It seems like just yesterday that the original members of Greener Tywyn Gwyrdd got together to have an informal chat about the environment and the positive changes we hoped to inspire in our community. Like many stories, it started around the table with a good cup of tea. Each of us knew we wanted to do something but it was uniting as a group and realising that we weren’t alone that gave us the motivation we needed to begin.
One year on, here is the recap of what we have achieved so far. You can also check out the video summary by Hutchfolk Media!
We started off with the basics. We set up this website, started a newsletter and established a Facebook group where we could not only share our activities and useful information, but also gather opinions and suggestions from other people in the area. On the Facebook page, we also promote job vacancies that have a connection with the environment and contribute to sharing awareness about local projects in the Dyfi area like the Machynlleth Veg-bag scheme.
We launched Greener Tywyn in January with the Demain Event at the Magic Lantern Cinema. More than 150 people came to see this inspiring documentary and many vowed to make #onegreenchange, which they wrote down on a paper leaf and hung on our Tree of Change (see our list of 10 easy green changes you can make).
This special screening was followed by a second event a few weeks later where community members discussed their thoughts about the film and shared ideas about how Greener Tywyn Gwyrdd can encourage positive environmental change in the area.
Soon after, we participated in a number of beach cleans with the Tywyn Beach Guardians. a local group whose primary goal is to keep our beaches as free from plastic pollution as possible. We look forward to taking part in even more events in the years to come.
In addition to starting up a few small projects such as an ethical loo roll buying group, we also participated in some bigger projects, one of the most important being the permaculture garden on the school grounds of Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn (designed by John Patrick Waddington).
In April, we met up with members of the Eden Project and with their help, organised a Net Walk around Tywyn to introduce the projects we are working on to the local townspeople. One of our members, Joanna, also attended a workshop at the Eden Project center in Cornwall. Later in the year, we also held several presentations in the nearby area, including one at the Dyfi Biosphere annual meeting in Aberystwyth.
For the annual Race The Train marathon in August, Greener Tywyn helped the Rotary club recycle much of the rubbish generated during the event. The initiative was a big success thanks to the wonderful volunteers that came to help, including the little ones!
In October, we joined the Magic Lantern, Tywyn Beach Guardians and hundreds of other venues around the country for the Wales’ Year of the Sea weekend, a special programme of films and events that included a children’s workshop where we designed sculptures made of rubbish collected from our local beaches. You can find the sculptures displayed on the high street in the shop window of what used to be The Rise.
We started engaging with local businesses by carrying out surveys to see what green changes they are currently making or planning to implement, and encouraging them to increase their efforts. We also met with the Surfers Against Sewage charity, as we hope Tywyn can attain “plastic-free status” in the near future. We’ve already received support from the town council so that will be our main focus next year.
Oh, I almost forgot. We wrote and signed a constitution!
So what’s next for 2019?
We’ll begin the year with some more presentations to local groups with the hope of linking up with the wider community. Joining Surfers Against Sewage and going plastic free will be high on our agenda, and we have other projects in mind too!
We’ll also be ringing in 2019 with Greener Tywyn Gwyrdd’s first birthday celebration. There will be free home made cake and it will be an opportunity to share the latest news and listen to the community’s feedback. Stay tuned as we’ll be sharing more information at the beginning of the new year!