‘Think Global, Act Local’ goes the famous and oft quoted bumper sticker which prompts us to change the world one environmental act at a time. ‘Global’ encompasses sunny trips to Cancun at the end of November for the UN Climate Change Conference following talks in China in October and a £3 million cut in funding for the Low Carbon High Growth Fund.
A little more locally, Bristol was the only UK entry to the 2009 European Green Capital City competition although it didn’t win and was designated a cycling city despite its hilly geography. It is home to a whole host of charities such as the Soil Association, Sustrans, the Environment Agency and the British Natural History Consortium and more recently will see the publication of the handbook Bristol – A guide to good living.
Good living is akin to sustainable living and according to publisher Alastair Sawday, who chairs the Green Capital Momentum Group and has lived in Bristol for 35 years, “this guide is about Bristol, about what Bristolians are doing, area by area, to make their city a better and a greener place.”
Each section of the handbook contains information that relates to the neighbourhoods and City Council wards within that area with the content presented in the same pattern of introduction, tours (both cycling and walking), directory listings and case studies.
Facts and quotations are sprinkled throughout the guide and listings found in the handbook range from informative to delicious, little morsels of information about small enterprises. For example, in South Bristol, the directory lists 45 places including Southville Deli and the Tobacco Factory while further along there is a case study of my favourite bakery, Mark’s Bread.
Mark Newman opened the bakery in November 2009. The flours used are all locally sourced and organic, the bread is made by hand using traditional methods and natural yeasts, and it is delivered by bicycle.
In the city centre some of the case studies include the Architecture Centre and the Slow Food Market and there are hundreds of centres and shops in the handbook which identify what makes Bristol such a vibrant and energetic community. This handbook is destined to be one of the most useful guides of finding out what to do around Bristol and helping out locally.
Bristol – A guide to good living, is a joint venture between Alastair Sawday Publishing and the Bristol Green Capital Momentum Group. It is available from 18 November in Bristol books shops and retail outlets, priced £9.99. For more information visit www.goodliving.org.uk.