Climate Emergency Buckingham

Climate Emergency
Buckingham Town Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019.  Since then the Council has been busy investigating actions the Town Council can take, as well as looking for ways to work with partners to make a difference.

Climate Emergency Objectives:

  1. Energy - to reduce energy demand, improve energy efficiency and convert to renewable, low or zero carbon technologies for energy and heat.
  2. Transport – to promote walking, cycling and public transport. Accelerating the move to Council owned electric vehicles.
  3. Food & Land - to promote sustainable land management, including tree planting to help absorb carbon & water.
  4. Economy, Housing & Waste – to support the local economy to ensure existing and new homes are climate resilient whilst reducing, re using and recycling materials and ongoing resources e.g. water
  5. Community Engagement - to engage local people in accelerating their own responses and building resilience to ongoing climate impact

The Council has already:

  • Replaced two vehicles with fully electric vans. This has proved a big success; with vehicles only moving within the town, this has reduced the use of diesel considerably, and also means we have a quiet vehicle to use in the cemetery when needed.
  • Updating the Town Council’s lights in Chandos Park with LED lights, reducing the power used
  • Plans are in place to install solar panels on the Buckingham Community Centre and Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre
  • Ensuring Town Council events are free of single-use plastics
  • A water bottle refill station has been installed in Chandos Park, thanks to funds given by Buckinghamshire County Council’s Local Area Forum to the Town Council. This has proven really popular with park visitors and we hope to secure funding for more water fountains across the town.

Each of the Council’s four committees has reviewed the Climate Emergency Action Plan and added actions within their remits. You can download  a copy of the Town Council's Action Plan here. The document will be regularly reviewed at Council Committees and updated with any action taken.

Green Buckingham Banner, with images of Buckingham Wildflower Meadow and the green spaces electric van

What Can I Do? 

The following organisations and areas include useful links to help with your own climate change action:

The Carbon Trust provides guidance, webinars, and reports on how businesses can be corporately sustainable, future energy systems, and how to reduce your carbon footprint.

Cycling: Cycling UK has gathered a varied list of community cycling groups and clubs around Bucks, with maps, routes, and resources, encouraging cycling around the county.

Electric Vehicles: Zap Map has created a useful map showing all of the charging points in and the surrounding areas of Buckingham

Food Waste: The Love Food Hate Waste Website is packed with lots of useful advice to help individuals reduce food waste. With tips, recipes, and activities for everyone to get involved with.

Friends of the Earth: The Friends of the Earth organisation is focused on making the environment a better place. With the communities help to prevent mass extinction on millions of species across the globe and the UK

Keep It Clear: In association with Anglian Water, the Keep It Clear campaign provides information on what is and is not suitable to go down our drains. With regular updates and support, find out how you can keep our waters clear.

Recycling: Recycling for Buckinghamshire offers a variety of advice on how to recycle properly, recycle centre locations, preventing and reporting fly-tipping, and learning resources for schools and communities to get involved.

Woodland Trust: The Woodland Trust has launched a tree planting scheme to encourage local schools and communities to plant trees in their areas, the Trust supplying free trees in November and March for schools and communities.

WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/ A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that come from the production, use and end-of-life of a product and/or service. The gas most commonly emitted by humans, carbon dioxide and others gases, including methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases, trap heat in the atmosphere and are the biggest contributors to causing global warming. Typically, the bulk of an individual’s carbon footprint will come from humans lifestyle choices, including transportation, housing and food.

The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) has constructed a questionnaire to help you estimate your carbon footprint, offering advice, and a goal scheme for you to achieve, and reducing your carbon footprint. The planet is in crisis - from climate change to the pollution in our oceans and devastation of our forests. It's up to all of us to fix it and reduce our carbon usage, by reducing our consumption, using clean energy, or offsetting our emissions, we're investing in our long-term financial security and future.

Follow, share and comment on our Facebook and Instagram pages @buckingham-tc
We would love to hear your views on tackling climate change Buckingham so please get in contact at:

Email: committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

Phone: 01280 816426

Buckingham Town Council, Verney Close, Buckingham MK18 1JP

 

Only Rain Down the Drain!

When most people think of river pollution they think of sources like factories, farms and industry.  Yet in many cases, the pollution comes from a much less obvious place - our homes and lifestyles.  Misconnections, car washing, pouring oils or chemicals down road grids, wasting water and littering all have impacts. The best way to improve water quality is to prevent water pollution at its source! Here's a few tips on how you can do your bit to help:

  • Wash your car or outdoor equipment where soap and chemicals can flow into the drains. Use a drive-in carwash or clean your vehicle on gravel or grassed area instead.
  • Don't pour any oils, chemicals or paints down the sink or storm drain. Take them to the local recycling centre instead.
  • Pick up litter and throw it in the bin! Litter can harm wildlife and create blockages in the drain that can lead to flooding.
  • Don't use toilets as a bin! Place wet wipes, nappies and sanitary products in the bin to help avoid any u
  • unnecessary blockages.

Image of boy pouring oil in drain

Source: connectright.org

 

Plastic Free Buckingham

At Full Council on the 12th March 2018 Members unanimously agreed that “Buckingham Town Council to do all it can to encourage the Town of Buckingham, residents and businesses to reduce the use of single use plastics in Buckingham to assist with the reduction of the problems of plastic waste, that is impacting on our Environment and Oceans.” The Council immediately began phasing out the use of single use plastics products at all of its events, offices and community centres and has planned consultation with local businesses and market traders on how we can take the initiative forward.

Why is plastic problematic?
Plastic, in its current form, has only been around for the last 60-70 years, but in that time it has transformed everything from clothing, cooking and catering, to product design, engineering and retailing.

One of the great advantages of many types of plastic is that they’re designed to last – for a very very long time! The hard-wearing qualities of most plastics means that some items can take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Did you know nearly all the plastic ever created still exists in some form today!?!

Scary facts about plastic!

 The world is now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.
 Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
 A plastic bag has an average ‘working life’ of 15 minutes – but could last 500 years.
 14% of all litter comes from beverage containers.
 Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.

Source: Plastic Oceans

We would love to hear residents’ views and suggestions on reducing single use plastic in Buckingham. Please email committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk if you have any comments, suggestions.

Plastic Free Buckingham tips, refuse disposable products, and bring your own reusable bags, cups, cutlery and bottles. Use reusable containers to save leftover food and consider switching to wooden or paper versions of products like toothbrushes and disposable plates