Winkleigh has joined many other Devon parishes in declaring a climate emergency. As a starting point, Winkleigh’s environmental action group has asked its members to list their top ten tips for taking action. So here’s Wheatland Farm’s suggestions.
1. Stop blaming it all on China, stop feeling helpless, and instead make a change for the better, even if it’s a small one. Just take action. No-one can do everything, but there’s no excuse to do nothing. Good things grow.
2. Going green can be confusing, with conflicting pros and cons. The one rule of thumb you can rely on is to Use Less – because buying less and wasting less cuts pollution from both manufacturing and waste disposal. You’ll have made a great start.
3. Then challenge your ‘norm’. Broken zip? Broken household item? Try the Crediton Repair Cafe before you buy replacements. Is your bin full of food wrappers and your cupboard stocked with freezer and sandwich bags?? What can you reuse so you don’t need to waste money buying more? Cut your consumption further by sharing, lending and borrowing – and you’ll get a better social life into the bargain.
4. Food is a huge part of your carbon footprint. Cut out over packaged, over-travelled and processed convenience food, eat less red meat (especially low welfare cheap imports), and don’t waste what you bought. You’ll save money, be healthier and be cutting your environmental impact.
5. Challenge your transport patterns. Walk more. Offer and accept lifts. Get a (second hand) bike and keep it ready for short journeys (or consider an electric bike – they are revolutionising personal transport, even in hilly Devon). Use public transport.
6. Use your financial power for good. Buy renewable energy. Buy more local food. Don’t save with a financial institution that uses your money to undermine the hard won changes you are making.
7. Tell other people about your changes. You will inspire more change, find encouragement, and probably get new ideas.
8. With Christmas coming up, give some thought to how you can side-step corporate pressures to buy yet more junk, while still having a great time. Make a wishlist so you get what you actually want. And could experiences (like a meal or a show) make better presents than yet more ‘stuff’?
9. Lobby for change. Tell your workplace, Parish Council, MP, even your local shop or supermarket what you want them to do to help you do your bit in the climate emergency.
10. Lots of Winkleigh people have knowledge and experience to share, so why not come to Winkleigh’s occasional ‘Green drinks’ social. It’s not a political party, a club, or even a formal organisation – just people meeting for a drink and chat. And no, you don’t have to drink spinach smoothies.