25th January

We have received some extra funding as part of a National project called Shelf Life. Libraries across Scotland will be encouraging people to join the climate-change debate with funding from SLIC and here in East Ren we have some great activities to encourage people to get involved, learn, chat, discuss and create.

We are delighted to have Eilidh Weir along to deliver Visible Mending Workshops at several libraries. Eilidh is a textiles artist and visible mending enthusiast and will be showing us techniques for repairing/ upgrading clothes and keeping them out of landfill. Workshops are free and details are below. Spaces are limited so hurry! Check out further posts with details of other activities we have organised for children.

🧵Mearns Library / Monday 11th March / 1.30pm-4.30pm
4 ways to fix your socks – darning and more for woolens and stretchy fabrics

🧵Giffnock Library / Tuesday 12th March / 9.45am-12.45pm
Patch it up – the do’s and don’ts of mending clothes by hand

🧵Giffnock Library / Tuesday 19th March / 9.45am-12.45pm
4 ways to fix your socks – darning and more for woollens and stretchy fabrics

🧵Barrhead Foundry Library / Saturday 23rd March / 10.30am-1.30pm
Jean mending – learn how to fix denim and other fabrics by hand


30th Oct 2023

It is spooky season and everywhere you look there are Jack ‘O’ Lanterns adorning doorsteps and windows ready for Halloween. In the UK alone, we buy around 24 million pumpkins just for Halloween and more than half of us will simply throw them away afterwards. A whopping 18,000 tonnes end up in landfill every year, causing greenhouse gas emissions.

So here are some ideas for what to do with your pumpkin that are kinder to the planet.

  1. Keep the pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are delicious roasted and are a great source of fibre, iron and calcium whilst being low in carbs, high in protein. Why not spice them up and sprinkle your favourite seasoning on them before roasting. You can also make them sweet, dust a little cinnamon and sugar over warmed seeds. Yum!

BBC Good Food recommends the following:

  1. Boil some salted water in a large saucepan, add the cleaned seeds and boil for 5-10 minutes depending on the size, then drain on a kitchen towel.
  2. Toss the drained seeds with a little oil, some seasoning and spread evenly across a large baking sheet
  3. Roast the seeds at 180C/gas 4 for about 8-10 minutes.

You can also dry pumpkin seeds out and plant them again next year to see if you can grow your own pumpkin! Or why not hand in your seeds to the Seed Library at Thornliebank library for others to take away.

Add them to your compost. Cut your pumpkin into smaller pieces and add to a compost pile. The pumpkin will break down nicely and add valuable nutrients to the compost. If you do not have a compost pile, bring your pumpkin pieces along to Thornliebank library garden and we will add to our composter and use in the garden.

Bury it. If you have a garden, bury your pumpkin and let bugs enjoy feasting on it. In the same way as composting, the pumpkin will break down and add nutrients back in to the soil.

Make a delicious pumpkin soup. Why not borrow a recipe book from the library and have a go at making a yummy soup. You can also search through the many food magazines available, free, with your library card at Pressreader: Find out more here: https://www.ercultureandleisure.org/libraries/books-e-books-and-e-magazines/emagazines-2/


4th October

Isn’t this mosaic just fantastic! Following on from the previous blog post- some of the creative pupils visited us at the library to unveil the Eco Mosaic for the garden that they created as part of the Eco Camp.

The mosaic, based on the Root Cause Logo, was created using solely recycled materials by 24 young art enthusiasts during the first ever ERCLT Eco Art and Drama Camp, which ran during the summer holidays. 

The young people worked with experienced freelance arts and drama tutors during the camp, which featured eco-themed arts, crafts, design, drama and physical theatre activities. They designed and created the stunning mosaic based on the Root Cause logo design by Thornliebank Primary school pupils, and it will now take pride of place in Thornliebank Library’s garden. Now we just need to figure out the best way to hang it up…!


01st August 2023

During the school summer holidays, our Arts and Heritage Team in partnership with our libraries delivered our first ever Eco Art and Drama Camp.

The week-long camp took place at St Clares & Calderwood Lodge Primary, linking up with The Root Cause project throughout. Arts, crafts, design, drama and physical theatre activities were incorporated as 24 young people worked with our experienced freelance arts and drama tutors.

In drama, the young people learnt to work around themes of nature and use it as inspiration, with lots of things they found in nature used as props in scenes.

The Root Cause Project’s seed library was put to use, as the young people made seed bombs. The seed bombs were then ‘planted’ in the school’s playground – we can’t wait to see what will blossom!

The young people also tried their hand making paper in art. Damaged books that couldn’t be used anymore were collected from our libraries with the old bits of paper pulped. The young people followed the whole process and used the pulp to make new paper for drawing, writing and painting on, giving it a new purpose and demonstrated inventive ways of recycling.

Other activities over the busy week included working with clay to make pinch pots, finding out where clay comes from. We also made sure we were as environmentally friendly as possible, using recycled materials such as treesaver wood-free pencils, recycled paper and card and seeking alternatives to avoid the use of plastics such as in felt pens and acrylic paints.

The group of young people also used recycled materials to create a mosaic of The Root Cause logo, which we are very much looking forward to putting in the garden at Thornliebank Library for all to see.

Eco Camp Fun!

12th June 2023

Just look at the crop of fruit on the Gooseberry tree! It is so rewarding to see the first of our crops growing after all that beautiful sunshine we have had. The cucumber plant is sprouting nicely and the first of the tomatoes are now appearing, but not quite red yet! The Calendula that we grew from seeds collected in now in full bloom as well and adding a nice touch of colour. If you haven’t been in the garden, do pop along to the library and take a look.

Now is also the perfect time to start gathering in seeds from plants that have finished their flowering for the year. We have added more yellow and orange poppy seeds to the Seed Library as well as some Grape Hyacinth seeds. Anyone is welcome to come along and take some home to scatter and grow! And if you have any self-seeding plants that you could collect seeds from, please do consider handing some in to the Seed Library at Thornliebank library and we will share with the community.

Eaglesham Community Garden

31st May 2023

There are lots of wonderful Community Gardens across East Renfrewshire and Eaglesham Community Garden is just one such example. A sparse area of ground at the rear of Eaglesham Carswell Hall has been transformed into a hive of growing activity thanks to the hard work of two local residents, Sandra and Jennifer. We had the pleasure of visiting one morning to help plant some trees and shovel some woodchip. As a result Sandra and Jennifer gifted us with some beautiful seeds for the Seed Library. Community spirit strikes again!

Eaglesham Community Garden

19th April 2023

We got a lovely surprise visit today by Joseph, Stuart and Stevie from Thornliebank Resources Centre as they came bearing gifts. The lovely folks down at the centre have planted up some beautiful planters to brighten up the front of Thornliebank library. The planters are in situ now and can be enjoyed by all visiting or passing the library. And if that wasn’t lovely enough, Stuart, Stevie and Joseph even spent some time tidying up the weeds at the front and helped us to move some soil into planters in the rear garden! It was a lovely afternoon and made us smile at the generosity of community spirit. Thank you all at Thornliebank Resource Centre!

Joseph and Stuart beside one of the blooming planters

13th March 2023

Primary 7 pupils had a rare treat today as they got to swim with Manta Rays, walk beside elephants in Kenya and swing with Orangutans in the Jungles of Borneo… all with the help of Virtual Reality!

Virtual Reality is a brilliant way to experience things that you might not otherwise get the chance to in real life and as part of The Root Cause Project, we wanted to give pupils the opportunity to experience some of the Eco/ nature content available. Afterwards pupils said “It’s so exciting!’ “It felt like you were really there!” “We need to look after the jungle and oceans”.

A P7 pupil immersed in the Virtual Reality experience

Libraries run various different VR sessions throughout the year and are added to the ‘What’s On’ section of ERCLT website.

22nd February 2023

Library staff had a lovely time putting together the start of the Seed Library. Part of our wishes for The Root Cause Project was to establish a Seed Library for East Renfrewshire.

We are collecting seeds, storing and giving out flower seeds to the local community for people to grow in their own spaces.

A Seed Library Production Line going on!

There’s a whole host of flowers that ‘self-seed’ at the end of flowering season that you can gather in before they disperse and, if stored properly, can be used to replant the following season to grow as new flowers. Some examples of flower seeds you can collect include: Poppies, Bluebells, Columbines, Cornflowers, Scabious, Foxgloves, Verbena and wildflowers.

You can hand in suitable flower seeds to any East Renfrewshire library and we will add to the Seed Library, currently housed at Thornliebank Library. We will have a log book where we record some details about the seeds. Anyone can come along to the Seed Library to have a look at what is available and take some seeds away to grow in their own space. All we ask is that you return some seeds back to the Seed Library at the end of flowering to help keep the cycle going and the library thriving.

Next steps will be to gather in vegetable and fruit seeds! For more details about the Seed Library- contact libraries@ercultureandleisure.org

14th February 2023

We just had to share this tasty recipe card for quick pickles that was added to Giffnock Library’s Eco Tips Wall. Yum! Do you have any recipe ideas that saves on food waste as well as the pennies? Pop them on to your library’s Eco Tips Wall and share with us.

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