Climate change and sustainability


What constructive choices can we make?

We’ve all felt it this year…searing heat, too little water, too much water (and sewage!) – and the list goes on. Certainly, something is going on in the climate and, as a result, it seems clear that we all must try and address the huge challenge of sustainable living.

We are bombarded all the time with statistics and predictions of doom, and if international meetings like COP26 in Glasgow make little progress, what can we do individually and as a community, in Rye?

But how about being positive about it? What are the right things to do? Already most of us try our best … but can we do more that will benefit each other AND the environment?

Rye is an amazing place – both a strong community and a huge tourist destination … is this an opportunity to lead the way and publicly demonstrate our environmental credibility? But with all the other challenges facing us, starting with the cost-of-living nightmare, can we really do more than we are already doing?

Simply reducing our consumption of “things” is a major benefit. One of the slogans of the sustainability effort is: reduce – reuse – recycle. As a consumer, maybe we should ask ourselves some simple questions. Do I really need this “thing” I’m about to buy? Is it sourced locally – or at least in the UK/Europe? Can I refill it? Can it be repaired? Is it recyclable? Will I make the effort to recycle it – especially if I need to take it somewhere special (think electrical/electronic items)? Can I pass it on to someone else after I have finished with it? If not … maybe think of an alternative, or even not buy it at all?

Then, as a community, let’s continue to push the council for food waste composting (soon to become law), electric vehicle charging points, restoring (rather than removing) well- managed recycling points and maybe projects like long term re-wilding of suitable areas. And how about asking retailers to increase container re-filling choices?

As a tourist destination should we not have a reusable water bottle filling station at or near Rye station (how about it, Southern Water?) and other tourist hotspots? Can we avoid single use plastics in our food outlets?

I don’t think preaching and doom mongering works. Personally, I respond to things that I can see improve my life and the environment that I / we live in. Businesses respond to actions that increase their attractiveness to their customers.

None of this is rocket science. We need to increase the momentum of some of things that have already been started. Then maybe, just maybe, the rubbish on our beaches and roads will reduce, waste will be replaced by re-use, local suppliers will benefit … and we will have contributed to reducing the long-term dangers of bigger issues that may well affect us in the future … such as flooding and drought.

Why not feedback your ideas so that we can build more momentum for our sustainability in the Rye area by making some positive changes as soon as possible?

Image Credits: Tumisu / Pixabay Pixabay

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  1. Small changes can make a big difference. We opened The Kind Table on Market Road, Rye, in April this year with a focus on promoting a sustainable way of living as well as reducing our use of plastics. Our products range from personal care through to household cleaning with refillable options on many items so you can bring your own jar/bottle/bag. Feel free to drop in or visit our website at

    Mia & David
    The Kind Table
    5a Market Road, Rye

  2. At Rother’s last Cabinet meeting, we approved a new grants scheme: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The scheme offers funding to Parish and Town Councils as well as constituted community groups or charities. RDC will match fund up to £1,000 for projects which help meet our environmental aims. This could be a variety of activities including workshops, practical equipment, education, awareness raising.
    Applications will start in April next year and the form will be available on our website. And by the way our a community grants are now supported by income from our Rother Lottery. We now have 68 good causes signed up. If your organisation would like to join, details can be found on our website.

  3. Thanks to Peter for this great article. We need climate change resilience to be addressed every week in Rye News. I’m a member of Rye Community Garden and twice weekly collect used coffee grinds from nine cafe/restaurant establishments in town for use in producing compost. If there are other businesses that would like to participate in this scheme please contact me. Also, I’m very keen to support and perhaps get involved with food waste composting but not sure about the next step in getting the Council to act. Anyone offering advice would be welcome. About a third of all food produced is currently wasted. If it’s not eaten it should be used for producing soil not going into landfills. I’ve done some research on a community run scheme operating in Hastings and would like to see us getting something happening here really soon.

  4. Cllr Prochak – Perhaps the £150,000 planned to spend on a perfectly sound roundabout at Bexhill could go towards this worthy cause rather than waste it on something that doesn’t need fixing.

    I use the roundabout nearly every day never had a problem – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it! Yes, a few flowers wouldn’t go amiss, but £150,000 ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND the mind boggles!!

    Disgraceful that RDC are going to spend this vast amount of money in this way instead of the worthy new grants scheme: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

    STOP wasting money.

  5. Pushing the council for charging points, we’ll managed recycling points etc is like herding cats, the usual answers from the various levels of authority is that it’s not their responsibility, Rye blame Rother, Rother blame East Sussex and East Sussex blame the government, a bit simplistic but that’s how I see it.
    We have had recycling points and what has happened to them? the contractors failed to clear them, obviously one answer would be a station the same as the one in Battle but can you imagine the questions, where will it be, extra traffic, the smell, the noise and so on.
    So we continue to make individual journeys in our cars which just adds to the pollution and solves nothing.
    Charging points will be subject to a great deal of NIMBY will we see them in the citadel? I very much doubt it.
    All credit to those who are making the effort but I fear there’s a great deal to be done and unless all the levels of elected councils start to work together it’s going nowhere fast.

  6. What can we do and who do we contact to promote your excellent ideas?
    Plus, if we eliminate waste food and turn it into compost that will reduce the amount going into landfills and carbon emissions.

  7. May I suggest a rather more ambitious idea for Rye to contribute in the fight against global heating, and also save itself a pile of money? I propose the Rye community invests in an additional two wind turbines at the existing Little Cheyne Court wind farm site. These wind turbines would be community owned and used to power Rye residents’ homes and businesses. There are currently 26 turbines at Little Cheyne Court, with an installed capacity of almost 60MW, enough to power 33,437 homes. So, each turbine powers 1,286 homes, meaning that Rye needs two turbines. How much are people currently paying for energy? We’re looking at a £2,500 annual price ‘cap’ (not actually a cap), as the average amount that will be paid. The project cost of Little Cheyne was £60m, or £2.3m per turbine. This suggests that a total of around £5m could be needed to build an extra two turbines. This cost would need to be researched. With about 5,000 people in Rye, this suggests that each person would need to contribute about £1,000, or maybe £2,500 per household, the equivalent of one year’s power. It is a large initial investment, but it could be paid over time and it would save residents a huge amount of money over the years. A community power generation scheme like this would mean vastly cheaper, renewable electricity for Rye over the 25-year lifespan of the turbines. People wishing to move from Rye could sell their community power investment shares to new residents. German company npower (part of RWE) originally commissioned Little Cheyne and one can be sure that it, or its successor, is currently making substantial profits from the wind farm. I believe that there may be, or there was, an organisation looking into the possibility of community owned renewable energy. Organising a project such as this would not be easy, but I’m putting the idea out there and would welcome people’s comments. Rye Town Council may wish to table this subject for discussion.

  8. i have suggested local wind turbine for Rye Harbour and Holiday Park.
    int replacement of Bexhill roundabout when thejunction at top of Rye Harbour desperately needs a simple sysrem of lights combined with pedestrian crossing which would not cost as much as £150,000 surely.
    Also speed bumps in Rye Harbour Village to stop cars speeding all the way through to the carpark. With so many children now enjoying themselves in the freedom of the village I’m amazed that they have the sense to avoid a terrible accident!
    Where do all these suggestions dissappear to?

  9. Speed humps cause localised air pollution from petrol and Diesel engines..cost of putting them in.
    What about speed monitoring that flashes up the approaching vehicle speed…are they more effective in making the driver more aware of their speed

  10. A wind turbine in Rye Harbour next to the bird reserve, when the wind turbines were planned for the marsh wasn’t there figures banded about saying how many birds would be killed, also a lot of people in the village think the new visitors centre is an eyesore so goodness knows what they’ll have to say about a turbine or two.

  11. Great article:
    Liking the idea of two community owned windmills – do we know if Little Cheyne Court Windmill Farm would accommodate this?
    Also composting waste food – I would like to know how this could be achieved as a community project without attracting rats. I have taken up a friends suggestion and put rat attracting foods in a wheelie bin with holes drilled in the bottom. When rotted down add to compost pile.


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