Student Energy Blog

Green Wales - some awesome eco-movements

Green Wales - some awesome eco-movements

In the light of last month’s European elections, where green parties transitioned from ‘fringe idealists’ to political gamechangers, this week’s TSEP blog centres around ‘green Wales’, celebrating some wins in the world of sustainability for the land of dragons!

Location: Y Felinheli, near Bangor

GreenWood Forest Park is an eco-friendly family park, set in 27 acres of woodland. The park is home to the UK’s only solar-powered water ride – in fact, solar power provides around 80% of the Park’s annual power requirements. The park is also home to the world’s first people-powered roller coaster! Every year, the park: Harvests 130m3 rainwater to use for flushing toilets, and Plants 500 trees each year since its opening in 1993. To date, 10,000 trees have been planted.

Location: Machynlleth Located in the heart of an UNESCO Biosphere, the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a pioneering eco-centre demonstrates sustainable living, environmentally responsible buildings, energy conservation, organic growing and composting. CAT acts as a visitor centre, suitable for children and adults. The CAT Café offers veggie/vegan/gluten-free refreshments, short courses such as ‘building with ecobricks’ are available, and postgraduate courses are even offered!
Founded in an unused slate quarry, you can visit here for a daytrip, volunteer and help out on site, or stay here and study – it’s up to you!

Location: Cardiff and Crickhowell

Cardiff, Wales’ capital City sitting on the banks of the River Taff. Crickhowell, a rural town in the Brecon Beacons National Park. What do they have in common? Both have their own zero-waste shop.

What is a zero-waste shop? Zero-waste shops allow customers to bring in/purchase reusable containers and fill them up will products in-store, saving on the need for single-use packaging or removing the energy and resources that goes into recycling.

In the capital city, Cardiff plays host to the first store of its kind in the city, Ripple Living. Based on Albany Road, Ripple Living was born out of a Kickstarter campaign. Not only does the shop allow you to fill up on grains, cereals, pasta etc. but they also sell plastic-free skincare, wooden cutlery and reusable cloth menstrual pads for a #plasticfreeperiod

In Crickhowell, zero-waste shop Natural Weigh sells everything from eco-friendly baby wipes, Welsh honey and metal straws. Natural Weigh is located in a renovated historic pub, which was bought by the local community to stop it being turned into a nation-chain supermarket!

Yay for zero-waste stores!

Location: Swansea

A study by The Solar Centre looked at 52 cities across the UK, ranking them against 10 eco-friendly metrics such as recycling and the quality of green parks. Welsh city Swansea ranked in the top 3 of this ‘green city list’. So what’s so great about Swansea?

Take The Environment Centre (TEC) as an example of Swansea’s environment movement. TEC is a community centre, it’s mission to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote change towards a sustainable future.

The first of its kind in Wales, TEC run events, campaigns, training workshops and talks. Regular events include clothes swaps, recycled craft nights and an annual Green Fayre. Past events and talks include Smart-meter workshops, climate change workshops and energy bill talks, where members of the community can visit the centre to learn about their energy bills and the world of sustainability!

TEC also has its own eco-friendly coffee shop on site, serving organic and Fairtrade products, as well as an urban garden. Here, edible plants are grown to reduce food-transportation as well as plants to increase biodiversity and wildlife

You rock, Swansea!