SCoJeC held our second Scottish Jewish Climate Network (SJCN) event in in association with the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT), a non-profit organisation working to consult on environmental and conservation efforts. They host projects such as the conservation effort in Craigmillar Castle Park, ensuring renewed infrastructure and community involvement, manage walking groups, foraging hikes, and educational seminars that outline Scotland’s environmental needs.
In our first SJCN event we focused on the big picture of climate change and how our environment is affected on a global scale. For our second event, we zeroed in on our own environmental impact, looking at what people in Scotland can do to enhance our local or personal green spaces.
Our Jewish Climate Network event was led by ELGT staff member Ben McCallum, who walked us through the many benefits of green space, from the social benefits to biodiversity. Ben outlined the challenges that our green spaces currently face, such as a lack of nutrients for the surrounding wildlife or the serious decline in native Scottish plant species.
Sharing tips on how to enhance our local green spaces, Ben suggested putting up bird feeders, wormeries, or window boxes. Although we often think of birds first as needing food, other wildlife such as bees, foxes, and squirrels can also benefit from what we leave out.
Gardening in wildlife, recycling your home items for use in the garden, and erecting bird feeders or small water pools can be a big help to our native creatures. If you would like to think bigger, you can take part in any number of charitable organisations and community groups that work together to keep our community spaces clean and cared for. If you would like more ideas you can read Ben's presentation here.
Our community members chimed in as well with their own advice. One told us she used an old toilet as a planter and that the cistern lid makes a good bird bath, and another had a warning about planting food like potatoes in old tyres as the tyres contain chemicals.