The Greening Campaign is about local people taking local action about climate change. Instead of people feeling helpless in front of such a frightening topic, we believe that if individuals in a community take small actions, all those add up to make a big difference. We also believe that if lots of communities join together to take action, then the difference we make may start to reduce the effects of climate change.
The Greening Campaign was the brainchild of Terena Plowright, from Petersfield, who helped set up a national network of over 200 communities running their own local campaigns.
What’s happened so far?
Steyning 10:10 decided to launch our own local Greening Campaign. We held a Public Meeting in April 2010 to choose a set of challenges for households to commit to in our community. Around 50 people attended representing 30 different organisations and community groups.
Phase 1 Launch Event – October 2010
The launch event was aimed at engaging the whole community in the campaign, explaining the challenges, and illustrating how people can make a difference through taking simple actions. There were stalls with energy saving tips, green demos, a solar energy display (courtesy of Southern Solar), plus songs, and competitions – all illustrating the 9 Green Challenges that will form the heart of the campaign. Outside there was a fantastic Art Bus – full of children’s pictures from local primary schools, plus a free Bike Clinic (courtesy of Pro Cycles). And there were loads of delicious homemade cakes for sale, baked by volunteers.
The Launch was sponsored by a grant from the Chanctonbury County Local Committee, and Southern Solar. Around 40 different organisations took part or helped out – running stalls, providing raffle prizes, or offering support of other forms. It was a fantastic team effort. So a BIG thanks for everyone who helped!
The following simple challenges were chosen at the Public Meeting to form the heart of Phase 1 of the campaign:
1. Turn off lights when you leave a room
2. Change 3 light bulbs to low energy
3. Turn off all standbys
4. Wash laundry at 30° C
5. Walk if the journey is less than a mile
6. Top up loft insulation
7. Boil only the amount of water needed
8. Turn the thermostat down by 1° C
9. Turn off taps when brushing teeth
The challenges card were delivered to every house in Steyning, Bramber and Beeding. People were asked to put the card in the window when they had committed to 5 of the challenges. A month later, in early December, volunteers went round every street to count how many cards they could spot.
The results were encouraging. Including last minute corrections, a total of 310 cards were spotted in windows across Steyning, Bramber and Beeding. This is 7.69% of the households counted – a very creditable showing for a community our size. It compares well with results from other towns and villages, and shows the Greening Campaign has a very good base to build on.
The results of the card count are now in. A total of 310 cards were spotted in windows across Steyning, Bramber and Beeding. This is 7.6% of the households counted – a very creditable showing for a community our size. It compares well with results from other towns and villages, and shows the Greening Campaign has a very good base to build on.
Bramber scored highest in percentage terms – an impressive 17.6% of the total number of houses. Beeding showed 7.3%, and Steyning 6.9%. A full breakdown,street-by-street, is attached. Steyning High Street, Penns Court, and the Ridings had the most cards up. Sixteen streets had at least a 20% showing, and four broke the 40% mark. But our volunteers did not spot any cards in 61 out of the 165 streets counted. If your street is not shown in the list, but you had your card up, let us know. We may have missed you. And in case you’re wondering – you can take your cards down now!
So what does this mean in terms of the total savings made? Using data from the Energy Savings Trust, the Greening Campaign headquarters has calculated that between us this works out as an annual saving of: 171 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 143,000 litres of water, and over £31,000 in cash terms. These figures are based on averages of the activities on the cards and assumptions of typical annual use for a three bedroom semi-detached property with gas central heating and an average occupancy of 2.9 people, and average use, cost and carbon content of gas and electricity. So it’s an approximation – but impressive all the same.
Green Business campaign
Local businesses have been getting involved too. We created a special challenge card for businesses. Click here for our Green Business page.
Phase 2 kicked off in 2011
The Campaign has now moved on to Phase 2. A public meeting was held in January 2011 at Steyning Cricket Club to canvas views on where we should focus. Around 50 people came along. After a lively evening of discussion, a vote was taken on which of the sixteen main ideas had the strongest support. These were whittled down to four main priority themes for 2011:
- Encouraging householders to fit solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roof.
- Encouraging Recycling and launching the “Give your Stuff Away Day” idea
- An Insulation Month timed for the early autumn encouraging people to get their insulation topped up in time for the winter.
- A ‘shop local’ push timed for the run up to Christmas.
How we built on this in 2012
After a successful first year, we geared up for a second year of green action. After another well-attended Planning Meeting in January we came up with a plan that focused on:
- Awareness raising – was the overarching theme for the year. We know we need to get beyond the ‘usual suspects’ who are already switched on to green issues, so need to approach this in a variety of ways. One way will be to organise a series of talks, debates, and other information sessions that ran throughout the year – see the events page for a run down.
- Saving water – June was water month, and we cooked up a bunch of ideas to get people thinking about how they can conserve our precious water resources. The highlight was on Jubilee Sunday. Brighton & Hove buses lent us a double-decker bus which, with help from local kids, we turned into into a green ‘Water Bus‘ – decorating it with pictures, poems and ideas on water saving themes. Ironically – June was when turning point when it switched from the driest year on record, to one of the wettest! But the message about weather becoming much more unpredictable thanks to climate change came through loud and clear.
- Give Your Stuff Away Day happened four times during the year. Somehow we managed to choose a rainy Sunday each time – so we got a bit wet, but still had fun and swapped a lot of unused but useful stuff. Our partners The Recycled Goods Factory ran a clothes swap shop – and took away all of the unused items at the end of the day, to reuse or recycle.
What came next in 2013
We created a basket of fresh ideas to get people thinking about how to make our community a happier, greener and more sustainable place to live. After a lively planning meeting in January 30th, we came up with five main themes for the year:
- A revamped Give Your Stuff Away Day. We found a new gathering point at Steyning’s Catholic Church, so we can dodge any dodgy weather. We started collecting some of those ‘hard to recycle’ recyclables like batteries, water filters, ink jet cartidges, flourescent bulbs and plastic milk bottle tops.
- Tasty tips on eating well, and wasting less – we held a series of events to get us thinking about what we eat, how we can grow more food locally, turn out tasty nutritious meals, and avoid throwing good stuff away unnecessarily.
- A Compost Campaign – to encourage us to get going on composting, so we can recycle more of our green waste in our own back yards. This included a ‘compost clinic’ providing advice on how to get your compost heap steaming.
- Meet your meter and cut your bills – we lent out energy meters and offered hands-on help in tracking fuel consumption so people could spot where energy is being wasted, and savings can be made.
- Talks, walks, and tweets – we continued with our monthly ‘Green Drinks’ talks and lined up some great topics and speakers. A summer walk was organised including an introduction on bee keeping, and we got going on using Facebook and Twitter so we could keep the buzz going on matters green.
2014: A big year
We had loads on our plate in 2014.
This was the big focus. Having negotiated an excellent community deal with the project developers, Inazin, we were dismayed to find the application for this 15MW solar farm just north of Steyning turned down by Horsham District Council Planning Committee in April.
To find out what local people felt about this we ran a survey. We got an impressive response: 230 people gave their views. The full results are available here and were convincing: overall, 91% were in favour of the scheme, including 67% who were strongly in favour. This compared to less than 5% who were against, or strongly against it, a margin of nineteen to one in favour.
Armed with these results, Steyning 10:10 put in a submission to express our strong support for the appeal, which was adjudicated by the independent Planning Inpectorate. Our thinking was laid out in this presentation, which included details of the scheme, and photos from all angles. Sadly, after nearly a year, the scheme was finally turned down at appeal – though two other nearby solar farms, at Ford Farm and Priors Byne Farm, were approved.
424 Visits to Steyning Eco Open Houses in one day!
Steyning’s first ever Eco Open House day on April 27th began in the drizzle. But before long we had a steady stream of visitors that lasted all day. All together we had 424 visits to the four Steyning houses that opened up to the public. A big thanks to our partners the Low Carbon Trust and Brighton Permaculture Trust, who masterminded things, and to our new friends from Transition Town Worthing who ran a similar event two weeks earlier. If you missed it, you can learn all about it and download case studies on all the houses from the Eco Open House website.
Steyning Festival Green Events
We helped give a green tinge to our fantastic bi-annual Festival by showing the film “Trashed” and organising an Eco Walk that took in two eco-homes, the allotments, and Adur Brewery.
Highlights of 2015
Alongside our regular Green Drinks and Give Your Stuff Away Day sessions, the two big events of 2015 were the General Election and the Paris Climate Summit. We rose to the occasion for both.
We held a very successful “Question Time” style hustings debate focusing on climate and environment issues in the run up the the General Election. A packed hall at Steyning Grammar School heard our local Parliamentary Candidates being grilled by 6th formers and other local residents. The event was expertly chaired by Robin Hart, from nearby Wilton Park Conference Centre. Photos are available on Facebook, and a video recording on YouTube.
We took to the streets in London ahead of the Paris Climate Summit, with a strong contingent making it to the capital on a blustery November day to add our voice to calls for a strong and meaningful climate deal at COP21.
We also held a special Green Drink briefing at the Cricket Club to provide a background on the Paris talks.
It obviously worked – the Paris Summit was heralded as a big breakthrough. Now it’s our job to make sure we keep up the momentum, but locally and nationally.
How you can get involved?
If you would like to get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org