship and Teaching
  • Management of Church Buildings
  • Management of Church Land
  • Community and Global Engagement
  • Lifestyle

Eco-Tips

Encouraging Hedgehogs

The hedgehog population is in decline over the whole of the UK. Th best way we can help them is to provide somewhere for them to survive through the winter. If you have a sheltered corner of your garden and access to some dry logs or a lot of deadplant material then you can make a simple place for them to hibernate. They will soon be looking for such a place and at the end of October will be settling in for the winter.

Other ways to help them. You can feed them dog or cat food but make sure it does not contain any fish.They will also appreciate a bowl of water.

Lastly they will need a way in or out of the garden. A small hole in the fence or gaps of other kinds will help them to forage and find other hogs.

Hedgehogs will repay you by eating up the slugs and other pests which are spoilng your garden.

If you are walking along the river side in Hurst Park just past the cricket club you will see an ernormous pile which we hope will house a number of hogs.

Plan your grocery shopping

To minimize your food loss follow these simple steps:

  • Plan out a weekly menu.
  • Make a list of everything you need.
  • Go shopping on a full stomach. 

Switch to reusable products

1. Although recyclable paper straws are a much better alternative to plastic, a better swap is to bamboo one which can be reused to save paper consumption.

2. Reusable hot drink cups can also be made from quality and long-lasting materials and they feel and look nice. You can use them in a coffee shop and baristas are happy to put coffee in your hot drink cup, which will reduce amount of usage of paper cups.

Buy less and grow your own

Buy less and grow your own. A large proportion of shop-bought fruit and vegetables are responsible for causing significant environmental damage. They wrapped in copious amounts of plastic, transported long distances before reaching the chopping board, and grown using chemical pesticides. By growing your own garden, you are the one to decide what goes on your plants and into your soil. 

For more information about local allotments, visit https://lynwoodallotments.chessck.co.uk/

Finches

The last few years have been difficult for finches. The green finches have virtually disappeared in Esher and Hinchley Wood and others such as chaffinches are in decline. The only good news is in an upsurge in goldfinches across large areas of the country.

We can help these birds in several ways. First and most important is that we keep our birdfeeders clean. There has been a surge acros the country of a virus that attacks green finches which has been spread by dirty feeders.

Finches feed mostly on seeds from thistles and teazels but we can help by leaving the seed heads on plants such as poppies, daisies, marigolds, zinnias and sunflowers. If you put sunflowers hearts in your feeders you will almost certainly be rewarded by visits from goldfinches and chaffinches with the bonus of an occasional visit from a greater spotted wood pecker.

If there is no other option to flying, consider using an airline that operates a carbon offset scheme. These aim to reduce the environmental impact of air travel. Travellers can voluntarily pay to ‘offset’, or make up for, the emissions that their flights produce.

Offset your Flight

Many major airlines support such schemes.

https://www.iata.org/en/programs/environment/carbon-offset/

https://mediacentre.britishairways.com/pressrelease/details/86/0/11944

Let the Train take the strain

Trains are an environmentally friendly mode of transport and allow you to travel long distances in a relatively short amount of time. They can be a cheaper and more adventurous way of travelling to your destination, plus, you will get to experience beautiful scenery on route!

“A journey from London to Madrid would emit 43kg (95lb) of CO2 per passenger by train, but 118kg by plane”.

What about a bike instead

Instead of always driving, consider cycling, especially for short local journeys.

If you find it difficult to use an ordinary bicycle, electric bikes are becoming more popular, and take the strain when negotiating hills!

Drive Green and safe fuel and the environment

On long car journeys drive ‘green’ and save fuel.

https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/how-to/fuel-saving-tips/

Belong to a Car Club

If you are an occasional car user, car club schemes may be a better alternative to owning your own car. Everything is included, insurance, cleaning, servicing, and refueling. You just book a car when you need one and drive away!

Think ahead to reduce journeys

Think ahead. Bundle a number of small errands into one trip to save time and fuel.  Consider if a phone call, email or letter would do instead.

Maximise your daily exercise

Walk for short local errands and trips.  It may take less time than you think. Studies have shown that most people will underestimate the time for car journeys, and overestimate the time it will take to walk. Walking allows time for relaxation and contemplation.

Can you do a “Car-Free” Day?

If you use your car a lot, try and have one “car-free” day a week. Think of it as being similar to “Meat free Mondays” or “Dry January”!

Show your support for climate change

There are many environmental charities working hard to tackle the climate crisis. Click on one [or all] of the links below to show your support:

https://www.christianaid.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/climate-justice-2021

https://friendsoftheearth.uk/

https://www.wwf.org.uk/fight-climate-change

https://www.greenpeace.org.uk