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!

Zero Waste Film Night: The Clean Bin Project showing on 7th September 2016

clean bin

As part of our Exchange Cafe series “Big Problems, Small Actions”, the Environment Centre will be showing The Clean Bin Project at 7pm on Wednesday 7th September 2016. The Clean Bin Project is a documentary film, a competition where less is more.

Is it possible to live completely waste free? In this multi-award winning, festival favourite, partners Jen and Grant go head to head in a competition to see who can swear off consumerism and produce the least garbageTheir light-hearted competition is set against a darker examination of the problem waste.  Even as Grant and Jen start to garner interest in their project, they struggle to find meaning in their minuscule influence on the large-scale environmental impacts of our “throw-away society”. Described as An Inconvenient Truth meets Super Size Me, The Clean Bin Project features laugh out loud moments, stop motion animations, and unforgettable imagery. Captivating interviews with renowned artist, Chris Jordan and TED Lecturer Captain Charles Moore, make this film a fun and inspiring call to individual action that speaks to crowds of all ages.
Entry is free, tickets have now SOLD OUT however if you are interested on going on the reserve list please e-mail bookings@environmentcentre.org.uk

Swap Til You Drop! Join Our Clothes Swap On Thurs 22nd Sept 2016

clothes swap

Why not swap rather than shop!? Come along to the Environment Centre’s clothes swap, bring at least one good quality item and swap for something else, we’ll swap clothes, shoes, accessories, hats and bags. NEW for this event, each item you bring gains you 1 token to exchange for another item. Please only bring clean items that are in good condition, we wont accept broken, faulty or dirty / unwashed items. Drop off clothes from 6.30pm, actual swap starts at 7.30pm.

Also NEW for this event we will have a short handsewing workshop / activity between 6.45 – 7.30pm whilst you have a cuppa. Learn how to turn up a pair of jeans by hand with needle and thread – bring your own jeans, needle and thread. Entry is £5.00 and includes refreshments.

Book your place by e-mailing bookings@environmentcentre.org.uk or call (01792) 480200.
Tickets are available on the door however there is a max capacity for the room, so booking is advisable!

Our Green Shop is now open every Saturday from 10am – 2pm

shop saturday opening

We’ve been listening to feedback from our Green Shop customers and from the 6th of August we trialed opening on Saturdays from 10am – 2pm and we would like to thank everyone who came in and supported the Saturday trial.

We’re pleased to announce that we will now be open perminantly on Saturdays!

We’ve got a great range of refillable and plastic packaging-free goods which is expanding throughout this year. New in we have E-Coffee Cups, a reusable bamboo cup that will last for years and it will biodegrade. Our cafe will also be open so it’s a great opportunity to have a quiet cuppa, and for the Pokemon players we have a Poke Stop right outside!

Come down and make a stand against single use plastics and support a good cause, we’d love to see you.



Ladies: Learn to make your own reusable sanitary towel! 25th July 2016, 6pm

reusable st

For ladies who want to live life a little differently! A new workshop at the Environment Centre learning to make and sew your own reusable sanitary towel. This will be an informal and relaxed session with likeminded ladies, with experienced workshop leader, Misscheivious Gladrags.

This session involves using a sewing machine, please bring along some cotton fabric that you would like to use as an outer layer, all other materials provided. The cost is just £15 or £10 concessions, you can expect to make one heavy flow and one light flow towel on the evening, and also you’ll gain the skill and knowledge to make more at home!

The session will be on Monday 25th July 2016, 6 – 8.30pm (date changed from original advertisement of 18th July).

Booking is essential, please contact bookings@environmentcentre.org.uk or call (01792) 480200

Swansea’s Vegan Festival comes to the Brangwyn Hall

vegan fest

Swansea Vegan Festival 2016 will take place at The Brangwyn Hall this summer.  To be held on Saturday 16th July, this will be the third festival held by local organisation Swansea Vegfest. After the unprecedented success of last year’s festival, it is set to be their biggest and best event yet. Doors open at 11am with the festival running into the night. Entry is £1, with under 12s free.

There will be around 70 different businesses and organisations exhibiting on the day, covering everything from delicious hot and cold food; sweet treats; ethical fashion; health and beauty and animal welfare. There will also be various talks, cooking demonstrations and discussion groups taking place throughout the day, as well as a kids’ zone with activities. Attendees can then party into the night with live music, films and a bar from 6pm.

Photo2Swansea Vegfest is a not for profit organisation. It consists of a handful of passionate volunteers who are on a mission to educate and support those interested in a vegan lifestyle and raise awareness of animal welfare issues. Organiser and local business owner Karen McCloy says: “The vegan scene in Swansea and South Wales is very much part of a growing trend, and we are confident that this is going to be our most successful event yet. We are thrilled to have so many local, independent businesses involved in the festival and we will be showcasing the wide range of products they have to offer – particularly when it comes to food! We’ve got all sorts, including Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, pizza, raw foods and cakes. There will be something for everyone on the day, whether you are a vegetarian or vegan, a foodie or just looking for a fun day out. You won’t be disappointed!”Photo3

For more information please search ‘Swansea Vegfest’ to find the Vegfest page on Facebook. Alternatively, visit swanseavegfest.co.uk or follow @SwanseaVegfest on Twitter.