S&L – Issue 14

Salt and Light

Issue Fourteen (November 2010)

Five Leaf Church Greening Initiative Newsletter

We believe that Creation Care is a core Christian responsibility”

The aim of this newsletter is to provide a supportive and informative link between individuals and groups that share a care and Christian responsibility for our environment. You are on this newsletter list because you have expressed an interest in the Five Leaf Eco-Awards program or have communicated with the National Coordinator – Jessica Morthorpe.


l  Letter from the Editor

l  Church Greening News

l  Events

l  Featured Grants

l  Doom and Gloom

l  A Stirring of hope

l  Resources

l  Monthly Action Tip

l  Reading

l  Book Review

l  Discussion Question

l  Quotes of the month

l  Crown of Thorns Blog

l  Websites to visit

Letter from the Editor:

Hi everyone,


I hope this newsletter finds you all well and surviving this busy time of year.


There are a couple of things I would like to bring to your attention:


–       Members of this network from Queensland are looking for a supplier of biodegradable disposable cups (preferably local). If you have purchased biodegradable cups before or know of a supplier and can help out please let me know and I will forward the details.

–       I will be out of email contact from the 21st of November to the 5th of December while in the Grampians helping with a Schoolies for the Environment trip organised by the Uniting Church. You will probably hear all about it in the next issue.

–       I will be speaking on biodiversity loss and why it matters at the ETHOS event, ‘Groaning Creation, Biodiversity and the Bible’ this Saturday. Registrations are open until COB on Friday. Details in the Melbourne events section.

–       Finally, I am looking for a volunteer to help with the writing of Salt and Light. Someone who loves the environment, reading, web-research and writing would be ideal. This would be a regular commitment of a few hours every month. It could be ideal for a student or someone who wants to practice their skills in these areas.

Thanks in advance!

I hope you enjoy the enclosed issue.

Yours Sincerely – Jessica Morthorpe

Jessica Morthorpe

Founder and Director

Five Leaf Eco-Awards



Church Greening News

Exciting News from Uniting Earthweb:

New Resource – Growing Mission with Community Food

Food, who gets to share it, and how it is produced, are as important questions for the church today as they were for Jesus in his ministry.  Our food system in Australia and worldwide is in crisis. Overuse of the Earth’s resources, environmental degradation, and climate change threaten business as usual. Enormous amounts of food are wasted even as close to billion go hungry. Farmers are walking off their farms and committing suicide. Community food initiatives – like community gardens, farmers markets, food buying groups, community supported agriculture – are a part of the answer.  The Uniting Earthweb Group has prepared a resource for church congregations interested in such initiatives.  If your church wants to reinvigorate its mission, build relationships with the local community, care for God’s creation, serve the needy, and support farmers in your region, this is the resource for you.  Read more and access the resource here.


New Case Studies – Churches and Community Food

Our churches in NSW and the ACT, and right across Australia are participating in community food projects.  Churches at Moree, Gymea-Miranda, Broken Hill, Chatswood South, O’Connor, Bondi Beach, South Sydney, Cooma, Belmont, Adamstown, Eden, Glebe and more are getting involved in community gardening, food buying groups and community supported agriculture.  This month we have nine new case studies so you can read about their experiences and be inspired.  Access them here .  Is your church involved in a community food project?  We are keen to hear your story and share it with others – contact us at info@unitingearthweb.org.au or 0447 730 772.

New Community Food Google Group

This google group is for Christians and churches in Australia who are interested/involved in community food initiatives.  It is a place for sharing ideas and learnings, and for mutual support.  For example, people at various stages of development of a community food project at their church could ask others in the group for ideas, advice and resources.  If you have a google account and would like to sign up to the group, visit http://groups.google.com/group/churches-and-community-food .  If you don’t have a google account you can still participate – please email info@unitingearthweb.org.au.

“Just Faith” Program for Churches and Christian Groups

“Just Faith” has been designed by TEAR Australia for Christians who are interested in exploring the connections between their faith and the big issues of the world today. Participants are invited to open their Bibles, open their eyes, and open their hearts. Together we will investigate the state of the world and what the Bible says about how we can look at, understand and live well in this world. The program consists of eight sessions covering poverty, money, the environment, and war and violence. Registration for the program closes on 31 January 2011.  Read more here.




Buy Nothing Day – Saturday 27th November

Is your church doing anything or nothing?

Thoughts for reflection at www.buynothingday.org



Groaning Creation, Biodiversity and the Bible – Saturday 20th of November

9.30am – 5.00pm

Venue: St Mark’s Anglican Church , 622 Melbourne Road, Spotswood VIC

One day workshop on biodiversity in recognition of the International Year of Biodiversity.

Speakers include:

Dr Mick Pope, meteorologist
Jessica Morthope, enviromentalist
Amar Breckenridge, economist
Jonathon Cornford, aid & development

Cost: $40 ($25 Concession)
Morning & afternoon tea included

Please register by this Friday (19th November) on the website at http://www.ea.org.au/Events/Groaning-Creation-Biodiversity—the-Bible.aspx
Enquiries to Mick Pope 0412 002 977 or polymath@optusnet.com.au

Fair@Square fair-trade + ethical festival 2010, 11-12 December

Free festival with workshops, talks, market stalls, music, fashion and art, appealing to the young and old.

Federation Square from 11.00 am to 6.00pm.



Flowers of Mulligan’s Flat Sanctuary


Sunday 21 November, 11 – 2pm


Bookings essential. Please phone 6207 2113


The ‘Flowers of Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary’ bushwalk is to be held on Sunday the 21st of November from 11.00am to approx 2.00pm. Meet at Mulligans Flat Carpark in Amy Ackman Street, Forde. The carpark directions are signposted off Horse Park Drive and Francis Forde Blvd. Forde.

Bring snack lunch and drink/thermos. The walk will not be suitable for prams or wheelchairs as many flowers are in steeper, wet or sometimes rocky areas, we will probably have to jump over a few small creeks. Wear sturdy shoes, sunscreen and hat, some grassy areas may be damp therefore water resistant shoes may be keep socks dry. This wet spring and early summer has brought to this region a flowering not to be missed. The walk will be about six to seven kilometres spread over about two hours of walking. A portable toilet will be provided near the lunch log. There will be many chances to stop and smell the flowers and take lots of colourful photos. Bookings essential, phone 62072113.


Upcoming Flora Meetings

Thursday, Nov 25: Bushfire Management

5:30 for 6pm, Havelock House,

85 Northbourne Ave, Turner

Drinks and nibbles will be provided. Entry by gold coin donation, member groups and eco-activists free!


ANBG Lunchtime Talks – Thursdays from February to November

ANBG Lunchtime Talks (12:30 – 1:30 pm, Thursdays – from Feb to Nov)

The excellent lunchtime talks are held in the theatrette at the Botanic Gardens from 12:30 to 1:30 pm every Thursday. Note particularly the talk by our Cathy and Geoff Robertson on the STEP Project, of which FOG was a major initiator.

Forthcoming   talks are: 18 Nov Glen   Whiteman Ethnobotany
25   Nov Jackie   French This   Generous Earth

Canberra Forest Fundraiser Spectacular

When: 4 December 2010
Where: Corroboree Park Hall, Ainslie, ACT

Music from: George Bishop, Feral Highway, Ungus Ungus Ungus, Winiata, Rafe Morris, One Foot In The Gravy, Cuddlefish, Ben Drysdale, Dubba Rukki, Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens, Julianne Cowley, Marco Solo, The Adam Hole and Marji Curran Band, Readable Graffiti. Cost: $10 unwaged, $20 unwaged.

There will also be tree climbing workshops, organic lunch and dinner, fun kids activities, screenings of Tassie Forest films, alcohol for sale and much much more!!!!

All proceeds go towards the grassroots campaigns to save both NSW’s South-Eastern forests and Tasmania’s Southern forests. More details on the issue, check out  http://www.stillwildstillthreatened.org/


Conservation Council Christmas Party

Christmas Party! Tues 7 December at 6pm. Conservation Council office, Childers St, City (between Street Theatre and Uni Lodge). All Welcome! Drinks and nibbles provided.


Christmas cards for sale! $3 each or 5 for $10. Beautiful photo of a native Hyacinth Orchid taken by Conservation Council board member Ian Falconer. See our website for a image of the card. Postage cost is $2.

To purchase please visit our office Childers St, City (between Street Theatre and Uni Lodge) or email communications@consact.org.au or ph. 6229 3200



Canberra Real Food Project

Real Food is a project that took off in the US and is now establishing itself Canberra with hard work by a team of young people and the support of ACT otherWISE. The project has a number of aims including getting students to buy more sustainable food, and also to educate, create community awareness and have fun while focusing on sustainable food, farming and living. Community building activities such as cooking classes, farm tours and workshops are likely to be part of the project. For more information on the project and meeting times contact Sasha Hunt: Hunt.sasha@gmail.com






28 November – Earth Picnic

On the eve of the Mexico Climate talks, come along to remember the Earth, connect with others and celebrate the sacred in the city. There’ll be a meditation and prayer from 1pm – 1.30pm, then after that listen to some inspiring speakers, some great tunes and picnic in the park.  Held at Victoria Park, Sydney.  More info.

Camp for Climate Action 2010

When: 1st-5th December 2010
Where: Lake Liddell Recreation Area, Hunter Valley, NSW.

Climate Camp is a 5 day mass gathering of Australians from diverse walks of life, people serious about the need for a safe climate future. It will be five days of learning, planning, sustainable living and action on climate change: the issues, the solutions, the politics and the movement. Participants will camp at Lake Liddell Recreation Area in the NSW Hunter Valley. The camp will end with a collective action targeting Bayswater power station – the equal largest source of CO2 emissions in the country.

Various Canberra groups such as the ANU Environment Collective and Climate Action Canberra are organising a Canberra group to go. Send an email to enviro.collective@anu.edu.au orclimateactioncanberra@gmail.com for more details on the Canberra arrangements.

For more information about Climate Camp, check out the website.


Featured Grants

 Climate Communities Grants

Climate Communities is offering grants (available to churches) to promote voluntary action on climate change.


Save $500 come rain or shine!

Neco understand the seriousness of climate change. In an effort to reduce our environmental impact and further spread the need for strong action, Neco has committed to support the Australian Conservation Foundation in a number of effective ways. As an exclusive for all current Victorian ACF members, if you purchase solar power, solar hot water or a rainwater tank, you will receive $500 off the recommended retail price. Click here to claim your discount


FREE garden advisory service by expert horticulturist and rebate to help you save water in the garden.

What is it?

To help residents make a long-term commitment to sustainable water use habits, the ACT Government offers a FREE GardenSmart service, valued at $150. A horticulturist will visit your home and assess your garden, then demonstrate practical ways you can use less water in the garden. The horticulturist will tell you how to make your garden more water-efficient through clever plant choice and garden design, and give you practical maintenance and watering advice.

After the horticulturist’s visit, you can apply for a rebate on the purchase of selected water-saving products for the garden.

Who can participate?

GardenSmart is available to ACT residential properties connected to ACTEW Corporation’s water supply network. There is a limit of one GardenSmart service per metered premises.

How much is the rebate?

After the GardenSmart horticulturalist’s visit, participants are eligible to apply for a rebate to a maximum of $50 for the purchase of approved water-saving products: garden mulch, drip irrigation systems or components, weeping hose, tap timers, soil additives for moisture retention, irrigation system controllers, moisture/rain sensors for irrigation systems, water wands, downpipe water diverters, greywater hoses, compost bins, worm farms and books on water-efficient gardening.

Plant Issue Scheme

If you have purchased a brand new residential block of land in the ACT you are entitled to an allocation of plants from the Yarralumla Nursery. The ACT Government provides these plants to help you beautify your new home and your suburb.

For more information about the Plant Issue Scheme and how to access it, please visit the Department of Territory and Municipal Services website at: http://www.tams.act.gov.au/live/yarralumla_nursery/plant_issue_scheme.

For more information, see the GardenSmart website at http://www.environment.act.gov.au/actsmart/your_household/gardensmart or call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

Win an Eco Holiday to Kangaroo Island!


Simply inquire about installing solar in your home and receive a free obligation free assessment or quote OR

Sign up as a Conservation Council ECO Activist and make regular donations to the Conservation Council ACT Region.

To enter please fill in the attached form and email or post to GPO Box 544, Canberra, ACT 2601

email: bushcare@consact.org.au

Visit http://www.consact.org.au for more information on installing solar in your home.


Doom and Gloom

Solar Bonus Scheme Cut

Throughout this year, a number of churches in NSW and the ACT have installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their rooves, and are benefiting from gross feed-in tariffs put in place by their respective state/territory governments.  The NSW Government has now cut its tariff from 60 cents to 20 cents per kilowatt hour for new customers who install PV panels.  Read more here .

A Stirring of Hope

30 Ways in 30 Days

From creating mass markets for solar water heaters, improving vehicle efficiency, using waste for energy or installing energy-efficient cooking stoves or planting trees and protecting forests, UNEP’s 30 case studies prove that solutions to combat Climate Change are available, accessible and replicable.

The stories have been arranged according to UNEP’s Climate Change priorities, areas of work that support countries in their accelerated and effective response to a warming world and its unpredictable consequences.

To view the stories visit http://www.unep.org/unite/30ways/#


Kippax Ethical Emergency Relief Flier

Jessica has received reports that the attached flier has been useful in raising awareness about ethical shopping, and how the church’s mission can be carried out more sustainably, in the community linked to UnitingCare Kippax. It is hoped that by providing this example as a resource in this newsletter the idea might also inspire other churches and communities involved in emergency relief to take similar actions.

The information in the flyer was collated by Jessica Morthorpe based predominantly on the Ethical Shopping Guide and the flyer design is by Brooke Thomas.

Contact Jessica with a list of the products you use in your emergency relief if you would like her to conduct similar research for your church.

Monthly Action Tips

Defend our spectacular and unique marine life!

(Victorian National Parks Association Campaign)


This spectacular little guy is the Weedy Seadragon. He bears the impressive title of Victoria’s marine emblem.

Cute isn’t he?

Luckily for him, the Weedy Seadragon has no major predators.

But here’s the thing; too much pollution, or destruction of his seaweed habitat – poof, no more seadragons.

Right now, only a tiny 5.3 per cent (about one twentieth) of Victoria’s unique marine environment is protected by marine national parks.

International standards call for 20-30 per cent of each country or state’s marine environments to be protected – around a quarter.

That means Victoria is way behind.

And what’s more, we haven’t had a comprehensive state-wide study of our marine environment for 17 years.

With the state election coming up, it’s vital to make sure that all parties recognise the need to better protect our marine environment.

Would you donate $35 or more right now, to create safe havens for our Weedy Seadragons and the other 12,000 (yes 12,000) marine species found only in these southern waters?

Donate now

When you have made your gift, you can stand on the Victorian shores in years to come, looking out on the rich diversity of Victoria’s marine life and say to yourself, “I helped do that. This park is here partly because of me.”

Please donate now, so we can get a thorough consideration of where our next marine national parks should be.


Australian Marine Conservation Society Marine Park Petition

Urgent action is needed to protect our oceans and restore them to health.

Write to Minister Burke today to urge him to lead the Federal Government to create and fund a world-class network of large marine sanctuaries to sustain Australia’s iconic marine heritage and threatened ocean wildlife.


Credit for Nothing – Rorting International Negotiations on Climate Change

A fair, ambitions global agreement is needed if we are to effectively tackle climate change. However many governments engaging in the international negotiations are trying to minimise their contribution and passing the buck to others. Australia is trying to change the rules on forestry so it can effectively claim emission reductions without having to do anything. For more info and who to write to see http://wr.victas.uca.org.au/assets/2180/A_Action_on_LULUCF_rorting_October_2010.pdf


G Mag: Green Living Made Easy Issue 29 November/December 2010

This month’s G Mag has several articles of potential interest. These include a special report on overfishing and sustainable seafood, a comparison of the sustainability of plastic, stainless steel and aluminium reusable water bottles, interviews with Bill McKibben, Darryl Hannah and Nicholas Stern, Christmas eco-ideas, a discussion of buying green or going without and tips for buying vintage clothing and getting involved in volunteering.

Book Review

Judgment Day, The struggle for life on earth, by Paul Collins

October 2010, ISBN 9781742231563, UNSW Press, 304pp, PB, 234x153mm, RRP AU$34.95

How are we to deal with this environmental crisis? Are we all environmental ‘thugs’ who are equally responsible? Or are some more to blame than others? In this bold, challenging and provocative book, Paul Collins reveals an inconvenient truth. Christianity — and in some ways all the major faiths — have devalued and abused the material world, even treated it with contempt. Until now the sole focus of the churches has been on humankind and our needs. In a careful analysis Paul Collins shows that while Christianity has been part of the planet’s problems, it is also an important and major part of the solution. Drawing on the work of contemporary Christian thinkers Collins develops the kind of environmental theology that will form the basis for an ethics, morality and spirituality that takes the world seriously. He also shows that the churches can make a profound difference, arguing that Christians are called to act on environmental destruction.


Discussion Questions

What techniques do you use to become a better sustainability leader in your church (eg. Subscribing to environmental magazines and newsletters, attending leadership skills workshops)?

To answer visit http://fiveleaf-crownofthorns.blogspot.com/ or join the Church Greening and Christian Environmentalist Network on Facebook.

Quotes of the Month

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” John Kenneth Galbraith,U.S. economist

“What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” Eleanor Powell

Crown of Thorns Blog

Want to learn more about church greening or reflect on what the Bible says about the environment? Then visit the Crown of Thorns blog by Jessica Morthorpe at http://fiveleaf-crownofthorns.blogspot.com/

Websites to Visit:

Creation Care Weekly Podcasts

Check them out!

http://creationcare.org/tags.php?blog=15&tag=Fred Van Dyke



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