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.
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.