Tag Archives: Community

How an award winning map is connecting more people with nature

foraging smallThis post is by Anita Roy, a member of Transition Town Wellington.

It might not look like much: a hand drawn map of a small town in Somerset, folded down small enough to fit in your pocket. The fields and woods are shaded green and dotted with little round stickers showing where to find apple trees and herbs, hazelnuts and redcurrant bushes.

There are two maps of Wellington you can pick up in the tourist office: one, showing shops and cafes, car parks and pubs: the town’s economy; the other, Transition Town Wellington’s foraging map: its ecology. On it are highlighted the four community orchards, the fruit bushes and herb beds, which have been created and tended for everyone to access, by this energetic and public-spirited environmental group. Read more

How creating pop-up cafes and homework clubs can encourage people to save energy

OCP_TwitterThis post is by Green Alliance policy assistant Jonny Hazell, who worked on Waste Watch’s Our Common Place project, which has recently published a report on its first year.

Waste Watch’s Our Common Place programme emerged from the simple idea that just because an organisation is interested in an environmental issue – and is being funded to act on it – doesn’t mean other people will be interested. Read more

Changing the way communities use energy – 3 examples (and a lesson from Ryanair)

This is a guest post by Prashant Vaze, Chief Economist of Consumer Focus and author of ‘Repowering Communities’ and the ‘Economical Environmentalist’.

How many airlines can say they have induced most of their customers to check in on-line, print off all their paperwork, board punctually, and curtail the holiday-goers natural inclination to pack their kitchen sink? This exemplar boot camp of behaviour change is also regarded, at least by its own estimation, as the country’s most popular airline.

As an environmentalist, albeit an economical one, it gives me little pleasure to reveal Ryanair as the firm. But the company gets the basics right. The planes are rarely late, its megaphone PR is clear in setting out its no-frills stall and its website is actually surprisingly clear about its nitpicking charges. And though its chief executive is rude its staff are friendly.

Policy wonks like nothing better than pulling policy levers to deploy sustainable energy technologies. But policy and technology cannot by themselves deliver sustainable energy use. The missing piece from the jig-saw is people: without people’s acquiescence no democratic politician will enact the new law, and new technologies will be poorly implemented. Read more

What can environmental groups add to the Big Society?

Party conferences are a great way to get the political pulse of an idea. If the fringe guides were anything to go by then the Big Society looks like it is already here; actively running areas from education to health.

At Green Alliance’s fringes at the recent party conferences we were talking with DECC’s senior politicians, business and third sector leaders about the merits of the Big Society mantra for the environmental agenda, and conversely about what the environment movement could offer back. Read more