Hundreds of Dacorum residents took part in Covid lockdown survey

The survey asked key questions about transport, commuting, food, resources and energy

Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 9:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 9:24 am

Over 1,000 people took part in Dacorum Borough Council's online Sustainability survey this summer.

The survey investigated how people’s behaviours changed during the spring lockdown and how to can learn from this moving forwards towards a greener future - 1,500 answered questions about transport, commuting, food, resources and energy.

Transport is responsible for over a quarter of the UK's greenhouse gases. Commuting is responsible for around a fifth of all miles travelled. Climate targets require a reduction in car use by between 20% - 60%.

The survey investigated how people’s behaviours changed during the spring lockdown

The survey revealed that:

- 9 out of 10 people want to see fewer cars on roads as they enjoyed improved air quality, less emissions, quieter roads and witnessed the benefits for local wildlife

- A third of participants cycled more over lockdown

- The number of people working more flexibly from home for several days of the week is expected to increase by nearly a third - bringing the total to around 75% working from home at least one day a week.

Food makes up a significant part of our individual carbon footprints. A third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste and is responsible for 11% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally. Growing food locally helps to reduce its emissions.

The Sustainability survey found that:

- 2 out of 3 participants plan to grow food after lockdown - an increase of over 20%

- Half of participants would volunteer at a Community Garden or Orchard - with 9 out of 10 people saying that they would buy food from one

- Half of participants would be interested in having a local Community Fridge to help share food and reduce waste.

Reducing, reusing and recycling are key behaviours that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst shops were closed during lockdown, communities came together to share and support each other – the council wants to be able to embrace this in Dacorum.

Dacorum Borough Council's survey found that:

- 3 out of 4 people told us that they would be interested in using a community ‘Library of Things’ to reduce the need for buying new items such as DIY tools

- 2 out of 3 people would attend a Community Repair event to help get their broken items fixed.

Energy use in homes accounts for around 15% of UK carbon emissions. During lockdown, over half of participants saw an increase in their energy and water bills.

There are many different ways people can make their homes more energy efficient - from making home improvements to simply turning down the thermostat.

For information about accessing funding that could help make your home more energy efficient, visit: www.dacorum.gov.uk/homeenergy.

For more about the survey results visit: www.dacorum.gov.uk/sustainability. The information provided will be used to help shape elements of Dacorum’s Climate and Ecological Emergency strategy, which will be released in 2021.

The council has a mailing list of people who opted-in to finding out more about future sustainability initiatives, if you would like to be added to the list, please email [email protected]