Gathering to promote dynamic action for social and environmental change at this year’s Big Green Week, 11th-19th June, a new generation of Bristolian entrepreneurs like Mukti Mitchell, Darren Hall and Ross Porter, will be showcasing an exciting programme of ‘Smart Living’ events, demonstrating how our best lifestyle choices combine optimising our personal needs with being ‘Green’.
Mukti Mitchell, author of The Guide to Low Carbon Lifestyles -who famously sailed a micro eco yacht around Britain spreading his message that low carbon living improves your quality of life – explains the new Smart Living concept:
“Since the eco sailing tour in 2007, I have extensively researched how low carbon living improves your quality of life, making a surprising discovery: the activities people rated enjoying most – like eating tasty organic food, cycling or getting out into nature – have a low carbon footprint. This shows that if we truly act from our own self interest and long term happiness, the choices we make will automatically be good for our community and good for the planet.
“The older generation of UK environmentalists – such as ‘Green Godfather of Bristol’ Alastair Sawday, Jonathon Porritt and Satish Kumar – have operated under the ‘Green’ banner now for decades, with the emphasis being on doing what’s good for the environment. Smart Living is a step forward from Green because it puts our own self interests first. As the Dalai Lama says, ‘be wisely selfish’. It’s about making ethical, sustainable choices that that come back to hug us rather than haunt us – choices that beget everything we want at once – physical health, inner happiness, vibrant communities, happy cities and a happy planet.”
Alastair Sawday, Chairman of Love the Future, which now has a remit to produce Smart events in Bristol throughout the year, says:
“For those of us who have been around the green block several times, the question of ‘what next?’ is very alive. Chairing Love the Future, an organization buzzing with new, Bristolian, ways of looking
at old problems, gives me inspiring contact with younger people and their perspective. They are not weary, as my generation can be, but fired up with ideas and focused intelligence. I have handed on the baton of Big Green Week to Darren Hall and a new Board, and their expanded concept of ‘Smart’ as the new ‘Green’ is an exciting innovation.”
Highlights at Big Green Week include a ‘Smart Homes’ event held at Bristol’s Watershed on Monday 13th June (2-6pm) featuring Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud and other Smart Home experts. Here, Mukti Mitchell – director of CosyHome Company – awarded for its energy saving insulation solutions for Britain’s old homes – will explain ways to make beautiful old homes smart, retrofitting windows with advanced secondary glazing and other insulation initiatives that can halve the heat loss in traditional homes, saving money, keeping you warm and preserving your property’s beauty and character. Dramatically reducing fuel bills, home insulation is one of the highest returning investments available today, and it’s very good for the planet: CosyHome is catalysing a retrofitting revolution in the UK which could cut the national carbon footprint by 10%.
And at a hotly anticipated ‘Smart Living – In Your Home and on our Oceans’ event at the Architecture Centre on Wednesday 15thJune (7-9pm), Ross Porter, founder of the trailblazing new sustainable ferry service Voyage Vert, introduces this exciting, viable alternative to flight. Trialling the project with 72 ft racing yachts, Voyage Vert is developing a concept based on the latest yacht design technology that will enable large sailing ships to ferry 200 plus passengers across the Atlantic in under a week. Ross is joined by fellow Voyage Vert director Mukti Mitchell and ocean wildlife advocate Nicholas Daines, for a discussion about the solutions needed to reduce the impact of flying. And Mukti and Ross also give a talk about the art of retrotting old homes and the smart, cost-effective insulation solutions CosyHome Company offers period home owners.
Many other exciting smart initiatives will be shared at Big Green Week in a compelling line up of talks, workshops, discussions and exhibitions, designed to “inspire, involve, empower and educate”. Other highlights include a talk by Nicaraguan Ambassador HE Senora Guisell Morales, a Hope & Harris supper club with Farms Not Factories, and the second annual Bristol Grand Prix on Park Street.
Darren Hall, Founder of Big Green Week and Love the Future, and Green Party Candidate for Bristol West, says:
“With April breaking global temperature records for the seventh month in a row, it has never been more important for everyone to be helping reduce human impact on the planet. Going beyond the core audience of Big Green Week, to many more people that are willing to make choices that are good for tomorrow as well as today, is essential if we are to achieve change.
“Smart Living is our way of offering information about the simple actions that we can all take to help save time and money and improve our health and wellbeing, as well as safeguarding the future of our families.”