We are a group of local people interested in the environment, in our own area and beyond.
As we begin to feel the effects of climate change ourselves, whether that’s through very hot summers, increased flooding or loss of natural habitat and wildlife, we are in a good position to see if our own lifestyle is helping the situation or making it worse. According to international scientists, we have a small window of opportunity – 10 years – to make a difference, to prevent unstoppable change.
So it’s an exciting time to be alive. What we do in the next decade matters. For those of us with children and grandchildren we care about, which I imagine is pretty much everyone, what we do or don’t do now will have a very direct impact on them. 2030 is only a decade away.
We meet at 10am at the Green on the first Monday of every month for a Litter Pick. We separate general rubbish and recycling and leave our bags for the Council to pick up on their collection the following day.
We meet at 7pm at the Village Club on the first Monday of every month to swap notes and discuss where we can put our attention most effectively.
Crisp Packet Recycling in aid of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance
Bins for flat (not scrunched) savoury snack packets of any make are at the Village Club and Verlands at the top of Long Hill. When we reach 8kg, we send them off in exchange for a donation to the KSSAA. The packets get melted down in to plastic pellets which get used to make children’s playgrounds, wheelie bins and garden furniture.
Reverse Vending Machines
We have an active online petition asking the major supermarkets to roll out Reverse Vending Machines in all their stores. They were trialed in the past year in a few stores. We, the customer put in our used drinks cans and bottles in return for money or a voucher to use in store. The supermarket gets a better price for the recycling as it is uncontaminated. No new materials need to be used to make new cans and bottles and therefore far fewer end up in landfill. Win, win, win. We want to collect thousands of signatures to show them how enthusiastic we, the customers, are to use them. Please sign and share with your network.
Incredibly only 13% of the UK’s total land area has tree cover and trees are one of the most efficient ways of capturing carbon. The Woodland Trust and Friends of the Earth, amongst others, have ambitious projects to plant millions of trees and are encouraging us, the public, to plant as many as we can. FOE want to double UK forest by 2045 and the Woodland Trust hopes to have planted a tree for every person in the country by 2025!
Liaison with Village Organisations
Early in 2019 the Woldingham Parish Council asked us to research waste bins and anti-litter signage for the village. In July 2019 we had a little eco-table display at the Woldingham Horticultural Society and set up a Bug Hotel Competition for children, which we judged at the September Show.
We have a facebook page where we regularly upload actions that people can take part in, whether that is in the local area, for example the Woodland Trust or Downlands Partnership, or further afield, through signing a petition on behalf of a Greenpeace initiative or the Great Green Wall, which aims to plant a forest across the width of Africa. We also have a Folder of resources: local green shopping, recycling ideas, local heritage fruit tree varieties.
We are regular contributors to the Woldingham Village Magazine.
For further information
Do get in touch or come to a litter pick or meeting. It would be great to meet you and hear your thoughts on how together we can do our little bit for the environment in Woldingham and beyond.
Annabel Collyer and Ann Richardson: