Awarded nearly £10,000 by the National Lottery Community Fund
Sustainable Dorset have been awarded nearly £10,000 by the National Lottery Community Fund to support our exciting new Dorset Green Living Project. The aim of this one-year pilot project will engage groups of neighbours to work together to reduce their carbon footprint whilst saving money on their bills and building stronger local communities. The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund has enabled us to set up the Project and recruit a coordinator, Rachel Lamb, who began work September 2019.
Since the release of the IPCC report last September, when scientists warned that ‘the 1.5C goal will require a drastic cut in greenhouse emissions’ within 12 years to avoid runaway climate change, ‘eco-anxiety’ has been on the rise. In Dorset people are becoming increasingly worried that failure to act will result in more flooding or wildfires ruining our precious countryside and causing severe food shortages and price rises. With greater focus on climate change and its impacts along with a heightened awareness in plastic contaminating the plastic, people are looking at ways that they can reduce their own impact.
Neighbourhood groups will meet up to explore the helpful tips provided in a free, specially designed manual.
The project is designed to help people regain hope via positive actions to combat climate change. Neighbourhood groups will meet up to explore the helpful tips provided in a free, specially designed manual. The project is designed to help and encourage one another to reduce carbon emissions and to face challenges together by sharing resources or skills locally (e.g. lending tools and lift sharing). Not only does it have a positive impact on the planet, people’s health and well-being but also households are estimated to save around £550 per year.
Pam Rosling, a Trustee of Sustainable Dorset and a leader for change in the community explains, ‘These manuals are full of great tips! Big changes can take time, but by incorporating some of these actions into your daily life you will soon notice how much greener your choices become which will have enormous benefits for the environment. Thanks to all those National Lottery players, we can now start to help local people save money and the planet at the same time.’
Trustee Kate Forrester, who took part in a similar scheme 4 years ago in Dorchester, added, ‘We had such fun getting together and going through the manual with our neighbours. We learnt a lot of useful tips and now use less water, electricity and gas. We cycle more, and we buy and use food much more wisely, so we’ve saved a lot of money on our bills and housekeeping too.’
The project aims to encourage and support up to 20 groups of around 6-8 households to work through the manual together at different locations across Dorset. We hope that people will become inspired to tell their friends and families about all the fun and simple ways that they can help the planet and their pocket.
Groups of between 6-8 local households
will come together to work through the Dorset Green Living Guide. This manual is based on the guide developed by Transition Streets (formerly Transition Together) to give households the tools and information to help them minimise their carbon footprint and save money at the same time.
Each group will meet every 2 to 4 weeks to discuss each chapter and choose which lifestyle changes or minor home improvements to complete within the following month. The idea behind it is a group effort and run in a fair and organised way, so each group will agree at the beginning who will host each chapter and at which house, so that no one person feels overburdened with responsibility.
The Green Living Guide
The chapters cover basic principles of green living such as
- reducing energy and water consumption,
- eating more plant-based foods that are local and organic,
- reducing waste,
- using greener means of transport and
- community building.
The idea is that people will not only learn how to live in a more sustainable way but also make substantial savings. Implementing the tips in our new guide could help each household save 1.2t of carbon and £580 per year off their expenditure.
Building caring and sharing communities
is proven to have positive effects both on mental and physical well-being, whilst strong local communities are essential if we are to build a greener more localised economy and create the resilience necessary to cope with future challenges threatened by the climate crisis.
Sustainable Dorset is looking for people to become ambassadors for this project. As an ambassador you will build your group of between 6-8 households. This may be because you already know your neighbours well or you know a group of like-minded people who are all looking at ways that they can help the planet or save money. Perhaps you don’t know your neighbours yet but would really like to, and feel that this project could bring you closer together. Once you have found enough people to start a group, you will step down from being an ambassador and the group will organise itself as a collective.
The project requires people to be dedicated and willing to meet at least once a month. Every group will have support from a member of Sustainable Dorset for their first meeting and we will always be at the end of the phone or email for the duration of the project to help you with whatever matters arise.