Making the first move
Finding a way to encourage people to start on a journey towards carbon neutrality may seem daunting and it does require you to stand up and communicate your thoughts and ideas and to inspire your community.
This is a little scary, especially if you are not used to public speaking or facing an audience. But take courage. We found that we were not ridiculed and the ideas we presented were welcomed by the community. In fact, everyone seemed delighted to discover they were not alone in having concerns about climate change.
So if you are about to embark on the road to carbon neutrality our advice is that you first try out your ideas and thoughts on some trusted friends within the community. If you find they support your idea, take the next step and chat to respected individuals in your community such as landowners, leaders of clubs and societies, the church and most of all the primary school teachers. If you get a warm and generally supportive response go outside your village and engage your local environment representatives such as your Town & County Councils and explain to them that people within your community are keen to help and do something about climate change. We find that local authority officers already have some excellent ideas on recycling and other
issues which they can bring to the table.
Villages without borders
You might also be interested in reading about the 'Villages Without Borders' concept promoted by Dr. Ron Dembo of the not-for-profit Canadian Organisation, Zerofootprint. Ron has written a useful paper on the subject that you can download here.
Other community carbon calculators you could try
The Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford has created a free on-line home energy monitoring website aimed at educating people about home energy use.
imeasure is about helping householders track energy use over time (unlike traditional carbon calculators) where users can set up carbon clubs for their own communities.