WI Members Speak Up about Climate Change

Click here to read a nice blog post from NFWI about last month’s climate change lobbying day in Westminster. WI members from all over the country joined with about 9,000 other concerned citizens to share their concerns with their MPs.

The post includes a great quote from Pippa Stilwell of Zennor WI (and a lovely picture of her as well!).

Pippa Stilwell of Zennor WI talks to MP Derek Thomas about the threats posed by global warming.


Speak Up for the Love of …

For the love of bees, strawberries, cheese, bluebells and hedgehogs. For the local park and England’s beautiful seasons. For the food on our plates and the tea in our mugs. For the love of all the things that matter most, we’re taking climate change seriously.


Tomorrow has been designated a day of action and celebration by the Climate Coalition as we Speak Up For The Love Of all we hold dear. People from all across the country will be coming together in our thousands to ask MPs to commit to strong action on climate change to protect all the things we love. It’s our first opportunity after the General Election to tell our newly elected representatives what matters to us in this crucial year for climate action.

The Women’s Institute is a founding member of the Climate Coalition, and WIs from all over the UK have been getting involved.

Many have been making bunting displaying all the things we love which will be affected by climate change:

bunting bunting2

… and others will be going to London tomorrow to lobby their MPs.

You can read about one WI member’s reasons for participating here.

Don’t worry if you won’t be there. There’s lots we can all do at home to help fight climate change:

  • Improve the energy efficiency of your home: remove draughts with draft excluders, insulate the loft, hang heavy curtains over doors and windows to keep heat in, and only heat the house when you need to.
  • Reduce food miles: buy local at local farmers markets, use local veg box schemes, and grow the things you like that are a bit pricey; eat seasonally if buying in the supermarket.
  • Reduce water usage/waste and the harmful chemicals you put in it: use eco-friendly detergents for washing clothes, dishes and home, and re-use your washing up water for the garden. Use rainwater to water the garden – this reduces mains consumption and is better for the plants as rainwater is chlorine-free. Having quick showers reduces water and heat needed – win/win.
  • Promote sustainable transport: use public transport for longer journeys if you can and if you’re travelling alone; walk rather than drive to the shop/into town to meet friends; cycle if possible; share lifts if you can.
  • Reduce waste/trash: compost what I can’t eat and try not to waste food; re-usebottles/jars for home-made things and recycle anything else. Try to avoid buying anything wrapped in polystyrene or other non-recyclable packaging.




Speak Up to fight climate change!

Speak Up SMALL landscapeAs a founding member of the Climate Coalition (previously Stop Climate Chaos), the NFWI will be supporting ‘Speak Up’, a mass lobby of Parliament on 17th June. The Climate Coalition is the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities.

What is it about?
This mass lobby will provide people across the UK with an opportunity to speak up for the love of all they hold dear that could be lost to climate change, and to demonstrate to the new Government that strong UK leadership on climate change is important to the British public.

Why the NFWI is supporting this?
The WI has long been at the forefront of environmental action. From promoting debate on food security to cutting down on wasteful packaging, WI members have consistently turned talk into action and in doing so demonstrated positive ways of helping both their communities and the wider environment.

ftlo march event
2015: Why is it important?
In December 2015 Paris will be hosting the 21st United Nations Framework Commission on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP). The Conference will bring world leaders together to discuss how they can work together to tackle climate change, and it provides an opportunity to reach a fair and legally-binding global deal on cutting carbon emissions. People all over the world will be calling on their governments to support the conference and reach an ambitious deal that will limit global warming to 2˚c.

What can you do to help stop climate change?
1. Make meat a treat – Go meat free for just a few days a week – be kind to your ticker and to your wallet, but also be good to the planet.
Why? Roughly 18 per cent of greenhouse gases are caused by livestock farming. Producing just one beef steak emits more CO2 than you would by driving for an hour and leaving all the lights on at home.

2. Drive with smooth style – Cut down your speed on the road, use less air con, take any unnecessary items out of the boot and make sure your tyres are fully inflated. This will improve the efficiency of your vehicle and get more miles out of the tank. Not to mention the safety benefits.
Why? Road transport in the UK produces around a quarter of our national CO2 emissions. Driving at 80mph uses 25 per cent more fuel than driving at 70mph.

3. Don’t over-boil the kettle – Only fill up the kettle with the water you need. Save water, save electricity.
Why? Over 30 million litres of water are boiled in the UK every day only to go cold again.

4. Turn off appliances at night – Turn off computers, lights, televisions and any other appliances at night.
Why? It may be one of the oldest energy saving methods but it’s also the simplest. If all the UK’s 17 million office workers turned off their computers at night, the carbon savings would be equivalent to removing 245,000 cars from the road.

5. Adjust your computer power – Fine tune your computer settings to make sure it turns off when you’re not using it and that its brightness settings aren’t unnecessarily high.
Why? 65 per cent of energy used by computers is spent on running idle, not on actual computing.

6. Walk more – Instead of spending money on bus fares, train tickets and fuel, try walking whenever possible instead. It really is that simple.
Why? It improves your health, saves you money, gives you time to think, chat and dream, reduces stress, makes you more alert, more productive, and increases independence. It also emits no pollution and is totally carbon free.

7. Eat seasonably and locally – Slim down your carbon footprint and stop eating things like tomatoes in winter. Did you know that over half the food imported to the UK could have actually been sourced within these isles.
Why? Local means less road miles travelled and therefore cuts down on carbon emissions. Seasonal means the food may have needed fewer intensive methods to grow it.

8. Take short, sharp showers – Cut down on the length of your shower in the morning. Each minute you shave off your time in the bathroom will save around 10 litres of water.
Why? On average we spend eight or nine minutes a day in the shower, making up about 12% of our water usage and costing up to £918 a year. Cutting down will reduce your water bill and save electricity.

9. Receive less junk mail – Register with the Mail Preference Service and have your name and address removed from all the direct mail databases. You still get the post you want, without the junk.
Why? Around 2.7 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered in the UK every year, using up paper, using electricity to be printed and using fuel to be transported. Also, who wants yet another menu from the local pizza joint to add to the dozen you already have stuffed in that drawer in the kitchen?