I had been to buckets of sustainability meetings recently! After the Citizens’ Assembly on Sustainability in our valley, we had created focus groups on topics such as sustainable food, sustainable transport and a climate festival. I am in the latter two, and we had been having meetings with both. And the same had happened in other regions. And the ‘energy-efficient homes’ group of the Nantlle Valley had organised an afternoon for sharing ideas. It sounded interesting!
I also decided I could combine it with a nice run in an unusual environment. So I did, and I still made it on time. I first bumped into Malen, who I had hoped to be able to catch up afterwards. She is the wife of the Martyn we have just hired on a permanent contract. I hope to go visit them soon. I knew that would be a delegation from Bangor; Chris, the facilitator in our valley, would be coming up with a lady who is into sustainable food, and perhaps other people. And when I walked into the room I also saw the Welsh-speaking lady who had recently retired, and some of whose teaching I am now doing, and a bloke from Llanberis Mountain Rescue who had been at the wellbeing event the previous week. It’s nice to see familiar faces!
Most of the day was just presentations by various people. There was one guy who was trying to improve the situation in Pen Llŷn, by trying to have a holistic approach. One of his bugbears was that if you want your house to be made sustainable, you often have no choice but to hire contractors from far away. His organisation was trying to support local contractors to get the necessary accreditation, so they could do it themselves. And he was trying to organise support in applying for grants to have the work done in the first place.
There was also a man from Cartrefi Clyd, which is a Wales wide organisation, and it does similar things. They offer subsidised sustainability surveys of your house, and support with making the improvements that have been flagged up, by identifying potential sources of financial help. I think I'll take them up on that!
There also was the opportunity to discuss with the whole room. The room was largely Welsh speaking, and there of course was synchronous translation, so everyone could join in.
I think I got two take all messages from this. Firstly, there is actually quite a lot of good work being done in our general area. And secondly; it is affordable to have a specialist turn your house inside out and suggest improvements. The first lift the spirits, and the second lifts my faith in being able to improve my own situation! So it was worth it.