Air pollution in Oxford – what we can do about it

We’re lucky to live in a beautiful city – but there’s no escaping the fact that transport has become a hot topic across Oxford, including in our community in north Oxford.

Air pollution from motor traffic is a major issue, particularly for children and older people: A 2019 study found that, in Oxford, roadside air pollution stunts lung growth in children by 14.1%. Another recent study found that hospital admissions for asthma in Oxford dropped by 41% as air pollution from traffic fell during Covid lockdown.

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We’re looking for a new Trustee / Secretary to join our friendly team

Are you worried about the climate crisis and looking for ways to contribute locally and make a difference?

Our current Secretary is stepping down at the end of the year and we’re looking for a new trustee to take on the role of Secretary in the new year.

Being a trustee is an opportunity to get involved in LCON’s projects in whatever ways suit your interests and other commitments. LCON is keen for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved: you don’t need masses of experience or knowledge about climate change. As LCON’s Secretary you would have responsibility for reporting to regulatory bodies (eg Charity Commission); regulatory requirements including registration of new and retiring trustees and paperwork for AGMs; and risk management and insurance.

If you think you might be interested or would like to find out more, you can read more here, or contact our Coordinator Julia Patrick (julia.patrick@lcon.org.uk) to arrange an informal chat with one of our current trustees.

Housewarming – new dates for 2024

We’re excited to announce our next round of Housewarming meetings, kicking off on 9 January 2024!

Each meeting will focus on one of the seven Housewarming guides providing a comprehensive overview of retrofitting for energy-efficiency. There is also time set aside for more personalised peer support. By the end of the course of meetings participants will have much better awareness of how to prepare their homes for the future and be able to engage confidently with professionals in discussing their options.

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Support the Oxford Car-Free Challenge: taking a break from our cars

***UPDATE OCTOBER 2023: We are pleased to announce that we have reached our original fundraising target.  A big thank you to everyone who has contributed. We welcome further donations; any additional funds raised will allow us to extend the scope of project. ***


We are seeking to raise £20,000 to enable a new project, the Oxford Car-Free Challenge, to be developed in partnership with the national climate action group Possible and the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformation (CAST) at Cardiff University. The Oxford Car-Free Challenge will support individuals to try taking a break from their cars for a few weeks – and to use this experience to consider a longer-term move towards more active travel (by which we mean walking, cycling and using public transport).

What’s involved and how the project will benefit active travel in Oxford

The project will involve recruiting twelve volunteer regular car users and supporting them in taking a break from using their cars for three weeks. These individuals will  then act as exemplars or mentors to encourage others to take similar steps.

It can feel quite a challenge to reduce our car use, and we want to help people enjoy the experience. We think this project is useful because it will make a practical contribution to helping people make changes in their own lives. We’d like to help create a city where people can enjoy being out and about, and get to where they need to be, without always having to bother with the car. The volume of cars in our streets right now not only creates pollution and poor air quality and makes it difficult and unsafe to move around, but also puts us all at risk from the CO2 emissions created by so many private vehicles.  Measures to encourage active travel in the city have won majority support from residents, but have also generated fractious debate and misunderstandings. Residents with high car use are naturally concerned about the impact of changes on their everyday lives, even if they agree on the need for them. This project will help people identify realistic alternatives in a way that is sympathetic, supportive and positive.
 
The project builds on a successful initiative run by Possible in other UK cities in 2022. Most participants in that initiative found going car-free reduced their weekly travel costs, as well as their carbon emissions. There were other unexpected benefits for participants, such as being able to engage in more relaxed and enjoyable travel with family members. Our project in Oxford will support sustainable travel and reduce car dependency in Oxford – increasingly an issue for many residents in and outside Oxford as we prepare for the introduction of ambitious traffic reduction measures.  Further details on the LCON project can be found here, and you can also read the presentation at our AGM in July 2023 by Hirra Khan Adeogun of Possible.

How you can support the project

Possible has already raised part of the funding for the project, and we are now asking our members and supporters to help to fund the remainder.  LCON needs to raise £20,000. Donations from trustees and a commitment from our own reserves have raised £5,500, and generous supporters to date have increased this total to £8,260. Can you help us get to the target? Visit our Donate page for details of how to make a contribution.

Come to one of our warm and friendly Climate Cafes

Are you feeling concerned, anxious or overwhelmed by the climate crisis? Climate Cafés provide a supportive space in which to talk about how the climate crisis is affecting us – without pressure to act. They take place monthly, alternating between Saturdays at The North Wall Arts Centre, and Sundays at Common Ground Workspace

Everyone is welcome – we hope to see you there!

More details and dates on our Climate Cafe web page.

To receive our monthly newsletters with news and updates on our climate cafes and other events and activities, click here.

Energy Saving Homes bite-size films launched!

We were delighted to see the launch of Energy Saving Homes bite-size films last Tuesday, as part of Great Big Green Week. Many thanks to all those who came.


The bite-size films are a series of 2-4 minute films made by Energy Saving Homes, a project of Communities for a Zero Carbon Oxford. Funded by the Low Carbon Hub and Oxford City Council, the films are all about how to save energy in your home – with examples from real people.

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“Forget fast fashion – buy second hand”

Students from the Cherwell, Oxford High School and St Clare’s arrive at the Natural History Museum for their photo shoot

On the same day as the COP26 rally, north Oxford school students sent their own message: climate action can be fun!

Armed with 20 bags of second hand clothes from Oxfam, the 18 students from Cherwell, Oxford High School and St Clare’s designed and upcycled new outfits before heading to Oxford’s Natural History Museum for their fashion photo shoot. They have now produced some amazing posters to spread awareness of sustainable fashion among their peers and beyond – here are some of them:

Thank you to LCON member and sustainability educator Kim Polgreen, Jeni Williams, the teachers and staff at the schools, staff at Oxfam and the Natural History Museum, for making this happen – and most of all, thank you to the students for their passion, positivity and enthusiasm!

Here is what the Oxford Mail had to say about the project.

If you want to find out more about the impact of fast fashion and what we can do about it, have a look at our collection of information and resources here.

Talking waste and climate – tips and resources from our recent workshop

Our second ‘Spring Workshop’ from Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford (hosted by Low Carbon West Oxford) took place this week, ‘Talking climate and waste’. It was great to explore different aspects of consumption and waste with a fantastic team of experts, including Anaïs Bozetine from Replenish, Jenny Figueiredo, formerly at WRAP, and Mark Watson, Waste Strategy Projects Officer at Oxfordshire County Council.

A recording of the event and slides are available on the Low Carbon West Oxford website.

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It’s our 10 year anniversary! Watch our short film about LCON

Moved by the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, in 2010 a group of North Oxford residents got together to find ways of taking local action to combat climate change. To mark our first ten years, and to help more people find out who we are and what we do, we have made a short film. We describe the activities we have carried out over the years, reflect on where we need to go next, and share our hopes for a future Oxford. Watch the film on our YouTube channel – and if you like it, please share! 

Want to talk about Climate Change? Join one of our friendly Climate Cafes

Our Climate Cafes run monthly. Details are on our Meetup page. Climate Cafes provide a supportive space in which to talk about how the climate crisis is affecting us – without pressure to act. The cafes are facilitated by Rebecca Nestor. 

During the Coronavirus outbreak our Climate Cafes are taking place via online platform Zoom. Please see the Meetup page for further details, including future dates.

We think our Climate Cafes offer something different from the usual gatherings of people with interests in climate change. They are facilitated – so you can be sure that there will be space for you to speak. They are not designed to recruit you to do anything or to put you under any pressure. The idea behind them is that talking about climate change is really important – but it is often made more difficult by our feelings of guilt that we are not doing enough, or frustration that others are not doing enough. So we provide a space in which we don’t talk about what we or others are doing or should be doing. We just talk about climate change and how it is making us think and feel. Everyone is welcome.