A small community-interest company is taking its first steps to help people in Manchester to understand – and reduce – their carbon footprints. Manchester-based Cooler secured funding from local textile company Westford Mills, and Manchester City Council, to co-ordinate a carbon literacy programme in the city. They are now about to launch their first pilot. MCFly spoke with Dave Coleman of Cooler about the aims of the scheme and whether carbon literacy is the best name for it.
“We’ve already had feedback from a number of parties that are uncomfortable with it being called carbon literacy – sounds too technical…” admits Coleman. “We have a couple of ideas for what it might be called. We’re not going to reveal them quite yet.” The programme has been developed by a Carbon Literacy Working Group. Aware of the dangers of “death by powerpoint,” the group has carefully considered teaching methods, as well as the kinds of knowledge and values to be conveyed during training There will be an assessment process to make sure the ‘carbon literate’ teachers are delivering the goods and encouraging action.
A second, bigger phase of pilots will be launched to run up to June- July and then more public work will begin from August. “Short-term success is to get through that process successfully, and know that we’ve got a process that leaves people in a better place than they were in terms of their understanding of climate change and their action as a consequence,” says Coleman.
Over the next three years, they hope to have offered everyone who lives or studies in Manchester the opportunity to engage in the project. If you think that your organisation or place of study would benefit from carbon literacy training, get in touch via info [AT] coolerprojects.com for more information. A full transcript of the interview with Dave Coleman is available on the Manchester Climate Monthly website, under the “Interview” tab.
- MCFly Climate Bulletin #12, January 30 2012 (manchesterclimatemonthly.net)