Carbon Watchers

WHAT is the Carbon Watchers project?

The Carbon Watchers Project (CW) is loosely based on the philosophy of Weight Watchers – encouragement, no blame, no shame and sharing ideas and tips to reduce our personal Carbon footprint. 

In groups (friends, neighbours, club, formal or informal) individuals, using one of the tools suggested, find out what their personal or household, footprint is.  By doing this we come to see how the stuff we buy, and throw away, has a major impact on our footprint.  On average it makes up about 40%.

Sharing the experience with your group will spark a discussion about where the major impacts are and lead to exploring how changes, to lower our footprints, can be made.   There is plenty of support on the web, within the foot-printing tools and through the SSCA and Zero Carbon Shropshire networks.

Quick wins can be identified, and barriers explored with a view to overcoming them.  

Each group manages itself and goes at its own pace.  Some may meet weekly, monthly occasionally to share ideas and stories.  All, however, agree to share their scores and repeat the exercise each year so that the degree of change can be measured.


WHAT do we have to do?

The local convenors (volunteers) will work with their groups to agree on a tool to use to collect individual or household footprint scores and calculate the average. (There are several tools that are recommended it doesn’t matter which one is used as long as once chosen it isn’t changed).  Every individual/household does their own footprint score and lets the convenor know what it is.  The convenor anonymises the scores and these are centrally recorded. 


WHEN do we start?

As soon as a group is formed and has decided which tool to use, you are good to go.


WHERE can I find out more?

A short video clip explaining the Carbon of Consumption to give the background to why Shropshire needs to reduce its carbon footprint.

Lots of information here, and on the following for help on how to decide the best low carbon choices to make, good ideas and links to other groups and businesses working on the same goal, to reduce their carbon footprint.:

Carbon Place ,     Friends of the Earth,    Green Shropshire Exchange                          

CSE  Impact Tool Parish Councils,      Lightfoot,      Ludlow21,    

MEA,    SCAP    Shrewsbury Food Hub    Shropshire CC Climate Pack,         

     South Shropshire Climate Action,     Stretton Climate Care,   

Sustainable Bridgnorth,       Telford & Wrekin Climate Champions 



Resources Required:

  • A convenor to co-ordinate a group in order to recruit, support and share stories and ideas with group members. Collect the footprint data for each household on the agreed date for measurement.  Done annually progress can be tracked.


Information being collected:

  • Total people who have taken part within the group. Their short Post Code ie SY9 2.   Can also be used for employees in an organisation.
  • The percentage of group members whose footprints have gone up, down or remained the same over a year.
  • Anecdotal evidence of good practice, positive feedback, behaviour change. To share with everyone.
  • Evidence from areas that have structural barriers, ie high percentage of old or poorly insulated homes, poor transport networks, no services and so on. This will make targeted interventions more effective.  Local Authorities/Parish Councils may be very grateful for this data.