Pick one step. Learn about it. Do it (with our help).

Momentum towards the COP26 climate talks is building. It’s in the papers, on the news, on social media. Yet that focus shouldn’t only be on Glasgow; it needs action at all levels. We can also turn the spotlight on ourselves and ask “What action will I take during COP26? How will I raise my voice?”. Well, here’s an easy place to start. Simply pick one of the 16 climate actions below that interests you. Get inspired by our blog, get informed by our resources page, and then commit to take that step with Count Us In. Do one thing more, during COP26, and be part of a movement of change.


Over 16 weeks, we have run our #CountdowntoCOP campaign, encouraging people to sign up for one or more of the 16 Count Us In steps.  We have had a guest blog each week since July during the countdown to the UK-hosted COP, focusing on one of these 16 steps. The blogs are backed-up by detailed resources pages, to help you get started.

In this wrap-up, we lay out all the 16 blogs and resources pages in one place.

Our call to action is for you to pick one climate action below, let us help you get informed, and then take that step with Count Us In.


As a small, local environmental charity, Sustainable St Albans has always had some key principles at its heart. We are ordinary people like you. We care about the amazing district of St Albans. By finding positive ways to act, we want to empower local people to take a step to live more sustainably.

16 blogs by extraordinary ordinary local people

Over the last 16 weeks, some truly extraordinary ordinary St Albans District people have told us their own inspirational stories, shared with us their passions and taken time to tell other residents like you their secrets to success. Each has taken one of the 16 Count Us In steps and shared their knowledge so that the rest of us can positively act to live more sustainably in one area of our lives.

“St Albans District people have told us their own inspirational stories.”

Meet our Count Us in bloggers

The great thing about the 16 Count Us In steps is that there is something for everyone. You just start with one step.

Food and Fashion

If you love your food, take inspiration from Becky about Eating More Plants, from Juliet about Eating More Seasonally or from Caroline about Reducing Food Waste. How about fashion? There’s Emily’s look at Wearing Clothes to Last. Plus, Philip’s Repair and Re-Use blog is also great on thinking about what we already have before we buy new.

Fly less, Drive Electric, Walk & Cycle More

Susheel gives practical ideas for those wondering about how to cut down on short journey car use with her Walk and Cycle More blog. For medium and long journeys, try Shaun’s Drive Electric blog. Planning a holiday? – read James’ idea for a plane-free holiday in Fly Less.

Repaire Fair in St Albans

Home Energy

On the home front, energy use is top of the agenda. Don’t miss Judith’s blog about how she Insulated her Home – a Victorian end-of-terrace, no less. Ian has great advice about how to use less heating in Dial It Down. In a second blog, he gives easy steps to help you Switch Your Energy provider. Plus, Will tells his real life experience of having solar panels installed in Get Some Solar.

Money and Speaking Up

An area of our lives many of us have yet to tackle is Greening Our Money. Simon’s blog is eye-opening on that subject.

Finally, we must not forget the impact that we can all have by talking about climate action with other people. Each person we influence expands the ever-growing population of people who are making changes. Catherine’s blog about Talking to Friends introduces Climate Conversations as a framework. Dan encourages us to Speak up at Work. 18 year old Jess’s blog on Tell Your Politicians turns a daunting prospect into an achievable and necessary step.

“Each person we influence expands the ever-growing population of people who are making changes.”

And meet some people who have taken their first step

It’s great to be hearing from those have already been inspired by our #CountdowntoCOP campaign. Meet three people who have signed up to take a step on the special St Albans District Count Us In page.

Isobel is Eating More Plants

Fleetville resident, Isobel, says: “I pledged through ‘Count Us In‘ to reduce the number of meals I eat containing meat. I enjoyed being creative in the kitchen, using tofu and soya mince. I was pleased that I managed to convince the kids to try some new dishes, some of which they were impressed with. Meat-free meals will continue to be on the menu some nights, and when we do buy meat we will go for locally produced and high welfare standards.

Read Becky’s blog “Quick and Easy ways to Eat More Plants” so you can take the Eat More Plants step like Isobel.

 Banh Mi from Taste of Vietnam. Photo: Taste of Vietnam

Lizzie is Wearing Clothes to Last

Lizzie, also from St Albans says: “I pledged to buy only second hand clothes for two months. I often go to the charity shop but it’s a bit hit or miss. This time I decided to look on Facebook market place as I wanted a new warm jumper. I found one just round the corner from me and it’s become a new staple. I’ll definitely look there again in the future.

Read Emily’s blog “Easy Ways to Wear Clothes to Last” and pledge like Lizzie.

Linda is Driving Electric

Harpenden resident, Linda, says: “I pledged through Count Us In to try the step ‘Drive electric’.  We completed this step after a 2-month transition from running a diesel car each (blushes…), through sharing 1 car, to swapping that for an electric car.

The hardest part was overcoming range anxiety – after deciding which colour EV to buy, of course.  We tackled that by installing a charging point at home, powered by our own solar-generated electricity. We also found out where the neighbourhood ‘fast’ charging points are.

Looking back, the question to ourselves is – ‘Why didn’t we do this sooner?’

Read Shaun’s blog “The Road to My First EV: “Ill never own an electric car”” to help you take the Drive Electric pledge like Linda.

“Looking back, the question to ourselves is – “Why didn’t we do this sooner?”.

16 steps – just pick one

The 16 Count Us In steps are below. Pick one that interests you, read the blog, check out the resources and then click through to take that step on our own special St Albans District Count Us In page.

Remember when you register to tick to say you are part of the team “St Albans Climate Action Network”.

Which step will you pledge to take?

Talk to Friends

Read Catherine’s blog: 5 Good Reasons Not to Talk about Climate Change (and Why You Should Anyway)

Switch Your Energy

Cut Food Waste

Walk and Cycle More

Eat More Plants

Get Some Solar

Eat Seasonal

Drive Electric

Repair and Reuse

Dial It Down

Fly Less

Insulate Your Home

Wear Clothes to Last

Tell Your Politicians

Speak Up At Work

Green Your Money

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to each of our bloggers for their fantastic and inspirational writing.

We’re in! – are you? Local residents Emily, Lizzie, Alastair, Kate, Caroline and Catherine are all taking action.

Join in with #CountdownToCOP today

It’s easy to join in with #CountdownToCOP. Environmental groups of St Albans District have come together to set up the St Albans Climate Action Network who are hosting their own special St Albans District Count Us In page. Simply visit the page, explore the 16 steps and pledge to take one step by choosing “Take a Step”. When you register, tick that you are part of the “St Albans Climate Network” to have your step counted on the St Albans page.

You can track the carbon impact of your own actions. As more people join, we will all see our cumulative efforts across St Albans, Harpenden and the villages. 

How to Eat Seasonally for the Climate and for your Health

While much is said of eating a more plant-based diet to help to combat climate change, we also need to have a care over where the plants have come from and when in the year we eat them. Eating seasonally can not only have an impact on your carbon footprint but on your health as well.


This is Week 7 of our #CountdowntoCOP campaign, encouraging people to sign up for one or more of the 16 Count Us In steps.  We will have a guest blog each week until November’s UK-hosted COP, focusing on one of these 16 steps.

This week’s blog, on the step ‘Eat Seasonal’, is from local resident and entrepreneur, Juliet Foxwell, founder of St Albans-based veg box business Box Local.


Eat seasonally for the environment

The key factor about eating seasonally is the benefit for the environment. The shorter the distance your food has travelled, the lower its carbon footprint, so look for food grown in your local area or, if not, within the UK. Food grown at the appropriate time and in the appropriate climate has a lower carbon footprint still, in terms of water and energy needed to grow it in the first place, so buying local seasonal produce is the way forward.

“Eating seasonally can not only have an impact on your carbon footprint but on your health as well.”

Eat seasonally for your health

Produce that has travelled long distances has been picked earlier and processed longer. By its nature, it is more depleted in nutrients than something picked locally at peak ripeness which is eaten quickly. You will also find that varieties that don’t need a long shelf-life to survive travel can instead be selected for flavour – so seasonal local produce often tastes better too. 

Our bodies have not evolved a huge amount since our hunter-gatherer days and eating what’s around you has its benefits even in modern times. Think of those cold days when you crave comfort food and may turn to sweet treats. This is your body telling you it needs calories to keep warm, and this energy can easily be supplied by the root vegetables available to us locally through the winter. Berries in the autumn provide a much needed boost of Vitamin C before the winter sniffles set in. If we pay a little attention to this we can really get the best out of local eating.

Tips for eating more seasonally

How do we do it though? Here are my 7 tips about how to eat seasonally for the climate and for your health.

1. Find out what is in season

Firstly we need to put in a bit of legwork finding out what’s growing in our area at any given time. There are plenty of online resources to get you started. 

“…seasonal local produce often tastes better too.”

Veg box. Photo: Sustainable St Albans

2. Check supermarket labels to see country of origin

Supermarkets offer pretty much the same selection year round but their labelling helps us make an informed choice as it will usually say at least the country of origin. If you see a far-off country named on the label of fruit or veg that won’t keep long at home, you can be fairly sure it’s been brought to the UK by plane.

Do check labels each time, though, as produce sources will change from week to week. Sadly, because of this, the option of checking the country of origin is usually only available to those who shop in-store.

3. Try a veg box that focusses on seasonal produce

Online supermarket shopping is not great for sussing our where the produce is from, but if you need a delivery you could let a local veg box service do the legwork for you and cut this side of your shop from the supermarket delivery. 

A veg box will usually offer seasonal items as a matter of course but not all veg boxes are created equal. Some schemes focus on organic produce which may come from far flung places so again you need to know what you are signing up for. Spend a little time looking for what’s important to you before deciding which one to try. 

  • Box Local – St Albans based delivering seasonal local produce weekly throughout St Albans, Shenley, Park Street, London Colney, Redbourn, Markyate, Wheathampstead and Harpenden 
  • Riverfod – seasonal organic produce delivered nationally
  • Abel & Cole – organic produce and more delivered nationally
  • Oddbox – fighting food waste by supplying fruit and veg that is in surplus; not totally national but available in the St Albans district
Box Local. Photo: Box Local

4. Visit a Farm Shop or Farmers’ Market

Your local farm shop or Farmers’ Market may also be a good source for seasonal produce. Some farm shops grow some of their own produce so do make a bee-line for this produce when you can. Others have reciprocal arrangements with other growers, which is a great way to increase the diversity of produce. Farm shops are generally very happy to talk about their produce so don’t be afraid to have a chat if you aren’t able to see the information you need. 

Carpenter’s Farm Shop, Sandridge. Photo: Sustainable St Albans

5. Get some #GrowYourOwn inspiration

The other option and by far the best for the planet, is to grow your own fruit and vegetables. Every summer, there is a programme of Open Food Gardens across St Albans district where local residents open up their gardens to show others how they are growing their own food. They give you a lovely afternoon out and are a great place to start where you can see what’s possible in all sorts of spaces. 

6. Start with a few salad leaves

As many of the Open Food Gardens show, you don’t need lots of space to get started with growing your own fruit and veg. A window box is great for growing salad leaves – one of the worst offenders for excessive plastic packaging and often brought in from overseas. Even a miniature fruit tree will be more than happy in a large pot as long as it is watered regularly. 

A small garden can still have room for vegetables and they don’t need to be ugly, or even parcelled off in a specific plot. Varieties of beans and peas are as beautiful in flower as any decorative plant and striking purple kale can hold its own in any border as well as being delicious and nutritious!  

“You don’t need lots of space to get started with growing your own.”

7. Try some community growing

There are schemes around St Albans district where you can pitch in and have a share in the spoils such as Food Smiles (where you can decide how much you pay and / or work for your seasonal produce) as well as community growing schemes like Grow Community Sopwell, St Michaels or Bernards Heath and Incredible Edible.

8. Go for an allotment

If you think you might progress to your own allotment then get your name on a waiting list for one near to your home. You will need to commit a fair bit of time to get the best out of a plot but your neighbours will be a mine of useful information, potentially seedlings and even physical help if you are lucky! 

Find out about allotments in your local area. Local sites include:

Veg box. Photo: Sustainable St Albans

Enjoy the seasons

There is a need to change the way we think about food, by getting more connected with the seasons and how things are grown. It will soon feel odd to be eating cucumber in December or asparagus in September. It will take some getting used to, but is not without its joys: as items come back into season after a long break you can celebrate and relish them as we used to. 

Remember every change you make is progress towards a more sustainable future, and don’t forget to spread the word.

We’re in! – are you? Local residents Emily, Lizzie, Alastair, Kate, Caroline and Catherine are all taking action.

Join in with #CountdownToCOP today

It’s easy to join in with #CountdownToCOP. Environmental groups of St Albans District have come together to set up the St Albans Climate Action Network who are hosting their own special St Albans District Count Us In page. Simply visit the page, explore the 16 steps and pledge to take one step by choosing “Take a Step”. When you register, tick that you are part of the “St Albans Climate Network” to have your step counted on the St Albans page.

Join in today and use Juliet’s inspiring advice to choose the “Eat Seeasonal” Step as your pledge.

You can track the carbon impact of your own actions. As more people join, we will all see our cumulative efforts across St Albans, Harpenden and the villages. 

We will have a blog every Sunday until the international climate talks in November, COP26. Each blog will focus on one of the 16 steps. Look out for next week’s blog on driving electric by Lucy Freeborn.

Quick and Easy Ways to Eat More Plants

Let’s take a look at some easy, quick ways to cut back on the amount of meat we eat and switch to enjoying a more plant-based diet, as painlessly as possible.


This is Week 5 of our #CountdowntoCOP campaign, encouraging people to sign up for one or more of the 16 Count Us In steps.  We will have a guest blog each week until November’s UK-hosted COP, focusing on one of these 16 steps.

This week, Becky Alexander, local food writer and Herts Ad columnist, gives us simple steps to eat a more plant-based diet (and love it!).


We are a nation of animal lovers – dogs are family members, we put out seeds for the birds, and sign petitions to save pandas. But when it comes to the animals sold to be eaten, we seem, in the UK, to turn a blind eye. We like to think the chickens we eat roam happily under apple trees and our cows explore beautiful Scottish Highlands, but this is not the case for the vast majority of animals eaten in the UK. Industrial meat farming is very problematic.

Meat also contributes to climate change. Did you know that producing one joint of beef accounts for 85kg of carbon pollution – the same as flying from London to Paris?

“We like to think the chickens eat roam happily under apple trees…but this is not the case..”

I get the challenges: Life is busy. We all need to eat three meals a day. We need decent quality protein and a good range of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. What if the kids/partner don’t like vegetarian food? Or you love ham sandwiches? Yet we all need to find a way to eat more plants and less meat.

So, what’s the answer? I think a few, simple steps will help.

1. Eat plants at lunchtime

How about switching to veggie lunches? You can make that swap without impacting on evening meals (if that is a barrier to you). There are so many options – salads, soups, wraps, dips, things on toast, nut butters, falafel, hummus, black bean burritos… there are so many ways to get protein into your lunch without meat and fish. 

2. Start with 5 plant-based meal ideas

Some easy lunch options are: beans on toast; tomato and butterbean soup; scrambled tofu with pesto (for recipe see below); black beans mashed into wraps with tomato and pepper; roast vegetables with lentils. You only need 5 new lunch ideas and that’s midweek sorted! I really like the grilled tofu banh mi sold by Taste of Vietnam on Thursday lunchtimes.

 Banh Mi from Taste of Vietnam. Photo: Taste of Vietnam

3. Drop the meat and fish Mon-Thurs

How about saving your meat and fish cooking for the weekend, and eat vegetarian or vegan food Monday-Thursday? Keep the meals that matter to your family, like roast on a Sunday, fish on a Friday? Old-fashioned, perhaps, but affordable. No-one needs red meat every day, and imported beef is particularly bad environmentally.

4. Discover quick and convenient plant-based store cupboard staples

Tins/jars of cooked beluga lentils, juicy butterbeans, red chickpeas, creamy Borlotti beans… there is so much choice now. These are ready to eat so perfect for easy summer cooking. If you are aiming for a veggie meal rather than vegan, add grilled halloumi or scatter over your favourite crumbly cheese, add leaves, slices of pepper and radish and you have a meal fit for Instagram that is packed with flavour and protein. 

5. Be inspired by recipe books

Invest in a new cookery book if you need a couple of new ideas for evening meals. The Green Roasting Tin, Bosh!, and One Pot, Pan, Planet are great books for creative vegan and vegetarian meals. 

6. Choose plants when you’re out

When eating out, choose a plant-based option. Everywhere has great choice now and this is an easy way to try something new. Megan’s do a very nice Earth Bowl and Lussmanns do a great Chargrilled cauliflower with chimichurri. Turkish and Indian food lends itself to plant cooking with flavour. Wagamamma is brilliant for vegan options for choosy teens – but they do use a lot of imported products. Why not try Tabure’s signature Stuffed Courgette Flowers and their Fava Truffle Hummus? A chef really shows their talent when cooking with plants (cooking steaks is basic to them).

If you’ve been thinking about trying to eat more plants, it’s time to take that step. Buy just one thing different this week in your supermarket shop that will make one of your lunches plant-based –  perhaps a simple swap from tuna to baked beans on your baked potato, or a tin of black beans or cooked lentils on your salad instead of chicken. Better yet, why not make it some tofu and give my easy recipe a go. Enjoy!

Becky’s Quick and Easy Scrambled Tofu

100 g firm tofu

1 tsp pesto (green or red)

splash rapeseed oil

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. 
  2. Add the tofu and break up using a wooden spoon. Add the pesto and stir to break up the tofu further and to mix the ingredients. Cook for 2-3 minutes until any liquid is reduced and serve on hot toast.

For more plant-based meal ideas and free recipes visit Becky’s website.

We’re in! – are you? Local residents Emily, Lizzie, Alastair, Kate, Caroline and Catherine are all taking action.

Join in with #CountdownToCOP today

It’s easy to join in with #CountdownToCOP. Environmental groups of St Albans District have come together to set up the St Albans Climate Action Network who are hosting their own special St Albans District Count Us In page. Simply visit the page, explore the 16 steps and pledge to take one step by choosing “Take a Step”. When you register, tick that you are part of the “St Albans Climate Network” to have your step counted on the St Albans page.

Join in today and use Becky’s inspiring advice to choose the “Eat More Plants” Step as your pledge.

You can track the carbon impact of your own actions. As more people join, we will all see our cumulative efforts across St Albans, Harpenden and the villages. 

We will have a blog every Sunday until the international climate talks in November, COP26. Each blog will focus on one of the 16 steps. Look out for next week’s blog on solar panels by Will Tucker.

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste

I set myself a goal two years ago to reduce the food I waste. Since then, I’ve reduced my own food bill by £600 a year.


This is Week 3 of our #CountdowntoCOP campaign, encouraging people to sign up for one or more of the 16 Count Us In steps.  We will have a guest blog each week until November’s UK-hosted COP, focusing on one of these 16 steps.

This week, Caroline Wilson reveals how she has both saved money and reduced her carbon footprint by reducing her food waste. Caroline is a self-confessed foodie and food waste hero.  She runs the Living Off the Cupboard Facebook Group, inspired by her Mum’s ability to feed the family with what was already in the cupboard. Join her group here.


Food production accounts for 30% of greenhouse gases but as much as a third of food is wasted in the supply chain or by households.  In the UK, 70% of this waste is down to us, the consumer (Wrap, 2020) with the average household wasting £700 of food each year.

Reducing your food waste is such a great first step to pledge to do when trying to cut your carbon footprint. Food is something we prepare every day so if we think a bit more about the food we buy and use up each day, we can watch the money we save mount up as we help the planet. Here’s how:

Photo: Caroline Wilson. Vegan sausage rolls saved using the Too Good to Go Food App; salad, avocado and mango saved at the Sparks Community Café.

1. Watch what you waste

Figure out what you are wasting and why. Too tired to cook? Serving too much?  Bought something you already have? Since the introduction of kerbside collections, consumers have become more aware of their waste (Wrap, 2020). Make a note of what you put in your caddy and why. I realized that I served up more food than my daughter could eat. Solution, just serve smaller portions. 

2. Take Some Shelfies

Do you buy things you already have? Take a written audit, or some pictures on your mobile, particularly of the perishables.  Did you know that the most wasted foods are bread, potatoes and salad? – have a particular look out for those. Refer to the photos on your phone when you shop.

3. Run it Down 

Jot down ideas for meals you could make with what you already have in the house and only buy essentials until you have run your supplies down.  The first month I did this, I spent just £20 on groceries, followed by £90 the next month (it was £185 a month before).

4. Cobble It Together

Now for the fun! Start to cobble all those ingredients together.  Google new recipes or follow Danielle from the Cobbled Kitchen who teaches the lost art of cooking from scratch without a recipe.  Or join a group, where you can swap ideas. You’ll be amazed at what you can conjure up.

Vegetables from Oddbox, who save veg that supermarkets have rejected. You can try it with £10 off your first order via my referral link here. Photo: Caroline Wilson.

5. Soup it Up

Are you turning your veggie box into expensive compost?  Then make soup.  Even old veggies can be very forgiving in soup.   It’ll keep for days in the fridge or freeze it for when you need a quick lunch option.  For inspiration visit the BBC Good Food website.

6. Who Doesn’t Like Tupperware?

An excusable use of plastic, a good range of plastic storage containers helps save all those scraps – that quarter of a tin of tomatoes, half an onion, opened cheese, and leftovers. Great for storing in fridge or freezer and reusable for years.

7. Your Freezer is Your Best Friend

Keep as little in your fridge as possible.  Freeze what you can and defrost at the point you need it.  Bread is the number one wasted food (240 million slices a year) followed by milk, and yet both freeze really well.   You can freeze pretty much anything.  Check out the Good Housekeeping Guide.

8. Get Appy

Rescue food from the supply chain using the Too Good To Go App. Buy a Magic Bag of surprise food close to its sell-by-date from grocery stores, restaurants and cafes, at about a quarter to a third of its original cost, or sometimes even better. 

Also, check out the Olio app where you can both share with, and rescue food from, your neighbours.

Food from a Magic Bag from Simply Fresh Hatfield using the Too Good to Go App.  Some of the dishes have been a real treat! Photo: Caroline Wilson.

9. Get Social

Find local social enterprises joining the movement to reduce food waste including Community Fridges, Food Schemes, and Community Cafes.  For example, you can become Bread Buddy for the Sopwell Community Trust, redistributing bread in the community (I seriously don’t think I’ll ever have to buy bread again). 

The Sparks Community Café in Hatfield often rescues food close to its sell-by-date from supermarkets such as Waitrose, which can then be bought on a “pay what you can” basis, and sometimes is free.

10. Bin It (in the right bin!)

If you really have to bin it, follow your council’s advice for disposing of food waste: use your kerbside food waste caddy if you get one or your council compost bin if instructed to by your council. Don’t put the food into landfill. (When food rots in landfill, it releases harmful greenhouse gasses). Even better, start your own compost heap. There’s nothing quite like homemade compost 😊.  And if you can keep that kerbside caddy spotlessly clean – you know you are a real food waste hero!

We’re in! – are you? Local residents Emily, Lizzie, Alastair, Kate, Caroline and Catherine are all taking action.

Join in with #CountdownToCOP today

It’s easy to join in with #CountdownToCOP. Environmental groups of St Albans District have come together to set up the St Albans Climate Action Network who are hosting their own special St Albans District Count Us In page. Simply visit the page, explore the 16 steps and pledge to take one step by choosing “Take a Step”. When you register, tick that you are part of the “St Albans Climate Network” to have your step counted on the St Albans page.

Join in today and use Caroline’s inspiring advice to choose the “Cut Food Waste” Step as your pledge.

You can track the carbon impact of your own actions. As more people join, we will all see our cumulative efforts across St Albans, Harpenden and the villages. 

We will have a blog every Sunday until the international climate talks in November, COP26. Each blog will focus on one of the 16 steps. Look out for next week’s blog on walking and cycling more by Susheel Rao.

We’re in – are you? make the changes that matter in the #Countdown To COP

We're in! - are you?  Local residents Emily, Lizzie, Alastair, Kate, Caroline and Catherine are all taking action.
We’re in! – are you? Local residents Emily, Lizzie, Alastair, Kate, Caroline and Catherine are all taking action.

#CountdownToCOP will show you how you can take steps in your life to make a big difference to our planet. Join us over the next 16 weeks as we encourage St Albans District to make the changes that matter and protect what you love.


It’s easy to join in with #CountdownToCOP. Visit the St Albans District Count Us In page. Simply visit the page, explore the 16 steps and pledge to take one step by choosing “Take a Step”. When you register, tick that you are part of the “St Albans Climate Network” to have your step counted on the St Albans page.


In November this year, the UK will host COP26, the international conference where countries will agree the next steps on tackling climate change.  Sustainable St Albans is linking with environmental groups and volunteers across the district to encourage ordinary residents like YOU to take your own steps too. It’s called #CountdownToCOP.


In the build up to the COP26 conference, we are encouraging people across St Albans, Harpenden and the villages to take your own steps to reduce your carbon pollution using the Count Us In framework.  These 16 steps have been selected based on what is most effective at reducing your personal carbon pollution, their power to influence leaders and their ability to involve everyone. 

Wearing clothes that will last or speaking up at work are just two of the 16 most effective things you can do to reduce carbon pollution and encourage others to do the same. These are both Count Us In steps. From now till November, in the #CountdownToCOP, we will feature one of these steps each week. We will share resources to help you take each step, and inspiration from others who have.  Watch out for our blogs and social media posts with more information each week.

The 16 highest impact steps, to cut your carbon and inspire others to do the same.

“Wearing clothes that will last or speaking up at work are two of the 16 most effective things you can do to reduce carbon pollution.”

Join in with #CountdownToCOP today

It’s easy to join in with #CountdownToCOP. Environmental groups of St Albans District have come together to set up the St Albans Climate Action Network who are hosting their own special St Albans District Count Us In page. Simply visit the page, explore the 16 steps and pledge to take one step by choosing “Take a Step”. When you register, tick that you are part of the “St Albans Climate Network” to have your step counted on the St Albans page.

You can choose whether to appear on the St Albans District Count Us In page with your full name, your first name or anonymously.

You can track the carbon impact of your own actions. As more people join, we will all see our cumulative efforts across St Albans, Harpenden and the villages. 


Which of the 16 highest impact steps will you commit to do?

Choose something you know is realistic, that you can do in the next few weeks:

  • Food
    • Cut food waste – Reduce the amount of food that is wasted or thrown away in your home.
    • Eat more plants – Reduce the amount of meat in your weekly diet.
    • Eat seasonal – Eat food produced at its natural time of the year.
  • Travel
    • Fly less – Reduce your plane travel to dramatically cut your carbon pollution.
    • Walk and cycle more – Travel by bike or foot wherever you can.
    • Drive Electric – Make your next car purchase an electric vehicle.
  • Home
    • Insulate Your Home – Install or enhance the loft insulation in your home.
    • Switch your energy – Move your home to a green energy supplier.
    • Get some solar – Install solar panels to generate energy for your home.
    • Dial it down – Turn down the heating in your home by a degree or more.
  • Lifestyle
    • Wear Clothes to last Buy fewer new clothes and wear them for longer.
    • Green your money – Choose financial institutions and funds that invest responsibly.
    • Repair and reuse – Repair your belongings rather than buying new.
  • Voice
    • Tell your politicians – Ask politicians to act or invest in infrastructure to support a step.
    • Speak up at work – Come together with colleagues to make change at a bigger scale.
    • Talk to friends – Start a conversation about Count Us In and encourage others to take a step.

“… all we need to do is pick a step, and give it a try.”


Sustainable St Albans will help you take your first step

For example, week one is all about “Talking to Friends” and you can find resources to help you here, including our free Climate Conversation pack.

The mission of Count Us In is to inspire one billion citizens to take a step.  Which step will you take? Explore the St Albans District Count Us In page now and take part in the #CountdownToCOP.