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Wives Atween Wadders

Da Wives Atween Wadders with their bruck collage of a polar bear on a shrinking iceberg. From left: Jan Bevington, Sue Hinton, Aurore Whitworth and Bunchy Casey. Photo HWS

A GROUP of women in Shetland have started a campaign to raise awareness about climate change in the islands through creative actions.

Da Wives Atween Wadders (WAW) gathered for the first time in Hillswick this week to create a collage from rubbish they found on a local beach.

A photo of the group with their image of a polar bear balancing precariously on a melting iceberg is one of hundreds that have been posted from around the world on the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) website.

Now WAW are planning a series of efforts to address food waste and packaging, as well as trying to reduce the amount of food miles involved with products on sale in local shops.

Da Wives at work making the collage on Global Women's Climate Justice Day of Action.

Susan Hinton, from Brae, said: “We want to raise awareness about climate change in a positive way.

“Just by doing little things you can make big changes, it doesn’t have to be grand gestures.”

Jan Bevington, from Hillswick, added: “Women leaders that are well known around the world are putting out a call for women to come together to find solutions to climate change, so we just thought it would be a good idea to get together and do something in Shetland.”

One thing the group has already done is contact the Co-op supermarket in Lerwick to seek their support to tackle food waste, food miles and packaging.

Store manager Bobby McGarvey said: “As a business we are very supportive of this campaign and it is something I personally am passionate about, so we shall see what we can do as a store to help.”

Joy Perino Saloschin, from Vidlin, said that as it was women who did most of the household shopping, they could do much to address these concerns.

Four images from around the world being used to promote the WECAN day of action.

“As consumers we can make a conscious effort to buy local and demand that the stuff isn’t packaged,” she said.

“Supermarkets are using too much packaging, like individual aubergines in a cellophane bag, which is ridiculous.

“But the little local shops have started – rather than just being able to buy a couple of carrots and put them in your shopping bag they are already packed and that’s crazy – so we want to try and reduce unnecessary packaging.”

She added that it was “absolutely terrifying” that so many people still regard climate change as a myth.

“We just assume that everyone knows about it, because we know about it. But there’s clearly a huge swathe of the population who are either completely unaware or don’t believe that it actually exists.

“So I think we have to raise awareness about how it’s happening and that we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help.”

The group is also looking into setting up community compost schemes and wants to gather stories from crofters and fishermen about the changes they have witnessed with Shetland’s climate in recent years.

Meanwhile Da Wives have been chosen as one of WECAN’s images to promote the day of action on 29 September, along with women’s actions from Nigeria, Bolivia and Indonesia.