Carbon Watchers has been formed out of Malhamdale Renewable Energy Group, part of Malhamdale Initiative, an action group formed in 2002 to promote a sustainable future for Malhamdale. A return to the sustainable lifestyle enjoyed by our ancestors who lived in these dales over 100 years ago is essential if we are to make living in the countryside an option for future generations. With our present day reliance on motor cars and electrical appliances, this would seem an impossible task. Our aim is to use technology to make efficient and effective use of the natural resources our ancestors relied on for their livelihood, reducing reliance on outside sources of energy to heat and lighten our homes. To have a chance of doing this we have first to eliminate the built-in waste which has come about as a result of reliance on cheap, polluting fossil fuels.
Carbon Watchers aims to provide a strategy to eliminate waste and make the most of the natural resources around us, while taking care to conserve the natural beauty and special qualities of the countryside.
A survey of local homes and businesses was carried out in 2007 by the Malhamdale Renewable Energy Group to establish current levels of energy use and attitudes to energy conservation. This was used as the basis of a study and report by CAT, the Centre for Alternative Technology. The project was supported by funding from the Sustainable Development Fund of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.