While the world leaders were in conference in Paris on Climate Change the local WI's Discussion Group was talking about pollution. We may not be able to come up with any earth changing solutions but at least, because everyone had done some homework before the meeting, we are fully aware now of the different types of pollution and horrified by the immensity of the problem.However we can become more thoughtful shoppers and consumers and try to teach the future generations to question what the throw-away society is doing to the planet. Some of the re-cycling schemes do not bear close scrutiny because they leave a massive carbon footprint eg when waste is transported across the world to be used to make goods which are then shipped back for sale here. Is the paperless society really successful or just an exercise in moving the paper elsewhere? How can the waste that ends up in the oceans be prevented from damaging the natural environment? And how can those "islands" of discarded plastic be removed? Next time anyone goes on a cruise, let her find out about the waste from the ship.We also thought about the litter despoiling Everest and again cluttering up space---what goes up must come down.There are some things that have improved in the UK which must have appeared impossible to achieve from small beginnings; the banning of smoking in many public places, the collection of sorted household rubbish for re-cycling by councils, the control of excess car emissions and the Clean Air Act. At the end of the evening we realised that we had forgotten to think about the microbeads being washed down our drains in to the sea which is one of the listed resolutions proposed for next year's NFWI Annual General Meeting and there had been no mention of the idea of making green hearts for St Valentine's Day to remind people about the dangers of climate change.
At last we were able to hold the monthly meeting back in the new school premises from which we had to be excluded during its building.However we all agreed that the wait had been worthwhile. Space, warmth and light: what more could we want? Our new President introduced her committee and team of helpers and it was agreed to have a stall at the Art and Craft market in the town in April. Members heard about the centenary reception for Bucks WIs in Aylesbury and a letter of thanks was read from Woman's Aid. The proposed resolutions for the AGM in Brighton were read out and introduced in a little more detail than what appears in WI Life .Every member was urged to use her vote to choose her favourite to go forward. December is our Christmas party meeting so there was lots of lovely food and drink on offer. Then our new Singing Group made its debut by entertaining us with some traditional carols---a pleasant end to a busy year. Members were reminded that the January meeting is always the second Wednesday of the month and with that we all went home in good spirits.