Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Firefighting blogging duties

Bury St Edmunds Fire Station: Venue for the 2010 Eco Fair

Yikes.  Can you believe it's been over a month since I last blogged.  I'm so sorry for my absence but I've got a list of excuses as long as my arm.  In just five weeks I've packed in a holiday to France ,enjoyed lots of Easter fun with the kids, done a community litter pick, took a trip to the super dooper UK Aware exhibition, have been dropping in on the Green Living Forum to see how their members have been getting on with their rubbish challenge..and met up a with a few folk who want to kickstart a Transition Town initiative in Bury St Edmunds.

I would have kept you up-to-date, but having juggled a middle ear infection, a husband with man-flu and the  ghastly condition of a broken laptop, I've hardly been able to keep up with myself  let alone much else.

And I have to confess that I've also been distracted by a fireman, which has kept me busier than all of the above.

Now before any ladies start swooning over men in uniform and asking for details, let me reassure you that my actions are all above board and that the fireman in question has honourable intentions indeed. In fact, his intentions are more than honourable. They are sustainable and so full of eco promise that Suffolk Fire Service will soon be at the very heart of greening up our county.

I met Paul Turner, the Fire Brigade Union's environmental rep for Suffolk (pictured above), as a result of my last visit to BBC Radio Suffolk when I was a guest on James Hazell's show alongside local wedding dress designer Terry Fox.  Her partner who accompanied us into the Green Room is a firefighter and when he discovered my passion for waste reduction, he suggested that Paul and I should get in touch.

Two weeks later, I happily found myself on a tour of Bury St Edmunds fire station listening to Paul's account of what he and the station have already achieved, as well as his plans for the fire station to promote sustainability throughout the local community and across Suffolk.

To date he has been responsible for organising recycling facilities onsite as well as installing compost bins for kitchen waste and creating a wildlife garden in the grounds of the fire station.  In fact, the garden has already won a prestigious Bury in Bloom award for its contribution to the environment.

Now Paul wants to share green and sustainable ideas more widely and this year is launching Suffolk Fire Service's first ever eco fair, where members of the public, colleagues from other stations and  local business owners will be invited to to the station's premises to sample eco products and services and find out more about local facilities that can help reduce their carbon footprint.

So caught by his enthusiasm, I couldn't resist pointing him in the direction of a few useful sources who I thought would love to help out, starting with fabulous designers Elvis & Kresse who save decommisioned firehose from landfill, by turning them into stylish accessories including bags, belts and  iPhone covers.


The great news is that Paul has already got in touch with Elvis & Kresse to make plans for them to take delivery of Suffolk's decommissioned firehose this year and is hoping that the company will also be able to show off their products at the Eco Fair, which is being held on Saturday 10th July.

So what else can you expect from the event?  It's early days yet, but arrangements are already in place to showcase local food, promote renewable energy systems and to introduce a fabulous range of awesome eco products that are beginning to penetrate the consumer marketplace.  There will be talks and video presentations as well as fun activities for the kids, all aimed at demonstrating how eco alternatives can be incorporated into mainstream living, whether it's greening up the office or keeping hens in your back garden.

Although  the event will be free to exhibitors and to members of the public, there will be a raffle which will raise money in support of the Firefighters Charity and the EACH (East Anglian Children's Hospice) Treehouse Appeal, to specifically fund a sedum roof that is being planned for a new hospice.

With such worthwhile causes it would be great if this raffle could raise some gigantic funds.  So if any of you lovely readers know of friendly companies who would be happy to donate some eco prizes, then do get in touch.  Some exciting prizes are already coming in from a range of green companies, but to help raise shedloads of money for these particular charities I hope we can hook a few more.

More information will be available nearer the time, once the programme has been finalised.  But if you or any of your contacts are interested in supporting the event, either as a speaker, hosting an activity or as a stall-holder, feel free to email me and I will be happy to forward your details onto Paul.

In the meantime, I think I'll just have a nice cup of tea and a sit down.  Ooooh ouch!  Did I mention I've also taken up aerobics and regular cycling too.  No wonder you haven't got a blogpost out of me for the last month! 


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