Low Carbon Living
The slideshow covers Eynsham Apple Festival on 16 October 2010 - a packed programme for growers, cooks and consumers - to introduce a wider theme. New for 2012: the Apple Festival joins our Video Choices. 2013: Back to Basics: Jane le Galloudec blogs from Spain.
Eynsham residents are taking up the challenges of a low-carbon economy with enthusiasm. GreenTEA (Transition Eynsham Area) has set the pace by awareness-raising and example but support is gathering in many other quarters. Since a more sustainable life-style is cheaper by definition, its time has probably come. The various strands are almost inseparable:
- The District Council has taken a lead in reduction, re-use and recycling, with an integrated programme launched in November 2010 - read more >>
- Eynsham Area Waste Watchers (EAWW) - affiliated with GreenTEA - hold free Swap Shops twice a year to re-home usable goods and reduce land-fill - view gallery >>
- Sign up with the Retrader Oxfordshire Materials Exchange for access to free materials and markets anytime - from office supplies and furniture to horse manure.
- Pick up insulation ideas and other money saving tips at the Swap Shop energy stall or the monthly GreenTEA Café - or visit the Energy Saving Trust for business and domestic advice - more >>
- Switch to a green energy supplier. The electricity and gas cost no more than your local supplier and GreenTEA receives a donation to help with local energy saving projects - more >>
- Install solar photovoltaic panels. The government pays for the energy you generate, at a rate guaranteed for 25 years. The system should pay for itself in about 10 years. Or consider a cooperative approach to share the costs and income. Eynsham's investment in the People's Power Station was celebrated in 2012 - more >>
- Walk, cycle, use public transport or car share. The school run would be pleasanter for everyone.
- Shop locally. The Eynsham Shopping Guide, launched in summer 2010 and widely distributed by GreenTEA members, makes a simple case: “Why go further?”
- Build more links with local suppliers, if you're a local business, as Eynsham Co-op did in July 2010 - more >>
- Make the most of seasonal produce, with monthly recipes from Helen Peacocke.
- Grow your own - in a window box or an allotment (view update 2012); or pick off the autumn hedgerows for free. Visit Eynsham Millennium Wood (10 years old this year), for apples, blackberries, sloes and plums and more.
- Involve the family - take inspiration from the Primary School Eco Club.
- Look to the future. Eynsham as Orchard is a vision to recreate the village as a fruit growing area. The group has begun to map existing fruit trees and orchards; to arrange courses on pruning and care; to encourage sharing; and to plant new areas including some of Eynsham's old apple varieties. Volunteers at Long Mead Orchard have an even wider vision.
Hearts and minds
- Measure your carbon footprint. GreenTEA offers a free home visit to anyone in the Eynsham area, to help you analyse your household's activities. Armed with instant results, charts and comparisons, you will then know where to focus your money / energy saving. Contact Adrian Moyes email
- Follow up with carbon conversations, a series of meetings to exchange tips and experience on things like travel, insulation, electricity. The first series was a great success and GreenTEA is prepared to run another if there is enough demand. Contact Helena Nielsen email