Scientists warned this month that we urgently need to transition to a green economy, because fossil fuel pollution risks pushing the Earth into a lasting and dangerous hothouse state. Even in Lewes we’ve experienced a heat wave, drought and flash flooding.
It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of such warnings, but Transition Towns are all about making our local community and economy more resilient.
Here are 12 things you can do to help Lewes stay resilient against climate change…
Actions to take today which are both easy and effective:
- 1. Educate the next generation about renewable energy – join the crowd-funding for OVESCo’s Sunny Schools share offer to put solar panels on our schools
- 2. Housing can produce energy – sign this petition for all new homes to have solar panels
- 3. Reduce the plastic in your life – check Plastic-Free Lewes for lots of tips and local action
- 4. Shop at the Lewes Friday Food Market in the Clock Tower for the freshest locally grown food (with fewer food miles) or the Lewes Farmers’ Market in the precinct on the first and third Saturdays of each month
- 5. Support local shops by using the Lewes Pound – now offering a 5% discount on regular orders!
- 6. Look after our wildlife – become a Friend of the Lewes Railway Land
Longer term actions which need some preparation or are more challenging:
7. Make your home cosy for the winter and cut fuel bills – take a look at Jill Goulder’s popular video about secondary glazing for windows
8. Rebuild pollinator populations – plant wildflowers and bee-friendly plants for next summer
9. Prepare for unpredictable rainfall in future – If you’re renovating a patio or drive, install a rainwater butt and make sure there are porous surfaces for rain to drain away into the ground
10. Carbon emissions from cars are still high – if you’re changing your car, consider if you could get by using a community car (such as Co-wheels), or just a smaller car or even an electric car.
11. Cut your travelling carbon footprint – sign up for this Active Travel challenge. For walking, cycling and public transport info check here. Could you reduce your holiday impact? – look at seat61.com for travel abroad, or stay in the UK.
Kirsten Firth, TTL.