Looking beyond your immediate community is an important part of personal carbon reduction. Not least because it is the wider issues, like climate change and peak oil, that are informing our personal lifestyle changes. Emerging situations, such as the economic downturn, can also have big influence on future decisions.
It is also important to look out at the government policies and infrastructure necessary for reducing individual environmental impact, as we are doing in April. For example, without a good local bus service and policy protecting affordable public transport it is a lot harder to live without a car.
The other benefit of looking out is to learn from others not in our immediate community. For example, one of our ideas for the future was having a bike-trailer making session. No-one in our group has made a bike trailer before so we would need to find advice from someone who has!
So despite sounding slightly counter-intuitive it is important when you are trying to reduce your personal environmental impact to sometimes look out at the broader context. Just as long as you remember to look back in again and take responsibility for your own actions.
Photo of Transition Circle West members at our last meeting.