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The Shell garage in Gold Street, Wellingborough, has a huge sign and banners proclaiming that their petrol is carbon neutral. I have had an exchange of emails with their customer service department to find out how this is supposed to work.

You have to sign up for a Shell Go+ loyalty card, which gives you a discount on purchases in their shop. In addition, when you buy petrol ” Shell will determine the associated carbon emissions from that fuel purchase, relevant to the type of fuel and the amount bought, and then pay to offset them accordingly. Furthermore, the carbon offsets available via the Shell Go+ scheme cover the life-cycle emissions from customers’ fuel purchases – that is all emissions from the production right through to the use of the fuel.” I replied to their email, saying:

“The trees that you plant will take time to grow and begin to absorb carbon. The carbon emissions will start straight away as soon as the customer leaves the garage. So the damage to the environment starts well before the beneficial effects of the tree planting kick in. It is generally accepted that we have to cut our carbon emissions this year to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences in the near future. 

Your carbon offset scheme only applies to people who have a Go+ loyalty card, but your heavy forecourt advertising implies that everybody who uses Shell is driving carbon neutral.

I think that you should withdraw the carbon neutral signs and banners. They may possibly be legal as far as the Advertising Standards Authority are concerned, but they are misleading, for the reasons I have given.”

So far, I have not had a reply, so it might be time to take action.

Litter Picking – Wellingborough Eco Group

On Saturday 25th January, Wellingborough Eco Group will be litter picking in Croyland Park. We will be setting up from 9:30 in the public car park on the Kingsway, to litter pick between 10 and 12. Look out for our recycling station and for our yellow hi-vis vests.

Wellingborough Norse have kindly agreed to lend us the equipment and to collect the rubbish. We will of course recycle as much as we can.

Our monthly two hour tidy up this month is to litter pick one of the most used parks in Wellingborough, and we plan to carry out litter picks on the last Saturday of every month. Litter pickers this month decide where the next location will be next month.

Find our more about this and show that you are coming at To keep up to date with all of our activities join Wellingborough Eco Group at

Join us to make Croyland Park tidier for the hundreds of people that enjoy the park, and a healthier place to live for wildlife too. All welcome!

Repair Cafe 2

Wellingborough Eco Group and Glamis Hall hosted our second Repair Cafe on Saturday, during the Indoor Car Boot Sale.

Our fabulous six fixers repaired 20 items, including a vacuum cleaner, sewing machine, walkman, CD player, buzz game, food mixer, solar light, lamp, drill, tablet, bicycle and clock.

Thank you to our repairers Ata, Chris, Dave, Jonathan, Simon and Xan for saving local people money and saving salvageable items from going to landfill. Thank you Judy for demonstrating how to make cleaning products from eco sources. Thank you also to Marion and Viv for helping. Thank you to Heather, Sarah and the whole team at Glamis Hall for hosting our Repair Cafe.

Here is a small selection of the photos that we took:

Our next Repair Cafe will be on Saturday 8th February, where we will have even more fixers to save you money and items from ending up in landfill!

General Meeting Minutes from 7th January 2020

1- Protesting (first priority) 
2- Wellingborough Eco Group
3- Lobbying, social media and admin

1- Protest, our first priority!

We had a group brain-storm about what are we, what are we doing and what is going to be our next protest/action? The group decided that we should cover Wellingborough and the surrounding areas, including Rushden and Higham Ferrers until they had set up a separate group.  Our key focuses for action were decided to be:

  • Borough Council of Wellingborough (no climate emergency and no action)
  • Peter Bone and Westminster government (no action, opposed to climate action)
  • Shell (due to the nonsense that they are claiming to sell climate neutral fuels)

Anthony has taken on the role of ‘Protest Coordinator’ and will set up a sub group to work on forthcoming protests.  Anthony is currently asking activists to contact him to set up and be part of this sub group.  Future activities will be proposed at the next meeting.  The whole group also looked at previous protests and at protests carried out by other XR groups in Northants.

Marion proposed that we work on a few initiatives, including:

  • A ‘Leave Your Car At Home Day’
  • Measuring air quality at across the town and borough
  • A Climate Emergency Plan Event.

Marion has taken on the role of ‘Events Coordinator’ for Extinction Rebellion Wellingborough for the above; also for a Solar Co-op event and for talking libraries for Wellingborough Eco Group (detailed below) Marion is currently asking activists to contact her to be part of a sub group to organise these events. 

2- Wellingborough Eco Group

We had a group brain-storm about what activities do everyone wanted to do this year.  Currently we are going to do the following activities:

  • Litter pick on Saturday 25th January in Croyland Park
  • Tree Planting – to plant more trees in Croyland Park after litter pick…
  • Repair Café on Saturday 12th January in Glamis Hall, 7 repairers booked in.
  • Christmas Tree recycling is being done now, 6 collected (4 planted) 3 more booked in to collect.  The idea is that we grow the trees, them give them away to charities next year.

Proposed activites:

  • Eco Map of Wellingborough, all to investigate local eco-friendly services, Jonathan to look at setting up a Google Map and website guide.
  • Hosting advice/mutual support sessions (proposed at last meeting) on how to reduce your carbon footprint, on a monthly basis, possibly at the library.
  • Tree Planting (proposed by Inese) Planting a copse in Croyland Park
  • A Solar Co-op event (proposed by Marion) looking at the possibility of setting one up in Wellingborough.
  • Talking Libraries (proposed by Marion) community events that get people from all age groups and communities talking to each other, sharing their knowledge and experiences.

‘Wellingborough Eco Group’ Facebook Group now has 233 members (up 17 from four weeks ago)

Mutual support for members trying to achieve a zero carbon footprint was discussed.

3- Lobbying, social media and admin:

  • Facebook page, 150 up from 146 likes, 162/158 follows
  • Twitter now set up @XRWboro, 312/292 followers

Judy has taken over the cash tin, and will now act as out treasurer.  All future expenses and donations will go through her.  A donation of £34 will be given to Glamis Hall on Saturday from November’s Repair Café.  With the exception of Wellingborough Hustings, all other expenses have now been paid.

Your Views, Summary and End of Meeting:

Everyone talked about what they felt they have achieved from this meeting.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 21st January at 7:30pm at the Queen’s Head on Broad Green, everyone is welcome.

(Minutes from previous meetings can be viewed on out minutes page.)

9 Things You Can Do About Climate Change in 2020

Using your voice as a consumer, a customer, a member of the electorate and an active citizen, will lead to changes on a much grander scale.

“Use your voice, use your vote, use your choice” Al Gore

1. Make your voice heard by those in power 

Take action locally with Extinction Rebellion Wellingborough

Tell your Member of Parliament, local councillors and city mayors that you think action on climate change is important.

A prosperous future for the United Kingdom depends on their decisions about the environment, green spaces, roads, cycling infrastructure, waste and recycling, air quality and energy efficient homes.

Ultimately, steps to reduce carbon emissions will have a positive impact on other local issues, like improving air quality and public health, creating jobs and reducing inequality. 

What can I do?

Find out who your MP is, and the best way to contact them

This briefing paper and animation highlight the co-benefits of climate action, and why it is particularly relevant for decision-makers in cities and devolved regions. Share it with your local MP.

Join a social movement or campaign that focuses on environmental activities or gets everyone talking about climate change action, such as the Youth Strike 4 Climate or Extinction Rebellion.

Join Extinction Rebellion Wellingborough! Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and come to local meetings every other Tuesday at the Queens Head on Broad Green, Wellingborough.

2. Eat less meat and dairy

Avoiding meat and dairy products is one of the biggest ways to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Studies suggest that a high-fibre, plant-based diet is also better for your health – so it can be a win-win.  

Try to choose fresh, seasonal produce that is grown locally to help reduce the carbon emissions from transportation, preservation and prolonged refrigeration.

Find out more

Join local vegetarian and vegan groups like Northants Veggies and Vegans

Try Vegan this January

Take the Veganuary pledge, they have inspired and supported more than half a million people in 178 countries to try vegan for January!



For more details on how eating a more plant-based, seasonal diet can help tackle climate change, support the local economy and help us to live healthier lives, check out Imperial College’s blog: Saving the planet, one meal at a time

3. Cut back on flying

If you need to fly for work, consider using video-conferencing instead. For trips in the same country or continent, take the train or bus.

Find out more

Myclimate compares the carbon emissions of your particular flight, with the maximum amount of carbon dioxide a person should produce per year in order to halt climate change, and the average amount an EU citizen produces each year. It makes for sobering reading. 

Did you know?

Transport has become the largest emitting sector of the UK economy, accounting for 28% of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. 

4. Leave the car at home

Instead of getting in the car, walk or cycle – and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits, and the money saved. For longer journeys, use public transport, or try car sharing schemes.

Not only do cars contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, but air pollution caused by exhaust fumes from traffic poses a serious threat to public health. It has been shown to affect the health of unborn babies and increase the risk of dementia.

Furthermore, Imperial College research shows that poor air quality in the capital leads to around 1,000 London hospital admissions for asthma and serious lung conditions every year, and that air pollution in the United States is associated with 30,000 deaths and reduced life expectancy.

Clean Air Day is on 18 June 2020 – how are you going to get involved?

5. Reduce your energy use, and bills

Small changes to your behaviour at home will help you use less energy, cutting your carbon footprint and your energy bills:

Put on an extra layer and turn down the heating a degree or two.

Turn off lights and appliances when you don’t need them.

Replace light bulbs with LEDs or other low-energy lights.

Make simple changes to how you use hot water, like buying a water-efficient shower head.

Go further

Make sure your home is energy efficient. Check the building has proper insulation, and consider draught-proofing windows and doors. If you are in rented accommodation, lobby your landlord to make sure the property is energy efficient.

Switching energy supply to a green tariff is a great way to invest in renewable energy sources – and could save you money on bills too.

6. Respect and protect green spaces

Green spaces, such as parks, allotments and gardens, are important. They absorb carbon dioxide and are associated with lower levels of air pollution.

They help to regulate temperature by cooling overheated urban areas, can reduce flood risk by absorbing surface rainwater and can provide important habitats for a wide variety of insects, animals, birds and amphibians.

They also provide multiple benefits to public health, with studies linking green space to reduced levels of stress. 

What can I do?

Litter Picking in Wellingborough

Join Wellingborough Eco Group, and get involved locally in activities that help the environment locally, including Litter Picking, Repair Cafes and Tree Recycling.

Plant trees. The Woodland Trust are aiming to plant 64 million trees over the next 10 years – and need your help. Whether you want to plant a single tree in your garden, or a whole wood, they have tools and resources to help.

Create your own green space. Add pot plants to your window sill or balcony, and if you have your own outdoor space, don’t replace the grass with paving or artificial turf.

Help to protect and conserve green spaces like local parks, ponds or community gardens. Organisations like Fields In Trust and the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces have advice and resources on how you can get involved in areas local to you. 

Check out TCV. If you don’t have direct access to open spaces, this community volunteering charity brings people together to connect to nature, and create healthier and happier communities. 

7. Invest your money responsibly

Find out where your money goes. Voice your concerns about responsible investment by writing to your bank or pension provider, and ask if you can opt out of funds investing in fossil fuels.

There are also a number of ‘ethical banks’ you can investigate. 

8. Cut consumption – and waste

Everything we use as consumers has a carbon footprint.

Avoid single-use items and fast fashion, and try not to buy more than you need.

Shop around for second-hand or quality items that last a long time.

Put your purchasing power to good use by choosing brands that align with your new green aspirations. 

Try to minimise waste

Repair Cafe at Glamis Hall, Wellingborough

Repair and reuse – for help locally, find out more about our Repair Cafes

Give unwanted items a new life by donating them to charity or selling them on.

Avoid wasting food.

Shop locally and avoid using online retailers unless they are committed to reducing packaging.

Let brands know if you think they are using too much packaging – some will take customer feedback seriously.

9. Talk about the changes you make

Conversations are a great way to spread big ideas.

As you make these positive changes to reduce your environmental impact, share your experience with your family, friends, customers and clients. Don’t be a bore or confrontational. Instead, talk positively, and be honest about the ups and downs.

*This blog post has been adapted (and added to) from a web page by The Grantham Institute at Imperial College London. Links are either to their content, to our output or to other organisations that we recommend.

Happy New Year 💚

9 things you can do about climate change

By The Grantham Institute at Imperial College, London.

  1. Make your voice heard by those in power.
  2. Eat less meat and dairy.
  3. Cut back on flying.
  4. Leave the car at home.
  5. Reduce your energy use and bills.
  6. Respect and protect green spaces.
  7. Invest your money responsibly.
  8. Cur consumption – and waste.
  9. Talk about the changes you make.

The Imperial College website has lots more information on each of the above actions and is definitely worth investigating.

We will be highlighting one action each week, starting, appropriately, with the first one.