REV JENNY GAFFIN: Will you join me in saving the planet?
The vicar of Hayling Island is taking up the challenge she set 30 year ago
I wonder how many of your childhood ambitions and dreams have come true?
Sadly a few of mine have fallen by the wayside.
For example, when I was 10, I was going to save the rainforests.
It sounds a bit of a strange ambition for a ten-year-old but it made sense at the time. I lived for two years in south east Asia and watched the trees being cut down around our house.
I had loved watching the monkeys in the trees and looking at the birds and the insects and the bats, and it broke my heart to see them all go.
That early ambition is a long way from where I’ve ended up. Hayling Island is fabulous but notably lacking in rainforest – although Hayling did find fame for as a base for research into mosquitoes.
Recently I’ve realised that although I may not be able to save the rainforests single-handedly, there are plenty of small things that I and all of us can do to make a difference locally.
Litter picks can keep our beaches and our green spaces clean for everyone and safe for wildlife.
Recycling as much as possible, and using recycled goods, can reduce our impact on the natural world.
Noticing and even participating in surveys recording the insects, animals and birds we see can deepen our appreciation of the world around us and help conservationists with their work.
Choosing an energy supplier that supports renewable energy can enable us to play our part in cutting down pollution.
And you’ll probably also be aware of the drive to reduce the amount of plastic we use, because they end up in our oceans and endanger sea creatures.
Of course not all of these things are possible for everyone: not all of us have the time or means to volunteer with clean ups; not all of us can afford the extra pennies to choose greener goods.
In the church we’re increasingly realising there is plenty we can do together, by managing our grounds along environmentally-responsible principles, buying in recycled paper for our newsletters, or by supporting a conservation charity.
So this year I am finally beginning to rise to the challenge set down by my ten-year-old self 30 years ago. Will you join me?
St Mary’s Church is in Church Road, Hayling Island
St Peters’s Church is in St Peter’s Road, Hayling Island
St Andrew’s Church is in Southwood Road, Hayling Island