Notes from Sheffield FoE Local Group meeting - 17th January 2022 by Zoom
Attendees: Lindy S (chair), Liddy G, Duncan F, Shaun R, Greg H, Alan T, Nelson W, Beatrice G, Claire B.
Richard S, Celia, Heike B, Ashley C, Julia H, Sue, Corinne A,
Apologies: Helen F
Steps towards a sustainable lifestyle: Duncan Friend spoke about the steps he had taken over a ten year period to move towards a sustainable carbon target, outlining lifestyle issues (food, travel choices) and home energy measures (insulation, solar panels, heat pump) and also support at home for natural world (including his ‘wilded’ garden space and bat/bird/hedgehog boxes). He identified some “win-win-wins”, for example with a vegan diet, saving money and feeling healthier as well as reducing his food associated carbon footprint significantly. More sustainable gardening can achieve the related priorities for the environment: ie carbon reduction, increasing biodiversity, better land management and eliminating use of chemicals. He also recommends joining up with “Sheffield Litterpickers”. (https://en-gb.facebook.com/groups/SheffieldLitterPickers/).
In the discussion Duncan shared his future plans and Claire B shared feedback on the Carbon Literacy course as she has also just completed this course.
Follow up from December meeting:
Monthly challenges: For January the challenge is to write to your MP or councillor. Alan T shared that he has written on the Public Order Bill (Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill); Claire B has also continued lobbying and having support from Clive Betts; February’s challenge will be on sustainable clothes buying.
January: Peat Free compost petition roll out to local retailers: The online and paper petitions are now merged (334 signatures) Following discussion with Shaun and Duncan, Lindy has prepared a letter to horticultural retailers asking for their current position on selling of peat-free/peat-based composts. Have set out a 5 tier model from ‘only selling peat-based compost’ to ‘only selling peat-free compost and all plants sold are peat-free’ so they can see there are options between “all or nothing”
Lindy has identified 20 retailers in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster area. People will take on the liaison with named retailers in order to draw and share conclusions from this. Will need to check websites first, rather than cold-call (some retailers already have policies stated) and/or be able to visit to check out that the reality meets the response (or simply to gather the info if the retailer doesn’t respond). Plan is to seek to engage with retailers not just survey.
We will be able to link up with the Wildlife Trust, to do a press release when results are in, and to advertise on social media and link with MPs .
· Lindy will target B&Q/Morrisons/Homebase/Dobbies;
· Duncan will target Birley Moor
· Shaun Langlands and Loxley garden centres;
· Liddy will visit Valleyside (Crosspool).
· Claire will target Hobsons (Swallownest); Godfreys (Aston); with support from other local people
· Lindy will enlist support to target Dore Moor; New Leaf; Ferndale; Wards;
· Helen Francis will be asked to contact the Rotherham centres Wentworth, Fosters & Dearne Valley;
· Rob Newton will be asked to target the Doncaster centres of Strikes,Stringers & Wherry Lane
We are also joining in the Climate Coalition’s ‘Show the Love’ campaigning boosting climate awareness.
March: Plan for further Drax campaigning which will mean liaising with the ongoing regional campaign (led by Simon Bowens).
April: South Yorkshire Mayoral race, for which we can contribute to hustings. For the May council elections, we have the opportunity to use the framework and methods for a survey of candidates based on Manchester FoE work in previous local elections (to do in partnership with Sheffield Climate Alliance (SCA) & other partners)
Update on supporter numbers:: Numbers are fairly stable: Database stands at 479 (+2 in the month); Twitter 781 (+ 7); Facebook 652 (-4). We now also have an Instagram account that we can share (52 followers)
Next Local Group Meetings – 7:30pm on 21st February 2022 – via Zoom.
We may be able to meet in person in March (or April) and if so we will book the Sheffield Showroom. It was also agreed to look into the possibilities of an FoE walk in the spring.