WOKING residents and businesses can now engage more easily with climate and environmental issues.

Voluntary group Woking Environment Action (WEAct) has opened a hub in the former Thomas Cook travel agency in Mercia Walk, with the ribbon-cutting ceremony performed last Saturday by the Mayor of Woking, Cllr Saj Hussain, supported by Cllr Louise Morales and Cllr Josh Brown.

Woking Borough Council has granted WEAct use of the unit for six weeks.

Cllr Hussain thanked WEAct for setting up the hub and welcomed the role it will play in fostering local commitment and supporting action to address the climate and ecological emergency.

The borough council has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030. “This recognises the continued priority the borough gives to addressing global climate change, including biodiversity and habitat loss, through strong local commitment and action,” its website notes.

Rupert Devereux, one of the hub volunteers, said the main objective was to be “welcoming and accessible” to all members of the community.

“We all have to do what is realistic and possible for us,” he said. “Everyone doing a little will add up and make a huge difference."

Sue Clements, another volunteer, added: “On our first day, we had 15 visitors sign up. We are pleased with this level of interest and commitment, and look forward to growing our team to support even more projects and events.”

Each week, the hub will be themed around one of the six life shifts encouraged by climate movement The Jump. They are:

  • Eating green: moving to a plant-based diet, avoiding food waste.
  • Dressing retro: purchasing only three new items of clothing per year.
  • Ending clutter: keeping products for at least seven years.
  • Travelling fresh: if possible, no personal motor vehicles.
  • Holidaying locally: one flight every three years.
  • Changing the system: embracing at least one life shift.

Mary Tobin, coordinating the focus on “eating green”, was pleased with the success of the seed, plant and surplus produce swap, which will continue “while stocks last”.

Another high point was bringing together individuals, groups and local businesses for a common cause. Bare+Fair, Woking’s zero-waste shop, and Ethical Vegan Events, which hosts monthly markets in Woking, are already engaged, with more to come.

* FOR more information on the hub and WEAct’s events, visit www.wokingenvironmentaction.com.