I would like to remind everyone about the Packaging Action Day on the 28th June which Corrie emailed everyone about. If you have some time to space it would be great to see you. Meet at Morrison's at 1.45pm.

AT the next FOE MEeting on Friday we hope to show "The 11th Hour" on Monday 30th June.

Leonardo DiCaprio's "The 11th Hour" is a feature length documentary concerning the environmental crises caused by human actions and their impact on the planet. The 11th Hour documents the cumulative impact of these actions upon the planet's life systems and calls for restorative action through a reshaping of human activity.

Hope to see some of you at the next meeting

Norman Philip, Local Group Co-ordinator

*I have also added in an email from Ros Browning, Activism & Volunteer Development Officer, at FoE Scotland.

Hello Everyone,

I'm now starting to think about organising a local groups day for everyone to attend from local groups across Scotland. The day is likely to include staying overnight somewhere to allow for groups from far away to attend.

For the moment, I just need to get an idea of what dates people would prefer. I'm initially thinking a date between 1st-20th August. Please can you pass this email onto ALL your local group members to ask if there are any date in this period that are NOT suitable?

Also, please let me know if people would prefer a weekday or weekend.

The day is going to be a great opportunity to get to know other FoES local groups, and gain ideas and inspiration on everything from local campaigning to running more effective group meetings and increasing your group members. I hope lots of you will make it!



Rosiaina Browning
Activism & Volunteer Development Officer email rbrowning@foe-scotland.org.uk


Packaging Action Day Part 2

As you will probably remember last October I organised a supermarket packaging action at Morrisons in Falkirk as part of Friends of the Earth Scotland's CREW project.

Thanks to everyone who showed up on the day, it was a real success and we managed to get a lot of mentions in local and national media.

Well the time has come to repeat the event. Again groups up and down the country will be organising the same stunt over the same weekend at various locations throughout Scotland for maximum impact and I'd be grateful of your support in the Falkirk area.

The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the issue of excessive packaging and supermarkets' environmental policies and to urge supermarkets to make changes to their practices of excessive food packaging and inordinate use of plastic bags. Since this is a repeat, it will be interesting to see if Morrisons have implemented any of the changes we called for.

This time round I hope to concentrate on cost as this is at the forefront of everyone's mind now that food and fuel seems to be going up on a weekly basis. Packaging costs households £470 per year – that’s one sixth of the average food budget. We will be calling on supermarkets to reduce the amount of packaging that has to be transported up and down the country, adding to the cost of fuel, and for them to source more food locally so it requires less transport and less protection in the form of packaging.

We will be returning to Morrisons, Hope Street, Falkirk and the date for the action is Saturday 28 June 2008, 2pm.

The plan is for as many people as possible to do their shopping at any Morrisons store in the run-up to the event. I would suggest shopping in the store at least twice prior to the event but feel free to collect excess packaging from 2 full weeks as this is the time period I will be indicating to the manager. The aim is to accumulate a fair amount of excessive packaging - for maximum impact this should be at least 2 carrier bags' worth per person. Do collect it in Morrisons bags to demonstrate that they too contribute to waste.

On the day of the event, we will take the packaging we have collected to the supermarket where we will meet with the manager to return the excess packaging to him and to explain why we are taking this action. Again we will have a petition for the public to sign as this is a good way of getting our message over to shoppers. Hopefully the press and some key local figures (MP, MSPs etc.) will also again attend the event.

There is also an option of dressing up on the day in any way you think demonstrates excess packaging or local food. This is purely optional but if you're feeling creative, please go for it. If anyone wants to dress up as a vegetable or fruit, do let me know as I have a few ideas.

If you are interested in taking part in the event, please get in touch with me and I will send you reminders about when to start collecting waste and when and where we will be meeting. Even if you don't live near a Morrisons store, please do turn up on the day and show your support.

Please also tell any friends and family you think might be interested in taking part or simply turning up on the day.

Corrie Cuthbertson

Notes from 23rd May- Forth Valley Diet evening

After the Fife Diet presentation the previous month the group discussed what a local diet in the Falkirk area would look like. It was agreed that Falkirk would be too small an area to consider for a realistic diet but you would think that the Forth Valley area would be a manageable area. People agreed to bring a dish to the May meeting for a Forth Valley meal.

The Forth Valley Meal

soup: seasonal broth Simon

Simon used a recipe which had a stock from oats (Scottish). He replaced onions with spring onions from his veg box and his butter was scottish rather than local.

rocket and herb salad Annie

Annie had all the leaves in her garden and included her first radish of the year. There was carrots from Plean

main: potato and sorrel bake Corrie

Corrie got a big bag of potatoes from the local farm shop which has lasted for ages and she has been able to share with all her friends. The sorrel, a leaf which tastes of apple) was from her garden. The milk was delivered to her door in a glass bottle by her Slammanan milk man. The butter was from the Bridge of Allan dairy. The dish required some olive oil- allowed in the Fife diet and lemon juice.

rhubarb Norman

Norman got his rhubarb at the side of a railway line near his house while walking his dog.

mint tea from Norman's garden

elderberry wine Annie's friend gave her a bottle as a gift

It was agreed that the growing season at the end of May was not the most productive time for local food variety. Norman had tried to find a local farmers shop but the Camelon farm does not open till later in the year and a shop advertised online in California was nowhere to be seen. Corrie had a The Forth Valley Food Link local food directory but this was out of date.

It was agreed to have a Harvest Meal later in the year.

Stall at Falkirk Town Hall Tuesday 24th May- Braveheart Health event

Corrie has arranged for a veg box from Yourlocalfarm.com and will use her Dammhead Organic box to demonstrate local food options which can be delivered locally. Norman has produces a flier to encourage cycling and a write up of the Fife Diet event from last month. The stall will also have the Big Ask materials and postcards.

Yourlocalfarm.co.uk delivers a fruit and vegetable box scheme throughout Central Scotland. From their base at Balquhatstone Mains Farm, Slamannan, yourlocalfarm.co.uk has been providing locally grown vegetables for over six years now.

Initially set up as a ‘local producer’s cooperative’, they have now been organized into ‘yourlocalfarm.co.uk’. Produce in the delivered box is grown on the farm, with a further 11 local, ethical, producers contributing.

Their vegetables are grown using traditional farming methods, with minimal interference. They have as a result been able to become a member of LEAF. As a member of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) they endeavour to produce and supply wholesome food in an environmentally sustainable manner. What they are unable to grow themselves they source from local farms and small holdings or Glasgow Fruit Market to make up their boxes.

Burning Issues of Group

Norman had participated in a community litter pick in Westquarter and was impressed by the response of the community- both adults and children. He has produced a certificate to send to the school thanking the children for their contribution.

Simon has been thinking about the pace of his life and has looked into going to a four day week at work to enable him to slow down and have more time to do different things.

Corrie went on a cycle round the River Forth and which made her think about the distance things travel. On a days cycle she never passed any anywhere where food was was being produced. The media stories on the cost of food highlights that people are no longer prepared to pay for “proper food” and how can local farmers survive if people don't pay a fair price for food. Through Corrie's work she was involved in a consultation for town centre redevelopment in Falkirk which will be paid for from a local business levy. Corrie was against the proposals but since it was introduced after a vote she has decided to put herself forward for the steering group to try and influence environmental improvements in the town.

Charlie is angered at the hypocrisy of the Daily Mail and their plastic bag campaign while the continue to print prominent climate change denying articles. The 11th Hour was on Channel 4 and Charlie thought it was an informative film and wondered why there was so little publicity for screening.

The group agreed to try and get a copy of the film to show at the next meeting.

Big Ask Update

Corrie has had communication with Eric Joyce MP's office. He has confirmed that he will not be supporting the Big Ask pledges as he does not agree with the annual targets and emission on aviation and shipping.