Changes

Shorter days, cooler nights, colourful leaves: the last few weeks have shown the change of seasons is beginning to take place, and it’s probably no surprise that today marks the first day of autumn (in the northern hemisphere at least!). I thought I would take advantage of this seasonal transition to let you know that there would also be some changes happening to Off the Ground.

When Off the Ground was set up over four years ago, its aim was to take a three-prong approach to removing litter from our community: cleaning, education, and projects. By helping raise greater awareness of the problems caused by litter and changing the “it’s someone else’s responsibility” attitude, we hoped to prevent litter in the first place. To this end, we carried out projects like the Love Chippenham campaign, spoke to local schools, developed information sheets such as Brand Bingo and Packaging Detective, and Rob launched the wonderful Refill Chippenham programme.

I continue to believe that encouraging behaviour change and preventing litter is the way forward. However, the Off the Ground organising committee has shrunk to the point where it is no longer feasible to focus on running projects and educational opportunities ourselves. As a result, I have made the decision to turn the website into a resource for community groups who are more active. 

What this means for Off the Ground:

  • Chippenham Community Clean Ups will be continuing and run solely by Jon. Please contact him at jon_paget@hotmail.com if you would like to get involved or if you would like to borrow the litter-picking equipment to carry out your own clean ups.
  • The website will be changing to have a national rather Chippenham focus, and I will be concentrating on behaviour change, project ideas, and downloads. However, the Facebook page and Twitter feed will continue for the time being, although I will be posting less often (keep an eye out for the annual More Thought, Less Waste gift guide at the beginning of November!). 
  • The blog will be continuing because there’s always more to say about litter! Indeed, I am hoping to publish a few project ideas over the next few weeks to start the ball rolling. While these are not things I can carry out myself on top of my existing workload, I would love to see other Chippenham residents step up to take action. 

Many thanks to everyone who has taken part in a clean up or adopted their own local patch. I wish you all the very best in the battle to clean up our streets and encourage others to look after our communities.

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