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What can we learn from Brighton's sustainable practices?

Updated: Jul 12

Maria, Fenella and Rory from left to right

Hey, everyone! Last Saturday, we took a day trip to Brighton, the UK's unofficial capital of sustainability. If you're looking for a place where eco-friendliness is part of everyday life, Brighton's got you covered. The city's residents and council are teaming up to create a greener now & future, and it's truly inspiring to see.

Seed-Sharing and Community Projects

One of the people we met was Fenella Burns. She and her husband Rob are heavily involved in the community and environmental projects. Fenella runs a cool event called "Seedy Sundays", which has been running for years! It's a gathering where locals share seeds for free. Why buy seeds when your neighbours are giving them away? It's a brilliant way to connect with the community and encourage home gardening. Plus, it's a reminder that food doesn't have to come in a package. Just save a few seeds from your meals and grow them yourself!

Side note: It's quite interesting—if you look at our food objectively, you'll notice there's a pure abundance of it. No one is stopping you from saving some seeds from your food and growing them again! But no one ever taught us how to do that, though…

Composting, Tree-Planting & Community Growing

community beds fVeg beds placed in the park for everyone to use or veg growing
Veg beds placed in the park for everyone to use

As we strolled through Brighton, we came across a park with compost bins where residents can bring their food waste and turn it into compost—at no cost! Composting usually takes a long time, but the community has a system in place to manage the process. All residents can use the standard compost bins in the parks, but the "Growing Hollingdean" community group took it a step further. They invested in a faster compost bin to speed things up, providing usable compost in just a few weeks. It's a game-changer for local gardeners who need compost more quickly. The group also planted about 200 trees in parks and residential areas, boosting biodiversity, offering free food and adding a touch of nature to the city. Apart from allotments, which have a super-long waiting list, Brighton residents have found another way to grow fresh produce. They gather to transform green spaces in parks into productive, fruitful garden beds that anyone can benefit from. It's like a mini farmers' market where everyone can pick their own veggies—no allotment required.

Tackling Pesticides and Keeping It Clean

welcome to Hollingdean mural

Of course, not everything in Brighton is perfect. The Growing Hollingdean group noticed that the council will start to use again glyphosate pesticides to manage weeds on the streets, which isn't great for the environment. So, they decided to take action. They organised groups to weed the pavements by hand, reducing the need for chemicals. It's hard work, but it's worth it to keep harmful pesticides out of the ground and away from the local wildlife. Check out what they do here

Organic Markets and Allotments

Our journey took us to an organic market near a church. The church itself has been transformed into a community space, where people can relax and enjoy a sustainable cup of coffee or tea. The atmosphere was welcoming, and we even indulged in some pastries. Who doesn't love pastries, right?

Next, we visited the Roedale Valley Allotment, where Fenella shares her plot with a few others. The waiting list for allotments in Brighton is super long, so teaming up with someone who already has one is a clever way to get involved. The allotment was full of life, with a wide variety of plants and a cool plant seedling sale. It's amazing how much can be done with a bit of teamwork and a shared passion for sustainability.

A Brighter, Greener Future

green hill with trees planted by Growing Hollindgen Community
Green hill with trees planted by Growing Hollindgen Community

Overall, our visit to Brighton was eye-opening. It showed us that when a community comes together, great things can happen. From seed-sharing to composting to organic markets, the city is leading the way in sustainability. If we want a greener future, we need more places like Brighton. Let's start now!

Join us on our secret community gardening project! More more info follow the link here

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