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In some ways a section like this could be very, very short. How to make your own Net Zero Vision? 


1: look around you. 

2: imagine what you’d want to change, and how, to reduce carbon emissions and make a better place to live. 

3: there is no step 3!

Why do such a thing? The answer to this can only come from you. Perhaps it was fun, or a relief from immediate pressures. Perhaps it made you think a little differently about where you live. Perhaps it made you want to make a change, or support a change, or just find out more about what could change. Perhaps it did nothing at all. But is that so bad? Imagining costs nothing, in money or carbon, and only as much time as you want to give to it.

However, perhaps this Net Zero Visioning taster made you want to go further. Perhaps, for instance, you realised that you’d quite like to reimagine this place, your place, in a little more detail: for the fun of it, or out of curiosity, or a desire to learn more.

This might – probably will? – prompt you to find out more about what can go in to making a net zero future. The essays contained in this book could help with that; and the Devon Carbon Plan is an outstanding guide.

If you’re pushed for time you can go straight to the Devon Carbon Plan’s ‘Quick Reads’, which focus on the actions that individuals, communities, organisations and local policy makers can take. For instance, under the theme of ‘economy and resources’ we get a summary of how we can all create a culture of ‘enoughness’ by:

  • reusing, sharing, swapping and repairing items; 
  • buying second hand and recycling items them when they’ve reached the end of their life; 
  • using recycling facilities and composting food waste; 
  • choosing banks with a strong ethical investment policy. 
  • We also read of how communities can establish waste and resources projects, such as repair cafés, clothes swaps, libraries of things, and community fridges.

What would a neighbourhood, a town centre, or a village look like with ideas such as these made commonplace and central? What would it be like to live there?

So here’s a more extended 3-step guide, to do on your own or with others (which is fun):


1: Get up to speed on what is possible and what is needed – for instance, by reading the Devon Carbon Plan Quick Reads (

2: Imagine the net zero future you want to live in for your location – which could be your house, street, neighbourhood, village, school, workplace, anywhere. The only rule is that you’ve got to rely on changes that could theoretically happen tomorrow – so, no inventing futuristic machines. Record this Vision: write it down, or draw it, or combine the two. Artistic skill is not important: the value is in the imagining.

3a: This can be anything you want. Maybe you put your ‘Vision’ down and forget it. Maybe you decide you want to try and make one thing within it a reality. Maybe you start a project of your own, from scratch; or join a project already underway. Maybe you share your ideas and hopes with someone else; or replace a car journey with a bus or bike ride; or buy some produce from a local farm; or sub out a meat meal for a vegetarian; or dress warmer and turn down the thermostat. Maybe you take the first step in what could be a longer journey.

3b: Send your ‘Vision’ to us so we can add it to an online gallery and plot its location on our interactive map! To repeat: it’s not about artistic achievement, but the ideas and energy that go into it. You can find us here:

Finally, if you are already active in this area, then the Net Zero Visions process can be an important step in starting, developing or enhancing local plans and initiatives. Consider holding a workshop in your community in which you develop a detailed, collaborative vision; maybe invite local artists, writers and musicians to help bring it to life. Reimagining the world around you can be a powerful way to share knowledge and skills, face up to fears and challenges, and encourage behaviour change. Our own future plans include putting up resources on our webpages that can support people in this; as well as sharing teaching resources that can be used in schools. 

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