Welcome to Get SuSSed, the newsletter where we keep you in the know on all things linked to our Environment Strategy.
Hello from Councillor Sarah Dyke
Our Portfolio Holder for Environment
Hi everyone

As we come to the end of a very challenging year I hope you're all planning a wonderful festive break.

Despite these uncertain times we have been committed to the delivery of our Environment Strategy and are already looking to 2021 to continue on our journey to be carbon neutral by 2030. This month we're looking at kinder choices we can make to have a more sustainable Christmas as well as the latest environmental news from SSDC.

I wish you all a safe, healthy, and very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Best eco wishes
Sarah x
SSDC Green Initiatives
South Somerset & Devon Deletti Electric Vehicle Infrastructure plans for 2021
Back in March SSDC completed the installation of 3 EV Rapid chargers at our car parks in Wincanton, Ilchester, and Ilminster with funding from Highways England.

This was the beginning of our EV Charging infrastructure plans as we also partnered with the DELETTI project – (Devon Low-carbon Energy & Transport Technology Innovator), a collaboration with Devon County Council and most of the Devon District Councils to install an EV charging network supplied with renewable energy.

This project is moving forward and we are now set to deliver Electric Vehicle Charging Points at 25 district owned car parks in South Somerset next year.
Don't miss out on a slice of £1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund
SSDC has applied for a decarbonisation grant from the Government, to update and improve SSDC buildings to bring them to carbon-neutral status.

If you haven't made your Christmas wish yet please wish for a successful bid!

We'll let you know as soon as we have news.
If you are a council with property you own, there is still time to put in a bid for funding towards capital energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects.

The scheme allows public sector bodies (which include Parish Councils) to apply for a grant to finance up to 100% of the costs of capital energy-saving projects for their own buildings that meet the scheme criteria.

They will be accepting applications on a rolling basis with the final deadline for applications on Monday 11 January.

This is a great opportunity for parish/town councils to push forward on decarbonising their estate, and an opportunity to create a plan using experts within the industry. Read more here
Yeovil E-Scooter trial is top performing in the UK 
🛴 The latest data shows the Yeovil e-scooter trial continues to be embraced by the community and visitors to the town. The 12 month trial awarded to SSDC by the Department for Transport (DfT), in partnership with Zwings, is coming out on top with average ride time and journey length more than 30% higher than the global industry average. Yay! Go Yeovil!

Read on to find out more plus special Zwings offers and incentives and how to connect with Zwings to give your suggestions and feedback. Full story here

Follow these on social media for up to date information and news:

#safescooting #scootresponsibly #switchtoscoot
Yeovil School Staff Test Drive E-Scooters
Year six staff at Preston C of E Primary School in Yeovil have been out testing the Yeovil e-scooters.

Here's their verdict
"Of the ten staff that gave the scooters a try, nine owned their own car. Despite this, we all really enjoyed the novel experience and could see ourselves using the technology regularly if it suited our purposes (the headteacher, Mrs Hodgson, had already beaten us all to using them, nipping around town aboard one over the weekend!) 
They concluded that there does not need to be a binary choice between cars and alternative forms of transport. These newer, eco-friendlier options are there to provide a smarter option in some circumstances. Popping out for those craft extras that went missing from the art cupboard, heading into town to meet a colleague for a coffee, or visiting those high-street essentials, like the Post Office or bank - these are when we see ourselves hopping aboard the e-scooter. Those larger shopping trips or group meetups might still require the car, but at least you can car-share on those occasions!"
New Litter Bin Signage To Encourage Recycling Across South Somerset
Our teams across towns, villages, play parks and country parks will be adding new durable stickers to litter bins to encourage people to think about recycling and "do your bit so it doesn't end up in the tip". Bin litter is classed as mixed waste and ultimately ends up in landfill, so we're asking folk to think twice before loading up the bins and take home any rubbish that can be recycled.
Green Initiatives
FREE TREES! Positive Environmental Action From Ethical Local Tree Business

Local business MTL Group Ltd who are accredited Arboricultural Association Approved Contractors are offering up FREE trees to local groups, schools, and landowners. They have purchased the trees with money raised from log donations, many of which came from the result of the devastating impact of the Ash Die-Back epidemic up in the Mendip area. Added to this they have also donated £1600 to
Mendip AONB for more tree planting.

There are an amazing 6500 FREE trees available and MTL want these to replace some of those sadly lost to Ash Die Back.

If you are a local group, school, parish, or landowner then Joe of MTL would love to hear from you. Please send a message via their Facebook page or email info@mtlgroupltd.co.uk. MTL Group Ltd is a private business who will deal with you directly with minimal fuss. Just get in touch!

Please share far and wide, so as many people as possible are aware of this wonderful opportunity.

Congratulations team MTL Group on a fantastic initiative! Tree-mendous!
Payments for Farmers to Improve the Environment

EnTrade is operating a Catchment Market in parts of the River Tone and Parrett catchments (including the Yeo), to improve water quality and biodiversity.

Wessex Water is offering payments to farmers to create projects on farms that improve the environment.

These on-farm environmental projects are required to ‘offset’ nutrient and bio-diversity losses for other industries, for example, water companies and building developers. Through the EnTrade Catchment Market, these organisations are willing to pay farmers to implement projects which help them meet their obligations to the environment.

You are invited to express your interest to participate in this Catchment Market. Providing your land falls within the target areas shown on the maps via the link below and your projects meet the basic criteria, you could earn a financial return.

To register click here
Please be quick, as registering of interest ends tomorrow 18 December.
HM Government
Government 10 Point Plan For A Green Industrial Revolution

Plans to create and support up to 250,000 British jobs, covering clean energy, transport, nature, and innovative technologies. The Prime Minister’s blueprint pledges to allow the UK to forge ahead with eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050, particularly crucial in the run-up to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next year. Read more here

You can also check out The Sixth Carbon Budget, required under the Climate Change Act, which provides ministers with advice on the volume of greenhouse gases the UK can emit during the period 2033-2037.
Somerset County Council
Five Somerset Councils approve County Climate Emergency Strategy
The five councils in Somerset have given the green light to implement the recently launched plan for Somerset to go carbon neutral by 2030.

The Somerset-wide Climate Emergency Strategy considers how climate change will impact the County of Somerset and describes what we need to do to cut our emissions and build resilience to the likely risks that may arise. 

The Strategy was developed by all five Somerset councils following a wider public consultation in January 2020 when the people of Somerset had their say about what the priorities of the Strategy should be.

The full strategy and summary strategy with the details of all the plans for each key theme can be reviewed here 
Grant Scheme Helps Businesses Become Sustainable
THE Covid-19 pandemic means Somerset’s economy is facing unprecedented challenges and the county’s five local authorities are doing what they can to help businesses get the support they need.
Meanwhile the climate emergency remains, and a new grant has been launched which will help businesses save money and help the environment at the same time.
Find out more here
Have a Happy Sustainable Christmas
It's (S)crunch Time For Christmas Wrapping Paper

Somerset Waste Partnership are asking festive gift-givers are being asked to pick their wrapping paper wisely and help soothe an annual recycling headache.
Wrapping of all kinds adds lots to the post-Christmas loads collected by Somerset Waste Partnership after Christmas, whether it is in recycling boxes or in rubbish bins.

Only PAPER wrapping paper can be recycled, so residents are urged to steer clear of the glittery, foil and plastic wraps that fill the shelves at this time of year.

If you can reuse wrapping great, but if you're not ready to take that step, paper wrapping is by far the better, greener option.

To check your wrapping is recyclable just give it the scrunch test: if it stays scrunched it's good for recycling and if it doesn't then it's not and has to go in the (naughty) bin.

Recyclable wrapping that can't be used again should go in the correct recycling box (minus the sticky tape or glitter). No black sacks of wrapping paper for recycling please – we will not be able to tell what is in it so it will not be recycled.

If you have a lot of wrap to recycle, please take it to one of our 16 recycling sites rather than overloading your recycling box. Each site will have a special drop-off point for wrapping paper - please do not put wrapping paper in the cardboard skips.

The sites are open their usual winter hours, apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day.

For more tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle at this time of year visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/festive for answers to some Christmas recycling conundrums such as how to dispose of your Christmas tree and those big tins and tubs of sweets and chocolates.
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, How Sustainable are thee?

Christmas would not be the same without the traditional tree and decorations.

If you’re going to have a tree, it’s probably better to have a real one rather than a plastic one. Most Christmas trees are grown on managed tree farms or come from thinning larger forests. They are a renewable resource and generate employment. We are very fortunate in Somerset to have several sustainable Christmas tree growers such as Vale of Camelot Growers near Sparkford, so please shop local if you can.

If you can, buy a tree with roots in a pot, to use year after year, and when it grows too big for indoors, replant it in the garden. There are more and more potted trees on the market each year. It is important to keep a real tree in a cool place and water it frequently. Keep the tree in a leak-proof container such as a strong bucket.

If you opt for an artificial tree, hopefully, you're already using the same one over and over. If you're getting one, then select a good quality product that can be used for many years to come. It's estimated an artificial tree needs to do at least 15 Christmases before it's carbon-neutral, so make sure you get a classic that can make you smile year after year!
All That Glitters Is Not Good

Did you know that glitter is literally just microplastic? We all know that it gets everywhere and ends up being washed off in the sink or shower ending up in waterways, or vacuumed up and sent to landfill.
If you’re using glitter to DIY any decorations or cards this year, use eco-friendly, biodegradable glitter. Bio-glitter is made from cellulose that is produced from the wood pulp of eucalyptus trees. You can also buy confetti made from petals or leaves for the table or you can make your own by punching holes in leaves using a hole punch! Better still why not get edible glitter!
Put Presence In Your Presents

More than ever, this Christmas is a time to be grateful for what we have.

It's great to give physical gifts at Christmas, but we often neglect one of the most important gifts we can give - time. Gifting with love and thought is not only better for the environment but so much more rewarding and special to receive.

You can download and print a gift of time voucher here at the Mental Health Foundation website

In the words of the famous Wizard song..Why don't you give your love for Christmas? x
Food For Thought

So much of the joy of Christmas is wrapped up in the food we celebrate with. But stocking up on our festive fare can contribute to the problem of food waste, with over a third of us admitting that we throw away more food at Christmas than at any other time of year. Check out Love Food Hate Waste and get food-savvy this Christmas. Shop local from local farm producers. Check out the SSDC Food Directory (link to that) and the Local Food Directory.
Green Titbits
Christmas Eve BBC1 at 11am

Settle down with the family for a heartwarming movie with an eco message.

WALL-E - The year is 2700, and planet Earth has long been uninhabitable. For hundreds of years, WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) has been taking out the trash, and collecting precious knick-knacks in order to stave off the boredom of his dreary routine. Little does WALL-E realize that he has recently stumbled onto a secret that could save planet Earth, and once again make the ravaged planet safe for all humankind. When highly advanced search robot EVE makes friends with WALL-E and realizes the value of his remarkable discovery, she excitedly races back to let the humans know that there’s hope for their home planet after all!

Check out the trailer below and watch it on BBC1 at 11am on Christmas Eve!
When you're out for a walk see how many trees you can identify from their twigs.

Now the leaves are gone on the trees it's not quite so easy to identify them. Have a go at this twig ID quiz and test your knowledge. Answers further down :)
Share The Love

If you're enjoying Get SuSSed and would like to share it, you can get the PDF version here.

Or anyone can subscribe to receive it directly by request at ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk
TWIG ID Answers

Follow SSDC on Social Media
We want you to feel part of Get SuSSed and get involved. If you have any questions, an environment story to tell, news, views or ideas please get in touch at ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk