A smile on a stick! Our dabble with solar power…

We met Bab’s on a calm sunny day in the wilds of West Penwith in Cornwall. Bab’s smile could be spotted from the end of the street- signaling that we had arrived (without getting lost for a change!).

A solar powered radio was playing from the rooftop. Apparently this worked beautifully in Senegal… it wasn’t fairing so well in Cornwall however, cutting out every now and then, even on this sunny day!

 

 

Like a lot of people we were thoroughly confused by solar power. My Dad had told me that you’d need to have solar power for 10 years to make it financially worth it. So it was good to learn about solar power from someone in the know and dispel some confusions. Here is Bab’s story-

Bab’s knew about solar power like my nephew knows about superman- very well and with enthusiasm! It was good to understand how solar works and learn about who can have it (not every roof is suitable).

For Bab’s installing solar power is not just about climate change (he laughs, “you cant save the world by just doing solar!”) it’s a rewarding way of “doing his bit”. This is a view that a lot of people we have spoken to this year share… no matter how big or small… they’re just doing what they can. It strikes us that this is a much nicer way to think about climate change than feeling guilty about the things we’re not doing!

Thank you Babs!

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Want to write a rap…. about climate change?

Climate change is such a confusing and big subject that if we do talk about it it’s usually doom and gloom- icebergs melting, polar bears dying and negative messages. So we set out to question what climate change mean to us in the UK through capturing people’s stories.

As we’d already decided, climate change needs it’s image lifting! So we met with Jason, a rapper in Wales who goes by the name of Dregz.

So what’s your story? It’s a hard question. Jason’s thoughts on climate change were similar to a lot of people- we’re not used to thinking about climate change in relation to our everyday lives.

After chatting it through, Jason decided that his story of climate change was about his children and their future. For his it was a justice issue. So here’s his rap ‘Views from a Family Man’

Thank you Dregz.

Meeting Freddie the orangutan… in a nursery in Cornwall

We met Gill and Freddie quite early on in our journey collecting digital stories that think about climate change in the UK.

Gill had a warm Cheshire accent and talked fondly of her impressive 40 years in childcare. Gill had set up Gooseberry Day bush nursery 20 years ago and it’s clear that it’s a well-loved and well-used nursery.

 

We were told about Gill and her nursery by the Green Foundation team at the Eden Project. When they explained what Gill had been doing with the nursery children we had to hear more!

So we sat wide-eyed, very much like the children in the nursery would do, and listened to the story of Freddie the orangutan. Freddie’s story had humor, love, danger and sadness… here it is-

We have to admit that palm oil isn’t something we’d really thought about before. After coming home and looking at all of our packaging we feel slightly hopeless- it’s in so many things!

Often labeled as vegetable oil, the ingredient that’s causing Freddie’s home to be chopped down is in all our favorite things. Biscuits are top of the list- we are both notorious biscuit fiends!

So we both vowed to cut down on the amount of things we ate with palm oil in. Quite honestly it’s not been easy and there are been times where we’ve forgotten altogether. When you’re in a rush to buy lunch or on a tight budget, sadly little Freddie doesn’t factor into your buying habits.

Really this is like a lot of things to do with climate change. They are hard to relate to your everyday life and difficult to keep at the front of your mind. Still, if everyone cut down the amount of things they ate with palm oil in, when they could, it would make a difference. The more people we speak to the more we believe that- every little helps.

Thank you Gill!

 

Lost on the Brecon Beacons- meeting Chris

In August last year we were lucky enough to be scaling the side of a ‘mountain’ in the Brecon Beacons…

“turn left, turn right, recalculating”

The Sat Nav was well and truly lost and confused, and was quite honestly driving us mad. We turn this off and crossed our fingers that we were climbing the right mountain.

At this stage there is only one way… up! 10 minutes later and we are still heading up. A quick phone call to Chris (who we are hoping to meet, if we can find him!) and some reassurance to just keep going. Over the cattle grid and past a flock of sheep, and we finally reach Chris’ house! The Brecon Beacons were stunning, the sun was shining and Chris was lovely.

We all sat down (us and the two dogs that is) with a cup of tea (not the dogs) and chatted about making Chris’ digital story.

So here it is:

 

Quite honestly until I heard Chris’ story I had no idea what micro hydropower was… it sounded fancy and complicated! Listening to Chris we are struck by how simple micro hydro is. And as Chris points out it makes perfect sense for this area… there are hundreds of streams, plenty of rain, and steep hills (as we know from our earlier drive!).

As with some of our other blog posts, Chris is just a normal guy doing something positive for communities in his area, in response to climate change. Chris talked enthusiastically about helping communities to set up micro hydropower in the Brecons and clearly goes above and beyond to make this happen.

Thank you Chris!

A radio show with Reprezent 107.3FM on…

…climate change!? Perhaps not the first topic that springs to mind when creating a feature radio show for young people in London! Working with La, Lois, Tarek and Conscious Vibes we bravely tackled this subject head on- so what does climate change mean to us?

Firstly we ventured out onto Deptford high street. Armed with whiteboards and a recorder we asked people to draw the first thing that popped into their head when we said ‘climate change’.

Tidal waves, melting ice caps and a lot of doom and gloom… for most people it seems climate change is not a very ‘nice’ subject! It’s also very hard to think about in relation to our everyday lives and there’s a general feeling of “well what can I do as an individual?”

So we decided to speak to some people who were doing something in their local community- a bit of grassroots action. The people we spoke to weren’t scientists or council members, they weren’t ‘greenies’ or activists, they were simply people who were quietly getting on with doing something positive for their community…

We chatted to Ceri from invisible food:

Owen from Sprouting56:

And Hanna from the Green Jobs alliance:

Listening to Ceri, Owen and Hanna, we started to think differently about what an individual can do. Ninja guerilla gardening, invisible food and getting a green job…  not only are these people considering climate change, they are also having a lot of fun in the process!

We all agreed that climate change needs it’s image lifting! The things that these people are doing are positive and worthwhile. It seems climate change doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom and it doesn’t have to be tackled from the top down. We are all for a bit of grassroots action and go away vowing to speak to our neighbors and get more involved within our local communities.

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Thanks La, Lois, Tarek and Conscious Vibes for making this show happen. Thanks to Owen, Ceri and Hanna for your lovely stories.