For my birthday this weekend my present was a sustainability themed road trip down to beautiful Cornwall. The area is just stunning and May the perfect time to visit (spring colours, great weather but too early for the summer crowds). Usually all of our trips are sustainability themed but this one had some interesting stops I thought I’d share…
The Eden Project started with an interesting idea and an old clay pit (60 meters deep, the area of 35 football pitches). What resulted was an incredible site that aims to educate visitors about nature. The site has two giant greenhouses, one which recreates a tropical climate and the other Mediterranean. What I loved about this project is that rather than just have the plants they really try to educate visitors about the individual plants and the important role they play in society. Signs next to the different plants explain their story and how they are used in medicines to treat certain illnesses or generally how they are used by humans and animals. A bakery on site serves food using only ingredients grown on-site. They have an incredible range of educational projects focused on everything from greening local businesses to school programmes. We only had three hours to spare here but I could have spent the entire day easily. http://www.edenproject.com
Another interesting stop we made was to Fifteen, a restaurant opened by Jaime Oliver 5 years ago in Cornwall. The views from our table across the beach were fantastic but that wasn’t the reason we decided to try this place out. I was interested in learning more about the project. Basically Fifteen is an entirely nonprofit organization with all generated revenue going directly to the charity, The Cornwall Foundation of Promise, which trains students. The charity was set up to train locally disadvantaged youth’s (a result of high unemployment due to the demise of the once prosperous mining industry) between the ages of 16 and 24. These students, or rather trainee chefs, work in the kitchen for a year, and then go on to work in restaurants in Cornwall and further afar. Apart from that, the food is pretty much all sourced (80%) locally. For more information on this visit http://www.fifteencornwall.co.uk/
Of course we did a lot more interesting things in Cornwall. There are World Heritage Sites, National Parks, incredible walks, fantastic local markets and restaurants serving meals made from local produce. We tested out some organic B&Bs and other green accommodation options. I wish we could have stayed longer.