Back to One Planet Living as a Community

Health and Happiness

Research shows that spending time in nature is excellent both physical and mental wellbeing. Positive environmental actions are often simultaneously positive health actions too, such as active travel and gardening.

How to make a change in your community

  • Organise clean air days for the local community, for example a no car day for a local school.
  • Run a consistent clean air campaign for highly polluted areas – or get involved with Action for Clean Air’s nationwide ‘Clean Air Day’ campaign.
  • Run a small ‘positive news’ blog or include something to celebrate the work being doing in your community if you have any press releases.
  • Set up a community green gym, to simultaneously provide a space for exercise as well as improve the local environment.
  • Organise and support sports leagues, recreational games, fitness programmes and local clubs. Host healthy living events such as 5k walking fundraisers for a local charity.
  • Support food sharing initiatives, like community fridges, as well as encourage donations to food banks and food waste cafes. Support people in need to access these vital services.
  • Run a tree planting scheme – research shows that increased tree cover is correlated with improved health and wellbeing. Spending time in nature is an excellent stress reliever.

Example Actions

  • Run a clean air day in your community
  • Share (x) positive news stories each week
  • Set up a green gym in a local park

Useful Links

Global Action Plan run a nationwide Clean Air Day campaign, to educate and support communities to take action. https://www.actionforcleanair.org.uk/campaigns/clean-air-day

The Conservation Volunteers have information on setting up a green gym. https://www.tcv.org.uk/greengym/start-green-gym/

Change X have a guide on setting up a community fridge. https://www.changex.org/gl/communityfridge/guide

The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) run community food waste cafes across Birmingham, get involved as volunteer, refer someone in need, or just get involved in fighting food waste yourself! https://theaws.co.uk/big-feed/

Suggested Tools

Bioregional offer Sustainability Consulting for Local Authorities. https://www.bioregional.com/projects-and-services/built-environment-consultancy/local-authorities

Net Zero Navigator tool for identifying and building plans to reach net-zero in UK local authority areas. https://netzero-navigator.oneplanet.com/ 

Join the Climate Emergency Network on Knowledge Hub, for sharing information between local authorities https://khub.net/web/climatelocal 

Local Government Association – Climate change hub, includes tools such as Greenhouse Gas Accounting tool for identifying baselines. https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/climate-change-hub

Support local businesses to pledge to reducing their environmental impact with the West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge https://www.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/environment-and-energy/west-midlands-net-zero-business-pledge/ 

Ashden Sustainability plan Toolkit for Councils: https://ashden.org/tools-for-councils/ 

Funding 

The National Audit Office Report into Local Government and Net Zero identified £1.2 billion in specific grant funding available in 2020-2021 for local authorities to act on climate change, and notes this is a sixteen-fold increase on the previous year.

Download an Action Plan so you can set your own goals!

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