Climate Emergency

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The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.


The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.


  • How we’re playing our part

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    The Council is committed to making changes across all our services to play our part to tackle the Climate Emergency and it is one of the Council’s seven key priorities, as set out in our Stronger Futures plan.

    The objectives that underpin this priority include:

    • Reducing the carbon footprint of the Council

    • Support the decarbonisation of energy, industry and business

    • Improve sustainable transport and infrastructure

    • Enable low carbon buildings, homes and development

    • Enhancing green spaces

    • Reduce waste and increase recycling

    As an organisation we have a target to be carbon neutral by 2030 and are leading by example to help the borough to be carbon neutral by 2045.

    Below are some examples of the work we’ve done so far to help achieve this

  • How to stay cool whilst saving energy

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    18 July 2022

    As weather patterns are changing and the summers are getting hotter, we can find ourselves turning to fans and air conditioning to keep cool. These can use lots of energy, and add to our household bills. The good news is that there are many things we can do to keep temperatures cool, without using lots of energy.

    Here are some simple tips to reduce the temperature, help you save energy, and keep your household bills down over the summer.

    Keep doors and curtains closed

    Keeping the sun out, keeps the heat out. Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler. Shutting doors and curtains stops the flow of hot, humid air from heating your home, as well as blocking sunlight, which helps keep temperatures cooler throughout the day.

    Know when opening windows will cool down your house

    Although opening windows sounds like a quick and easy solution to cool down your house, it can have the opposite effect. If you open windows during hot periods of the day, the indoor temperature will rise to the temperature outdoors. But, having your windows open in the morning and evening will bring cool air in, cooling the indoor temperature.

    Drink plenty of cool drinks

    Having frozen or refrigerated drinks is an easy way to reduce your body temperature. It will keep you feeling refreshed, and make the heat more bearable on hot days. Regular intake of fluids can help to prevent dehydration, which can increase body heat.

    Remember to keep smoothies and fruit juices to a minimum, due to their high sugar content. And limiting alcohol, which can cause dehydration, is another helpful tip.

    Take a quick cool shower

    Taking a quick cool shower can be instantly refreshing, and many people feel reenergised after them.

    Alternatively, use a bowl of cold water and a face cloth to dab your neck and face throughout the day. Or, try freezing a water bottle and using it as a cooling pad when you're really hot.

    Dress appropriately

    Wear loose, breathable clothing, such as cotton - you can move in this fabric more freely, and it can be layered in the cooler evenings. If you're heading out in the day, remember to take a hat to help you keep cool, and prevent burning.

    Use your fan more efficiently

    If the heat gets so hot that you feel you need to turn a fan on, these tips will help you get the most out of it.

    • Put the fan on the ground, tilted upwards. It is cooler lower down, so you’ll get the best effect.
    • Place a bowl of ice in front of the fan - the ice will cool the air as it gets blown across the room.
    • Fans don’t cool a room; they just circulate the air. So, be sure to turn the fan off whenever you aren’t in the room.
    • Power it with renewables if you can. This will really help keep your carbon footprint down.

    Get the most out of your air conditioning

    If you're in an air-conditioned building, make sure you're using the air conditioning effectively by closing the windows, so the cool air produced remains in the room. Air conditioners use a lot of energy, so make sure you turn it off when you aren’t using the room it is cooling. Keeping the windows and curtains closed in that room will also help to keep the room cool for as long as possible.

    Keep cool when out driving

    If you're driving slowly, as you would through a town or built-up area, opening windows will keep you cool. It's also good to do this when you're first moving off - it will help to lose the worst of the heat. But, when you're going faster, such as on a motorway, the wind resistance created by an open window can use more fuel than running the car's air conditioning. When parked up, try to pick a shady spot or pop a windscreen sun shade on your dashboard to reflect the sun’s heat, and pull down any window sun shades.

    Hopefully, these tips will provide some relief during hot periods this summer. Remember to take breaks throughout the day and get outside, in the shade when you can, to enjoy any outdoor breeze there may be.

    During heat waves and hot periods, remember to check on more vulnerable members of your family, friends and neighbours, such as babies, children and older people, to make sure they are comfortable and well hydrated. Visit the NHS website for more tips on how to cope in hot weather.

    You can find some helpful information on HSE's website, relating to temperature, heat stress, managing workplace temperature, and thermal comfort.

    Also, the UK Health Security agency has issued a poster, which shows how you can Beat the heat, at a glance.


    Information sources:

    Every effort has been made to ensure the information used in all climate emergency articles is accurate. Information used to inform the articles has been taken from reputable sources, and those sources are given at the end of each article.

    We are aware, however, that data will change over time and that some information across the internet and printed matters can be contradictory. If you have any questions or comments about this article, please submit them below.

  • Museum event will share cookery tips from the past to help balance household budgets

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    8 July 2022Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Archives and Local Studies team is presenting ‘Seasons Eatings’, a growing and cooking event, at Grosvenor Museum on 9 July as part of Festival for the Future.

    They will be joined by a representative of the North-West National Allotment Society, John Irwin, who will offer tips, tricks, and expert advice on how to grow ingredients - all while on a budget.

    Resident archivist-foodies will show attendees how to make a ‘herb pie’ – a historic recipe which uses seasonal and sustainable ingredients, while sharing how locals through the ages managed to grow, store, and cook food that was produced locally.

    This recipe was put to page by Elizabeth Raffald all the way back in 1769 in her ‘Experienced English Housekeeper’. Raffald cut her teeth as a housekeeper at Cheshire’s own Arley Hall, before starting her own café in a shop co-owned by her florist and gardener husband, John, who sold seeds and plants alongside her.

    Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “If you fancy learning how to do your own version of farm-to-table all by yourself, come join the Cheshire Archives team on Saturday, 9 July, from 11am to 12 noon at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester. No need to book or register in advance, and all are welcome.”

    “Elizabeth Raffald went on to publish her own cookbooks which were hugely popular, allowing her to set up further inns and businesses. You might call her the 18th century’s answer to Mary Berry. This is going to be a very useful and interesting event.”

    Carrying on this tradition of pairing together growing and eating, John Irwin will give advice on low-cost ways that you can grow the ingredients of this dish, which includes some of the more-neglected parts of common vegetables. Lucky attendees will even be able to get their hands on some free seeds and young plants to grow their own crops.

    This event is part of West Cheshire Museums’ Festival for the Future, a month-long celebration of sustainability and climate action.

    ENDS

    Images from Baker Family collection – they show members of the family working on the gardens and preserving plums.

    Extracts from 1884 publication.

  • Plastic Free July 2022

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    29 June 2022

    Plastic Free July is a global movement that empowers people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution.

    In 2021, an estimated 140 million people worldwide participated in Plastic Free July from 190 countries. By taking part and making small changes, collectively we can all make a massive difference in our communities.

    You can choose to refuse single-use plastics in July and beyond. Here are some simple ways to make a change.

    1. Bring your own re-useable bag –
    Keep a handy re-useable bag with you when you head to the shops, so you don’t need to purchase a plastic bag. You can also invest in a few re-usable fresh produce bags to put your loose fruit and vegetables in, or simply buy them loose rather than putting them in a small plastic bag that will be thrown away once you’re home.


    2. Use re-usable bottles or mugs – There are so many varieties of re-usable bottles and mugs to suit every situation, need and budget. Remember to take yours with you when you’re out and about, so you don’t have to accept a disposable coffee cup or buy bottled drinks.


    3. Ditch the cling film – This is another single-use product that ends up in landfill and in our oceans and wider environment, causing harm to nature. The good news is that there are lots of alternatives, such as re-usable containers with lids, lunchboxes, bees wax or plant-based wraps, cotton sandwich wraps, or silicon bowl covers that you can use time and time again.


    4. Reduce the single-use plastic packaging you’re buying – If you’re going on holiday, go plastic free and pack soap, shampoo, conditioner and deodorant bars instead of the plastic miniatures. They last longer, so better value for money, and don’t count as a liquid, so there’s no limit for people travelling with carry-on luggage.


    5. Re-use glass jars – Glass jars can be a great way of storing loose products such as rice, pasta, lentils, or dried fruit (or anything that fits in the container).


    6. Research products you use regularly – Sometimes, single-use plastics lurk in unexpected places, such as in tea bags, wet wipes, cosmetics and feminine hygiene products. If you find they do contain plastic, aim to switch some of these items for plastic free alternatives.


    7. Plastic free ice cream – This summer, opt for a cone rather than a plastic tub and spoon, so there’s no plastic waste to throw away. Many ice cream shops also sell gluten free cones if you ask, which means more people can take the plastic free option.


    8. Visit a refill shop or buy in bulk – There are several refill shops across the borough (Just Footprints in Chester and Frodsham, and Weigh of the World in Northwich), where you can choose just the right amount of food, cosmetics or cleaning products as you need, and bring your own containers to take them home in. Another option is to try buying in bulk to cut down on the packaging you throw away.


    9. Make your own snacks and condiments – By making your own snacks, such as biscuits, cakes, breadsticks and flapjacks, you can avoid a lot of the single-use plastics these come wrapped in when purchased from shops. The Love Food Hate Waste website has some good recipes to choose from.


    10. Buy milk in re-useable glass bottles if possible – Find out where your local dairy is, and switch to buying your milk in glass bottles. There is nothing quite like finding fresh milk on your doorstep in the morning.


    Click here for resources and ideas to help you to reduce single-use plastic waste every day at home, work, school, and even in your local café. Share these tips to encourage your friends, family and work colleagues to take part in Plastic Free July.


    More information

    Become a plastic free Cheshire business


  • Energy saving measures installed at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School

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    Several energy saving measures have been installed at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School this year as part of £5.8 million of funding secured from the first round of the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS).

    The school’s head teacher, Mrs Vile, and a member of the schools eco committee join Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency and the Council’s Energy Sector Specialist, George Ablett, to explain about the systems installed and the benefits to the school.

    Watch the video below

  • Festival for the Future – The Big Sustainability Festival

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    14 June 2022

    During July, each of the four museums – Grosvenor Museum; Stretton Watermill, Lion Salt Works Museum and Weaver Hall Museum - will host a touring ‘eco’ exhibition designed by West Cheshire Museums. Featuring historic items from its collection the exhibition will tell a compelling eco story, showing how people in the past led very sustainable lives. Virtual reality technology will show what the future might look like if humanity continues its disposable ‘one-use’ lifestyle.

    Each venue will feature ‘Earth Giants’ created by students from Cheshire College in conjunction with Chester artist, Russell Kirk. The aim is to show that big issues, like climate change, requires ‘Big Thinking’.

    Chester’s Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor Street, Chester CH1 2DD

    On 9 July, between 10.30am – 9pm an action-packed programme of events will include:

    30-minute free talks on environmental issues such as Zero Waste on a Budget (Eco Communities) ‘Fork to Plate’ (Cheshire Archives); An Introduction to the Chester Hydro Hub (Hydro Hub); and a fascinating talk by Sick to Death

    Clothes swap workshop -the latest in a highly successful series run by West Cheshire Museums

    Fun and free Open Mic night staged by Eco Communities from 7- 9pm, where members of the public are encouraged to give short, creative responses to climate change. Booking is required by phoning the museum on 01244 972197 or at grosvenor.museum@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

    Prize-giving for West Cheshire Libraries’ and West Cheshire Museums’ School Competition, where through drawing, painting, writing, poetry and collage pupils gave their feedback on the pressing question: ‘What will the world look like in 25 years’ time?’

    Also, on 9 July (10.30am to 4pm) just around the corner from the Grosvenor Museum at St Mary’s Centre (St Mary’s Hill, Chester, CH1 2DW) - there is a thought-provoking artisan fair, featuring a range of small businesses providing among other things, alternatives to 'single use' items and beautiful items created from materials that would otherwise go into landfill. 

    Lion Salt Works Museum, Ollershaw Lane, Northwich CW9 6ES

    On 23 July, between 10.30am to 5pm, in addition to the arrival of the ‘Earth Giants’, the day will feature a series of action-packed events.

    Locally based, professional performers - Barnton Circus - will entertain with exciting outdoor ‘climate change’ aerial acrobatic performances, inspired by the Museum’s Collections. Visitors, young and old, will also have a chance to master circus skills at workshops taking place throughout the day. In addition, everyone will have the opportunity to see the West Cheshire Museums’ touring eco story exhibition.

    There will be an artisan fair, featuring small businesses selling alternatives to ‘single use’ items and goods that have been creatively recycled, visitors can take part in the free events on a drop-in basis. Visitors are also encouraged to bring along plants from their garden to trade and so increase biodiversity. There is no requirement to pay to see the museum’s collection to take part in all the free activities. Parking is free and there is a free industrially themed play area on site, as well as a beautiful butterfly garden. Visitors can also enjoy the café and Gift shop.

    On 30 July, the Big Sustainability Festival will have a spectacular free finale with two indoor, foot-stomping ‘eco’ ceilidh from 4pm- 6pm and 7.30pm – 9.30pm This event will be suitable for the whole family - even those with no experience of Scottish country dancing will soon want to join in. Booking is required by calling the museum on 01606 275066.

    Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, 162 London Road, Northwich CW9 8AB

    On 23 July, between 10.30am – 5pm, Northwich’s Weaver Hall Museum will host a series of diverse eco events. There will be an artisan craft fair as well as a Clothes Swap Event and an upcycling clothes workshop. The festival’s huge ‘Earth Giants’, made by Cheshire College students, will also make an appearance during the day to remind everyone that climate change requires ‘big thinking’. Visitors are encouraged to ‘make a day of it’ and visit the nearby Lion Salt Works Museum and all its eco activities - just 2.1 miles away. A walking trail between the two museums will be available. Free parking is also available on site.

    Stretton Water Mill, Stretton, Malpas SY14 7JA

    On 16 July, between 10.30am – 5pm, the beautiful rural setting of the mill will be overrun with action, colour and sound. Free events include:

    Family-friendly eco-storytelling and workshops with environmental specialist, Creeping Toad

    Biodiversity workshops, where people can learn how to protect the wildlife in their gardens, including making their own birdseed.

    Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and a rug and enjoy the beauty of the Mill.

    Free parking is available on site.

    Round-up of events

    Grosvenor Museum 9 July 2022

    Saturday 10.30am - 9pm

    Stretton Water Mill 16 July 2022

    Saturday 10.30am - 5pm

    Lion Salt Works Museum 23 July 2022

    Saturday 10.30am - 5pm

    Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse 23 July 2022

    Saturday 10:30am - 5pm

    Lion Salt Works Museum - The Big Sustainability Festival Finale 30 July 2022

    Saturday 4 - 6pm

    7.30pm - 1.30am

    For more information, click here.

  • Clean Air Day 2022

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    Clean Air Day, the UK’s largest campaign on air pollution is taking place on Thursday 16 June 2022.

    Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to our health, no matter who you are or where you live.

    It can harm every organ in your body and can shorten lives, contribute towards chronic illness and put us more at risk of Covid-19.

    On Clean Air Day there are simple steps we can all take to cut down on the pollution we cause and use our voices to fight for a cleaner air future.

    This year’s campaign is focusing on walking which has positive benefits for your health and the planet.

    There are some simple things you can do to improve the air quality in your community and protect yourself from the effects of pollution.

    • Leave the car at home – walk, cycle or take public transport if you can, especially for those short distance trips
    • Use quieter streets when you’re on a bike or on foot to avoid polluted main roads
    • Work from home more often, if this option is available to you
    • Cycle, walk or scoot the school run – it will set a good example to your children and provides you both with an opportunity to be active
    • Create awareness by speaking to someone about air pollution and its impact on health

    If driving is essential

    • Consider going electric – if you don’t have an electric car consider hiring one, using an electric taxi or renting an electric scooter
    • Don’t idle – turn off your engine whenever your vehicle is stationary, and it is safe to do so. Read our anti-idling myth busting webpage.
    • Try parking further away from your work/school and walking some of your journey

    At home

    • Avoid using wood burning stoves and open fires – if it is essential, only burn dry, well-seasoned or ‘ready-to-burn’ labelled wood or smokeless fuel
    • Avoid burning household and garden waste – take it to your local household recycling centre.


    Free electric vehicle charging

    As part of this year’s Clean Air Day campaign the Council is offering free charging on the following electric vehicle (EV) charge points from 6pm on Wednesday 15 June 2022 to 8am on Friday 17 June 2022.

    The EV charge points at the following locations will be offering free charging. Each car park has two double-socket ‘fast’ chargers, enabling four EVs to charge at once.

    • Bishop Street car park - Chester
    • Brook Street car park - Chester
    • Shrewsbury Road car park - Ellesmere Port
    • Moor Lane car park - Frodsham
    • Chester Road car park - Neston
    • Park Street car park – Northwich

    The Council has also installed two rapid 50 kilowatt EVCPs and a fast charger outside the boat museum in Ellesmere Port. Being close to the M53 and Stanlow, the rapid chargers are well suited to quick top-ups by passing trades, taxi drivers and the general public. These will also be free of charge for Clean Air Day.

    Details and locations of all these chargers, as well as the wider networks of EVCPs can be viewed on Zap Map.

    Free family cycling training

    The Council’s road safety team are currently offering free family cycle training to help all members of the family to develop their cycle skills and improve their confidence. For more information visit the Bike Right website.

    More information

    Learn more about Clean Air Day and organisations that can help you switch to more sustainable modes of transport.

  • Bike Week 2022

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    Residents are being encouraged to get on their bike and enjoy their community from the saddle as part of this year’s national Bike Week, which takes place from 6 – 12 June.

    The Cycling UK website has lots of helpful tips to get you out on your bike and includes an inspiration page, full of ideas and routes to explore.

    Find out more about Bike Week

    Get on your bike safely this summer with free training

    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Road Safety team has arranged free training for families in the borough looking to take up cycling or improve their skills.

    Bikeability Family is a new training package to help people living in the same household cycle together. The training will enable families to plan enjoyable group rides, switch from driving to cycling the school run or help other family members develop their cycling skills and grow their confidence.

    All training is provided by fully qualified instructors and compliment training currently available through the borough’s schools through Bikeability. Trainees will need to have a bicycle of their own and family sessions are for up to six people.

    The health and wellbeing benefits of being outdoors cycling are well known and these Bikeability courses will develop skills and confidence while having fun along the way. Whether you and your family are relative novices to cycling or you all ride already but would like advice on specific routes, for example to school or friends, your instructor will tailor the session to meet your needs.

    There needs to be at least one child (under 16) and one adult on each session. Sessions are for up to 6 people from one family and at least one trainee must be an adult. Please be aware that where groups have very different ages or abilities, instructors need to pace training to suit the least able.

    For more information and to book please visit: www.bikeright.co.uk/cheshirewest-chester

  • Council’s new green cleaning machine

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    17 May 2022

    As part of its drive to tackle the climate emergency, Cheshire West and Chester Council is now using electricity to keep streets across the borough clean, while being kind to the environment.

    The Council’s StreetCare teams are now using all-electric street sweeping machines for their day-to-day cleaning operations.

    The machines are charged overnight and then provide around 12 hours of cleaning time. Water jets, with added sanitizer, and circular brushes scrub away dirt, and the machine also has a jet washer attachment for hard to remove spots, plus a vacuum nozzle to suck up larger material.

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “As well as reducing our carbon footprint and being environmentally friendly, the new machine is very manoeuvrable and can easily fit through narrow alleys and passageways.

    “The machine is also relatively quiet when it’s in operation, so it can be used in pedestrian areas without disturbing shoppers and visitors. This is particularly useful in the centre of Chester and our town centres.

    “It really helps our teams keep the borough looking great for everyone to enjoy and we hope to add more electric equipment to assist our StreetCare operations in the future.”

    ENDS

  • National Walk to School Week 2022

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    17 May 2022Walk to School Week (16 – 20 May 2022) is a national event designed to raise awareness of the health benefits of walking to and from school. It’s also a great way to celebrate National Walking Month this May.

    Getting fresh air and exercise first thing in the morning helps children feel refreshed and energised, so they’re more alert and ready to start the school day. As well as keeping their bodies healthy, walking promotes positive mental health, helping to boost children’s mood and self-esteem.

    The Council’s Road Safety team is encouraging all local schools to take part in Walk to School Week. As well as the benefits listed above, walking to school with your children will give you screen-free family time, reduce the stress of getting stuck in traffic and hunting for a parking space when you arrive, it saves money, and it’s better for the environment too. If you live too far away from school to walk, park up five minutes away, and complete the rest of your journey on foot.

    In line with its Climate Emergency Response Plan, the Council encourages residents of the borough to walk more and take fewer car journeys, thus reducing carbon emissions and contributing to a cleaner, greener environment.

    Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, has put together a five-day walking challenge for primary schools. This year’s theme is #PowerUp. Pupils will be engaged through a video game-inspired design, encouraging them to travel sustainably to school every day of the week. Click here if your school would like to get involved with National Walk to School Week and take the #Power Up five-day challenge.