At Whittington Castle’s recent Green Fair more than 50 people from SY postcodes, and selected at random, answered a question about what they felt should be the environmental priorities for the area. Among the eleven options were reducing plastic use, more allotments, incentives for car sharing and better education.
Analysis has now revealed the top five initiatives ranked highest for action: better education on how to be more sustainable (sharing of best practice was also important), reduction in plastic use, affordable and cleaner energy, reduction in litter and wider recycling opportunities. Interestingly, achieving Zero Carbon Shropshire, incentives for car sharing, more community action groups and more allotment sites tended to be ranked as lower priorities overall.
Visitors also gave us more than 40 changes that each of us can make every day to help save money and the environment. One of our favourites is: if your hot water takes a while to come through run the bath hot tap into a bucket and use the water to flush the loo. The sink water will then run hot without wasting water.
Jonjo Evans Chair of Trustees and the Castle’s Eco Team
‘When we set out to ask people for their priorities we were not sure whether the response would simply be ‘everything’! The fact that priorities emerged from several ways of analysing the data gives us something to work on at the Castle and in our locality. Recently, I was told about a conversation with some overseas visitors which included the question ‘how can you live with so much litter in this country?’ It’s a sobering thought. At the Castle we have already moved to glass milk bottles and drinks in cans, with ring pulls going to a charity in Africa. We are looking closely at our single use plastics and whether there are alternatives that will, in fact, impact the environment less, as well as introducing a litter picking initiative suggested by one of our regular visitors to supplement the invaluable work of Derwen College students. This is along the lines of the two-minute beach clean-up – while you are out walking take a litter picker! We are also addressing our waste management. Even though we buy locally wherever possible and all of our recyclable waste from kitchen@thecastle and coffee machine goes for composting there is still more we can do. We now want to work to understand how some of the priorities can be addressed at a local level.’
Whittington Castle is currently planning its 2023 and third Green Fair and welcomes enquiries from anyone wishing to take part. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.
Photo credit: Graham Mitchell.