So that is one New Year’s resolution. The next is to try to eliminate as much plastic from my life as possible. I will continue to take paper bags with me when I shop for food and read the labels on any new purchase to see what it contains and where it came from. This slows the whole shopping process down but is quite interesting to do. I wonder whether the WI campaign, along with David Attenborough may really make a difference. Surely all plastic should display advice on whether it can be re-cycled or not. Couldn’t all plastic be collected in one bin and be similarly dealt with at a plant in every authority? It is so confusing at present with no common treatment available.
If we are going to try to live by WI mandates we can all look out for our neighbours to combat loneliness and problems of depression which this often exacerbates. Homelessness is another problem that a WI member can try to alleviate by supporting her local women’s refuges and looking out for solutions. What a difference it would make if every town council took upon itself to house one homeless family! All communities have houses standing empty for months, sometimes years on end. Locally, we have an unused school building which has a roof, electricity and water which could be a refuge---albeit temporary until it is knocked down for re-development.
The local WI meeting last week touched on some of these topics when running through the shortlist of possible resolutions to go up for discussion at Cardiff at the NFWI Annual General Meeting in June. At this stage it is an individual choice from five topics but later we will vote as a WI either for or against the resolutions chosen to go forward. We listened to a very interesting talk on food nutrition when I think we all learned something new and useful about the food that we eat and what our bodies need and do with it. A high proportion of our members are planning to become dual members with the morning WI. Our interest groups continue to flourish.
The discussion group which meets monthly in a member’s house is one of the most successful of these. It is now four years old and has not run out of topics yet nor had anyone so offended as to walk out. Last night we were discussing body image in line with one of the shortlist resolutions. This again is a field where social media and advertising have a lot to answer for. It is not a new problem as everyone has always worried about how other people view us but now through social media one is on trial by a vast audience which is made up of spiteful people cloaked by anonymity. It is no longer one’s peer group in class nor one’s own family nor villagers on the street; it is the whole country telling everyone else where one’s face or body falls short of perfection. Little wonder the victim refuses to go out, go to school or walk back into the workplace.