Climate Change Toolkits for Residents, Community Groups and Businesses

Climate change, as a result of human activity, remains arguably the greatest threat to our world.

We can all take action that will reduce our impact, and have wider benefits such as saving money and improving our health. 

Below you can find information on upcoming Green Events alongside tips on Greener Banking, with tailored toolkits to enable Residents, Community Groups and Businesses to further your journey towards reaching that Net Zero goal. 

Greener Banking 

How green is your bank or credit card provider? 

There are lots of things that we can do as individuals to tackle climate change.

We can eat less meat, switch to an electric car or reduce our level of energy consumption. But have you considered that where you save your money could also have an impact? 

Green banking refers to the initiatives taken by banks to encourage environment friendly investments. Green banking as a concept is a proactive and smart way of thinking towards future sustainability. It is very important for the banks to be proactive and accelerate the rate of the growth of the economy. Bank Green makes it easy to find out. To make a change, visit their website, choose your country and click on 'Sustainable Banks' to find a bank that is focused on clean energy financing to make your money count. 

And of course - talk about it! 

Resident's Climate Change Toolkit 

Below you will find our Resident's Climate Change toolkit, with ideas and guidance on the steps you can take to help tackle Climate Change. 

Resident's Toolkit

Who is it for?

This guide aims to help individuals and households understand how they can take action to tackle climate change.

What is it?

Emissions that cause climate change largely come from these four areas:

  • heating and powering our homes
  • how we get around – particularly car use
  • what we eat
  • the things we buy

The guide breaks down particular actions or areas for consideration to tackle the emissions that cause climate change, adapt to the predicted changes and hopefully save some money along the way!

Calculate your Carbon Footprint

This is vital to identify and understand which behaviours and activities cause the most climate change emissions. These activities contribute to what is called our carbon footprint.

The main contributors to this are:

  • Heating and powering our homes,
  • How we get around – particularly car use
  • What we eat
  • The things we buy

You can find a link below to calculate your carbon footprint.

Prioritise

Based on your carbon footprint, why not choose a few key areas to start where you can make the biggest difference? There are lots of actions in this guide but all the options can be overwhelming! Pick a few that will start to reduce your carbon footprint and go from there.

Educate Others

Please share this guide with friends and relatives and be open to talking about why you're trying to tackle climate change, and what others can do themselves.

Encourage change to work

A lot of this guide is tailored to changes to home, however, much of it also applies to the workplace. If you are in a position of influence at work, why not make sure tackling climate change becomes a key aspect of your company values? It could help you gain business and save money, as well as future proofing against upcoming changes.  

Your Home

Heating - use less

Fossil fuel heating is responsible for a large proportion of emissions so heating less is a quick way to reduce emissions. A quick win is to turn down your thermostat, if possible (if there are no elderly or young children in the house).

Better control and monitoring systems, such as smart thermostats, can also enable you to use less heat by only heating the rooms/zones of your home that you need, particularly if areas are unused for all/part of the time.

Hot water - use less

Similarly, using less hot water will save you money and reduce your carbon emissions. Simple changes like shorter showers, low-flow shower heads and washing up bowls should all mean you use less hot water.

Draught exclusion

Reducing drafts is an easy way to reduce heat loss. This could be as simple as using thick curtains or movable draft excluders around doors and windows. Get more advice from the Centre for Sustainable Energy using the link below.

Replace lighting for energy efficient alternatives 

Switching lights to LEDs saves substantial energy on lighting costs and quickly pays for itself within the energy saved as a result. It makes sense to switch all your existing light bulbs. LED alternatives can now be sourced for all sorts of light fittings. Remember to dispose of old lighting units responsibly. 

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. For example, turn off lights when leaving rooms and avoid leaving devices on standby.  Even devices like Wi-Fi routers could be turned off if you are going away.

Energy

Switch to a Green Energy Tariff

This is a simple step that may not even cost much more than your existing tariff, especially if you haven’t switched energy providers for a while.

Switching providers is quick and easy and many suppliers offer 100% renewable tariffs.

Some energy companies have recently struggled as a result of increases in the cost of energy and have ceased to trade as a result. However, a process called ‘Supplier of Last Resort’, run by Ofgem, ensures that you will always have an energy supplier.

Transport

Travel Less 

The easiest way to reduce emissions from transport is to try and travel less in the first place, which also saves money on fuel or tickets. Consider whether journeys are essential and how you might be able to consolidate trips. Where possible and permitted, working from home can save emissions from your commute, particularly if you previously drove to work and had a long commute.

Walk, Cycle or Run 

Commit to walking or cycling, especially for short journeys of less than a mile. It’s free, healthy and has none of the stress of navigating traffic!

For regular, shared journeys, like the school run, you could also look to set up or join a ‘walking bus’ and coordinate with friends and neighbours.

Challenge local schools to promote or organise this, as well as providing secure bike/scooter storage. Cycling is an option for slightly longer journeys. Although it may be a more expensive option, you could consider an electric bike, which makes tackling hills easy.

Community and Business Climate Change Toolkit 

Below you will find our Community and Business Climate Change Toolkit, with ideas and guidance on how your Group and Business can help tackle Climate Change. 

Community and Business Toolkit

Who is it for?

This guide aims to help groups, whether official (for example Town and Parish Councils) or unofficial, understand how they can take action to tackle climate change. 

What is it? 

The guide includes ideas for collective or individual actions and areas for consideration to tackle the emissions that cause climate change, adapt to the predicted changes and hopefully save some money along the way. It provides tips and actions, as well as signposting to other resources and best practice examples, locally and further afield. 

Calculate your carbon footprint

There are several tools available - please find the links at the bottom of this page. 

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 organisations 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

Prioritise

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 at once. 

Use existing events to your advantage, tie in with Clean Air Day, Big Green Week, Bike Week or Earth Day to gain momentum. 

The link below for awareness days gives an expansive list of upcoming events and dates of note. 

Educate others

Action will be far more powerful the more you're able to speak with others. 

Why not engage with schools, businesses or as many other local groups as you can so that they too, will be motivated to take action. 

Buildings

Heating and powering our buildings accounts for a huge proportion of our Carbon Footprint, both personally and as a District. 

Heating 

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 and lighting are a quick way to ensure that all users are able to use the systems to their full potential, ensuring they aren't left on unnecessarily, wasting energy. 

Draught Exclusion 

This is an easy way to reduce heat loss through reducing drafts. This can be as simple as using thick curtains or movable draft excluders around doors and windows. Please see the Centre for Sustainable Energy link below for some DIY guidance on draught exclusion. 

Replace Lighting 

Where possible switch to LED lighting. This will save substantial costs and quickly pays for itself with the energy saved as a result, alongside saving considerable carbon. 

Appliances and IT 

Ensure any new appliances are energy efficient models with A rated energy labels. Unless you have to replace, try repairing old appliances in the first instance. This prevents waste and emissions for manufacturing companies, who use vast amounts of energy to make new products.  New 'Right to repair' rules in the UK should make this easier and more affordable to do than it has been for some time. 

 

Energy

Switch to or promote a Green Energy Tariff

Check our your options using an Ofgem-accredited price comparison site using the link below.

Or try a collective switch by arranging for lots of other businesses, groups or residents to switch with you. Energy suppliers are likely to offer preferential tariff rates for this, resulting in potential savings. 

Transport

The easiest way to reduce emissions from transport is to try and travel less.

This also saves money on fuel or ticket fees. Some ideas for travelling less include: 

  • Holding group meetings or activities remotely where possible - this has been proved to work well during the Covid-19 pandemic 
  • Organise and promote lift sharing amongst members where possible 
  • Organise lift sharing for the local community where possible for schools or workplaces 
  • Arrange a 'Walking Bus' for the school run, or similar

Active Transport refers to walking and cycling as methods of getting around the District.

Things your organisation can do to promote Active Travel would be: 

  • Offering the provision of secure parking for bicycles to alleviate any safety concerns for cyclists
  • challenge local schools to improve secure bike and scooter storage to encourage active travel in children 

Business Grants 

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant for Staff and Fleets 

Businesses with 249 employees or less can apply for funding to install electric vehicle (EV) charge point infrastructure in parking reserved for staff or a company fleet.

A business can receive up to five grants in total.

Each grant must be for a different site that the business owns, leases or rents.

Each grant application can be for up to a maximum of £15,000.

If more charge points are needed in addition to those provided by this grant, then the Workplace Charging Scheme may be used.

Full guidance on this grant and the Workplace Charging Scheme can be found on the Gov.uk link. 

Last updated 19 August 2022
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