On the ninth day of Christmas…Clean air is a basic human right – we all need and deserve to breathe air that will not harm us or shorten our live expectancy. Poor air quality kills. Friends of the Earth Oxford have an excellent campaign running to improve air quality across the county, with a wealth of ideas for ways individuals can help either through their own actions, or by joining in with wider initiatives.The air quality in parts of Banbury is not as good as it could or should be. Our work at BCAG, pairing up with all those interested in order to improve provision for cyclists, is a pedal in the right direction towards also improving air quality: it’s petrol and diesel engines that are the biggest contributors to polluted air in the town. There is much more we could do to work for cleaner air though, and it would be fantastic if we, at the top end of the County, could lend OxFoE our support and help freshen up our breaths this coming year.
On the tenth day of Christmas…Many of us feel strongly about a range of ‘green’ issues: how best to turn those feelings into action? One way is to speak up and make yourself heard. 2021 will bring plenty of opportunities for sending messages loud and clear to those who need to hear. The louder the voice, the more likely it is they will take note.Don’t pass by the opportunity to comment when the chance is offered through public consultations (or even when it isn’t!); write to your MP to demand change where you think it should be made.Find it hard to choose the right words? Many organisations make responding to consultations easier by putting together suggested forms of words, or by publishing their own responses which can then be used as a springboard for your own.Want to make an early start? Then – if you haven’t already – head over to the CEE Bill website. CEE Bill stands for the Climate and Environment Emergency Bill and it’s a key movement to engage with for anyone serious about protecting the planet.Immediately afterwards (or before, or whenever it suits you) visit BBOWT – that’s Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. The new national Environment Bill is underway and is soon to be debated by MPs. This offers the possibility of new laws that address the loss of biodiversity and tackle climate change. The Wildlife Trust are pushing for a clear legally binding target in the Bill to reverse the decline of species and habitats within a decade. They hope that we all will back them in this and set out clear guidance on how to have a say.Once you’ve seen what these two campaigns are about, like as not (and presuming you are a Banbury resident) you’ll be thinking that it’s time you wrote to Ms Prentis, MP….
On the eleventh day of Christmas…BCAG ‘Give and Take’ events have been a much-loved and highly appreciated regular part of the annual calendar over the last decade. They are so well attended that there must be lots of you who have missed the chance to re-home all manner of items; to acquire one of those, and some of these, and a couple of just what was needed; or to do both – to give and to take. All for free. Just as soon as it’s possible and safe to hold another such event, we will, and we shall look forward to greeting all our ‘customers’, old and new. The autumn Seed and Produce swap in the Community Garden was a lovely friendly occasion – thank you to everyone who attended and to those who helped out and provided support and sustenance. We’re thinking it would be nice to do it again this coming year… Agree? For updates, follow us on Facebook.
On the twelfth day of Christmas…COP26 – 2021 is the UK’s Year of Climate ActionThis coming November, with our partners in Italy, the UK will be hosting the UN Climate Change Conference COP26. The Conference will bring together world leaders and the mission is to secure commitment to urgent global climate action. Follow the build-up to the event.We’re not going to leave it all to the Lords a-leaping up and down in Glasgow though, are we? For one, they need to know we care, and for two, we all have a responsibility and a part to play in tackling climate change. So, let us celebrate what we already do, inspire others to join in, and encourage one another to do more.Here’s to a greener, fairer, 2021.