Eco Savvy

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Com­mu­nity group Eco Savvy is an out­stand­ing ex­am­ple of the kind of com­mu­nity ac­tion that the Cal­i­for­nia sum­mit has in mind: com­mu­nity-based and work­ing en­er­get­i­cally and cre­atively to do all it can to help Ar­ran folk re­duce their car­bon footprint.

Starting in 2014 with a com­mu­nity shop run by vol­un­teers in Whit­ing Bay, and awarded char­i­ta­ble sta­tus in 2015, Eco Savvy set out from the be­gin­ning to have a great en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact by fo­cus­ing the shop and re­lated events on waste re­duc­tion, sav­ing huge amounts from go­ing into land­fill by en­cour­ag­ing re-hom­ing, up­cy­cling, re­pair­ing, re-us­ing and even cook­ing up a free feast from good food no longer wanted. It is vi­tal work for an is­land com­mu­nity where every­thing comes and goes by ferry, in­clud­ing the so-called rub­bish.

These ac­tiv­i­ties were ex­panded around the is­land in April 2017 by Eco Savvy’s first ex­ter­nal grant, from the Cli­mate Chal­lenge Fund, which sup­ported the es­tab­lish­ment of eight mi­cro­hubs. More than 100,00 tonnes of car­bon diox­ide were saved from the at­mos­phere, and over 6000kg of items saved from land­fill. In 2018, the Cli­mate Chal­lenge Fund has re­warded Eco Savvy with a fur­ther grant of over £100,000 to sup­port home en­ergy au­dits to re­duce do­mes­tic en­ergy con­sump­tion – and save is­lan­ders money.

In the im­me­di­ate fu­ture, Eco Savvy is buzzing with ideas around de­vel­op­ing sus­tain­able is­land trans­port, and home food pro­duc­tion – watch this space. How­ever, medium-term plans are on a grander scale – we know Ar­ran must step up a gear if it is to keep pace with the need to mit­i­gate cli­mate changes al­ready un­avoid­able, and to stay within the Paris Cli­mate Agree­ment tar­gets of keep­ing warm­ing to within 1.5 de­grees. Eco Savvy is look­ing at ideas for ac­quir­ing land, to deal with com­postable waste, even an eco park.

The Eco Savvy team pro­mot­ing en­ergy au­dits back in June are Whit­ing Bay shop man­ager Sarah Kelly, project man­ager Jude King and Ruth McLaren.

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