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Leaders wanted for EcoTeams in Craven

[Tuesday 29 September 2009]

A new project is being launched in Craven to help people reduce their impact on the environment – and cut their household bills.

The Craven Local Strategic Partnership (CLSP) and independent environmental charity Global Action Plan are creating 20 EcoTeams – groups of six to eight people who meet to make simple, effective changes for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

The first phase of the project is the recruitment of 20 team leaders, who organise and run monthly group meetings when members share ideas on shopping ethically, saving resources, saving energy and travelling wisely.

Global Action Plan will provide free training in November for the EcoTeam leaders, who will be entitled to a free compost bin, water butt or household recycling bin.

Following the training, the leaders will form their own groups and organise activities in their communities, according to Becki Tighe, the Climate Change Development Officer appointed by the CLSP, which comprises a range of partners including the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and Craven District Council.

Becki, who is based at the YDNPA offices in Grassington, said: “Our aim is to encourage communities to start their own projects to reduce the impact on the environment and climate change.

“The people we are looking to become team leaders are not necessarily very environmentally friendly right now but are interested in learning more about climate change and ways of combating it on a small scale. They will also be interested in doing something practical on a day-to-day basis to reduce their own carbon footprint.

”As we only have 20 places for team leaders, selection will be very much on a first come, first served basis and the recruitment drive must end before the November training session.”

Teams in other areas of the UK have reduced energy consumption by 21 per cent, electricity by seven per cent and rubbish by 20 per cent – and they have cut household bills by around £170 per year.

And being a part of an EcoTeam is a great way to learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle and make new friends. One EcoTeam member said: “I was already aware of the issues but EcoTeams helped me to take action.”

Throughout the project, team members carry out simple monitoring so they can see their own ‘before’ and ‘after’ results and they receive plenty of useful tips, web-links and information.

EcoTeams could include people from a church group, a youth group, a sports club, a parents’ and toddlers’ group, a club for retired people, someone’s street, residents’ group, a neighbourhood watch group – the list is endless! Meetings are held locally (usually within walking distance of participants’ homes) and on dates convenient to the team.

The project is looking for Craven residents who are interested in taking part in EcoTeams, either as a team leader or a team member. Everyone is welcome and it doesn't matter if residents are already very green or not.

For more information on leading or joining an EcoTeam, contact Becki at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority on 01756 751610 or becki.tighe@yorkshiredales.org.uk

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