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Lettuce Talk, Act, Share
Summer can be a time for planning ahead and thinking of new ideas for when the schools go back. It's also a great time for lettuce abundance - It's easy to grow, reduces food miles, removes plastic packaging, reduces food waste and increases health. Why, in fact, don't we have a shared lettuce bed in every street? Imagine it.....
Or, perhaps we use the extra time during summer to have a good home clear out - to finally get the cupboards and drawers emptied of those old phones and laptops. ILM have pink bins all around to collect them.
So lettuce talk - Join us on Monday 12th Jul where we can gather some ideas for new projects and consider some easy peasy ways to help the climate. And read on to find out more about our feature focus on ILM and about what we can do to support Plastic Free July.

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Carbon Cafe, Mon 12th Jul, 7pm, on line

Well, with Covid levels rising and things remaining a bit unstable, we thought we'd hold a wee on line cafe where we can all get together and have a chat. We can share info about what's been going on and what we can actually do to reduce our impact on climate change and to adapt to the changes that are coming along.
We'd love to see you at our on line carbon cafe on Mon 12th Jul at 7pm. Bring your questions, thoughts and ideas on summer projects and changes we can all make.
Booking essential please -

Lairg Community Market

We're super excited that the Lairg Community Market has re-started. Last month we had a wee stall there and enjoyed chatting with a good number of folks about climate change issues and what we can do in Lairg. So pop along to the next market to buy local produce and share your views and ideas. What about - Community Gardening, Composting, Orchards, Climate Conversations, New recycling schemes, for instance?
New Networks

Highlands & Islands Orchards Group

Orchards are a great way to boost local food, increase healthy eating, increase outdoor time and reduce plastic and food miles. We attempted a Sutherland Orchard project last year which failed due to Covid difficulties. However, our survey responses took us on some very interesting journeys and conversations and we're really excited to have formed a new group. The group members have a fantastic collective knowledge of all things Orchard and we're looking forward to developing new ideas to bring more Orchards to the Highlands and Islands and promote local fruit consumption and use. Ideas include on line and hopefully face to face events to provide information on planting, caring for, eating, preserving, grafting etc. If you have Orcharding skills and knowledge, please do get in touch and join us for our formative meetings. 

Future Communities Highlands And Islands

This is a loose network of groups who are keen to work together to organise events, share information about events and to help reduce any duplication across our various environmental and climate action networks. Please do get in touch to join our monthly meetings.
What we're working on

Plastic Free July

This is an international promotion which helps everyone to focus on plastic use and reduce our reliance on, particularly, single use plastic. The last year has, no doubt, been particularly difficult with all Covid protection gear that we've needed. But, supermarkets and shops have had to revert to using more packaging again too to keep food from being handled. And recycling opportunities, such as our crisp packet collections have had to stop.
So, July is a time to re-focus and re-group. What can we all do to reduce our plastic use. Please do share your ideas on our Facebook Group. We've found that it's helpful to review different rooms and aspects of our lives:

Kitchen fixes:
  • making our own biscuits and cakes
  • reducing crips consumption, opting for tasty real food snacks instead
  • making our own cleaning products such as dish washer tablets
  • using rags for cleaning instead of kitchen roll
  • opting for veg boxes instead of supermarket plastic wrapped food
  • growing our own food such as coriander and lettuce not only reduces plastic, but also reduces food waste
  • use the refillaries in Lairg, Golspie, Dornoch
  • home made cleaning products including using vinegar are excellent
  • refilling bottles can be done in various places including The Rusty Coo & The Dornoch Stores
  • shampoo bars work well for most
  • reuse compost bags to line walkways, or better still, make your own compost or join others in a community composting venture
  • never ever throw out plant pots, there are always gardeners and community growing groups who need more pots - please get in touch with us to organise collection
  • using toilet roll tubes or compostable or more robust trays to start off seedlings
  • have a look at all the plastic in kid's lives, from fruity juice and sweeties to plastic toys, packaging and nick nacks
  • how about a toy sharing library, even just between friends
  • help our kids to understand that toy sharing is cool
  • no need to throw out old mobiles or laptops to land fill - there are ILM pink bins around our county now and most of our recycle centres take small electricals for recycling.
There's a handy check list here. But please don't be overwhelmed. Join us to spend each week focussing on a different topic to help us all make small changes that have a big impact when we all work together.
News From Our Friends

ILM Highland

This month we're focussing on our good friends at ILM Highland. Here's their story.

ILM Highland is a local independent charity and social enterprise, providing home improvement, electrical recycling and retail services to the Highlands of Scotland.
Our mission is to: Reduce waste. Protect the environment. Support vulnerable people to be at home.
Our home improvement services provide free support and assistance to the most vulnerable in our community, enabling them to maintain their independence. This includes our Care & Repair and Handy-person services available across Ross-shire and Sutherland.
To support these services, we offer an extensive electrical recycling service – to the public and to businesses – as well as running an electrical retail shop online and from our base in Alness selling quality and affordable refurbished and new appliances. We also offer spare parts and repair services for a large number of electrical appliances through our Spares & Repairs service. ILM has also recently installed electrical recycling containers for small electrical items across Easter Ross and Sutherland, while larger items can be dropped off at our base in Alness or at any of the Highland Council’s household waste recycling centres across the region.
As a social enterprise, we reinvest every penny of profit back into our local community and our ethos remains at the core of what we do – supporting vulnerable people to be at home.
For more information please visit our website at or call us on 01349 884774. We are also on Facebook.

What Can I Do Now?

- review and reduce your single plastic use
- be inventive with lunch ideas using whatever left overs are in the fridge
- eat more veg skins to reduce food waste
- spend more time outside
- share your simple, fast and inventive ideas on our Planet Sutherland facebook group

And - Grow Lettuce ......

Thanks for getting to the end!
Join us here to #buildbackbetter. We're a welcoming, collaborative group and would love to hear your thoughts and ideas for local projects.
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