SI Thames Valley found out when our PA Officer Sushi Gow invited Summreen Sheikh of Greenpeace to speak at our May club meeting to give practical hints on how to help. We can, of course, join a local environmental group and participate in their actions. But on a personal level there is a lot more we can do.
Summreen herself now car shares and cycles when she possibly can. She advised us to think carefully about the food we eat to produce less waste. She told us of her own experiments with vegetarianism and veganism. It was her small way to help reduce the world-wide demand for more land, such as rain forests, to cultivate and help meet this demand for more meat and soya. Our own gardens should ideally be biologically diverse to give Nature a helping hand to help us.
As regards the energy we use, we could investigate the installation of solar panels to reduce our consumption and contribute to the grid. Our water use could be more closely monitored. If we have not already done so, instal a water meter. We can easily recycle rain water for our garden use with the simple aid of a water butt to collect it. Think of the energy we use as we go around the garden with a watering can instead of a hose connected to the mains. So it helps us monitor our weight as well!
For those of us with money to spare and invested we should look closely at what the funds are and make sure they too are “green” funds.
Our aim should be always to reduce the plastic we use. Think, for example, of buying meat directly from a butcher, if this is possible, and getting rid of all those plastic trays we leave the supermarket with. Take part in lobbying for the reduction of plastic. Greenpeace has some excellent anti-plastic use videos we can view on YouTube and use to spread the word. We can also organise or take part in anti-litter campaigns or in beach clean-ups.
Summreen also gave an account of the organisation that is Greenpeace, its history and where it is now. But most of all she reminded us of the things we could be doing to help our present environment improve and survive. Things which as Soroptimists we should lead as examples.