Carbon Reduction Action Groups
Taking a Personal Pledge
Welcome to CRAGs Mount Alexander!
Householders and individuals in the Shire are being asked to get together with their families, friends or neighbours to reduce their household‘s carbon pollution as part of a new project from the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group. The project will see local households calculating their carbon emissions from electricity, gas, travel and waste, pledging to cut those emissions and then working together to find ways to reduce them.
What is it?
Carbon Reduction Action Groups began in the UK (www.carbonrationing.org.uk) as a way for people to make the personal pledge to live low carbon lives. As with most behavioural change, people are often more motivated by doing things with friends or neighbours that are doing the same.
In Australia a new network of CRAG groups are forming and putting us on the world stage as a grassroots movement where people are taking control of and responsibility for their own greenhouse footprints (www.carbonequity.info/crags)
How does it work?
MASG has a simple template that calculates last year’s carbon emissions from your electricity, gas, personal car and plane travel and information on some aspects of food consumption. Just contact Deanna to discuss the basic information available on your bills, estimates of your last year’s travel and a brief summary of your meat and dairy consumption. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Why last year’s data?
Because we appreciate that you have been working long and hard with MASG and C500 and made personal efforts and sacrifices to achieve significant reductions already. By estimating your emissions from last year you will be able to see how those changes and any new changes you adhere to are making a difference by measuring against this year’s recordings.
What are the emission reduction goals?
You choose. To give you a ball park idea, MASG and the Mount Alexander Shire Council target is to see carbon emissions by 30% by 2020. In some households as much as 50% carbon reductions have already been achieved by some individuals and households – in some cases this has been achieved in only a few years. See the tips and ideas from MASG members and Craggers.
If I reduce my carbon emissions by even a small amount, what are the rewards?
Well it reduces your energy bills to start with. Besides, any steps taken towards sustainability should be celebrated and the people rewarded. That’s why MASG is planning to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of Craggers during the life of the project. But the incentive we all know is to help get the Co2 emissions down in the fight against climate change.
And if my emissions go up?
The UK CRAG model is based on a fee-paying structure if you go over your emissions target. For example, if you nominate a reduction of 10% of your estimated use last year, a fee per kg of carbon is charged using their model that goes towards a charity or environmental project. We are in negotiations with a local social support group to donate any acquired fees to go to the purchasing of energy efficient bulbs, insulation, shade cloth etc. for supported households from this program.
But don’t be alarmed – we hope that you stay focused and will work with you to remain within your target, however, the risk that challenges us all is complacency and not adhering to our own behavioural change.
The Victorian Government Sustainability Fund supports innovative projects that foster sustainable resource use and have economic and social benefits for Victorians.
The Sustainability Fund is administered by the Victorian Treasurer and the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and managed on behalf of the Government by Sustainability Victoria.