Is this the greenest village in Britain? It will be if residents of Chew Magna in the South West of England have their way. They have set up Go Zero, a campaign to reduce the collective environmental footprint of Chew Magna’s 1,100 residents.
The campaign is split into four working groups looking at recycling, people and consumption, transport and energy, and the converging world (i.e. international development, fair trade etc).
Go Zero has already taken on a broad range of projects, from restoring an old water mill to arranging talks on micro-generation or homemade biofuels. Villagers are now in discussions with local bus companies to improve links to nearby cities and have also put together a local food guide. On top of all this they are running their own carbon offset fund and aiming to become an official Fairtrade Village.
In many ways, very little of what is going on in Chew Magna will be new to seasoned Treehuggers, but the fact that the village is making a communal effort, and creating a collective identity, around sustainability is a very inspiring example of what can be done when commuities get together to achieve a common goal.
The Independent newspaper ran an interesting article on the initiative earlier this year. Unfortunately it is behind a pay-per-view barrier, but it is well worth a read. [Written by: Sami Grover]