- Calculate your carbon footprint
There a number of tools available:
- Impact Tool, a community carbon calculator. This provides both emissions generated in parish and estimates of lifestyle/consumption emissions of residents.
- Place-based carbon calculator.
- Carbon footprint tool - for small organisation it may be more appropriate for you to use tools better suited to calculating personal carbon footprint.
- 360 Carbon - suitable for churches.
- Creation Care for congregations.
Based on the carbon footprint information above, start by focusing on a few areas that make the most difference and that you can influence, rather than trying to tackle everything all at once!
- Educate others
Action will be far more powerful the more you’re able to speak with others about what you’re trying to do and why, so that they will also be motivated to take action.
Why not engage with local schools, businesses or as many other local groups as you can.
Heating and powering our buildings accounts for a huge proportion of our carbon footprint, both personally and as a borough.
The Environment Centre is a local organisation offering individual tailored advice to help you reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint, especially for individual households.
- Heating - use less
Fossil fuel heating is responsible for a large proportion of emissions so heating less is a quick way to reduce emissions.
If buildings are used by various groups then user guides on how to work the heating / lighting are a quick way to ensure heating/lighting isn’t left on unnecessarily, wasting energy.
Additionally, when having annual boiler services, engineers can be asked to ensure existing boilers and heating systems are working efficiently.
This is easy way to reduce heat loss through reducing drafts. This can be as simple as using thick curtains or moveable draft excluders around doors and windows. Get some more DIY guidance.
- Switch off!
Turning off electrical goods and lights when not in use is an easy way to save money and energy that is otherwise wasted.
If you have communal buildings, used by many users, it can be hard to control behaviour but switching off appliances and lights when not in use is an easy way to save money and energy.
You could use visible prompts on doors and by light switches to remind occupiers to turn things off when leaving rooms or the last out of buildings.
- Switch to/promote a green energy tariff
Check out options using an Ofgem accredited price comparison site.
Try a collective switch which is where you arrange for lots of residents to switch. Energy suppliers are likely to offer preferential tariff rates for this, resulting in potential cost savings.
- Travel less
The easiest ways to reduce emissions from transport is to try and travel less, which also saves money on fuel or tickets. Some ideas for travelling less, include:
- Where possible, hold some group meetings/activity remotely, which has been well-proven during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Where your activity necessitates travel you could promote or organise lift-sharing among members.
- As an organisation you could also help organise or facilitate lift-sharing in the local area, especially for local schools or workplaces.
- Help arrange a ‘walking bus’ for the school run or similar
Find out more on Hampshire County Council's Hants Carshare scheme, or find out about a national service, Liftshare.
- Active transport
This refers to walking and cycling as ways to get around which have health benefits and are particularly suitable for short journeys.
- If possible, make sure you offer secure parking for bicycles to ensure people are not put off cycling by security concerns.
- You could also challenge local schools to improve secure bike/scooter storage to encourage active transport in the area.
There’s lots of information on cycling on our website.
More sources of information include:
- Cycle Basingstoke website has information on routes and clubs for leisure cyclists.
- Cycling UK website.
Town and parish councils can also use Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding to provide infrastructure such as pedestrian and cycle networks. Email CILParishes@basginstoke.gov.uk for more information.
Lifestyle, consumption and waste
Everything that we purchase has a carbon footprint, which comes from aspects such as manufacture and shipping, so buying less saves us money and helps our carbon footprint.
Consider whether certain purchases are really required, particularly large items.
Minimising spend will help reduce carbon footprint, as well as saving money! Certain active buying decisions, such as purchasing more sustainable options, will also help. This could include local products/suppliers or suppliers who use low or zero carbon practices.
Unless necessary, you should try to repair old items, or even buy second hand or refurbished goods.
The natural environment
- Pesticide free
Going pesticide free on any land you manage as an organisation is great for biodiversity.
We'd love to hear from you
Do you have any other ideas that are currently missing from our toolkits? Or do you have any suggestions on how to make our toolkits easier to use? Perhaps you have some ideas on tackling climate change?
If so, get in touch using the details below:
Climate Change team
If you have an enquiry about climate change or sustainability, send a message to the Climate Change Team