Fairtrade Fortnight 2017: It’s Time To Put Fairtrade In Your Break!

ftf-17

There will be lots of events and activities in Swansea helping to raise awareness about Fairtrade this Fairtrade Fortnight, from 27th Feb to 12th March 2017. Fairtrade gives better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade to farmers and workers – you can help transform lives every day. Find out more at the Fairtrade Foundation website.

This year the theme is to put Fairtrade in your break, using certified products such as tea, coffee, chocolate, fruit and cakes.

fairtrade-farmer

Photographer: Theo Hessing/OBR Studios

Leonidas is a banana farmer. Before Fairtrade, he struggled to attract a price for his bananas that even covered his costs.

 ‘Before Fairtrade we were losing money… now we are getting a better price when selling our boxes of bananas. We used to sell our boxes and see no profit out of it; we were not calculating the exportation costs. Fairtrade has trained us, now we know the real price of a box and that allows us to negotiate.’

‘We feel valued, respected. Even the traders see that we are stronger in that sense.’

‘If it weren’t for Fairtrade we would have sold our land.’

You can find out more about Leonidas’ co-operative BANAFRUCOOP here and in this video featuring fellow BANAFRUCOOP member, Julio Mercado Cantillo.

Swansea Fair Trade Forum have put together a list of events and activities happening in Swansea – see the pdf poster below. Also here at the Environment Centre’s Exchange Cafe we will be holding a Fairtrade Cake Break on 1st March 2017 between 10am and 4pm. There will be freshly made vegan cakes on sale created with Fairtrade ingredients (only available while stock lasts!) alongside a selection of Fairtrade teas and coffees. Info about fair trade and the Swansea Fair Trade Forum will also be on display – everybody welcome!

swansea-ft-fortnight-2017

We’re Hiring! Join us as Project Officer for a new Household Food Waste Scheme

love-food-not-waste

Eastside Food Waste Project Officer

Have you organised a few events in your community? Are you passionate about reducing the amount of waste produced in your local area? If this sounds like you, and you want to support people to help them make a lasting change in their lifestyle that will help both them and our environment, then you might be interested in working with us to manage an exciting new community project.

Swansea Environment Centre is looking for a Project Officer to manage a household food waste project in the Eastside areas of St Thomas and Port Tennant. We are looking for someone with a keen interest with working in and helping to better their community. Experience in project management or community development is desirable but not essential – if you are well organised, self-motivated, show initiative, and active within your community, plus have the skills to take this project forward; communicating and forming relationships with people and groups, organising events, and managing your own time and workload, we’d love to hear from you.

Please download the job description, application form, and equal opportunities form below, and return to info@environmentcentre.org.uk or Environment Centre, Old Telephone Exchange, Pier Street, Swansea, SA1 6EN by Midnight 7th December at the very latest.

Food Waste Project Officer Job Description

Application Form

Equal Opps Form

Everyone is welcome at the Green Fayre, 19th & 20th November 2016

green fayre 2016

The Environment’s centre’s Green Fayre returns on 19th & 20th November 2016 to the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. The Green Fayre is a unique shopping experience with the environment and ethics at its heart. Open 10am – 5pm both days, the fayre offers visitors the opportunity to purchase locally-sourced and ethical products, be inspired by ways to live more sustainably, and to get involved with local and national campaigns.

Thousands of visitors are expected to attend, with over 70 stalls including organic produce, fair trade products, local woodcraft, recycled craft, local artists, vegetarian and vegan food, ethical health and beauty products, green voluntary groups and much more. This year features a new programme of educational talks and activities across the weekend with guest speakers.

Organiser of the Fayre, Hannah Mitchell said “Whether you’d like to do a bit more for your local environment, need some tips or advice on how to save energy, want to stock up on local produce, or just looking for some unique Christmas presents, there really is something for everyone”.

With a programme of events, children’s activities and most importantly, FREE entry, the Green Fayre will be a great day out for all the family!

For the list of stalls and talks, go to www.greenfayre.org.uk and the Facebook event page is regularly updated with news and information: www.facebook.com/events/554024448096872/  let us know if you’re coming, and please do invite your friends!

GF classroom poster GF16_A4English

COParty(22)Swansea “Connecting Local Initiatives with Global Movements”, 18th November 2016

cop22swansea

Connecting Local Initiatives with Global Movements

COParty(22)Swansea is a celebration of the incredible grassroots projects happening in and around Swansea – from
local food growing & community energy schemes to eco-villages & new news networks.… Join us for some artivism, food, drink, dancing, films, live music – and GOOD news!

The event takes place on Friday 18th November, 7.30 -11pm at Volcano Theatre, 27 – 29 High Street.

Entry is £3, Flamboyant dress is optional! There will also be a collection for Swansea FOODBANK

To reserve your ticket click here

For more information contact fern@emergence-uk.org or call 07528 527836

COParty(22)Swansea marks the last day of the United Nations’ COP22 Climate Talks in Marrakech.

Part of Novemberfest 2016

New Swansea Community Energy & Enterprise Scheme

14907629_351578091862310_6260181043785325012_n

Swansea Community Energy & Enterprise Scheme (SCEES) Ltd. is a not-for-profit Co-operative set-up in 2015. They are owned by members and are run by a small group of local Directors.

In Summer 2016 SCEES installed solar panels (360kWp) on 9 schools and 1 care home owned by the City & County of Swansea. These buildings are situated in and around the wards of Townhill and Penderry – some of Wales’s most deprived areas. Panels were installed at no cost to the building host who will make a small saving on their electricity bills and use the systems for educational purposes.

Solar PV panels make electricity from the sun for 20+ years. As they do, SCEES will earn income from Government subsidies and electricity sales. This money will be used to offer investors into the scheme an interest payment and will be used to generate a community benefit fund to support skills, enterprise, economic growth and job creation in the local area.

A community share offer will be launched on Monday 7th November 2016, offering circa. 6% annual interest. They are looking for minimum investments of £250 (£50 if you live in City and County of Swansea). If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.swanseacommunityenergy.org.uk

Wising up to waste this Autumn

Eeya plastic free living

 

Green Shop During September we have been talking to customers in our Green Shop about helping to reduce the 100 billion disposable plastic coffee cups which go to landfill each year. 2.5 billion disposed of in the UK alone.

We were asking people to chose to reuse and buy one of our great new bamboo Ecoffee cups. We were also asking people to switch to reusing and refilling their Ecover, BioD and Suma household cleaning and toiletries instead. Last year our Green Shop customers saved 840 litre plastic bottles by using our refill station. This year we want to double this!

In the Exchange Café here at the centre we screened the Clean Bin Project during Zero Waste Week, an annual awareness raising week trying to reduce landfill.

September clothes swapWe also held a clothes swap to encourage local fashionista’s to swap instead of shop. Thanks to those who came! You saved 58 kg of clothes which otherwise may have gone to landfill.

Waste is a big issue for all of us. At the Environment Centre we often talk to people who want help in changing their lifestyles so they can lighten their impact on the planet. Recently we met Eeya who has been trying to reduce the amount she throws out since 2003. We feel inspired by Eeya every time she comes into the centre and we wanted to share how she feels and some of the things she’s done to reduce, reuse and recycle more. Over to Eeya…

I moved to the UK from the US with hardly anything, just 2 suitcases. Settling in Swansea in 2003 I was amazed that there wasn’t many recycling facilities. That was a surprise because ever since I was young we had been recycling plastic bags, tins, paper and many other things in America.

I’ve moved a lot since 2003, I’m on my 10th move. Every time I found myself taking things which I never used with me. I would always be thinking… but what if I need it? I was keeping clothes which were 4 sizes too small for me. I found myself getting annoyed and thinking I can’t believe I am wasting my time packing all this stuff! I started changing my thinking. I don’t enjoy shopping but when I do go, I spend more money on things so they tend to last longer. I tried the 10 item wardrobe and now I’m doing the 333 wardrobe which has helped me reduce my clothes.

Eeya plastic free livingNow I’m really trying to limit the plastic in my life. Plastic is everywhere and I’m always thinking, why are we just throwing it out? We talk about running out of oil but plastic is made out of oil and we just keep on making things with plastic.

Coming to the centre’s Exchange Café Big Problems Small Action programme of events has made me think about plastic more. In particular watching the Clean Bin Project. Seeing the bottle tops in the birds in the remotest places really made me think. I always thought that birds living near us had plastic inside them but to see these birds so far away that had swallowed it too was really shocking.

I’ve found some good alternatives which have helped me reduce plastic in my life. I’ve got a great deodorant recipe which has just 4 ingredients including potato starch, bicarb, coconut oil and an essential oil for fragrance. I’ve found that a good way to avoid all that wrapping is to find a good farmers market and take your own bags off course. My favourite find is my stainless steel Bento Box and Abeegoo wraps which has helped me avoid so much. Oh and of course, I use the Green Shop’s refill station, that was great to discover. I’ve changed my toothbrush to one of the bamboo Humblebrush from the shop because just think off all those toothbrushes out there, we use so many. The first toothbrush I used is going to still be out there when my grandchildren are around and even their grandchildren!

We’d like to thank Eeya and everyone who have come along to the centre and shared how they feel about waste. We are always interested in your thoughts and views on the issues facing the planet. We hope that if you haven’t visited our Green Shop in a while that you will come some time soon. We are open weekdays 10am – 4pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm. Keep an eye on our facebook and twitter pages for updates on other events coming soon. 

Free Event! Sustainable, Resilient and Healthy Communities 21st Sept 2016

sustainable resilient communities

On Wednesday 21st September 2016 10 – 3pm Renew Wales are hosting a free event at Canolfan Gorseinon Centre; Sustainable, Resilient and Healthy Communities. You will have the opportunity to learn more about the impact of the Well-being of Future Generations Act on your group, how to reduce food waste in the community, the pros and cons of different renewable energies, and community growing and green spaces.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided but you will need to book your space by contacting Delyth Higgins delyth@environmentcentre.org.uk or call (01792) 480200.

 

Green Fayre November 2016 – Now Open For Stall Applications

green fayre stall

Although we’ve only just waved goodbye to August we’re already well into planning the Green Fayre! It’s back on 19th and 20th November 2016 at the National Waterfront Museum, and we can’t wait to see what stalls will get booked in this year. We are now accepting applications so if you’re interested in having a stall please e-mail bookings@environmentcentre.org.uk This annual event attracts over 70 stalls and 4,000+ visitors over the weekend.

The Green Fayre is a unique shopping experience with the environment and ethics at its heart. Discover fresh tasty local & organic produce, and talented craftspeople offering green festive gifts. Be inspired by local volunteering projects and campaign groups alongside top tips on how to live more sustainably. With free entry and kids activities, it’s a great day out for all the family!