Above the Clouds

Do you or your community want to be more sustainable? This is the page for you!

There are so many examples of good ideas and initiatives out there. This section of the website has been designed to share those good ideas, documents and advice. Its also good to share stuff that did not go so well so we keep learning. Please do send through stuff that might be helpful to our members and the whoever is visiting this site. Click on the button below to send us things that may be of interest - we will love you for it!

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Here to Help! - WCA members willing to provide one to one help

Sometimes it's good to chat with people who've done it!

Sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Wouldn't be great if you could just talk to friendly and helpful person who has been there before and knows exactly what it feels like! The WCA is in the process of developing a dedicated section of this website listing people who are willing to help others. This could be about making changes to your home to make it more sustainable, or it could be help to start a local group in your community.  

 

This is still work in progress  but do visit the relevant page HERE to find someone who is willing to help you on the journey

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Net zero carbon housing toolkit - West Oxfordshire district council

West Oxfordshire, Cotswold & the Forest of Dean District Council have worked together to produce a Net Zero Carbon Toolkit for those involved with designing and building houses, as well as for homeowners wanting to retrofit their property.

This toolkit covers a range of steps - from planning through to construction - in how to deliver net-zero carbon, low-energy homes.

Using the latest guidance and best practices from the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit, it is designed to be practical and easy to follow.

Funded through the Local Government Association (LGA) Housing Advisers Programme, the guide has been produced by leading technical experts from Etude, the Passivhaus TrustLevitt Bernstein and Elementa Consulting.

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Community Carbon Calculator - Understand your village/Town's footprint

Britain Talks Climate is an evidence-based toolkit designed to support organisations that want to engage the British public on climate change. It offers a shared, strategic understanding of the British public, and – against a backdrop of growing concern about polarisation – identifies effective ways to engage across the whole of society.

CLICK HERE to visit their website

Community Carbon Calculator - Understand your village/Town's footprint

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This is an excellent tools to determine the carbon footprint of your community. Just put in the name of your village or town and you will be given the average household carbon footprint of your community. You can then compare this with other community across the country or the national average.

It is well worth exploring if doing some work in those communities.

Here is the LINK

Wildflower Verges - Why They Matter

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Nearly 1,400 species of pollinators and other insects rely on meadow plants for their survival so it is not surprising to find that insects are in rapid decline. Also due to increased use of insecticides in gardens and farms.

 

Watch this presentation on why Wildflower verges matter by Glynis Hales.

Click Here to download

Wildflower verges in Wiltshire - Read an interesting article 

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We’ve lost about 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 1950s. If we want our native British wildflowers and plants to survive they need a place to grow. Road verges offer space for our wildflowers, plus the flowers provide much needed food and habitat for our insects, especially pollinators like bees and butterflies. The insects in turn support birds, bats and other small mammals. At a time when many of our wildlife species are under threat of extinction, wildflower verges are an effective way to increase biodiversity. They also offer a beautiful display of colour throughout the year that is more resilient to drought and hot weather than grass.

Visit the Royal Wootton Bassett Environmental Group for the full article

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Sustainable Living Zoom Talks + Q&A's

Eva Rowe, a local sustainable blogger and 'old hat' at sustainable living, is running a series of zoom talks to share with us what she has learned over the last 5 years. The talks will be followed by a Q&A session. Subscribe to Eva's YouTube channel here to get the latest sustainable living hints and tips.

Join us for a different topic every Tuesday @ 6pm.

12.01.21 - Sustainable Periods
19.01.21 - Saving Food Waste
26.01.21 - Sustainable Sex

02.02.21 - Going Plant Based
09.02.21 - Package Free Shopping
16.02.21 - Sustainable Fashion
23.02.21 - Plastic Free Bathroom Swaps
02.03.21 - Going Through Your Bin

To register to take part click here.

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Here is a useful document containing hints and tips for lobbying.

  • Your lobbying is most effective when it is really based on and informed by the law- legal issues are the no1 problem when NGOs and citizen groups approach campaigning.

  • Need to enter into your politician’s ‘space’ e.g. where do they spend their time- online, within the council, at the end of an email etc....

Click here to read the full document.

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Poster - friendly and simple advice to help save the world!

This poster has been kindly sent in by Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon which provides simple friendly advice for those who want to lead a greener life. They have confirmed that they are very happy for it to be used and adapted to your community's needs. Enjoy and thanks to BoA

Simple click on the PDF file to see or download the poster

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Poster - Food for thought

This Food for thought poster is another that has  been kindly sent in by Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon . Whatever your dietary preferences make well-produced food a high priority in your household budget.  Better for us - Better for the Environment.

Simple click on the PDF file to see or download the poster

Feel free to use and adapt for your needs

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Collection of case studies showing what some communities have done 

This excellent collection of case studies is designed to be used by county associations or local (parish and town) councils as an example of work that can be completed within your community. These are all examples of best practise and demonstrate actions large and small to benefit the health and wellbeing of residents.

 

This booklet is segregated into chapters; Carbon off-setting and reduction; Climate Change Forums; Community projects; Designing greener housing; Electric charging points; Energy and heating; Green travel; Plastic reduction; Trees and tree management. It is designed to incorporate all areas of climate change and sustainability and will be added to in due course.

Click HERE to view the report

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Warm & Green Homes Webinar -26th November - 7.30

An introduction to the top retrofitting priorities for a warm, eco-friendly home, plus information on costs, grants and other support. With a particular focus on the Government's Green Home Grants scheme. Sign up HERE.

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Friends of the Earth - Climate Action Plan for Councils

This is an excellent document that should be read and used by all councils to help guide them through the recovery from Covid 19. It should be of use to all sorts of councils from small parish councils to the likes of Wiltshire Council. It is also useful for those who would like to encourage their councils to have a green recovery plan (sounds familiar!)

 

Just click on the PDF file to view or download. 

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Ashden - A Toolkit for City Regions and Local Authorities

Climate Action - Co-Benefits

This toolkit is primarily intended for use by local authority officers when briefing elected members, mayors and senior managers. Each of the co-benefits sections includes facts and figures, links to data for local areas, the business case for taking action, opportunities for action and inspirational examples of successful initiatives from around the country.

 

Case studies are shown in boxes with Ashden Award winning organisations indicated via the Ashden logo. These can be used as the building blocks for making the case for action in your area; the intention is that users can pick and choose the messages and examples that will resonate in their areas.

 

The links to films in this toolkit are designed to bring to life some of the challenges that people in towns and cities face. The aim is to facilitate conversations around the co-benefits of climate action, ‘multi solving’ climate and social issues.

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Govt's New Home Deal a Flop? - Interesting article by Money Saving Expert

The new Green Homes Grant scheme is one of the Government's flagship Covid-recovery job-creation schemes, promising homeowners in England up to £5,000 free towards energy efficiency improvements. Yet it is being branded a massive flop by MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis on the back of feedback and his snapshot Twitter poll, which lays bare problems with the scheme. 

The Green Homes Grant, which opened at the end of September, gives vouchers to homeowners in England to help cover the cost of energy efficient improvements such as low-carbon heating systems and insulation. 

Read more HERE

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Two very interesting documents about food and carbon footprint.

We are seeing a growing interest in food and how it impacts on the environment. These two in-depth documents help to explain how we can ensure that we have a nutritionally balanced and varied dietary intake to promote our health, enjoyment and well being whilst also safeguarding the environment and wildlife - Thanks to the people at Climate friendly Bradford on Avon for carrying out such good research. 

Just click on the images to download the documents

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Future of Housing | Prefabrication is revolutionising refurbishments

As the UK housing crisis rumbles on, housing in the Netherlands is experiencing an offsite construction revolution.

With its faster build times, better quality and money-saving potential, modular construction could become a key means of reducing the UK’s housing deficit.

In September last year, the National Housing Federation said that an estimated 8.4M people in England are living in unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable homes. Among other issues, the research found that 1.4M people live in poor quality homes and 3.6M are living in overcrowded conditions, while 400,000 people are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Click HERE to read all about it

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THINK Eduation Projects - Primary School Education Consultant

Ruth Jennison, the founder of THINK Education Projects, is a primary school education consultant based in Salisbury.  THINK Education provides whole-school projects to inspire staff & children to make the world a fairer, greener place.

Save the Planet project teaches staff and children about the big impact actions that they can take which will help to protect the environment.

Find out more HERE.

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Free trees from TCV and OVO Energy!

Connecting people and green spaces to deliver lasting outcomes for both.

Join thousands of people and communities across the UK connecting to nature on their doorsteps and contributing to its protection.

CLICK HERE to visit their website.