Discover Fairtrade Gold: February 2018

The Environment Centre is hosting a photographic exhibition from the Fairtrade Foundation: Discover Fairtrade Gold, from 6th – 28th February 2018.
Up to 16 million men, women and children are pushed in to small-scale gold mining by poverty around the world. Faced with numerous challenges to earn a fair price for their gold, life is tough, conditions dangerous and livelihoods for most are precarious at best. You can support marginalised gold miners to improve their livelihoods and communities by encouraging others to choose Fairtrade Gold.
The Discover Fairtrade Gold photography exhibition is a set of 16 striking images, quotes and stories from gold mining communities in South America and East Africa which bring the challenges facing small-scale gold miners, and the difference Fairtrade can make to life.

The exhibition will be in the Centre’s Main Hall which is also used as a meeting room, so please check viewing availability in advance before making a special journey by calling (01792) 480200, or email info@environmentcentre.org.uk

Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 will take place from 26th February to 11th March, find out more about Fairtrade in Swansea here

Heat Our Hall Appeal: Can You Help?

The Environment Centre is currently raising money to replace the heating system in the hall, can you help us to reach our target?

If you’re a regular user of the Centre, you’ll know that our heating system is old, inefficient, irreparable and in desperate need of replacing. As a small charity we do not have the funds to undertake such a large project, which is why we have launched this appeal.

Lots of local community groups and charities regularly use our hall including Swansea Carers Centre, Wheelrights, Swansea Organic Gardening Group, Swansea Friends of the Earth, Bikeability, The More Green Project, Women 4 Resources, Sustrans, RSPB, Swansea Ramblers, Oxfam, NCT, Barnardos, Helping Groups To Grow, and many more! It is used for training sessions, talks, board meetings, courses, meditation, tai chi, and film showings. We would love to provide a warm and welcoming meeting space for our users.

We will install a new energy efficient boiler to run in combination with our solar hot water panels on the Centre’s main roof, along with brand new heaters in the hall.

If you can help, please make a donation via our Local Giving page localgiving.org/appeal/heatourhall/. We have already raised over £3,000 to date (December 2017) so we are not far off our target of £5,000! We can also accept donations over the phone or by dropping money in in person. We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated so far.

For more information please contact info@environmentcentre.org.uk or call (01792) 480200.

Green Fayre 2017: A Review

The Environment Centre’s Green Fayre took place on 18th & 19th November 2017 at the National Waterfront Museum. Despite having a smaller team of staff than in previous years, we acheived an estimated 4,185 visitors over the two days, an increase on last year.

In total, 67 organisations attended with stalls, 7 organisations gave free talks, workshops or activities, plus 4 organisations exhibited low carbon emission vehicles. The most popular talk was from Permaculture Wales about setting up a local networking group.

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The Environment Centre’s stall did particularly well having made more sales than ever before, and we had a very successful book swap raising over £80 in donations for the charity. We expect the Environment Centre charity to have raised around £2000 from the whole event, all proceeds go to the running of the Environment Centre –  A community hub inspiring everyone to make positive changes for a greener and healthier future.

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We’re still receiving feedback from stallholders but we’ve had some great comments so far: They liked “Meeting people/ explaining about our work/ raising awareness”, “new and interesting stalls, only eco fayre i know about in swansea”, “Great venue and lovely people”, “The buzz of like minded people”, and “love the fact that it goes on for 2 days”. We always try to improve the Fayre year after year, and we take on board any comments and suggestions for improvements from stallholders and customers alike.

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We wish to say a big THANK YOU to everyone involved, including our brilliant team of volunteers, the helpful Waterfront Museum staff, the stallholders for supporting the event and the customers who make the choice to support local green and ethical groups and businesses.

To see a list of stalls that attended in 2017 and more photos from the event, go to www.greenfayre.org.uk 

Do you have a few hours to spare every week? We need volunteers!

The Environment Centre is in need of volunteers…could you help?

Our Charity could not operate without the fantastic team of volunteers who help us out every week, there are a few vacancies in different roles including: serving in the Green Shop and reception, helping with administration and data entry, updating our website and social media accounts, gardening, helping at events and more. We are particularly in need of Saturday volunteers to help out in the Green Shop 10am – 2pm.

We have volunteers from all walks of life and a wide range of ages from students to retired people. We have regular volunteer social meet-ups where we brush up on skills or visit places of interest (usually cake is involved!), and we have a very friendly team of staff who work closely with the volunteers. Volunteers unsually have their own 4 hr slot every week and it helps provide routine for people who may have been out of work for a while. We offer travel expenses so that you wont be out of pocket for helping us out. Volunteering is a great way to gain work and life skills, meet new people, socialise, it can help open doors to employment and it makes you feel good!

If you’d like to know more, contact Anita on (01792) 480200 or email education@environmentcentre.org.uk (Please note that Anita only works part-time 2 days a week, so might not be able to get back to you straight away).

 

The Environment Centre Joins Terracycle Recycling Programme

Fantastic news! The Environment Centre will soon be collecting specific items of waste to be recycled that can’t go through the normal council recycling collections. Terracycle has big brand partners that sponsor free collections of different waste streams, and for each item we collect, money will be donated to our charity. We will be a drop off point for items including baby food pouches (washed), clean biscuit wrappers, air freshener packaging and clean beauty product packaging.

TerraCycle is Eliminating the Idea of Waste® by recycling the “non-recyclable.” TerraCycle can collect and recycle almost any form of waste. We partner with individual collectors such as yourself, as well as major consumer product companies, retailers, manufacturers, municipalities, and small businesses across 20 different countries. With your help, we are able to divert millions of pounds of waste from landfills and incinerators each month.

Once the recycling boxes are in place we will release a full list of items that you can drop off. In the meantime, find out more about Terracycle here!

Kickstart Your Plastic-Free Lifestyle With Us

The Environment Centre’s Green Shop has lots of products to help you live a plastic-free lifestyle. Single use plastics are a major global concern, not only are they filling up our bins and landfill sites, they are polluting our countryside, rivers and oceans, they are washing up on our beaches and being consumed by wildlife. Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans.

If you want to take action and change your habits, come along to our Green Shop where we have the only Ecover Refill station in Swansea as well as BioD and Suma product refills. We also stock popular Humblebrush bamboo toothbrushes, reusable food wraps, stainless steel straws, food containers, Ecoffee Cups and both reusable and degradable sanitary & hygeine products. Every month we’re looking to increase our range of plastic-free products, so join our mailing list or follow us on Facebook to receive new product updates.

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Our Green Shop is open 10 – 4 Mon – Fri, and 10 – 2 on Saturdays. The shop is run by volunteers so not only are you helping the planet, you’re supporting skills and training opportunities for volunteers and supporting a local independent Charity.

Want to do more? There are many charities campaigning for reducing plastic, support them and join the plastic-free revolution!

Surfers Against Sewage Sign up for your free action plan. #JoinTheResistance

Marine Conservation Society For the protection of seas, shores and wildlife.

Greenpeace Microbeads campaign.

Keep Wales Tidy  Green Flag & Blue Flag labels, Eco-schools and Tidy Towns.

 

Environment Centre Urban Garden Creating A Buzz!

The Environment Centre’s urban garden is a little-known hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the town centre and maritime quarter. It is maintained entirely by volunteers, and our head volunteer gardener, Anca, has put in many hours to acheive a fantastic haven for wildlife and a wonderful relaxing place to sit and have a cuppa.

20245457_1484232998309908_3848580593675977942_nOur garden is so bee friendly, that for the past 2 years we now have a resident population of Tree Bubmlebees at the top of the building in the back garden. You can find out more about Tree Bumblebees here 

 

We also see many birds, butterflies, spiders and other critters out and about.

To demonstrate reuse and recycling, we have exmples of repurposed containers including an old broken Henry vacuum, an unwanted sink and even an old ceramic toilet bowl!

The garden features many attractive, edible and fragrant plants and flowers, including herbs such as thyme, sage, oregano, chives, lemon balm and mint, tayberries, rhubarb, blackcurrants, strawberries, lavender, fennel and chamomile. The garden is free and open for everyone to make use of the produce, so drop in a take a look!

Sustainable Swansea: Green Spaces Photo Competition

Fancy winning a £25 book token? 
Sustainable Swansea, a project of Swansea Environmental Forum, have launched a new photo competition. Simply get out and explore any of the many amazing sites on the new Swansea Green Spaces map, it could be anything from scenery, views, flowers, trees, wildlife or anything else you find there – it’s up to you!

The competition is open to all regardless of photographic ability, to enter send an email to dai@environmentcentre.org.uk with your best snap showing what the place means to you!

To get a copy of the map you can call in to the Environment Centre for a paper copy or to get a pdf to view on your computer, click here

The competition closes on 31st August 2017, one entry per person. For more information visit www.sustainableswansea.net

Happy snapping!