Great Big Green Week

Between 24 September – 2 October 2022, Great Big Green Week will unleash a wave of support of community action to tackle climate change and protect the planet. Tens of thousands of people in every corner of the country will celebrate the heartfelt, brave, everyday actions being taken to stand up for nature and fight climate change.

Whether you are a cocoa farmer in Ghana or a homeowner in Oxfordshire, climate change will have an impact on your life. But the reverse is also true: your actions will influence the planet for the coming decades – for better or for worse.

This year, Great Big Green Week is taking place at a time when we are facing the challenges of rising costs of living and huge increases in energy bills. We all know that big changes are needed. But, with prices due to rise again in October, we want to use this week to raise awareness and highlight some of the ways that we as individuals and communities can work together.

5 things people are doing differently to save energy

In a Global Ipsos’ poll of nearly 20,000 people across 28 countries, more than 2 in 3 say they’ve changed their behaviour out of concern for climate change.

Households that actively try to reduce their energy consumption often have at least 20% lower energy consumption than the average household – saving money and the planet at the same time.

    1. Reducing food waste – One third of all food produced globally goes to waste. Half of this happens during production or distribution, while the other half happens at home. Try to avoid over-buying with multi-buy offers (unless you have plans to use the extra food) and get creative with your leftovers!
    2. Saving energy in the home – Cavity wall and loft insulation stops energy waste, and switching to a ‘green’ energy provider will make sure the energy you do use is from renewable sources instead of fossil fuels. The Energy Saving Trust website offers tips and advice for quick and easy ways to save energy, lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
    3. Eating local and seasonal food – Everything we buy has a carbon footprint, either in the way it is produced or in how it is transported, so buying from local producers and buying less is better. Eating and cooking seasonally available fruit and vegetables can reduce your carbon footprint (it’s also fresher, tastier and more nutritious!).
    4. Opting for wooden and bamboo materials – The choice of raw material has a big impact when buying things like furniture, home decor, utensils, building materials, toys, textiles, etc. Products made of metal, glass, plastic, cotton or stone cause large carbon emissions, while products made of wood or bamboo often capture more CO2 than what’s needed to produce them.
    5. Exercising their rights both as citizens and as consumers – Sign petitions, use your voice. Put pressure on governments and on companies to make the system-wide changes that are needed.

Whether it’s thinking about what’s on your plate, or reducing your energy consumption, there are many ways you can take action right from the comfort of your own home. And, importantly, your impact is multiplied by inspiring others. Show your love for the planet from your own home with the Climate Coalition’s make a pledge tool

Earth Trust is taking positive action

Showcasing pioneering methods for sustainable construction: Earth Lab, our learning and engagement building, is a cutting-edge demonstration of one way in which industry and developers can tackle the challenges we face as we strive to build sustainably. Throughout the construction process we encouraged sustainable behaviours and focused on choosing the right materials and partners to realise our design, whilst reducing manufacturing impact and construction waste. We used close-to-market sustainable materials (which contain lower embodied carbon) such as Glulam beams, a rammed earth wall and straw insulation. The design and build challenged standard practice in the construction industry and provided the vision for building sustainably in the future. Read more about the Earth Lab.

Caring for natural resources: We believe that working in partnership, collaborating, and sharing knowledge and innovation can inspire change for the benefit of the planet and people and is key to solving the climate, biodiversity and health crises. We undertake pioneering, ambitious projects which can be used to inspire others further afield. The River of Life II project – and the partnership behind it – was carefully designed to demonstrate how nature-based solutions can benefit the environment and people without impacting on a farm’s economics. Read about the project.

Sustainable farming and land management: Our conservation farming initiative began thirty years ago and developed land management techniques that are now widely used, such as beetle banks, skylark plots and maintaining healthy soils in order to reduce the need for fertilisers and pesticides. We continue to explore and develop methods to show that farming practices can be environmentally friendly and economically sustainable. Read about our Farmland bird conservation work.