Festive Green Mingle: reflections from 2017, hopes for 2018!
11th December 2017
For our final Green Mingle of 2017, we invited members of Bristol Green Capital Partnership to take to the stage for 60 seconds… to showcase an achievement or good news story from 2017, or to highlight a new idea, initiative or rousing call to action for 2018.
With over 115 attendees, this festive edition of the monthly mingle was one of the busiest of the year – with a host of regular minglers and new attendees enjoying the opportunity to connect, share ideas and promote opportunities for positive change in the year ahead.
- Rhian Sherrington from Women in Sustainability shared successes including being a top 10 Finalist in the Bristol Post’s Green 50 and establishing a Network Hub in London. There are further opportunities to get involved in 2018 for women creating positive change for a sustainable future – take part in this survey to share thoughts on how WINS could support you.
- David Tudgey from Bristol Energy Network had lots of positive news including their Better Bristol success, as well as opportunities for the year ahead including the Community Energy Fund (deadline 15 Jan 2018) and the recruitment of two new posts. David also shared Bristol Energy Network’s plans 2018 to reinvigorate & celebrate the 5th Anniversary of The Bristol Community Strategy for Energy which has helped shape local and national policy on community energy – sign up to their newsletter to stay up to date and get involved!
- Jess Read, a healthy transport engineer, outlined her work to promote a Child-Relevant Response to Air Pollution – making a clear call to action for people of Bristol to contact city leaders about the urgent need to tackle air pollution and provide clear information for the public on peak air pollution days. We have had over 30 days in Bristol over the past year which exceeded the World Health Organisation guidelines for particulate matter – those are days when air pollution is equivalent to smoking > 3 cigarettes, for children and babies too. We need real-time warnings on these days on the radio/internet/highways information tables to people in cars as they are not only causing the pollution, they also have the highest exposure and health related risk. Read about BGCP’s recent AQ event here.
- Richard Milton, from new start-up Huskup, outlined their new re-useable coffee cup made from rice husk not plastic – and highlighted the urgent need to tackle the issue of 2 billion plus cups that go to landfill or are burnt every year in the UK. The call to action was for businesses of Bristol to get involved, by encouraging reuse in their workplace canteens, issuing all staff their own reusable and encouraging coffee shops to offer discounts on reusable cups.
- Jamie Darwen, from the University of the West of England, highlighted the ongoing benefits that organisations can bring to the city through collaborations with students – whose skills and ideas can support impactful sustainability projects and initiatives. Organisations and groups of any size can receive support to broker connections with students via Skills Bridge, and recent opportunities can be found on the Partnership website.
- Zoe Banks Gross, from Easton Energy Group and East Bristol Kidical Mass project, and her son Felix shared their ‘start small’ call to action for individuals and communities in Bristol. Everyone can do something to improve air quality and address climate change in their community, from closing their road for playing out to making more trips on foot or bicycle. Read Zoe’s recent blog here.
- Mike Birkin, from Friends of the Earth Bristol, shared a number of 2018 opportunities for action – from a new air quality community engagement campaign rolling out across Easton and Lawrence Hill, a new campaign organisers’ course, and their new office which they hope will provide more capacity to support community led projects (watch this space for further announcements!)
- Chris Preist, from the University of Bristol, shared reflections on UoB’s ongoing commitment to education for sustainable development, and described how it is ‘upping its game’ as part of the wider Bristol Futures initiative to provide students with a broader educational experience. A new online course will be launched in Feb 2018 (12 hours over 4 weeks) and is open to everyone – encouraging people to think about the different ways they can ‘make a difference’ in the world. Watch the trailer here.
- Ben Moss, from Bristol Wood Recycling Project and Bristol Re-Use Network, shared news of BWRP’s successful 2017 – supporting 1,000+ volunteer days and seeing positive growth as a social enterprise, whilst meanwhile preparing for Feb 2018 and the urgent need to locate to a new home. Read the press release online, and contact BWRP directly for more information. In light of news that Chinese restrictions on plastic imports begin in 2018, Ben highlighted the urgent need for Bristol to become a zero waste city – and invited those who can support work to create a circular economy to get in touch, particularly those who are working in education or with young people.
- Jane Stevenson, on behalf of both Bristol Food Network and Bristol Food Policy Council, invited all members of Bristol Green Capital Partnership to get involved in 2018 in making Bristol a ‘Gold Award’ sustainable food city. A recent Good Food business breakfast highlighted changes that Bristol businesses can make, and a Partnership Gathering in early 2018 will enable organisations of all sizes from all sectors to help establish what ‘gold’ looks like for Bristol and how we can all play a part – members will receive to this gathering via e-mail, and can contact BGCP or BFN directly if they would like to support this work.
We had a further ten opportunities submitted during the mingle to our 2018 ‘call to action wall’, so we’ll be sharing these through blogs and newsletters over the next couple of months.
If you don’t receive Partnership e-mails, learn more about becoming a member and register your contact details here.