Go Green in 2019
The Isle of Wight is getting greener all the time, with initiatives to cut our carbon emissions and reduce plastic waste especially high on the agenda. Here are a few aspects of Green Island living that you might like to experience during your visit in 2019.
The Island is dubbed ‘Cycle Island’ and we have many cycling events throughout the year, but we do also have a lot of hills that make cycling more difficult. Electric bikes are a brilliant answer to this problem as not only are they a great way to get exercise in the fresh air, but the extra help from the electric motor you can see more and not get exhausted by hills. Plus, they’re much easier on your knees. The Seaview Hotel has a fleet of six Axcess 2 Camargue step-through e-bikes available to guests staying at the hotel and they even offer special packages that include the e bikes during your stay. Or hire an electric bike from one of the Red Squirrel electricbikes, based at the Guildhall in Newport, and the Island is your oyster – with charging points all around the island to top up as you ride. Wight Cycle Hire in Yarmouth also have electric bikes for hire, as do Route 57 in Lake.
Islanders are becoming more aware of the debris that washes up on our beaches – or is left there after picnics or barbecues on the sand – and are organising regular beach cleans to address this problem. You can beach clean at any time on your own of course, just take a bag with you when you go for a beach walk and pick up any rubbish you come across. But please take it home with you, or to a tip. If you want to join an organised beach clean Surfers Against Sewage have cleans in the autumn and spring, and other organisations such as the National Trust and Isle of Wight Day do organise beach cleans from time to time. Check out the Isle of Wight Beach Cleaning Volunteers facebook page for details on up and coming beach cleans if you’d like to join one during your stay.
Most Island businesses have taken the one-use plastic bag problem on board and now charge for bags, and encourage people to purchase bags that can be used more than once. But in Freshwater the local council have taken the solution one step further by establishing Plastic Free Freshwater community group and eco fashion brand Rapanui, who are based in Freshwater, have produced a reusable fabric shopping bag that is available at various shops in Freshwater for just £4.99. Pick up your bag at Orchard Brothers, Piano Cafe, Freshwater Independent Lifeboat Shop, Village Baker, PJ Thorne Butcher, Elliot's, Freshwater Coffee House or Adrian's Bike Shop.
We have various upmarket glamping options on the Island, which offer a sustainable and eco-friendly way to make as small an imprint as possible during your stay. Latest of these is Tiny Home Holidays, who have small but perfectly formed holiday homes with wood burners, photovoltaic cells for power and compost loos. Not only can you experience off the grid living but you don’t have to compromise on comfort, and you’ll be doing it in style. Plus you could learn a skill such as willow weaving, candle making or upcycling in their on-site studio.
It is encouraging that so many people are thinking green, and changing from fossil fuel to electric, and if you have an electric car there are many electric charging points around the Island, with several in council car parks – Chapel Street car park in Newport has a rapid charger taking between 20 to 30 minutes for a full charge and free parking whilst you charge. Various tourist attractions such as the Garlic Farm, Ventnor Botanic Garden, Isle of Wight Pearl and Tapnell Farm have charging points with more being installed across the island. But the beauty of the Isle of Wight is that a full charge will usually be enough for a day’s driving. Plus to encourage electric car owners, Red Funnel offers a 25% discount to electric vehicles crossing the Solent.
Red Funnel introduced their new ‘Red Goes Green’ long-term Environmental Strategy in 2018, and have rebranded their ferry Red Falcon as ‘Green Funnel’ with green logo and funnel to raise public awareness, with information on B Deck about the measures being taken and how the public can get involved. Green Funnel seeks to change consumer behaviour in line with the company's commitment to operate in an environmentally sustainable and sympathetic manner, such as encouraging drivers not to leave engines running in the queues on and off the ferry. The focus is on improving air quality, increasing recycling rates, reducing waste and packaging and encouraging sustainable travel.
27 December 2018