Marilyn first became interested in environmental issues at school in the 60s when a teacher read out an extract from Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”, and some years later, in 1972, was influenced by The Ecologist’s “Blueprint for Survival“. She has always cycled as her main form of local transport (and occasionally for fun), and has sporadically (and mainly organically) grown a few herbs, vegetables and fruit bushes – but was otherwise a fairly passive supporter of various environmental and wildlife causes until she retired from her last paid job as education officer of the British Humanist Association.
She first became involved in local green activism when she convened a 2007 RSA Coffee House Challenge discussion on waste and recycling, which concluded that Kingston should follow the example of world-famous plastic-bag-free Modbury; this led to a campaign which later evolved into Greener Kingston and affiliated with a similar campaign in neighbouring Richmond, Greener Upon Thames. The campaign against plastic waste won her a Green Guardian Highly Commended Green Champion award in 2009, and, more significantly, led to contacts with many local green groups and networks, including Kingston Environment Forum, which works with the Council and which she chairs, and TTK.
Within TTK, she has set up and/or worked on various practical projects: co-ordinating the Business Action Group, whose biggest and on-going project is TTK’s Kingston Green e-Directory; with Toni Izard running a make-do and mend sewing project, Stitch in Time for 4 years; helping to establish the Transition Tolworth community garden; managing Canbury Community Garden; and helping to organise and run TTK stalls and events. She has been a member of TTK’s management team since 2011 and is currently its secretary and co-editor of the monthly e-newsletter Kingston Environment News (you can sign up for it here).
Marilyn also represents Humanists UK in The Climate Coalition, is a member of the North Kingston Forum committee, and chairs the community choir Euphonix. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, reading, lectures and discussions, cinema and theatre, eating out, skiing… She is married with two adult daughters and likes to spend time with them too.