Be Inspired!

Gillingham Youth have been turning Trash into Treasure

Well done to Adam, Luke, Zoe, young people at Gillingham Youth Club who have run two Give or Take days as part of the BIG Ideas Challenge.  As well as helping find homes for many items of clothing, toys, books and CDs, they demonstrated energy saving gadgets and environmentally friendly beauty products.  Many thanks to Youth Leader Luciana Vega and BIG Ideas Judge Anna Baker.  
The young people from Gillingham are up against Lyme Youth Theatre who are making their performance of Bedbug as sustainable as possible.  

More about BIG Ideas


More about Bedbug 

Open Eco Home visitors inspired again!

In September 2015, Transition Town Bridport, with Turn Lyme Green and CLS organised another Open Eco Homes event.  20 homes were open, and there were over 400 visits.  We're still writing up a report, but have a look at what they found inspiring about the homes they visisted.  The bigger the word, the more often it was said.


Jess Haley, a CLS volunteer shares what she has gained from being involved with CLS

I have benefitted hugely from my involvement with the CLS. I initially attended a meeting in which Dorset Community Energy launched its first community investment share offer in Dorset. I worked with Emily, CLS Greener Choices Co-ordinator and Pete, Renwable Energy Officer to write a press release, which I’m pleased to say was published by the Dorset Echo. The experience was rewarding, I gained an insight into a unique and innovative share offer, established to benefit all.

Dorset Community Energy article

I was then sponsored by CLS to attend a workshop on Worker Co-ops for Young People workshop in June. This workshop, run by Alt-Gen, was eye-opening, teaching me not only what co-operative were, but setting me on my way to establishing the skills and knowledge needed to establish my own co-op in the future. I learnt that it is possible to combine passion with a source of sustainable employment, and that commitment, enjoyment and financial reward can come hand in hand.  

Read Jess’s account of the Workers Co-op for Young People workshop here.

I also had a look at Emily’s Transition Together materials and made some suggestions for marketing the project, Emily was pleased with these and is working with the CLS designer on a re-brand.

Transition Together helps you save money, go green and get to know your neighbours.  More....

Overall, my interaction with CLS has been thoroughly worthwhile. It has taught me that my Dorset community has far more to offer that I originally thought - from interactive workshops and green energy initiatives, to collaborative member groups and discussion forums. I have been encouraged to network with the community members, allowing me to ascertain new insights, and to learn from others experiences.  

Sara's been boiling just the right amount of water.

Sara came along to our stand at the Bridport Food Festival last year and made a pledge to “only boil the water she needed”.

She went home and put her pledge into action: “Working from home and being a bit of ‘teapot’ means that I am constantly filling up the kettle and putting it on to boil.  The average kettle holds 1.5 pints of water, and costs around 2.5p to boil a full kettle.”

To save money I decided to purchase a hot water dispenser, which is designed to boil a cup of water in a matter of seconds. It dispenses the equivalent of a standard drinking mug and will dispense up to five cups without refilling.  Water is only dispensed once it has reached boiling point.

By only boiling enough water for the number of cups I need, it's economical and saves time and electricity.  There's no boiled water going to waste and it's helped me save on electricity bills.”

Cosy Curtains for Climate Week

Thank you to Sarah Wilberforce from Transition Town Bridport, and Jeanie Averill from Transition Town Dorchester hosted a fantastic curtain lining workshop.

This is what attendees said:

Brilliant, helpful, cooperative, fantastic, supportive, fun, enjoyable, excellent, fabulous!

We are planning to host another workhsop in Dorchester in Autumn 2015 - ideally we'd like to train up a Dorchester person to run it, so it can keep going.  If you think you might be interested do get in touch.

Contact: 07507 321954

Become a Thermal Curtain Champion  

We are looking for someone with basic sewing machine skills, to become a champion.  We will train you up, and ask you to run one or two workshops in the Dorchester area to teach others.  We’ll support you with organising and promoting the workshop?  Could this be you?



Community Building audit completed!

Last year we commissioned a training course and guidance document for environmental management of community buildings.  Six months later we have just done some follow up work with participants - it was positive, they reccommend we run the course again, and one of them had this to say:

“The manual was very helpful, we used it to make a detailed survey of the building, inside and out.  We’ve made an action plan and are now looking for finance for insulation and glazing.  Thank you!"

Read more and access the guidance here. 

Natalie’s stopped the draughts!

Natalie and her partner moved into a Victorian terrace house in Dorchester in 2012 and have been slowly ‘doing it up’ since. The previous occupants had fitted very sensible, and cosy, thick pile carpets in much of the house, but Natalie realised they were hiding a lovely wooden floor!

Beautiful wooden floorboards revealed!

Natalie said, “we spent a sandy and dusty couple of days dusting and varnishing the floor boards, and it looked and felt great, but the following winter we realised that the carpet had been keeping us warm!  Thanks to 100 years or so of shrinkage, there were gaps 3mm wide between the floorboards which allowed a howling draught to bypass the front door and make its way into the living room through the equally old and ill-fitting living room door.  We realised walking around with no shoes was now a summer only activity!”  Natalie borrowed a thermal imaging camera which clearly shows the cold draughts coming between the floor boards.


20 minutes to warmth and comfort

“We looked at a range of options for solving the draught problem, hoping to find something quick and simple that would make our living room more comfortable without spoiling the appearance of our painstakingly sanded floor boards. The simplest solution seemed to be to draught proof the door into the living room as much as possible. We did this using a readymade draught strip which we cut and fitted in about 20 minutes and self-adhesive draught strip fitted discretely around the internal door frame. A couple of days later we used the leftover draught strip to seal around the front door which also made a noticeable difference”.  Natalie has also bought some warm cosy slippers for the winter.

So what's next?

In the longer term, they’d like to treat the cause of the draught rather than the symptoms which means filing the gaps between the floorboards themselves. Natalie says: “In an old house like ours a flow of air under the boards is important for preventing damp so blocking up the air bricks obviously isn’t a good idea. We’ll probably buy some specially made strips to discretely block the gaps between the boards.”.

Free Draught Proofing workshop - 28th Feb 2015

Become a Draught Proofing Champion and help others

Inspiration gained from visits to Eco-Homes
– adopting a new way of living and learning new skills

Steve and Karen were members of Transition Town in Bristol.  They moved to Burton Bradstock, near Bridport, in August 2013, to a brick built cottage with a slate roof built in 1901.  When they moved in, the property had electric storage heaters, water was heated with an immersion heater and the whole house needed rewiring.  

In 2013, Steve and Karen attended the Open Eco Homes event which was hosted by Transition Town Bridport and the greendor project in Transition Town  Dorchester with support from Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset,

In 2013, Steve and Karen attended the Open Eco Homes event which was hosted by Transition Town Bridport and the greendor project of Transition Town Dorchester with support from Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset.  They gained some ideas for what they could do with their house.  They have since installed cavity wall insulation, a wood pellet boiler, secondary glazing, solar PV and solar thermal.  The insulation of the roof and floors has also been improved.

But the biggest project has been to extend the kitchen.  One of the Eco Homes Steve and Karen visited in 2013 included a straw bale extension.  After doing some research into a range of options, they realised it would be cheaper to use traditional materials.  They decided to build their extension from straw bales and to render with lime in order to minimise the embodied energy of the extension (see note below).  Steve went on a straw bale building course at the Dorset Centre for Rural Skills  and studied bricklaying videos on YouTube, and so they were able to do the majority of the work themselves, with some help from relatives, friends and people they met on the course.  They did however call in professional roofers.  

While work on the kitchen was being done, the couple cooked in a camp kitchen under a gazebo in the garden.  They acknowledge that this year’s good summer made this possible, and that the speed of the build could have been slowed considerably had the conditions been less favourable.  

The finished kitchen looks very modern and has the feel of a conventional brick building, apart from the thick walls.  Steve had basic DIY skills previously ‘but we’ve learnt so much about a new technology, and how to work in as ‘green’ a way as possible, through working on the house’ explained Karen.   Steve added, ‘Traditional technologies, which have almost died out, are very time consuming, but we really believe that it was worth taking the time, the kitchen is almost finished now and it already looks and feels great, and it’s really warm and cosy!’

Steve and Karen opened their home for this year’s Open Eco Homes event and are available to give advice on building with straw via the Transition Town Bridport Skill Sharing programme.

Embodied energy is the total energy required for the extraction, processing, manufacture and delivery of building materials to the building site. Energy consumption produces CO2, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, so embodied energy is considered an indicator of the overall environmental impact of building materials and systems

Cut your carbon by 40% for 40 days - think you can do it?

Lent is a 40 day period of fasting observed by some Christians and some who try to give up chocolate!  This year, 2014, it starts on 5th March, and a great resource developed by the Anglican churches in the South West challenges their members to cut carbon by 40%. 

Now you may not observe lent but if you want to cut carbon, there are some great challenging and inspiring ideas in this booklet.  So if you generally try to give up chocolate how about having a change and trying to cut carbon instead. 

For example

  • 5th March - remove one lightbulb from your home and manage without it during lent
  • 6th March - switch to a green energy supplier
  • 7th March - make compost
  • 8th March - think about all the food you eat, where it has come from and how far it has travelled.
  • So how about taking up this challenge - the full booklet is available here

Download your 40 day challenge here

200 "pilgrims" follow our More than Enough journey.

During One World Week, Transition Town Dorchester put on an exhibition that highlighted our over consumption, and invited people to use less.

The exhibition held at St Peter's Church between 20th and 27th October. Visitors followed a trail of footprints around the church, the trail started with a fun, animation explaining our obsession with stuff, then pilgrims were led past different exhibits before being asked to make a pledge of action towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Story of Stuff

Over 800 visitors inspired by Open Eco Homes.

In September, around 800 visitors visited local green homes as part of the Open Homes Weekend. Twelve homes in the Bridport area and seven around Dorchester were open to the public on the weekend of 14-15th September 2013 to demonstrate greener choices in the home.

They ranged in age from a mid-18th century listed building to new homes to be hopefully finished this year. Intriguing materials on display included chalk dug on site for structural use, traditional lime plaster, recycled plastics used as work surfaces, straw bales as load-bearing†walls and thermafleece wool and cellulose fibre as insulation.

You can read more about these Open Homes here.


What's it all about?

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Working with local communities to address climate change in their local area.


A unique opportunity to partner Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) Dorset and position your organisation at the very heart of sustainable living in Dorset.


View our photo gallery and see what CLS Dorset has been up to.


Read the latest news from CLS Dorset.


See the latest sustainable events taking place in Dorset.


Supporting schools to take part in the internationally recognised Eco-School programme.


Providing local residents with information about what they can do to reduce their environmental impact at home.


Working with communities, local producer groups, healthworkers and business support organisations to make local food more accessible to local people.


Helping develop community renewable energy projects such as solar installations on school and community buildings.