As part of In Our Nature, a project aiming to support people across Manchester to take climate action at home and in their communities, we’ve been visiting local community spaces to educate and inspire with workshops, talks and more.

The Carbon Supermarket, created by Sow the City, allows the user to calculate the carbon footprint of their weekly shop, by filling up a basket with items they’d usually buy which the team then puts through a specialised till.  A receipt is printed out, which gives each item a price based on how much impact it has on the environment. Participants will then talk through which items have the most impact, and repeat the exercise to see where they could be making the best changes.

One community space who took part in our Carbon Supermarket is The Message in Wythenshawe, which has been running for over 30 years with the aim of giving local people a second chance at life. Andrew, who manages the centre’s corporate partnerships, has ambitions to make the space greener through creating an allotment.

“So a few years ago it was attempted but I think without any real professionalism or heart behind it, plus The Message was a bit smaller then, we didn’t have as many members. We’ve got a plot of land at the side which we would love to turn into an allotment where people can grow their own crops and you can also sit down and relax in the summertime, maybe some outdoor lighting and some paintings and just yeah, just a community space where the members can take ownership of.”

To gather member opinions on a community allotment, the Carbon Supermarket was used to open up the conversation of low carbon food and how individuals can take small steps, like growing their own produce, in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

“A lot of people seem really keen, so Groundwork have offered to train us up, it’s quite exciting”

To support them further, we’ll also be working with The Message through our Enhance Your Neighbourhood Fund, providing them with the right tools, materials and support to make their greening dreams a reality.

“Groundwork also delivered four huge planters to us last week, donated by Buhler in Trafford Park, which are at the side of the building. Hopefully if the funding comes through then we can start putting stuff in them. It was just an idea and Groundwork have really helped us accelerate that because I didn’t really know where to start with it, but Groundwork have been advising and helping us”

To find out if we can offer you support with your community project, get in touch with our team by visiting our webpage: