24 October 2016

Ecowatch - Changing lives through sustainable projects

Newcross has been a carbon neutral organisation for many years, but how does that change lives for the better?

Well, it means we support projects across the world that reduce carbon emissions and by doing so, help people live better, more sustainable lives in their local environment.

We currently offset 348 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of 232 small cars or 58 large African bush elephants!

One of the projects supported by Newcross is the provision of fuel-efficient cooking stoves in Uganda. 95% of Ugandans rely on solid fuel cooking methods, usually charcoal or wood, which has led to the degradation of the local forests.

The improved stoves feature an insulated fuel chamber that reduces the amount of fuel needed by improving the combustion efficiency and retaining heat. It also reduces the level of toxic fumes that families are exposed to during the cooking process.

Families are able to save money on fuel, which means they can pay school fees for their children, start a business and pay health care costs.

Newcross also supports a reforestation project that aims to re-instate the Kikuyu forest in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. Deforestation for cooking fuel, building materials and medicinal needs caused the forest to be almost completely destroyed, resulting in water sources drying up, soil erosion and the loss of wildlife. Conflicts between two native groups over dwindling resources also caused fighting, loss of life and loss of tourism business.

So far, the reforestation project has planted over 150,000 trees of over 20 different species. This has created employment and skill-sharing opportunities for local communities as well as water regulation across the region. Families are able to earn a living from selling produce such as fruit and honey, and benefit from an increase in eco-tourism.

Find out more about these projects and how we’re helping change lives for the better.

This story was originally published in the Autumn 2016 Edition of Newcross News.

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