We aim to be a fully functional Eco-Congregation and are working towards that aim.

We have a designated ‘Green Team to help us achieve this.

Christian Aid Week ran from 15 to 21 May. Christian Aid has long been an advocate for climate justice, working with local communities most adversely impacted by climate change, delivering projects that, among other things, help people become more resilient to disasters such as drought, climate change and hurricanes. This year’s campaign is focused on turning hunger into hope, with donated funds helping buy drought-resistant seeds for farmers, so they can plant crops that can withstand high temperatures and low rainfall.

You can help, by not only donating to Christian Aid’s campaign this week, but also by signing Christian Aid’s Climate Justice petition, which calls on Boris Johnson to fully back the creation of an international loss and damage fund, making countries and polluters who have done the most to cause the climate crisis help those poorer countries most affected by it. Find out more here.

Food waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions since by consigning it to landfill not only does it add directly to greenhouse gas emissions but it also wastes the energy used to grow the food and provide it to your table. For those of us with gardens this is an interesting tip: “You can also pop any bits suitable to feed birds and other wildlife into a food scraps tub. Bruised or overly-soft fruit can be left out for badgers, foxes and birds. Cut your fruit in half and leave it on your grass or spike it on a tree branch. If any cats or dogs live nearby, avoid grapes and dried fruit, as this could cause them harm.

At PPC we are moving towards LED lighting and have been debating the replacement of our elderly and rather inefficient central heating boilers but are constrained by the Church of Scotland’s review of church buildings.

Meanwhile we have lagged a good length of the pipework that delivers heat to the basements rather than to the Sanctuary and halls. We recorded Sanctuary temperatures over a couple of weeks and found that the temperature continued to rise after the end of the evening service which suggests that the heating should could be on for less time as there is  thermal lag in the system. If you look at the banners hanging from the gallery you can see that they move which indicates that we have good air circulation. We have now turned off all the radiators to the gallery and expect that our monitoring  of the energy meters will show a reduction of consumption. We are making progress towards a Silver Award as an ECO congregation but need to do more.

Slightly more controversial is the suggestion that we should disconnect hot water to all the toilets. There is no medical reason for using hot water to wash hands, just use soap. As individuals we should recognise, and many members of PPC were brought up without central heating and some of the other conveniences that we have come to expect, that we can help on global warming on an individual level by such actions as wearing layers of woollies, not fleeces made from oil, not heating rooms that we seldom use, walking, cycling and using public transport, bringing our own mug to church and buying biscuits with less packaging. The Green Team is also looking into our use of cleaning products with a view to ensuring that they are both ECO friendly and used efficiently.

Peter Dunlop for the Green Team

Eco Tips from the Green Team

When boiling water, only put as much water in the kettle as you are going to use and if you overfill you can always store the extra in a flask for later use. To reduce your “phantom energy” use. Even when a device is on standby, or fully charged, it continues to draw energy if plugged in, so switch off and unplug. You can read more about phantom energy here: Do appliances use electricity when plugged in but turned off? (

Earth day has been a global environmental movement since 1970. It’s not just one day of the year, every day is Earth Day. Read more about it at The Christian perspective is that we should cherish, conserve and appreciate all that God has provided in his creation on our Earth.

‘Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet?’
Ezekiel 34:18

A few tips :
Walk or cycle where you can. Apart from reducing your use of fossil fuels it’s a great way to improve your health and fitness.
Make more use of public transport.
Recycle and reduce landfill.
Get involved in community clean ups – beaches, parks and rivers.
Plant a tree.
Buy sustainable fashion and clothes.
Reduce purchase of single use plastic bottles drinks.
Use environmentally friendly cleaning materials.
And finally, visit the church Traidcraft stall! We’d love to see you and hear about your Eco experiences.

Stop Food Waste Day wasin April this year and it is aimed to educate and ignite change about food waste. Did you know, that One Third of food produced for human consumption globally goes to waste, yet One in Ten people go hungry each day?

“When the people had eaten their fill, Jesus said to his disciples, “Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.” They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.” John 6:12-14

Top tips to stop food waste include:

  1. Plan ahead and don’t overbuy · Use up what’s in your fridge/cupboards; plan your meals; make a list before you shop
  2. Use your freezer · Batch cook and freeze portions; freeze bread and other leftovers; label items with date and use them in order
  3. Get creative · Experiment with what you have in the fridge; make bubble & squeak or colourful frittatas from leftovers; use odd bits of vegetables to make soup

For more information and tips, visit STOP FOOD WASTE DAY.

News reports of how dependent we are on Ukraine and Russia for imports of sunflower oil. One alternative is palm oil. Palm oil is in around 50% of the packaged products we buy and 85% of it is imported from Indonesia and Malaysia, where it can be grown efficiently all year round, but at the expense of trees. There is a sustainable production standard for palm oil and consumers have a role to play in buying products which include palm oil, that they at least state it meets that standard.