Make Eastbourne a carbon-neutral town

Our performance to reduce global warming is ineffective compared to other similar local authority regions. Friends of the Earth revealed that Eastbourne has 5 megawatts of renewable energy available coming from natural and clean power like the sea, sun and wind- but if it were to match similar local council neighborhoods, it would have 33MW. Renewable energy can come from wind farms and solar panels; on average, 1MW of sustainable power creates enough energy for 125 homes.

Tree coverage needs to increase, as Bluesky International Ltd- an aerial survey company, found that as little as 1020% of this town is covered with evergreen. Trees not only reduce flood risk because their roots absorb water, but they provide a home for nature and improve the aesthetics of residential areas.

Plants are also susceptible to getting diseases and the growing number of infections among them could be an indicator that climate change is worsening. Ash dieback is a chronic fungal disease that affects European trees, causing leaf loss and premature death. Andy Mitchell, countryside officer at East Sussex County Council said “ash dieback has affected large areas, like on steep slopes on the South Downs where woodland was not a historic feature. These have recently been cleared by landowners at Eastbourne, Lewes and Ditchling Beacon to protect the public from falling trees and branches.”

Reducing waste is crucial in order to cut greenhouse gases. According to a sustainability campaign report, only 39% of our household waste is composted, reused or recycled and this means that our rubbish ends up in oceans or on landfill sites and sometimes gets burnt- meaning more carbon dioxide is released into the air. The clothing industry is a huge polluter, so opt for second-hand wear and charity shops and hold big businesses to account by shopping at no-waste stores. This not only saves you money because new, highstreet clothes cost more- but decreases the amount of toxic dyes that pollute the sea.

Photo from pexels.com

It was too found that a mere 40% of homes are well insulated; while it may be expensive to install double-glazed windows, it works out to be cheaper in the long run because of the money saved from heating homes. The council could invest in thicker windows on council properties, which is what they have done in parts of London free of charge. The government provides grants for putting in place eco-heating like heat pumps which not a lot of people know about- there are approximately only 14 in Eastbourne, when the UK should be fitting about 1 million each year.

Affordable public transport is a beneficial incentive, lessening the need for people to drive and reduces carbon outpouring. Liftshare, a social enterprise app, enables people to share journeys and split the costs. This saves people money and is better for the environment. Visit their website to join: https:// liftshare.com/uk/account/register

If you would like to be more proactive within the community and be around like-minded people, Friends of the Earth organize meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at the Town Hall from 7-9pm.

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