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Column 7th August 2019

Oxfordshire already has all we need to help save the planet

Regardless of whether you believe that the changes in our climate is man-made or not, I believe that our disposable society and high carbon emissions are affecting our environment.

Oxfordshire County Council, together with the city and district councils and other members of the Oxfordshire partnerships have committed to reduce emissions across Oxfordshire by 50% of 2008 levels by 2030.

Much of the reduction will be achieved by national policies such as decommissioning high emission power generation, but I do believe that Oxfordshire will do their bit.

Even the Wantage Town Council is setting up a Climate Change Sub-committee.

Most recent data shows that transport accounted for over 40% of emissions, (mainly from road transport), industry and commerce for 33% and domestic emissions for 25%.

This is why we argue so much about the planning and transport policies.

Why are we building 7,000 new homes around Wantage and Grove when there is no new employment here, public transport is very limited and the new homes have no solar panels and very energy–inefficient designs?

Why are the cycling improvements promised by our councils still not in place and why are none of our public buildings generating any of their own energy through heat exchangers or solar panels?

We should be able to reduce our use of plastics in our weekly shops because Sustainable Wantage in the Mix (15 Mill Street) offer “Scoop–zero waste” for dry food products on the first Sunday of each month and refills of household cleaning products several days each week.

A new zero-waste eco-store “Going Green” will open soon in the Arbery Arcade selling packaging free pantry staples as well as eco-lifestyle products.

Waitrose’s refill trial in the store on Botley Road, Oxford will now be extended to three more stores including Abingdon. Meanwhile Sainsbury's is trialling getting rid of plastic bags for fruit and vegetables in two stores, including Kidlington.

Sustainable Wantage also have volunteer fixers ready to help repair household and electrical items on the first Saturday of the month and collect broken or unwanted electrical items to repair and sell on, to reduce the amount ending up in landfill.

We have at least six charity shops in Wantage and Grove (including a new British Heart Foundation furniture store on Limborough Road) so we can recycle clothes, furniture, books and other household items.

So let’s make sure we do our bit to save the planet.


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