Our first steps in reducing Tayport’s carbon foodprint

A photo of children weighing turnips
Measuring our success in reducing carbon emissions

One of the important goals for our Community Garden project is to help Tayport residents reduce our carbon foodprints and our impact on climate change through growing and eating more locally grown produce. We have now crunched the numbers from the Garden’s recent harvests and are delighted to report a crop of 103 kg which amounts to a saving of 362 kg of carbon emissions (measured in carbon dioxide equivalents or CO2e). According to this carbon calculator it’s an equivalent of 245 one-way small car trips to Dundee, or a single 1,227-mile trip. This is a great first step towards our long-term saving target of around 300 tonnes of CO2e over the next 25 years!

Read on for the detailed figures and to find out how you can help reach our Tayport carbon targets by participating in our Grow@Home scheme.

Carbon emissions from produce grown in local gardens is estimated to be much lower than the shop-bought food, due to reduction in emissions from commercial and private transport, processing, packaging and storage.

A diagram illustrating 87% reduction in carbon emissions from home grown produce
Comparison of carbon emissions from home-grown and shop-bought produce

Over next 25 years, the project aims to convert 1000 m2 of land to space for food production at the Community Garden site. This year we have already planted the fruiting hedge and are growing fruit and veg in 144 m2 of ground and polytunnel plots. Assuming productivity of 3kg per m2, this means that our target for this year is 432kg of produce (the fruiting hedge will not become fully productive for a few years yet). At the last count in August, the Garden has already produced almost a quarter of this target – 103 kg. There is still lots to come, including a much anticipated bumper crop of tomatoes, so we think we will succeed!

Graph showing weight of produce
Break down of the amount of fruit and veg produced at the Community Garden, including contributions from Grow@Home participants

We would love you to help us reduce Tayport’s carbon emissions beyond the Community Garden gate by growing more at home. If only ten of Tayport’s residents increased their food growing space by a mere 5 m2 each year, we estimate that this would grow 150kg of local produce, making a saving of around 1/2 tonne in emissions. As you see from the graph above, we have already had some home-grown contributions to our database but we do need much more! Can you help us hit the target? Join our Grow@Home scheme to get support with growing and record the weight of your produce to share with us – more details here.

You can also start celebrating your Grow@Home harvests right now by sharing comments, pictures, videos, sounds on our digital wall (follow the link, click on the plus sign in a pink circle and click on the pop-up box to write or attach a file). Keep an eye out for a Grow@Home survey coming out in the next month or so.

Private transport can contribute to carbon foodprint and we would like to minimise this by encouraging walking and cycling to our Garden site. We think we are doing quite well so far – with 92% of visitors travelling on foot or by bike. If you visit the garden make sure to record your travel on the carbon footprint blackboard to help us keep the records.

A graph showing methods of travel

As of 14th of August we’ve had 955 visitors to the Tayport Community Garden site. This means our 1000th visitor will be walking through our gate in the next week or two. Visit the garden soon for your chance to be the 1000th visitor and win 1000g of veg of your choosing!

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