The general aim of the Challenge was to achieve a measurable reduction in household carbon emissions, raise public awareness of low carbon lifestyles and foster community cohesion.
The project used a targeted approach to engage community groups on green issues and to encourage them to take action to reduce their CO2e emissions by 10 per cent. The six teams that participated in the Challenge consisted of three neighbourhood teams, two primary school teams and one church team. Each team had a mentor who, with the assistance of expert speakers, provided information and practical advice on green actions in areas such as energy, transport, recycling and composting. The teams met on a monthly basis. Some teams held a range of awareness raising activities in their local area such as a Recycled Scarecrow Trail and a World Environment Day stall.
The total projected reduction in CO2e emissions achieved as a result of the project is 98 tonnes/year. However, this figure does not include non-monetary benefits such as community spirit and the impact the project had in raising awareness of the issue more generally to local residents who were not participating in the project.
From the experience gained from implementing the approach and the feedback received, a more cost-effective and comprehensive model of community engagement can be proposed.