Preventing Waste Through Community Action

CAG Devon (Community Action Groups Devon) supports groups taking local action to address the climate emergency. Its network of 20+ groups deliver repair cafes, provide community fridges, put on eco-festivals, litter picks and beach cleans, clothes swishes and a number of other initiatives.

Their goal; to prevent waste, reduce pollution, and provide support to the community on everything from setting up and running an action group, to networking, events, and training.


Uffculme Green Team (UGT) are just one of the Community Action Groups making an important contribution. Their foremost objective is to raise awareness of climate change locally and spearhead local projects to promote waste reduction, increase reuse, and improve biodiversity. Wherever possible, UGT works with local partners to create positive change throughout the community.


In 2014, a group of local people organised the first Uffculme Green Day and it proved to be the catalyst for many new ventures. Fast forward eight years and UGT are working together to reduce waste and raise awareness of the climate emergency, with the introduction of a a community fridge that reduces food waste and provides for those in need. Their repair café, where items are given a new lease of life, was recognised with a Surfers Against Sewage Plastic-Free-Community award, working with businesses to reduce single-use plastics.

With a focus on practical measures that make a difference, Uffculme have become the the first water refill village in Mid Devon; they hold regular community litter picks, and ‘Give and Take’ events – with residents swapping over 900 items to reduce consumption and keep materials in use longer;  and they even co-ordinate collections for hard to recycle materials such as soft plastics, blister packs, and milk carton lids.

UGT tools sharpening
UGT tools sharpening

UGT has through their work and determination generated a sense of community spirit and continue to have a positive impact on volunteers, local families and businesses alike. They also acknowledge the value of being part of the CAG Devon network.

“The support offered by CAG Devon has been significant in the progress made by the Green Team. Their website provides valuable guidance and document templates that have been necessary for us to set up a number of our projects. Officers from CAG often visit and involve themselves in our projects in a friendly and supportive way.  Wherever possible, there is always tea and cake!”

UGT Coordinator


As a community action initiative, Uffculme Green Team (UGT) has brought together a band of dedicated local volunteers, providing training, skills and knowledge sharing, and having a direct impact on waste reduction, reuse and recycling.  Using CAG Devon monitoring tools, it is calculated that in 2021/22 UGT contributed £27k in volunteer time with their activities preventing 7.6 tonnes of food waste and avoiding 30.25 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

“For me, the Green Team has been a way of putting beliefs and words into action and having a sense of solidarity in doing so. Sometimes the bigger environmental picture can look bleak. We focus on the positives locally. We are indeed stronger together. We need to continue to make ripples in the Uffculme pond, encourage young people to do so as well, and we need to remind ourselves that community action can, and does, make a difference.”

Jeni, UGT Volunteer

Overall in 2021/22 CAG Devon groups such as UGT have collectively given over 16,000 hours of volunteer time (valued at £240k), preventing 36.6 tonnes of waste – double that of the previous year – and have avoided 138.8 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Project Information

Services involved

Community Impact

Team involved

Charlie Eddisford
Community Impact Lead / Principal Consultant