‘Friends of the Earth’ is a purely volunteer based group in Abergavenny and Crickhowell, empowered by their love for wildlife, nature and drive to put a stop to climate change.

The topic of climate change has been a source of debate, with approximately 45 per cent of the public believing that the phenomenon was either untrue or a natural phenomenon, however scientists are agreed that it is very real and caused by human activity.

However way you look at it, that does not change the fact that the world is already one degree warmer – subsequently leading to rising sea levels, bigger storms, more floods and more wildfires. At the level it is currently standing, this problem will only worsen, with a rough estimation of eight to eleven years before the planet reaches its ‘tipping point’.

‘Friends of the Earth’ strive to stop this in any way they can but this is extremely difficult without the support they need.

There has been a particular struggle to maintain the attention of the government, who have the power and resources to make a significant impact on how we deal with climate change.

This has led the group to turning to members of the public. The first hurdle is to find how we can all help to our planet in a sustainable, accessible and non-expensive way.

Volunteer, Karen Schneider came up with idea of ‘Simple Steps for the Earth’, a campaign that adheres to the above aims.

They propose:

Ditching the disposables! Swap your disposable items with a reusable alternative... there is a refill shop right here in Abergavenny and Crickhowell.

Using your patch of earth: stop using peat, chemicals or plastic lawns and try composting. Support and protect local wildlife,

Eating green... don’t waste food, go organic or eat seasonally and locally grown. Eat less meat!

Getting cosy – something we are all familiar with these days. Insulate your home, don’t waste energy and switch to an energy provider that uses 100% renewables.

Be water-wise! Reduce flooding risk by allowing drainage in your garden and supporting tree planting.

Getting active, what is many of our New Year’s Resolution can also be a massive help to our planet. Walking, cycling, e-bikes or mobility scooters!

Buying less new things – reduce, re-use, repair, repurpose

Moving your money: checking if your savings, ISA, mortgage, insurance or pension is in an ethical fund.

Using your voice, whether that be by joining a local group, supporting a green charity or signing a petition.

IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair, Priyadarshi Shukla further cemented this message, stating “Having the right policies, infrastructure and technology in place to enable changes to our lifestyles and behaviour can result in a 40-70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This offers significant untapped potential... The evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing.”

It may feel too difficult to follow each and every step, but fully committing to just one can make an incredible difference.

‘Friends of the Earth’ welcome all new members, particularly the future generation who will be the most heavily impacted by climate change.

Follow them on Facebook or come to one of their meetings at the Kings Arms in Abergavenny that takes place on a Monday of each month. The next meeting takes place on January 16 at 7.30pm.

The idea of climate change is a very frightening, but as Karen commented, “We have three options. We can a) stick our heads in the sand and pretend it does not exist, b) panic or c) take control – it is achievable.”

For further information, please visit www.friendsoftheearthabandcrick.wales