Make a climate action pledge with us

Find out more about the support and advice available to you

We’re always looking for ways to improve how we deliver our services and many of our commitments to you, as residents of Oxfordshire, are focused on improving our bit of the world. Initiatives that rethink the management of our buildings, how we work with suppliers or ways to support our communities to be healthier and thrive are all a key part of our wider business strategy. Find out more about our Climate action commitment (pdf format, 12Mb).

Pledges don’t need to be big to make a difference. We’ve pulled together some great ideas that are focused on making small changes that when combined can have a big impact. We’ve kept them simple because that makes it easier for you to find something that you feel you can do, with the hope that you are empowered to make further changes in your life to tackle the climate crisis

Why it matters

The science tells us that rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented change is needed to deliver global commitments on climate action. We can only build the necessary long-term, systemic change required to tackle climate change if we utilise the power of people. We want to play our role in this transition in Oxfordshire, alongside our communities and businesses.

Pledge 1

Power from knowledge.  I pledge to find out how to reduce my home emissions and save on my energy bills in 2021.

What you could try

  • Get some quick tips on how you could save energy around the home and the impact of each change. Some you may know about, but there are new ideas too.
  • If you want to get some specific advice, get in touch with Better Housing Better Health. It’s a free helpline for Oxfordshire residents offering advice on reducing energy bills, improving the energy performance of your home and accessing any financial help that might be available to you. Call them on 0800 107 0044 to see how they can help. 

A bigger change?

  • Home consumption accounts for 14% of total carbon emissions in the UK.  According to Ofgem an average UK home with medium energy consumption uses 12,000 kWh of gas and 2,900 kWh of electricity per year.  This could be drastically reduced by making energy efficiency improvements in our homes. 
  • Take a look at Cosy Homes Oxfordshire’s free Plan Builder app to quickly get an idea about the changes that you could make to your home. You can also register for a home energy assessment.  

What we’re doing to support residents

  • We’re one of the partners involved in supporting Better Housing Better Health
  • We’re reviewing our own energy use and amongst other things have switched to green energy and have in place a street light replacement programme.  Additionally, we are championing higher build standards for new developments alongside our partners.
  • Our commitments are outlined in more detail in our Climate Action Framework.

Pledge 2

Small but mighty. I pledge to recycle at least one more thing in 2021. 

What you could try

  • Ever wondered whether that contact lens case or coffee pod is recyclable? Or whether you can recycle food waste without the bags supplied by the council? Use our waste wizard to find out: 
    • whether your item can be collected by your district council and which bin to put it in  
    • the types of waste we accept at a household waste recycling centre 
    • other ways you can repair, reuse or recycle household items. 
  • There are some simple things you can do to ensure that the load, when it’s collected, isn’t contaminated and therefore isn’t at risk of being rejected.
    • Rinse or wipe before you recycle, this includes takeaway foil trays, containers, jars, bottles etc. This stops the leftover residue leaking onto paper and card, which can contaminate it.
    • Remember if the wrong things are put in the recycling bin, the load can be rejected, undoing everyone’s good work. Disposing of those loads can cost up to three times as much as processing properly sorted recycling. It also wastes precious resources and increases the carbon footprint of the waste process.

A bigger change?

  • Consider whether you can reduce your waste by changing how you buy things – consider those with less packaging or compostable packaging.
  • Reduce packaging waste by using a refill station for household goods – e.g. detergents, dry goods, fruit and veg and toiletries.
  • Reduce food waste through meal planning – that way you’ll only buy what you need. 
  • Donate or sell unwanted items rather than binning them.
  • Buy second hand, or even repurpose an item you already have (even if it wasn’t intended for that purpose in the beginning, use your imagination e.g. use an old pickle jar for a plant pot!).

What we’re doing to support residents

  • Managing waste is a big part of the work we do at the council, so we’re committed to continually improving that process. If you want to know more, visit our webpages.
  • Oxfordshire is ranked as the best County Council Waste Disposal Authority (CCWDA) for reuse, recycling and composting in England.  However, there is still much work to be done, especially as we expect household waste to increase by 5% this year due to COVID-19.
  • We have supported community action groups for 20 years. Find information about local opportunities for reuse, community fridges, library of things, and reducing food waste.

Pledge 3

Mix it up Monday. I pledge to go meat-free each Monday in 2021. 

What you could try

A bigger change?

Pledge 4

Wake and shake. I pledge to make one extra walking or cycling journey each week in 2021. 

What you could try

  • Exercise and be rewarded by downloading and using the Street Tag app 
  • The outdoors is a great place for exercise which has numerous benefits for health and well-being. Find a walk or ride near your home on the County Council Website.  For the safety of all, please adhere to Government rules on exercising during covid
  • Apply for the ‘Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme’ to receive a voucher worth up to £50 towards the cost of repairing a bicycle. NB: The voucher scheme has been hugely popular and vouchers will be released when participating retailers can again meet demand. 

What we’re doing to support residents

  • We are investing in a range of measures to make journeys easier by bike or on foot. Visit our Active Travel Hub to see what the programme means for your area.
  • Active travel funding is also supporting a number of initiatives to help people move more including Street Tag and School streets, which aims for a car-free zone around six schools across the county.
  • In Oxfordshire transport is responsible for a larger proportion of greenhouse gas emissions than the national average, producing 36.5% of all emissions in the county.  Road transport is responsible for the majority of these emissions, 33.3%, making it the largest source of emissions in Oxfordshire.  We are publishing a new vision for transport in Oxfordshire with climate action at its heart. 

Pledge 5

Community matters. I pledge to be a climate action ambassador in Oxfordshire 

What you could try

  • Subscribe to The Key – Community Action Group Oxfordshire’s fortnightly sustainability newsletter. Get all the latest sustainability news from across Oxfordshire and beyond, plus the best events, jobs and funding opportunities in the county.
  • Get involved - find volunteer opportunities with one of the 80+ community groups part of the CAG Network.

What we’re doing to support residents

  • Together with the leaders and chief executives of all local authorities across Oxfordshire, we have committed to join together to tackle the Climate Emergency. With wider Oxfordshire partners we are signatories to Oxfordshire’s Energy Strategy, setting out a pathway to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, as an ambitious step on the road to net-zero by 2050. Our commitments to enabling a zero-carbon Oxfordshire by 2050 are outlined in more detail in our Climate Action Framework.
  • The council’s long-term funding of Community Action Groups created the biggest climate network reaching 80,000 people in 2018.   They pioneer local food production and land management through to community-owned and operated hydro and solar power.