Next meeting Wednesday 29th November

This month the speaker will be Catherine Wilson, Litter Strategy Officer with Falkirk Council. Litter is one of the local group's priority campaigns and the meeting is open to any one interested in finding out more.

Litter line: 01324 504433


The meeting will be held at the Christian Centre, Glebe Street, Falkirk at 7.30.

FoE Scotland Christmas Cards will also be on sale at the meeting for £3 for a pack of 10 cards plus cotton shopping bags at £3 each.

Contract and Convergence Petition

There is a .gov.uk site allowing the creation of petitions, these are reviewed listed publicly and can be signed online. There are issues over the validity of any petition and probably greater issues over whether these are ever really taken into account. However for those interested there are a number of environmental issues which have already been listed.

One of which is related to our discussion on the practicalities of contraction and convergence.

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Adopt Carbon Rationing and Contraction and Convergence...."



Ash Pits at Longannet

Longannet Power Station (just over the Forth from Grangemouth) is the biggest pollutor in our area (and in Scotland). Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for Europe) most of the air-bourne pollution goes into the high atmosphere to be carried away for a few hundred miles. However I have heard tell of falls of mysterious dust in Culross.
A couple of years ago on Doors Open Day I went to see an old salt panning building which is just past Culross on the coast. It is on Scottish Power land which has been reclaimed from the Forth. The salt panning buildings used to be on an island, but now its part of this reclaimed land. Basically what happens is that the ash from the power station is washed away by water drawn in from the Forth, and then pumped along the sea front past Culross and into ash pits at the other side. The water then drains away and leaves the ash in giant pits. Once the pits are full the top is capped with earth and made into a place where you can walk your dog.
I suppose I am posting this to let you know the consequences of our power station, and also because I wanted to show a link to the programme "Flash Earth" which shows an ariel view of the site. (You need the Flash to show it- once you open it, read the instructions, click on the black box and you will see the pits).
Is there anything we can do about it? I'm not sure. It was being presented by Scottish Power as a good environmental management option. But...


A.G.M Update

As you will tell from the masthead of this newsletter the AGM made a decision about the local group’s name and decided to change it to Friends of the Earth Falkirk. This reflects the current membership better and gives the group a clearer identity and locate it at the heart of the environment in Falkirk.
The AGM gave the group an opportunity to reflect on where we would like to place our energy over the coming year. Many of the usual suspect came up again such as recycling, litter, public transport and local food with the hope that we can build in previous campaigns. New campaigns which reflect some of the current interest in the group include congestion and promoting biodiversity. As always the local group will also continue to support the priority campaigns of Friends of the Earth Scotland in the Falkirk area.

Local IS best

Proved on the street We couldn’t have planned it better. At the Eat the Street event in Callender Riggs Falkirk in September we conducted a taste test between carrots bought at a supermarket and carrots grown on the temporary allotments on the street. Overwhelmingly the home grown carrot was preferred by the visitors to the event.
Friends of the Earth Forth Valley supported the event organized by Forth Valley Food Links to promote the environmental benefits of local food and to promote interest in allotments. The stall gave information on the issue of foodmiles and promoted the Friends of the Earth Campaign


Changing the world one gift at a time

The Freecycle network was established to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. In under four years it has grown from a community project based in Tucson to a worldwide network of nearly three thousand eight hundred locally organised groups with over two and a half million members. It works by providing a mailing list in which members can offer unwanted items, other members or groups can then arrange to take these. As well as reducing waste it can save you money both in items found on the list and in special waste collection fees it also provides a network for building local communities.

The essential rule for all Freecycle groups is that everything offered has to be given freely.

Once you’ve joined the list the mechanics are simple. When you have something you no longer want, check the guidance notes that it’s acceptable to your local group then post an OFFER to the list. If you see something offered you want then contact the offerer and if it’s still available arrange collection. Once the arrangement is made the offerer posts a TAKEN note back to the list. It requires no more knowledge than the ability to read and respond to an email and that simplicity and it’s locality is what makes it all work.

Joining the list couldn’t be easier, point your web browser at the uk network home
uk.freecycle.org or at www.freecycle.org and follow the links to find your local freecycle group.

Alternatively for those in the forth valley area the following groups are available.
Falkirk –
Stirling –
Edinburgh –
Glasgow –

Just go to the website and select Join, you can then choose to receive messages by email, as a convenient daily digest or just read them on the web. The rules of each group may vary a little, these are local groups run by local moderators, giving there own time to make freecycle work. Read through the welcome emails and the rules and jump in.