The Eco Committee was formed in 2004 following a talk by Eleanor Todd of Eco-Congregation Scotland. The committee raised awareness by an eco themed service involving some of the young people of the congregation, which helped to introduce a recycling campaign. Eco-modules were sent out to various organisations in the Church, articles appeared in the Kirk News and Blackhall Bulletin and an eco notice board was placed in the corridor between the Church halls.
In January 2006, assessors from Eco-Congregation Scotland decided St. Columba's merited an Eco Award. This recognised the support given by the congregation as a whole in responding to the options put before them in dealing with many aspects, such as recycling and Fairtrade activities.
We are currently recycling spectacles, mobile phones, batteries, printer cartridges and old tools. Contributions can be brought to the large hall on Friday mornings between 10am and 12noon, or placed in the recycling boxes in the hall after the Sunday service.
The congregation has responded magnificently to this campaign with the following results:
- Around 4,000 pairs of spectacles have been sent to the developing world via Dollond & Aitchison.
- Mobile Phones
- Over 100 mobile phones were initially given to the Red Cross, but any handed in are now passed on to Fresh Start.
- Printer Cartridges
- The used printer cartridges have been sent to Simpli-ink and the money earned from them helped to set up a monthly Fairtrade stall at the Church.
- Old Tools & Old Singer Sewing Machines
- Several boot loads of old tools and sewing machines have gone to a workshop (part of the Tools for Self Reliance network) at the Garvald Centre, where they have been cleaned and repaired to be sent to developing nations.
We run a Fairtrade stall on the second Sunday of every month in the large hall after the morning service (around 12noon from September to June and 10:15am in July and August).
For more information, have a look at the Fairtrade website.
As the Fairtrade stall and the recycling campaign are ongoing, the committee has decided to organise two events a year.
The committee has previously publicised and taken part in the Make Poverty History March. There has been a children's poster competition and eco fun day. The committee also organised two showings of the Al Gore film "An Inconvenient Truth" and a talk on recycling, plus two services, one of which involved the local community and the school. There have also been a Quiz, a Fairtrade Wine Tasting evening, chocolate tasting and a Fairtrade fashion show to which all Church and community groups were invited.