Do you try to be eco-friendly? Did you know that Eco-friendly means anything that conserves energy and assists the prevention of air, water, and noise pollution? They are lots of things that contribute to protecting the environment such as solar panels, walking/biking or using public transport instead of cars, electric cars, using reusable products, buying fair trade food and gifts, using non environmentally harmful cleaning products, recycling, the list goes on…
Many of our attractions here at Hampshire’s Top Attractions do their bit to ensure they are taking steps to become eco-friendly and look at ways to ensure they are maintaining and increasing how eco-friendly they are as an attraction! Keep reading to find out what they have been up to!
Exbury Gardens goes full circle where their garden waste recycling is concerned. Rather than purchase compost or woodchip externally, they make their own from their garden waste! The trees and shrubs in this 200-acre woodland garden are cut back regularly. The removed branches and shrubbery are broken down in a woodchipper and added to various piles of compost heaps located onsite. This compost is then used as nutrients for new plantings and the woodchip is used as mulch to protect roots. Pictured here is Exbury’s Head Gardener Tom Clarke atop one of these impressive compost mounds.
Gilbert White’s house and gardens were once home to Britain’s first ecologist, learn more about Gilbert White and his legacy in the house, then visit his garden which is managed to promote maximum biodiversity. Visit the café for a locally-sourced meal, which strives to be zero waste.
Thruxton race circuit has electric car charging points on-site, where you can charge your eco-friendly electric vehicle. They also have an E-Voucher option available for all their driving experiences so that you’ll instantly have something to give to the lucky recipient as well as reducing your use of paper and opting for the more eco-friendly option! There is a mainline train station in Andover (10 minutes away), which runs from Waterloo, why not use public transport to get to the race circuit instead of driving?
A trip to Marwell Zoo is the chance to support global wildlife conservation! Learn about endangered animals, pop into their gift shop to purchase ethical toys and gifts, or marvel at their innovative and sustainable Energy for Life: Tropical House which will soon be powered by poo from the zoo!
Butser Ancient Farm, near Petersfield, boasts an eco-friendly visitor centre with solar panels and natural water filtration system. The natural ancient building techniques and traditional skills practiced at the experimental archaeology centre promote the close relationship our ancestors had with the environment around them. Explore the lessons from the past that can show us how to seek better balance with the natural world today.
As a conservation charity, the Hawk Conservancy Trust is always seeking new ways to reduce their impact on the environment and to develop new initiatives to benefit wildlife and habitats wherever they can. As a visitor, you can enjoy a range of sustainably sourced goods in the gift shop, and you’re encouraged to take along refillable water bottles and hot drinks containers.
Managed and run by a team of volunteers, Southampton’s heritage Steamship Shieldhall burns fuels with ultra-low sulphur content, with all its wastewater and sewage passing through an anaerobic treatment plant. All onboard waste is sorted into various categories for disposal by Veolia.
The Brickworks Museum has to work hard to be eco-friendly – the site is old, very cold, and very damp. In 2011 an array of 16 PV solar panels was purchased and these continue to provide them with power throughout the year and reduce the costs of their electricity. Very old and inefficient storage heaters have now all been replaced with modern convector heaters that are only used when needed. The old fluorescent lights that were all over the building have now made way for more energy-saving ones. The volunteers have always been excellent at recycling. All kinds of things from unwanted steel frames that were once farm buildings to motorway footbridges get repurposed into external display areas or shelters for trains. Their most recent recycling project was working with Southampton Wood Recycling who created a new reception desk out of old scaffold planks.
Simple top tips to help visitors be eco friendly at attractions:
- Transport – bike, public transport or car shares are great options to visit attractions instead of driving.
- If having a picnic, opt for fair trade ingredients and use the Tupperware boxes you already have instead of cling film and foil to wrap your sarnies and prepare your own drinks in reusable bottles. Some attractions will even use these to refill.
- Use recycling points or take recyclable rubbish/ compost rubbish home.
- Turn off light switches, taps and hand dryers as soon as you have finished.
- Use reusable masks, if they are not reusable, be mindful of dropping them, as they are harmful to wildlife and the environment, keep them safe with you or dispose of them accordingly.
- Whilst you are at attractions and have an upcoming friend or family birthday, why not purchase a fair trade gift from the gift shop!