Climate Change and Ecological Emergency

Useful websites to help you reduce your carbon footprint:

In 2019, Moretonhampstead Parish Council and the Development trust both signed an emergency declaration, agreeing to take urgent action on climate change. Together, we have devised a Carbon Plan for Moretonhampstead to display what progress we are making to reduce our carbon emissions and help make Moretonhampstead a more sustainable town.

In 2022, the Climate and Emergency Working Group developed a Directory of Local Organisations involved in the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

Green tip of the Month


June 2023


Plastic is everywhere. Useful and convenient, it’s also a massive pollution problem. As plastic breaks down into small particles it releases the toxic chemical additives that were used to define, harden and shape it. These chemicals and small particles of plastic can be ingested or absorbed by wildlife and even humans. Wildlife becomes ensnared in discarded plastic and microplastics are eaten by ocean creatures.
UK households throw away approximately 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging a year, averaging 66 items per household per week. These are mainly food packaging items, such as snack bags and fruit and veg trays. In 2021 2.5 million metric tons of plastic packaging waste were generated in the UK.
What can we do?

  • Avoid buying bottled water by using a re-fillable flask or cup. Take your own cup for take-away
    coffees and teas.
  • Avoid plastic packaging where possible – our Zero Waste shop and veg shop can help with that – soft plastic can be re-cycled at the special bin in the Co-op and hard plastic can be re-cycled in the black box.
  • Use glass containers rather than plastic where possible. Glass jars can be used to store left-
  • Get involved with litter-picks – you can do your own, you just need a bag and some gloves or tongs – or join a group.
  • Let’s educate ourselves and our children about this issue.
    Look at which provides education resources and ideas for reducing plastic waste. They spread awareness about the harmful impacts plastic can have on our environment and are organising Plastic Free July with ideas for all of us to participate.
    The RSPCA website for information about the harm plastics can do to animals and our ecosystem and ideas about what we can do to help prevent harm. Similarly Greenpeace, the Centre for Biological Diversity and many more organisations who are aware of the problems we face because of the widespread use of plastics.

Moreton Action on Plastics is our local group – to find out more contact Liz Prince at .
When you do use plastic, make sure that you re-use it, recycle it or dispose of it properly.
We can all help the environment and stop wasting precious resources by taking these simple steps to reduce the amount of plastic we use. Thank you.

May 2023

Join the NO MOW MAY movement and liberate your lawn

The total area of gardens in the UK is estimated at 4,300 square kilometres. This is a larger area than all our nature reserves combined and huge potential resource. By practising wildlife friendly gardening, we can all do our bit to preserve our threatened wildlife.

Simply lock up your mower in May to let the flowers bloom and provide a much needed boost for wildlife.

You can choose not to mow some or all of your lawn. Leaving areas uncut will allow plants such as daisies, dandelion, self-heal and clover to bloom, providing a bee and butterfly buffet.
For more information visit the Plantlife website:

April 2023

Love Food – Hate Waste

Teignbridge District Council have been looking at what people in Teignbridge put in their black bins. The results were pretty shocking, especially since we are in a cost of living crisis.

They discovered that a massive 28% of the contents of our black bins was food waste – much of it unopened! That equates to 37,000 tonnes of food being thrown away across Devon! Households are wasting up to £800 a year!

There are lots of ways to reduce food waste –

  • Being clever with planned shopping (look in the fridge before you shop!)
  • Using left-overs
  • Storing food correctly
  • Freezing left over food for another meal

The Teignbridge LOVEFOODHATEWASTE website has lots of tips for reducing food waste, including practical tips such as storing potatoes in the fridge, where they will last 3 times as long.

If you have food to spare – don’t forget our Community Fridge and larder, situated outside the Community Club on Court Street, where someone else can make use of what you don’t need.

A certain amount of food waste is hard to avoid, so if you do have bits to throw away, recycle any packaging where possible and use the food waste bin. The food in there is used to produce energy in a biomass boiler and the waste product makes good fertiliser. You can line your caddy with a plastic bag or biodegradable liner if you want. The plastic bags are filtered from the process and sent to an energy from waste facility.

March 2023


In most households, kettles are one of the most used appliances, so here are some useful tips for saving energy.

The easiest way to save money with your kettle is to just boil the amount of water you need. Many kettles now have indicators inside the kettle to show the level for one, two or three cups. In others there is a transparent panel so that you can easily see the water level. It makes a huge difference not to overfill your kettle.

At current prices, with a 3kw kettle, if you had two cups of tea every day for a year, and only boiled the water you needed, it would cost you £9.34. But if you boiled a full kettle each time, it would cost you £49.64. So it’s definitely more cost effective only to boil the amount of water you need, rather than a full kettle.

If you are thinking of buying a new kettle, it might be worth considering buying one with a variable temperature control. This allows you to heat the water to the ideal temperature, depending on whether you are making tea, coffee or other drinks. You should also look for one with a low minimum fill, for the times when you are just making a single cuppa. A kettle with a water level gauge – a transparent window that marks how much water you are boiling – will help avoid wasting energy by boiling more water than you need.

The good news is that because Dartmoor has the softest water in the country, we don’t get a build up of limescale in our kettles. Limescale can reduce efficiency by a significant amount.

Using a thermos pot can also save a lot of energy and time, if you pour surplus boiling water from your kettle into a thermos pot, it will stay hot enough to make further cups of tea for several hours. It’s good for topping up a tea-pot and the extra hot water can be
used for cooking vegetables.

How Green is Your Kettle poster

February 2023

Plant a tree in ‘23!

Not only do trees look beautiful, they provide valuable habitat for wildlife.

Local Schemes – Free trees

There are several schemes currently operating in Devon for tree planting, to help reduce our carbon footprint and encourage biodiversity. One of them is organised by Moor Trees. It aims to restore Dartmoor’s woodlands by encouraging the natural regeneration of native species that is already taking place in some areas and helping to establish a network of
community woodlands, planting trees where necessary. Contact or phone 01364 649277

If you want to get a free tree to plant in your garden, you can access trees from various Free Tree Hubs organised by the Devon Wildlife Trust as part of their Saving Devon’s Treescapes initiative. Find details of venues at

January 2023


With temperatures plummeting it’s hard to think about energy saving and staying warm. But there are things you can do to make the best of the available heat in your home. This can help you save money and reduce carbon emissions.

Reducing drafts can really help you feel warmer in your home. Fitting draught-proofing strips to windows and doors is a relatively quick, easy and cheap job that can make a big difference. Cutting out draughts stops heat escaping and prevents cold air from entering your home. You’ll feel warmer and might even be able to turn your heating down.

Keeping internal doors shut and using draft excluders between warmer and cooler parts of the house can help prevent warm air escaping into cooler parts of your house.

Wearing extra layers clothes around the home will help you feel warmer. Several thinner layers will keep you warmer than one thick layer of clothing.

If you are using one particular room, try heating it with a portable oil-filled electric heater rather than turning the whole central heating system on.

Bedrooms can be cooler spots in the house so rather than turning the heating up try warming the bed up first with a hot water bottle or electric blanket. Pop extra covers on your bed to keep the warmth in.

Save heating your own home during the day time by using one of the warm hubs available in Moretonhampstead over the Winter. Moretonhampstead Library is open for extra hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with teas and coffees. Wellmoor’s Friendly Fridays in the Community Club provides warmth, company, teas, coffees and light lunch.

January Green Tip of the Month poster

December 2022

The rising cost of energy and the climate crisis gives us more incentive than ever to try and make our homes more energy efficient. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. There’s a lot we can do at minimal or no expense.

But where to start? How can we get advice tailored to our own home and circumstance?

Luckily there are organisations locally which can give impartial energy advice.

LEAP is the Local Energy Advice Partnership – 0800 060 7567 – 9.00 – 5.30, Monday – Friday

LEAP work with and ECOE. Under their Health Homes for Wellbeing scheme, they can help with:

  • tarrif checks and supplier switching
  • applying for the Warm Home Discount
  • registering for Priority Services Register
  • energy and water saving tips and advice
  • grants for insulation and heating
  • heating control advice
  • smart meters
  • referrals for help with benefits and debts

You can call LEAP or contact ECOE – Exeter Community Energy on or 0800 772 3617 to book a free energy and money saving advice call.

Domestic energy use is by far the largest contributor to CO2 emissions in Devon, so let’s get going on saving money and saving the planet at the same time!

October 2022

DIY Loft Insulation
According to the Energy Savings Trust website insulating your loft is by far the most effective way of keeping your house warm and cutting heating bills. One of our trustees describes “doing it yourself”!

Recently we decided to insulate our loft properly. Of course, this job is really two jobs: first – clearing the loft and second – actually insulating it.

Well, the first had to be done and was a good chance to weed out unwanted items and re-organise the rest. In practise we found we were able to move boxes to one side of the loft and move back as the job got done.

The loft already had a layer of glass fibre between the joists with flooring chipboards laid on top. These were not fixed so it was not too difficult to make a temporary pile of them.

We bought rolls of 6” insulation to bring the depth of insulation up to 11” (government recommended thickness) and laid it on top of the existing layer. We wanted to reinstate the chipboard floor for storage. To do this, and allow for the extra layer of insulation, we fixed new joists on top of the old ones and laid the old flooring chipboards back again. Job done! Actually, not quite done – we went back later to put pipe lagging on all the exposed water pipes to protect them from freezing in a now colder loft.

It is also worth mentioning that another way to create a storage platform at the right height is to use “loft storage stilts” which screw onto the existing joists.

Using mineral wool was a relatively cheap and easy way of doing the job. But there are many other ways of insulating a loft – different materials for example, such as Celotex (a rigid foam sheet of varying thicknesses that you cut to size) or multi-foil quilt (comes in 4’ rolls and can be tacked up to the underside of the roof). On the whole these are not so easily used as part of a DIY job.

So, what was the outcome of this loft insulation upgrade? Coupled with a bit of draft-stripping, it has really made a big difference to the warmth of the house in winter and considerably reduced fuel consumption.

September 2022


As energy bills sky-rocket, now is a good time to consider getting solar panels.
A solar PV system will help to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce your bills long-term.

How to decide what kind of system will be suitable for you and how to finance it involves many considerations. A local organisation has done extensive research on this and produced a useful guide on their website, tailored to local needs.

Currently it seems that the Green Homes Grant has been suspended, but it is quite likely that it will be resumed as pressure mounts on the government to do something about the energy crisis.

At least one Moreton resident was lucky enough to benefit from the previous round of funding for the Green Homes Grant, administered by City Energy, and has had six solar panels installed on their house. It is worth registering an interest with City Energy, so that when new funding is available you can be quick to apply.

July 2022


Have you heard of ‘hypermiling’? it’s the hip word for economy driving. With fuel prices sky-rocketing it’s possible to save money on fuel, whilst also helping to save the planet.
The seven top tips for fuel economy are:

LIGHT FEET – no harsh accelerating or braking.
Flooring the accelerator not only wastes fuel, it leads to drastically higher pollution rates. One second of high-powered driving can produce nearly the same volume of carbon monoxide emissions as a half hour of normal driving. Read the road ahead. Try to anticipate stops and let your vehicle coast down as much as possible.

DRIVE MORE SLOWLY – this won’t make a massive difference to your journey time but can save a lot of fuel. On a motorway if you drive behind a larger vehicle (doesn’t have to be dangerously close) you will reduce wind resistance – a technique called ‘drafting’. The most efficient speed for cars is between 55-65 mph. ( Not recommended around Moreton!)

LOSE WEIGHT – make sure you are not carrying around a load of junk in your car, as that will increase fuel consumption. Also, don’t have a roof rack on the car unless you are using it, as it adds weight and increases drag. An empty roof rack can increase fuel consumption by around 7% at motorway speeds.

DRIVE IN THE HIGHEST GEAR – Change up as soon as your car will comfortably take the next higher gear, using a moderate amount of throttle.

KEEP YOUR TYRES INFLATED TO THE CORRECT PRESSURE –Under-inflated tyres create more resistance when your car is moving, which means your engine has to work harder, so more fuel is used and more CO2 emissions are produced. Simply checking and adjusting your tyre pressures regularly, particularly before long journeys, can help reduce fuel consumption, as well as helping to increase the life of your tyres.

GO ELECTRIC – If you are thinking of replacing your car, an electric car is much cheaper to run and especially if you use green electricity, it will reduce your carbon footprint. Using these fuel efficiency techniques will increase your range.

IDLING WASTES FUEL – If you are likely to be at a standstill for more than a minute or so, switch off the engine. This reduces emissions and saves fuel.

Following these seven tips will save money and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

June 2022


  • When storing food, think bowl and plate – left-overs can be put in a bowl covered by a plate. Half a lemon (or onion, cabbage etc.) can just be put away with the cut side down on a plate.
  • Re-using plastic containers, such as yogurt pots, ice cream tubs etc. is better than buying more plastic.
  • Glass jars make excellent storage for dressings, grains, dried fruit, nuts etc. and can be good for small amounts of left-overs too.
  • Stainless steel containers are good for lunch-boxes and picnics and can be used for the freezer as well.
  • We have mostly got into the good habit of taking a shopping bag with us when we go shopping, saving tons of plastic waste. Now it’s time to get into the habit of taking a container with you – for meat, fish etc. – this can go straight into the fridge when you get home.
  • Taking a container with you also applies of course to shopping in shops like our very own Zero Waste shop, where you can measure out and just buy what you need, also helping to reduce food waste.


May 2022

By using water more wisely we can ease the pressure on our wetlands and rivers. Saving water will ensure more stable, resilient habitats for birds and other wildlife. If you have a water meter, the following tips may help you to reduce your water and sewerage bills. Even if you don’t have a meter, cutting down on the amount of hot water you use will lower your gas and electricity bills and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases you release into the atmosphere. Using less water will also help reduce the greenhouse gases that are released from collecting, treating and supplying clean water.

Here are some water-saving tips:

  • Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or your dishwasher.
  • If possible, take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of water – about half the volume of a standard bath.
  • Turn off the tap when cleaning your teeth. A running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.
  • Use a water-saving device in your toilet cistern. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between one and three litres each time you flush the toilet.
  • Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables or dishes. You can then use the waste water to water your plants.
  • Using a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe.
  • Think about fitting a water butt to collect rainwater off your roof. Water butts usually store about 200 litres of water. As well as being better for watering your plants, using rainwater in the garden reduces the amount of treated water you use.

April 2022

With the massive rise in energy prices, we have even more incentive to save energy where we
can in the home. Here are five tips for energy saving at home, including some you may not have thought of. These will save you money as well as helping to save the planet.

  1. Turn down your thermostat by 1 degree, if you haven’t already!
  2. When you boil a kettle, just heat the water you need – it’s much quicker and will save energy. Even better, buy a thermos pot which will keep your hot water for the next cup of tea. This is standard practice in countries like Japan, which traditionally don’t use electric kettles.
  3. Make sure you turn off appliances at the plug – having things on standby uses a surprising amount of energy.
  4. Have a shower, rather than a bath, and take a shorter time in the shower if you can.
  5. Try a ‘Wonderbag’ – which is a modern equivalent of the ‘hay box’ which continues cooking food placed in it. It does the same job as a slow cooker but with no energy use. It is great if you’re going out – you can get a dish started on the hob and then put it in the Wonderbag. When you get home, you have a hot dinner waiting! It retains heat so well that you will need oven gloves to take it out, even after several hours. It comes with a recipe book and is available online and hopefully soon from our very own Zero Waste Shop.
5 Energy Saving Tips At Home

March 2022

As thoughts of spring turn to gardening and planting, it feels like a good time to remind everyone who may be buying compost that it is important for the environment to buy peat-free compost.

Peat bogs are wonderful carbon sinks, storing carbon away for ever. They are also home to rare birds, butterflies, dragonflies and plants. They have a unique biodiversity. In the UK, peat bogs store more carbon than all Europe’s forests. Unfortunately, peat bogs are cheap to buy. Then they are drained, which immediately starts emitting greenhouse gases. The peat is then dug and put into a bag and is ready to sell. The carbon in peat when spread on a field or garden, quickly turns into carbon dioxide which adds to
greenhouse gas levels.

So if you can’t make your own compost, please remember to buy peat-free!

February 2022

Turn the Thermostat down by ONE Degree
With the cost of energy set to rise, we can reduce our carbon footprint and save money with this very simple tip – one of the easiest and quickest changes we can make. That is: turn the thermostat down on your central heating system – turning it down by ONE DEGREE can cut your bills by over £50 a year, and save 310 kg of CO2.

While you are looking at your central heating controls, make sure that you are only heating the rooms which need it and use the timer to avoid heating at times when you are not there. If you want to get much more control, think about investing in a smart system which you can control from your phone or Alexa device, or other individual thermostatic radiator controls. This will avoid heating the whole house unnecessarily.

You can find out more at the Energy Saving Trust website.


January 2022


January is the time for New Year’s Resolutions and so a good time to re-think our buying habits and approach to our wardrobe.

We all know about the environmental impact of flying but the fashion industry’s carbon footprint is greater than aviation and shipping combined! So it is essential globally to think seriously about our clothes.

The main message is to BUY LESS and wear for longer. Invest in fewer high quality items with sustainable credentials.

The rise of ‘vintage’ clothes shops means that buying used clothing is now cool – we have our own ‘Brainwave’ charity shop and ‘Uptown’ in Chagford as well as many charity shops and vintage outlets in Exeter and Okehampton.

A survey in the UK found that nearly half of the clothes in the average person’s wardrobe are never worn. This is a great time to go through your wardrobe and arrange a clothes swap with friends for some items and to take others to charity shops or for re-cycling.

Let’s make 2022 the year to BUY LESS, RE-USE, RECYCLE !

December 2021

Christmas Wrapping Paper – all that glitters……………

Over the years Xmas wrapping paper has changed and is no longer a simple paper sheet
with perhaps a few Xmas trees, stars, holly and snowy scenes printed on it.

Nowadays much of the festive wrapping paper on sale includes plastics in the form of
glitter and laminates. Because of this (and he same is true for many Xmas card designs)
such paper is impossible to recycle.
One national waste management company, has estimated that every household throws
away on average 3 bags of festive packaging after Xmas which ends in landfill. These
bags combine to create a horrendous 3 million tonnes of extra waste at Christmas
So, the message is, when choosing your Christmas wrapping paper (and cards), please go
for those that are not adorned with glitter and shiny laminates. Then you can recycle with
your ordinary paper waste. Or fold away and re-use next year!

And, of course BUY LOCAL and BUY LESS!

November 2021

Reduce and Recycle

October 2021


Re-Use and Recycle Household goods and furniture

Every year, over 10 million items are sent to landfill. A third of these – up to 3 million – could be re-used.

As we have been spending more time at home during the pandemic, many people have embarked on home improvement projects and adaptations to enable working from home.

What to do with unwanted furniture? Where to find good quality used furniture?

Locally, we have two good outlets.

Proper Job in Chagford is conveniently near, though at present their stock of furniture and ability to accept donations is somewhat limited. They do have a good selection of books, toys and other items, though.

ReFurnish in Newton Abbot – 1 Brunel Road, TQ12 4PB

has a large selection of furniture and household appliances, such as fridges, washing machines, vacuum cleaners etc. all of which are PAT tested and in working order. All the furniture which they sell is in good condition and reasonably priced.

They offer discount to people on benefits and through social services often help people who are trying to get back on their feet in difficult circumstances.

They are part of a network of affiliated organisations which do similar work, details of which can be found on their website.

The added advantage of ReFurnish is that if you have a piece of furniture to donate which they find is too worn or unsuitable, the recycling centre is just round the corner, so your journey won’t be wasted.

And don’t forget the Moreton Facebook hub, where you can often find a new home for unwanted items or see if anyone has a spare piece of furniture they no longer need. It is a great community support.

July 2021


Convert your food waste into green electricity !

Although the best thing that can happen to the food we buy or grow is for us to eat it all, inevitably there will be some food waste, such as peelings, banana skins, tea bags etc. If you can’t compost this yourself, then putting it in your food caddy for collection has a double benefit – firstly, it avoids it going into landfill where it will release harmful methane gas as it decomposes and secondly, Teignbridge takes food waste to an anaerobic digestion facility in Devon where it is converted into electricity and a fertiliser. Any plastic bags which can be used to line the bins are filtered from the process and sent to an energy from waste facility.

Don’t forget, though, that we should all do all we can to reduce food waste. If we all stopped wasting the food which could have been eaten, it would have the same CO2 impact as taking 1 in 4 cars off UK roads.

For more information visit How is food waste recycled? | Recycle Now

May 2021


Following on from last Month’s theme of inviting wildlife into your garden, the Parish Council would like to highlight the ‘No mow May’ initiative being promoted by conservation charity Plantlife.
Head to to find out how you can get involved in surveying wildflowers and helping to provide valuable food for a range of pollinating insects in your garden.
Please do email us to share your projects with us ( ) and keep your eyes peeled for areas around town that the Parish council are working in conjunction with the biodiversity group to get Moreton’ buzzing!

(And spend the time you would have been mowing sitting enjoying your outside space and its visitors instead!)

April 2021


With green shoots, blossoms and nesting birds heralding spring’s arrival and the chance to spend more time outdoors, it’s an ideal opportunity to think about how we can invite wildlife into our gardens. No space is too small and any action can contribute to combating the effects of the climate change and ecological emergency as well as improving our mental health. Here are some ideas of projects to get you thinking and keep the kids occupied in the Easter holidays…

We are blessed in Moretonhampstead with many people and groups who have the enthusiasm, knowledge and skills to inspire and assist on this subject – Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events you can get involved in or explore this page for more ideas – or pop into Zero Waste for a paper copy.


March 2021

Dastardly Draughts!The recent cold snap has concentrated minds on making sure that our houses are as warm and energy efficient as possible.
Energy conservation often tends to concentrate on insulation and U values, and quite often overlooks the potential of draughts to bypass all the excellent work done in insulating your home.  They can whisk away your hard won therms and BTU’s into the atmosphere, before you can say Brrrr.
In older homes, draughts arise not only from poorly sealed windows and doors, but also at junctions of skirtings and architraves, and with suspended wooden floors – especially if they are plane edged boards and not tongued and grooved. 
To test how airtight your home is you can always do the taper test.
This involves (carefully) using a lighted taper or joss stick and moving it close to the various junctions of the building’s external walls and joinery and note the degree to which the line of smoke is affected. If you want to do a test professionally, there is a range of Smoke-Sticks & dispenser pen available from a company called Hayes. Ordinary smoke matches, tapers and smoke tubes give off an unstable smoke pattern, but the Smoke-Stick with its straight, pencil-thin smoke pattern has been designed specifically to monitor the slightest change in air movement. Each Smoke-Stick offers a minimum of 30 minutes of continuous smoke or 90 tests of 20 seconds each.
Please don’t get ambitious and wander round the house with a tallow torch or other apparatus (as might be seen in Game of Thrones); and when you have found your leaky bits get cracking with a proprietary sealant and stay warm.
Please also note that the government Green Homes Grant has been extended until March 2022. That is the date by which work has to be completed and it can be quite a slow process, so get cracking if you think it will help you to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Stop those dastardly draughts poster

Watch the Chairman, Cllr Vivienne Hodges check the Office at Greenhill for draughts. We are very happy with the results!

February 2021


To reduce our carbon emissions and help to prevent climate change, we need to know what our own carbon footprint is as individuals and households, so that we can see where it would be helpful to modify our behaviour and have the most beneficial effect.

This is a great time to be doing it, so we can all make a few New Year Resolutions to do our bit in reducing emissions.

There are various templates available for doing this which you can find online, but we have come up with a template which is specifically designed for Moreton – giving you calculations for journeys from here etc.

We suggest that you give this one a go – click here to download the Moretonhampstead Carbon Calculator

The Parish Council and the Development Trust are working together on climate change issues, hoping for a more sustainable future for us all.  We welcome any feedback on this and helpful suggestions to make our community fit for a more sustainable future.

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