Last Saturday (22nd Nov 2014) Essex County Cricket Club cricketer Reece Topley handed out a World Land Trust certificate to Eight Ash Green Cricket Club, marking it as the first Carbon Balanced club in the country – if not the world.
Two years ago Eight Ash Green Cricket Club (EAGCC) in Colchester signed up to the Low Carbon Champions programme. This helps participants measure, reduce and offset their carbon emissions. Luke Keeble and his team enforced the project with help from interns from the University of East Anglia and sponsorship from Neutral Territory, a low carbon property agency.
‘We started the project to encourage members to think about the environment, benefit from the advantages of reduced energy costs and invest in the future of our club for our younger and potential members’ says the project Team Leader, Luke Keeble.
EAGCC made very small changes, such as using energy efficient light bulbs, but they also invested in an 11-seat Land Rover. “We estimate that we used 8 tons of carbon last year, and have offset all this with the help of the World Land Trust and sponsors Neutral Territory”, says Luke. “We now aim to steadily reduce this year-on-year with a simple yet effective scheme of Measure-Reduce-Balance”.
The Low Carbon Champions team of Luke Keeble, Ollie Stovell and Matt Parker received the Carbon Balancing certificate from cricketer Reece Topley.
17 year old Ollie Stovell also received a Jack Petchey Achievement Award. “Ollie has worked hard with the junior teams, both during net sessions and at league matches where he has umpired and scored. The youth players really enjoyed the sessions he worked on and he got a lot of positive feedback from the parents too,” says EAGCC’s President Richard Parker.
Members of EAGCC also voted for Ollie because of his work creating a carbon policy and action plan with the ‘Low Carbon Champions’ team. His role was fundamental in making East Ash Green the first Carbon Balanced club in England. The £200 grant he has received will be spent on continuing to reduce the club’s carbon emissions.
“We are very proud to support organisations that value the environment, sustainability and the skills young people undoubtedly have. We hope other groups are inspired by this,” says Nikki Casey, Grants Officer from the Jack Petchey Foundation.
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