Hatley Parish Council cares about the future of this planet: at its meeting on 18th January 2022, it declared a climate emergency – see item 14 of the minutes – in doing so it anticipates following the lead of other parish councils and local organisations also declaring a climate emergency.

Formally declaring a climate emergency means we can take this into account when making council decisions, particularly those with an environmental impact.

We strongly believe when individuals take action, they can bring about positive change and these notes detail some personal actions you may find helpful.**

You’re probably already making changes yourself and our suggestions may nudge you to make a few more – individual actions matter because:

  • They reduce emissions.
  • They encourage those around you to join in.
  • They inform discussions.
  • You steer commerce with your purchasing preference.

Travel – 27% of average person’s total emissions

These vary a lot between individuals – even so:

  • While living as we do in a small village means we are reliant on our cars, walking and cycling have the lowest CO2.
  • When making longer journeys, like going on holiday, you could go by coach or take the train (checkout The Man in Seat Sixty-One for advice and help for European journeys).
  • You might consider buying an electric car.
  • Perhaps you make a regular journey to Cambridge, Bedford or somewhere else nearby and could offer a lift to someone else?
  • And there’s always the Park and Ride once you are in Cambridge – now predominantly served by electric vehicles.
  • If you usually drive to an exercise class, maybe consider swapping one class a week for a local walk.

Food – 26% of average person’s emissions

Discover new tastes and try out vegetarian or vegan meals so you eat less animal-factory meat (especially beef and lamb):

  • Swap out some of your milk for oat milk – did you know a litre of UK milk is 1.5/2kg of CO2 emissions? Source – which includes advice / comment on cow vs plant milks.
  • Should you buy meat, buy pasture fed meat – it is far better for you, and pastures (grassland) stores carbon magnificently.
  • Eat everything you buy, be creative with your leftovers and surprise yourself with how much you can freeze.
  • Buy fruit and veg in season.
  • Avoid air freighted perishables, e.g. green beans from Kenya.
  • Reduce plastic – mostly made from fossil fuels.
  • Shop locally where possible – e.g. Woodview Farm Shop, Hatley Post Office, Gamlingay CoOp – and use a refill shop like Refill Shop in 40 St Mary’s Street, Eynesbury, St. Neots, PE19 2TA to top up cleaning products, pulses, dried goods and beauty products.
  • We could set up a group that buys goods in bulk from a food co-operative like Suma.
    • Our order would be delivered to one address in the village and distributed from there.

Homes – 23% of average person’s emissions

There are several things you can do:

  • Switch to a renewable energy tariff.
  • Heating uses about 60% of your total energy: choose 19-20°C for living rooms (21°C minimum for the elderly) and 16°C (18°C for the elderly) for bedrooms.
  • Use programmable controls and thermostatic radiator valves.
  • Keep an extra clothing layer to hand.
  • Get a 75 mm water cylinder jacket – they cost about £15 but save £30 pa (all at 2021 prices).
  • Wash clothes at the lowest temperature.
  • Change to LED bulbs.
  • Shower for a minute less (saves £25 per person pa in fuel and water); if you are more likely to take baths, then aim not to use as much water as you normally do.

Other – the remaining 24%

These are public services, bought services and products:

  • Make your mantra: REDUCE, REFILL, REUSE, RECYCLE!
  • Buy less – fashion clothing creates 10% of global emissions.
  • Circulate goods – share goods, use things for longer, buy/sell second hand, give items away, find another purpose for them, rent instead of buying and recycle.
  • If buying get quality, sustainable goods.


Slim your bin!

  • Aim to reduce what goes in your black bin, reduce plastic and paper waste in your blue bin, swap to a smaller size black bin, get a second green bin if your garden produces a lot of garden waste or better still, start a compost heap for your garden waste.
  • Compost your food waste as well and apply the compost to your own flower beds and veg patch.
  • Eat everything you buy, be creative with your leftovers and surprise yourself with how much you can freeze.
  • Collect rainwater to use on your garden.
  • Drink tap water not bottled water – and refill your bottle from a tap; even very thin plastic bottles can be reused many, many times.
  • Grow your own veg.
  • Use local recycling centres and charity banks – up-to-date details are on the waste recycling centres page of this website.
    • Our local charity banks are at Woodview Farm Shop, the Eco Hub and Potton Tesco.

And finally…

We hope you find some of these ideas useful, a lot of them have come from the Energy Saving Trust website, which is full of helpful advice and information.

Would you like to get involved and share hints and tips of your own or take up some of the ideas suggested in these notes?

  • If so, what method of communication suits you?

There is already a Hatley Facebook page which you can post on – and we could set up a Climate Emergency WhatsApp group.

  • Would either of these work for you?

Please get in touch with Margot Eagle, 01767 651 649 or 07740 769 687, email margoteagle22@gmail.com if you’d like to be part of such a group or have alternative suggestions.

** These notes were initially circulated in mid-December 2021 as a newsletter to all households in Hatley.

NB  The figures quoted in these notes are all approximate and may change slightly depending on sources.

Page created 20th December 2021; updated with minor changes 22nd July 2022 and 3rd December 2023.