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Waste Less Spend Better in Poundbury

Do you keep meaning to work out where to recycle your ink cartridges, how to control your heating, and the cheapest place to buy local vegetables?  Or perhaps you’ve been meaning to change your electricity supplier but you are not sure where to go?

Imagine working this out with a group of friends, and being able to refer to a manual customised to Dorset that is full of solutions.  That’s what two ‘Transition Together’ groups are already doing in Dorchester, and Len is keen to get a new group going in Poundbury.  Len said, “I’ve just joined a group which meets in the middle of Dorchester, and it’s turned out to be good fun, and at the same time we are learning from each other how to get a bit greener and save money on household bills.  I’d really like to get a Poundbury group going, though, as that is where I live.  I’m hosting an information evening to help people find out about it with no obligation to join.  We are meeting at the Quiet Space on 7th January at 7pm – coffee and cake provided!”.

The Transition Together programme supports small groups to work through simple practical advice on energy, water, waste, food and transport.  The manuals are provided FREE of charge, and it’s a tried and tested programme running all over the world in which previous participants have saved an average of £400 on household bills. We are already hearing positive reports from our active groups; Kate from the Fordington group said, “It’s actually good fun, I’m learning new things, and we are all learning from each other – Neil and Sue have changed their light bulbs, Pete now knows where to recycle his juice cartons and I’ve got the confidence to do something about insulating my bathroom, with support from my group.”

The Transition Together programme is supported by Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Hear more about how it works and join a group if it’s for you on 7th January at 7pm – The Quiet Space, Woodlands Crescent, Poundbury, Dorchester.


Categories: News

FREE Training Opportunity – One place remaining!

Stir to Action are hosting a series of exciting weekend workshops.  These workshops will introduce participants to new tools, strategies and practices that will help to address climate change, financial crises and social problems.

CLS in Dorset is delighted to be supporting the work of STIR which fits well with our aim to help people to adapt to change and adopt more sustainable lifestyles.  Building skills in these areas is important for sustainability and community cohesion.
cazzo in erezione

We are offering a bursary for up to 4 places (in total) at the following workshops:

  • Citizen Journalism –7th-8th March 2015
  • Transition by Design – 17th May 2015
  • Worker Co-ops for Young People – 4th – 5th July 2015
  • Community Co-ops – 5th September 2015

Find out more about the workshops here.

In exchange we will ask you to use your new found skills to volunteer a day or so of your time to support CLS in Dorset.  We want you to use these skills to help us to: explain our message, engage with people, report our success, empower and enable people to take action.  We’ll agree with you how you might do this.

If this is for you then please send your answers to the following questions to Emily@da21.org.uk as soon as possible.

  • Which of the above workshops would you like to attend?
  • Why do you want to attend?
  • How will you benefit?
  • How might CLS in Dorset benefit?


Categories: News

Dreaming of Paris in the Winter

But what will we do in Dorset? Let’s talk about it!

We know that people living in Dorset care about climate change and are involved in lots of local initiatives to reduce their impact on the environment.  Now is a good time to share what we know and get  more people involved in this most important year for agreeing how we tackle climate change for Dorset, the UK and globally.
Do you want tips on how to let people know why you care about climate change and what you are doing about it?
We are planning to host a workshop to help you – we want to make sure it works for you – please help us to by answering a few questions.


Categories: News

Get Involved with CLS

There are many ways to get involved with Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset. The main ones are:

•Helping CLS Dorset in the office and events

•Getting stuck in with a woodland working party

•Forming/ joining a Transition Together group

•Helping out at a community farm

If you are not sure which opportunity is best for you or you fancy doing something not mentioned here, please get in touch and we can help you get involved.

Join the Big Ideas Challenge
The Challenge is for young people aged 7-24 – they are asked to plan and implement a project that will help cut greenhouse gas emissions in their community.  They can work on energy, water, waste, clothes, food or travel.  We have excellent resources, mentors, and money to help them.  And there is a fantastic prize – an outdoor adventure.

Community Woodland Working Groups
Read further information about Community Woodland events on the Renewable Energy webpages
1. Little Giant Wood, Stoke Abbott

The Parish are establishing a calendar of working parties and events. Autumn and winter will focus on woodland management and spring and summer are events that are country knowledge based, such as bat walks and fungi talks. Please contact Matthew Bowditch if you want to find out more m1bowditch.vets@virgin.net.
2. Prime Coppice

Their working woodlanders programme runs regular work parties. Contact Ruth Fuller to find out more ruthjfuller@hotmail.com or visit www.primecoppice.com.
3. Allington Hill

Allington Hill runs regular work parties. Email Cathy on allingtonhill@gmail.com or get in touch via Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/allingtonhillbillies/ to find out more.
4. Hooke Park

Common Ground is looking to establish a community woodland at Hooke. They recently hosted a meeting to find out what the local community are interested in… but it’s not too late! Email Adrian if you are interested in getting involved – adrian@commonground.org.uk.
5. Dorchester Community Woodland

The Duchy of Cornwall has approved Transition Town Dorchester using some of their woodlands around the community farm. There will be a meeting in January to gauge interest so if you’re looking for a new year’s resolution involving meeting people, getting fit and getting involved with environmental conservation contact Kate kforrester.k@gmail.com.
Transition Together

Transition Together is a fun, practical way of saving money on household bills. It is a tried and tested programme where a group of friends or neighbours get together to work through a practical manual, learning how to save energy and water, reduce waste and travel wisely. Previous participants have had a lot of fun, made friend and saved an average of £600 per year on household bills. Contact emily@da21.org.uk.

Categories: News

About Advice for Businesses

Deliver generalist business advice to companies within the renewable energy sector

• Engage with local business owners to understand their attitudes towards business environmental issues, which will help to inform the further delivery of the programme

• Raise awareness of the environment issues facing local businesses and the assistance that’s available to them, through local events

• Help develop the local food sector within the Dorchester & Bridport area

• WSX Enterprise Ltd is a not-for-profit business support organisation, which helps new and existing businesses to prosper, grow and be more sustainable. Our services range from start up support through general business advice to specialist support in skills, innovation and sustainability.

Categories: News

About Climate Change Adaptation

Climate change affects different people, from all walks of life, in different ways. We are working with communities around Bridport and Dorchester to explore how extreme weather and climate change affects them already, how this will change in future and what we can do to tackle it.

Vulnerable communities

We are working with communities to explore how climate change will affect them locally (e.g. more intense rainfall, heatwaves, milder winters etc) and how they can adapt to it.

On 30th July 2014 we organised a workshop for people in Bridport to give their views on how their community is affected by severe weather and how the town can adapt to be more resilient to both today’s weather and the future’s. To see their ideas read the workshop report. 

Agriculture and the commercial fishing industry

We are working with the local farming and fishing communities to explore how climate change will affect their businesses and how they can prepare to deal with those impacts.

Categories: News

Greener Choices

Our planet is warming, we are experiencing more extremes of weather, here in Dorset we have recently suffered from flooding and landslides.  The latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change confirms that these changes to our weather and climate are linked to human activity.

We are using too many of the earth’s resources, the One Planet Living eco footprint tool estimates that the average European lives as though they had three planets not one.  If we carry on like this we will continue to see changes to weather and climate and there will be less and less for future generations.

So what can you do?

We can think about your lifestyle and see how you can use less.  There are many tools such as carbon footprint calculators that can help you do this, but some top actions you can take are shown below:

1. Use less energy at home

Most homes in the UK are heated by oil or gas, these are fossil fuels that have been laid down under the earth over millions of years.  The World Health Organisation recommends that we live at a minimum temperature of 18°C, but we can still conserve these fuels.  When you switch on a light or appliance you are drawing electricity from the national grid.  This electricity is generated from a range of sources: around 66% fossil fuels, 21% nuclear and 13% renewable, this balance changes constantly to view it now click here. 

• Check your walls and loft are insulated

• Turn your thermostat down by 1°C – to save 10% on your heating bills

• Turn off lights and appliances that are not in use

• When you replace or buy more appliances look for the most energy efficient.

Categories: News

Renewable Energy

With support from Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset, a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society, Dorset Community Energy, was set up in August 2013 to install community-financed solar photovoltic (PV) panels on 6 schools and community buildings.

We are also working with the Dorset AONB to help set up a community woodland network, which currently includes 9 community woodland groups.

We will help raise awareness of renewable energy opportunities with local householders and support local renewable energy businesses.

Categories: News

Local Food

At the same time, increasing numbers of people – young and old – are struggling with rising food and energy prices and face the challenge of learning how to eat healthily on a limited budget. With more and more people in vulnerable groups having to choose between heating and eating, local food can feel like a niche product, which can seem both expensive and hard to find.

As climate change impacts such as extreme weather – and in particular access to water for irrigation – begin to impact on humanity’s ability to grow enough food, it makes sense to support and strengthen our local food systems.

Categories: News

Eco Schools

Eco-Schools is an international award programme that provides a simple framework for schools to enable them to address a variety of environmental topics in school.

Over the period of the CLS project the schools in the CLS area will have dedicated support from CLS staff and access to range of speakers and research in support of their sustainability journeys.

Download our Introduction to Eco-Schools to find out more about the programme and how CLS can help.
About Eco-Schools

There are three awards; Bronze, Silver and the Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity.

Many of the schools in the CLS project area are already engaged in Eco-Schools work and it is hoped that many more in the area will become even more actively involved in Eco-Schools or sustainability work over the next three years.

For further information about the Eco-Schools programme, visit the national Eco-Schools website at www.eco-schools.org.uk.

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