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Eco-plans unleashed on town

PUBLISHED: 10:58 11 May 2009 | UPDATED: 08:11 01 August 2010

A GROUP of a dozen people promoting sustainability in Bungay have thrown out an invitation for the whole town to get involved in cutting its carbon footprint and making it a better place to live.

A GROUP of a dozen people promoting sustainability in Bungay have thrown out an invitation for the whole town to get involved in cutting its carbon footprint and making it a better place to live.

An event held on Saturday to celebrate a year since Bungay became the first Transition Town in Suffolk, also marked the “unleashing” of the initiative.

During the year Sustainable Bungay, the group driving the project, staged events such as a car-free day and give-and-take days in a bid to raise awareness.

Charlotte Du Cann, from Sustainable Bungay, said that unleashing meant the initiative was now “fully-fledged” in that the group was ready to open up the process to the community. She said the aim was to find ways to thrive in a future threatened with the “triple crunch” of climate change, peak oil and economic downturn.

“Unleashing is a crucial step forward because it opens it out to the community, not just a group of 12 people,” she said. “It's a very solid start and people definitely want to get involved.”

She added: “It's all about facing reality and coming up with lots of practical solutions that make a difference on a local level in a global context.”

More than 70 people turned out to the town's community centre to discuss topics. These included food - the potential for garden sharing and community food growing, the local economy - exchanging goods and skills, and transport - looking at better use of bicycles and public transport. Sub-groups will now be formed to focus on each of the seven areas.

Projects in the pipeline include Bungay's first Big Green Street Market, where local produce will be promoted and sold, and measuring Bungay's carbon footprint. The group will continue to run talks, workshops and film screenings on the issues of climate change and peak oil.

Sustainable Bungay was formed as a result of a local conference on climate change in November 2007 and became a member of the Transition Towns network a few months later. The unleashing is one of the early milestones in a 12-step process of Transition Towns which is mapped out over 20 years.

Although four other Suffolk communities - Beccles, Diss, Woodbridge and Ipswich - are also transition towns, Bungay was the pioneer for the county, and has now become the first to “unleash”, following in the footsteps of Norwich.


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