People & Planet's Big Green Makeover
- Are you fed up with soaring energy bills and cold, inefficient student housing?
- Do you want to help empower students to make their homes more sustainable and create long-lasting behavioural change?
The Big Green Makeover can help you do just that so read on… or check out our interactive Action Guide
What is the Big Green Makeover?
The Big Green Makeover is a home energy saving project which aims to help students and staff to make their homes warmer, more cosy and cheaper to live in. Trained volunteers teach students and staff how they can save energy, water, waste and money through small behavioural and practical changes in their homes. By building partnerships within the university, the project aims to recruit an army of volunteers who can do any one (or all) of 4 activities aimed at creating these changes…
- 1) Run energy advice saving clinics
- 2) Run interactive Big Green Makeover workshops
- 3) Carry out home visits to students’ private rented accommodation.
- 4) Lobbying landlords
Why do we need The Big Green Makeover?
- Did you know that around 50% of heat is lost in the average UK home through the walls and loft?
- Did you know that over £900 million worth of energy is wasted in the UK by leaving appliances on standby?
- Or that if every household installed just one energy saving light bulb, the electricity saved in a year could power the Blackpool Illuminations for nearly 900 years? (Source: Energy Saving Trust)
With 27% of all the carbon emissions in the UK coming from the energy used to heat and light our homes, there is much that we can do to make our homes more sustainable and in doing so contribute to lowering the UK’s carbon footprint. We need to drastically improve our energy efficiency and quickly replace fossil fuels. Home electricity consumption accounts for roughly 1 tonne of CO2 per person so imagine the impact we have at unis collectively. If we can learn how to change our behaviour at home, this will translate into better energy-saving at university and in the workplace too.
Image © Energy Saving Advice Clinic
Partnering with Ecotricity
People & Planet has partnered with Ecotricity to convince students to switch to renewable energy. Not only is there usually no extra cost to your energy bill but Ecotricity will also donate up to £60 to People & Planet’s climate change campaigns when you switch. Changing the way we make our electricity is one of the biggest things we can do to fight climate change, because conventional, or ‘brown’, electricity is the biggest single cause of climate change in the UK – responsible for over 30% of our CO2 emissions. Switching to Ecotricity will support the UK’s transition towards low-carbon renewable sources of energy.
Case Study: Edinburgh University
The Big Green Makeover was developed by People & Planet students at Edinburgh University in 2009. The project was a successful pilot that People & Planet is now rolling out to more universities across the UK. Edinburgh’s achievements include the following:
- Trained over 90 volunteers over 4 semesters!
- Worked with 104 homes – saving 126 tonnes CO2!
- Held 128 personal consultations at 39 Energy Saving Advice Clinics around campus – saving 67 tonnes CO2!
- Worked with Resident Assistants to save over 100 tonnes in University self-catered accommodation!
- Held over a dozen workshops!