Established in 2015 as a six month pilot, leading up to the climate negotiations in Paris, the Climate Café was so popular it gathered pace and now is a permanent fixture at the heart of community life. The Café created space to continue the conversation after a Climate Reality presentation locally. It quickly became an inspiring space for folk to get together to chat and share ideas to take action.
Some of the ideas that have emerged from the Café have been Live Earth Birnam – a live music event – which led to Dunkeld & Birnam Unplugged an annual week long climate and music festival, #CakesforCommuters and wonderful Climate Bunting.
The Climate Café celebrates local action, leadership by local businesses and individuals, connections with the community growing projects at the Field and the Community Orchard. Everyone is welcome, and the Café has benefited from lots of creative input from across the generations. There has been some inspiring leadership from children and young people which has been hugely supported by regular attendees.
While we have a regular Café space, just now we meet online via zoom. Usually during the week of Dunkeld & Birnam Unplugged there are pop up Climate Cafés across the village along with live music every day, talks, workshops and the ever popular swap shop on the Friday night!
Dunkeld & Birnam Unplugged
Due to make a return in 2021, the Dunkeld and Birnam Unplugged festival came out of an idea at Climate Café.
Unplugged brings together people from across the community who donate their time, space, skills and talents to generate climate chat and action. Highlights include Summerfest up at The Field, pop up Climate Cafés around the village, speakers, workshops for all ages, Friday night Swap Shop, Big Apple Day and the Sunday Blues – and always popular are early morning coffee, cakes and muffins for our commuters at the local railway station – our much loved #CakesforCommuters!
In 2015, in the run up to Live Earth Birnam, there was a request to the community for bunting to decorate the community arts centre main hall. Everyone was invited to share a flag that highlighted something that they love that they did not want to lose to climate change – as a call for action. The theme #fortheloveof connected with a bunting project being led by The Climate Coalition.
Pop up opportunities to contribute were created around the community – from the School to Sheltered housing to the community Orchard. Local people from age 2-106 contributed to the project. Local people and businesses donated materials. The response was incredible. By the time we reached the event,100 metres of Community Climate bunting had been produced. This went to Paris, was photographed around the city and outside the talks. It now hangs in Birnam Arts.
Join in the Bunting effort for Glasgow.
First Water Efficient Village
In 2018, Climate Cafe Dunkeld & Birnam worked with Scottish Water and Home Energy Scotland on a water efficiency challenge. Local residents were given advice and gadgets to help them save precious water resources, reduce emissions and save money through their efforts.
Over the next year local residents and businesses saved 1 million litres of water by taking simple steps to reduce their daily water usage. In 2019, Dunkeld & Birnam received the award of Scotland’s first Water Efficient Village. After a successful outcome in Dunkeld & Birnam this water project extended to work with Climate Cafe Aberfeldy and Climate Cafe Blairgowrie and Rattray.
Jess Pepper/Liz Duguid/Alasdair Wylie
Live Earth: https://www.facebook.com/LiveEarthBirnam