Our next climate cafe is on Tuesday 19th October 1pm to 3pm in the Moulin Hall. The evening Climate Cafe is Wednesday 20th October, 7pm to 9pm in the Atholl Centre.
Please let Carol know if you are coming - firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's some good news!! You can now recycle clean, soft ‘scrunchable’ plastics at Pitlochry Co-op. What is scrunchable? Scrunch it up tight - if it pings back, it’s a useful indicator it's soft plastic. The instore collection point is near the front doors and they will accept soft plastics from any brand or retailer and includes:
Plastic carrier bags
Lids from ready meals
Chocolate, cake and biscuit wrappers,
Fruit and vegetable clear wrappers
Toilet roll wrappers
Wine box inners.
For the full list please check -https://www.coop.co.uk/environment/soft-plastics/packaging-list
We are hoping to re-start our in person meetings. There are two provisionally planned at the Moulin Hall - Tues the 24th, 1-3pm, and Weds the 25th, 7-9pm. If you would like to attend either (or both!) of these meetings please get in touch with Carol - email@example.com
Fed up with doom and gloom stories about the environment? Why not sign up for Positive News - it is a Newsletter highlighting uplifting news items.
Ruth Hunter Pepper. Recycling our Waste: While we know that PKC have installed recycling bins in different places for people to use which are then manually and mechanically sorted through elsewhere, and the waste team spend time educating people on how to recycle more effectively, in other councils like East Lothian they have conducted a pilot study into different ways of diverting more of their waste from landfill.
What they discovered from this study was that the most time and cost-effective method to improve the efficiency of their recycling rates was to take away all on street recycling bins leaving only the normal bins. It seems bizarre to do this, but East Lothian Council have proved that they were able to recycle more of their waste through saving money from landfill costs and the provision of bin lorries for contaminated recycling bins. The money they saved covers the cost of mechanically sorting all their public waste (including landfill).
As far as I know East Lothian Council certainly mechanically sort the on street bins. Commercial waste is separate I think and Household waste is sorted at home into boxes . (From August 2021 recyclable material will be collected from households on a weekly basis with all materials collected on the same day. This refreshed recycling service is designed to help us all recycle more than ever before. The more frequent collections mean that you might not need to use as many boxes.)
So maybe something to go back to PKC with?
Compostables Binns Group will dispose of compostables and recycle them properly. But there are another two companies in Scotland. Viridor is one but they are more expensive than Binns.
The reaction in North Berwick is the customers love them.
We could try a small pilot project here to see how well received they would be. They could be trialed in one or two takeaway or deli outlets or in the Handam shop? We could try to get some funding to buy some then the takeaways could charge a small deposit so they become self-funded to get more should they be successful. One consideration would be the additional cleaning and storage required to store the Tiffin Boxes. We could make posters to advertise businesses who are offering these Tiffin Boxes. Or compostables like A Plaice to Be use. But they could be used for school and work lunches, picnics etc. Takeaways could brand them to advertise themselves. The other thing is you can just open them up and serve from them at the table. They can go in the oven. You could use them for camping too. What kind of cutlery could be used outside. There are a number of types now that are bamboo or wooden.
If we do want to start this scheme here then there are takeaway owners in North Berwick who would be happy to speak to local takeaway owners and Ruth is happy to continue to advise us on any concerns.
Ruth would like to chat about the Refill shop at some point as they have lost their local shop.
For information about litter:
Keep Scotland beautiful https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/scotlands-litter-summit/ https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/community-and-place/clean-up-scotland/
Bottle Return scheme has been pushed back to 2022 https://depositreturnscheme.zerowastescotland.org.uk/
Verges Rosie mentioned that there was a big bank between the Episcopal Church down towards the distillery that was covered in violets last year. She had been admiring them and then someone came and mowed it including all the violets. So she wrote to the distillery asking if they owned the bank. They said they did and that they had a policy, that if it was non public facing, then they didn't mow it. They also said as they were a Gold award business they would make sure that it wasn't mowed in future and would speak to their gardeners. And then bank was mowed. When Rosie spoke to them again they were going to double check to see if it was the council, and if it was they were going to ask if they could adopt the cutting of the bank.
Plantlife (Plantlife.org.uk) I am not sure if you are aware, but the organisation Plantlife is currently conducting a national campaign re verges. They recommend that cutting be avoided as much as possible during the times when flowers are setting their seeds. They have produced a document called "Managing grassland road verges" which suggests a variety of different ways to manage verge cutting throughout the year, whilst minimising disruption to wild plant populations, and hopefully boosting biodiversity in these. Balfour Beatty, the road engineers, have an environment officer - quite helpful when I got in touch about ‘spraying’ around newly planted saplings.
Plants and a Seed Exchange Box: There is a Plant and seed exchange box at Handam Shop for any unwanted/spare plants or garden seeds you have? Come see what we have. Drop some off and pick some up.
Climate Café Network Website is now operational. Jess has included lots of great information as well as links to all the climate cafes along with the climate cafes on soils etc. www.climate.cafe
Climate Conversation: 2040. We had 50 people sign up to watch the film on the 24th May along with a few attending the climate conversation afterwards. Maybe once the restrictions allow it, we could organise an in person screening of it in Pitlochry?
Other talks for future Climate café meetings?
Water Saving Campaign: I will be contacting Scottish water to see if they would be interested in helping us with a water saving project – supply water saving devices for our cisterns and water butts? Then advertise it to the accommodation providers and community.
Tayside Biodiversity Catherine Lloyd would be happy to come chat about some projects we could do here with the school. Pollinators stepping stones – wild flower corridors. Hedgehog project, Swift surveys to name a few.
Green Hyrogen? Would anyone be interested to hear about this new source of energy?
Our next meeting is Friday 11th of June and the topic is LoveMyBus.
The Community Eco Hub in Pitlochry is inviting all the kids and adults too for our monthly litter picking every 3rd Sunday of the month at 11.30 am
The event was created for kids who want to make a change and have some fun at the same time. And all the adults that want to join them.
We will meet at 11.30 am at the Recreation ground in Pitlochry. We will provide grabbers and bags but you are more than welcome to bring your own if you wish.
Cleaning will last around 45 minutes – 1 hour and everyone will be welcome to stay for a picnic and play at the park with us afterwards (Bring your lunch)
!!! Kids need to be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Joyce Veheary - Lend and Tend Joyce came along to tell us about her project and talk us through the process. With Lend and Tend, garden owners can offer parts of their gardens to people who would like to garden and can help with tasks like weeding or digging, cutting grass, composting and growing veg, fruit and flowers which they can share. There is also the social aspect which is important too. If you are interested there is a link to her Garden Share applications for lenders and Tenders on the lendandtend website. If you would like to contact Joyce directly with any questions or any other information her email is Lendandtend@gmail.com You can also get a paper copy of the allocation forms from Kaja if someone doesn’t have access to the internet. They can be filled in and returned to Handam Shop to be photocopied and sent onto Joyce. But we also have a local mobile number to call 07504 488873. Joyce is seeing a growing number of people wanting to be
lenders or tenders. She offers this service on a voluntary basis and operates a "Pay-What-You-Can" basis. The suggested donation is £12.99.
PKC Community Food Growing Strategy. Update from Alison Robb– She spoke to PKC for growing fruit trees and bushes, and they have provided her with a few suggestions. Part of the recreation grounds might be ok. A community orchard and allotments could be created at the end of Ballinlochan Terrace.
SSE owns the area of land near the Dam but have suggested it wouldn’t work there but that may change.
There was a recent Forestry Commission consultation that Alison sent me regarding Fonab and Grandtully forest land management survey and I missed sending it out to everyone before the deadline, which I apologise for. However, I have been in contact with Nick Gough and asked if we could still add our opinions and he said yes as they would appreciate everyone thoughts. Here is the website https://forestryandland.gov.scot/what-we-do/planning/consultations/fonab-and-
grandtully-land-management-plan-consultation and if you have any comments, please send them directly to him. Nick.Gough@forestryandland.gov.scot Our concern is the use of those non biodegradeable tree guards as there are so many of them being used. I have wondered if someone goes around and collects them when they are no longer needed. Or are they just left?
Jess Pepper - Water Saving Project in Dunkeld and Birnam, 2019 Their Climate Café was approached by Scottish Water and Home Energy Scotland to help them conduct a trial in the town to take simple steps to reduce their daily water consumption and improve water efficiency. Our drinking water takes a lot of processing and energy to reach the level of quality we are used to, then heating it brings its own costs. In a year they saved 1 million gallons of water. Click here for more info.
Energy Saving Trust can offer devices such as eco-showerheads, shower timers and toilet cistern displacement devices and possibly water butts. They can also give literature and advice showing people how to change their day to day behaviour to save water. Water saving packs can be requested from Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 or email WaterSavingPack@est.org.uk
For more information on water saving, click here.
So, a project this year for Pitlochry? - We are looking at contacting Scottish Water to undertake a small water saving project in Pitlochry using toilet Cistern Displacement devices and water butts (if possible) to see how much water we can save over a given period of time. The idea would be to ask everyone to commit to saving some water when flushing our toilets. Between water butts and cistern water saving devices we could save quite a bit. Alison worked out that the average
household size in Scotland last year was about 2. And if you were to place a 1 litre displacement device in the cistern and flush only four times per day that would be a saving of 8 litres/day. Over a year that would be 2920 litres of water saved per year!
Mary McDougall– Update on Verges - Is anything happening with changes to local practices on the use of pesticides and cutting verges – nothing to report at the moment.
Community Eco Hub: As part of the development of a local Community Eco Hub we are continuing to focus on the information space situated in the Handam shop where we will have leaflets, books, presentations on issues with waste, energy efficiency in homes, food, transport and nature. Kaja has been in touch with Zero Waste Scotland who have a lot of resources we can use, leaflets and webinars which we could make available to all the climate cafes too. We have completed a short community engagement survey for everyone to fill in and return to us asap or by Saturday July 31st 2021. Here is the link but you can also fill it through the IRIS magazine, or you can pop into Handam Shop (behind Davidson's Pharmacy and Coffee Break) to pick up a paper copy of the survey.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated, and if you could pass these
links to others as we would like as many people as possible to participate in the survey, Thanks.
Jess Pepper – Update on COP26 – is a global United Nations Summit about Climate Change and how countries plan to tackle it, which is a huge event and is coming to Glasgow the first 2 weeks in November and will be in person covid permitting. For more information check here.
Another group the COP26 Coalition is a civil society coalition made of groups and individuals from a range of constituencies in the UK will be running another few days of live events for people to participate in from a different perspective to
COP26. In the run up to the main event we have pre - events such as the G7 in Cornwall and a climate change conference in Bonn in June and the Pre – COP26 summit in September/October in Milan so lots happening. If you would like to know more, you can sign up for the COP26 newsletter, or check out some of the other groups like Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.
In regard to Climate Cafes, Jess and I have been chatting to other UK Climate Reality Leaders about them and they are eager to learn and support the opening of more Climate Cafes throughout the UK.
Climate Reality team have applied for a space at COP26 and we plan to create a number of then around Glasgow using our Climate Café ethos to get as many folks talking. People who are already involved in our Climate Cafes or who would like to be, can help support and participate in these conversations.
Climate Café Craft project - As well as the Big Tree project. There is another - Stitches For Survival is a group of crafters creating a heart-felt message for COP26 climate talks. They are knitting, crocheting, stitching and crafting 1.5 miles of climate messages for the negotiators to urge them to take bold and binding action together to put the Earth centre-stage at COP26!
Could this be a project not just for COP26 but for a local event too?
Len Seal – Update on open meeting to form a Communities Woodlands group. There is a lot of interest to create a local woodlands network around Perth and Kinross. And if you are interested in being involved with this group, please contact Len at firstname.lastname@example.org. And there is more information on Blairgowrie and Rattray Climate Café here.
As an example there is a Woodlands Project that is near Stanley, You may have heard of it. I have included it for your information.
Alan McDonnell from Trees for life came along to tour meeting as he is interested in creating a Climate Café or something similar close to where he lives and works. So for reference here is Alan's email email@example.com and CWA a organisation that supports community woodland groups.
Last months Climate Conversation Forest Gardening was from Alan Carter: His talk was very interesting. He also has a book called Food Forest in your Garden. Click here for his website.
Next Climate Conversation is the Australian film, 2040 is on Monday 24th May, (all day) Damon Gameau explores what the future in 2040 could look like by the time his daughter is 24 years old. He focuses on promoting some of the best climate change solutions available to us now and shifting them rapidly into normal practices that we could use to help improve our planet.
For those of you who can,t make the evening event, but would still like to see the film, we have also been given the opportunity to watch it at our convenience throughout the day on Monday 24th May as well.
All you need to do is sign up for the event on Eventbrite and you will be sent an email with the link(s) to the film and zoom that morning. The evening event will take the form of - We individually watch the film then come onto zoom at 8.30pm for an after the film chat.
Seed Exchange Box: There is a seed exchange box at Handam Shop for any unwanted/spare garden seeds you have? Come see what they have. Drop some off and/or pick some up.
Ecosia: Some of you may already be using this site, Ecosia, "the search engine that plants trees".
They donate at least 80% of their profits to non-profit organisations.
PKC Community Food Growing Strategy/Allotments meetings in February. – I have been sent the information from the other organisations presenting at these meetings and have forwarded then onto everyone. Some good information regarding the setting up of community gardens etc.
An update from Alison Robb about growing fruit bushes and trees randomly on small areas of land around Pitlochry. She contacted Peter Marshall PKC again and he reiterated that he still had to check these sites and that we would have to do some kind of community consultation regarding the planting of fruit bushes and trees in these areas. She mentioned we could help them with this and that there would be an educational element to this situation such as children and youths knowing where their food comes from and also address some anti-poverty issues.
Alison has been in contact with SSE too about the piece of land by the Old Armoury building down towards the Dam. They will check with their land management team and get back to her asap.
Lend and Tend (Lend and Tend.com) or Garden Share: There are lots of people here hoping for an allotment one day, so until then we are going to promote the sharing of gardens either as a garden owner or a garden tender. We have been in touch with Joyce Veheary from Lend and Tend and she is really interested to help us set up a garden share group here and helping to match people. She has a registration form we can use, which we can include a link to on our website, along with some information about it. In our April advert in the Pitlochry Life and The Quair I have also included Alison’s mobile number for those who are interested but don’t have internet. They will be able to pick up a paper copy of the form from Kaja in Handam to fill out and return. I have asked that they return these forms by Saturday May 1st 2021 as it would be good to get people matched asap as the growing season will be started soon. But we will continue to promote it after that too.
Would anyone be interested in helping with a wildflower turf/plugs idea in a meadow just outside Pitlochry, please get in touch? The idea would be to plant seeds in plugs which could be sold to others who would like wildflowers in their grassy areas. Maybe the Den of Heartland Kids club would be interested in this?
Another great source of information on different issues with gardening is Roots and All have some podcasts on lots of subjects. - https://rootsandall.co.uk/ Yvie recommends their podcasts.
You can pick up some native Scottish wildflower seeds from here, https://www.scotiaseeds.co.uk/
Pesticides and verges – I have been in contact with Sally Spaven from Pitlochry in Bloom and she has forwarded my email to Kate Howie who is now the Chairman of PIB. I am waiting to hear back from her. I have asked her about any other landscape contractors who cut or weed kill the verges etc (Alistair McLaughlin. Yvie Stewart mentioned there is an interesting podcast about wildflowers verges and councils from Roots and All. https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/more-than-weeds-and-more-with-sophie-leguil/id1399040612?i=1000490309717
Anne Urry and Yvie Stewart mentioned that Dundee has been doing a lot of work with wildflowers and rewilding spaces and the Botanical gardens may be involved too. So, they may be a good example to look to regarding their existing practices for verges.
Here is a video on how Foamstream works which can be used as an alternative to weedkillers.. https://youtu.be/4o1RooBfGxY
Waste and Resources. I mentioned before that Sheila Best from PKC had said that PKC was trialling a communal recycling waste system in Perth City Centre and some folks were not recycling as well as they could, so they are approaching these people to discuss what support they can give them to improve this situation. Peter Marshall also mentioned of creating a one stop shop which would be a roving team to go round communities to discuss waste and how to be more successful with reusing, recycling etc. For reuse, there is places like Remake, freecycle, Transform, Facebook pages, Tayside Upcycling & Craft Centre, British Red Cross shops as well as Heart Foundation.
I emailed John Fergusson of Pi Polymer Recycling about an update on his progress with getting his project funded to develop the first large rigid plastics recycling facility at the Binn Eco Park in Tayside as part of Project Beacon. He is talking to funders at the moment and when he has some more news he will come back with an update on his progress.
I recently met Ruth Pepper (Jess’s sister) from North Berwick Climate Café and have asked her about having a chat about their Climate Café, recycling waste issues etc as a tourist town. I am organising another meeting with her for a longer chat, especially as their group has been going for 7 years now.
Plastic Lite Pitlochry. (accommodation providers). Anna Stokes is helping Alison with calls to accommodation providers regarding reducing their plastic waste, providing alternative solutions but also promoting active travel around Pitlochry area, using bikes, walking and public transport. There are lots of ideas on our website. Alison has discovered that Knockendarroch have installed 2 electric charging points. Some accommodation providers are using local produce, reducing plastic packaging through using compostable containers. Using refillable eco products too. Anne Urry from Rosemount Hotel is working towards becoming a greener, energy efficient business/building and quite a few would like more information on how they can move towards this too. Graeme Stewart from Highland Perthshire Gourmet although almost plastic free except for a plastic film on some containers mentioned he would really like to know more about what products are out there that he can use. He also said he was going to start promoting how to recycle all the containers etc he uses.
A few of us are getting together in the next week or so to chat about this - such as creating a list of suppliers and alternative products to make it easier for accommodation providers to choose replacements to the ones they use at present. Organise small groups of accommodation providers to discuss how we can help them with information etc. And we have some examples of sustainable businesses in Pitlochry like Handam Refill Shop who have experience of the different issues involved in becoming a sustainable business. There are a few more established sustainable businesses farther away like Jessie Macs in Birnam and Scottish Deli in Dunkeld. It was our plan to hold a Zero waste event last year but these smaller zoom meetings could replace it.
But there is also a request for information on creating more energy efficient buildings under the new regs coming out. Martin Mathers may be able to help with this.
Tanya Ewing owns Glaze and Save, Perth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH_ZP8W8hJo which provides secondary glazing for sash and case windows. Draughtproof and energy efficient.
Community Eco Hub – Update on space for information hub. As the shop is finished, we are now focused on creating the information hub and Kaja and I will continue to contact people and groups regarding supplies of up to date information (posters and leaflets plus any presentations/videos etc). Our Community survey is almost complete to hand out to local residents through Handam for feedback regarding what help they would like to have on offer from a Community Eco Hub. It will be online as well as downloadable from our website and hopefully the IRIS magazine too. I have asked if it could be completed and return to us by Saturday 4th July 2021. Although I have included times for both the Garden share forms and Survey returns, these are not rigid but asap would be great.
Kate Kirby has put a notice on the Climate Cafe website about the Community Eco hub and will be posting updates on its progress there. She has also added the list of Climate Change, Social Justice, Solutions books to the website. If you have any books magazines, eco businesses etc you would like to add to this list, please forward them to me or Kate to share. They would be greatly appreciated.
Climate Café Blog – Karen Lean has written a blog for the website on what weeds we can eat and a few recipes and she has offered to write some more for the group on different subjects that we can add to our website.
2040 Feedback so far for the film is yes. It’s a great feelgood film and I have booked it for Monday 24th May, all day, and we can use it as a Climate Conversation. (Damon Gameau explores what the future in 2040 could look like by the time his daughter is 24 years old. He looks at the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shift them rapidly into the mainstream.) I am also going to ask the schools if they would like to view it too.
CAT Centre of Alternative Technologies – I watched a presentation about Building with Nature in Mind which I found very interesting. CAT have a series of podcasts on different subjects available for everyone to watch.
Next meeting is Friday 9th April, 7pm
Community Eco Hub: You may have noticed Handam Refill Shop is open in Pitlochry and Kaja and I are now focussing on the Community Eco Hub and in particular creating the information Hub in the shop where we will provide the leaflets, books and hope to have regular drop in sessions with consultants on Waste, Energy Efficiency in homes, Food and transport etc.
Our intention is to extend this through time to include educational workshops such as maintenance, repair and reuse. Presentations, talks and more zero waste events.
But there could be other help and support you would like the Community Eco Hub to offer so we have created a short community Engagement Survey for everyone to fill in or return to us by Saturday July 4th 2021 please. Or you can pop into Handam Refill Shop (behind Davidson's Pharmacy and Coffee Break) to pick up a paper copy to be returned to the shop. Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
PKC engagement on Climate Change consultation with Communities. https://consult.pkc.gov.uk/housing-environment/climate-emergency_phase1/
Feedback – over 400 responses to all the surveys. The online sessions with the Climate Cafes produced lots of good idea for projects and actions many community-based. Results are expected in April. However, we can still contact Eirini and Clare if we think of any other ideas etc. Results will be out later in the year.
List of PKC sessions - Energy and Buildings, Whole River System Catchment Management, Land Use, Rural Transport, Waste and Resources Management, Transport, Business & Industry finishing with a General one. I went to the Waste and Resources. Alison Robb had a meeting with Peter Marshall PKC and Andrew Holmes about planting fruit bushes around Pitlochry. Was anyone able to attend any of the other sessions?
PKC Community Food Growing Strategy/Allotments meetings in February. - PKC has parcels of land around Pitlochry they would be happy for us to use to grow something like a community orchard or like and we now have the map so can see where they are.
When Alison spoke with Peter and Andrew, she suggested the idea about using some of these parcels of land for informally growing fruit bushes and trees, just like the Walnut Trees at Tom Na Moan and they could be picked by everyone. Peter said he would check the areas and get back to her but some kind of consultation with residents would have to be undertaken. Peter also mentioned that if he was sent a list of those people interested in allotments then he could approach the local landowner to see if they would provide the community with a piece of and for Allotments.
PKC had organised two meetings about allotments and community orchards. There are over 25 people interested in Allotments. Andrew Holmes from the Community Council has been gathering names and there will have an update at next Monday’s CC meeting if anyone is interested in what progress has been made.
Lend and Tend (Lend and Tend.com) An idea that came from the Community Food Growing Strategy meeting where Joyce Veheary from Croydon gave a presentation about her group Lend and Tend. An idea similar to what Alison has also mentioned. As we don’t have allotments in Pitlochry at the moment but there are a number of large gardens where veg has been grown before, we wondered if anyone would be interested in sharing knowledge. skills and small areas of their gardens with others who would like to learn to grow veg but don’t have gardens or big enough gardens to do so. There would be an exchange support and manual help for veg or fruit grown in their gardens. But also there would be the advantage of some company too.
We can do something locally or Joyce is happy to do the hard work to match people who are looking for a garden with those who are looking for help in their garden. She has a network of matches across the UK with only a few in Scotland at the moment.
These could all lead onto a community garden or a community woodland somewhere close and it would be great to get all the schools both teachers and pupils involved.
Garden Water butt idea – to recycle rainwater for watering the garden especially in summer, maybe a PKC Initiative? Local initiative? Will have to check with Jess Pepper as she suggested we apply to Zero Waste Scotland or Scottish water for funding.
Neighbourfood market – The market is doing really well and we are hoping to get more producers on board to extend the range of products and to help more producers retain their businesses. More local businesses are still needed. And due to Brexit happening wondering if it would be a good idea to contact more local farmers and see if they could grow and sell their produce locally?
PKC Waste and Resources Meeting. Sheila Best PKC – mentioned that PKC are trialling a communal recycling waste system in Perth City Centre and when residents do not use the bins properly members from the waste team are engaging with those residents to learn why they are not placing waste in the right bins and how they can educate them in how to recycle properly.
We have been asking for recycling bins in Pitlochry for about 18 months now as a trial to see how well they could encourage people to stop dropping litter and recycle more in and around the town. So we have decided as they are doing these trials then we don’t need to keep chasing them.