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Climate statement

We can no longer deny our planet is changing. In Cherwell, our local leadership has formally declared a Climate Crisis.

This weighs heavily on us as the curators of IWD Banbury. The consequences of climate change will impact most heavily on the most vulnerable in society; often the very women we are trying to raise up. 

The most environmentally friendly option would be not to hold an event at all. Yet we feel that the global and local impact of International Women’s Day is important. However it is also important that in committing to creating events, we commit to doing so with sustainability in mind.

We’re not going to be perfect on this front. But we believe that by making small changes where we can and being transparent about what we can and can’t do, we might be able to inspire our collaborators and attendees to make small changes too.

What does this mean?

Goodbye to goody bags

Any regular conference attendee is used to receiving a fresh cotton tote bag full of free stuff to rummage through and take home. In reality their contents are often quickly discarded, and the tote in itself has a huge impact according to many studies.

Rather than packing goody bags for those attending our in-person events we’ll be setting up a table where you can take what you need. We’ll have official IWD pin badges, pens, wristbands and lots of other gifts that you can take to remind you of the day, and help you spread the #BreakTheBias message. We’d love to have sourced these items locally and sustainably. However these had to be purchased directly from the global IWD campaign due to branding and licencing restrictions.

Please help yourself to these items, but only take what you really want. Any leftover items will be used for future events.

More virtual events

One of the silver linings of the events that have unfolded since our March 2020 celebration is that we're all more embracing of virtual events. Of course our first priority as organisers is to keep all our attendees and team safe and healthy, but we also know the online events are better for the planet too.

Reusing our decorations

The other thing we’ve had to source directly from IWD HQ has been our decoration packs. To use the IWD logo you have to go through IWD themselves. We have purchased the official decoration packs that include paper products, like pledge cards, and plastic products such as balloons and bunting.

We’re going to treat them with love and care, and disassemble them carefully after our events, and store them for reuse. If we don’t run another IWD Banbury event we’ll hopefully find them a new home with another IWD team.

If you see someone stealing or spoiling our decorations, please let us know or, if you are comfortable to, give them a polite nudge on behalf of the planet!

Purposeful print and paper

We’ve made a conscious effort to design our signage and branding to be re-used year after year. This means that we’ve gone for portable roller banners to help you find your room, and used our eponyms rather than specific dates and times for workshops.

Whenever we’ve had to print something we’ve opted for the 100% green energy and recycled paper products even when it costs a little more, or takes a bit longer. We’d have loved to do this locally too, and this will be something on our agenda for future events.

Please take one copy of any print items you need, and when you’ve finished with them, recycle rather than just binning them.

Bring your bottles

Wherever possible we’ll avoid single-use plastics. The Mill will provide jugs of water for attendees and collaborators to our in-person events.

We urge everyone coming along to bring your own refillable bottles and travel mugs.

Choose travel carefully

Wherever possible we recommend using public transport to get to IWD Banbury in-person events.

The Mill is conveniently located next door to the main Banbury bus station, and a very short walk from the town centre stops. Banbury train station is a five-minute walk away, via the Oxford Canal pathway or through the Bridge Street entrance to Spiceball Park.

Going green online

We’ve tested our website via the Website Carbon Calculator. We’re pleased to say our website is cleaner than 85% of websites tested and just 0.20g of CO2 is produced every time someone visits us. 

We’ll really keen to improve this score for future events by switching to a green energy host. Watch this space!

We’re a work in progress

We know there is more we could and should be doing. If you have any suggestions or ideas about how to make our events more sustainable please do share them with us.