Awareness of Climate Change is growing exponentially; in the UK alone, hundreds of local authorities have recently declared a Climate Emergency, including Devon County Council, North Devon Council and Ilfracombe Town Council. Steps are being taken to address both carbon reduction and the need for adaptation – especially in coastal communities like North Devon.
So what can the citizens of our county, district and towns do to reduce their individual carbon footprints? Where do they start? What are the real benefits to households of switching to a sustainable energy supplier; to fully understanding recycling; how can families reduce waste whilst benefiting on costs?
A community Climate Change Advice Centre on Ilfracombe High Street would provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for information and guidance; a tangible hub for local residents, many of whom do not have internet access. The centre plans to provide:
Information about services and opportunities to improve household insulation
Advice on reducing energy bills - helping to create warm homes at reduced cost
Information about recycling and providing recycling receptacles
Provision of a community fridge/reduced food waste
A forum for community climate change initiatives
A space for repair workshops and up-cycling advice
A hub for talks and meetings
The newly formed Ilfracombe Climate Emergency Community Action Team (ICECAT); a group of concerned citizens and volunteers, aims to establish such a community centre on the High St, in partnership with 361 Community Energy, Greener Ilfracombe, and Plastic Free North Devon.
Available premises are under investigation, with one specific site in mind.
It is estimated that rental and running costs will be approx. £5,000 in the first year. Fundraising efforts are already under way, and with forecasted support by local businesses and organisations as well as public donations, the aim is for the centre to be self-funded by year two. Staffed by volunteers the centre will also provide a distribution point for leaflets and materials from other Climate Change-related organisations.