In September 2016 and June 2014 we ran open days when several Leicester households opened their doors to people to come and look around and ask questions about the changes they had made to make their homes and lifestyles greener.

The Green Festival of Making & Mending was a year of small events culminating in a big festival on the 31st October 2015 Leicester. The whole year focused on fixing and creating things with secondhand and reclaimed materials. It stemmed from our own needs as we noticed our lack of skills to look after our possessions and realised that many others felt the same. We also knew Leicester must have many people with mending skills who would be happy to share them.

We wanted to get people believing that anyone can become a fixer and a mender, and the festival did this. The social bond created through making and mending together can also mend our surroundings and reinforce our ties with the people around us. There are people all around you happy to share their skills if you ask them – so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help – we did and the response was great.

Finally, the festival was intended to remind ourselves that we do not need money and stuff to be happy, but we do need support from other people when a task makes us feel vulnerable or inadequate – and many people enjoy providing that support, as the buzz and energy at the festival demonstrated.

In March 2015, a group of people who had done the Footpaths course decided to write a series of 5 letters to each other about our thoughts and feelings on reducing our personal carbon Footprints and how we were doing.

Money: Impacts, Perceptions and Actions was a one day workshop which we ran in May 2014.

In 2013 Jill Fisher did her PhD on Footpaths to see how effective we were and why.

The results showed that people who took part in Footpaths reduced their carbon footprint by 15% over the course of the sessions and 20 % by a year later.

The things they found most useful were:

  • Being in a group with other people who also cared about climate change
  • Sharing experiences and feelings with each other
  • Having a structured way of thinking about how to reduce their carbon footprint.

If you'd like to read it then go to Footpaths PhD.