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Jan's Story

Get Thinking

Everything we do, from the products we buy and the food we eat to the way we travel, releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and so has an impact on the planet’s climate. 
 

Jan has an admirable attitude to waste and energy. His lifelong habit of frugality, instilled in him as a child, means that he has a much lighter impact on the planet than most. Installing renewable energy to power his home, growing his own food and re-using and re-purposing discarded items, Jan has created a beautiful and efficient living space.

We don’t all have the skills or time to lovingly craft our homes this way. However, there are other ways that we can achieve similar outcomes, and as our systems change it will be much easier for us to make decisions that stop our money translating into environmental harm.

  • Storms
    As temperatures increase, the amount of water that evaporates into the atmosphere increases and is released as extreme rain, hail and snowfall. Storms passing over warmer water absorb more energy, increasing wind intensity. In Bude this means an increased risk of storm surges and flooding. Numerous waterways in and around Bude put many of us in river catchments and we therefore need to think seriously about how we can adapt to flood risks. Floods damage not only our homes and livelihoods, but also impact on water safety. Our outdated drainage systems cannot cope with additional water flows, which leads to sewage being discharged into rivers, making its way onto our beaches at Crooklets and Summerleaze.
  • Heat Waves
    In the UK we now experience twice as many warm spells a year, as in the 1990s. In 2020, 2,556 heat-related deaths were recorded, a figure predicted to increase threefold by 2050. What may feel to some like a beautiful summer’s day can put others under extreme stress. People with underlying health conditions or over 65, as well as young children and those on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to heat stress as they are less able to adapt to the heat. But as temperatures continue to rise we are starting to see fit and healthy people being affected too.
  • Extreme Cold
    Weather systems are highly complex, so although it seems strange, climate change also increases the risk of extremely cold weather events, as we saw in March 2018 with the ‘Beast from the East’, which brought icy temperatures and snow even to Cornwall.
  • Droughts and Wildfires
    As the climate changes, we’ll experience more rain falling but less frequently, which means more flash floods and more periods of drought. This combination of factors leaves us susceptible to drought and therefore wildfires, as land and vegetation dry out. Already we’re seeing changes – in 2020, Cornwall Fire and Rescue attended 80% more wildfires than the previous year.
  • Water Shortages
    By 2050 water demand will outstrip supply as the population continues to grow and water availability reduces, according to predictions by the UK Committee on Climate Change. In the UK we use an average of 143 litres per day per person and water conservation is essential for reducing drought and wildfire risk.

Get Inspired

We need to make big changes in the way our systems work in order to transition to a green economy. Sometimes it can feel so overwhelming that it feels easier not to think about it, especially when it seems like our individual actions are pointless. But the truth is all our individual actions put together make a massive difference – 60% of global emissions are the result of our personal choices.

We have compiled some tips on what we can do individually and as a community to make the most impact. These are changes that not only reduce our contributions to the climate crisis, but also improve the quality of life for everyone.

  • Storms
    As temperatures increase, the amount of water that evaporates into the atmosphere increases and is released as extreme rain, hail and snowfall. Storms passing over warmer water absorb more energy, increasing wind intensity. In Bude this means an increased risk of storm surges and flooding. Numerous waterways in and around Bude put many of us in river catchments and we therefore need to think seriously about how we can adapt to flood risks. Floods damage not only our homes and livelihoods, but also impact on water safety. Our outdated drainage systems cannot cope with additional water flows, which leads to sewage being discharged into rivers, making its way onto our beaches at Crooklets and Summerleaze.
  • Heat Waves
    In the UK we now experience twice as many warm spells a year, as in the 1990s. In 2020, 2,556 heat-related deaths were recorded, a figure predicted to increase threefold by 2050. What may feel to some like a beautiful summer’s day can put others under extreme stress. People with underlying health conditions or over 65, as well as young children and those on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to heat stress as they are less able to adapt to the heat. But as temperatures continue to rise we are starting to see fit and healthy people being affected too.
  • Extreme Cold
    Weather systems are highly complex, so although it seems strange, climate change also increases the risk of extremely cold weather events, as we saw in March 2018 with the ‘Beast from the East’, which brought icy temperatures and snow even to Cornwall.
  • Droughts and Wildfires
    As the climate changes, we’ll experience more rain falling but less frequently, which means more flash floods and more periods of drought. This combination of factors leaves us susceptible to drought and therefore wildfires, as land and vegetation dry out. Already we’re seeing changes – in 2020, Cornwall Fire and Rescue attended 80% more wildfires than the previous year.
  • Water Shortages
    By 2050 water demand will outstrip supply as the population continues to grow and water availability reduces, according to predictions by the UK Committee on Climate Change. In the UK we use an average of 143 litres per day per person and water conservation is essential for reducing drought and wildfire risk.

Get Sharing

Stories trigger more stories,

so we hope this has sparked some of your own memories and

provided an opportunity to reflect. 

Was there a culture in your community of reuse and repurpose? Were you involved?

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Have you ever built anything using reclaimed materials? How did this feel?

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Do you have anything reclaimed or repurposed in your home that has a story behind it?

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What do you throw away?

Could this be reduced in any way?

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Which energy sources do you use? Would you consider using renewable alternatives to fossil fuels?

Get Together

If you’re part of a local group and would like to explore this theme more through additional activities, then you might like to use our ‘Hands On’ toolkits. Contact Us to find out more.

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Teachers wanting to use these stories in the classroom can download additional resources here.

Dive Deeper

The Centre for Alternative Energy has a comprehensive guide on what our future energy use and lifestyles could look like.

For advice on setting up a community energy project, this is a Cornwall based free advice service.

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Get Involved

Bude is already bursting at the seams with enthusiastic environmental groups and

great initiatives if you want to get involved with. Here’s a few:

The Repair Café

Reduce landfill by mending household items. Get your items repaired for free or volunteer your skills. It’s very sociable and there’s lots of cake.

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Thank You

We hope our suggestions and advice leave you feeling inspired. climate change can be challenging to think and talk about, so if any of your questions haven’t been answered or you need support or you have an idea you want to pursue, then please get in touch with the Bude Climate Partnership. We’re here to help you.

This Toolkit has been developed by Storylines.

Storylines is a Community Interest Company who use the common language of story to bring people together to share, celebrate, learn and connect.  Storylines supports organisations and communities to unearth and share their own stories through bespoke story projectsdigital storytellingeducation, oral historyworkshopsinterpretation

training and consultancy.

Share your memories and reflections here

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