Treborth Hosts Carbon Literacy Training


On 17th October, a free course was held at Treborth Botanical Gardens to educate the attendees on how to reduce their Carbon Footprint. The event was organised by Social Farms and Gardens Community Growing Projects whom run environmentally conscious activities throughout Wales. Starting from Manchester Carbon Literacy Project, Carbon Literacy training has spread across the U.K. through peer to peer learning practices. Rhodir Thomas, our speaker and trainer from Sustain Wales, covered many aspects of Climate Change and spoke about ways in which we can integrate change into our daily lives.

An explanation of the Carbon cycle was first on the agenda making sure everyone was up to scratch with the basic schematics. For 300 million years fossil fuels had been forming from the Carbon in the remains of phytoplankton, animals and plants. As the organic matter decomposed under immense pressures and temperatures, these fuels were formed. Now, we see the natural cycling of Carbon, a fine balance of complex geochemical processes, has been seriously perturbed by the burning of fossils fuels and consequential release into our atmosphere.

The talk also discussed anthropogenic activities and how energy intensive our everyday behaviours may be. Take a cup of tea for example, how often do we think of the chain of supply from which it came and what does it cost in Carbon? Another hot topic is dietary choice, ‘To Vegan or not to Vegan?’… that is the question.

As our very own Climate Minister Claire Perry put it: “I think you’re describing the worst sort of Nanny State ever. Who would I be to sit there advising people in the country coming home after a hard day of work to not have steak and chips?… Please…”

The discussions of the group highlighted the energy intensive practices of meat production, transportation, and heating of homes: Are these of low, high or moderate impact in terms of Carbon Emissions? Are we willing to change? And if not, what are the consequences?

Climate change and its impacts are consistently in the news. More extreme weather events! Droughts and floods and wildfires… the list goes on. Focusing on North Wales thought, the ‘Will I Need my Brolley?’ section of the course illustrated the likelihood of coastal flooding, increases in storms intensity as well as higher Summer temperatures. The need to prepare for such events was clear.


How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

The take home message was clear. There are a wealth of organisations working for zero carbon across the world as well as ample opportunity for the individual to change basic behaviour patterns for the hope of a sustainable future. Innovative technologies creating viable solutions to what we believed were insolvable issues; concepts of a circular economy or closed loops production systems for industries; investing in renewables; voting for a greener world; eat less meat; cycle more; have one less baby (no one was too keen, though it would reduce your footprint dramatically). The solutions are present and there is a great need for alterations in the individual’s mentalities as well as a true systemic change to our current consumption paradigms.



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Environment Editor 2018-19

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