Here’s a good example of how to be the change you want to see in the world.* Hot on the heels of the heatwave and drought, and with looming energy costs in autumn, the Eco Together Project launches in Bath this month to help people tackle climate change and save money.
It is a simple project for small groups of friends or neighbours. The group gets together for five structured sessions that cover energy, transport, food and resources.
The groups explore the powers each person has to create change, through lifestyle, community, advocacy and communication. Eco Together provides a handbook developed by environmental professionals to help each person choose activities that suit them best. Anyone can join or form a group, regardless of age, income, or worldview. It works very well with neighbours and existing groups; workplaces, student groups, book clubs or residents associations.
Coordinator Sara Grimes said “As a mum of a seven-year-old I worry about the climate, especially after this summer’s drought and wildfires. Now going into the cost-of-living crisis I’m wondering what will happen to food and energy prices. It’s easy to feel helpless. There’s lots we can do though, and Eco Together gives you the space and support to find your own eco; what you can do to save money and the environment in your current life situation.
I’ve been in two Eco Together groups, we were all different but we learned lots from each other and made impressive changes. It feels great to have the support of like-minded people. It’s also helped me get round to insulating my house, which will help with the rising energy costs this winter”.
Four successful pilot groups have run in Widcombe and Weston. Group members took a wide range of actions, from reducing plastic and energy use to contacting their councillors and raising climate change at work. Members reported that it was a non-judgemental and thought-provoking way to look at climate change.
Dr Robin Teoh, a GP, hosted one of the pilot groups in Weston: “Getting together some friends and neighbours didn’t take much time at all; then we just followed the programme. With the clear structure and fascinating yet concise information, our get-togethers were enjoyable and productive. Whether new to the ideas or eco-active for years, we all learned, felt supported, made changes for the better and found new friends. We have ongoing plans to help our neighbourhood. All so worthwhile”.
Group member Allen Gilliland from Twerton said “My wife and I are new to Bath and this was a great way to meet like-minded neighbours and learn about local eco resources’ in Bath. We’ve started buying local food and driving less”.
Eco Together is hosted by Transition Bath, a longstanding environmental charity. There will be four Eco Together information sessions at the Bath & North East Somerset Climate and Biodiversity Festival from the 24 September to 2 October. The website is www.ecotogether.info or contact email@example.com
- What Ghandi actually said was … “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi