Balerno Parish Church have been highly commended in their environmental work under the Eco-Congregation scheme and presented with an “outright” award. The church first registered under the Eco-Congregation scheme in February 2011 and has been busy over the past two years implementing key actions to reduce its impact on the environment and to support environmental initiatives within the whole community.
The award was presented on Sunday 12th May by Rev Trevor Jamison, Environmental Chaplin to Eco-Congregation Scotland during a special environmental themed service under the title of “On Earth as it is in Heaven”. During his presentation the Reverend Jamison commented that “The assessors were extremely impressed with all that the congregation has achieved, and as a result, have recommended that you should be one of the very few congregations in Scotland to receive an “outright award”.
One specific area that the church has focused on over the period of participation is the support of community based projects and events. The church has active volunteers supporting the great work of Balerno Village Trust and regularly hosts key events such as “Apple Day” and “Tattie Day”. Balerno Parish Church has also been able to fully support the recent Fair Trade Village application by providing one of the required Fair Trade catering venues by means of the Mill Café. In terms of the day to day running of the church, it has a fully co-ordinated recycling strategy for all its buildings, which means all paper, cardboard, cans, glass and plastic bottles that can be recycled are recycled. Food waste from the café is also composted using both on-site composting and a food waste collection service. For the running of the church halls and main sanctuary, waste going to landfill is kept to an absolute minimum.
A specific initiative Balerno Parish Church would like to advertise more widely is its Printer Cartridge recycling service for the community. A Printer Cartridge collection bin is now located in the Mill Café. The church knows that may households struggle to know what to do with used printer cartridges, but these can all be recycled properly if left in the church’s collection point. Note this is for home printers only (not commercial/office printer cartridges). Balerno Parish Church would like to thank all those that have helped them achieve their environmental goals to date which includes all members of the congregation, BVT and also all users of the halls for events and regular clubs.
Rob Cargill, who leads the Green Team at the church, said “We look forward to everyone’s support as we work towards our next level of award in 2015. I would also sum-up the basics of environmental good practice as follows: “Recycle”, “Buy Fair Trade wherever possible” and “Use Less Energy”. He goes on to say “If we can all do what we can in these three areas we will achieve a great deal ”.
(Photo: Rob Cargill, accompanied by the Sunday Club children, BPC Minister Louise Duncan and Parish Assistant Hayley Cohen, receives Eco-Congregation Award from Revd Trevor Jamison.)