Cara's team gets going

Mach One get together for their introductory EcoTeams meeting and start to investigate the impact of their current daily actions.

Mach One

We started our team - Mach One - towards the end of last year following the launch of the EcoTeams project at the Centre for Alternative Technology, just up the road. We now meet about once a month, usually in the local pub, to chat about consumption habits in our homes, what we can do to become more sustainable, and save us some money on our bills.

Cold Mid-Winter Meetings

So far this winter in Mid Wales has been cold, very cold, just like the rest of the country! At this point in the year I feel that anything we can do reduce our heating bills and keep us more comfortable is most welcome.

Mach One is made up of six households and a representative from each household comes to the meetings. We are all busy people with jobs and lots of other activities to fill up our weeks. This means planning times to meet is tricky to say the least! We’ve found that agreeing the next date to get together while we’re at the meeting works best.

Investigate your impact

To get everyone chatting and relaxed at the first meeting we played ‘Find someone in the room who…’ the icebreaker on the ‘How to… with EcoTeams’ web page.  This can be found in the Community section once you’ve logged on to the EcoTeams website.

We talked over what measurements we needed to take in the next month and used the new EcoTeams ‘When to measure’ guide and ‘Measuring sheet’ to help us (also available on the ‘How to…’ page).  The first problem we hit was that we didn’t know what meters we had and where in the house they were. The second problem was we didn’t know how to read them!

Never fear! With a bit of poking around we located the meters. Those without water meters are going to do the EcoTeams Water Audit before their Water meeting in a couple of months.  Reading the meters turned out not to be as difficult as first thought as we helped each other, and used the ‘How to read your electricity and gas meter’ information sheet and ‘How to measure your energy use’ video on the ‘How to…’ page.

Most of us decided to weigh our rubbish and recycling with bathroom scales as we already had them in the house - stepping on with bag, then without bag and taking the latter away from the former to find the weight of the bag.  Easy peasy!

We are now nearly coming to the end of Investigating your Impact stage and will put our measurements online before our forthcoming Rubbish and Shopping meeting. I’m now really looking forward to our team starting to take actions to make our houses less wasteful!