Climate Change & #showthelove
February 2022 update
Feeding the world’s cats and dogs produces 64 million tonnes of CO2 per year – the same as keeping 1.63 million cars on the
road for the same period. As an alternative to regular wet and dry foods for pets try insect based varieties which use 2000
times less water, 17 times less land in their production and generate 100 times fewer emissions. If you think this is a step too
far try using the chicken or fish versions of your pet’s favourite foods rather than the beef or lamb versions.
An internet search for ‘insect based dog food’ comes up with a surprising number of companies already providing alternatives
to regular dog and cat foods.
December 2021 update
With the emphasis on COP 26 in recent weeks and the worry about whether or not enough has been promised to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, the task of saving the planet seems very daunting and somewhat overwhelming. But in the words of Greta Thunberg –‘No-one is too small to make a difference’ and if we all do just one thing differently then, collectively, we can make a difference. Be that not eating meat as regularly, reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ we buy, foregoing out of season fruit and vegetables, buying things with a small and local supply chain, not washing clothes as often and turning down the heating thermostat by 1C. All small things but they can all make a difference.
Take a look at your own carbon footprint by answering the questions on the following carbon footprint calculator.
WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/
October 2021 update
“Reducing food waste is one of the most important things we can do to reverse global warming,” Chad Frischman, Climate Change Expert.
It is estimated that if food waste was a country, it would be the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases after the USA and China.
The statistics for food waste in Europe are staggering:-
* Around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion Euros.
* The food currently wasted in Europe could feed 200 million people.
If we all tried to do something about our food waste - even if we all did it imperfectly - we could make a difference. The TOO GOOD TO GO app makes saving food easy and fun! It harnesses the power of the internet to put subscribers in touch with cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries and hotels so that food destined for the bin can be saved. Users pay a nominal price for a ‘magic bag’ of food, the contents of which are unknown, or sign up for a restaurant meal. Different outlets offer meals and bags at different times of day.
There is a lot of information about being a ‘waste food warrior’ on the website and details of how to access and download the app. Check out www.toogoodtogo.com for more information.
September 2021 update
What’s your favourite news source? Does facial recognition light up your social media feeds, your index finger touch your radio or tv, your hand reach out for your daily newspaper or is it the sound of your voice activating your smart speaker? Whatever your preference, the news stories from across the world resemble scenes from multimillion pound movies, the type where you anticipate Tom Cruise or Daniel Craig to burst into view. Sadly no, this is actually happening, the apocalyptic scenes of fire and flood we see and hear are real, climate change is real.
Although these reports can be overwhelming the sustainable changes we continue to make in our choices of lifestyle, demonstrate our commitment to protecting our planet. The WI is supporting the Climate Coalition’s Great Green Week from the 18th to 26th September. This is a great opportunity to participate in activities with neighbours, WI members, and other groups in our wider community, to show how we love and protect our green spaces. To find out more go to your favourite news source, ask your WI committee or visit this link https://greatbiggreenweek.com/ We can participate while out and about or take part from our homes - together we make a real difference.
August 2021 update
Today, an estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste. That’s equal to about 1.3 billion tons of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens. It could be enough calories to feed every undernourished person on the planet.
And if food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane - a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. About 6%-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food.
Restaurants such as Pizza Express, Quaglinos and Wagamama have pledged to persuade diners to use doggy bags to help combat the waste generated when eating out and in France it is now compulsory to provide a doggy bag for each diner.
We can all do our bit to combat the methane generated by waste food – there is no shame in asking for a doggy bag when eating out!
July 2021 update
A mature tree absorbs carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 pounds per year. In one year an acre of forest can absorb twice the CO2 produced by the average car’s annual mileage. Oak trees absorb the most carbon but horse chestnuts, the London Plane and various pine trees are also notable sequesters of carbon. To mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee communities across Britain are being encouraged to plant trees and in his support of the initiative Boris Johnson said trees ‘stand at the front line of our fight against climate change’.
The Queen’s Green Canopy Scheme has been launched to encourage people to plant trees during the tree planting season – October 2021 through to the end of 2022 to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne. The Woodland Trust is a partner of the Queens Green Canopy scheme and they have over 3 million saplings in tree packs available on a first come first served basis. Information on how to apply for your free saplings is available at
For further information about the scheme please go to www.queensgreencanopy.org
June 2021 update
Following on from last month’s tips on how to protect and grow green spaces for pollinators and increase biodiversity in the garden, we thought members might find the following information useful. Stowe Nine Churches has two churches and both churchyards are managed for wildlife, creating an interesting and diverse range of habitats.
In Northamptonshire, the BCN Wildlife Trust runs a Conservation Churchyard Award scheme to encourage individuals and communities to develop churchyards in a way that benefits wildlife and the people that visit them. Just like gardens, this can be achieved by including a few simple wildlife friendly features such as:
* adding bird boxes and bug hotels (children love bug hotels)
* planting shrubs that provide winter food for wildlife such as rose hips and hollies
* including a herb bed with plants such as marjoram and thyme which are loved by butterflies and bees
* planting bulbs (don’t forget to place your order via your WI secretary, see Bulbs, Bulbs, Bulbs article below!).
For those with space and time, churchyards can also be the perfect place to create a meadow. As part of its scheme, which is free, the Trust will send an adviser to meet with you and share ideas about wildlife in your churchyard and you have access to ongoing advice throughout the year. There is more information about the scheme at: https://www.wildlifebcn.org/advice-landowners/churchyards
Or contact BCN Wildlife Trust adviser, Lisa Rowley, Lisa.Rowley@wildlifebcn.org
May 2021 update
The recent NCFWI Mitigation survey rated protecting and growing green spaces for pollinators and biodiversity as the second highest priority for WI members in the county. In light of this and the start of warmer weather and the gardening season the following information provided by a Stowe Nine Churches WI member will hopefully prove helpful.
Wildlife and Gardens
Increased awareness of nature and the desire to improve habitats for wildlife may be one of the few positives to come from the last 12 months under this dreadful virus. The idea of a meadow is very appealing but can be quite a lot of work. However, major habitat improvements can also be achieved with more modest changes.
* Choose single rather than double flowered plants - much better for insects and pollinators (read why in this excellent article from the ‘laid back gardener’ https://laidbackgardener.blog/2017/04/20/double-flowers-bad-news-for-pollinators/.
* Stretch the seasons by including early and late flowering plants. Crocuses are a wonderful way to start the year and honesty (which is a magnet for the early butterflies) is fabulous from late March to April. For late summer, plants like rudbeckia (a favourite of the beautiful common blue butterfly) and michaelmass daisies (loved by the red admiral and, if you are lucky, the comma butterfly) help extend the summer nectar into early autumn.
* Include water and keep it topped up in dry spells - even a small bird bath can be a life saver - and watching the birds, insects, and even the occasional mammal, drinking and bathing always brings a smile.
* Find space for a small wood pile (or two) in a tucked away corner to just get on and do its own thing.
NCFWI 1st Climate Mitigation Survey 2021 - The survey results are in - click here
Our top three priorities in this year’s NCFWI Climate Mitigation survey are
1st Q4. Unleashing the power of renewable energy
2nd Q3. Protecting and growing green spaces for pollinators and biodiversity
3rd Q7. Reducing our consumption of resources and the energy used in processing fuels & materials
Our members demonstrated strong feelings through the massive support of the Show the Love campaign and also sharing their priorities for climate mitigation in our survey. These are clear indicators we recognise the crisis and are keen to continue, to be part of the solution, making a great platform for future initiatives. This is really positive, thank you.
Warkton Village WI talented members were busy making green hearts in different mediums (baking, knitting and using natural resources for wreaths).
In order to recognise the #showthelove campaign in February, Hunsbury Hill WI organised a competition, for members, to craft items linked to this in whatever medium they liked. Photos of the entries were sent to an independent judge by email and some of those are shown in the attached photograph. The winning entry was the Heart Purse which, in the judges words – “blew her away" seeing the bees on the zip side and the map of the world on the reverse with the words “Save The Planet”
Congratulations to Carolyn Stone. Click here for image
Brigstock WI has truly raised the profile of Climate Change with their #showthelove campaign. See their wonderful photos from all around the village.For over 30 images look at their facebook page.
Harpole WI A lovely collection of ‘green hearts’ are now hanging on a tree at the bottom of the High Street. They drew a lot of attention and interest while we were hanging them. Well done ladies.
As we move into autumn we may be experiencing a draught or two around our houses. Perhaps we can all think about improving our doors, windows, letterboxes, fireplaces and loft hatches against the chills to come.
Draught proofing is one of the most effective ways to save energy and money at home. So good for your pocket as well as reducing your carbon footprint.
Photos show a member on the Virtual Lobby
"Cloudier" visited Daventry Country Park to show off her Climate Change scarf!