Liz has been hosting a series of ‘Carbon Conversations’ meetings with neighbours in her front room: 

Our latest ‘CC’ is now taking a break for the summer, so I thought I’d take the opportunity for a quick update on how it’s gone so far, since we started meeting once a week. In mid June a group of intrepid Tooting dwellers ventured up the hill into Furzedown, and we began by discussing :
‘why on earth are we even having a conversation about carbon anyway?’ 

And what do these ‘tonnes’ consist of, and what is ‘carbon equivalent’, and why should we bother when China builds a new coal power station every week? We all concluded that we did want to bother, and for me it felt good to be doing something positive.  
We had some fun thinking about what we’d say to the current prime minister about climate change if we got the chance; things like ‘don’t wait for other countries, just take a lead’, ‘be proud of the UK’s Climate Act – do more to promote it’ and ‘tackling inequality will help with climate change and vice versa, don’t forget the multiple benefits to society’.

With thoughts racing through my mind we went on our way to ponder for a week before the next session. 
In the second session we imagined life in a draughty 1930s home and plotted a 6 year plan to save some serious amounts of energy, and 6 tonnes of carbon emissions to be precise. We separated into two groups to do our plotting and were surprised at the different approaches each group took – and that we all left the extremely high cost but huge financial benefit option of installing solar panels till last, favouring more woolly jumpers first!
The next session began with a mouth-watering description of life as a child in rural Greece from one of our participants, wow those tomatoes sound delicious!

We managed to make some pretty easy-to-remember rules for ourselves when buying food – ‘Jane’s rules’:

  • meat is higher carbon than veg
  • the more ingredients the higher the carbon
  • producing the food takes way more carbon than packaging it
  • and refrigerated stuff can be high carbon even if it comes by road, not plane

The fourth session looked at transport: we stepped into the shoes of Sarah and Edward and their two daughters. It turned out that they could save a lot of carbon through changing their lifestyles, without spending any money, just doing things a bit differently.
Real food for thought there.

And so we break for the summer, I am busy thinking about the actions I can take and look forward to the next session in September. On a personal note, I’ve really enjoyed having the group come together and meet in my house. I’ve enjoyed hearing seven other people’s points of views, and their way of dealing with some of the things I find challenging.

I am looking forward to hosting some more conversations in my front room again soon!!!

If you would like to join a local ‘Carbon Conversations’ group in September,
please email us at All welcome!