Human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways, says the most recent scientific report from the United Nations.
The sombre analysis comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is the first major scientific review of climate change since 2014.
According to the report, If global warming continues to increase at the current rate, global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052. Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with a global warming of 1.5°C.
With this in mind, Love Salisbury asked local businesses and Salisbury City Council what they are doing to limit global warming and tackle the climate crisis.
Cllr Charles McGrath, leader of Salisbury City Council Conservatives, told Love Salisbury that Salisbury City Council has:
- Introduced hybrid electric vehicles to our parks maintenance fleet and plan to acquire more in the near future, as well as full electric vehicles.
- Installed solar panels on council-owned buildings including the Crematorium and the Bemerton Heath centre.
- Used grey water harvesting to reduce water consumption.
- Established a baseline carbon footprint for the council.
- Increased tree planting in autumn months.
- Encouraged staff to continue to work from home post-Covid to reduce pollution related to commuting.
Wilding, a restaurant and wine bar in the Old George Mall, buy from environmentally responsible suppliers, shop local and offer refillable wine in reusable bottles.
“We try as much as possible to prioritise seasonality and local provenance and we work with a forager to bring bio-diverse ingredients to the menu.
“We believe that the best grapes are grown with minimal intervention and that the best food is grown with regenerative agriculture. We buy local, quality products, which may be more expensive, but the farming is respecting biodiversity and soil enrichment.
“Our 10 wines on tap are also all available for people to take away in our own refillable glass bottles sealed with our corking machine, thus offering minimal waste. And generally, bulk wine on tap has a much lower carbon footprint,” said founder Kent Barker.
In June 2021, Salisbury Cathedral became the first cathedral in the UK to
achieve a Gold Eco-Church Award from A Rocha UK.
Among the initiatives that earned the Cathedral its Gold Award, are a pledge to make the Cathedral carbon neutral by 2030, the installation of solar panels on the South Cloister roof, the provision of a habitat to support endangered peregrine falcons on the Cathedral Tower, and an ecological survey mapping the Close and Cathedral School grounds – both havens for birds and wildlife.
Foxtrot Vintage, a preloved vintage clothes shop on Fisherton Street has been doing sustainable style for 16 years and counting.
“It’s not just our clothes that are preloved and sustainable, our bags, shop fittings, and tills are too,” said Diane, Salisbury shop manager.
The Fox and Dingo grow sustainable flowers and seeds here in Salisbury.
“The majority of flowers sold in supermarkets, petrol stations and even used by some florists are imported into the UK. Not just from Europe but from as far as Kenya, carrying a huge carbon footprint. They are also wrapped in plastic and chemicals are used to grow them.
“It makes sense to choose seasonal locally grown flowers that are grown without chemicals and are not packed in plastic. Supporting British grown flowers is a really good decision for the environment,” said Lauren Morgan, owner of The Fox and Dingo.
Plantlife is a Salisbury based plant conservation charity. Their aim is to raise awareness of Grasslands at COP26, which the charity says are more beneficial carbon sinks than trees.
Muse Hairdressing on Winchester Street offer refillable shampoo and conditioner and to limit waste to landfill, they even recycle hair.
“Our impact on the environment is so important to us. We use vegan-friendly hair products, we offer plastic-free tea and locally sourced coffee, we use coconut bowls instead of plastic for mixing and applying colour and our booking system is carbon-neutral too,” said owner Lois Mant.
Share Salisbury, are a library of things who loan out items that are needed infrequently, saving people space and money while reducing waste.
Casa Fina, Salisbury’s independent home decor store said, “all our printing is eco-printed on recycled board. We’ve invested in reusable carrier bags which retail at £10 but we give away to customers who spend £50.
“We recycle all our waste where possible, including partnerships with other businesses. We have a Bramley refill station in the shop”.
The Slinky Fox, a local pop-up pizza business, says they are doing some interesting things to reduce their carbon footprint going forward.
“We have our chopping boards resurfaced instead of buying new. Packaging is obviously huge, we don’t vacuum pack, we use a biodegradable greaseproof to package our charcuterie and cheese for our Fox in a Box,” explained owner Kay Fox.
Sonder Coffee aims to make a difference by doing small things every day.
“We encourage customers to bring reusable cups. When we do use takeaway cups they are compostable.
“When we built Sonder we made sure we used automatic lights in areas that aren’t used frequently to save energy. We also do small things such as shutting off the coffee machine and equipment overnight, not many places do this.
“I think there are a lot of structures in place that can really restrict a business from doing their bit. I had to change bin collection companies, as our previous one collected general four times a week and recycling once. If people don’t have accessibility, they will be put off doing things like recycling,” said Ebony Paz.
The Yard, a coffee shop off of Fisherton Street, told Love Salisbury that they use biodegradable packing and local Nunton Farm milk to reduce plastic waste.