Cotswold Friends has launched a brand new project to become a Carbon Net-Zero organisation by 2023. We are working with William Howard, a third year Environmental Management and Sustainability student at the University of Plymouth, who is advising us on how to reach sustainable goals and targets. This will include offsetting our carbon usage through tree planting schemes, reviewing and reducing our energy consumption and improving waste management in our offices.
William has helped us to draw up a new Environmental Policy and we have implemented new partners and systems for recycling all office waste - paper, cardboard, printer cartridges, batteries, glass, plastic and cans. All Charity computers are now using a new search engine, Ecosia which plants a tree for every 45 searches undertaken. Over 30 trees have already been planted as a result of Cotswold Friends searches. Anyone can easily change to Ecosia, which can be used instead of Google on any device, and plant trees to help save our planet.
Cotswold Friends is minimising energy use by switching off (not leaving on stand-by) any devices not in use, switching off lights and turning off heating in unused rooms. All lightbulbs are gradually being changed to LED to reduce waste and conserve energy; LED lightbulbs can also be used at home to reduce energy use. There are several energy suppliers that use renewable energy sources - have a look at Ecotricity and see if you can make your home more sustainable.
We are also working with the Woodland Trust to calculate our carbon output and how many acres of mixed native woodland we will need to plant to make the Charity carbon net-zero. To do this, we will need tree planting sites of an acre or more. If you can help, or would like more information on increasing sustainability, please do get in touch with us.