9:59am Monday 16th April 2012
By Louise Howeson
LIVING in a more eco-friendly way doesn’t have to mean altering your whole life.
The south Essex branch of the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) believes small changes make a big difference.
Having run in the area for seven years the group gives women practical advice on how to be environmentally-friendly in daily life.
Although they focus on women’s role in combating global warming their advice is relevant to anyone wanting to be more ‘green’.
The group are holding an Earth Day event on Sunday 22 April to give tips on how to lower carbon emissions.
It is the first Earth Day south Essex WEN have organised for two years and will include displays on solar powered cookers, wormeries, bike maintenance, advice on keeping chickens, bread-making demonstrations and advice on natural beauty products.
Sharon Chan, chair of the south Essex group, says: “Preaching to women is not what we’re about, all we try to do is give people information so they can make informed decisions.
“We understand that it is not possible to give up everything in our lives but small changes can add up to a lot.”
WEN is the only organisation in the UK working consistently for women and the environment.
Over the years they have raised awareness on issues of women’s health and the environment including the harmful chemicals in cosmetics and toiletries, campaigning for the use of reusable nappies and excess packaging on goods.
So why does the group focus on women’s role in reversing global warming?
Sharon, who lives in Wickford with her husband Eric and two children, says: “Our focus is on women because often they have control over what household products the family uses.
“We believe by informing women about different products and advice on making small changes it can make a big difference.”
The group have a community allotment which they have beening running in Leigh for four years.
“We are very focused on the importance of local produce and growing food at the moment. The community allotment has had a very positive effect on the people involved and has brought us all together and allowed us to be hands on as well as be sociable and get out in the fresh air.
“The community allotment is open to anyone, men and women, but they d need to contact us forest..”
Sharon has been interested in the environment for many years.
She says: “Since my early twenties, when the effects of global warming became more widely known, I started to make changes.
“I buy organic food and we have an allotment now. I am not perfect but I try to do what I can. By growing vegetables, not using the car at weekends and having a water butt or using dish water for the plants can all help.”
South Essex WEN meet monthly at Fresh Horizons, Ditton Court Road, Westcliff. The Earth Day event is due to take place at the Growing Together garden on the corner of Fairfax Drive and Prittlewell Chase from 10am to 4pm. Entrance is £4.50. For more information visit www.seewen.org.uk.
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