I’d like to kick start our series of blogs by introducing myself. I’m Janine Perkins, Centre Manager at the Bloomfield House Community Centre in Narberth, and we have just signed up to take part in the Welsh Assembly Government’s Climate Change Challenge.

Over the next year, we will be competing with two other community centres across Wales to try and reduce our carbon footprint. While it is a friendly rivalry between the Bridges Community Centre in Monmouthshire and Pontrobert Community Centre in Powys, we are serious about making changes to lower our impact on the environment.

The aim of the Challenge is to work with you, the community, to think of ways to reduce our carbon footprint by making small changes to the centre and the way we go about our daily routines.

We recently launched the Challenge with the Environment Minister Jane Davidson, who came to the centre to see what we have on offer and meet members from a few of the 100 plus different groups that use the centre. The launch was a great success and left us eager to start thinking about how we can cut our carbon emissions and educate our members on how to save money and energy.

We also met Mike Batt from the Carbon Trust, who gave us some handy hints and tips about the changes we can make over the coming year, and assessed our energy use at the centre as it stands. Everyone that attended was really keen to learn about what we can do, and the kids had a brilliant time showing the Minister how to recycle crafts and how recycle old wellies into beautiful pot plants.

Our ambition is to bring the Challenge into the heart of our community and to work with centre users, and yourselves, to make sure that we can make the centre a more cost efficient and environmentally friendly place to visit. We are keen to hear what you think, so if you have any hints or tips on how we can get ahead in the Challenge, we would love to hear from you.

Top Tip: Lowering your carbon footprint does not mean you have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. It can be as easy as changing a light bulb – literally!