THE Ryedale Environmental Group (REG) is a recently-formed group encouraging projects that reduce our environmental impacts across the district by promoting recycling, re-use and the reduction of waste.

So far town and village-based groups have been set up in Malton and Norton, Pickering and Kirby Misperton.

Each month this column will feature a group or project to showcase our activities.

Here Frank Colenso, Project Lead, gives an update on the Hovingham Project Purple.

The pandemic took its toll on Hovingham’s Project Purple plans in 2020. A series of Repair Cafés were cancelled, community conversations and a host of other climate change initiatives stalled. Unfortunately, during this time, the impacts of climate change continue

The UK experienced some unexpected weather patterns in 2020 including some excessive rain fall during the winter months.

April and May were unseasonably very pleasant, warmer than normal. August was unseasonably wet and stormy.

September turned out to be one of the hottest on record. October was the wettest since record began in 1881. In December the UK was battered by storm Bella, with flooding from Truro in Cornwall to Telford in Shropshire.

Scientists, David Attenborough, our Government, are all telling us it’s not normal.

The Prime Minister reinforced the urgency of addressing climate change in October when he gave a speech to the UN, stating that “Climate action cannot be a victim of coronavirus.”

Every day in the press we see stories of people taking action: from the Government, to business, communities and individuals. Climate action is on the move.

We are seeing unprecedented development in renewable energy. Wind energy has the potential to supply the world’s electricity needs 40 times over.

On the October 6, Boris Johnson pledged to build enough wind energy to supply every household in the UK with renewable energy by 2030.

In recent years, solar installations are being installed faster than for wind. Renewable electricity generation is now competitive without government subsidies. The die is cast. This revolution is picking up speed.

We're seeing businesses change too. More than 240 of the largest global companies have pledged to go 100 percent renewable between 2030 and 2040.

Taking action to slow down climate change has become mainstream.

Businesses and Governments need our help too. It needs a combined approach. Each of us can make a difference; communities can make a difference and there’s not a minute to lose!

Whilst Project Purple couldn’t complete all its 2020 plans, we didn’t stand idle. We installed a community EV charging point. We carried out a solar farm feasibility study. We did manage a very successful Virtual Community Meeting in November. As well as a Repair Café Facebook page, we set up a website with links including films, Government policy and “What can I do?”.

For 2021, we have planned a series of events including the Repair Café, Share Shed, Community Hub and much, much more. Special thanks to NYCC Stronger Communities - Restore and Recover, for their support in 2021.

Curious to know more about your carbon footprint and how this compares with the UK average of circa 10 tonnes Co2 p.a? Check out your footprint using the links on the Hovingham Project Purple website to see how you compare and what simple things you can do to radically reduce your impact on the climate crisis in 2021.