A few months ago I entered Middlewick into the SW Tourism Awards for Sustainability. I received the notification yesterday that we didn’t get shortlisted which is probably ok with me, but what has knocked me back is that we only scored 70 out of a possible 150 points on our entry. So lots of huffing and puffing around the office afterwards but then it hit me. I didn’t make all these green improvements here to win awards, I did it for me and my guests who stay with us here in Glastonbury.
I have been fighting the green cause for the past few years. My son Thomas is 17 now and when he was born I started a company called Green Baby. So 17 years on I am still trying my hardest to do my bit for the planet. My retail days are gone but now trying hard to promote Sustainable living through our holiday cottages here in Glastonbury.
Now my little problem with not winning an award is nothing to worry about really compared to all that is going on in the world.
Today, November 30th, as I write this rant there are 40,000 people in Paris- actually 40,000 plus 150 world leaders- trying to make decisions on climate change. Having that many people trying to come up with a co-ordinated plan sounds like an impossible task, destined to fail. Oh yes, that is what usually happens with these agreements. Well the good news is they are finally looking at a bottom-up approach. Setting a policy to allow countries to do what is economically and politically feasible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Do 40,150 people really need to come together to spend lots of money on security and expenses to state the ‘blimmin’ obvious.
At the end of the day we may not be as important as all those folk setting policy, but we all have a role to play and we have to do what we can. Climate Change can not be ignored anymore and we need a commitment by all to reduce our Carbon Footprint.
Maybe after spending 2 weeks together and deciding that the new strategy is bottom -up, they may go home and each do something amazing for the planet. 40,150 people making a difference.
They will find that it isn’t always easy, it is rarely cheap and definitely can’t be done overnight but it is what has to be done.
It has taken us here at Middlewick almost 5 years to get to where we are. We have turned our cottages into something we can be proud of and continue to make improvements to be as green as we can be. So far we have installed bio-mass boilers to provide our heating, put solar panels on our roof to provide us with electricity, attached water butts to our drainpipes to provide us with garden water, changed all our lighting to LED, alongside all the other easy things like recycling and composting.
So there are still 2 weeks of negotiations left in Paris. Imagine sitting through that, way more painful than the few hours it took me to fill in my entry for my sustainable tourism award. Hopefully the world summit will set some targets that are attainable for countries so that they don’t bother to do anything at all.
Although this year Middlewick weren’t winners at the awards, entering has helped highlight what we have managed to do and to realise that you can only work with what you have and do your best. (Double glazed windows are never going to happen on our 17th-century farmhouse.)
So it is the bottom-up approach that we all have to take. Do what you can with what you have, but do remember this – When you climb mountains, it is not so the world can see you but so you can see the world you want to see.