The #Focus5 project provides on-going individual support to unemployed or economically inactive young people aged 15-18 across Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay to move towards education, employment and training. Young people work with a Key Worker to develop their own action plan and can also access support from our Specialist Partners on the project.

#Focus5 is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.

An integral part of the project are our cross cutting themes, one of which is sustainability. Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The health of our environment is something that impacts us all. It is an area that we look at with our participants on the project to raise their awareness and to get them thinking about their choices.

The link below takes you to a story about an approach to sustainable housing in New Mexico using tyres, cans and bottles:

Below are some tips and things to think about, where some small changes can make a positive difference to the health of our environment.

Tips for reducing air pollution indoors and becoming energy efficient

  • Keep your windows open when cooking or using cleaning products
  • Regularly service your boiler to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide leaks
  • Choose cleaning products that are fragrance free or naturally scented
  • Avoid aerosols
  • Conserve energy by switching off the lights
  • Only fill the kettle with the water you need each time
  • Wait until the washing machine and dishwasher are full before you put them on
  • Choose a renewable energy tariff

Tips for reducing air pollution outdoors:

  • Use public transport, walk, run, cycle as an alternative way to get from A to B. Car drivers can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and nine times more than a cyclist.
  • Walk or cycle on the quieter streets to reduce your exposure to air pollution
  • Switch off your engine when stationary in traffic
  • Regularly service your car and make sure your tyres are properly inflated so that it runs efficiently and cleanly.

You can check the air pollution forecast and alerts for the whole of the UK from Defra


Plastic is having a very damaging effect on our environment. The links below demonstrate some of this impact:

Tips to reduce your use of plastics:

  • Reduce the use of plastic straws – if you are buying straws look for alternatives to plastic; if you are buying a drink out, ask not to have one
  • Use your own water bottle – rather than buying a bottle of water or plastic cups for the water cooler, take a reusable water bottle with you. Use these links to find out where you can refill your water bottle for free whilst you are out and about:

  • Reusable bags – keep one handy in your car and/or bag so you are never without one; even better if it’s not a plastic one

Think about paper towels:

How many paper towels do you use each time to dry your hands? You only need to use one and by doing so you can significantly reduce the number you use which is not only good for the environment but makes financial sense too. The link below will take you to a TEDx talk where Joe Smith provides a demonstration and discussion: