Get involved with climate action in Oxfordshire!
We often get questions from people who want to get involved in tackling climate change in Oxfordshire. Unfortunately, as a small organisation we aren’t always in a position to take on volunteers or staff at the Low Carbon Hub, so we’re limited in the ways you can be directly involved in our work.
However, many other fantastic organisations within Oxfordshire work on climate change and sustainability in various ways – who may have opportunities to volunteer, join them as a staff member or get involved in other ways. So, here’s a list to help you get going.
We’ve made a good start in this post, but we’re sure there are some excellent organisations that we’ve missed. If you think of any additions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be sure to add them to the list.
Energy and buildings
Of course, energy is our focus at the Low Carbon Hub. We have several programmes which you can get involved with to lower your carbon footprint:
- Cosy Homes Oxfordshire – register your home to find out how you can save energy and reduce your bills
- OxFutures – if you’re part of an SME based in Oxfordshire you can get advice and funding for energy efficiency measures through this programme
- Energy Solutions Oxfordshire – a one stop shop for advice and implementation of energy efficiency measures in businesses in Oxfordshire.
- People’s Power Station – if you’re part of an energy efficiency programme yourself, or you know of a renewable energy generation project in Oxfordshire, make sure you add it to People’s Power Station.
Don’t forget to take a look at our Community Energy Champions Guide if you’d like to work with us to support community energy in Oxfordshire.
There are also 36 low carbon community groups, who have chosen to become part of the Low Carbon Hub as CIC Community Members. They’re based all around Oxfordshire and are always looking for enthusiastic people in their local area to get involved with their work.
Other local projects and organisations working on energy and buildings include:
- Oxford Friends of the Earth’s zero carbon homes for Oxfordshire campaign, working to ensure that all new build homes in Oxfordshire are built to zero carbon standards.
- The Environmental Information Exchange at Oxford Brookes University, a not-for-profit organisation providing UK organisations with support to reduce their energy, water, and waste.
- Transition By Design are an environmental design company.
- EcoSync is a multi-award-winning start-up company of Oxford University, developing a smart temperature control system combining artificial intelligence with MIT technologies – applied to real buildings.
- Oxwash – a local business offering a low carbon laundry service that is collected and dropped off at your door via their electric cargo bike and riders.
- Oxford Friends of the Earth have a Clean Air Charter, working towards reducing air pollution.
- Oxford City Council are working on a Zero Emissions Zone for Oxford City Centre set to launch in February 2022.
- Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel (CoHSAT) is a campaign encouraging active, efficient and low carbon travel to make our streets more attractive, accessible and people-friendly.
- Oxford Friends of the Earth are also working on stopping the Oxford-Cambridge expressway through their No Expressway Alliance.
- Oxfordshire Liveable Streets is aiming to increase walking and cycling in Oxfordshire and reduce the use of cars, through improving our road system.
- Cyclox are encouraging cycling and campaigning to improve our roads for cyclists.
- Pedal and Post are a local business offering zero emissions deliveries through their fleet of cargo bikes.
- Broken Spoke teach you how to repair and maintain your bicycle.
- Good Food Oxford is a directory of ethical and sustainable food and drink businesses and organisations in Oxfordshire, who must adhere to their good food charter.
- OxGrow is a community garden at Hogacre Common, growing vegetables which are used in the café there.
- Abundance Oxford is a group who meet to harvest fruit and other items such as wild garlic in local green spaces.
- Incredible Edible Oxford aims to increase the number of edible plants in gardens around Oxford.
- Oxford Martin School has a Future of Food programme of research and events.
Plastic and packaging
- SESI refill run a stall of plastic-free food staples at the East Oxford Farmers Market every Saturday, as well as producing and supplying their own cleaning products and detergents to shops across Oxfordshire.
- Farmers markets are a great option to reduce your packaging, often selling fruit and vegetables unpackaged. These take place across Oxfordshire so there’s likely one near you. If you live in Oxford, take a look at this list from Oxford City Council.
- OxUnboxed is a zero waste pop up run by the Oxford Hub from their office in Jericho. You can also volunteer to help run the shop.
- Flo’s Refill Shop is open three times a week at Flo’s in the Park, Florence Park, East Oxford.
- Scoop Zero Waste run pop ups around Oxfordshire, providing plastic-free foods and cleaning products.
- The Good Fill is a zero waste food pop up in Summertown, North Oxford.
- The Market Garden is a zero waste shop in Eynsham. They also grow and sell their own produce in the garden.
- Cultivate is a co-operative delivering local fruit and vegetables, as well as dry goods from SESI refill.
- Oxford Food Bank diverts food that would be wasted from supermarkets, supplying it to charities and organisations who can make use of it.
- Replenish Oxfordshire work with Oxford Direct Services to deliver activities and assemblies on waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and food waste.
- Project Soup is an Oxford Hub project, putting on dinners made from surplus food, with money raised supporting local charities.
- Waste 2 Taste is a catering company who make delicious food out of surplus food, mostly from the Oxford Food Bank. They also run a café at the Ark T centre in Cowley.
- Sandford Talking Shop run a food surplus cafe on the third Wednesday of every month.
- There are various community fridges around Oxfordshire, providing food to those who need it – often food which would otherwise be wasted. These include: Bicester, Witney, Abingdon, Banbury, Blackbird Leys.
- Wonky Food Co is a local business selling chutneys, jams, and sauces made from surplus and wonky fruit and vegetables.
- Tiddly Pommes is a local business making apple juice from fallen apples.
The world discards 92 million tons of clothes-related waste each year. By being more savvy with the clothes we buy and use we have the power to contribute to reducing emissions.
Low Carbon Hub CIC community group, Low Carbon Oxford North has worked with a number of schools, Oxfam and Kim Polgreen on this issue. They also held a Sustainable Fashion Conference and a webinar on ‘Sustainable Fashion – the environmental impacts of the clothing sector and what we can do about it’ which you can view here.
Ethical and sustainable fashion in Oxford
- Vintage shops: The Retro Room, Reign Vintage, Unicorn
- Charity shops: e.g. Oxfam superstore in Cowley
- Ethical shops: Indigo, Y.O.U. Underwear
- Second hand stalls at Gloucester Green Market
- Clothes Swaps: Makespace, Silvies, Tap Social
Learn and make use of ‘make do and mend’ skills in Oxford
- Join the Drunken Knitwits and learn how to knit.
- The Witney Knitting + Sewing community can teach you how to make your own scarf, or darn those tired looking socks.
- Or head to Jericho Design House or Oxford Alterations to fix up any of your favourite garments.
- Take your clothes along to the Library of Things or the Repair shops run by Share Oxford.
Plastic, packaging & waste
- Refill Oxford is a campaign to get everyone refilling their water bottle, preventing the purchase of plastic bottles – they have an app showing you shops that will let you fill your water bottle for free.
- Oxford Friends of the Earth set up a Plastics Action group to work on projects related to plastic waste.
- Share Oxford are a volunteer organisation promoting sharing and reusing items to prevent unnecessary purchases and items being thrown away. This includes their Library of Things, based at MakeSpace in Jericho. They also run regular repair cafes, helping you to repair broken items.
- Bicester Green run workshops on repairing, as well as selling items they’ve repaired in their shop.
- Orinoco Scrapstore sells donated items, avoiding them being thrown away.
Wildlife and conservation
- Oxfordshire Trees for the Future is a campaign started by Oxford Friends of the Earth, working on planting the right kind of trees in the right spaces to reduce emissions.
- Wild Oxfordshire is a group of conservation volunteers.
- Earthtrust is an organization working to give everyone access to green spaces, connecting us with our environment.
- Oxfordshire Greenpeace are the local branch of Greenpeace, a Non-Governmental Organisation focused on exposing the casues of environmental destruction, lobbying, and peaceful direct action.
- Extinction Rebellion exist to take non-violent direct action in order to spark action on climate change, and they have an Oxford-specific branch. If you’re interested in the intersection of animal agriculture and climate change, there’s also Animal Rebellion Oxford.
- If you’re interested in setting up a group focused on climate change or sustainability in Oxfordshire, head to CAG Oxfordshire for support and advice, and to become part of a network of similar groups.
- Oxford Friends of the Earth meet regularly and have several ongoing campaigns on, which they work closely with local councillors and MPs on.
- Oxford Climate Action is a group to organize Youth Climate Strikes.
- Oxford University has several research groups and departments working on climate change, including: the Environmental Change Institute, the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the Oxford Martin School. They also have a central Green Impact team working on sustainability across the university and encouraging behaviour change amongst staff – rewarded through their annual Green Impact Awards.
- KidsCAN is a project working to educate and engage children with climate change, without terrifying them.
- Climate Visuals is a campaign by Climate Outreach, aiming to improve the accuracy of the depiction of climate change in media outlets.
- The Oxford School of Climate Change is an annual course run by the Oxford Climate Society, giving students from any discipline (or people outside of the university) an understanding of climate change from Oxford University researchers.
- Teach Green is an Oxford Hub project, teaching children aged 7-11 about environmental issues in a fun way.
- Forest Schools is an Oxford Hub project, giving children who may not otherwise get to play outside the chance to take part in hands-on, interactive outdoors sessions that aim to help children build a connection with nature.
- Climate Club is an Oxford Hub project, running an after-school club for 15-18 year olds in their understanding, engagement and action over climate and other sustainability issues.
- Replenish are working with primary schools to educate children on waste and recycling.
- Oxford Climate Society is an Oxford University group running talks, lectures, and panel debates during term time.
- Oxford Sustainability is an Oxford University group engaging students with reducing emissions and waste.
- Oxford Brookes Sustainability Society is a groups for Oxford Brookes students interested in climate change.
- Oxford Climate Justice Campaign is an Oxford University campaign asking colleges and departments to divest from fossil fuels.
- Oxfordshire Greentech is a business network supporting the low carbon sector in Oxfordshire running regular events and networking opportunities – it was developed from OxFutures.
- Women in Sustainability is a networking group for women working in (or wanting to work in) sustainability careers.
Money and consultancies
- Ethex is an ethical investment platform, based at the Old Music Hall in Cowley.
- EarthWatch is a social enterprise aiming to inspire individuals and groups to take action on environmental issues. They have lots of opportunities to volunteer and get involved with their work.
- 2 degrees is a consultancy working with businesses to improve their sustainability.
- Climate Care is a consultancy working with businesses to improve their sustainability.
- 3keel is a consultancy working with businesses to improve their sustainability.