The next year’s work will be focussed at two different levels.
1. We will work intensively to initiate, facilitate and support the development of very local activity at the household, street, village, school and youth group level. This will include:
Neighbourhood Transition Groups –building on our neighbourhood energy assistant project, this will bring small groups of residents together to develop household and street scale action plans along the ‘Transition Streets’ model.
We will work through local facilitators, existing residents associations and other networks to set up and support twenty ‘transition streets’ groups across the Dunbar and East Linton ward. We will provide practical resource materials and support, including:
- Loan of electricity monitors and access to the full BeGreen energy advice service including the new revolving loan scheme and the opportunity to take part in our bulk purchase PV scheme.
- Support to reduce food miles and waste, start food growing and worm composting
- Support from ‘Connecting Dunbar’, including ‘Quality Streets’ reviews, ‘adopt a bus stop’, ‘What’s stopping you?’ cycling advice plus personalised travel planning.
- Support to develop individual and household pledges and neighbourhood action plans.
As well as producing significant carbon savings for the participating households, the project should have numerous other social impacts by building community cohesion and support networks.
Household Food Waste Project - We will build on a successful pilot project run by a member in East Linton Primary School to reduce the amount of household food waste and the quantity going to landfill by promoting the use of worms to produce high value compost from kitchen scraps. The project will be developed by:
- Incorporating food waste reduction education into the existing worm compost project, using the Changeworks ‘Kitchen Canny’ project packs for pupils to use with their families.
- Producing subsidised flat-pack, worm-compost boxes from local larch for sale to parents.
- Working with the children to produce supporting materials and videos about worm composting and holding workshops for parents to be trained in worm composting by their children’s class.
- Rolling out the programme across all seven classes of East Linton Primary School.
- Starting pilot projects with individual classes in the other four primary schools across the Dunbar Cluster and with the eco-school committee/school allotment project at Dunbar Grammar School.
As well as achieving significant carbon savings by reducing food waste and the quantity of waste going to landfill, this project will deliver many aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence.
‘What’s stopping you?’ Project - We have discovered that many people have bicycles that they don’t use, because they lack basic maintenance skills or the confidence to cycle on busy roads.
This project will provide cycling confidence training, a bike buddy scheme and a series of led cycle rides to encourage people to use their bikes. It will also set up a weekly bike maintenance facility and bike-recycling project in conjunction with the Countess Youth Group, community police officers and local businesses. People will be encouraged to make a commitment to regular utility cycling by being offered support and incentives.
Apart from encouraging people to cycle more, this project will provide skills training, particularly for young people, enhancing self-esteem and social cohesion.