HOW OUR GROUP STARTED
The Harbury Energy Initiative began over a pint ... of blood. At the local blood donation session. David Bristow and Bob Sherman, possibly slightly light-headed from loss of blood, decided that they had had enough of talking green and wanted to see it happen for real.
At that time there were few solar panels to be seen in Harbury, little positive discussion of carbon reduction, nowhere obvious to go for advice, and a general feeling that climate change was perhaps a politically inspired myth and individual effort insignificant in delivering any worthwhile benefit to the planet. Villagers talked about wind turbines and electricity generation from other sources than the grid but in terms of some remote technological wonder beyond their means and their reality. Something needed to happen to change this inertia and that something was the Harbury Energy Initiative, which came into being in January 2010.
A small steering group of 8 discussed and determined a programme of influencing opinion and inspiring change. First step was to ensure we were properly connected to the village's leadership and we requested approval and support from the Parish Council. No problem there. Two councillors were already on the team making sure we had a good link. Our first appearance, only two months after we formed, was in support of a Parish Council event to raise awareness of energy efficiency and new technology. From that we were able to bring together a larger group of enthusiasts, all linking into other village activities and networks. In all we had a group of talented and committed people all able to bring their professional skills to play in achieving our goals:
To reduce the village carbon footprint
To promote behaviour change to more sustainable living
Another key partner for us has been the school. Children are wonderful ambassadors for great ideas and so they have been for us. You can read more about them in the report below on our Green Memories Green Future event. They need little encouragement - but a lot of guidance! - in promoting a greener world. Cajoling their parents into action will help to deliver the strategy!