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Leaving a Greenprint

U.K. Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has announced new funding to start projects providing a 'greenprint' to help local residents turn derelict land into refreshing green spaces, recycle more, and travel more sustainably.

Using the inspiration of the Olympic Games, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) £800,000 'Inspiring Sustainable Living' grants will help local community groups with practical and achievable ways for residents to live more sustainably.

At the Olympic Park, Spelman said: "Most people have a real desire to do the right thing by making more sustainable choices that are good for our planet.

"London 2012 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspire genuine change and provide a model of how living sustainably can be incorporated into whole communities as we build a green economy. These projects will contribute by making a practical difference in the community and leave a lasting green legacy."

Start-up grants of £200,000 will be provided by Defra for each of the following projects for one year to deliver results by March 2013:

  • One Planet Experience (BioRegional) – will recruit 2,012 inspirational role models, including Olympians and Paralympians, to help them achieve more long-term sustainable lifestyles, and act as community leaders for sustainability. An interactive sustainability centre at the Games will encourage athletes to make and keep their sustainability pledges. Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola will also provide support for this project.
  • Inspired to Sustainable Living (East Potential) – will provide practical advice and assistance to social housing tenants to increase recycling rates and develop better understanding of nutrition for disadvantaged young people.
  • Transform Project (Groundwork London) – will transform 20 areas of derelict land into local green spaces or community gardens, as well as improving local recycling rates and empowering people to lead more sustainable lifestyles and engage in environmental volunteering.
  • Active Travel Champions (Sustrans) – will provide training and support to volunteers so that they can encourage people in workplaces, schools, universities and communities to make healthier and more environmentally-friendly long-term transport choices.

The projects will benefit from Olympic 'Inspire Mark' endorsement, which will mean they are also included in London 2012 official promotional materials.