September 12, 2016
In Ashton Hayes, a village of about 1000 people near Liverpool, England, hundreds of residents have banded together to cut greenhouse emissions—they use clotheslines instead of dryers, take fewer flights, install solar panels and glaze windows to better insulate their homes. The effort, which reached its 10th anniversary this year, has led to a 24 percent cut in emissions.
But what makes Ashton Hayes unusual is its approach: Residents have done it themselves, without prodding from government. One of their secrets is that the people of Ashton Hayes feel in charge—they have declined participation by politicians, saying party politics would only divide them along ideological lines. Another is that they have made light of the situation, holding wine-and-cheese meetings in the biggest houses, and community cafes in a solar-powered pavilion.
As the effects of a warming planet are becoming ever clearer, Ashton Hayes is a case study for the next phase of battling climate change: getting people to change their habits.
See more at http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-uk-village-leading-a-green-revolution/vp-AAiN8k3.
About the Author
Neal Bonnor is the current secretary of the Hamilton 350 Committee. He is a long-time resident of Hamilton, where he raised his two children. Neal has been actively involved in environmental issues since completing his Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, working for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change while volunteering his free time with non-profit environmental groups. Neal participated in the People’s Climate March in New York City with the Toronto 350 Committee in 2014, and marched in similar rallies in Toronto and Hamilton in 2015. Most recently he made his views known outside the National Energy Board hearings for the Enbridge Line 10 proposal in Hamilton. Neal is an active member of the Stewards of Cootes Watershed, holds membership in the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Hamilton Conservation Authority, and regularly attends lectures and events on environmental issues.