What Can We Do?
Read that short question several times, with the emphasis on different words, and you will hear that the answer is not straightforward. One of the ideas behind setting up the Forum was that action is needed at local level to tackle what are worldwide problems, so do nothing is not the answer.
Gareth, who wrote last month’s contribution to WO, mentioned the expected increase in our gas and electricity bills. In the 4 short weeks since then many of us have had written notice from suppliers about just how frighteningly big that increase was forecast to be. In those 4 short weeks Russia invaded Ukraine with huge impacts on economies, the environment and security and the bills are likely to be higher still.
I noted that one of the WO much loved little writings came directly below Gareth’s optimistic and practical article:
No sense in being pessimistic
It would never work anyway.
Whether that was pure serendipity or editorial wit I don’t know but just as do nothing is not an option, we will maintain our optimistic approach, knowing that, just as we should do what we can, others are doing what they can.
Challenging situations provoke, and people rise to the challenge in their own ways. Some clever engineers are researching a product that could modernise building techniques, make the construction industry more sustainable, make use of recycled glass and provide building materials with better insulation. (https://tinyurl.com/yck4un8p) The seemingly simple idea of replacing the sand used to make concrete with ground up recycled glass has wide ranging benefits. When you add in the fact that this new material can be used in a 3D printer, the building materials can be much more attractively shaped than the concrete block or beam, it sounds like a winner to me.
On a completely different path, professional storyteller Carl Gough is putting his energy into developing Nexus 100: creating change through story, a network of creative people who will find ways to encourage individuals to think about the environment with a positive approach and highlighting what we will gain by paying attention to it.
So what can we do as a community to help with the rising costs of everything as a result of more expensive energy, while tackling environmental problems at the same time.
In earlier WO articles we have suggested many ways to reduce energy use particularly associated with the reduction of carbon emissions. In May we plan to hold a session where experts will present some very practical energy reduction tactics and strategies, focused mainly on the home. There will be an opportunity for questions. Final details are to be confirmed but we hope it will be on Thursday 12th May; Look out for details in next month’s WO, on the Wenvoe Community Facebook page, on our Facebook page and on our blog.
When we carried out our initial survey of community views last summer/autumn, one of the most popular suggestions was a Community Energy Scheme. Forum members have been working on exploring feasibility and making some progress. However, we could use some help to take this forward. Anyone who is enthusiastic about the idea is very welcome but in particular we would benefit from adding to the team:-
- A business planner with experience of long term financial planning
- Someone with legal expertise
- People with experience of alternative sources and methods of household heating and or energy generation
If you are interested in helping or want to know more please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Any Wenvoe community member is welcome to join the Forum meetings, via Zoom, held at 19.00 on the second Thursday of each month. E-mail email@example.com if you wish to come along
We put information on our Facebook page Gwen Fo @ https://www.facebook.com/gwen.fo.1/ and Wenvoe Forum @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/635369267864402 and Blog site https://wenvoeforum.wordpress.com/