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Planet Sutherland Climate News & Info Jun 20
So much has changed ..... in our lives between February and June. Please forgive, the delay with this hmmm, monthly newsletter. We had only just begun to reach out, to step up a gear, to announce our March plans extending into East Sutherland, when WHAM! It had been hard not to focus on the negative carbon news and even harder not to be stopped in our progress with Covid19. Our hearts reach out to all those who have been struggling or lost loved ones during this time. Huge shouts out too for all those who have adapted their work and plans to help. Our Sutherland resilience has been amazing!
I do know, however, that lots of folks are actually feeling the benefits of the world stopping spinning for a while. We've have had time to stop, to think, to enjoy nature, to spend more time with family, and to stop running just to catch up. There's been a fantastic increase in growing our own food, in cooking meals from scratch and reducing food waste.  And we've been shopping more locally.
Let's keep the good bits from this awful situation and #buildbackbetter. 
PS You can sign up here to make sure you get our newsletters and updates on our projects, and  don't forget to Forward to a friend, Thanks.
June Events (on line)
Our Calendar and Events Web page lists both our own events and others we think may be of interest. You can see our picks of June climate and environment events here. Here's a summary.

Weds 10th June, 2-3pm - Reduce Your Business Energy Costs - Ryan Felber from Resource Efficient Scotland will help us learn how to save energy, save money, consider Covid reopening options, and explain how RES can help with assessment, planning, implementation and financial help. More info and booking here.

Weds 24th June, 7.30-8.30pm - Talking to Kids about Climate Change - Anya Hart Dyke from Fife has spent several years finding inventive and fun ways to talk with kids about climate change. We're sure to find new ways to keep kids occupied during the summer too. Find our more, book and join the chat here.

Community Supported Agriculture - How can we grow more food in Sutherland?  This is the first in a series of talks on this topic. Please see below for more details on our Grow Food Sutherland Project. please email here to note interest and hear the details as soon as we know. 

Have a look here for other interesting events in June including: Starting Your Own Food Business, #JustTransition Oil to Renewables, and Reputational Risks, Covid & Climate Change.
Project News
The Planet Sutherland Kidz Zone is about creating fun projects with children and building the best resource library regarding kids and the climate. You perhaps know that we already started work on the Lairg Primary School poly tunnel, again sadly stopped for now. We're also living in hope that we'll get funds for a poly tunnel at Geldfield School, although it is of course difficult to contemplate such a project just now. 
Our current Kidz Zone projects are 

Our webinar on How to Talk to Kids about Climate Change, 24th June - more here

Climate Change Film created by Golspie High Geography class.  The first online class session took place on Thurs 4th June. The whole project will be run by the pupils from content ideas to delivery. Various topics are under discussion including What is Climate Change & How can we Stop it to practical actions ranging from walking more, growing food and composting at home. Please contact Anna here or Sam Machin, the school Geography Teacher here if you'd like to work on a similar project with your school (or youth) team.
Did you know that the Highlands imports AND exports 75% of our food? Our thoughts on growing more food here started with considering food miles and environmental impacts etc. But, the food issues arising from Covid further highlights the need to see what we can do to grow more of our own food here. 
It's a difficult challenge of course!
How should we more forward? Our food sheds and local grow groups are truly helping the current crisis. Should we encourage more groups like Grow Brora, The Helmsdale Kitchen Garden, MOO Food or Thurso Grows? Should we grow more on our own? Should we look at a Community Supported Agriculture approach working with farmers and crofters? 
There are already a number of initiatives are underway here:  the Highland Council is producing a Community Food Growing Strategy; the Peas Please team are looking at how to get us eating more veg; and ofcourse all the current successful local groups are growing well. 
To get us started, we are organising talks with the existing growing groups who are happy to share their invaluable expertise and experience.
Community Supported Agriculture LogoOur first talk will hopefully be with Community Supported Agriculture UK where we can learn about the various CSA structures and consider what options may be best for us.
We are also looking to pull a team together from across the area so that we can all help each other deliver the best solutions. You can read more and join the Grow Food Sutherland team here. Please do accept our apologies if you're growing food here and we haven't spoken with you. Please do get in touch. The more of us that work together, the more resilient the area will become.
Working Together
We've been working hard reaching out to all organisations, businesses and groups in Sutherland and nearby to pull together a directory of everyone working to on climate change or environmental projects. Sorry if we haven't been in contact with you already, but we'd be more than delighted if you'd join us. There are so many great projects going on from saving plastic to up-cycling furniture to growing local food and sharing seeds. Various topics under discussion include: reusing / recycling laptops & phones; reducing and recycling plastic waste; growing more fruit trees; growing our climate change knowledge and of course more kidz projects.

So, please do get let us share out the great work you're doing with others. The more we work together, the more resilient and sustainable we'll become in Sutherland and throughout the Highlands. Join the Sutherland (and nearby) Environmental Collaborative Directory here.
News From Our Friends
Lairg Learning Centre LogoProject News & Info from our friends at Lairg & District Learning centre, keeping going with staff working from home.
My Rainbow Garden - part of the Seasons of Change, Climate Challenge funded project - will support families with children under 18 in Sutherland to start growing their own food. It was launched last week and filled up within two days. We hope to expand the project so keep an eye out on our social media sites for more information and for progress updates from our families.
A digital market for small businesses and crafters in the Highlands - Look out on our social media for events starting at the end of June with our Business Mentor, Anna Renouf.
Getting on line - We've been safely supporting people, helping them to access digital services by providing telephone support and building up to a video call.
Digital workshops and classes are planned - for sewing and Gaelic and others will follow subject to successful funding applications.
New Tutors required - We are looking for tutors that might be interested in delivering workshops or classes digitally. You must have a stable internet connection that has speeds to support video streaming, your own computer with a microphone and camera and an understanding of using email and the internet, training can be provided in using a video calling platform. If you would like more information please email Follow us on Facebook @lairglc and Twitter @lairglearning for our updates.
What Can I Do Now?
Turn Off The Tap - making water uses energy
Switch to a Green Energy Company
Switch to Paperless Bank Statements 
Buying boxed fruit and veg pack is a great way to reduce plastic wrapping
Make Compost:
Join the Kyle of Sutherland Growing Group or Come Grow With Us Highlands on Facebook to get expert help on growing food and making compost
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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