North Devon Council is working in partnership with Torridge, South Hams and West Devon Councils to encourage local residents and organisations to take actions that both increase quality of life and reduce their carbon footprint to help combat climate change.

“Lifestyle Spring Clean Week” takes place from 12-21 March and is a joint project between the councils and local environmental entrepreneur, Mukti Mitchell which aims to make reducing your carbon footprint simple and enjoyable and show it can lead to healthier , more satisfying lifestyles at the same time.

Other charities in the region, including Resurgence Trust, 361 Energy, Plastic Free North Devon, Beaford Arts and the AONB Biosphere Reserve, have also joined the project, which hopes to reach 25,000 people across the region.

The project has been launched in response to the national climate emergency declared across the UK by local authorities including the four councils. It began last October with "Find your Footprint" week where individuals and organisations could find out their carbon footprint using an online tool and then pick one action from a range of easy lifestyle options that can save CO2. They can now measure their footprint again to see how much it has reduced over the past five months, and celebrate their savings.

Mukti Mitchell, director of Carbon Savvy, a CO2 saving advice provider, says: “It’s exciting that people across Devon are working together to both improve quality of life and save CO2. From my own experience it is the fact that this makes me happier and healthier that makes me so keen to do more. And Carbon Savvy is proud to be launching what we believe are the most accurate and user friendly footprint calculators on line this March, to make it easier and more fun."

Caroline Leaver, North Devon District Council Lead Member for Climate Change, says: “Carbon emissions contribute to climate change, and we've already seen the effects locally in extreme weather events, flooding and damage to our local environment. As individuals, we also pay the costs of climate change out of our own pockets. When we lower our individual carbon footprints, by walking or cycling instead of driving, by reducing our consumption, by using clean energy, or other choices we can cut how much we spend, and invest in our long-term financial security. Every small change we make helps to reduce our own carbon footprints, and tackle climate change more widely."

Councillor Peter Hames, Torridge District Council Lead Member for Climate Change says: "Despite our focus being on Covid-19 in recent months I think it’s also allowed people to reflect on the importance of our environment, open spaces and healthier lifestyles. The consequence of taking to our bikes, walking, and running more has the benefit of being good for the planet, as well as our wellbeing and there is an urgent need to build on this momentum in the face of climate change”.

Councillor Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, says: “On behalf of South Hams District Council I am delighted to be working with Devon based organisation Carbon Savvy on the Get to Net Zero programme. Many people today (25 February 2021) are acutely aware of the urgent need to protect our environment, but few are aware of the great benefits this can bring for our communities, wildlife and indeed happiness and wellbeing. Carbon Savvy’s positive, uplifting advice shows what’s in it for me as well as the planet. And it’s a way for every one of us to do our bit. I invite everyone in South Hams to join the programme in March and get started on building a better future today (25 February 2021).”

Councillor Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: “We're proud to be partnering with Carbon Savvy, a Devon based community organisation, on the Get to Net Zero programme. In December we adopted the first version of our Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy. One of the four objectives, Capability and Engagement, is to encourage collective action as we see that one of our key roles is supporting and signposting our residents and businesses to the latest information and enabling them to do all that they can.

“This programme with Carbon Savvy is one way we can achieve this. The Lifestyle Spring Clean Campaign seeks to promote easy actions which reduce your personal carbon footprint and also have a positive effect on your quality of life. Carbon Savvy’s positive, uplifting advice shows how my quality of life can improve while living a low carbon lifestyle to help the planet. I invite everyone in West Devon to join the programme in March and get started on your own journey to living a low carbon lifestyle.”

To find out how much carbon you have saved since October go to www.carbonsavvy.uk/findyourfootprint where you can take the survey in just five minutes and compare your carbon footprint.

And whether you’re taking part for the first or second time, you could win an electric bicycle when you take the lifestyle survey and one action at www.carbonsavvy.uk.

Celebrate your savings by sharing how well you have done on social media using the hashtag #LifestyleSpringClean