The aim of the Eco-Centre is to promote sustainability and tackle climate change, by
- Enabling people to make a step change in their daily life, to live and work more sustainably
- Making green products and services more accessible to more people
Our focus is on practical help and advice, so the public and businesses, can take the steps needed to reduce carbon emissions and waste and protect the environment
We are based in Somerset, but we will be working with others to ensure that this support is available across the UK.
As a Charitable Community Benefit Society, we governed by our members, ordinary people up and down the country who support our aims – and for a £1 share get to vote on, and support, our work.
Most know there is a problem, so we’re going beyond talking about climate change. We’re taking a hands-on approach, working alongside individuals and communities as well as businesses and schools.
We’re tackling climate change, and protecting the environment in two ways.
Firstly, by creating a sustainability centre in Somerset, a centre of excellence that will provide:
- A discovery centre with interactive displays and events to inspire, engage and inform visitors
- Training and courses for the public, professionals and businesses
- A base for new and growing green businesses (focusing on not-for profit)
- A focus and resource base for reaching out to communities and schools
Secondly, by working in, and with, local communities, we’ll help people to tackle climate change, and take the positive steps we all need to embrace.
We are seeking support for a new initiative, CO-CAP, the Carbon Climate Action Plan project.
The aim of this project is to support and enable people to put together their own individual or household action plans to reduce their carbon footprint and protect and enhance the local environment.
Plus, we’ll help communities to draw up collective or community action plans. Community plans will be able to tap into more resources and funding to make an even greater impact.
It’s all about people taking action to make changes, big or small, individually or collectively to reduce CO2 emissions and protect the environment.
The funding will provide a roadshow with interactive displays and tools - to inspire, inform and guide people through the process of putting together a Carbon Climate Action Plan that will work for them. We’ll help people to identify where they can make savings and take action, and how to put it into practice.
There’ll be lots of tips and practical advice – and it won’t be all coming from us. There plenty of people out there with ideas and know-how which we’ll help them to share with others.
The benefits of an individual action plan include:
- making energy savings around the home (and saving money)
- reducing car usage (and taking more exercise)
- eating and cooking more healthily to reduce environmental impact
- supporting local initiatives to protect the environment
Communities coming together have the added benefit of putting into practice larger schemes with a greater impact on climate change, and can take advantage of the various grants and support for community schemes.
Personal plans will help with the community-wide plans and vice-versa.
We have quite a list of the projects that could come out of a Community Carbon Climate Action Plans, here are just a few to give you a flavour:
- Community renewable energy schemes – to reduce carbon, help tackle fuel poverty, reduce pollution, help reduce agricultural or industrial emissions, improve local resilience, and generate surpluses entirely for community projects
- Local tree planting schemes will take carbon out of the air, provide a wildlife habitat and reduce flood risk
- Local transport schemes could provide electric vehicle car sharing club, community transport and cycling schemes
- Grow-you-own food schemes with a community gardens or urban farming schemes to reduce carbon, protect the environment, and eat more healthily – a cookery club may work well with these
They all promote and enable communities to come together, and support one another
There’re other benefits too, helping people to make positive changes however small, will mean they are more likely to make bigger changes later, to live more sustainably. And more likely to encourage their families, friends and neighbours directly, and through setting an example. It will also encourage individuals to use their voice to persuade our local and national leaders to take more action more quickly. Every little helps.
The first £2000 raised from this appeal will be used take the road show to communities in our local area, Somerset, and pilot the innovative tools.
We’ll help people in disadvantaged areas draw up action plans that enable them to start taking actions to live more sustainably and take practical steps to combat on climate change.
If we exceed our target, our stretch target of £5000 will enable the production of a Co-CAP blueprint. A template and guide that we’ll use across our area, and can be used by other organisations across the UK. We want to benefit many more communities across the country.
If this target is again exceeded, £10,000 will help to seed fund the roll out of this project and the aims of the Eco-Centre as a whole. We’ll then be able to support organisations across the UK to set up their own Eco-Centres and community outreach projects. So, all communities can have the advice and support they need to take action on climate change.
We’ll use this additional funding to develop our plans and reach out to more communities. This in turn will help us with a community share offer. Every extra £10 we get will help us to get up to £500 of additional funding to help take our vision of Co-CAP projects in every area across the country one big step closer. Every little helps – sometimes quite a lot.
A big shout out to Transition Town Wellington for use of their photos, and for being such a great example of community action on climate change.