(by Philippa Mitchell)

I don’t know about you, but the rapidly changing climate and the impact that is already having on many parts of the world scares me a lot.  Sometimes so much as I feel that whatever action I might be able to take is such a small drop in the ocean to not have an impact.

However, not taking any action is even worse.  In fact, doing something is very empowering and, for me, has reduced my fear; especially when I join with others in that action.

I was thrilled when I went to a Normandy Parish Council meeting last year, as the NPC is taking Climate Change really seriously and has signed up to Friends of the Earth “20 Actions Parish and Town Councils can take on the Climate and Nature Emergency”.  They have already taken many steps and are very keen to do more.

I will be sharing tips and home-based actions quarterly through The Villager and would love to hear from people around Normandy as to what they would like to know about, what they think would be great to do in the village and what their top tips are for Saving Humanity!    I will say from the off, I am not an expert!  However, I am passionate about the environmental cause, have worked in the field for many years and will aim to give the best ideas I can.  I am also part of a local Climate Action group that is on Nextdoor and Facebook – please search for Normandy Climate Action on both and with luck the group will pop up – do join us to take action at a personal and community level.

Reducing the Car-bon Miles

Living in Normandy, it is hard not to be reliant to some extent on the car.  Yes we have good buses to Guildford and Aldershot and the train is also good.  However, for many, it is hard to avoid taking the car to work, to take children to school and activities, for leisure and social life and for shopping.

Here are my Top 5 Tips to lighten your car-driving carbon footprint (and save you money):-

  1. Look into Lift Sharing if you go regularly to the same location that is impractical to get to by public transport (eg work). There is a Surrey-wide website that could help you find a car share – https://liftshare.com/uk/community/surrey.

Or is this something you feel we could get set up locally, perhaps using social media?

  1. Lighten the car’s load. Remove heavy items from the car if they are not needed as they increase the weight and thus fuel consumption.  Roof-boxes and bars increase drag and also increase fuel consumption, so take these off when you don’t need them.
  2. Driving smoothly – no sharp breaking or accelerating – can really increase your MPG! Also keeping the speed down – according to the AA  Driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Taking it up to 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.
  3. If possible combine trips in the same direction, rather than doing multiple journeys.
  4. Change up a gear when the revs hit about 2,000 as this also saves on fuel.

I like to challenge myself to try and get a better MPG from each tank of fuel, so would love to hear your tips for getting more miles per gallon from your car!

Please read Normandy Parish Council’s response to the Friends of Earth ‘20 Actions Parish and Town Councils can take on the Climate and Nature Emergency’ which will be updated regularly.

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