WITH all the alarming news of extreme weather around the world, people are looking at ways they can reduce their carbon footprint.
This often means making changes at home, as about a quarter of our greenhouse gases are produced from our homes, mainly through heating.
This year, Dorset Climate Action Network (DCAN) is running an open homes event over two weekends in September and October, during which time about 50 homes across the county will open for a day to showcase how we can live greener lives.
Some of these are new houses built with very high levels of insulation, heat pumps and ventilation systems.
Others have been retrofitted with extra insulation, solar panels and better windows.
Others are homes where people have made lifestyle changes – growing vegetables, wildlife friendly gardens, using cycles or electric cars, travelling less, reducing waste.
Whether you are planning a new building, improving your current one or want to pick up some tips on improving your fuel bills, you can talk to the people who have learnt from experience.
Sam Wilberforce of Transition Town Bridport, who has been organising Open EcoHomes in West Dorset for eight years, said: “Our hosts have a huge repository of knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise on energy saving measures.
“Visitors have returned inspired and informed about what they can do in their own homes.
“Many of the visitors return next year as greener homes hosts to showcase what they have achieved during the year.”
Vicki Elcoate, one of the organisers of Dorset Greener Homes, added: “Some of the solutions are very ingenious, with energy saving measures from re-purposed materials at very little cost, storing rainwater in tanks and zoning the heating in their homes.
“It is wonderful to see how people are making a difference, no matter what scale, sensing the seriousness of the situation we are all in.”
Dorset Greener Homes is running on the weekends of September 25 and 26 and October 2 and 3.
Homes to open include two in Lyme Regis, one in nearby Monkton Wyld and several in the Bridport and Beaminster areas. Each of these have specific opening times and some require prior booking – visit http://dorset.greenopenhomes.net/dorset-open-greener-homes-254 for details.
DCAN has received a grant from Dorset Community Energy to help run this event and donations welcome to help run more events. All those involved are volunteers.