I’ve got a bit of a confession. Whilst my head tells me climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face, my heart hasn’t felt as passionate about the issue as giving every child the best shot at life, or transforming the way we look after older people. And although I kid myself I’m making an effort, I don’t live anywhere near as green and environmentally-friendly a life as I should.
But the importance of climate change, and how we can actually engage people in addressing the issue, started to make much more sense to me this week.
On Saturday morning I went to a local residents’ coffee morning at Leicester’s EcoHouse. Run by the charity Groundwork – with funding from the National Lottery, European Union, local council and businesses – the EcoHouse does exactly what it says on the tin. It shows simple, real and practical changes you can make to your home to make it ‘greener’.
OK, not everyone will be able to put EcoHouse-size solar panels on their roof or use rainwater to flush their toilet. But this brilliant building shows us how we can all make a difference, whether it’s by recycling bottles, paper and drink cans; improving our home insulation; using energy-efficient light bulbs and eco-friendly cleaning products; or growing some of our own vegetables.
Earlier in the week I also learnt more about Labour’s plans to build affordable homes and support employment and training through the recession.