Prizes were announced today (2 November 2020) for winners of the “Find Your Footprint Week” survey and prize draw. The initiative was from North Devon and Torridge District Councils working with Carbon Savvy, a local carbon awareness organisation.

The week from 17 to 24 of October attracted over 1,000 people to “find out their carbon footprint” using Carbon Savvy's innovative carbon calculator and encouraged them to take steps to reduce their carbon usage. Participants entered a prize draw for a selection of low carbon prizes from local businesses. 

Prizes included a cup from renowned ceramic artist, Sandy Brown; a seasonal fruit and vegetable box from Marshford Organic Foods; a chimney balloon from Mitchell & Dickinson insulation services; a Koffie Soap gift set from North Devon Soap; a jar of Bideford honey from Nature's Nutrition Foods; and a wooden body board from Plastic Free North Devon.  The prize winners were Barbara Young from Bideford, Mark Beer from Barnstaple, Emily Collins from High Bickington, Kirsty Mather from Alwington, and participants from Winkleigh and Umberleigh.

Director of Carbon Savvy and environmental entrepreneur, Mukti Mitchell explains, "These businesses are low carbon for different reasons – locally made products mean less CO2 from transportation. Hand made products usually have less CO2 emissions than factory ones. Organic food avoids the green house gases emitted by fertilisers. And wood is locked up CO2."
Councillor Caroline Leaver, NDC lead for climate change, says: “I love the fact that it is so easy to find your carbon footprint with this survey.  I’m not very computer savvy so if I can find out mine, anybody can. It only takes five minutes, and you get the chance to update it in six months time.  Just last month Barnstaple town square was under 2 foot of water due to extreme weather events.  All the predictions tell us that climate change will lead to more of these events, so we must do all we can to protect our communities.  We can all work together to stop this getting worse in future by reducing our carbon footprints."
Mukti Mitchell continued, "It's been fantastic to work with North Devon and Torridge District Councils, and see Northern Devon getting into action together.  The Find Your Footprint Week survey showed that the average carbon footprint was 12.5 tonnes per year, a couple of tonnes lower than the national average of 15 tonnes.  But we want to make it guilt-free, so no need to tell anyone your carbon footprint! The idea is simply to take steps to reduce it by 10% per year.  I was delighted to see that half of participants think about the carbon footprint of the products they buy nearly every day.  And what excites me most about this program is the benefits it brings to individuals and our area.  For example, cycling part way to work is good for our health and buying local products supports local businesses.  So making North Devon carbon neutral will also improve our quality of life and local economy.”
Councillor Netti Pearson, NDC lead for the environment, says: "This is an ongoing program leading up to Cut the Carbon week next March. The hugely positive response shows how many people are keen to do something about CO2 emissions in our region.  We are encouraging actions like buying local food which is good for our health because it's fresher, supports local farmers, and is good for the local economy.  NDC will be highlighting different ways to cut your carbon footprint over the next few months."
Councillor Peter Hames, TDC lead for climate change says: "There are already lots of great, low-carbon initiatives in Northern Devon, from businesses to charitable projects.  And now, with this project, everyone can take part.  Businesses that are low in CO2 are likely to get more recognition and custom.  More and more consumers can see that low carbon lifestyle choices make sense.  Now it feels like we are all pulling together, and this can really start to happen."

To take part in saving CO2 across Northern Devon do the survey and find your footprint.

Picture shows Ed Ettling of Mitchell & Dickinson Period Insulation Services with one of the prizes - a chimney balloon which is an example of a low cost energy saving measure. The chimney balloon stops draughts from unused chimneys, which can be a major source of heat loss.  It can easily be taken out if the fireplace needs to be put back into use again in the future.  And it’s a good idea to take it out in summer to keep the chimney dry and well ventilated.