Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We're encouraging residents to get involved in community-led green schemes

Wednesday, 17 April 2024

In a bid to reduce unnecessary waste and cut down on household spending, we're calling on residents and community groups to step forward and consider getting involved in and lead local projects.

One way residents can get involved is by helping set up a ‘Library of Things’ for and with their local communities, volunteer at a scheme where there is one. or even set one up where they live.

A Library of Things is not a library in the traditional sense. It's a hub of shared resources, which offers access to a vast array of items for borrowing, from trestle tables and tents to sewing machines and suitcases. With the simple ethos of "borrow, use, return, repeat," a Library of Things promotes a culture of sharing and collaboration and builds community connections.

Among the many benefits of borrowing items from a Library of Things rather than owning them are freeing up space in our homes, saving money, and reducing waste and carbon emissions.

This follows the success of ‘SHARE’ which is a library of things set up by volunteers in Flitwick in November 2022 and now has a large store full of donated, loanable items along with a strong local presence. Its members are keen to offer their expertise to support residents who would like to set up similar ventures in their local communities.

The council is also keen to hear from anyone who might be interested in setting up a repair shop. Repairing rather than replacing is at the heart of sustainability. Repair shops serve as platforms for sharing skills, knowledge, and resources. By breathing new life into old items, residents can save money whilst cutting down on waste.

Another pocket-friendly scheme that is good for the environment is community energy which is when local people come together to work on projects to help their communities reduce their energy use as well as generate low-carbon heat and power. There are several of these either operating or in the process of being set up within Central Bedfordshire.

Councillor Tracey Wye, our Executive Member for Sustainability and Climate Resilience said:

There is a lot of talk right now about the cost-of-living crisis and the climate emergency - both things that are framed as panic situations and leave us with a feeling of dread and helplessness. But we can turn anxiety-inducing situations into positive change, much like the community groups that mobilised overnight during lockdown to organise shopping, prescription collections and online check-ins with each other.

Most of us get a real sense of satisfaction when we are being helpful. This is why part of our sustainability plan is about supporting local community-led schemes. By working together, we can bring about positive change.

The success of the Library of Things hinges on the participation of volunteers and donors from within the community. If you are interested in learning more about setting up a Library of Things, or want to get involved with a project please email begreen@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.