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I’ve made my home in Brighton for over 10 years now, and one of the reasons I love it so much is that this is a city right at the coalface of the UK Green movement, pun intended.

 

  • We’ve got the amazing Caroline Lucas, first elected Green MP in the country and one of the UK’s most popular politicians
  • We’ve got the beautiful South Downs National Park to explore right on our doorstep
  • We’ve got a vibrant movement promoting locally sourced produce

 

Naturally, if you’re visiting Brighton (and Hove) then there are plenty of must-see attractions here, including the Palace Pier, our pebbly but still comfortable beach, the famous Lanes, and the iconic Royal Pavilion with its eye-catching minarets and domes.

 

We also have a whole bunch of cool eco-friendly attractions in Brighton that you may not be aware of, and I’m going to talk about some of my favourites below. Right now. So read on.

 

Green Attractions in Brighton

 

hiSbe

London Road

http://hisbe.co.uk/

 

hiSbe stands for “how it Should be”. This is a new kind of supermarket that prioritises sustainability, local produce and trading fairly over short-term profits. So they pay their staff above the living wage, treat their suppliers well and focus on independent, local products. If you’re self-catering on your Brighton holiday, maybe in an AirBnB, this is a great ethical place to stock up on supplies.

 

hiSbe makes a good companion to the already well-established Infinity Foods which sells a vast range of healthy, organic and ethical produce in the North Laine and also has its own cafe.

 

Silo

Upper Gardner Street, North Laine

http://www.silobrighton.com/

 

Silo is among the most exciting new restaurants to open in Brighton in recent years. Actually just calling it a restaurant is selling Silo short – it’s also a coffee house, bakery and brewery. They operate under the principle of Zero Waste – everything that isn’t eaten gets composted, ingredients arrive by reusable packaging, the beer is made from foraged plants, herbs and fruit, and even the furniture is recycled. I haven’t eaten here yet, but I’ve heard only good things about the menu.

 

Can’t get a table at Silo? There are no end of restaurants and cafes in Brighton that have a sustainable ethos, from the buzzing vegetarian buffet spreads at Iydea to the well-known Foragers in Hove that has a proud focus on locally sourced delicious pub grub.

 

Earthship Tours

Stanmer Park

 

England’s first Earthship was built in Brighton and serves as a community centre for Stanmer Organics. Earthships are about the most sustainable form or architecture going, pioneered by Michael Reynolds who built a whole off-grid community of them in New Mexico. They are structures made of natural and upcycled materials such as old car tyres, glass bottles and straw, which use renewable forms of energy.

 

You can take a tour of the Brighton Earthship for a small charge, to learn about its construction and get advice for making your own home more sustainable. Stanmer Park is easily reached from central Brighton by public transport and there is usually one tour every month.

 

Brighton's Earthship was the first to be built in England

Brighton’s Earthship was the first to be built in England; image source

 

Rampion Wind Farm

 

A fairly new feature on the Brighton seascape is one that can only be seen well from the beach on a clear day, or from atop the controversial British Airways i360 tower. Rampion is a major offshore windfarm that should be completed in 2018, and us locals are taking a keen interest in the construction – you can often see the silhouettes of huge ships out there working on the build.

 

If you fancy a eco-friendly day trip, then you can join a boat tour out to Rampion from the Brighton Marina to explore the sprawling development and learn some interesting facts about wind energy.

 

Jubilee Library

Jubilee Street

 

Right in the centre of town, the Jubilee Library is an impressive feat of architecture. The huge glass wall at the front and the concrete floor utilise the sun’s energy to heat the building, while it is cooled by wind towers on the roof. Heat recovery units meanwhile capture the heat from PCs and even people to recycle it around the library.

 

The Jubilee Library is a very popular spot for families with young children, students and freelance professionals – I work there a lot myself. You can get a great cup of coffee in the cafe, and they hold regular events for children. There is also a really good selection of literary-themed gifts for sale which I often browse when one of my son’s friends has a birthday party coming up.

 

Brighton's Jubilee Library is heated using this incredible glass wall

Brighton’s Jubilee Library is heated using this incredible glass wall; image source

 

Eco Open Houses

 

Every May in Brighton sees the very popular Artists Open Houses event, where local artists invite visitors into their homes to see their work. Slightly smaller scale, but no less fascinating to those of us with an interest in all things green, is the Eco Open Houses event. Have a nosy around Brighton properties that are using pioneering technologies and innovative techniques to save energy, waste and water.

 

We did this tour some years back when our son was still in nappies and found it immensely inspirational, picking up plenty of useful tips for low-cost energy-saving measures in our own flat.

 

Big Lemon Buses

 

Brighton buses are already very eco-friendly with low emissions and electric vehicles on the way. But if you really want to get around the city in a green way, then you need to go yellow.

 

Big Lemon buses run on refined waste cooking oil that is collected from local businesses. They only operate on a handful of routes right now, but their distinctive livery runs from the city centre to the Marina, and to the university campuses. They’ve also just launched a new bus that runs on solar power.

 

Brighton's Big Lemon buses run on recycled waste cooking oil

Brighton’s Big Lemon buses run on recycled waste cooking oil; image source

 

Beech Estate Eco Camping

Battle

http://www.ecocampuk.co.uk/

 

We’ve recently got into camping as a family in a big way, and we’re thinking about heading out to the Beech Estate, near the historic town of Battle, for our next adventure. It offers off-grid wild camping in 20 acres of attractive woodland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 

You can bring your own tent, or hire a bell tent for Wild Glamping. The facilities include eco-toilets in a custom-made gypsy caravan and hot bucket showers, so don’t expect luxury but do expect an ethos on sustainable family-oriented relaxation.

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