Wednesday 29 December 2010

Merry Malago Christmas!

Did you eat, drink and be merry? We hope so, we sure did. Funny how all that eating and sitting around and TV-watching can be so tiring.

First things first, please don't forget that there is no December meeting, and the social once planned for Wednesday 29 December will now not be happening. The next date for your diary is Wednesday 26 January, when we will meet at 8pm, usual time, usual place, for candle-lit storytelling with hot drinks and cuddly blankets. Sounds like we're planning for a power failure, doesn't it? It's supposed to be atmospheric and exciting...

It feels like a long time ago now, but we'd like to extend thanks to all those who helped out on our Tobacco Factory Christmas market stall. It was freezing, but we made a few pennies for our coffers and Alice made our stall beautiful as ever. Lots of people picked up our posters and cards, so we're hoping that might translate into oodles of new members.

If you haven't been to a Malago WI meeting before then this is the perfect time to come along, find out what we're about and sign up for a year of thrills, spills and copious quantities of tea and cake (but don't worry if you don't bake, that's not obligatory). For just £30 you (and your friends) can become a member of Bristol's most exciting WI group - membership is already over a third full so don't delay. We're cheaper than the gym!

And so as New Year's Eve rolls around, we look back at an exciting year of MWI - highlights include Jane Brocket and her beautiful quilt extravaganza,  Morph-making with Aardman, Bollywood dancing, our second birthday party and pudding club, and the meetings in which we made do and mended - crochet, present-wrapping, and badge-making. Oh, they were all good actually. And we went hell for leather with our 10:10 commitment but there's still a way to go there - please have a look and see what changes you could make. Talking of our commitment to all things local, community and sustainable, Malago WI backs the Stop Sainsbury's campaign. Please take the time to send your objection to the council to help stop a superstore killing our community - we know it's the third time we've asked you to do this, but we're hoping it'll be three strikes and out this time.

Spread the word, tell your friends, and raise a glass or two to auld acquaintance this Friday eve.

See you in 2011 for a cup of Malago kindness!

10:10 - Malago WI round-up

So 2010 is coming to an end, and what have we done?
Many of our members signed up for the 10:10 campaign and pledged to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% over the course of the year. How did you get on? There's still time to make those changes that could amount to 10% and here's how;
  • join the campaign 
  • change your lightbulbs to energy saving bulbs and turn them off
  • insulate your home (free to those with low income, over 60 or with under 16's in the house) and reduce drafts
  • cut down on flying
  • drive less; use public transport/ walk/ cycle/ lift share
  • grow your own food
  • buy responsibly; buy quality items that last, buy secondhand, buy energy efficient products, buy secondhand or FSC marked wood and either shop on foot/ bike or for larger items use home delivery services.
  • get an energy monitor (borrow from the library or often free from energy suppliers) and see what changes you can make to your electricity use via behaviour change; e.g. re-arranging plugs so that unused equipment is off; un-plug phone chargers, use Standby Savers.
  • eat seasonal and local produce, eat less meat and dairy and reduce food waste 
  • reuse, repair and recycle 
  • consider your heating; thermostatic control (reducing the temperature setting by 1% could reduce CO2 emmissions by 12%), use the timer to avoid heating the house when empty, wear an extra layer of clothing
  • conserve water; water butts, stop dripping taps, reduce toilet flush, showers instead of baths
  • buy renewable energy
  • produce our yown energy and heat
There are so many ideas (these are just a few) and the 10:10 website is a good place to start with case studies and lots of great ideas. What's more, please share your own ideas.
As mentioned at the November meeting, is there anything we can do to temper the impact of consumerist Christmas? Try to recycle as much wrapping as you can? Christmas cards make great gift tags for next year's presents. Go out for brisk walks rather than staying inside with the heating on full blast? Send thank you emails rather than more cards? Re-gift any unwanted presents? We'd love to hear any ideas you have to reduce/reuse/recycle when it comes to the festive season.
And what of the Malago WI? Opportunities for reducing our carbon footprint have been identified. Some have been realised, whilst others are yet to be achieved:
  • adhere to the environmental policy
  • hold a screening of The Age of Stupid (I still have the DVD if anyone would like to borrow it)
  • efficient use of the water urn at meetings and events including operation, water saving and maintenance.
  • lighting and heating of the hall: talk to caretaker about light bulbs and heating controls.
  • meetings: consider sustainable materials and minimise waste.
  • host a swishing party and encourage 'slow fashion'.
  • travel to meetings: encourage members to liftshare/ walk or cycle whilst maintaining personal safety.
If you have any other ideas about how Malago WI could reduce its carbon footprint, then do share them with a committee member, so that we can continue to make improvements.
And that about sums it up....
See you in the New Year, where we hope you are able to arrive for the meeting 2 by 2 (having travelled with another member either on foot/ bike/ public transport or even by car)!!!!

Annual accounts

As our website acts as the official minutes for our meetings, we need to record all Malago WI business here. So for all members, here are the accounts for our financial year ending 31 August 2010 (10 months only):

£519.10 - Receipts at meetings
£2093.50 - Subscriptions
£356.50 - Workshops
£126.00 - Age of Stupid film screening
£30 - Apron sales (Fundraising)
£51.30 - Bee awareness event (Fundraising)
£180 - Swish evening (Fundraising)
£0.79 - Bank interest
£15.00 - Donations
Total - £3372.19

£75 - Hall
£1461.69 - Speakers and other meeting costs
£448.90 - Federation membership fees
£734.10 - National membership fees
£330 - workshops
£96.06 - Age of Stupid film screening
£15 - Art trail
£98.61 - Gores Marsh fundraising (expense from previous year)
£53.01 - Bee awareness event (Fundraising)
£114.39 - Swish evening (Fundraising)
£83.26 - Errors on audit last year
Total - £3510.02

Opening balance at 1.11.09 - £2094
Deficit for year - £137.83
Closing balance at 31.8.10 - £1956.17