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Cara Naden
Cara Naden -taking Wessex off-grid

Community Choices for Sustainable Living aims to provide opportunities for individuals and communities to move towards more sustainable lives, writes its co-organiser, Cara Naden.

We have a grant from DEFR’s Environmental Action Fund to get the project on the road. Since that arrived, we’ve been identifying people and places that are able to inspire others to green up.

There is support from local authorities and other groups with initiatives such as composting and recycling, and there are many opportunities for communities to go off-grid. For example: Making your own solar water heater, a wormery, a wildlife garden, rain water collector or organising a car share scheme, a group delivery of organic vegetable boxes or alternative energy for your community.

We are looking for individuals or groups in the West Country who can take some inspiration from others and feed it back to members of their community. Any person who is interested in greening their community in some way is welcome to apply to become a volunteer. Click “more” to see rest of this story.
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Volunteers:
Do you feel your community isn’t as green as it could be and, whilst you have an idea of what you would like to see done, you don’t know where to start?

  • Do you have a small project in mind but need some support and training to get it started and keep it going?
  • Do you belong to an existing community group and are looking for a new topic to discuss?
  • Do you want to do something to reduce CO2 and the impact of climate change and need some ideas to get you started?

If you answer yes to any of these, then we may be able to help you help us.

We will be organising a series of visits to existing local projects that have enhanced the local/global environment through sustainability. Anyone interested is welcome to visit these projects to see how they were set up, how they work and how they fit in with sustainable lifestyles. We hope to arrange visits to a variety of sustainable projects such as; car pool clubs, wildlife gardens, sustainable self-build houses, to name a few. We then hope that some of our visitors will agree to become volunteers, willing to take these inspirations home and to start encouraging their community to do similar things thus spreading the word.

However, these visits are not compulsory in order to become a volunteer. There are many ways in which you can become involved and not all need take up much of your time just a little commitment to keep some continuity. Any of the following schemes may help your community become more sustainable: community composting, renewable energy clubs, car sharing schemes, community wildlife gardens, sustainable building groups, community recycling, local food, organic food, organic gardening/allotments, green decorating. You may just be interested in promoting sustainable transport, organic vegetable boxes, energy efficiency. These are just a few ideas that we have had. Providing there is enough interest for within the three counties, we will provide any training needs and support required.

If you have any suggestions or would like to help us promote this exciting new project, please contact Corina or Cara at the Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development email: corina@sustainablehousing.org.uk, cara@sustainablehousing.org.uk Tel: 01458 259400

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