LCL_Organisers-Support-Pack by cuiliqing


									                                                                      Low Carbon Living Programme

          Organisers’ Support Pack

                    1.        Overview
                    2.        Planning Your Programme
                    3.        Facilitator Guidance Notes
                    4.        Key Sessions
                                    a. Welcome Session
                                    b. Carbonbusting Sessions
                                    c. Goal setting Session
                                    d. End of Year Celebration Session
                    5.        Participants pack materials checklist
                    6.        Feeling Under the Weather
                              Tips on using people’s feelings to engage them in climate change

                    Supplementary materials also available from include:
                             Participant pack
                             Carbonbusting materials
                             The Quicksilver Calculator and support materials

This work is part of the Low Carbon Living Toolkit and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you have any questions or tips to suggest please email
them to us at v1.2 nov 11
Whilst we have made every attempt to ensure the accuracy of this leaflet, this information should not be relied
upon as a substitute for formal advice. LCWO will not be responsible for any loss, however arising, from the
use of, or reliance on this information. Low Carbon West Oxford is a registered charity 1135225.

                                                          Low Carbon Living Programme

1. An Overview
As individuals – and households – we all contribute to climate change, yet we often feel
powerless to do anything about it. The Low Carbon Living Programme was created to enable
people to take practical action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, rather than just feel
negative and guilty about it. Here we outline how we deliver the programme in West Oxford.

OUR APPROACH                                                     PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES
We believe it is important to provide practical help and            Increase carbon consciousness – we want to
support for households to reduce their CO2 emissions, in             help people become as savvy at making
a way that matches their interests, needs and resources.             decisions based on carbon costs as financial
This programme was developed to give people the                      costs;
flexibility to participate in a way that fits with their busy       Change behaviour – we want to enable
lives and need not necessarily require significant financial         households to turn good intentions into
                                                                     concrete actions that result in a significant
investment. We also want to demonstrate that the pursuit
                                                                     and sustained reduction in CO2 emissions;
of lower carbon living can be a positive, financially
                                                                    Encourage a lasting commitment - we want
rewarding and enjoyable experience.
                                                                     householders to see the reduction of their
We believe the success of the programme in enabling                  domestic greenhouse gas emissions as a
people to make sustained and significant reductions in               lifelong journey, rather than a quick fix
their carbon footprint is because it provides:
   access to a local, trusted source of advice and              What programme participants say
                                                                 “I’ve finally had the chance to put into action all
   opportunities for people to learn from peers and
                                                                 the things I’ve been meaning to do for so long.”
    provide mutual encouragement and support to each
    other;                                                       “It was great fun, the whole family got stuck in.”
   a free choice of what to do based on their own               “I originally got involved because I felt it was
    resources of time, money and expertise;                      something I ought to do – I never expected to get
                                                                 so much back from the experience.”
PROGRAMME DELIVERY                                               “I’ve saved over £200 simply by changing some
                                                                 of my energy wasting habits round the home.”
Through a combination of measuring, goal setting and
support participants are encouraged to take practical            “I thought I was already quite green, but I’ve
action to cut their carbon footprint.                            discovered lots of new ways to tread more lightly
                                                                 on the planet.”
                                                                 “I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do much, but
Carbon Footprints: an in-depth carbon footprint using            they let me set my own goals and make changes
the LCWO Quicksilver Carbon Calculator is carried out at         at my own pace, and I’ve been amazed how its
the beginning of the year to provide a baseline measure          all added up.”
for the household. This is then repeated at the end of the
                                                                 “It’s helped me see my lifestyle choices through
                                                                 completely new eyes. It made me realise I can
Real time Energy Displays: each household is loaned a            take control of the way my life impacts on climate
real-time energy display such as an eco-eye mini energy          change.
meter to provide information about their electricity usage;
Regular Meter Readings: households take monthly
domestic energy and mileage readings to help them
become aware of variations over the year.

Householders set their own goals, pledging to undertake a number of carbon-reducing activities over the year.
We provide a list of suggested actions, but which actions they choose to take is entirely down to the household.
Suggested actions focus on:
Reducing waste via behavioural changes e.g. short term actions such as switching off lights and appliances,
or long term commitments such as stopping flying;
Using energy more efficiently via structural changes to the home, e.g. switching to energy-efficient light-
bulbs, insulating your loft or double-glazing.
Householders are given feedback as to the possible impact their chosen actions might have on their carbon
footprint, to encourage energies to be focused on the big wins.
Throughout the programme, we emphasise the importance of the twin-track approach of preventing energy
being wasted and then ensuring what energy we use is used efficiently.
During the goal-setting session householders also complete Pledge Postcards listing on one postcard ‘quick
win’ goals they want to achieve, and on another the three goals it is most important for them to complete within
the year. We post these back to them as a reminder.

Carbonbusting Sessions
For each programme we run a series of six ‘Carbon-busting’ sessions where participants can learn from local
experts and share ideas and experiences on appliances and electricity, heating and insulation, travel, waste
reduction and composting, food and cooking, and renewable energy.
Information Sheets
We provide an information leaflet on each topic, focusing on queries raised by participants and local support
available for West Oxford residents.
Household Grants
All households participating in the programme are eligible for a £100 grant from LCWO towards carbon-
reduction activities and items.
Ongoing communications
We provide regular communication by email and face to face including meter reading reminders, energy saving
tips, footprinting sessions, goal-setting, checking on progress, and celebrating successes. We keep
participants regularly updated about other LCWO activities and support available in the community such as our
eco and light-bulb libraries.
Encouragement and support
Participants particularly enjoy getting together to swap ideas and learning from each other. We set ground rules
for the group at the first session, encouraging a supportive and guilt free environment.

 All the materials we use to run our Low Carbon Living Programme are available to download free of charge
 from the website
 If you’d like to learn more about the Low Carbon Living Programme and how it fits into in Low Carbon West
 Oxford’s approach to tackling climate change, you download our publication “Low Carbon Living – Power to
 make it possible” from

                                                         Low Carbon Living Programme

2. Planning your own Programme
Here are some ideas and information about setting up and running your own Low Carbon
Living Programme

RESOURCES                                                        PARTICIPANT TIMETABLE
Time                                                             Month One
We’ve found it takes around 2-300 hours to run a Low               Start monthly meter readings
Carbon Living Programme for thirty participants. Try and           Welcome Session
share the burden of all the key tasks between a number of
                                                                   Initial Footprint calculated
                                                                 Month Two and Three
Lead Co-ordinator
                                                                  Carbon busting sessions
Key to the success of the programme is having a lead
person who acts as the figure head for the programme. This       Month Four
person will keep an overview of the delivery of the               Goal -setting session
programme, facilitate the key sessions and is likely to be the   Month Twelve
first point of contact for participants.
                                                                  New footprint calculated
Finances                                                          Celebration session!
The cost of running your programme will depend on whether
you are planning to offer participants grants and real time
monitors. The box opposite gives details of core costs. If        Regular meter reading reminders and
you have a limited budget, you could offer smaller grants, on    newsletters
offer them to households on mean tested benefits, or simply      Year Two
on a first-come-first served basis.                               Continued contact
Real time monitor costs could be reduced by lending
monitors to households for a fortnight, rather than giving
them away.                                                       RUNNING COSTS
Venue                                                            We do not charge participants as we want the
                                                                 programme accessible to all and cost to be no
Choose a venue that is in easy reach and accessible to           barrier – however, it is possible that charging
participants.                                                    even a token sum for participation may result
See Quicksilver User Notes for more information on the           in participants placing a greater value on the
requirements for running footprinting sessions.                  programme and increasing their participation.
Materials                                                        For each household it costs us:

All the materials in the Low Carbon Living toolkit have been            £100 Grant
made available under a creative commons licences. This                  £25-30 Real time energy display
means that you are welcome to remix, tweak and build up                 £20-30 for printing, room hire and
our work non-commercially as long as you credit us and                   refreshments
license your new creations under identical terms.
                                                                 All co-ordination and footprinting is carried out
There are a few materials you still need to produce specific     by volunteers.
for your programme, namely; a timetable for participants;
information about grants you may decide to offer; your own       We have around 30 households taking part in
publicity material.                                              each programme.

Previous participants in the programme have been motivated to take part by a range of different reasons.
These have included:
             Concerns about climate change                            Getting to meet people
             Concerns about fuel security                             Having access to information
             Wanting to save money                                    Getting a free real time display and grant
             Getting involved in a community initiative               Disliking waste
When promoting the programme, remember to use as many of these different hooks as possible to draw
people in.
Likely candidates
The programme isn’t going to be of interest to, or suit, everyone. We’ve found its proved particularly attractive
to householders who are already aware of climate change and have been meaning to do something about their
personal impact, but not done much to date.
Reducing barriers to participation
Even amongst this group, there are common themes as to why people are reluctant to commit:
I can’t commit lots of time or resources
Stress the flexibility of the programme and that significant carbon savings can be made without any financial
I don’t own my property
The programme is suitable for home owners and tenants.
I’m already green
Great – they can share their expertise with the group! Tempt people in with the opportunity to have their carbon
footprint quantified – and sometimes they may be surprised by the result.
Recruitment ideas
Publicise the programme as widely as you can within your community. You could try some of the following
       Create and distribute fliers at your community centre, schools, shop counters and through letter boxes.
       Ask local newsletters to publicise the programme – try your local community newsletter, green groups,
       Event listings in local papers
       Stalls – get a presence at other events run by your group, or other community events.
       Speaker slots – who might let you do a two minute plug at their meetings?

           For information and advice specific to running the footprinting elements of the Low Carbon Living
            Programme, please look at the Quicksilver User Notes, available from the Low Carbon Living Website.

                                                          Low Carbon Living Programme

3. Facilitator Guidance Notes
As a facilitator you are key to the success of the programme. You’ll need to provide practical
help and support in a way that matches people’s interests, needs and resources. People need
the flexibility to participate in a way that fits with their busy lives, and the resources available
to them. Ultimately, we aim to demonstrate that the pursuit of lower carbon living can be a
positive, financially rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Carbonbusting facilitators have two key roles:

   Running the Carbonbusting session
    This includes managing practicalities such as setting up the venue, as well as leading the session itself,
    providing information, explaining the activities and time keeping.
   Creating a constructive environment
    By providing enthusiasm and encouragement you’ll make the sessions enjoyable and motivate people to
    learn and take action. You’re also here to ensure people feel able to contribute to a discussion and enable
    everyone to play an active part.

Being a facilitator is NOT about…
   Being an expert
    The carbonbusting packs should contain enough information to enable you to answer commonly asked
    questions relating to the topics, but you aren’t expected to have all the answers.
   Giving advice
    The purpose of the sessions to give people key information on a topic to enable them to make their own
    decisions about how to apply it to their own lives and to signpost where they can go to for further
    information and advice.
   Being 100% green
    Whilst its great for facilitators to also be making personal efforts to tackle their carbon footprint, you need to
    avoid appearing to be too perfect – you’re on the same journey as the participants.
You may decide to use two facilitators to run a session, so you can share the tasks.

When running the programme, you’ll need to consider the issue of data protection when handling individuals’
person details. This is particularly the case regarding data gathered as part of the footprinting exercise, and
this topic is covered in more detail in the Quicksilver Users Notes.
In particular, you should ask permission of participants before sharing any of their contact details with the wider
group. It is usually sufficient to share just email addresses. One technique is to pass around a piece of paper
and ask people to write down their email address if they are happy for it to be shared with the rest of the group.


Guiding Principles
When facilitating the session, its worth remembering these core principles which underpin the philosophy of the
Low Carbon Living Programme. :
Non judging
We are all starting at different points on the journey to a low carbon life, and will get there by different routes
and at our own pace. What matters most is that we are heading in the right direction. Similarly, different
participants will have different reasons for wanting to get involved. What matters most are the actions we take
– not why we choose to take them.
We may want individuals to be ambitious in their carbon cutting plans, but being overly prescriptive can alienate
people. Participants are given free choice of what to do based on their own resources of time, money and
expertise – individuals are free to pick which “low carbon battles” they want to fight. By participating in the
sessions and learning about their own carbon footprint we hope they discover which are the battles worth
The programme aims to provide enough information to enable people to make their own decisions, and to
signpost them to experts who can give tailored advice. We don’t (and cannot) give formal advice ourselves.
Thinking about climate change can be overwhelming – we focus on the positive and practical actions that
people can make to take control of their own impact on climate change, and emphasise some of the personal
benefits of lower carbon options.
The power of togetherness
Working with friends and neighbours is one of the keys to transforming good intentions into actions. Being able
to share experiences and knowledge, mutual encouragement and support is proving to be one of the most
valued elements of the programme.

Setting Ground rules
To help reinforce these principles, it can be helpful to set ground rules with the group during the welcoming
session. You can ask the group to suggest what ground rules they’d like for the sessions. These will vary
between groups, but there are some core ground rules which we have found helpful in enabling participants to
get the most out of the session.
   No judging
   No guilt
   Respecting other people’s views
   Acknowledging we are starting at different points on the journey to a low carbon life, and will get there by
    different routes and at our own pace.
If you write these down, you can refer back to the ground rules at the start of each session, and also during a
session if participants need to be reminded of a key agreed rule.

Ideas for getting the most out of your sessions
    Summarise the key messages from the session.
    Use the final minutes to focus on the actions that people are going to take away – what will they be doing
     differently, what are they going to want to try out? You can then start the next session by discussing how
     people got on with them
    Get everyone involved in the final session. In small groups you could go round the group to give everyone
     space to say something. In larger groups a show of hand vote on a particular topic can be a good way
     involving everyone.
    Make sure information handouts are distributed at the end, this prevents everyone reading them during the
     session instead of participating.
    When there are take home tasks, make sure everyone is clear what is expected of them before they leave.
    End on time: or if you must over run, check that the group is willing or able to do so, and give those who
     can’t permission to leave.
    End with a “trailer” for the next session to help encourage people to keep coming.
    Try and keep yourself up to date with news and information that may be relevant to your group. A simple
     way to do this is to subscribe to a couple of newsletters such as those produced by the Energy Saving
     Trust and the ClimateXchange Ecorenovation team.

… set yourself up as an expert! You don’t need to know all the answers
… name and shame individuals
… let people feel guilty because of a high-carbon aspect of their current lifestyle or because they don’t feel they
    are prepared to change as much as others
… take on all the group’s problems. Ask for volunteers to research outstanding queries
… force people to join in if they really don’t want to
… let discussions become mired by an individual’s pet peeve
… allow discussions to turn into personal attacks.
.... use “we” rather than “you” to show you consider yourself part of the group.
… take time to explain key concepts and welcome questions
… draw on expertise, knowledge and experience that participants may bring with them
… use personal examples,
… make opportunities and encourage everyone to participate
… allow differences of opinion to be aired, so long as you can keep the focus on the opinion, not the individual
    saying it
.... be encouraging


Getting Everyone Involved
You might find certain people dominate the group – here are some techniques you can use to try and get
everyone involved.
   If space, place participants in a circle or U shaped to avoid people hiding at the back.
   If one person is dominating the discussion give everyone space to speak by going around the circle in turn.
   Some people may get anxious or not want to join in large group discussions. Try and make sure they have
    space to ask questions and get involved by using small-group activities or by letting them know when you
    are available, eg at the end of a session, to discuss specific questions they may have.

Dealing with Difficult People
Clarify in your mind if the “difficulty” is to do with the person’s behaviour or the content of what they are saying.
Avoid disagreeing with a person – only their ideas or views.
Aggressive behaviour may actually mask insecurity or concern – think about what might be underpinning their
Actively encourage a “difficult participant” to air their concern or query, as others may share their concern but
not have aired it.
If a concern cannot be resolved, actively park it. One technique is to have a piece of paper where all
unresolved issues or outstanding questions can be noted. You then decide as a group how best to take them
forward at the end of the meeting.
Be firm – if an individual is being so disruptive, its preventing the rest of the that group from achieving the
session’s objectives, you may consider privately suggesting at the end of a session that if the objectives of the
session are not meeting their requirements it may be best for them to leave.

Difficult characters you may encounter…
The climate change sceptic “How do we know climate change is really happening”
Sadly, the vast majority of scientific evidence supports the view that climate change is happening, and that it is
in large part man made. There is a really compelling viewpoint on climate change and the risks around doing
nothing on YouTube. “The most terrifying video you’ll ever see”. Don’t be put off by the title!
One option is to try a different tack – even if you are sceptical about climate change there are other reasons for
carrying out these actions. Concerns about peak oil, fuel security or wanting to reduce your own fuel bills can
all motivate people to get involved.

The doomsayer “We’re all doomed, doomed….”
Like Private Frazer in Dad’s army, some people can feel very pessimistic about life in general – and our
chances of tackling climate change in particular. They may feel that the problem can’t be overcome because
other people won’t do their bit, or they feel that our individual efforts are insignificant. Acknowledge that this is
a valid concern! However, if you want to guarantee failure, then doing nothing at all is the way to go forward.
Everyone needs to play their part if we are going to tackle climate change.
The griper “But…..”
Some people seem to revel in taking every opportunity to air their grievances or concerns. They can slowly
leech the enthusiasm from a room.

Allow them say their piece – once. Then move on. Acknowledge that it’s something they feel strongly about,
but then park it and move on. You can also try to turn the problem around and ask them how they’d solve it.
The Deflector “What’s the point when there are a billion Chinese….”
It can tempting to devolve ourselves of any responsibility for tackling climate change by pointing at others we
perceive to more responsible for the problem. As UK citizens we have some of the highest average carbon
footprints on the planet – and more than double that of the average person in China. We can all play a positive
part by being the change we want to see in the world.

Dealing with Difficult Questions
Remember, its OK not to know all the answers, and be aware that there will not always be a “right” answer.
If the question is complex ask for clarification, and break it down into its component parts to take one at a time.
Don’t feel responsible for answering all questions – ask the group if anyone else has any suggestions and ask
for volunteers to take away questions and get back to the group with answers at a later session.

Running a Low Carbon Living Programme can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You are supporting
many households to make real and positive changes to reduce their impact on climate change. However,
that’s not to say there won’t be times when you find yourself drowning in paperwork, worried that people aren’t
going to participate or dealing with awkward people who seem to be missing the point of it all. Do not despair!
Here are a few quotations to help remind yourself it’s worthwhile.

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing              One day a man was walking along the beach, when
because you can do only a little. Do what you can.            he noticed a boy picking something up and gently
  Sydney Smith                                                throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he
                                                              asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied,
Many small people, who in many small places, do               “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is
many small things, can alter the face of the world.           up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them
                                                              back, they’ll die.”
Written on the side of the Berlin Wall
                                                              “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single            miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
step. Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu                             You can’t make a difference!”
Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)
                                                              After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked
It always seems impossible until its done.                    up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.
Nelson Mandela                                                Then, smiling at the man, he said…”I made a
                                                              difference for that one.”

     You can download this guide from the Low Carbon Living Website

                                                         Low Carbon Living Programme

4a. Welcome Session
As the first session in the Low Carbon Living Programme, the Welcome session is your
chance to get to know participants, learn more about them and their needs and get them fired
up and energised about the programme. It’s also a chance to set expectations about what
you are offering as part of the programme – and what is expected from participants.

                                                                                SESSION TIPS
Aim     To give an overview of what the programme entails, to learn about
                                                                                The suggested format is based
        the ideas participants have and support they need and give
                                                                                on a tried and tested session
        participants the opportunity to meet each other
                                                                                that worked well in West Oxford,
Format Initial presentation plus breakout sessions                              but adapt the session to match
Time    Approximately two hours                                                 the style you feel most
1. Welcome Participants!                                                        comfortable with, and that you
                                                                                think will work best with your
2. Activity: Spend two minutes talking to someone you don’t already             audience.
   know about why you signed up to participate.
                                                                                You’ll also need to adapt key
3. What is the Low Carbon Living Programme?                                     elements depending on whether
  Its NOT learning about climate change – its about taking practical action     you are offering grants and real-
  Its NOT us telling you want to do – it’s about giving you space,              time meters to participants.
  information, support and encouragement to set your own goals.                 Make sure you have enough
  Its NOT about quick fixes – it is about taking the first steps on a journey   helpers on the night eg to run a
  of sustained and significant reductions in our carbon footprints.             registration desk, hand out key
                                                                                materials, helping write on flip
  It combines three key elements which we’ll look at in turn; measuring;
                                                                                charts and helping with
  goal-setting; and support
Measuring                                                                       On the night, you can split the
“Why measure? Because it is hard to live a lower carbon life if you don’t       facilitating role between a
know how carbon intensive your current life is! And, if we don’t know the       couple of people.
cost - in carbon terms - of activities, we can’t make informed choices to       If there’s space, place chairs in
reduce our carbon footprints. We use three different tools to help you get      informal groups around tables,
to grips with your carbon footprint.”                                           rather than rows for a more
1. Real-time Display                                                            welcoming set up.
All participants are given an eco-eye mini which gives real time information    Offering refreshments to
about electricity use. In the appliances carbon-busting session there are       participants can help people feel
activities for householders to carry out using the monitor. Google “Open        welcome too.
University Energy Monitor” for further information about setting them up.       This session helps the group
2. Regular Measuring                                                            bond – so don’t worry if
                                                                                conversations during break out
“Some studies have shown that simply the act of regularly monitoring your
energy use can help reduce it. We ask you to take readings on the first         sessions stray a little off subject.
day of the programme as outlined in the Initial Readings Form and to give
us a copy. We’ll then encourage you to take regular readings and keep a
record, using imeasure or by keeping your own paper records.”
Your community group may want to set up an imeasure community
account for this purpose at

3. Carbon footprinting
“Your carbon footprint is a measure of your annual contribution to the greenhouse gases that are driving global
climate change. How you power your homes, the food you eat, the transport you use and the things that you
buy – these all contribute to your carbon footprint.”
Activity: Play the Best Foot Forward Global Steps card game – this gives people a good sense of the
way different elements of their life contribute to their overall footprint and how different lifestyles can
have very varied impacts on the planet. (The cards are based on the concept of ecological footprints, rather
than carbon footprints, but still highlight the idea of relative cost in ecological terms of different activities and the
limit to the planet’s capacity to sustain our lifestyles.)
Quicksilver Carbon Calculator:
“As part of the programme we’ll also carry out a detailed carbon footprint for your household using Quicksilver –
once at the beginning of the programme and again after 12 months.
Your carbon footprint is a measure of your annual contribution to the greenhouse gases that are driving global
climate change. How you power your homes, the food you eat, the transport you use, and the things that you
buy – these all contribute to your carbon footprint.”
Take home activity: Distribute the leaflets ‘Preparing for your footprint’ and ‘Footprinting Introduction’
highlighting key actions required and give details as to how the footprinting will be arranged

Goal Setting
“Once all your footprints have been calculated, we’ll be asking you to decide what carbon-cutting pledges you’d
like to try and achieve. The choice of pledges and timeframe you set in which to achieve them is entirely down
to you. You’ll learn more about this during the Goal-setting session taking place in three months time.”

Carbon-busting sessions
“Over the next two months we’ll run a series of carbon-busting sessions where you can find out more about a
wide range of topics. These include appliances and lighting; heating and insulation; travel; food and cooking;
waste reduction and stuff; and green energy. The next activity is to help us plan for these sessions.”
Activity: Put flipcharts around the room with the following headings and give participants 15 minutes to
make notes on them. This is a good time to serve refreshments and encourage people to meet.
Headings are ‘Support you would like’, ‘Myths and queries – is it true that…’ ‘Ideas and offers of help’.
Information about Grants
“As part of the carbon-busting sessions we’ll be highlighting information about the latest grants and offers for
householders for energy efficiency measures”. This is available from the Energy Saving Trust and Council
£100 Grant from LCWO
“Every household on the programme is eligible to a £100 grant to help them achieve their carbon-busting
pledges. You’ll learn more about the grant programme at the goal-setting session.”
Sharing ideas and Experiences
“One of the biggest benefits of being on the programme is getting to work together with friends and neighbours.
As well as the huge amount of expertise and ideas for reducing your carbon footprint you already have between
you, it’s the encouragement you can give each other than can make all the difference.”
Activity: Setting Ground Rules – ask people to call out ground rules they would like the group to work
by eg respecting confidentiality, a no guilt policy, and no judging.
Close Clarify next steps and any questions?

                                                          Low Carbon Living Programme

4b. Carbonbusting Sessions
The Carbonbusting sessions form a key part of the support on offer to participants in the
programme. Each topic-specific session is designed to enable people to learn about the
impact of a specific area of our lives on our overall carbon footprint, understand the options
available to reduce this impact and provide practical information to make these changes.

AIM                                                                              SESSIONS
The Carbonbusting sessions aim to                                                There are six sessions, each
       Highlight the cost, in carbon terms, of every day activities             lasting 90 minutes.
       Reveal the relative impacts of different choices available to us         Each session focuses on a
                                                                                 different topic.
       Offer simple strategies to make significant reductions in our
        carbon footprint.                                                               Appliances & Lighting
                                                                                        Heating & Insulation
RUNNING THE SESSIONS                                                                    Travel
For each topic, there is a full facilitator resource pack available. The packs          Food & Cooking
are designed in such a way that they should give the facilitator enough
                                                                                        Stuff
information to guide an informed discussion on the specific topic, without
requiring any personal expertise or prior knowledge.                                    Green Energy
Although we suggest you work through the topics in the order suggested           A copy of all the materials are
we are happy for you to use the materials in which ever way works best for       available in the facilitator packs
you. Although the session can be facilitated by a single person, sharing         and can also be downloaded
the work can make the process less stressful. One way to do this is for          from
one person to take on the role of session facilitator, the other to run the      Each pack (except green
specific activities.                                                             energy) contains the following:
There are tips on setting up and facilitating the sessions in the handout               Session format notes
Facilitator Guidance Notes
                                                                                        An activity
                                                                                        Instant expert factsheet
                                                                                        Information leaflet
All the Carbonbusting materials can be downloaded from the website They are made available under a creative                    Take home task sheet
commons licence which means you are welcome to adapt them to match               A copy of all the materials are
your audience and requirements.                                                  available in the facilitator packs
Most of the materials are generic, so can be used as they are in any             and can also be downloaded
community, however you will need to tailor the final sections of the topic       from
information leaflets to reflect Help and resources available in your local
area. If you want to include details of specific companies and services,
avoid promoting any single service. Eg by listing a number of options.

                                                          Low Carbon Living Programme

4c. Goal-setting Session
This session is about encouraging participants to turn all the information they’ve received
about their household’s carbon footprint, and carbon-busting tips into a concrete action plan.
As well as providing a useful record of the carbon-cutting actions we intend to carry out,
writing down our goals has been shown to makes us more likely to stick to our commitments.

GOAL SETTING SESSION                                                             SESSION TIPS
Aim     To focus households on deciding their carbon-cutting goals for           Fear can paralyse people – the
        this year and beyond.                                                    goal setting process is about
Format Initial presentation plus breakout sessions                               helping people identify
                                                                                 meaningful and concrete
Time    Approximately two hours
                                                                                 actions they can make to tackle
                                                                                 a global issue.
1. Welcome Participants!                                                         The suggested format is based
Activity: Spend 2 minutes talking to your neighbour to find out why              on a tried and tested session
they signed up to the programme.                                                 that worked well in West Oxford,
                                                                                 but adapt the session to match
Its helpful to let participants remind themselves of their motives for signing
                                                                                 the style you feel most
up in the first place!
                                                                                 comfortable with, and that you
                                                                                 think will work best with your
2. The group’s average carbon footprint                                          audience.
Share details of the group’s average footprint, including:                       You’ll also need to adapt key
       The average household has X grown ups, Y children.                       elements depending on whether
                                                                                 you are offering grants to
       They use X kWh of electricity and Y kWh of gas (give ranges of           participants.
        lowest and highest).
                                                                                 If possible use diagrams to
       The average household has X cars with an average emissions of            show the average footprint data.
        Yg CO2/km and drive z miles a year.                                      You don’t need elaborate power
       They take X flights per household.                                       point presentations, a few hand
       The average carbon footprint is X tonnes per household or Y              drawn images on flipchart paper
        tonnes per individual.                                                   can be just as effective.

(We summarise this information in a diagram).                                    Avoid drawing attention to
                                                                                 specific individuals when
Participants find it interesting to compare the average for the group with
                                                                                 presenting data – this breaches
the UK average and to suggest reasons for differences. For example, do
                                                                                 trust with participants.
houses in your area have above or below average national occupancy rate
of around 2.4 people per household?                                              Research shows that when
                                                                                 people discover they are below
Activity: Ask people about their reaction to the average footprint –
                                                                                 average in a group, it can have
any surprises?
                                                                                 a negative impact on their
                                                                                 achieving greater cuts. Remind
                                                                                 people their progress is being
                                                                                 measured against their own
                                                                                 current footprint, rather than
Continues…                                                                       against the group as a whole.

3. Time for action – goal-setting
Make sure everyone has a copy of the ‘Carbon-cutting Action Plan’ and explain the layout of the sheet.
“The purpose of this session is to help people decide which pledges they want to make. We will be asking
everyone to give us a copy of the form, but you might want to first chat to the rest of your household before
submitting them. You won’t be penalised if you don’t achieve pledges. The key purpose is to help you set your
own goals and to act as a record to remind yourself in the future.”

Activity: Pledge Postcards.
Give everyone a set of pledge postcards. These are postcards that we’ll collect at the end of the session and
then post back to them as reminders of their key pledges.
On each card there are three headings ‘Domestic energy’, ‘travel’ and ‘lifestyle’ which relate to the three
different areas of our life covered by the footprints.
Over the next hour they’ll work together to decide their own personal key pledges for each area.
       The top postcard is to record a ‘quick-win’ pledge, one that they should start doing straight away.
       The bottom postcard is for the most important pledges for the year – the ones they’ll kick themselves if
        they don’t achieve by the end of the programme.
Split people into three groups, group one thinking about domestic energy, group two travel and group three
lifestyle. After each 20 minutes get the groups to change topic, so that by the end of the hour everyone has
spent time talking about each category.
For clarification, although they will discuss ideas they have for the pledges as a group, each individual should
fill in a pledge postcard for their own household which will be their own particular pledges (ie the group doesn’t
have to choose the same pledges).
We have refreshments available during this activity.

4. Getting everyone involved:
At the end of the hour, get the group back together for a final group discussion
“Your success will depend on getting your whole household on board – are you anticipating any difficulties and
what strategies can you suggest for getting everyone doing their bit?”
Ask people to call out difficulties they envisage and note them down on flipchart paper.
Then encourage the group to suggest solutions to overcome these potential barriers.

5. Grants Give participants details about grants, if you are offering them. In West Oxford, householders can
only claim grants for items relating to pledges on their action plan. Reminding households they are only eligible
for a grant once they’ve returned their Carbon-cutting Action Plan helps get the plans submitted!

Finally: Thank everyone for their time, clarify next steps, any questions, and collect in completed pledge
postcards. If possible, also collect in completed carbon-cutting action plans. If people want to take them home
to discuss with households, make sure you set a deadline for them to be returned to you by.

  All the forms and information sheets mentioned in this leaflet can be found at

                                                          Low Carbon Living Programme

4d. End of Year Celebration
This session is all about celebrating one year on since participants first signed up to the
programme, rekindling people’s enthusiasm for lower carbon living and setting people off
onto their next leg of the journey.

Aim     Share results, celebrate and set the next year’s goals.                  SESSION TIPS
Format Initial presentation and breakout session                                 Resources: Bring along new
Time    Approximately one hour                                                   pledge postcards
                                                                                 Ask people to bring their original
                                                                                 carbon footprints and household
1. Welcome Participants!
                                                                                 action plan along to the session.
Activity: Spend two minutes talking to your neighbour to find out why they
signed up to the programme, and how you are feeling about getting your
results.                                                                         Keep hold of people’s personal
                                                                                 household year end results to
                                                                                 give out at this session as an
2. Results: The Group’s New Average Footprint                                    incentive for them to come
Share details of the group’s new average footprint including how it has          along!
changed during the 12 months per individual and per household.
You can ask participants to guess what percentage change there has               When calculating the
been and (assuming there has been a reduction) what the overall saving in        percentage change in overall
tonnes of CO2 the group has made.                                                carbon footprints, exclude the
Ask the group to guess which areas have made the greatest overall                element due to government
contribution to changes in their overall carbon footprint, and if there are      services as this element is
any areas which have reported a rise in CO2 emissions.                           beyond the control of the
Remind participants that the results won’t reflect a full year of lower carbon
living, as it started the day they took their initial reading the programme.
Highlight any external factors that may have had an impact of the group’s
results, for example, a very cold or mild winter.
If the UK is to meet its commitment of cutting its overall carbon footprint by
80% by 2050, we need to be making savings of 3% a year. How does the
group’s result compare with that target?
Allow time for a short discussion about the results and participants’
reactions to them.
Hand out participants individual household results, stressing that they do
not have to share them with anyone in the room unless they want to, and
give people a few minutes to compare them with their current results.

3. Planning for the next year
“The past twelve months were just the beginning of a lower carbon
lifestyle. We very much hope that you’ll continue to look at ways to make
further reductions in your carbon footprint. Back in the goal setting
session, you completed your own personal action plan and we asked you

to think which were the three most important things you’d like to accomplish by the end of the year. During the
next 15 minutes we’d like you to have a look back at your action plan, up date it, and fill in a new postcard with
your most important pledges for the forthcoming year. Please hand these in at the end of the session and we’ll
post them back to you in six months time. “
Divide participants into small groups, and ensure you collect in as many of the postcards as possible during the

4. Finally
Thank participants for all their time and commitment over the year.
Let them know
       if there are any questionnaires or other projects you would like them to get involved with. For example
        will you be back in touch in 12 months time to measure their “one year on” footprint?
       if you need any volunteers for particular projects such as for running the programme in the future.
If possible allow time at the end for participants to chat and share their personal highlights from the year.
Providing refreshments helps encourage the sense of celebration.

5. Participant folder materials
A sample participant folder is available to download from the website. The document is set up for double sided
printing. You are welcome to adapt materials for your own use.
There is space in the pack to add your own timetable, and if you are offering participants grants, you may also
want to include grant application forms in your pack.

Participant’s Pack Contents List
    1. Your Low Carbon Living Programme - Key Dates

    2. Measuring

    3. Initial Meter Reading Form
        Use this form to keep a record of key readings at the start of the programme.
        There are two copies, one to keep and second version in the plastic folder at the back to return to your
        Low Carbon Living Co-ordinator

    4. Monthly Meter Reading Form
        For recording regular monthly readings to help you keep track of your energy use.

    5. Your Carbon Footprint
        Three leaflets about the service and outlining the information you need to prepare in advance
        - An Introduction to Footprinting
        - Preparing for your Carbon Footprint
        - Understanding your Carbon Footprint

    6. Goals

    7. Carbon Cutting Action Plan
        A table to record your household’s carbon cutting action plan. You’ll use this at the goal setting
        session. The colour copy is for you to keep. There is a black & white version in the plastic folder at
        the back to return to your Low Carbon Living Co-ordinator.

    8. Support
        Low Carbon Living Grant Guidance Notes (if applicable)

    9. Carbon-busting information
        You can file your carbon busting information sheets in this section for reference

    10. Forms
        The clear plastic folder contains the following forms that you’ll need to return during the course of the
        programme as requested. These include:
        - Initial Meter Reading Form
        - Carbon Cutting Action Plan
        - Low Carbon Living Grant application & preapproval form

                                                         Low Carbon Living Programme

6. Feeling Under the Weather
The following tips and ideas for using people’s feelings to engage them in low carbon living
are reproduced with permission from Oxfordshire Climate Change Community
Groups Handbook.

What have feelings got to do with climate change? Are they relevant?
“If you’re really paying attention, it’s hard to escape a sense of outrage, fear, despair. Author, deep-ecologist,
and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy says: Don’t even try.”                Source: Yes magazine

Many studies (see Randall’s ‘A new Climate for Psychotherapy’ , and the report of the American Psychological
Association Task Force on the ‘Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change’) suggest that how
we feel about an issue will influence how we act, or whether we even bother to get involved in an issue.
Different feelings can arise from being confronted with information about the causes, impacts and politics of
climate change. Unfortunately, the increase in reportage over the past few years has not resulted in the
necessary action, the tone of the reportage is usually anything but empowering, and there are precious few
examples of what people are doing to reduce CO2 emissions.

Why engaging with feelings is important
Whatever we may feel about climate change, it's good to make space for an emotional dimension, as
sometimes people feel drained, overwhelmed, or sense an impending doom that they are powerless to avert.
Sometimes people can assume that they are the only ones to feel this way, which can lead to feeling isolated
and powerless, or lead into a burnout cycle of overwork.

How feelings can be used
Some of the projections about climate change are painful and overwhelming, and it’s sometimes hard to talk
about painful things. In the UK we tend to avoid sharing painful or overwhelming issues in public, but in doing
so it makes it harder to come up with positive and engaging solutions.

How to start the process of reclaiming response-ability
Simply by sharing how we feel, and allowing others to share how they feel, we can open up a valuable space
from which sustained engagement and action can grow – and enabling people to respond to the information. In
this way we're using our feelings as a way of bringing people together, instead of remaining isolated and
scared. By mentioning how you, and others, feel about climate change in your talk, you give people permission
for themselves to engage with how they feel about the issue.


One word feelings
When people are introducing themselves ask them to say one word which best describes how they feel about
climate change and one thing that makes their heart sing. This gives an indication of their feelings and
something you can also reflect on later, either with the one word feelings slide /poster (see above) or by
reflecting that people have different feelings about climate change.

If you’ve had a talk or shown a film, it’s a good idea to invite people to talk to the person next to them about
how they feel about the issue. This not only gives them a chance to engage with their feelings, but also breaks
down isolation, which can creep in if people are feeling overwhelmed by the impacts and realities of climate

Open Ended Sentences
This is a great exercise to do as part of a meeting. You’ll need to have a bell (or ting on a glass), and explain
clearly. Here’s some text you could use:
“I’d like you to get into a pair, and number yourselves 1 or 2.
I’m going to read out the beginning of a sentence, and I would like the number 1s to repeat what I’ve said, then
complete the sentence with whatever comes into their head. This is about exploring your initial thoughts and
feelings about climate change, so there are no right and wrong answers.
Number 2s just listen attentively, but don’t engage in conversation. You might want to remind your partner of
the beginning of the sentence if they dry up.
After about a minute, I’ll ring a bell, and read out the beginning of another sentence. Number 1s will then start
that sentence and complete it in the same way, then I’ll start the third sentence after another minute.
After three sentences, I’ll ring a bell and encourage you to swop roles, so the number 2s speak, and the
number 1s listen.
The first sentence is: When I think about climate change, the feelings that I have are....
At the end, encourage people to reflect on and share their own (not their partners) experience.”

Hint – try this out on a small group before you do a larger group, and choose some sentences that are
appropriate for your meeting. About 1 ½ minutes per sentence is normally ample, so if you’re doing
three sentences, the exercise will take around 10 minutes for both partners to have a chance of
speaking and listening.

Other opening sentences you might like to try:
            When I think about climate change, the feelings that I have are....
            Something positive I’ve heard about climate change is.....
            Things that I could do to take action on climate change include.....
            The support I would need to take action on climate change are.....

             The Oxfordshire Climate Change Community Groups Handbook contains a wealth of information
              and is available to download from the Climatexchange website at

This work is part of the Low Carbon Living Toolkit and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you have any questions or tips to suggest please email
them to us at v1.2 nov11
Whilst we have made every attempt to ensure the accuracy of this leaflet, this information should not be relied
upon as a substitute for formal advice. LCWO will not be responsible for any loss, however arising, from the
use of, or reliance on this information. Low Carbon West Oxford is a registered charity 1135225.


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