The Channel ‘Going Carbon Neutral’ – a Community Project?

Introduction – The issue

In August 2021, YouGov reported the results of a poll of 15000 Australians which showed that the majority want more government action to address climate change. Current government policy has been criticized for moving too slowly and relying upon as-yet untried technologies to resolve the goal of carbon neutrality, all while global temperatures edge towards exceeding 1.5°C.Bush Fire

This project is aimed at those in the community who are concerned by the risk of climate change and want to take action to help mitigate it.

Let’s not wait for Government action, let’s do as much as we can now

The Idea

FloodThe idea of a community project aimed at collectively reducing our carbon footprint was floated at the November 2021 KCA meeting, with a largely positive response. It’s aimed at those of us who have real concerns about the risks of runaway climate change, to our children and our grandchildren. In the words of the project instigator, Garry Charnock of Ashton Hayes in the UK, it permits us to face our children and grandchildren when they ask “What did you do to stop climate change?” We can say “We didn’t stand idly by, we tried and we did what we could”. Check out their videos here.

Even if you’re not convinced about climate change, avoiding wasted energy still saves money.

The Project – Early Stages

Step 1 – The Public Decides.

We’ll present the concept at a public meeting on 12th May 2022 in the Kettering Hall. All residents from Snug to Woodbridge are welcome, up to the Hall COVID limit of 150. The event will describe the aims of the project, what it is and what it is not, in order to measure the level of audience enthusiasm for the project.

A ‘yes’ vote will take us to Step 2.

Book here to attend.

Step 2 – How Large is Our Footprint?

It’s important to establish a baseline, from which we can measure our achievements. This means we need to calculate our Community’s total carbon footprint. We’ll ask our participants’ to allow us to calculate their carbon footprint, using a fairly straightforward survey, which people usually find is an interesting exercise. Please note that the surveys are anonymous, only the participant gets to see their results as names and addresses are not recorded and no individual household data will be made public.

Click here for a typical carbon footprint calculator

Step 3 – We start to Reduce our Energy Use.

We will communicate ideas and suggestions via regular meeting, Facebook and a website. Those ideas and suggestions can come from anyone in our community so we’ll encourage everyone to share their successes. Savings can often be made simply through changes in our behaviour (e.g. smarter use of a dishwasher or tumble drier, maybe on a timer when electricity is cheaper), some may require physical changes (e.g. draft-proofing or insulation) and others will involve technology (solar energy, heat pumps, electric cars).

The simple goal – reduce our carbon footprint and save money!

Two Final Points

  1. Participation is entirely voluntary. No-one will be pressurized or ostracized should they not wish to participate
  2. The UK Experience:
    • they have made a worthwhile difference, their carbon footprint has reduced by
      more than 23%
    • they can justifiably say that they’ve at least done what they can and
    • it has strengthened their community
    • it has galvanized a number of communities worldwide to emulate their project

Can our Channel community follow their lead?