Green Streets

Green Streets

PROPOSAL FOR BRITISH GAS GREEN STREETS GRANT:

GREEN BABIES AND TODDLERS

Introduction

Transition Town Horncastle is a new organisation looking at how to face the dual challenges of climate change and diminishing fossil fuels at a local, grassroots level, helping the community become more self-reliant and resilient.

One of our aims is to help the community access money that is available in the form of grants to achieve a more sustainable way of life.  One programme that came to our attention was this one run by British Gas: they have launched the Green Streets programme to help communities with energy efficiency and energy generation on a local level.

Here is a summary of the programme from their website homepage, but for more details see:

http://www.britishgas.co.uk/energy-efficiency/products/energy-innovation/green-streets.html

Welcome to Green Streets
British Gas has made £2m available as part of the Green Streets programme, to invest in innovative energy projects in Great Britain’s communities.

We are encouraging local residents, businesses and community groups to apply to Green Streets with their project ideas that will help them to save and generate energy locally as well as engaging their wider community, with a chance to win a further £100,000 at the end of the competition.

What is Green Streets?

  • £2m community project funding
  • Up to 14 community projects around Great Britain
  • Compete to save energy, generate energy and engage your community
  • Win up to £100,000 for your community

We want to hear from you if you have an idea that will:

  • Generate energy locally from renewable or low carbon sources
  • Help local businesses and residents to save energy
  • Get the community involved

The deadline for applications was 31st August 2009. Explorer, conservationist and community activist Ben Fogle, is backing Green Streets

Our proposal idea: GREEN BABIES AND TODDLERS

We chose to target Early Years settings in the Horncastle area, and the families who use them.  British Gas Green Streets team are extremely interested in the idea, as they say it is scores highly for innovation, as no one has chosen to target this age group before.

Early Years settings contacted:

  • Horncastle Children’s Centre
  • Woodland’s nursery (Horncastle War Memorial building)
  • Tiny Tots toddler group (Horncastle Methodist Church)
  • The Community Playgroup (Community Centre)
  • The Lincolnshire Waldorf Parent and Child group (Bardney Woods)
  • Wellies nursery
  • Horncastle and area childminders

Main idea: direct energy saving and generating measures

Community buildings have retrospective energy-saving and generating measures installed, depending on the needs and wishes of each one.  Buildings have been assessed by a consultant from the Energy Savings Trust at no cost to the organisations involved.  100% funding is being applied for, except where the settings state that they have funds to contribute.  Measures could range from double glazing, new boilers and top-up insulation to solar panels and wind generators, amongst others, obviously in full consultation with the building managers.  Energy saving measures must be in place before energy generating measures can be considered (e.g. a building must have full loft insulation before applying for solar thermal panels to heat water.  The cost of those energy saving measures can of course be applied for through the grant.)

The community buildings’ contribution to the scheme would include agreeing to monitoring energy consumption before and after the project (by looking at energy bills, or reading metres) and being open to implementing some behavioural changes to reduce energy consumption.  This could include measures such as switching off lights and electronic equipment when not in use, and so on.  There will be a self-auditing questionnaire made available to help with this.

The Early Years settings may also be asked to be involved in measures to inform the public, such as displaying information regarding the technology, and energy and cost savings made.

*  Residential properties can involve the families who attend the Early Years  Settings (EYS) and childminders from the Horncastle area.  They will be invited to apply for energy saving or generating measures for their homes (see above).  We are applying for up to £50,000 for use on the residential properties.

Home Check Energy Saving questionnaires from the Energy Savings Trust will be available for those families interested in taking part.  East Lindsey District Council is providing 2 free energy saving light bulbs as incentives for people to fill them in.   Posters will be provided to advertise the project.

The EY settings could be involved by putting up posters, distributing the questionnaires, collecting them in, and handing out the energy saving light bulbs.

Families to benefit from the grants will be required to sign a consent form, opting in to some conditions, such as monitoring their energy use before and after the project, and implementing some behavioural changes to reduce energy consumption.  Families will then be selected to receive part of the funding, based on the results of their questionnaire.

Apart from the larger–scale measures, families may also be given energy-saving devices, such as gadgets that switch electronic equipment off stand by, and monitors to check energy consumption (SMART metres).

Secondary idea: indirect energy saving measures

*  Any land/outdoor space offered by any of the settings could be used for basic food growing for parents/carers, with workshops provided, and the emphasis being on making it cheap and easy (pots, hangers, etc.)

*  Speakers could be invited to different locations to give talks regarding green parenting (real nappies, organic food etc.).

* On the Scilly Isles, the local council have an extensive baby equipment and toy borrowing scheme, which really cuts down on the carbon of new purchases for babies and toddlers.  They have everything from stair gates to buggies, from cots to potties, and parents just pay a deposit, depending on the value of the item, and a small hire price.  We could have a similar system for Horncastle.

* Have a real nappies service, where they get washed and delivered to you.

*Improved breastfeeding facilities in Horncastle
We will be consulting families to see how much interest there is regarding these measures.

We hope you will be interested in taking part in the GREEN BABIES AND TODDLERS project.

For more information, please contact: Jennifer Davey (Transition Town Horncastle)  phone: 01507 524088

address: 3 Madely Close, Horncastle, LN9 6RQ               email: dippyjenny@hotmail.com