For many years, WI members have put climate change firmly on the agenda by taking part in The Climate Coalition’s Show the Love campaign which was launched in 2015.
Show the Love takes place annually around Valentine’s Day and encourages people to show the love for all the places and things they appreciate, and want to protect from the climate change effect through the power of green hearts. Climate change is already impacting on the places we love and cherish – from our back gardens to the local woodland, from football pitches to beaches, from farms to fields.
Every February, hundreds of WIs across Wales, England and the Islands get involved in crafting, wearing and sharing green hearts. In previous years, some WIs have decorated their local areas with green hearts and handed them out to people in their communities to start conversations about climate change. A few years ago Narberth WI organised a green hearts workshop and visited all businesses in Narberth to encourage them to display green hearts in their windows. Members of St Issell’s WI painted pebbles with green hearts using environmentally friendly paint. These were placed on the beach, arranged in a heart shape, to raise awareness about Show the Love.
Whilst Show the Love is likely to look a bit different this year, it has been positive to hear about the great activities planned by our federations and WIs to bring members together digitally. Northop Hall WI, for example, recently held an on-line Zoom session to create cards promoting Show the Love. Ceredigion Federation will be holding a virtual green hearts craft demonstration this month and Powys Brecknock Federation has a Show the Love coffee morning planned which will include a talk by their Climate Ambassador followed by a quiz.
This February Birchgrove WI’s Climate Action Group is using Show the Love to raise awareness throughout their local community. About 40 incredibly unique and beautiful handcrafted green hearts, made by WI members and non-members, will be displayed in the window of the refillable shop Iechyd Da from 6 – 16 February. Some members have used natural materials such as moss or plants and others have demonstrated their fantastic embroidery skills using up scraps from home. Each heart has a declaration from its maker on what they are doing to combat the climate crisis from an individual point of view. Passers-by can take ideas or inspiration from them.
Their local MP Anna McMorrin visited the shop window on 9 February to read all of the declarations in the window and was in awe of the creativity that had gone into making each heart.
The Climate Coalition’s resource guide contains a number of ideas on ways that you can participate in the Show the Love campaign this month including instructions on how to create your own green heart pom-pom, advice on how to create your own green heart window display, and a factfile on COP26. To find out more, visit:- https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/show-the-love/