Ambleside to Carbon Zero:
Our aim is to make Ambleside carbon zero by 2030, and we are doing this through planting trees which capture carbon from the atmosphere, switching to sustainable modes of transport and increasing renewable energy. Our carbon calculators are a great way of helping residents and businesses become more aware of their carbon footprint and how this can be lowered. We have also got involved in the national Refill campaign, putting local taps around the town to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles.
Warmer Homes Ambleside:
Our retrofit and energy-saving scheme allows residents to reduce their carbon footprint whilst also saving money on insulation. Before COVID-19, we planned to survey local homes but now we are still able to offer our service with the use of thermal cameras. This gives cheap and simple tips to save energy and money.
Our growing group encourages members of the community to grow vegetables, fruit, flowering plants, and trees to increase biodiversity, to support a more sustainable plant-based diet, to reduce food miles, to sequester carbon and to build community resilience. Our work includes helping Natural England and The Woodland Trust to maintain recently planted trees in the local area. We have also recently planted a small community orchard with plum and apple trees which will be able to be picked by passers-by. We have also got the community involved in growing events, such as in March 2020, where we led a session on making compost, growing plants for food, and making planting boxes.
We are also conducting research into a community renewable energy scheme. This has the potential to generate 3.5GWh of power from roof-mounted solar panels alone, meeting 60% of the community’s energy consumption! You can find updates on our energy project on our website.
Cooperation with other organisations is a great way of securing funding and making our projects happen. Our growing group has worked with Natural England and the Woodland Trust to get involved in bigger tree planting projects and grants from the SLDC and Cumbria Community Foundation allowed us to get thermal cameras for our Warmer Homes scheme. Financing community renewable energy projects has become more difficult since the removal of feed-in-tariffs but there are some wonderful groups across the country, such as Power for People and Energy4All which can offer support.
Cooperating with the whole community is key. Everyone who shares our concerns is welcome. Even if you feel you have little to contribute, your presence is significant. Many people are in the group out of a deep concern for their own children and grandchildren – or a more over-arching concern for the future of humanity as a whole. We seek to value and respect each person and their input, and to be a place where people can share their thoughts and their feeling about the accelerating degradation of the earth and the imminent danger we face. Think big whilst doing what we can daily. If everyone gives a few hours of support, it is amazing what can be achieved.
Support from other organisations.