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:

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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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NEW! Housewarming Guide 7 on Electricity, Appliances and Home Renewables

We are excited to launch our seventh Housewarming Guide: Electricity, Appliances and Home Renewables.

Our first six Housewarming Guides focused on how to reduce heat loss and how best to heat your home to achieve the lowest carbon emissions and costs. This guide focuses on saving money and reducing carbon emissions from electricity use. Find out how you can:

  • use electricity more efficiently in your electrical appliances; and
  • generate electricity at home through renewable sources.
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Take action for sustainable fashion

Fast Fashion is harming the planet

The fashion industry accounts for:

  • 20% of industrial water pollution
  • up to 35% of ocean micro plastics
  • 4% of global fresh water use
  • 4-8% of global carbon emissions

Three out of five items of clothing end up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being produced. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned.

We can all buy less, repair more and buy second-hand. And we can call for change across the fashion industry.

Write to your favourite Oxford shops to demand better

As part of Great Big Green Week, Low Carbon Oxford North have compiled a directory of Oxford shops that score poorly on sustainability and ethical ratings (based on rating website Good On You), together with contact details and a template email and social media message.

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Improving your home to use less energy – recording, slides and summary of event

Jointly hosted by Low Carbon Oxford North and Low Carbon West Oxford on 19 May, our final ‘Spring Workshop’ from Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford looked at ‘Improving your home to use less energy’.

We were delighted to be joined by a wonderful group of expert contributors as well as ‘real people’ who had carried out extensive retrofits to their homes:

  • Brenda Boardman (Oxford University’s ECI, LCON trustee, and Woman’s Hour ‘2020 Power List for Our Planet’ Innovator)
  • Saskya Huggins (Low Carbon Hub)
  • Gary Irvine, former Home Energy Assessor
  • home owners Damian Ryan and Will Schreiber

You can access a recording of the event and slides on Low Carbon West Oxford’s website, along with links to the slides and videos of the other events in the series.

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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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Sustainable fashion – time for more action!

Many of you will remember our Sustainable Fashion webinar last summer, with Kim Polgreen (Sustainability Educator) and Stephen Cawley (former Head of Sustainability at John Lewis). 

We’re launching an information campaign on Sustainable Fashion

There was so much interest in both the live event and subsequent video that we’ve decided to launch an information campaign: we want to continue our discussion of the environmental impacts of the clothing sector – and what we can do about it.

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Time to act: fossil fuel divestment

Last week Oxford students occupied St John’s College in protest at its £8.1m fossil fuel investments. The students held up placards reading “We can’t eat money or drink oil”, “Fossil Fuels are History” and  “Wake up Fossil Fools”. As they endured the overnight cold in their tents, the college’s response included attempts to keep out sleeping bags and blankets, deactivating the students’ key fobs, and a proposal from the Bursar that he could “arrange for the gas central heating in college to be switched off with immediate effect”. Calling themselves “Direct Action for Divestment“, the campaign group was supported by the Oxford Climate Justice CampaignXR Oxford and other climate activists.

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How to plant a tree

Did you know?

  • Just 13% of the UK’s total land area has tree cover (compared to an EU average of 35%).
  • Doubling UK woodland cover could help absorb 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions annually.
  • Not only do trees absorb carbon, they fight flooding, reduce pollution, nurture wildlife and make landscapes more resilient.
  • In a year, a single mature tree can absorb up to about 22kg CO2. That’s roughly equivalent to driving 10 miles in heavy traffic.
  • 100 mature trees can absorb roughly a third of an average annual UK carbon footprint (excluding stuff we buy and international flights).

Every tree counts, and we need more trees in cities like Oxford. If two thirds of all households in Oxford planted just one tree in their garden, we would have an additional 40,000 trees, which in time could grow into the equivalent of a tenth of Wytham Woods!

This short video from the RHS talks you through what you need to consider if you want to plant a tree.

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