Planting Green Thoughts
Advertising works – why else would major companies use it? So why not use the same techniques for social good? That was the message given by Jo Horsley, Environment Wales Development Officer, when she addressed Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group at their recent meeting.
The aim was to show that 'doing the right thing' could be fun, easy and popular. In order to change behaviour detailed research of the target population was the necessary first step. After delivery of a project, detailed evaluation of both short and long term outcomes was essential.
Examples of successful projects were given. In Wisconsin the death rate among young male adults from drunken driving was dramatically reduced by providing a stretch limo to transport 'would be' revellers. Again in America it was found that amongst the Hispanic population the use of car safety seats for young children was greatly increased after the seat had been blessed by a priest - linking the seat to the concept of 'God's Will'.
In Wales the Cycle Challenge project based in Cardiff had helped to reduce obesity, while a food labelling project in Pembroke, showing what food had been locally grown, had succeeded in reducing 'food miles', with an assessed saving of 3% in greenhouse gas emissions.
Currently DEFRA research indicated that only 18% of the UK population were 'honestly disengaged' from the issues surrounding the environmental damage linked to global warming and climate change. The remainder are to varying degrees aware of the problem and the challenge is to engage this segment of the population in supporting positive measures to address the problem. The message must be positive. Frightening people with a domesday scenario will not work.
The Chair thanked Jo for her thoughtful and detailed exposition of the manner in which marketing techniques could be used for the public good.
The meeting continued with a briefing from Vice-Chair Neil Sefton on his attendance at the Sustainable Energy Practice in the European Regions Conference at Swansea earlier that day.
The contributors included Tobias Cossen (Germany) who explained how his company Juwi had won support for wind farms around the world; Jerome le Bel (France) showed how they had created a wood fired village heating system at Fraisse-sur-Agout. Dr Carmen Mateescu (Romania) impressed with her easy to construct biomass to biogas anaerobic chamber suitable for use on smallholdings. Jos van Rooy (Netherlands) described a great example of a larger scale district energy project whilst Tobias gave another talk concerning shaping a 'deep green' planning policy – a great thought for national and local governments. The final speaker was from closer to home, Dr Rami Malki from Swansea University who focused on potential marine renewable energy, particularly wave and tidal stream technologies, around the Welsh coast.
The Conference had been most instructive and showed how much more had been achieved in Europe than in the UK in this vital area.
|24th February 2012||The Atlantic Array offshore wind farm: A talk by Robert Thornhill, Development Manager|
|2nd December 2011||Pathfinder Progress: A talk by Peter Willis from the Welsh Government's Pathfinder Programme|
|4th November 2011||The DeltaStream project: A talk by Chris Williams, Development Director of Tidal Energy Ltd.|
|30th September 2011||How Green is my Valley?: A talk by Grenville Ham, Manager of The Green Valleys Project|
|23rd September 2011||PSEEG's visit to Carew Mill with Marten Lewis of the Darwin Centre|
|5th August 2011||The Manner of the Message: A talk by Neil Sefton on communication skills|
|24th June 2011||The Work of the Darwin Centre: A talk by Marten Lewis, manager of the Darwin Centre|
|27th May 2011||Electric Cars – The Road Ahead?: The talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles|
|13th May 2011||Are electric cars the way forward?: A talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles|
|22nd April 2011||Sustainability in Action: A visit to the Science & Technology Park (Technium) in Pembroke Dock|
|1st April 2011||A Revolution in Wind Energy?: A talk by Vaughan Griffiths from Quietrevolution, Pembroke Dock|
|25th February 2011||Preparing for Floods: A talk by Richard Wickes of the Environment Agency|
|14th January 2011||The Way Forward for Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy|
|12th November 2010||How Green is your Castle?: The National Trust & Global Warming|
|15th October 2010||Challenge of the Rising Sea: The effects on the Pembrokeshire coastline|
|10th August 2010||The beautiful Welsh coastline: Response to possible rising sea levels|
|18th June 2010||Visit to Costain at Canaston Bridge: Not Costing the Earth|
|16th April 2010||Feed in Tariffs: Power to the People|
|12th March 2010||Heat Pumps & Photo Voltaic Panels: Prepare for the Goodlife|
|12th February 2010||Parliamentary Candiates at Green Question Time in Saundersfoot|
|15th January 2010||Weather & Climate: A Question of Energy|
|4th December 2009||Sustainable Community Ventures: Regeneration in Pembrokeshire|
|13th November 2009||Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example|
|16th October 2009||Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines|
|2nd October 2009||A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind|
|11th September 2009||Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire|
|10th July 2009||A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential|
|12th June 2009||St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability|
|24th April 2009||Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire|
|13th March 2009||Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun|
|13th February 2009||Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?|
|14th November 2008||Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG|
|17th October 2008||PSEEG to become a Registered Charity|