Concerned about climate change but feel powerless to do anything about it? Low Carbon West Oxford (LCWO) will help you turn good intentions into concrete actions. A community-led initiative set up by local residents in the wake of the 2007 floods, LCWOâ€™s aims are to tackle climate change by reducing our individual and community carbon dioxide emissions. Our Low Carbon Living Programme, Quicksilver Carbon Footprinting tool and other community projects offer practical, easy and fun ways for people to reduce their carbon emissions and energy bills. Specific groups have been formed to focus on food, trees and wildlife, sharing resources, transport and waste reduction.
We work closely with our partner organisation, West Oxford Community Renewables (WOCoRe), to reduce the West Oxford communityâ€™s carbon footprint by 80% by 2050. WOCoRe produces renewable energy and donates its surplus income to LCWO to support our carbon-reducing community projects. LCWO became a registered charity in March 2010 and was voted Oxfordshire Charity of the Year 2010 as a result of its role in helping West Oxford residents to cut their carbon emissions. Latest data shows that participants in the programme achieve an average reduction in their carbon footprint of around 10% in their first year.
Our plans include extending our work in the West Oxford community to achieve even greater carbon reductions in the coming years, campaigning with other organisations to achieve a supportive and predictable policy environment and sharing our learning with other communities.
Different Groups within LCWO
Some of the ideas that are planned, or are already active, include:
- Waste reduction - campaigning to reduce waste generally and increase re-use and recycling; campaigning to reduce the use of plastic bags in local shops; litter picks; arranging bring and takes
- Transport - promoting car/bicycle shares, traffic calming signs and car free days on Botley Road
- Renewable energy - Micro hydro on Osney weir with electricity sold to the grid and recycled into projects, lobbying local business to use renewable forms of energy.
- Food - promoting the purchase of local and sustainable sources of food eg through information about composting and local vegetable schemes, and setting up a community beehive.
We are also asking people to volunteer as street representatives to provide information and support to neighbours to help them reduce their carbon footprint. Having a representative on every street would help West Oxford to turn energy and vision into tangible results. There's no need to be an expert - other campaigners can provide you with the necessary information - enthusiasm is all that's needed. If you would like to be a street representative contact the low carbon group.
History of Low Carbon West Oxford
West Oxford Waste Watchers (WOWW) CAG formed in the spring of 2004 with much interest from local residents.
Some of the priorities that were identified four years ago at the formation of WOWW as one of Oxfordshire's Community Action Groups.
Plastic and cardboard collections
Lobbying of local shops and supermarkets about the use of plastic bags
swap shops for unwanted goods
additional recycling facilities at Oatlands Park
WOWW has achieved many of the initiatives that it set out 4 years ago.
Sustainable living, climate change, reduction of carbon footprint - these types of concepts are very present in many people's minds today in a way that they weren't even four years ago - hence the founding of Low Carbon West Oxford by different people. Those of us who have been active in WOWW have had a firm belief that having two organisations in West Oxford with very similar aims and appealing to the same constituency would be counter-productive and, indeed, a waste. After discussions with Low Carbon West Oxford's founders and with the support of the Community Action Group project officers, it was agreed that WOWW and LCWO would amalgamate. The new organisation will be called Low Carbon West Oxford, and will still be part of the CAG network, benefiting from the support of the project officers and from grant aid.
The work that WOWW has been carrying out will continue in various working parties under LCWO's banner (for example Bring & Takes, litter-picks, the Eco gadget library, development of a lightbulb library, meetings with speakers, showing of films) and there will be a renewed focus on the elimination of unnecessary use of plastic bags.
For further information:
Email Low Carbon West Oxford
If you would like to join the CAG, please get in touch! or visit