How many Carbon Conversationalists does it take to change an energy efficient light bulb?
Week two of Carbon Conversations began with sharing how we feel about climate change so far. Armed with three chapters of 'In Time for Tomorrow', two fiery vegetarian pizzas and a creamy cappuccino, we discussed our concerns about the immense scale of the problems we face, but also how necessary it is to act. With some of us feeling positive, others overwhelmed or even switched off, we all began to develop optimism for new technologies for the future.
Unaware of what he was in for, our facilitator Ben suggested a game. Annabel, Beth, Kalina and I were now living in a 1930's semi-detached with a target: we had to reduce our carbon footprint from 9 tonnes to 3 tonnes in 1 year. It was really like being in a family debate and we certainly weren't laying our cards on the table until we had the right strategy! I've not seen Ben want anything more than for us to lay our final card, and when we eventually did, he called us the most methodical group EVER!!!
We turned our discussion once more to what we can do with our homes and also what needs to be done locally and on a national scale. We realised that councils, governments and policies have a huge role to play - but so too do individual actions. Those energy efficient light bulbs may be dim and LED's cost more, but any little change is a change. We don't need to live in cold houses with scarves on - it's about doing what you can and making a difference. Doing this in small groups works especially well as it encourages you to make changes together and to stick to them.
Finally we ended with our challenges and encouragements so far, while sharing our concerns for our individual strategies and home changes ahead. I was genuinely touched by Kalina's encouragement for the future - my 'fighting spirit'. Thank you.