Any self-defined community, anywhere in the world, from a single street to a village, town or even region can declare itself Toxin Free and be listed here.

A simple 5-step process:

1. Public Meeting - To discuss the dangers of the toxic industry you wish to be free of (eg fracking, incineration)

2. Briefing Meeting - With those prepared to go house-to-house in the community, to run through procedure

3. Community Survey - Give leaflet & DVD to fellow residents, preferably in person, and return after a week or two to ask directly if residents wish to be (eg) frack free/incineration pollution free - Yes/No/Not Sure

NB - We've discovered that it's really important to ask the survey question(s) in person. It can be tempting to leave a form to be filled in along with the leaflet/DVD. However, introducing yourself and explaining that you live close by makes it clear you are directly concerned with the wellbeing of the person you're speaking with. It also makes sure that your survey forms cannot be used by anyone else or for any other purpose.

4. Declare Results - Work out percentages of Yes/No/Not Sure responses and make a public Toxin Free declaration, making sure to invite and inform the media

5. List on TFC Website

Do get in touch if you would like to start this strategy in your community, as we can provide some helpful information to make it go smoothly as well as template forms for the survey. We can also help with DVD production for house-to-house delivery (supported by grassroots funding).

Hints and Tips
The Toxin Free Community strategy is based on the Lock The Gate strategy used to great effect in Australia in relation to the coal seam gas industry there, and experience has shown the following:

  • The key to the success of this strategy is neighbour-to-neighbour engagement - the more face to face interaction the better, as it builds community. Trying to do the survey by email, for example, has been shown not to work very well.
  • That said, there is no need to worry about getting involved in doorstep debate or persuasion - this is a simple provision of information (leaflet/DVD) followed up by a very simple one or two question survey. It's more like a referendum than a petition.
  • The strategy works best and feels most alive when undertaken by interested community members rather than via local "authorities" or administrative groups such as parish councils. The core concept is that of SOCIAL LICENCE - which is something granted or with-held by the community, and arises amongst self-authorising individuals and groups of concerned human beings. It does not require "permission"!