Stretton Sustainability Initiative (SSI)
Why would a small Warwickshire village, sitting 380 feet above sea level, be worried about rising sea levels caused by global warming?
Or what has plastic pollution of the environment got to do with the inhabitants of this small village, when they live in an idyllic green and leafy countryside?
Well, whether we like it or not the issue of a sustainable future is just as relevant for this rural community as for any large city.
What have we done about it?
1) Many of the answers to that question are highly visible around the village. Starting with the Village Hall roof! As long ago as July 2011 some far sighted citizens provided generous loans (since repaid) for 21 solar panels to generate clean, fossil free energy. To date this has given the village a total of 44,000 kWh hours of free electricity, equal to an annual value of well over £2,000.
Furthermore, this has saved no less than 23 tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels.
2) Also highly visible is our own Recycling Centre at a central point in the village, by the bus shelter. The SSI group members established this facility at the start of 2021, and a team of volunteers has sustained it throughout the Covid pandemic to the present time. The items handled range from used light bulbs, used batteries and used printer cartridges (for which we obtain payments which go to the Myton Hospice charity).
The key waste material is the highly polluting “soft plastic”. We work in collaboration with the Shipston Co-op, to whom we take at least 3 full sacks of plastic film each week! They then supply it to a specialist factory which turns this unpleasant waste into useful things such as park benches, road building material and so on. Absolutely none of it is wasted or sent to landfill.
We estimate that, since the beginning, Stretton has saved at least 1,000kg of soft plastic film from ending up in landfill or the oceans.
3) Electric Vehicle charging point. Some very hard work by a member of the SSI Group, Russell Anderson, obtained a valuable grant from Warwickshire County. As a result we are now way ahead of many small villages in being able to provide EV charging as the move to clean electric vehicles gathers pace. The facility can be found in the Village Hall car park.
4) The Stretton Milk Fridge. For over two years now the milk fridge has been providing villagers with a 24/7 supply of delicious fresh Cotswolds milk, both full and semi-skimmed. Critically the milk comes in recyclable glass bottles, which are returned to a local dairy, steam cleaned and sent out again and again. We estimate that over the last two years this has substituted at least 10,000 “one trip” supermarket plastic milk bottles.
Also available at the milk fridge are locally produced free range eggs, again helping local business and cutting down on 'food miles'.
The milk fridge is currently managed by Geri Hunting and Gilly West.
5) We monitor spillages of sewage from the Severn Trent Stretton sewage farm. Please get involved if you are appalled by the activities of the water companies! Contact Dave Passingham for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6) “Stretton Share” Rather than having to go and buy something you are only going to use once or twice, wouldn't it make sense for the environment to just borrow it from someone else in the village? Well, in Stretton you can! There is an extensive list of useful items which villagers are willing to lend out. For more information please contact Izzi at email@example.com.
7) Action against “Food Miles”. We have compiled an extensive list of all the good healthy food products produced within a circa 5 mile radius for Stretton. Known as Shop Local it not only saves large amounts of carbon emitting transport, but also sustains local businesses and employment. The list of local suppliers can be seen on the Stretton Shop Local page.
8) Sustainability at the Village Hall. Recently a lot of vision and effort has been put into improving the superb facilities at Stretton's Village Hall – to the benefit of both the community and the many people who hire it. A substantial grant has now been secured to carry out large scale Village Hall insulation work. Building contractors are being asked to quote, and it is expected that the work will get going shortly.
Stretton SSI is always looking for new pro-active people to come and join us.
We have achieved quite a bit. But there is lots more to do to play our part in getting a more sustainable future for the people of Stretton, and beyond.
If you would like to put your shoulder to the wheel, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, it's Stretton on Fosse...SUSTAINING ONE ANOTHER