The Footprint Trust continues to make a big impact on helping the Island go green. Set up in 2002 to promote a sustainable Isle of Wight linked to reducing the ecological footprint it has to date reached some 15% of Islanders with its eco-friendly message. Long before Eco-Island was an idea the Trust has been giving away low energy lightbulbs – in fact nearly 5,000 to date. Which should be saving over 700,000 KW hrs of electricity and 365 tonnes of CO2 each year, and giving annual savings of £70,000 for Island households.
It has helped save 12 million of litres of water every year by distributing thousands of Southern Water’s save-a-flush bags. Equivalent to17 West Wight swimming pools – of water each year.
Its Waterworks project with the Isle of Wight Council and voluntary groups created drought-tolerant low maintenance planting schemes. The Waterworks project was able to make a real impact during the last two years by attending public events, assisting some 8000 people, visiting 33 schools and speaking with nearly 6000 pupils. Carrying out eco-audits in 19 community buildings and given numerous talks to local societies. Giving guidance to hundreds of Island businesses and charities. Garden centres, libraries and help centres distributed some 8,000 copies of their Water Saving leaflet.
Set up by the Footprint Trust the IW Green Gym helps to look after environmental areas all over the Island. This is now run completely by volunteers, and is the best attended Green Gym in the country. Its volunteers give some 10,000 hours of community work per annum.
This last year also saw the Trust work with the IW Council to promote renewable energy in the home and in community buildings.
Speaking for the Trust Ray Harrington-Vail said,
“ We have made an impact thanks to the support we have received from enthusiastic Islanders who want to do their bit to help the planet…we welcome the Council’s vision for a sustainable future…’
Thanks to recent funding from the Big Lottery Fund Islanders can get free guidance on cutting their fuel bills and keeping their homes warmer and cutting Climate Change gases at the same time. It includes subsidised loft and cavity wall insulation – free for over 70’s and people in receipt of benefit – and information about the WarmFront grant scheme. Contact the Warmahome project on 82-22-82
The IW Adopt-A-Garden scheme has been featured in national gardening publications and on BBC TV. This is for would-be gardeners without a place to garden, and for garden owners with too much land to look after. The Footprint Trust will try to match them up so that the householder gets part of their garden looked after for nothing, and the gardener gets a free growing space. The Footprint Trust received funding from Anchor Staying-Put and the IW Charitable Trust for this original idea.
Lo-Co Parishes is a new idea from the Trust seeking to lower the carbon emissions within a given parish or town. They wish to work closely with local Parish and Town Councils wishing to reduce the environmental damage in their local area. The Trust is currently seeking funders and partners for this proposal.
The majority of their funding has come from off the Island. EU Leader + and the National Lottery have funded a large proportion of their work other funders include the IW AONB Sustainable Development Fund, along with the Isle of Wight Council, ,IWEP, Environment Agency, the Ernest Cook Trust and Southern Water. For every £1 invested in the Footprint Trust around £2 has been returned in energy savings to Island households.
Contact Footprint Trust on 01983 82-22-82