by Jez Smith
I’ve written the following for my Local Meeting and then thought that it might be of interest to others. Do comment if you’ve got more links to share or if you would like to write for Nayler on this theme or on another subject to be of interest to newcomers to the Quaker way and those already on their own Quaker journey.
Following on from the Britain Yearly Meeting minute (http://www.quaker.org.uk/sites/default/files/YMG-2011-minute-36-separated.pdf) about being ready to be a low-carbon sustainable community here are some links.
Here’s the Britain Yearly Meeting epistle: http://www.quaker.org.uk/files/Britain-Yearly-Meeting-Epistle-2011.pdf and here’s the Junior Yearly Meeting epistle: http://www.quaker.org.uk/sites/default/files/JYM%20Epistle%202011.pdf.
The Britain Yearly Meeting decision took place during a Yearly Meeting Gathering. The website for the event is www.quaker.org.uk/ymg and there are many useful resources there such as the minutes, audio recordings from some sessions, as well as materials such as documents in advance.
The George Gorman lecture was by Simon Best and questioned the present and future of Quakers. Listen here: http://www.quaker.org.uk/blog/audio-sundays-george-gorman-lecture.
The Swarthmore Lecture was by Pam Lunn and began the process of setting out our response to environmental challenges. The lecture book can be bought here: http://www.quaker.org.uk/shop/swarthmore/2011 and the lecture CD is available from Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre via here: http://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/pages/yearly-meeting-2011.html.
There are plenty of resources available from Britain Yearly Meeting concerning the environment and what we can do.
Here’s a useful page from the Britain Yearly Meeting website: http://www.quaker.org.uk/sustainability and here: http://www.quaker.org.uk/sustainability#sus_newsletter you can sign up for their sustainability newsletter (by email).
http://www.quaker.org.uk/creating-just-and-sustainable-world is a link with actions you can take if you have just 2, 5 or 15 minutes spare. There are also actions you can take as a Meeting.
Telling our stories will be important – sharing our successes and being accountable to one another will help us to achieve what we want. Here are some stories from Friends and Meetings: http://www.quaker.org.uk/sustainability-stories. Some of them have Friends saying what they find hard or why they can’t do something – it isn’t all about ‘look how easy it was for me’.
Coming up on 24/09/2011 is conference about the ‘Zero Growth Economy’ at Friends House: http://www.quaker.org.uk/qpsw-conferences-and-events.
Living Witness is the network of Quakers and particularly Meetings who are working on environment issues. See http://www.livingwitness.org.uk/aboutus.html and http://www.livingwitness.org.uk/buildings.html for information about our buildings as witness. There are plenty of materials on the Living Witness website including a carbon footprint calculator. The calculators can also be used online through Britain Yearly Meeting: http://www.quaker.org.uk/climate-impact-calculators where they are called climate impact calculators.
I’ve joined a website called imeasure (http://www.imeasure.org.uk) which I’m using to record my electricity and gas meter readings every week. This will give me a good indicator of how much energy I’m using. The data is collated and anonymised to be used by Oxford University in research. On the site there are lots of tips about how to use less energy and you can compare your figures to other people around the country who have similar size properties or similar number of people in the property. You can also set up your own ‘carbon club’ to compare with your friends. I’ve set up one called ‘Westminster Quakers’ for anyone connected to Westminster Meeting to join and one called ‘Quakers in Britain’ so we can support each other from across the Yearly Meeting.
On my Nayler site http://www.nayler.org I’m writing updates about how I get on with becoming part of a low carbon sustainable community and the first post is here: http://www.nayler.org/?p=363 and our fellow Friend Anna Sharman has also written: http://www.nayler.org/?p=368. Anyone wanting to write too or to talk about their experience for an audio recording (podcast) can email me.
A book was mentioned at our session at Westminster, ‘How bad are bananas? The carbon footprint of everything’. This is available widely from bookshops and online (including from the Quaker bookshop on 020 7663 1030 or [email protected]).
Also from the Yearly Meeting Gathering, the Salter Lecture organised by Quaker Socialists was given by Tony Benn: http://www.quaker.org.uk/blog/audio-2011-salter-lecture. Here’s an article by Brian Beecroft on the Nayler site, about Alfred Salter, who the lecture is named after: http://www.nayler.org/?p=295.