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 SCAP network.

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, has decided which tool to use and has a convenor who will be a point of contact for the project, you are good to go.

WHERE can I find out more? to give the background to why Shropshire needs to reduce its carbon footprint.

Lots of information here 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.

Resources required:

  • 1 full-time equivalent Co-ordinator to recruit, train, support and liaise with group convenors. Manage communications to share stories and ideas.  Collect the footprint data and write an annual report.
  • Field/home based but will need expenses, telephone, computer support
  • Contribution to website/social media/licensing costs.

Metrics being collected:

  • Total residents who have taken part as a percentage of the residents of Shropshire.
  • The percentage of residents whose footprints have gone up, down or remained the same over a year. (This can be collected on a postcode/parish level.)
  • Anecdotal evidence of good practice, positive feedback, behaviour change.
  • 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.